MFC 37: True Grit – Play-by-Play
After an unfortunate injury to Smealinho Rama’s opponent Chris Barnett, the main event went from the biggest guys on the card to the smallest. Although Anthony Birchak and Ryan Benoit had some huge shoes to fill, they filled them admirably and put on a great fight for the fans. If you didn’t know their names before (and few did) you know them now.
- Fight of the Night – (Tie) Allen Hope vs. Paul Grandbois and Anthony Birchak vs. Ryan Benoit
- Submission of the Night – Kurt Southern
- Knockout of the Night – Sam Alvey
Anthony Birchak vs. Ryan Benoit
Round 1: Birchak opens with a quick flurry followed by a single leg attempt. Birchak switches to a double and gets the slam. Benoit gets back to a knee but Birchak drives a huge knee to the body. Benoit scrambles and takes the back but Birchak shakes him off and lands in full guard. Birchak connects with a few shots before passing to full mount and continuing to land huge punches. The fighters are tangled in the ropes and referee Kyle Cardinal moves them to the centre of the ring and restarts them in the same position. Birchak picks up where he left off and rains down more shots. Benoit turns to his stomach and Birchak continues to land steady blows. Birchak looks to sink a rear naked choke on his bloodied opponent but Benoit is able to defend and escape. Birchak moves to side control and lands some elbows before Benoit is able to take his back, looking for a rear naked choke of his own. Benoit releases and lands some shots before Birchak gets the sweep to full guard and eats a few elbows from the bottom to end the round. Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 for Birchak
Round 2: They trade wild shots and Birchak connects with an uppercut followed by a double to half guard before passing to full mount. Benoit falls back for a knee bar but Birchak contorts and pulls his leg free, lands a few shots and takes the back. Birchak lands some more punches and gets full mount where he attempts a kimura before switching to an armbar. Benoit escapes and gets full mount himself and begins to land shots, prompting Birchak to give his back. Benoit continues to land and looks for an armbar. Birchak defends and ends up on top again in mount landing some short elbows. Birchak looks for a mounted triangle and rolls but doesn’t pull the arm across and can’t finish as time expires. Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 for Birchak
Round 3: Birchak immediately gets the trip takedown to full mount where he lands elbows and punches. Birchak goes for an arm triangle but Benoit escapes back to his feet, lands some elbows and drags him back to the mat. Benoit continues laying on some heavy shots but Birchak sweeps to mount. Birchak looks for another armbar but Benoit executes the textbook escape and winds up in guard where he looks for a guillotine. Benoit releases and takes the back, landing hard shots. Birchak stands and looks for a takedown but Benoit stays on top and fights off a kimura attempt for the final seconds of the bout. Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 for Benoit
Anthony Birchak defeats Ryan Benoit by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 20-27, 29-28)
***Birchak secures title shot for inagural MFC Bantamweight Title
Luke Harris vs. Jason Zentgraf
Zentgraf lands a few jabs and Harris clinches up with him and unleashes a picture perfect tai-otoshi judo throw to side control. Harris has the side headlock and Zentgraf looks to take the back but Harris spins out. Zentgraf locks down half guard but Harris is able to free his leg and locks on a neck crank forcing the tap and getting him back in the win column with another first round submission victory.
Luke Harris submits Jason Zentgraf by Neck Crank in Round 1, 2:21
Mukai Maromo vs. Kurt Southern
Maromo immediately comes out looking for his range with some quick jabs but Southern scores the takedown. Maromo works back to his feet but gets taken right back down into the guard. Southern passes to side control and lands a few solid shots. Maromo briefly replaces half guard but Southern passes right back to side control. Maromo lands a hammer fist from the bottom but Southern transitions to north/south and locks in the choke from there. Maromo defends but is ultimately forced to tap.
Kurt Southern submits Mukai Maromo by North/South Choke in Round 1, 2:54
***At the press conference Southern called for a rematch with Jonatas Novaes
Sam Alvey vs. Jay Silva
Round 1: Alvey opens with a leg kick and Silva responds with a trio of side kicks to the knee. Alvey lands a slapping leg kick to the inner thigh and Silva responds with a pair of leg kicks followed by one to the body. Alvey connects with a right and just misses the follow up left. Silva comes back with a nice combo and Alvey responds in kind followed by a leg kick. Silva connects with a big head kick but Alvey stays on his feet and absorbs a combo from Silva. Alvey lands a solid body kick that knocks Silva off balance and follows up with a combo and another. The toe up in the corner and Alvey works the thighs with knees. Alvey lands a few knees to the body and they exchange shots as the time ticks away. Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 for Alvey
Round 2: Silva paws at Alvey with some punches and a leg kick before Alvey connects with a solid combo that sends Silva into the ropes. Silva fights his way off the ropes with a leg kick and has a head kick blocked. Silva land a solid right but Alvey drops him with a combo and pounces on top where he connects with some elbows. Referee Kyle Cardinal watches closely ready to step in at any moment but Silva is able to slow the pace and recover. Alvey lands some shoulder strikes and little hammer fists but Silva is tying his arms up and Cardinal stands them up. They trade punches on the restart and Silva misses a front kick. They continue to exchange heavy blows with neither man gaining a distinct advantage. Alvey ducks a head kick and defends a takedown as the round comes to an end. Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 for Alvey
Round 3: Silva opens the final stanza with a leg kick followed by a stiff jab, a right and anothe jab. Alvey unleashes a huge combo that sends Silva stumbling back against the ropes and down to the mat. Alvey stays right on him and follows him down where he lays on some relentless ground and pound that forces Cardinal to step in and call the bout. Silva protests but from where I was sitting it was clear that Silva was done. The right call was made by referee Kyle Cardinal.
Sam Alvey defeats Jay Silva by TKO (Punches) in Round 3, 1:05
***At the press conference it was confirmed that Alvey would get a shot at the now vacant MFC Middleweight Title
Garret Nybakken vs. Peter Neufeld
Round 1: Nybakken lands a leg kick before tying up with Neufeld and coming to a brief stalemate. Nybakken breaks it with a leg kick and looks for a single but can’t drag him to the ground. Nuefeld throws a right that’s blocked and they tie up again briefly. Nybakken with another leg kick and Neufeld connects with a jab. Nybakken lands another leg kick and they trade jabs before Nybakken continues to work the leg kicks. Neufeld lands a solid right and a body shot before they lock up against the ropes. Nybakken catches Nuefeld with a right as he’s coming in and follows up with an inside leg kick. Nybakken lands a thunderous body kick that echoes throughout the venue and both men exchange punches as round ends. Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 for Nybakken
Round 2: Nybakken lands a jab and a right followed by a leg kick and Neufeld responds with a huge kick to the body before locking up in the corner. Nybakken lands a right and gets some separation. Neufeld lands a leg kick followed by a right and Nybakken secures the clinch and lands a right of his own and they trade a few leg kicks. Neufeld lands a jab and a leg kick and they both exchange several heavy blows before Nybakken lands another leg kick. Neufeld responds with a knee to the body and Nybakken lands a combo. Neufeld presses Nybakken into the corner and lands an elbow but Nybakken responds with a big shot. Neufeld unleashes a combo and another followed by a leg kick and another 1-2. Neufeld doesn’t give him any room to breath as he keeps landing punches before Nybakken finally connects with a body kick and a couple leg kicks as the round ends. Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 for Neufeld
Round 3: Neufeld starts the third with a leg kick and Nybakken responds. Nybakken lands a big right and backs him into the corner. Nybakken land a few leg kicks and a solid right before Neufeld lands a few big rights of his own. Nybakken lands more leg kicks and Neufeld connects with another hard right before both men trade blows. Neufeld lands a nice body shot and a right. Nybakken with another leg kick and Neufeld again responds with hard punches and combos followed by another body shot. Nybakken another leg kick, right hand and leg kick. Neufeld more big rights and a hard leg kick. They trade shots for the final ten seconds and the bout comes to an end. Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 for Neufeld
Peter Neufeld defeats Garett Nybakken by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Allen Hope vs. Paul Grandbois
Round 1: Grandbois opens with a jab and both fighters trade shots. Grandbois throws a wild flurry but can’t find the mark as Hope connects with a front kick. Grandbois lands a jab and they trade leg kicks followed by a big right from Grandbois. They again exchange a flurry and Grandbois with another leg kick. Hope connects with a combo and gets the clinch, landing a few knees to the body followed by a leg kick. Grandbois lands a leg kick and Hope just misses a flying knee. Grandbois leg kick and Hope responds with an overhand right and a combo followed by a leg kick and a flying knee that connects this time. Grandbois with a one-two and Hope comes back with a leg kick and another overhand right. Hope lands a few knees that briefly wobble Grandbois and Hope secures the clinch and lands a few more before a leaping right. Hope closes out the round with a combo followed by an uppercut and a brief exchange. Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 for Hope
Round 2: Grandbois quickly lands a combo and Hope responds with some stiff jabs. Grandbois connects with a leg kick and Hope with a big combo punctuated by a hard leg kick. They trade punches and Hope swings with another overhand right and Grandbois responds with a left and a right that stagger Hope but he recovers and hits Grandbois with a well placed overhand right that drops Grandbois and Hope follows him to the mat and fires away until referee John Braak pulls him off.
Allen Hope defeats Paul Grandbois by TKO (Punches) in Round 2, 1:54
Jared McComb submits Marcus Hicks by Rear Naked Choke in Round 1, 3:09
Thomas Treadwell submits Mike Treadwell by Punches in Round 1, 2:22
Maged Hammo submits Allan Munroe by Rear Naked Choke in Round 2, 2:53