Ryan Ford. Photo courtesy of the Maximum Fighting Championship.
Rising prospect Ryan Ford will try to make good on his bid for Maximum Fighting Championship’s welterweight title this weekend as he takes on longtime veteran Pat Healy in the promotion’s latest event at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada tomorrow night.
“I’ve wanted to have Pat Healy in the MFC for some time,” MFC President Mark Pavelich said in a recent press release. “Ryan has never wavered one bit in his confidence and it doesn’t matter to him who he fights for the title. Pat is one of the toughest and most dangerous fighters anywhere. When these two guys collide in the middle of the ring, there is going to be an unbelievable explosion of speed, power and aggression. Our beautiful new title belt will deservedly go to the winner of this clash.”
After picking up his biggest career win over Pete Spratt in February, Ford ford submitted CJ Fernandes in May to earn the welterweight title shot. His opponent, Healy, has split his last six fights. He most recently dropped a unanimous decision to Jake Ellenberger at an IFL event earlier this year. Healy will be taking the place of Joe Jordan, who was originally a replacement for Drew Fickett and has now suffered a back injury that will leave him unable to compete.
UFC veteran Ron Faircloth will participate in one of four fights on the event’s main card. A total of eleven fights are scheduled to take place. The show is MFC’s tenth-straight sellout. Those interested in catching the event will be able to watch it live tomorrow night on HDNet starting at 10:30 PM ET.
Ryan Schultz throws a right hand at John Gunderson. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
LAS VEGAS - Lightweight Ryan Schultz and heavyweight Roy Nelson defended their respective International Fight League titles and middleweight Ryan McGivern won his first belt before 3,931 at the IFL event last night at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Schultz grinded out a unanimous decision over John Gunderson to retain his title, maintaining strong position throughout the match. Most of the bout was contested on the ground, with both fighters escaping potential chokes in the final two rounds.
Nelson earned a first-round TKO victory over Fabiano Scherner to defend his heavyweight crown. Nelson took Scherner down midway through the round and used a flurry of right hands to secure the stoppage at 3:20.
In what many felt was the best bout of the night, McGivern topped defending champion Matt Horwich by unanimous decision in a battle in which both fighters had strong moments.
Horwich nearly secured an armbar at the end of the second round, when McGivern was likely saved by the bell. In the closing seconds of the fourth round, McGivern delivered a series of strikes that staggered the former champion, but the champion held on until the bell.
Jake Ellenberger grapples with Zach Light at the tapings for BodogFight: Costa Rica. Photo courtesy of BodogFight.
Highly touted Team Quest prospect Jake Ellenberger will take on Lion’s Den veteran Pat Healy in a welterweight bout at the International Fight League’s first scheduled event in 2008.
The bout, which was confirmed by the IFL earlier today, will take place at the promotion’s “New Blood New Battles” event on February 29th, which will take place at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The fight rounds out a card that features a total of eight fights, including three championship contests.
Ellenberger is coming off of an emphatic knockout win over Jose Landi-Jons at an Extreme Fighting Challenge event in November. However two of Ellenberger’s career losses have come under the IFL banner. The former middleweight also defeated Ben Uker at the IFL Championship Finals in December of 2006.
Healy has gone 2-1 since joining the ranks of the IFL early last year. A knockout loss to dangerous striker Rory Markham has been sandwiched between decision wins over Ray Steinbeiss and Mike Guymon respectively.
NEW YORK - IFL titleholders Matt Horwich, Roy Nelson and Ryan Schultz will defend their belts when the International Fight League opens its 2008 schedule with an eight-bout card at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Friday, February 29.
In addition to the three Championship bouts, team competition will feature Matt Lindland?‘s Team Quest vs. Ken Shamrock?‘s Lions Den and Team Xtreme Couture vs. Mario Sperry?‘s MMA Top Team.
Horwich, who claimed the middleweight title with a victory over Benji Radach at the IFL World Grand Prix on December 29, will defend his crown against Tim Kennedy who won all three of his IFL matchups in 2007 with first or second-round finishes.
Nelson, who knocked out Antoine Jaoude to win the heavyweight crown, will take on IFL newcomer Fabiano Scherner, who trains with Lindland at Team Quest. Schultz, whose lightweight victory over Chris Horodecki raised eyebrows in the entire MMA community, makes the first defense of his lightweight belt against John Gunderson, who competes for the Lions Den.
?“This card is a good example of how the flexibility of our new format makes for great matchups,? said IFL Commissioner Kurt Otto. ?Fans will get to see three Championship bouts, plus some exciting team competition feeding some of our upcoming title fights.?”
Pat Healy has been forced to pull out of this weekend’s IFL Grand Prix after suffering an elbow injury during a training session over the weekend. Healy was slated to face Jay Hieron in the opening round of the welterweight portion of the tournament.
Healy made the announcement this morning on TAGG Radio.
“I was training over the weekend and I dislocated my elbow,” said Healy.“I’m not sure if there is any further damage though. I’m going to go for an MRI this week to see if there are any torn or strained tendons. If there are, I’m going to need surgery. It would probably be a quicker recovery for me if I did have to have surgery but it’s looking like two months recovery time as of right now.”
Healy mentioned that Donnie Liles will most likely take his place in the Grand Prix.
MMA on Tap has learned that Mark Miller has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Jay Hieron after suffering a hand injury during a recent training session.
Miller will be replaced by Brad Blackburn. Because of the switch, the seedings have also been shifted. Blackburn will take on Delson Heleno while Hieron will now take on Pat Healy.
I was able to get in touch with Hieron and asked him for his thoughts about Miller’s withdrawl.
“It’s disappointing but there’s nothing that can be done about it really,” said Hieron. “It is what it is. Injuries are common in MMA. It’s something that you can’t prevent. This isn’t the first time this has happened for the Grand Prix either. I was supposed to fight Antonio and then that got scrapped. Now I’m fighting Pat instead of Miller. It doesn’t matter who it is. I’m ready to go for whatever.”
NEW YORK - Pat Healy of the Nevada Lions will replace Antonio McKee of the Tokyo Sabres in the welterweight division of the 2007 IFL World Grand Prix, the individual all-star competition for the International Fight League, the world?s number one mixed martial arts league. The semifinals will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Sears Centre in Chicago and the finals will take place on Saturday, Dec. 29 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Healy, who had been the 170-lb. alternate after a fine regular season training under Lions? Head Coach and MMA legend Ken Shamrock, moves into the No. 4 seed and will take on top-seeded Delson Heleno of the New York Pitbulls in the semifinals. Jay Hieron of the Los Angeles Anacondas moves to the No. 2 seed and will compete against the No. 3 seed Mark Miller of the Red Bears.
?“Antonio made a decision regarding competition for another organization that was unacceptable based on his contract with the IFL,”? said Kurt Otto, IFL co-founder and commissioner. ?“We feel that in the best interests of the league, these actions preclude him from competing on the IFL World Grand Prix card. We are pleased that an outstanding athlete such as Pat Healy is prepared to step into the very competitive 170-lb. division.?”
McKee, who had qualified as the No. 2 seed, posted an unbeaten (3-0) regular season, helping the Sabres a 3-0 mark and berth in the IFL World Championship, where he defeated Heleno by decision on August 2 in the Sabres? 3-2 defeat on August 2 in New Jersey.