Thrust Out of the Lead, Smealinho Rama To Steal Show in Supporting Actor Role

(photo: Rob Trudeau | Rob T Sports)

(photo: Rob Trudeau | Rob T Sports)

Vlad Goldenstein is the head coach of Canada’s #1 Heavyweight Smealinho Rama.  He has submitted this story to explain their team’s side of the MFC 38 main event situation between Rama and the Maximum Fighting Championship.


Let me tell you a story about an actor. For the sake of the story, let’s call him Smealinho Rama. Smealinho’s not famous and not many people know him, but he’s done a few gigs here and there. Thing is, directors love him and producers always notice him. One day his agent got him an audition for a solid project. Extremely excited, Smealinho got through three stages of auditions and eventually landed the part.  Not just any part either, but the lead role. He was given a contract, a script, and the date for shooting was scheduled — everything lined up perfectly. He learned the script from start to finish, hired and worked with some acting coaches, did background research on the role by studying lots of material, and generally figured out everything he could in preparation for his big break.

The first day of filming eventually rolled around and Smealinho was prepared like never before.  Unfortunately, his co-star didn’t show up. Production stopped, and the film was put on indefinite hold. Producers told him not to worry, that another co-star would be found and that all they needed was a bit of time. He was assured he still had the lead role, and was instructed to keep preparing like nothing had changed. Several months passed and then Smealinho received a call from the producers. They said everything was still OKAY but now there was a chance he would no longer be the lead actor. Sounds unfair, doesn’t it? Sounds awfully familiar too.

We’re not in the movie business; we’re in the fight business. Fighters are not actors, so you’d assume they wouldn’t have to go through the same melodrama. They’re still just people like everybody else. You might be thinking, “Why start this off rambling about movies? Why not cut to the chase?” I, like many others, happen to love movies and here’s my point — everybody enjoys a good movie and most people enjoy movies with happy endings. It sucks when everybody has to die at the end and the bad guy gets away with whatever injustice he’s committed and the good guy gets screwed. So trust me when I say that Smealinho makes for a happy ending.

When you watch him fight, you know what you’re going to get. In his fights, you’re not going to see two big dudes breathing heavy, laying on top of one another waiting for the bell to end the round. He’s not in the cage to dance around, run away, or score points and ask, “Did I win the round?” It’s not his style. He’s not going to tell you long stories about actors and movies, because with Smealinho, everything is predictable. His happy endings only have three variations: TKO, KO or submission. So I guess there’s the drama if that’s your thing. You won’t know which of the three finishes to expect from him, but you will know that his fight’s going to be exciting and you know you’re going to get your happy ending. The only thing his fight won’t be is long, boring or dull.

Smealinho Rama (photo: Rob Trudeau)

Smealinho Rama (photo: Rob Trudeau)

You also get a Cinderella story on top of it. A young kid who started fighting in 2012 and got on top of the world in less than two years, became the best heavyweight  MMA fighter in the country and one of the hottest prospects in the world. What else could you want from a main event? After you’ve already watched six-to-eight fights, you won’t have patience for five rounds of hugs and rolls. You’re going to want to see a dynamic, fast paced, crazy and aggressive fight with nonstop action and a finish. Smealinho’s perfect for that. And it’s not like he didn’t earn it either. Did he not fight three times for the MFC? Did he not finish every single one of those fights in the first round? What else do you want? For everyone to get ice cream in between rounds?

Now, I don’t want to take anything away from Sam and Anthony. Both of them are great guys and truly solid fighters, but Smealinho has earned this. He’s always delivered. There’s something called fairness. We often forget about it like it’s obsolete. But let’s not forget one thing. Business is all about standing by the promises you make and keeping your word. Let’s look at this from a marketing point of view. The MFC claims that they are the biggest Canadian promotion. How is it that the number one ranked Canadian heavyweight who happens to be fighting for the Heavyweight championship, who has also fought for the MFC three times before and won all three fights in the very first round , and who has also earned the MFC submission of the year, not a main event? I am no businessman by any means, but don’t you think that it’s the Canadian Heavyweight that people want to see fight that’s bringing in the ticket sales and not guys from California? I guess I’m just missing something here.

Regardless, Smealinho is going to deliver again just like he did before. He’s going to do what he does best. He’s going to fight, end up getting that shiny belt and he’ll be happy for a little while, just like all men are when they get a new toy. Then he’s going to fight again and again and get better and better. Many people I’ve spoken to who have seen him spar and roll have the same opinion about his future. I wonder why people who are considered experts in this sport and who claim to understand this sport thoroughly can’t see that. So let’s wait and watch how it all ends. One thing’s for sure — it’s going to be a happy ending. It would be even happier for Smealinho if he could keep the promises he made to his sponsors about being the main event.

43 Responses to “ Thrust Out of the Lead, Smealinho Rama To Steal Show in Supporting Actor Role ”

  1. Shane BTP Mountney says:

    Well said Vlad…;)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 13

  2. I agree that all Canadians wanna see a Canadian heavyweight play the lead role ,but from the Pavs point of view hes representing a net work that has mainly American viewership so it makes sense in his logic to appease the American fans and sponsors by building up the South of the border combatants. I don’t agree with this reasoning, but then again hes the boss.

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  3. BigDaddyKane says:

    I think the MFC is bigger than a Rama being in the main event and Vlad should stick to training fighters and Pav stick to promoting

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

  4. BLACK PRINCE2 says:

    Im sure people may start to listen once he’s 8-0 in the MFC. Should consider himself lucky he got a title fight. After all, could be worse…. He could be Ryan Machan. If he didn’t deserve this 5 years ago, why should this guy now?

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  5. Fredericton says:

    I’m curious to see who Rama will have to fight after this one, when it is the final fight on his contract. Judging by MFC’s ethics and Rama’s management negative feelings towards MFC’s owner, he will be facing his toughest test, by far. The last fight is typically when they will try to set him up for a beating. At this point, unskilled, undersized, fat old men and fat out of shape doormen/punching bags/cans, Rama has yet to face any quality, tough opponents

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 11

  6. BigDaddyKane says:

    Rama is very good but yet to face anyone , his trainer and hanger on’s are building this kid up for a fall.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 10

  7. I think the lead actor to the supporting role is a great analogy in this situation. Great writing, Vlad!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

  8. BOOBOO says:



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  9. Cody Rempel says:

    @Fredericton from the little bit I’ve talked to Rama, he wants to fight top competition so I think he’d be happy to get a high level opponent… and I think the guys he’s faced so far are pretty solid competition, especially for someone in his first few years as a pro!

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  10. Marv says:

    such a joke man. so the emo, metrosexual king of mma is worried about US ratings?! yea maybe a fast heavyweight with a perfect record and 6 first round finishes isnt the best thing for buisness. why would people want to see a young heavyweight on his way to the show….no pav youre not the show and all the black hair dye and liner in the world wont make you the show. rama will finish his contract undefeated and wont have to step foot in the wannabe pride ring again……..i get a kick out of how the mfc calls their champs world champions haha

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  11. Ryan D says:

    Straight up MFC is a JOKE!!! Mark P has run that show into the ground. As soon as the TV deal runs out your F##ked!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 21 Thumb down 9

  12. BLACK PRINCE2 says:

    The MFC is one of the main reasons MMA is strong on western Canada. It deserves credit. Fighters are notoriously angry at promoters because they think they are being ‘screwed over’. Lets put it this way, if there weren’t guy’s like that out there spending every dollar and second available to organize the shows, all you wannabe superstars would be shadow boxing in the mirror.

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  13. BOOBOO says:


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  14. MRXC says:

    I go to MFC cards live, guys from my gym tangle on them sometimes, and while I don’t always agree with Pav on his interviews, the MFC puts of some very good live MMA. I will be going to this card too.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  15. Graham Weenk says:

    Allot of people like to rag on MFC. I have 1 fighter currently under contract with them who has been the most active he’s been in 3 years since signing and getting more american and canadian media coverage than ever before.

    just got another one of my guys about to fight for them on the oct show. A 3-1 135er who no one could match up since march 2012.. and on this show my fighter had 2 fighters thru the MFC decline to fight him, which in all the other shows we’ve tried meant he would have been SOL. In this case the MFC made sure to get my guy the fight and the guys turning down the fight were SOL.

    If you love or hate Pav you gotta admit he puts on a good show, the production is professional and I have been happy dealing with the MFC from first hand experience.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  16. I have known the Pav. for well over ten years, aside from the business side of things I would say he is a fairly tolerable guy ,but would I have any business dealings with him? hell no!!! because I know in no time he would have me bent over a barrel and pumping me up the keyster before I had time to blink!!

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  17. K Rasmus says:

    Rama is getting Prime exposure , the big name fights for Mr Rama will come soon enough . When a good fighter leaves the MFC it is usually for the UFC . That tells me Mark is doing a great job promoting and running a business . Smaller promotions cant give fighters huge money .Graham Weenk at post #15 said it best !

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  18. vlad says:

    I am not going to repeat everything again but this little article wasn’t against MFC or Mark. Just an opinion about why Smealinho Rama should be headlining MFC 38. I thought it was crystal clear. I stated many times before that Smlealinho is happy to fight for MFC and he is getting from his contract everything we hope he would. At MFC 37 he was set to be a main event. Fight didn’t happen, you all know why, it was sucks for Smealinho, and any one who busted his ass off in a camp for few months will understand how hard it is.

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  19. Fredericton says:

    The article reads that you do have a strong dislike, even hate towards Mark P. and the MFC. Rama would be headlining on any other Canadian promotion, but because of MFC’s American business interests, it is no going to happen. Rama has amazing talent and potential. This should be enough to solidify a long and successful career…as long as management doesn’t interfere with it

    Well-loved! Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  20. Donald Duck says:

    If anything this article has shown me that Vlad needs to stick to teaching people how to punch other people in the face. It is the ‘MMA Manager’ equivalent to a drunken text to an exgirlfiend in that they are both instantly regretable and kind of awkward for others to read….


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  21. @Ramas training team, what was the reasoning for not sending rama on a 6 to 8 week training camp at Tri star, team Quest, Blackzillians etc where he would have gotten world caliber sparring and training with many fighters his size and larger prior to this fight? calling up btps over the hill, long in the tooth war dog for sparring and rolling does not seem equivalent to the latter options.Is it that you are takeing his oponent lightly and expecting another first round finish? and is it not better to err on the side of precaution and be over prepared than under prepared? No disrespect just asking.

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  22. PUCK says:

    I think Rama is very good and I’m pumped to see how far he really goes. but, he only has 6 fights and needs a bigger test soon I think as he has been smoking guys in the first round. I would like to see how he would do in the UFC agaisnt “Meat head”/Pat Barry or Sol Palilei. I think it goes without saying if he wants to grow he will need to do so at a “bigger” gym so he can train with “higher end hw guys” to see if he can hang or not. Just a thought but I’m a fan?

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  23. east coast mma says:


    Well-loved! Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  24. Fredericton says:

    Although I completely agree with @bigpoppa that if Rama is actually training with wardog, it does nothing to improve his skills, other than having a barely movable punching bag. The list is endless of much better strikers, wrestlers, and grapplers available to the Rama training camp. But I never question a fighters training if everything has worked out positively so far…”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

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  25. East Coast MMA says:

    Why question anything Smealinho Rama is doing? he’s doing everything right.why question his coach Vlad or where he’s training or who he’s training with. there doing a amazing job with this young rising star,everyone always has some shit to say,get on board Canadian MMA Fans there’s a star rising,good job Smealinho.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  26. Old School Jake says:

    Fun to read everyone’s input on here. I think Vlad wrote a great article and some will like it, some won’t. I don’t know where you get that it reads that Vlad has a hate on for MFC, I didn’t get that at all. And Donnie, you’re way off base. How is that write up anywhere close to your reference? So because a Coach has an opinion, he can’t express it?

    I’ve been in this business a long time, and I still can’t seem to figure it out. For it being a “tough sport” and full of so called supporters and fans, it’s one of the most frustrating fields I’ve worked in. People rarely have anything goddamn positive to say towards anyone.

    “Your training partners suck”
    “You should stick to teaching boxing”
    “You haven’t fought anyone tough”

    I bet if some of you spent half the time supporting local talent instead of tearing it down, we would see our athletes progress farther in this sport. All you seem to do is tell people what they’re doing wrong…and from behind a keyboard no less. Fuckin’ speak up then. Where are the huge pool of heavyweights we have to train with here in Calgary? In Alberta for that matter? I’m sorry but not everyone has sponsors that will pay extended trips out to Tri-Star or other camps for weeks at a time. Rama is doing perfectly fine here and you don’t see his camp complaining about his training or lack of training partners. People like War Dog come out on their own dime to help out and you still shit on him for just being a punching bag.

    Quit shitting on fighters, it’s getting tiresome. If you have a legitimate opinion or word of advice, I’m always up for it and so is Coach Vlad. But some of you are just trolling and it’s disappointing. This is not where I wanted to see the sport go.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

  27. Robin Black says:

    Jake is the man.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  28. Fredericton says:

    Jake doesn’t seem to know how to read and has a close minded, one-sided view

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

  29. PUCK says:

    Jake, you say “a huge pool of HW” Some names would most likely shut some poeple up if you like? Just a thought as I would love to know who all these HW are as well. I’m not ripping you so don’t get excited or anything. Just honestly interested. I’m sure the pool is “big” but how “deep” talat/expierence wise is it? Please don’t get mad when poeple are questioning your fighters as the truth is he (Rama) is purely new to the sport,and most poeple out side of Alberta/or MFC fans have no clue who he is? And trust me as Rama gets more credit the “nay sayers” will come in droves so don’t let it bug ya. Think if Cheal was defending him self on forms….he wouldn’t have time to fight! Or be like old Ken Sammy and hire a “web master” so you don’t have too…lol

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  30. PUCK says:

    …The War Dog has like 10 web masters on this page!….ha ha just kiding guys!

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  31. terry robertson says:

    Puck reread jakes post. I think he is implying there is not a huge pool of hw’s in alberta to draw from and that not everyone has money to be flying to different camps/bringing top guys in.

    MMA is the junior highschool of professional sports. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  32. PUCK says:

    @ Terry and Vlad/Jake…Sorry my bad, in that case I tend to agree….I have flown from Vancover to Vegas/Arizona though for under 100 bucks before? Flying to almost anywhere in the USA is cheaper then going from Alberta to Ontario. Or what we have done before is bring guys up (1500-3500 bucks for 3-7 days) depending who you are tring to get to help you of course? 5-6 guys pay $250 a piece to help them win a fight?….Its a bit of a pain but not overly that expensive? The last guy we brought up was Jerremy Horn and he was quite resonable. After all, (Rama) must be paing poeple to train him anyway? Why not train with the best? Its cheaper then you guys think and well,well worth it. Call Travis Folton for instance, I bet he would come up for a good price and could show Rama so much….Just a thought?

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  33. Old School Jake says:

    Awesome, thanks for the advice PUCK! That’s some great advice.

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  34. BLACK PRINCE2 says:

    He’ll stay in the MFC where he belongs, the#1 show in the country! He CAN’T leave the country that’s why he trains only here in Canada. That’s why he’ll never fight for UFC too. Mark treats him right so what reason is there to leave? Where else gets THAT kind of exposure for fighters?

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  35. If he cant leave the country then unfortunately he cant fight in the ufc, which leads to the conclusion that his mma career is limited, if he can only fight in mfc. One has to only look at the career of ryan ford whose fighting career at the moment is at standstill, null and void since being released from bellator ,and ufc is no longer a option. No disrespect to mfc, afc, kotc, etc, but the main purpose of fighting in these smaller organizations was as a proven ground, to get experience, exposure and being a gateway to the number one organization in the the world. Ryan Jimbo, Mitch clark rory mcdee are all proof of this.

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  36. PUCK says:

    Man! I didn’t know that he’s stuck here (not that Canada is a bad place to be stuck in?) Sad to hear? Hopefully all goes well for him as it would be a shame if we never get to see him “step up” as I too think he could hang in the UFC…….Bummer!

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  37. @Black Prince2, You mention that Mark Pav. treats Rama right so there is no reason to leave, though I will agree with you that the Pavster does treat rama right, I can think of a myriad of reasons to leave, # One being making 5000 dollars to fight Joe Shmuck for the mfc world heavyweight championship is not the same as making 200 grand to fight a dos santos or a Velasquez for a ufc world title, not to mention possible fight of the night, ko and sub of the night bonuses. I will also agree with you that through mfc he gets great exposure, but once again I reiterate isn’t the purpose of exposure in the smaller shows to act as a catylist to launch yourself upon the world stage of the bigger shows? but then you mention because of his past he cant leave the country and once again I reluctantly agree with you that with this harbinger ,albatross hanging around his neck he has no choice but for now to call mfc home.

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  38. BLACK PRINCE2 says:

    I didn’t say anything about his past. Something there most definitely holding him back though. Wonder what it could be…

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  39. Anonymous says:

    BLACKPRINCE2/The Tranny/Mark Pavelic. From what we know Rama has been offered something greater and is going to be leaving Canada really soon here. Sorry to burst that overly sized bubble of useless and invalid knowledge that sits the spot where your brain should be.

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  40. Anonymous says:

    Since you have such great relationships with your fighters though you must know what Rama is up too and where he is headed.

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  41. Black Prince 2 is not Mark Pavelich.

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  42. BOOBOO says:



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  43. TMN seems to know all…..

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