Penner Ready to Pay the Price
Nick Penner was happy with getting the win but not by the methods with which it came.
He learned a lesson about preparation, and is taking it to heart as he prepares for his next fight which comes with another test of its own. Penner (9-1), one of the top prospects in the Maximum Fighting Championship, puts his six-fight winning streak on the line at MFC 24: Heat XC when he takes on Chris “The Exorcist” Price (15-3). The fight will be Penner’s first at light heavyweight, moving down from the heavyweight ranks, but it is a transition he expects will benefit him in a big way.
“I feel good about the drop – I’m just not big enough to fight at heavyweight. My training has changed a lot as a light heavyweight with working more on endurance and explosiveness,” said Penner, who has a good all-around game with skills in both stand-up, thanks to a background in kick-boxing, and on the ground as evidenced by five wins coming via submission.
Penner’s last outing, which was his final hurrah as a heavyweight, was a successful one albeit not as impressive as many insiders has expected. He took too much punishment early on and the fight was in danger of being stopped due to a nasty gash along his eyebrow, but Penner still prevailed, ultimately finishing off Ryan Fortin with a second-round rear-naked choke.
“I let many people down in that fight. Even though I won, I wasn’t happy with my performance. I took Fortin far too lightly,” admitted Penner. “I thought he was just a big lumbering guy but he’s definitely a proficient fighter. I think I need to get punched in the head and cut to wake up. The positive out of that fight is that it strengthened my belief that when faced with adversity, I can break through and come out on top.”
Penner won’t be given a second chance to test his resolve against Price. The Edmonton, Alberta, product will need to be sharper, faster, and more intense if he hopes to proceed in his quest to face the upper echelon in the MFC’s 205-pound ranks.
“The fight will be a trial by fire as an introduction into the light heavyweight division,” said Penner. “I think a win over Price will be a statement to everyone. He’ll be a stiff test – he’s been around and he has a great record. But my coaches and I have watched tape on him and we’ve seen a few holes that we can exploit.
“It should be fun and I expect to finish him off in the third round by TKO.”
The Penner-Price matchup is among the featured bouts at MFC 24 which is headlined by a lightweight showdown between Derrick “The Eraser” Noble and “The Texas Gunslinger” Yves Edwards. Also on the card is another light heavyweight clash as Dwayne Lewis takes on David Heath, plus a middleweight rumble between Tom Watson and Travis Galbraith.
Tickets for MFC 24: Heat XC are going fast and are available through the MFC Ticket Hotline at (780) 504-2024 as well via Ticketmaster at (780) 451-8000, www.ticketmaster.ca, and Ticketmaster outlets. MFC 24: Heat XC will air live via streaming webcast – check out www.maximumfighting.com