Maximum Fighting Championship

Press Conference

Heavyweight title fight, brother vs. brother bout highlight MFC 37 lineup

The Maximum Fighting Championship is pleased to invite the media to the official press conference for the introduction of several main-card fighters who will be competing at MFC 37: True Grit.

The press conference will take place on Wednesday, May 8 at 2 p.m. at the Baccarat Casino (10128-104 Ave, Downtown Edmonton). Fighters will be available for one-on-one interviews as well as for video and still photographs.

MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich will be on hand to meet with the media and discuss MFC 37: True Grit which will go off on Friday, May 10 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. MFC 37: True Grit will air live on AXS TV (formerly HDNet) throughout the United States beginning at 10 p.m. ET/8 p.m. MT/7 p.m. PT (check local listings for channel designation).

A battle for MFC world heavyweight title tops the lineup for MFC 37, as American star Chris “Beast Boy” Barnett takes on undefeated Canadian sensation Smealinho “The Prince” Rama.

Barnett (7-1), who fights out of Atlanta, Georgia, makes his debut in the Maximum Fighting Championship riding a two-fight winning streak and boasting five career victories by way of knockout. Barnett, a former football player at the University of South Florida, is also a talented grappler having successfully competed in numerous elite-level tournaments.

Rama (6-0) comes into the title fight on a tremendous high and having already dominated all his previous opponents under the MFC banner. A native of Albania who now fights out of Calgary, Alberta, Rama has won all six of his career bouts inside the opening round with three each coming by knockout and submission including his first-round destruction of Mike Hackert by TKO at MFC 36. Rama’s previous successes have earned him the MFC’s 2012 Submission of the Year and he was named 2012 Male Rookie of the Year by Fight Matrix.

Leading up to the title fight is a stacked MFC 37 main card featuring the inaugural fight in the MFC’s new bantamweight division. Kicking off the spirited 135-pound ranks is a showdown between young standouts Ryan “Baby Face” Benoit and Anthony Birchak. The two have already engaged in a boisterous war of words on Twitter and the rivalry is sure to explode once they enter the MFC ring.

Benoit (6-1), who fights out of Dallas, Texas, has won four straight fights, the last two being first-round knockouts coming in less than two minutes. Birchak (9-1), who hails from Tucson, Arizona, will bring a three-fight winning streak into the bout, all three of them finished by way of knockout.

Two middleweight bouts take center stage on the MFC 37 main card. Former MFC middleweight title challenger “Smilen” Sam Alvey will meet Jay “Da Spyda Killa” Silva in one clash, while Jason “The Savage” Zentgraf takes on Luke “Hayabusa” Harris in the other.

Alvey (19-5) lost a narrow decision in his last outing – a five-round war for the title back at MFC 36. The Temecula, California, product boasts 11 career knockouts, and will be once again cornered by his wife – “America’s Next Top Model” winner McKey Sullivan. Silva (8-7), who fights out of Huntington Beach, California, is one of the most dangerous strikers in the division with five career knockouts plus a pair of noteworthy submission victories.

Zentgraf (7-1) is on the verge of becoming a key figure in the MFC middleweight ranks as the Missoula, Montana, product has won four straight fights, all four coming by submission including three inside the first round. He’ll face the toughest test of his career in taking on judo/jiu-jitsu black belt and hometown favorite Harris (9-2). Harris, who trains in St. Albert, Alberta, won nine straight bouts – all by first-round submission – before suffering a first-round TKO loss to Joseph Henle at MFC 34.

A pair of lightweight matchups round out the MFC 37 main card. In one clash, Kurt “The Hurt” Southern and “The Afrikan Assassin” Mukai Maromo will lock horns as both fighters attempt to rebound from heartbreaking losses.

Southern (11-4) was in the midst of an impressive outing at MFC 36 when he was surprisingly submitted by Jonatas Novaes in the third round – a loss which snapped a three-fight winning streak for the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, fighter. Maromo (8-3) will also be out for redemption after suffering a third-round submission loss to Graham Spencer in the MFC lightweight title fight at MFC 36. Maromo, a native of Harare, Zimbabwe who now fights out of Edmonton, Alberta, will also be out to avenge a first-round submission loss to Southern from back in October 2010.

The other lightweight battle will launch the AXS TV Fights card as fan favorite Garrett “Nasty” Nybakken (5-5), an Edmonton, Alberta, product, meets Peter Neufeld (6-3), who hails from Lethbridge, Alberta.

The MFC 37: True Grit undercard will feature four fights, and for the first time in organizational history, the preliminary bouts will be airing live on the MFC Facebook page. The MFC 37 undercard is highlighted by the first “Brother vs. Brother” bout in any major organization as Edmonton natives Mike and Thomas Treadwell will go toe-to-toe. The Treadwells, who are not only siblings but also live together, will be making their pro debuts in the heavyweight ranks.

Schedule of Events for MFC 37: True Grit

Wednesday, May 8
2 p.m.
Baccarat Casino
10128-104 Ave. Downtown Edmonton

Those in attendance will include:

  • · Mark Pavelich – Maximum Fighting Championship Owner/President
  • · Chris Barnett and Smealinho Rama – Meeting for MFC world heavyweight title
  • · Ryan Benoit and Anthony Birchak – Debuting in the MFC’s new bantamweight division
  • · Jason Zentgraf and Luke Harris – Two of MFC’s top middleweight contenders
  • · Mike and Thomas Treadwell – Competing in highly anticipated brother vs. brother fight

Thursday, May 9
12:30 p.m.
Baccarat Casino
10128-104 Ave. Downtown Edmonton
*All fighters will be on the scale and available for interviews and photos.

Friday, May 10
Shaw Conference Centre
*Doors open at 5:45 p.m.
*Undercard bouts begin at 6:15 p.m. (live on MFC Facebook page)
*Main card bouts begin at 8 p.m. (live on AXS TV)

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