Anthony Birchak received plenty of offers prior to finalizing a deal with the Maximum Fighting Championship and MFC CEO Mark Pavelich. Thirteen weeks later, he now draws closer to his promotional debut, which comes this Friday at MFC 37 on AXS TV, when he squares off against “Baby Face” Ryan Benoit.

Birchak debuted on the scene in 2009 and went undefeated until September 2011. Since that September loss, Birchak has posted three TKO wins in succession. Now he looks to culminate a long journey with a solid debut for Canada’s top MMA promotion.

“It’s been a long, long journey that went really fast,” Birchak told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview.

For Birchak, this fight represents more than just the chance to impressively debut for the MFC and extend his current three-fight winning streak. It represents the chance for Birchak to build his brand as a fighter.

Birchak (top) controls his opponent (Wilson Fox/Sherdog)

“AXS TV has over 45 million homes that [are] going to be watching me,” Birchak said. “That’s a huge, huge way to build my fan base in all of North America, both in Canada and the U.S., and all around the world.”

Despite flying under the radar, Birchak knows something about fighting for a prominent promotion. He fought at Bellator 41 and earned the fourth of his five first-round career wins. However, after the win, the promotion never contacted him about a spot in its bantamweight tournament.

“I suspect it’s because my teammate, Ed West, was in the tournament,” Birchak said, “so you can’t have two guys from the same gym in the tournament. You saw Eduardo Dantas and Marcos Galvao go at it, but they split up for a second. But I think Ed is such a dynamic guy. I’ll gladly bow out until Ed wins that tournament and then I can come in and be the second Apex guy to do that.”

Birchak, like most successful fighters, would keep racking up the wins and hoping for the opportunity to fight in the UFC. However, he came to the realization that he couldn’t wait around for the offer forever. As a result, he found a platform on which to build his brand.

Birchak (L) throws a kick (Wilson Fox/Sherdog)

“Mark [Pavelich is] the one that got me super excited and super passionate about the MFC, and that’s where I’m at, and I’m proud to say I was the first bantamweight signed to Maximum Fighting Championship,” Birchak said. “My kids can look back and say, ‘You know what? There’s bantamweights that fight for the Maximum Fighting Championship now, and my dad was the first one to kick that division off.'”

In the meantime, Birchak will come in prepared for a solid striker and noted first-round finisher in Benoit, who recently defeated former Shark Fights phenom Joseph Sandoval. When Pavelich offered the fight to Birchak, he couldn’t have been happier.

However, don’t think that the excitement will cause Birchak to overlook Benoit’s skill set. Although Benoit trains with the likes of David Rickels and the Njokuani brothers, Birchak sees holes in his game and will look to expose them on fight night.

“He always says that he’s got wrestling in his back pocket, and you know I’m going to put that to the test,” Birchak asserted. “But [in] some of the fights, he keeps his hands low, and [in] some of the fights, he’s real aggressive coming forward, that’s most of it. He keeps opponents on his heels a lot, and that’s my M.O. right there.

“I’m constantly moving forward, constantly in your face. And I think with Benoit, he’s never faced a bull like himself, someone like me. Once he faces someone that’s just as aggressive and actually punches back, he’s going to shut down and I’m going to shut his game down. I take it one fight at a time, my man.”

Anthony would like to thank Kimurawear, Contract Killer, Mentom Eyewear, Luta Elite Sports Management (and its CEO, Mercedes White), Mike of Exclusive Customs, and Xiphos Training and Tactical

Photo: Anthony Birchak (Wilson Fox/Sherdog)

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.