Mark Pavelich: Canada’s king of MMA

By Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun

You’d think the owner of any mixed martial arts organization north of the border would be honoured to be thought of as the Canadian Dana White. But Mark Pavelich isn’t just any MMA company owner.

I sat down recently with the cocky founder and president of Maximum Fighting Championship, a Canadian-based MMA organization, and he was taken aback by the comparison.

“I’m way better looking than he is,” the MFC boss said with a grin. “He has way more money than I do, but I have way more charisma than he does.”

Not bad for a guy who claims not to be arrogant. Pavelich may prefer not to be compared to the Ultimate Fighting Championship president, he also wasn’t offended.

“He’s the Godfather of MMA,” Pavelich freely admitted of his UFC counterpart.

But with all the press the UFC has received recently, Pavelich wants to ensure fans know they have another option.

Yes, he’s got a great product and he’s the superpower of MMA, but there is a different brand of MMA out there and it’s called Maximum Fighting Championship,” he said. “And we’re not just some sort of farm team, we’re the highest level in this country.”

While he spoke respectfully enough of the UFC president, there was also a hint of disdain with each mention of Dana White, who he refers to simply as D.W.

 

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UFC’s Fitch missing killer instinct

By Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun

Prediction: Penn wins Down Under

When B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch square off Down Under Saturday night, there will be a lot at stake.  One fighter aims to prolong his storied UFC career, the other hopes to finally secure his place among the greats in MMA. And both know a shot at the welterweight title is on the horizon for who ever exits the cage victorious at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia.

As the main event on a card stacked with solid matches, this one has all the makings of a great fight. But it could just as easily be boring as hell.

Whether it’s memorable or forgettable depends largely on two things:  Has “The Prodigy” been working out as hard as he claims? And has Fitch finally learned to finish an opponent?

Many fans believe Fitch will continue his UFC winning streak. Even some of Penn’s fellow fighters have counted him out.  On ufc.com this week, heavyweight Brock Lesnar told UFC president Dana White that he believes Fitch will win by decision.

Go figure!

There are plenty of valid reasons to think the Indiana native will beat Penn.  For starters, Fitch should be able to easily control the much smaller Penn, who moved up from the 155 pound lightweight division to take this fight. Penn was taken to the ground repeatedly by Frankie Edgar when he lost his lightweight strap to him last spring and again in their rematch last summer.

Fitch is 15 pounds heavier than Edgar, six inches taller, with two more inches of reach and he’s a takedown specialist.

 

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