Maximum Fighting Championships 38 Preview

MFC 38This Friday from the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the MFC will make its return to fight promotion after a five month absence with MFC 38. The organization has stacked the card with three title bouts, and it should make for an excellent night of fights on AXS TV. The organization put together an interesting social media campaign to get fans involved in this card, the goal of which was to determine which of the three title fights would serve as the main event for this card. After the votes were tallied it was determined that the Bantamweight bout between Anthony Birchak (10-1) and Tito Jones (10-6) would headline the card. Birchak is a very impressive prospect at 27 years old, who started off his career with six straight wins — five by submission — before dropping his only bout. After that loss, he recovered by rounding out his game and posting three consecutive wins by (T)KO. Jones on the other hand has been more methodical in his approach, with six of his ten victories coming by way of decision. If Birchak can post another impressive victory in this bout, he’s likely on track for a shot in the UFC in the near future. The odds in this bout indicate the same, as Birchak opened as a -385 favorite (bet $385 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers, with the comeback on Jones at +265 (bet $100 to win $265). After early action, the line has jumped up and Birchak is now a -675 favorite with Jones a +425 underdog. In the middleweight division, Sam Alvey (20-5, 1 NC) gets a second crack at the 185lb title with Elvis Mutapcic’s move to the World Series of Fighting. His opponent will be Jason South (10-0) who is making his MFC debut. This is a bout where the combatants have extremely contrasting styles. Alvey likes to stand and bang with a striking style that is more reliant on grit than pure technique, with South being a ground specialist who has nine of his victories by way of submission. That means this bout is going to come down to wrestling. If Alvey can keep this standing, he’ll batter South and potentially get the stoppage. If South’s wrestling is good enough, he can dominate the ground. Alvey also has the experience going deeper in fights, so if this goes to the championship rounds, he should have the edge. The betting lines for this fight are a little bit tighter and have stayed steady since opening. Alvey is a -230 favorite and South is the +170 underdog. The third of this event’s title bouts is in the heavyweight division. Smealinho Rama (6-0) is only 21 years old and may be the brightest prospect Canada has ever produced in the weight class. After beating Canada’s top heavyweight Mike Hackert at MFC 36, Rama now has a chance to pick up the organization’s title. In his way stands Jackson-Winklejohn product Anthony Hamilton (10-2) who has a set of heavy hands which have led him to five (T)KO victories in his career. Rama does have the more well-rounded game of the two, as his victories are evenly split between (T)KOs and submissions, and he has shown an excellent ability to transition on the ground which is well ahead of most other big men. That could be his ticket to success here, as his ground game is beyond that of Hamilton, but the heavyweight division always has more of a threat of the flash KO on either side. Rama is another big favorite, opening at -505 before being bet down to -350. Hamilton has moved from +335 to +250. Finally, an intriguing lightweight rematch kicks off the night as Jonates Novaes (11-4) and Kurt Southern (12-4) battle once again. Novaes submitted Southern with a third round armbar in their last meeting, but it was not without controversy. In a past interview with MMA Oddsbreaker, Southern said he was planning on launching an appeal due to Novaes grabbing his gloves to secure the submission, but nothing ever came to fruition from that. Instead, Southern gets to have his revenge by getting Novaes back in the cage. These fighters match up the exactly the same as they did last time. Southern has the wrestling edge and can win the fight by controlling top position, while Novaes has a submission edge, but whether or not he can parlay that into another victory is yet to be seen. As far as the odds go, they reflect the closeness of the fight. Souther opened as a -140 favorite and currently sits at -160, while Novaes opened at even money and is now +120. All of the action for MFC 38 can be seen on AXS TV this Friday.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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