The Maximum Fighting Championship wasted no time in finding a top-notch opponent for the recently signed Thales Leites as another big-name middleweight has joined the fray.
Former Abu Dhabi world champion Dean Lister signed a multi-fight deal last night and immediately agreed to meet Leites at MFC 23: "Unstoppable" on Friday, December 4 at the River Cree Resort and Casino. The bout will be the main event of the fight card broadcast live throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico on HDNet Fights.
"This is an outstanding matchup and I am particularly pleased that both Dean and Thales agreed to fight each other so quickly - no discussion, no delays. Just signed, sealed and delivered," said MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich.
"It is a great fight. Both guys have a lot to prove and both guys want the MFC title belt. There's a lot at stake in this fight and that's when things get very interesting."
With the signings of Lister and Leites along with the return of Jason MacDonald, the recent main-event victory by Travis Lutter, and other names such as Bryan Baker and Solomon Hutcherson, the MFC's middleweight division has suddenly become very deep in experienced talent.
"I couldn't be happier about reloading our 185-pound division," noted Pavelich. "For too long the division was pretty empty but now the cupboard is full - and full of names that the fans want to see fight."
Lister (11-6) is one of the most-decorated submission fighters in the world of mixed martial arts, and he holds career victories over such notables as Jeremy Horn, Yuki Sasaki, and Alessio Sakara. Seven of Lister's nine submission wins have come inside the first round.
The San Diego, California, product has numerous other grappling credentials on his resume. In addition to his Absolute Division championship at the 2003 Abu Dhabi, Lister captured victories in tournament superfights in 2003 and 2005, and he holds the event record with four straight wins in the '03 event. Lister, a master of foot and knee locks, is a two-time U.S. national sambo champion, a four-time U.S. national champion in Machado Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and a U.S. national champion in Gracie jiu-jitsu.