Prangley, Lashley Victorious at “Hard Knocks”


Trevor Prangley. Photo by Jon Swenson. Used with permission.

Veteran Trevor Prangley outlasted defending champion Emanuel Newton to take a five-round unanimous decision and the MFC world light heavyweight championship at MFC 21: Hard Knocks Friday night at the River Cree Resort and Casino just outside Edmonton, Alberta.

After a weathering an early storm and appearing to be out of gas, Prangley (20-5) picked up the pace after three rounds and began to wear down Newton (11-4-1) with crisper strikes and kicks. By the time the fifth round came around, both of Newton’s eyes were half-closed due to precise shots and the effects of well-placed bodyshots from punches, knees, and kicks had taken their toll on Newton.

The fight’s most compelling moment came with one second remaining in the fifth round as Prangley clipped Newton with a punch combo and then connected point-blank with a crushing high kick that caught Newton square on the chin. Both fighters went down in a heap – Newton from the blast and Prangley from a bruised foot – as referee “Big” John McCarthy jumped in with the horn blowing. The sold-out crowd at The Venue at River Cree gave both fighters a standing ovation for their impressive performances.

Despite Newton’s superior start to the fight, the judges went with Prangley by scores of 48-46, 49-46 and 49-46.

“It wasn’t the way I wanted it to go – I wanted an early knockout – but I will definitely take it as it is very hard to take a belt from the champion,” said Prangley, who was quick to offer Newton a rematch.

The night’s superfight was over in the blink of an eye. Former WWE star Bobby “The Dominator” Lashley barely broke a sweat as he secured a powerful front choke and finished off Mike “The Animal” Cook in only 24 seconds. Lashley (3-0) shrugged off the only power punch that Cook (7-4) was able to throw and then ravaged Cook before McCarthy stepped in.

“That’s what I do,” smiled Lashley. “The crowd was amazing and I want to come back.”

Travis “The Gladiator” Galbraith (17-6) endeared himself to his hometown crowd albeit with a controversial split-decision victory over David Heath (11-5). Heath seemed to land the bigger shots throughout the bout and had to contend with two accidental low blows and a poke in the eye. A visibly miffed Heath stormed out of the ring after the decision of 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28 was read out.

John “The Natural” Alessio, returning to fight in his home country, captured a convincing first-round victory and the Submission of the Night as he tore through Andrew Buckland. Alessio (29-13-1), who was coming off the first knockout loss of his career to Paul Daley at MFC 19, looked determined and back to his dominating ways as he simply schooled Buckland (8-4) before sinking in a rear-naked choke at 2:53 of Round 1.

The televised portion of the card on HDNet Fights kicked off with some good fortune for another veteran fighter. After needing some time to recover from an accidental low blow in Round 1, Marvin “The Beastman” Eastman (16-9) flashed some devastating ground-and-pound work to stop light heavyweight prospect Aron Lofton (6-2) at 0:59 of the second.

On the undercard, Dwayne Lewis (7-5) earned the Knockout of the Night as he followed up a sharp knee with a barrage of punches to put away Jay Whitford (3-1) just 29 seconds into their light heavyweight bout.

In other action:

Ryan Jimmo (10-1) def. Mychal Clark (8-6) – unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
William Richey (4-0) def. Ryan Fortin (4-1) – split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jason Heit (3-0) def. Jeremy Combrink (5-2) – TKO, 4:17 Round 1
George Belanger (3-1) def. Nolan Clarke (3-4) – TKO, 4:40 Round 1

The MFC announced during Hard Knocks that homegrown superstar Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald will make his return to the Maximum Fighting Championship at MFC 22: Payoff which will be held Friday, September 25 at the River Cree Resort and Casino.

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