Fans in Edmonton attending Friday night’s MFC 22 were treated to a night of exciting action helping the show live up to its formal name – “Payoff”. With a main card featuring a plethora of fighters previously calling the UFC home, including a headlining bout between Jason MacDonald and Travis Lutter, the event had it’s share of both highlights and lowlights for those with Octagon experience.
After struggling through a first round littered with successful takedown attempts, as well as a few well-placed knees to the body, Pete Spratt landed a devastating uppercut on opponent Nathan Gunn in the second round which provided the first blemish on the young fighter’s previously pristine record. The knockout improved Spratt’s professional record to 20-15.
Marvin Eastman stepped into the ring at the same weight as his scheduled competition for the evening, Ryan Jimmo, but appeared to be quite a bit smaller based on a five-inch height differential. The two felt each other out for a few minutes before Jimmo was able to lock up Eastman’s body and deliver a series of knees to his core.
The second round featured more of the same technique with little change in approach from the man otherwise known as “Beastman” until he was able to land a takedown on Jimmo and work some mild ground-and-pound from the top.
After apparently splitting the first two frames with Jimmo, Eastman was able to take control in the third with his superior wrestling ability, but it was the Canadian who instead took home the split decision thanks to what some fans might have seen as a “hometown” decision from the judges.
In a battle of power vs. technique, former Ultimate Fighter contestant Mike Nickels took on a man who had the unfortunate distinction of not only being ragdolled by Tim Boestch in the UFC, but was also involved in a match against current UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida that Zuffa pulled from a European PPV broadcast, and an extended choke that cost Renato Sobral his job with the UFC.
Friday night was a bit less conspicuous for Heath, who was able to fend off most of Nickels’ stand-up attempts before being rocked by a few hard shots in the second round. After receiving a warning for his mouthguard falling out multiple times, Heath did his best Rocky Balboa impression and went toe-to-toe with Nickels, at some points even baiting the tattooed Coloradan in for a shot or two. However, though the first fourteen minutes of the contest took place on the fighters’ feet, the finish came on the ground with Nickels finally getting Heath to the mat and locking in a Rear Naked Choke.
American Top Team’s Luigi Fioravanti faced XTreme Couture’s John Alessio in a battle for the rights to an official winning streak, as both are 1-1 in their last two fights with first-round finishes in the “W”.
In the end it was Alessio who walked away with the second consecutive victory, the win a courtesy of a well-timed right hand which left the former Marine Fioravanti laid out on his back.
In what was originally scheduled to be a clash for the MFC Lightweight Championship, Antonio McKee instead locked up with Carlos Prater without any gold on the line due to Prater’s inability to weigh in at 155 pounds.
McKee dominated the bulk of the first round, as well as the second and third, with grappling acumen and ground striking. Coupled with Prater’s relatively poor performance, the ground and pound in addition to a smattering of stand-up led to an obvious win on the judges’ scorecards and brought McKee’s total career decision wins to eighteen of twenty-three total victories.
Perhaps the most notorious Mixed Martial Artist known for not making weight in a previously scheduled title fight, Travis Lutter, entered the ring hoping to have a better showing than he did against Anderson Silva by preventing Canadian Jason MacDonald from improving his MFC record to a perfect 11-0.
Lutter was able to gain MacDonald’s back in the middle of the first but his foe was able to fend off the former TUF champion’s strikes and submission attempts.
The second stanza saw Lutter using his top-level grappling skills to again hold MacDonald on the canvas, eventually even mounting “The Athlete” in the process, but he did little once the dominant position was secured.
The local crowd had a bit more to cheer about in the third round when MacDonald ended up in half-guard after a successful takedown to deliver some minor ground and pound, but the bit of offense was too little too late, and Lutter was able to survive long enough to take home the decision victory.
Below are full list of results from MFC 22:
Joe Christopher def. Andrew Buckland – Submission – RD 1
Jason Heit def. Paapa Inkumsha – TKO – RD 2
Dwayne Lewis def. Jared Kilkenny – TKO – RD 1
Nick Hrynchshyn def. Jesse MacDougall – TKO – RD 2
Pete Spratt def. Nathan Gunn – KO – RD 2
Ryan Jimmo def. Marvin Eastman – Split Decision
Mike Nickels def. David Heath – Submission – RD 3
John Alessio def. Luigi Fioravanti – KO – RD 2
Antonio McKee def. Carlos Prater – Unanimous Decision
Travis Lutter def. Jason MacDonald – Unanimous Decision