Canada’s Maximum Fighting Championship again returned to its familiar stomping grounds of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to host its 35th event, “Explosive Encounter.”
In the night’s main event, Ultimate Fighter veteran Joseph Henle battled Bosnian import Elvis Mutapcic for the promotion’s 185-pound title.
Also on the card, former UFC combatant Shane Nelson battled Graham Spencer in a featherweight affair, while heavyweights Smealinho Rama and Ryan Fortin fought in a heavyweight clash.
An additional six bouts filled the night’s fight card. The main card aired live on AXS TV.
The night’s main event saw Mutapcic open aggressively, scoring early with kicks and punches. Henle answered the early barrage with counterstrikes, but the southpaw failed to mount much offense as Mutapcic scored late in the opening round.
Henle opened the second round by using his range well. The mouthpiece of Mutapcic flew out after a knee from Henle. Henle looked for a takedown, but Mutapcic defended. Henle’s length proved to be the difference in the round, as he managed to score with a late takedown.
In the third frame, Henle’s boxing began to best Mutapcic, but a direct strike from Mutapcic to Henle’s right knee was enough to end the bout. Mutapcic connected with a clean kick to Henle’s lead leg that crumbled Henle and forced the referee to intervene.
The third-round TKO earned Mutapcic the MFC middleweight championship.
Featherweight Graham Spencer showed little regard for opponent Shane Nelson’s UFC experience, outworking the Ultimate Fighter veteran.
Graham proved to be the stronger fighter, quickly putting Nelson on his back early in the bout. He worked from the top position throughout the majority of the opening frame, stifling the Hawaiian’s offensive attack.
It was more of the same in the second frame, as Spencer once again put Nelson on his back. Midway through the round Spencer gained the mount and manhandled Nelson. Spencer took Nelson’s back and worked hard for a rear-naked choke, but Nelson survived.
Spencer again pressured early in the final frame, putting Nelson on his back yet again. Nelson mounted little offense as Spencer cruised to a clear-cut unanimous decision win.
In a battle of heavyweights, Smealinho Rama survived an early onslaught from the “Vanilla Gorilla” Ryan Fortin to ultimately win by submission.
Fortin opened the fight aggressively and threatened Rama from the top position. Rama countered with multiple submission attempts, patiently working his attack. When Fortin gave up his back, Rama capitalized and locked in the fight-finishing choke.
Former hockey player Derek Parker outworked opponent Jared McComb to earn a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards.
Parker earned the mount midway through the opening frame to take the opening stanza convincingly.
In the second frame Parker simply outworked McComb by taking the back and frequently threatening with submissions and raining punches from the top position.
McComb opened the final frame aggressively, knowing he was down on the scorecards. After rocking Parker, McComb delivered ground and pound from the top position, but he would fall short when the decision was read.
In a welterweight battle, Sabah Fadai proved that his submission game was more than enough to overcome his size disadvantage against Cody Krahn.
Krahn scored early with a takedown, but Fadai quickly applied a triangle choke. Krahn tried to defend, but ultimately succumbed to the submission, giving Fadai the win.
In a battle of light heavyweights, Paul Grandbois showcased more patience than his countryman, stopping Jason Kuchera by strikes.
In the opening frame Kuchera frequently forced Grandbois to cover up, but his flurries inflicted far less damage than his opponent. Grandbois’ left eye swelled and bled, but he battled back finish the first round strong.
Grandbois opened the second frame by scoring repeatedly. The pair traded along the ropes, but ultimately, it was Grandbois who inflicted the majority of the damage, forcing the referee stoppage.
Graham Spencer def. Shane Nelson by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Smealinho Rama def. Ryan Fortin by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 2:20
Derek Parker def. Jared McComb by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Sabah Fadai def. Cody Krahn by submission (triangle choke). Round 1, 1:24
Paul Grandbois def. Jason Kuchera by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 1:43
Daniel Swain def. Matt Jelly by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Garrett Nyabakken def. Jesse Veltri by submission (armbar). Round 1, 1:24
Chase Degenhardt def. Chase Sherman by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 0:41
Photo: MFC Logo (Maximum Fighting Championship)