Elvis “The King” Mutapcic used a crushing leg kick to chop down Joseph “Leonidas” Henle and capture the MFC world middleweight title at the Maximum Fighting Championship’s MFC 35: Explosive Encounter.
After two even rounds highlighted by crisp striking from both fighters, Mutapcic (12-2) ended the bout at 1:45 of Round 3 live on AXSTV Fights emanating from the Mayfield Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Mutapcic, the native of Bosnia who now makes his home in Des Moines, Iowa, crumpled Henle with a thunderously vicious kick to the right knee and Henle (8-1-1) immediately went down and grabbed his leg in severe pain.
The victory was Mutapcic’s fifth via TKO, and early reports from the dressing room indicated that Henle may have suffered both torn MCL and ACL ligaments.
In the semi-main event, the MFC trumpeted the debut of its featherweight division and Canadian sensation Graham Spencer emerged from underdog status to top dog with a thoroughly dominating effort against Hawaii’s Shane Nelson. Spencer (9-1, 1 NC) was in control from start to finish and cruised to 30-27 scorecards from all three judges to make a triumphant organizational debut against Nelson (15-7), a protégé of legendary star BJ Penn.
MFC 35 ended with a one-strike finish courtesy of Mutapcic’s powerful kick and began with a furious flurry of wild strikes in a light-heavyweight tussle between Jason Kuchera and Paul Grandbois. With both fighters on the verge of exhaustion from brutal exchanges, Grandbois (5-4) put one last assault together and earned the Knockout of the Night by finally stopping Kuchera (5-6) at 1:43 of Round 2. All five of Grandbois’ wins have come by knockout and this was his first under the MFC flag.
The Submission of the Night honor was taken home to Vancouver, B.C. by Sabah Fadai who breezed past home-towner Cody Krahn. Fadai (8-2, 1 NC), the co-winner of the MFC’s 2011 Fight of the Year, secured a triangle choke and coaxed the tapout from Krahn (11-6) just 1:24 into their bout. The win was Fadai’s first under the MFC banner and also his first appearance in the welterweight ranks.
In a battle of rising Canadian heavyweight upstarts, Smealinho Rama showcased his submission skills as well as surprising quickness as he took out Ryan Fortin. Rama (5-0), who fights out of Calgary, Alberta, nearly won in the opening moments with an armbar attempt, and then defended against some ground-and-pound before taking the back of Fortin (6-4) and locking in a rear-naked choke finish at 2:02 of the first round.
Other results from MFC 35:
Derek Parker (5-1-1) def. Jared McComb (4-2-1) – unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Daniel Swain (7-2) def. Matt Jelly (3-2) – unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Chase Degenhardt (8-3) def. Chad Sherman (3-4) – TKO, 0:41 Round 2
Garrett Nybakken def. Jesse Veltri – tapout due to armbar, 1:24 Round 1
MFC 36: Reality Check will take place on Friday, February 15 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Tickets go on sale November 1 via the MFC Ticket Hotline at (780) 504-2024 and www.ticketmaster.ca.