The Year 2009 is in the books for the Maximum Fighting Championship so it is time once again to review the very best of the campaign gone by with the Z-Files’ annual look at the Top 10 finishes and fights.
Last week, the Top 10 Submissions of ’09 were presented with Ryan Machan taking home the honor for his rear-naked choke victory over Kajan Johnson at MFC 23. Up next it’s the Top 10 Knockouts, and just before the New Year, we’ll do the final rundown – the list of the Top 10 Fights of the Year. As with the Top 10 Submissions, the Top 10 Knockouts and Top 10 Fights of the Year will include not just the MFC but also Heat XC, the top developmental organization for the Maximum Fighting Championship.
A year ago, Aron Lofton captured the KO of the Year title for his one-punch conclusion to a showdown with Dwayne Lewis. Who takes the crown in 2009? Let’s take a look:
10. Marvin Eastman def. Aron Lofton (0:49, Round 2, MFC 21): An expected throwdown in the middle of the ring turned into more of a tussle along the ropes early on. But in Round 2, Eastman used his experience to bring Lofton down where he proceeded to rain down heavy hands and elbows on an obviously dazed opponent before forcing the stoppage.
9. Brad Zazulak def. Richard Symonds (3:54, Round 1, MFC 20): A long-awaited return proved fruitful for Zazulak who showed he hadn‘t lost his touch despite a layoff. Using well-executed Muay Thai skills, Zazulak dropped Symonds with a barrage of knees to the body and head and then unleashed a fury of ground-and-pound strikes that left Symonds rolled over and looking for an exit.
8. Bryan Baker def. Rory Singer (4:56, Round 1, MFC 20): It could very well have been over much earlier had Baker not been able to wiggle out of a triangle attempt and two armbars. But Baker indeed was able to power out and then avoid Singer’s upkicks. The first hammerfist got Singer’s attention. The second one bounced his head of the canvas and had the referee jumping in to save Singer from more abuse.
7. Evan Sanguin def. Alain Hernandez (2:50, Round 1, MFC 20): A very rare occurrence nowadays – a KO by slam. Sanguin wasn’t keen on standing and trading with Hernandez who flashed some quick hands in the early moments. The pair tied up in Sanguin’s corner before he scooped up Hernandez and drove him into the mat with his shoulder squarely under Hernandez’s chin. On contact, Hernandez was out cold.
6. Dwayne Lewis def. Jay Whitford (0:29, Round 1, MFC 21): Whitford had taken some horrific shots before from both Aron Lofton and Jason Kuchera but withstood the storm and won both fights by submission. This time, Whitford wasn’t so fortunate. Lewis teed off on him from the get-go, yet most still expected the same cement-headed defense from Whitford would pay off. No chance. Lewis’ assault crumpled Whitford, who was bruised and bloodied before being saved from further damage.
5. Josh Bryant def. Danny Valimaki (2:19, Round 2, Heat XC 4): A vast variance in size didn‘t stop Bryant who gave up at least six inches to the long and lean Valimaki. Bryant repeatedly found a home for an overhand right and midway through the fight made the last one count. The Oklahoman connected with a lead left and then dropped one last overhand bomb that thundered Valimaki to the mat before a dismayed hometown crowd.
4. John Alessio def. Luigi Fioravanti (1:34, Round 3, MFC 22): A very even fight heading into the final round ended with one perfectly placed shot. Alessio, who is more regarded for his submission skills than his stand-up game, ducked under a punch, pinpointed a right hand of his own onto Fioravanti’s chin, and the Floridian keeled over straight onto his back. Timber! Alessio followed with one more punch but it was all over with a stunning finish.
3. Dwayne Lewis def. Jason Kuchera (0:31, Round 1, Heat XC 1): There was nothing strategic about this one heading in – whoever would land the best shot first was going to walk away. The two stood mid-ring and waited each other out for the precise, cobra-like chance to strike. Lewis fired – and connected. A straight right down the pipe that cracked Kuchera on the chin and dropped him to his knees. One punch and done.
2. Dwayne Lewis def. Marvin Eastman (4:58, Round 1, MFC 23): Eastman had control midway through the round and was trying to force his way through with some ground-and-pound. But both fighters were stood up in the final moments of the round where Lewis connected with a scintillating uppercut bang-on the jaw and Eastman went flat on his back. Lewis banged away and had to be pulled off by the referee even though that one well-placed shot had the done the trick by then.
And the 2009 MFC Knockout of the Year goes to…
1. Pete Spratt def. Nathan Gunn (4:19, Round 2, MFC 22): The young Gunn felt no fear going into the fight and was willing to trade with the veteran striker. In fact Gunn had position a couple of times early on to really put Spratt in trouble but it didn’t work out. Big mistake. In Round 2, Spratt crushed Gunn with precision punches and had Gunn ready to go. And unlike his opponent, Spratt didn’t waste the opportunity. Spratt fired an uppercut from his knees that rocketed into Gunn and dropped him face-first into the mat. A huge roar erupted from the sold-out crowd as Gunn need several minutes to get back to his feet.