One of the best lineups in the Maximum Fighting Championship’s illustrious history has been set for MFC 22: Payoff.
MFC 22: Payoff will be held on Friday, October 2 at the River Cree Resort and Casino just outside Edmonton, Alberta, and will be broadcast live throughout North America on HDNet Fights.
The card is highlighted by the much-anticipated MFC return of mixed martial arts superstar Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald who will take on Travis "The Serial Killer" Lutter in a three-round middleweight showdown.
MacDonald (21-12), who fights out of Edmonton, Alberta, began his career in the MFC and became the organization’s most-popular figure. He faces one of the biggest tests when he squares off against Lutter (9-5), a former reality show winner and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from Texas.
But MacDonald’s skills are just as impressive, having scored three Submission of the Night honors during his career and being regarded as one of the top physically conditioned competitors in the sport.
"This is the fight the fans have been waiting to see and the winner steps right to the top of the heap for a crack at the MFC middleweight title," noted MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich. "I have never heard Jason talk this way about a fight before, stating that he is going to put Travis into retirement.
And I know from talking to Travis that he fully intends on spoiling Jason’s plans."
As the co-main event of the night, MFC lightweight champion Antonio "Mandingo" McKee defends his title for the first time as he faces Carlo Prater.
McKee (22-3-2) defeated Derrick Noble at MFC 20 to claim the title and the veteran will look to keep his five-year unbeaten streak alive. The Lakewood, California, product who has transitioned from welterweight to lightweight has not lost since 2003.
Prater (24-6-1) has won three of his last four fights and the Sao Paulo, Brazil, native has several major victories to his credit over his career including wins over current MFC welterweight champ Pat Healy along with notables Carlos Condit, Spencer Fisher, and Melvin Guillard.
One of the featured fights on the show will be a welterweight clash pitting John "The Natural" Alessio against Luigi Fioravanti. Alessio (25-13) is one of the MFC’s most popular fighters and is coming off a submission victory over Andrew Buckland at MFC 21.
Alessio is originally from Duncan, B.C., and now fights out of Randy Couture’s Extreme Couture in Las Vegas. Fioravanti (15-5) debuts in the MFC and is looking to solidify a shot at 170-pound champion Pat Healy.
The Orlando, Florida, product has eight knockouts on his resume and is a former U.S. Marine who was in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
A pair of light heavyweight fights will be showcased on the televised card. Riding a 10-fight winning streak, Ryan "The Big Deal" Jimmo (10-1) faces stern opposition when he meets up with rugged veteran Marvin "The Beastman" Eastman (16-9-1).
Jimmo, who now lives and trains in the MFC’s headquarters of Edmonton, Alberta, is coming off a convincing decision win over Mychal Clark at MFC 21. Eastman was also successful at MFC 21 when he scored an impressive TKO stoppage of Aron Lofton.
In the other featured light heavyweight matchup, David Heath (12-5) takes on Mike Nickels (7-2). Heath, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has won three of his last four fights including a first-round submission win over former MFC light heavyweight champion Roger Hollett.
Nickels is a former reality show competitor under Ken Shamrock, and the Denver, Colorado, product is an accomplished jiu-jitsu practitioner having won the 2005 Pan-American championship.
Two welterweight fights round out the televised card. Brazilian Thiago "Jambo" Goncalves (13-3), a member of Team Nogueira and a training partner for Anderson Silva, will take on McKee’s training partner and protégé Jesse Juarez (11-5).
Goncalves will look for a measure of redemption following his narrow split-decision loss to Cory MacDonald at Heat XC3 while Juarez is out to take his current winning streak to six.
Opening the televised card will be veteran Pete "The Secret Weapon" Spratt (19-15) against Nathan Gunn (7-0). Spratt has fought a long list of top-notch fighters including Georges St. Pierre and Carlos Newton and he holds a career victory over Robbie Lawler.
Gunn has three first-round submission wins to his credit and is a dangerous striker.
The non-televised undercard will be announced shortly.
Just a few tickets remain for MFC 22: Payoff. Remaining tickets can be purchased by calling the MFC Ticket Hotline at (780) 504-2024 or through Ticketmaster at (780) 451-8000, www.ticketmaster.ca, and Ticketmaster outlets.