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The Rundown on MFC 31

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The final instalment of the Maximum Fighting Championship for 2011 takes place this Friday in Edmonton at the Mayfield Trade Centre, with MFC 31: The Rundown set to feature a main event  light-heavyweight title showdown between the champion Ryan ”The Big Deal” Jimmo and the challenger Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. The show, which will air live on HDNet beginning at 10 p.m. ET/8 p.m. MT/7 p.m. PT, is also set to feature no less than 3 lightweight bouts on the televised main card as several young prospects look set to make their own case for being the next contender worthy of a crack at MFC gold.

205lbs- Ryan Jimmo (15-1) vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (12-8)
***Light-Heavyweight Title Fight***

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Ryan Jimmo comes into his second title defence against Sokoudjou riding an incredible 15 fight winning streak, dating back to 2007, which he seems especially determined to keep after last Friday’s episode of Inside MMA where Sokoudjou reached over and grabbed the champ’s belt that was sitting right in front of him. Following the incident Jimmo had this to say, “I was very focused on beating him but he grabbed my belt from me, he reached over during taping and grabbed the belt. I was like you mother….. So now he doesn’t just get a focused guy who wants to win; now he gets someone who wants to smash his teeth in. I’m very incensed by that notion and I’m going to make sure that after that fight he questions whether or not he wants to fight again.”

For his part, “The African Assassin” has won his last three bouts having last competed in June at the inaugural Score Fighting Series event where he won a unanimous decision over Roy Boughton.  After starting his career with a bang Sokoudjou spent a few years with lukewarm results a he vacillated between victories and defeats with his chronically lagging cardio becoming a recurring complaint amongst MMA fans. Enjoying the longest winning streak of his career, Sokoudjou seems like it could be his time to shine against Jimmo, having ended the 9 fight winning streak of Polish sensation Jan Blachowicz earlier this year in Warsaw fans shouldn’t be too surprised if Sokoudjou turns out to be a much stiffer test for Jimmo than many people seem to thus far.

Stylistically this fight seems to favour Jimmo whose countering striking Karate base has the potential to befuddle Sokoudjou’s clinch game and Judo throws. Look for Sokoudjou to come out strong early on looking for the quick finish with Jimmo attempting to take his time to pick apart and wear down his opponent with his vicious leg kicks and wet blanket like clinch game. Should the fight go to the ground Jimmo’s wrestling will prove superior affording him the opportunity to pound out Sokoudjou who has notoriously been ineffective when forced to fight from his back. The aforementioned cardio issues that have plagued the challenger going into this contest find their mirror in the champion who is renowned for his deep gas tank, and given that this is a 25 minute title fight it certainly seems that should this fight go on into the championship rounds Jimmo carries a strong edge over Sokoudjou.

With this being the last fight on Jimmo’s current MFC contract it is almost certain that should he come away with his 16th consecutive victory we can expect to see him trade a ring for a cage as he moves into the UFC, where the fans will finally be able to see him face the crème de la crème of mixed martial artist and see if he really is “The Big Deal”.

155lbs- Kajan Johnson (18-10-1) vs. Richie Whitson (11-1)
Although injuries have plagued Kajan Johnson over the last couple years, preventing him from building up the necessary momentum to take his career to the next level, he has won six of his last seven fights and has been training with some of the best in the game in both Las Vegas and Montreal, whereas Whitson is making his MFC return after a barn burner of a debut in February where he bested Curtis Demarce in a bout that could easily be the MFC fight of the year.

Following surgery on his elbow, which kept him sidelined until now, Whitson will be looking to build on the momentum of his initial MFC performance when he faces Johnson who likewise will be looking to put in an impressive performance as the winner of this bout is more than likely going gain the opportunity to fight for the MFC lightweight title sometime in 2012 after current champion Antonio McKee and Brian Cobb faceoff in January at MFC 32.

Johnson has always shown himself to be a dynamic striker with a good chin which he’ll definitely need as Whitson’s in your face, push the pace style and crisp boxing technique are sure to force Johnson into some heated exchanges. As he showed in his fight with Demarce, Whitson is extremely durable and possesses a keen ability to take a shot in order to deliver a couple of his own, a tactic which may be his best chance of leaving Canada with yet another victory on Friday night.

If and when this fight goes to the ground Kajan Johnson will hold a significant advantage as his long, lean frame make his submission game substantially more potent than Whitson’s, though the Team Quest representative should be able to avoid serious danger if he is able to get back to his feet quickly, if. With these two young studs gunning to separate themselves from the rest of the pack at 155 and stake their claim as the next contender to the MFC lightweight throne this bout has fight of the night written all over it.

155lbs- Curtis Demarce (11-9) vs. Adam Lynn (16-8)
Curtis Demarce came into 2011 riding a 7 fight winning streak, then came two consecutive split decision losses to Richie Witson and Marcus Davis that saw Demarce win many new fans with his all our banging style regardless of the judges’ decisions.  The young Manitoban then turned things around at MFC 30 in June when he finally came out on the winning end of a split decision by besting Robert Washington on two of three judges’ scorecards.

Facing off against Demarce will be longtime MMA veteran and former U.S. Marine, Adam Lynn, who’s career is the epitome of the term journeyman which is exemplified by the fact that he enters the bout having won five consecutive bouts in five different organizations. Although Lynn may have several years more experience than the much younger Demarce, when it comes to fighting experience these are both two very game well rounded fighters that have spent ample time honing their crafts. Both of these guys have a reputation for keeping a fight on the feet however in reality they are both just as likely to tap a guy out as knock him out, Demarce in particular who has earned more than half his victories by way of submission.

Given the ring savvy and durability both of these martial artists possess it is easy to hypothesize that they are going to put on a wildly exciting brawl with some nice back and forth ground work that is going to go to the judges. And given that Lynn has only ever once lost a decision, it mean that for Demarce bad things do indeed come in
threes.

155lbs- Mukai Maromo (5-2) vs. Sabah Fadai (6-1)
If one African Assassin on a fight card isn’t enough for you, you’re in luck as MFC 31 will feature two as Mukai Maromo looks to prove his moniker apt when he faces MFC newcomer, Vancouver based Sabah Fadai. The Muay Thai specialist Maromo comes into the fight after finishing the previously unbeaten Scott Cleve in only 36 seconds at the last MFC event in June, while the Iranian born “Persian Warrior” Fadai looks to make it five in a row after recording 3 victories over the last couple of years while competing in the Philippines and Singapore prior to returning to Canada to train in Montreal at the much heralded Tri-Star gym.

Both fighters bring ample striking skills to the table as evidenced by their resumes and a knockout finish might be almost guaranteed when they face off in the ring Friday, although a 3 round war seems as though it could be in the cards as neither one of these two is likely to go down easily. Either way, fans will be in for a treat.

185lbs- Terry Martin (21-9) vs. Allen Hope (8-8)
In what was a highly anticipated bout upon its announcement, Terry Martin was originally scheduled to face ATT Atlanta product Dhiego Lima at MFC 31 before an undisclosed injury forced his withdrawal from the bout. In his stead, local fan favorite Allen Hope gets his big break on the MFC stage as he steps in on late notice to face Martin who dropped his debut with the MFC back in April when he challenged the elder Lima brother, Douglas, for the MFC welterweight title back in April. Martin was the victim of a first round TKO that night but looks set to get his fourth win in his last five fights, since moving down to 170 lbs. back in 2009, as his fast hands and strength advantage seem too much for an overmatched Hope, who has struggled against middling regional competition, to overcome. If Hope wants to make a name for himself in the MMA game then an upset win over an experienced veteran like Martin is the best way to do so.

170lbs- Cody Krahn (10-4) vs. Ryan Chiappe (8-6)
In what should be an exciting welterweight contest, two of western Canada’s top welterweight prospects lock horns in the evening first televised fight of the night. Former KOTC welterweight champ “Ruthless” Ryan Chiappe, who will be making his promotional debut with the MFC, will hope to build on his two victories in 2011 when he faces Cody “Genghis” Krahn who is looking get his first win under the Pavelich Sports banner having dropped his first two attempts to Elliot Duff and Andreas Spang after putting together a six fight winning streak prior to joining the promotion.

Chiappe is known for his explosiveness out of the gate, with his last four victories all coming in the first round, but the same can also be said for Krahn who has won all of his fights inside the opening round. Krahn is likely to be hungry for the win since it will likely be his last chance to get one in the MFC, while Chiappe will be looking to make a statement to announce his arrival in the MFC. Regardless of who wins, this fight promises to be a wam-bam thank you Mam kind of bout that isn’t likely to last long.

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