Ford finds new base

GERRY MODDEJONGE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

It's real: they couldn't reach a deal.

Ryan "The Real Deal" Ford and Maximum Fighting Championship have gone their separate ways.

Ford recently joined local promotion The Fight Club, but MFC boss Mark Pavelich doesn't exactly count it as a loss to a rival promotion.

"It's not a loss. It's not even a rival," Pavelich said during a media gathering to introduce fighters in tonight's MFC 21: Hard Knocks, which takes place at The Venue - River Cree Resort and Casino. "Our organization's the biggest in the country. That's what people fail to realize sometimes because we're not gearing our show just to Edmonton, we're gearing our show to North America."

MFC's plans for its own Manifest Destiny don't include places for Ford (8-2), or fellow former-MFCer Victor "The Matrix" Valimaki (13-5), who recently signed an Edmonton-exclusive deal with The Fight Club.

"The level of competition is getting higher and higher, so that becomes the problem," said Pavelich. "Either you rise to that level or you go to a smaller organization."

'CONTRACT DISPUTES'

Although Pavelich didn't go into detail about the severed ties, Ford shrugged it off to "contract disputes."

"I didn't get what I wanted in a contract, so it's time for me to move on," said Ford, who showed up at the MFC media introductions in a show of support for the fighters involved. "I've got a lot of friends who came into town. All these guys, these are my homies. I met them ever since I was here. We all stuck together and we're all good."

Ford is making his Fight Club debut May 30 at the Shaw Conference Centre. "So we've got (16) days and the Real Deal's back in the cage."

Ford said he has no regrets so far in his young career.

"This was working for me at the time. Now it's time for me to move on. I'm still young, I've got a lot of fights in me," he said, adding MFC was a good experience. "They brought in a lot of good guys from America to come and fight. That's pretty much what put me on the map. But at the end of all ends, I'm the one in the ring there and I'm the one making a name for myself."


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