Ryan Jimmo said before MFC 28 that they should just give him the light heavyweight belt because everyone knew it was his. Dwayne Lewis could do nothing to prove him wrong come fight time Friday night in Enoch, Alberta, Canada.
Jimmo, switching back and forth from orthodox stance to southpaw, kept Lewis guessing for the better part of the fight. Particularly perplexing in the opening round, Jimmo feinted often, keeping Lewis off kilter and bruising up his right side with brutal kicks.
Lewis fought back strong in round two, making it close with effective punching, but Jimmo took over again in round three.
The fight hit the mat early in the third stanza, Jimmo taking top position, grounding and pounding Lewis. Lewis tried to scramble out, but Jimmo took his back and continued punching him in the face. At a brief pause in the action, the referee stepped in to check Lewis’ left eye, which had exploded to the size of a baseball.
It was obvious that Lewis, his eye swollen shut and in dire need of medical attention, could not continue.
Jimmo laid an official stake to his claim, becoming the MFC light heavyweight champion.
“It feels super duper, very super duper,” he said with the belt slung over his shoulder. “This isn’t gonna leave my hands for some time.”
The only loss of Jimmo’s career was his first. He has since reeled off 14 straight victories, including Friday’s title bout. If his momentum continues, Jimmo may very well hold the belt for quite some time to come.
Two years ago, UFC veteran Drew Fickett was about as far out on the skids as a fighter could get without giving up. His personal life was in a shambles, and it reflected in a 2-8 stretch in the ring, losing to several fighters that he had no business succumbing to.
He then flipped the switch in early 2010, setting himself on a streak that now sits at five straight victories after a quick submission of fellow UFC vet Matt Veach on Friday night.
Known as a submission specialist, Fickett wasted no time displaying that prowess with Veach. Although Veach scored the initial takedown, he actually put himself exactly where Fickett wanted him, inside his guard. Thirty-six seconds into the fight, Fickett finished Veach with an armbar. It marked the fifth submission of his current streak.
“I’m not messing around. Who’s next?” Fickett declared after the fight.
He was originally slated to challenge Antonio McKee for the MFC lightweight title. McKee had to drop out due to injury, but with the victory, McKee is likely who’s next for Fickett.
War is an overused word in the world of combat sports, but Richie Whitson and Curtis Demarce earned the moniker with their three-round lightweight battle.
Though both fighters got their licks in throughout the fight, Demarce took the early part of the fight. He beat Whitson to the punch for the better part of the opening round, opening a cut over the Team Quest fighter’s left eye.
Looking like something out of a splatter film during round two, blood streaming down his face, Whitson came back strong, finally finding his range. Like the first, it was another close round, but Whitson seemed to be able to the land his punches more often than Demarce. He likely sealed the round in his favor with a kick that landed flush to Demarce’s head late in the round.
The final round was no less action packed than the opening two, but Whitson likely eked out the split decision by maintaining top position on the ground for most of the final five minutes of the fight.
“I got rocked a few times right off the bat. Had blood in my eyes the whole time,” said Whitson after the fight, remarking that he’d never been so tired.
The win upped Whitson’s record to an impressive 11-1.
Welterweights Thomas Denny and Sheldon Westcott fought to a split draw. Westcott, 13 years Denny’s junior, opened strong, taking Denny down at will in the opening round, but unable to finish him. Each fighter had his moments in round two, but neither was able to gain a clear advantage.
The third round was all Denny. He took Westcott’s back early in the round, locking on a body triangle, and never let go. He tried the entire round, but couldn’t secure the rear naked choke from Westcott’s back.
Denny and Westcott each gained the nod of one judge, with the third scoring it a draw, which equates to a split draw in the end.
Rodney Wallace made several solid submission attempts from his back in the opening round of his bout with Emanuel Newton. It was Newton, however, that turned the tables on Wallace late in the second round, securing a rear naked choke for a quick tapout.
Newton is now knocking on the door of an MFC light heavyweight title shot, possibly becoming the first challenger to Jimmo’s newly minted belt.
Submission specialist Tyrone Glover, in the opening bout of the main card, tried his best to finish Robert Washington. He couldn’t lock on a fight ending hold, but ended up with a surprising split decision victory despite controlling the action for the majority of the fight.
MFC 28 Full Results:
-Ryan Jimmo def. Dwayne Lewis by TKO (Injury) at 3:13, R3
-Drew Fickett def. Matt Veach by Submission (Armbar) at 0:36, R1
-Richie Whitson def. Curtis Demarce by Spit Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), R3
-Thomas Denny and Sheldon Westcott, Split Draw (28-28, 28-27 Denny, 29-28 Westcott), R3
-Emanuel Newton def. Rodney Wallace by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:34, R2
-Tyrone Glover def. Robert Washington by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), R3