Thales Leites made quick work of Jesse Taylor, and Ryan Jimmo made a huge statement with a convincing victory at the Maximum Fighting Championship’s MFC 25: Vindication.
In front of more than 4,000 fans at the Northlands Expo Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, and live on HDNet, Leites (17-3) submitted Taylor with an impressive triangle choke at the 2:27 mark of the first round. Taylor (14-6) initially forced Leites to the mat with a double-leg takedown, but the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, product scored big a strike from the bottom that opened a deep gash on Taylor’s eyebrow. That was the beginning of the end as Leites smoothly transitioned into the submission manoeuvre and forced the tapout.
It was a second straight win in the Maximum Fighting Championship for Leites and moved him to the top of the contender list for the MFC middleweight title.
In the night’s co-main event, Jimmo (13-1) surely shocked a number of mixed martial arts pundits as he dominated Wilson Gouveia (12-8) en route to a clear-cut unanimous decision. Jimmo showed his patented counter-striking in Round 1 and then thoroughly applied the heat on Gouveia in Round 2. Jimmo surprisingly took Gouveia down but instead of being caught up in the Brazilian’s jiu-jitsu skills, Jimmo unleashed a ferocious ground-and-pound assault. At one point, Jimmo had Gouveia stacked up in a neutral corner and rained down countless strikes that nearly forced referee John Braak to step in and stop bout. At the end of the round, a battered and bruised Gouveia needed help returning to his corner.
Jimmo continued to showcase a much more confident attack in Round 3, and despite getting caught with a punch from Gouveia in the early moments, he cruised to the win. A pair of judges gave Jimmo a 10-8 score in Round 2 and he finished with counts of 30-27, 30-26, 30-26 in his favor. Jimmo, who now fights out of Edmonton, Alberta, was given a huge ovation by the home-town crowd for the best performance of his career – a result which has tabbed him as the front-runner for a shot at the MFC light heavyweight title.
Meanwhile, former MFC light heavyweight champ Emanuel Newton showed that cleaning up his act outside the ring had a profound effect on his in-ring performance. Newton (13-6), who hails from Norwalk, California, utilized outstanding takedowns and control to take a unanimous decision from crowd favorite Dwayne Lewis (11-5). Newton, whose corner was anchored by MFC lightweight champ Antonio McKee, put a stop to his own three-fight losing skid while snapping Lewis’s own seven-fight win streak. The result was a bitter pill to swallow for Lewis who had more than 400 fans in the audience from his home town of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
In an entertaining welterweight encounter, veteran Pete Spratt (21-17) picked up the Knockout of the Night by stopping Luigi Fioravanti (17-7) at 4:02 of Round 3. Spratt took control in Round 2 doing most of his damage with brutal kicks to the body. In the third, Spratt dropped Fioravanti with a stiff jab and then pounced with a barrage that brought upon the stoppage. It was the second straight win in the Maximum Fighting Championship for the native of San Antonio, Texas, who captured the MFC’s 2009 Knockout of the Year in his last appearance at MFC 22 back in October.
Gavin Neil (8-1) picked up the Submission of the Night by coaxing a tapout from Richie Hightower (8-4) at 2:52 of Round 1. Hightower was done in by a wicked left hook from Neil and the Victoria, British Columbia, native moved quickly into a fight-ending rear-naked choke.
Chase Gormley (7-2) def. Ryan Fortin (4-3) – Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Chad Freeman (4-3) def. Mike Froese (3-3) – 3:48 Round 1, tapout via armbar
Keto Allen (4-0) def. Aaron Berke (4-2) – 2:58 Round 1, TKO
Jevon Marshall (1-0) def. Garret Nybakken (1-1) – 2:00 Round 3, tapout via rear-naked choke