Fractious Feud Finished – Ford Returns to MFC


In a move that an overwhelming majority in the mixed martial arts world believed would never happen, Canadian welterweight sensation Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford has signed a new multi-fight contract with the Maximum Fighting Championship.

A former two-time challenger for the MFC’s 170-pound title, Ford and the MFC bitterly parted ways in early 2009 and the acrimonious split resulted in a rift that most insiders considered impossible to repair. But out of nowhere, there has been a mending of fences and Ford (12-2) is back in the MFC looking to rejuvenate a career that had dramatically stalled in his year-long absence from the organization.

“It’s unfortunate and a shame what happened the first time around, but I think everyone has grown since then,” offered MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich. “This time around I hope that Ryan reaches the goals he set for himself – the goals he started with in the MFC right from the beginning.

“I hope that he lives up to his abilities that we all know he has. He’s going to be fighting top-notch talent so we will certainly see what he truly has.”

Now fighting out of the ZUMA training centre in Victoria, British Columbia, Ford is expected to make his return to the ring at MFC 26 on Friday, September 10. An official announcement on the host city and lineup for that card is forthcoming.

“I think this is very exciting for the fans,” said Adam Zugec, Ford’s trainer at ZUMA. “There’s been a lot of drama … just like a reality show, and I think the fans really love that.

“I’m expecting great things from Ryan. He’s made to be on TV, his persona is perfect for the MFC’s shows on HDNet, and Mark and the MFC is so good at marketing its fighters on television.

“I always knew that eventually both parties would be back working together. Both sides needed some time to clear their heads and start a new plan. As everyone started to mature they’ve become more willing to work with each other and that’s good for both sides.”

Ford made his MFC and professional mixed martial arts debut back in August 2007, instantly becoming a fan favorite as he rattled off six straight wins including three inside the opening round. His biggest victory in that initial phase of his career came via a second-round submission of veteran Pete Spratt – an outcome that while marred by strikes coming after the bell to end Round 1 also drew Ford favorable comparisons to Georges St. Pierre at the same time of their respective careers.

Following his sixth win, Ford earned a shot at the vacant MFC welterweight title, and although he dominated much of the fight with his takedowns, the Edmonton, Alberta, native was caught in an armbar and forced to tap out to veteran Pat Healy midway through the third round. Two victories followed for Ford which garnered him a rematch with Healy but the reigning champ held onto his belt with a tight five-round, split-decision outcome in his favor.

Unable to agree on the terms of a new contract, Ford and the MFC parted ways soon after the Healy rematch. But at long last, Ford has returned to where his blossoming career began.

“I think the best thing to happen to Ryan was to go to a smaller organization, get some experience and work on some things, and now return to the big show,” added Pavelich, who expects to quickly have a list of opponents lined up to face Ford.

“Ryan is eager to fight anybody,” noted Zugec. “Everybody knows that Ryan is a fighter at heart and he wants to test his talents against the best fighters at 170.”

17 Responses to “ Fractious Feud Finished – Ford Returns to MFC ”

  1. Stenson Stark says:

    Ford is back in the MFC! Great move for them. Questionable move for Ford. I wanted to see him get exposure outside Alberta. Unless Brandon Manitoba is the first move for MFC outside Alberta, then I think he just sunk his career and will be limited to being a local hero. But hey… can make a good living that way.

    Congrats MFC!

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  2. ememeh says:

    good on ryan, he has priorities, he is a great 170er, but seriously, the MFC, Pavelich’s ego and lack of moral fiber has destroyed what could have been a great organization. I hope all Mark’s indiscretions catch up with him and he loses everything. Ryan, your good enough to fight anywhere

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  3. Bobby Karimi says:

    Big signing, Ford is the biggest draw in Edmonton.

    I’m curious to see whom Ford’s first opponent is.

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  4. James says:

    Terrible move by him. Terrible.

    Stenson is right. He just limited himself to being a local hero. I expected more from him. At the moment in his career when he had to make the most important decision, he latched onto a sharply declining brand of MMA.

    I am very disappointed.

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  5. Smart move by Pavelich and Ford. This makes a lot of sense.

    Some thoughts about this with zero proof of any of the following:

    1. MFC 26 will not be in Brandon. Only makes sense for Ford to fight in Edmonton only.
    2. TFC may not recover from this.
    3. What venue will MFC use? Will MFC mend fences with River Cree next? LGIO is not there anymore.

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  6. Mike Davis says:

    good points, so far #2 seems like its solid, and second why the hell go to Manitoba instead of staying in Edmonton?

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  7. Mike Davis says:

    wounder if MFC will try to stack up a card and give Rexall a shot, I mean if KOTC tries why not MFC?

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  8. Geordie says:

    I think this is a good move for Ryan. The MFC provides excellent exposure, decent money, solid opponents, and it makes sense for him to fight in Edmonton at this point in his career, in my opinion. His management has a solid plan for advancing his career and this fits into it perfectly, saying this is a bad move is ridiculous. HDNet is a good place to be and jumping into the bigger shows is not necessarily a good idea until a year or two from now.

    Ryan COULD be in bigger shows if he wanted to be. And he’d make less money. And he’d get less exposure. And he’d be a smaller fish in a bigger pond. This is the right move at the right time.

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  9. Well said Geordie.

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  10. Jason says:

    I can see the positives and the negatives in this. MFC need to brand him outside Alberta now. I hope it goes well for both sides. People have to realize his choices were limited.

    Maybe this will be a fresh start for both sides. MFC can stop their slide and Ryan can start facing better opponents again.

    Only time will tell. I for one don’t like the move but I hope that I am proven wrong.

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  11. I want to wish Ryan Ford the best of luck with his new deal with the MFC. I am obviously disappointed, as I thought we had come to an agreement with Ryan on a new contract and an exciting vision for his future, however he has chosen another path.

    And Keith, the TFC will definately “recover from this” ….LOL. We will soon be announcing details for our upcoming show Sep 10th. Stay tuned!!

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  12. chris says:

    showtying vs victor 2 for welterweight tittle
    they both have 1-2 in the tfc

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  13. Bobby Karimi says:

    I’d like to see Ford take on someone like Thiago Goncalves in his MFC comeback fight. Then if victorious someone like Juarez, Alessio, or Spratt (of course)

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  14. ememeh says:

    I wonder if MFC will be able to find a venue in Edmonton that will let Mark in the door?

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  15. mma says:

    good on the mfc the tfc is dieing and at least ford can fight some good named opponents!!!!!!

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  16. sky101 says:

    Mark Sinclair is a amazing person. I am sad to see Ryan Ford to leave the TFC. I can’t wait to see what the TFC has coming up!

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  17. mma says:

    ya they got nothing but dreams of getting in the blk lamo

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