'We'll crush them'

JASON HILLS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:15 PM ET

After 12 straight sellouts, Maximum Fighting Championship owner and president Mark Pavelich has a reason to grin from ear-to-ear.

He's considered the king of mixed martial arts in Canada.

As MFC 19: Long Time Coming arrives tomorrow night at the River Cree Resort and Casino, it's being considered his biggest show of the organization's history.

That's even without his big star Ryan 'The Real Deal' Ford taking part because of a knee injury. But the card is loaded anyway, with MFC World Light-Heavyweight champion Roger Hollett taking on Emanuel Newton in the main event of the 10-fight card.

In the welterweight division, Nottingham, England's Paul Daley will take on John Alessio, who has trained with the likes of UFC veteran Randy Couture.

Pavelich is comparing the Alessio-Daley fight to the upcoming George St. Pierre and B.J. Penn UFC superbout.

"I just think that the level of it is going to be so high, that I just don't think people (in mixed martial arts) in this country have seen this level before, and they are going to see it (tomorrow) night," he said.

"MFC is now one of the top four shows in the country, and I am not going to stop there. I am only going to be No. 2 to the UFC, and our show will be No. 2 in the world.

"We're going to be the second show in the world, mark my words."

Pavelich has grown MMA into a frenzy in Western Canada. He has a television deal with HDNet and plans to bring his brand to the U.S. with two shows a year there.

"Our fans are disgusting. They are beyond fans, they're another level," said Pavelich. "I am not just saying it because we are sold out already.

"They (fans) understand this sport. They're knowledgeable - this is the hotbed of mixed martial arts.

"I am going to be that rock band in Canada that didn't have to go away to do it (have success).

"Our roots will always be here at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton, and we are going to put on four or five shows a year, no matter what."

Pavelich believes mixed martial arts can grow to the level of any of the four major sports in North America.

"It could grow right beneath NFL football. In this country, it would fall right underneath NHL hockey," said Pavelich.

"No offence to CFL football, I love it, but I think we can eclipse it."

Pavelich has been criticized before with his harsh way of doing business.

Other brands have tried to work with him, and compete against him, but he's carried out his business plan his way. It's his way, or no way.

"There is a lot of 'Johnny-come-latelies', even in this town who want to get involved in mixed martial arts and they don't have the first clue about our sport and they want to involve themselves in it.

"I am going to give them some advice," said Pavelich.

"There are five other shows in Edmonton, they should all get together as one show just like our Canadian government is trying to do right now and go against the Maximum Fighting Championship, and we'll crush them."


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