MFC 23 quick preview and predictions for 'Unstoppable' on Dec. 4


The twenty third installment of Mark Pavelich's Canadian-based Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) is set to air live on HDNet Fights tomorrow night (Friday, Dec. 4) from the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

MFC 23: "Unstoppable" will feature a main event match up of former UFC middleweights Thales Leites and Dean "The Boogeyman" Lister, as the promotion continues its search for a 185-pound champion.

Co-headlining the event is another top notch middleweight tilt between ex-UFC fighters in the hunt for the vacant MFC title, as Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald and "The Ultimate Fighter" season three alum, Solomon Hutcherson, are set for battle.

To help get you better prepared for the action, we provide a little analysis and a few predictions for these two highly anticipated middleweight bouts.

Check it out below:

Thales Leites (14-3) vs. Dean "The Boogeyman" Lister (11-6)

This is a match up of absolute studs in terms of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Both men come highly decorated, including an ADCC championship for Lister in 2003.

Often times when two strong jiu-jitsu players like this get paired against each other, the fight ends up turning into a stand up battle, especially when they both have a good amount of experience in mixed martial arts like these two do.

Since neither fighter is anything special in the striking department, there's a good chance that's exactly what's going to happen in this fight, too. The reason I say that is because both of these guys are probably looking at the other's striking as their weakness. And both have enough experience in the sport to probably think their own striking can get the job done without having to flip coins on the ground with a fellow world class grappler.

However, the longer this fight goes on, and the more tired each man gets, the likelihood of these guys reverting to their base goes up.

Look for a lot of stand up exchanges in the early going with Leites having a slight edge. He shouldn't be judged too harshly on the Anderson Silva debacle, because afterall, it's Anderson Silva. Dean Lister's striking poses nowhere near the same threat, which should allow Leites to develop more of a comfort zone on his feet.

If and when the fight hits the mat, however, expect nothing more than a stalemate. These guys have rolled with world class jiu jitsu practitioners most of their lives, and it's unlikely either will be able to submit the other unless one of them gets hurt or very tired.

I have Leites earning a unanimous decision here with a better stand up attack early on and more cardio to carry him through the later rounds.

Final prediction: Thales Leites via unanimous decision

Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald (21-13) vs. "King" Solomon Hutcherson (11-5)

MacDonald, who was once dubbed "The TUF Killer," will get another shot at a former contestant on the UFC's reality show in this fight. And he shouldn't have too much of a problem living up to that nickname.

"King" Solomon did a decent job of fending off a submission attack in his debut for MFC back in February, earning a decision win over Dave Mewborn. But Jason MacDonald will provide a much stiffer overall attack in this fight.

Even though MacDonald has dropped 6 of his past 9 fights, he's still faced much better competition than Hutcherson and he still has a much better skill set and killer instinct.

Coming off 3 straight losses also means this is a must win fight for "The Athlete," and that spells bad news for Hutcherson as well. He finished his last fight against Travis Lutter on a strong note, but an extremely slow start was too much to overcome.

I see him jumping on Hutcherson with his aggression right from the get go in this fight though. Solomon has good power and some decent ground and pound, but that isn't anything MacDonald hasn't seen before. He can't be tentative in this fight. He needs to attack right from the start.

If he sticks to that plan, then he's going to come away with a win in this fight, either by TKO or submission. He's nicknamed "The Athlete" for a reason. He's deceptively strong and very fast for a 185 pounder, and he has a wide variety of ways to finish fights.

He should be better than Hutcherson in pretty much every area of the fight, but once the action goes to the ground, it'll be only a matter of time before the TUF killer scores another submission win.

Final prediction: Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald via submission in round two

Here's the full lineup for MFC 23: "Unstoppable:"

Thales Leites (14-3) vs. Dean "The Boogeyman" Lister (11-6)
Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald (21-13) vs. "King" Solomon Hutcherson (11-5)
Bryan "The Beast" Baker (10-1) vs. Art "Pachuco" Santore (18-6)
Ryan "Big Deal" Jimmo (11-1) vs. Emanuel "The Hardcore Kid" Newton (12-5-1)
Marvin "The Beastman" Eastman (16-11-1) vs. Dwayne Lewis (9-4)
Joe Christopher (8-2) vs. Jesse Juarez (11-5)
Ryan Fortin (3-1) vs. Nick Penner (8-1)
Ryan Machan (9-3) vs. "Ragin" Kajan Johnson (17-10-1)

That's a wrap. Make sure you check out the action tomorrow night on HDNet Fights and keep it locked to for our recap and analysis of all the action.
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