Fighting in the shadows

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

For a rookie in the fight game, Mike Maurer casts a very large shadow.

Although the Edmonton Eskimo fullback is not close to being the most talented fighter on the Maximum Fighting Championship IX card, he's receiving almost all the media attention.

The expected bright spotlight on the Grey Cup Most Outstanding Canadian has left the two veteran fighters in tomorrow's main event -- the first-ever MFC middleweight title bout -- in the shadows.

"It is a bit frustrating that it takes a professional athlete from another sport to bring the attention (to mixed-martial arts)," said Jason MacDonald, who will battle Patrick Cote for the middleweight belt.

But MacDonald admits Maurer's presence is helping the sport.

"The (media) attention is good. That will open up the avenue and get the sport out there," MacDonald continued.

As for the overshadowed title fight, it will be the first meeting between MacDonald, who's Alberta's top-ranked scrapper (12-6 record) and Cote (7-3) from Quebec.

"Fight fans all over Canada have been wanting to see this fight for a number of years and it has never worked out until now," said MacDonald.

As with a boxing card, the title fight will be the last event at the Shaw Conference Centre tomorrow.

- - -

TALE OF THE TAPE

- MIKE MAURER

HEIGHT: 6 feet

WEIGHT: 205 pounds

AGE: 30

- DARREN APELS

HEIGHT: 6 feet 8 inches

WEIGHT: 215 pounds**

AGE: 25

*Official weigh-in today

**Fighters must be 205 pounds tomorrow


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