Southern Seeking Sweet Revenge at MFC 38
“I think I hit him so hard in the first fight he’s forgotten about Rounds 1 and 2,” declared Southern.
“Those first two rounds, I was all over him. For him to say that the second fight is going to be a piece of cake, that’s pretty cocky.”
Fans will find out whether Novaes’s bravado is on the mark or whether Southern truly is the better man just got caught in their first encounter when they meet again at MFC 38: Behind Enemy Lines. The lightweight grudge match will be part of the main card live on AXS TV Fights emanating from the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, on Friday, October 4.
Southern (12-4) has argued all along that after dominating the opening rounds of the fight at MFC 36 with a good mix of hard-handed striking and wrestling it was an illegal maneuver that allowed Novaes (11-4) to pull out a third-round victory via armbar. Southern’s conjecture is that Novaes grabbed the inside of his glove to position himself for the submission. His appeal to the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission was denied, but it’s proved to be the spark “The Hurt” has required to re-ignite a drive towards the MFC lightweight title.
The loss to Novaes briefly derailed the 30-year-old Southern’s plans for a championship shot, but he gathered himself quickly to get onboard for another rematch at MFC 37 – this time against former title challenger Mukai Maromo. Southern showed his mettle by taking out Maromo with a picture-perfect North-South choke only 2:54 into their matchup, making it two victories in a row over the dangerous striker and the fourth win in Southern’s last five fights.
The winner of the Novaes-Southern rematch has been guaranteed a shot at the MFC’s 155-pound division crown, with speculation that victory by Southern could ultimately lead to a trilogy fight with Novaes for the belt.
With Novaes back on the agenda, Southern will continue to center his game plan around submission defense. All four of Southern’s defeats have come via armbar which plays right into the hands of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace’s attack. Of Novaes’s eight submission wins, five have come by scoring the tapout from an armbar.
“He’s one of the best grapplers in the world and you have to respect that ability,” stated Southern, who lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and will be working with renowned Canadian jiu-jitsu instructor Jeff Wiley to prepare for the fight.
“I’m going to take matters into my own hands. I want to try and keep it standing. I want to knockout him out and make him pay for last time.”
Tickets for MFC 38: Behind Enemy Lines are on sale now via www.ticketmaster.ca and also through the MFC Ticket Hotline at (780) 504-2024.