If a person believes that the day-to-day grind for an athlete is difficult, then just imagine the day in the life of one of the executives in the company. The executives on the business side of their sport must ensure that everything is being done properly to keep the business on top of its game at all times, but in the same respect, they must also ensure that their roster of talent remembers that the most important element in the term “professional athletes” is the term “professional”, because no particular athletes are held in any higher regard than anyone else on the roster.

When MMA fans speak about some of the hardest-working men in the sport, the conversation usually leads to Maximum Fighting Championship president Mark Pavelich. From the minute he launched the MFC in Canada, he knew he wanted to provide a platform for the biggest names and the best talent in the country to showcase their skills for the world. As Pavelich prepared to showcase MFC 41 for a live audience in Edmonton, he felt ecstatic because the fans wanted Marcus Edwards to fight Tom Gallicchio. Then, something changed, and for the first time in 15 years, Pavelich found himself in a position that he hoped he would never be in.

“There were just so many injuries,” Pavelich told The MMA Corner, “It was just a slew of injuries that took place over maybe a six-week period that for the first time in 15 years, I almost cancelled the show, and I kept telling myself, because ticket sales are going great and so many things are going great, and it’s like, I can’t cancel a show.”

While certainly out of the ordinary, it is never out of the question for an MMA promotion to have no alternative but to cancel a show. Before Strikeforce’s demise, a number of events were cancelled after key names pulled out, and earlier this year, the UFC cancelled UFC 176 when a neck injury befell Jose Aldo. Once Gallicchio withdrew from his bout against Edwards with an injury and other competitors were forced to withdraw, Pavelich knew the show needed to go on somehow.

“That would put me like other people in this industry that have all cancelled shows and done those types of things, and I just can’t do it, man. I thought to myself, I was in a seriously bad place, and then I thought of all the people that I used to make fun of back in the day. I’m not like them, I’m much different than they are. Our family’s relentless, we won’t lay down, and that’s all I can say.”

As is the case with many sports promotions in the world, the MFC knows what it’s fans want. Some will remember the days of Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Jeremy Horn, Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, and others who fought in a way that captivated fans, and every MFC card, from top to bottom, aims to deliver that same rush to it’s fans. With a multitude of sponsors, a deal with AXS TV, millions of fans that want to see what the MFC has to offer, and so many fighters in the country that need an outlet to get their shine on, Pavelich was not about to call the card off.

“I can’t embarrass AXS TV, I can’t embarrass our sponsors, and I can’t embarrass our fans. I’m not that guy, so that’s why the show must go on.”

In creating a new card for this Friday’s MFC 41 event, Pavelich will have Edwards remain on the top of the card against Shane Campbell in the night’s marquee bout. Of course, the stakes for Edwards, if he had fought and beaten Gallicchio, would have been clear and concise, given that the title would hang in the balance. Now, with Edwards facing Campbell, Pavelich may wait to define a clear scenario for the road ahead, but he will guarantee his audience that it will carry the type of big-fight atmosphere that only the MFC can bring.

“Now the show is exactly where I want it to be because of the level of opponents fighting each other. See, the problem is Shane Campbell should’ve already been fighting Marcus Edwards, but for some reason, they were on two separate sides of the track trying to go in different directions and probably were never going to face each other, but then when this happened, the powers-that-be made it, we fit it someway to make that happen, and the fight’s better. It’s better than Gallicchio and Marcus Edwards; even though that was for the title, this fight’s better for the fans.

“You’re going to have to help me out with [what happens next] because everything is so confusing for me right now that I can’t do the scenarios, so I’m seriously going to have to rethink that. You guys [the fans] are going to have to tell me what happens after this one because like I said, there’s so many weird scenarios and twists and turns on this card that I can’t put it together. My son, Scott Zerr, and Dave Pavelich, they’re going to have to come up with some scenarios after this one because my brain is fried, I mean, absolutely fried. and I can’t think of what’s going to happen after this show.”

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.