It what must have seemed like déjà vu, at this past Friday’s MFC 37, Canadian lightweight Kurt Southern submitted Mukai Maromo in little more than two minutes just as had in their previous meeting three years ago. And if that weren’t enough, Maromo was defeated by the same submission that Graham Spencer caught him with in his last fight.
“You can’t ask for a better result than a first-round finish,” said Southern. “I actually was really practicing that choke for this camp because he’d been caught with it before.
“The game plan was to pretty much get him down and work for a submission. Just the way he explodes out of things, I thought I could hit it. I had been working on that choke the last year, year and a half, and it just happened to work in this one.”
While there were a lot of similarities Friday night, Southern told MMAWeekly.com that there was one big difference this time around; he was prepared for Maromo’s escape ability.
“Last time I wasn’t expecting him to be as explosive off the ground as he was,” said Southern. “Last time I worked a full mount and he was able to break and roll me and I ended up on my back in that fight and ended up getting him in a triangle from my back.
“This fight I was kind of expecting it a little bit more, so I made sure I was in positions where I wouldn’t lose position if he exploded out. I didn’t really go to mount; I stayed in side control because I didn’t want to end up on my back again.”
With the win over Maromo, Southern gets back on the winning track following a loss to Jonatas Novaes that he feels is a defeat on paper only.
“I still am happy with the way I performed against Novaes in February because for ten-and-a-half of the eleven minutes of the fight I was dominating,” Southern said. “I just got caught in the one move, which he actually grabbed the glove to use to set up the armbar, so he cheated anyway.
“To get the result (against Maromo), this win, I felt like I was seeing things and doing things without having to think about it too much and performed better.”
If things work out the way Southern and the MFC want, he and Novaes could be meeting again very soon with something more than pride at stake.
“I’m interested in (a rematch),” said Southern. “I think that’s what the guys in the MFC want.
“They mentioned in the press conference that they wanted to do the rematch with Novaes for the title, so that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m not sure when or where, but that’s what I want.”