Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) light heavyweight champion Ryan Jimmo is 30 years old. He's won 15 fights in a row and hasn't lost since his mixed martial arts (MMA) debut in February of 2007. He's entertaining in and out of the ring or cage (whichever MFC happens to be using that particular weekend).
So why haven't you heard of him?
Maybe you have. Maybe you're an MMA die-hard who never misses a televised card. If that's you, you're not in the majority.
Jimmo fights for a smaller promotion that only does shows in Canada. They do have a television deal with HDNet, but not everyone has that channel. With all of those things as factors, some fans and critics aren't buying the hype behind Jimmo's long win streak.
He's aware of the naysayers, but he says it doesn't bother him.
"My win streak has been against pretty decent competition. I've beaten every fighter that has been in the ring, and not just beaten them. Aside from my Marvin Eastman fight, where it wasn't my best performance, I might have taken maybe three to five actual punches in all of my 16 fights. My last several opponents have all been ranked in the 30-50 range (in the world). If those guys can't lay a finger on me, I think it says something. "
On Oct. 7 (2011), Jimmo will defend his MFC belt against former PRIDE FC and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. Jimmo sees the fight as the next logical progression in his career.
"A step up in competition would be great. I think Sokoudjou is a move in the right direction. From what my manager can gather, if this fight goes well, then we get signed to the big show. I'm working very hard to make that a reality."
Jimmo didn't comment on which "big show" he was referring to, but it would stand to reason that Zuffa is probably lurking somewhere in the shadows. As the prized possession and face of MFC owner Mark Pavelich's organization, news of Jimmo moving on would probably not be music to his sometimes brash boss' ears.
Jimmo appreciates Pavelich as an employer, but thinks he would have been more effective as a circus promoter. Seriously.
"Working for Mark Pavelich? Mark and I get along, for the most part. We've butted heads on a few issues in the past, but worked through disagreements. Mark's an intricate fellow. He's intelligent and driven, certainly a controversial personality. I think Mark would've done very well in the 1920's and 1930's as a circus promoter. One of my old training partners, Tim Kelly ( RIP), said, "He (Pavelich) is all 'Barnum and Bailey,' Jimmo!" I think that describes him to a tee."
Jimmo may have done well "under the big top" himself. He's become almost as famous for his take on "the robot" as he has for his fighting. If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Jimmo is a man of the people and tries to always give the people what they want.
"I love doing the robot. I'm always practicing. Sometimes, for an extra tip for a waitress or something of that nature, ill say to them, "How about I do the best robot you've ever seen in real life?" Most of them roll their eyes, but when I do the robot, their eyes usually pop out of there heads. I'm an entertainer by nature. I never got bored of doing the robot."
On Oct. 7, "Big Deal" will have a chance to show MMA fans that he should be taken seriously when he takes on Sokoudjou. He plans on giving them a show they won't forget.
"Sokoudjou has been around and fought on bigger shows. I hope hes taking me very lightly, since he's fought on bigger shows. I was very happy when the Sokoudjou fight was signed. He's well known and very skilled. Between him and Wilson Gouviea, those are my toughest tests to date. I passed the Wilson test with flying colors and will do the same with Sokoudjou. The fight will end by TKO...2nd or 3rd round, I suspect."
What do you think, Maniacs? Will you be tuning in to HDNet on Oct. 7 to watch Jimmo and Sokoudjou go toe-to-toe? Are you excited about the prospect of Jimmo being called up to "the big show?"