Premiere Candian promotion MFC held its thirty-fifth event last night in Edmonton, with middleweight standouts Joe Henle and Elvis Mutapcic duking it out for the vacant 185-pound belt in the main event. With both men having a history of finishes and coming off of first-round TKOs in their previous fights, this one wasn't expected to go five rounds.
Occasionally, reality lives up to expectations.
The first round saw the longer Henle look to establish his long-range boxing while Mutapcic went to work on his legs. Late in the round, Henle's tendency to turn to his left after throwing a punch left him open to a Mutapcic right, which sent "Leonidas" to the canvas. Henle, a competitor on the eleventh season of "The Ultimate Fighter," immediately wrapped the Bosnian up in half guard to survive the round.
Things went much better for the bearded bruiser in the second round as he repeatedly found a home for his southpaw jab and straight, his seven-inch reach advantage keeping him safely out of harm's way when Mutapcic fired back. By the time a double-leg put Elvis on his back, it looked as though the tide had turned in a big way.
The third round, however, dashed that idea in a hurry. That aforementioned tendency to turn not only left him exposed to Mutapcic's right straight, it also left his lead leg turned inward and in perfect position to get buckled by an enormous leg kick from "The King." Injured and in obvious pain, Henle went down, making Mutapcic the promotion's first middleweight champion since Patrick Cote way back in the day.
The rest of the card was similarly entertaining, with UFC veteran Shane Nelson getting soundly outgrappled by Canadian standout Graham Spencer for a decision loss in the co-main event.
For complete results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.