Drew Fickett's aspirations to fight for the MFC lightweight crown and, more importantly, to put himself back on the map in the division worldwide took a turn for the worst on Friday night at the Mayfield Inn Trade and Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. After a dominant opening four-and-a-half minutes of action that saw Fickett threaten with a rear naked choke from back control, challenger Brian Cobb escaped the clutches of a deep body triangle, unleashing a barrage of brutal ground and pound in the final seconds of the round to stop the bout.
The stoppage was initially opined by many fans as early, but replays showed a different story as Fickett nearly had his lights turned off moments before the stoppage. Fickett had initially gained the dominant position by mounting Cobb's back in a scramble, something we've come to expect from Fickett due to his history as a creative submission grappler. Cobb weathered two near submission finishes on the ground, coming back from the brink of defeat to stop a confidence Fickett.
The loss is Fickett's first in his last six appearances while Cobb improves his streak to four, which includes a split decision win over Kazunori Yokota at SRC 15 in October. The win may put Cobb in line for a shot at the vacant MFC lightweight title.
In the co-main event of the evening, UFC veterans Marcus Davis and Pete Spratt went to war in welterweight action, going the distance in a fairly one-sided contest that put Davis' boxing skills on display. Davis utilized quick footwork and a consistent jab to keep Spratt at bay for most of the fight, finding holes in Spratt's defenses and landing knee strikes at close range. Spratt was never able to turn up the pressure as Davis' constant movement was enough to stop Spratt from finding a rhythm.
Davis improves to 2-0 outside of the UFC after being released by the promotion following his knockout loss to Jeremy Stephens at UFC 125 in January. Spratt is 2-4 in his last six appearances, and Friday's loss to Davis may be a sign that it's time for Spratt to move away from the sport. Spratt is already scheduled to go to war with Brian Melanchon at Legacy FC VII on July 22nd.
In other action, Sheldon Westcott dominated Thomas Denny in a rematch of a draw decision at MFC 28 in February. Westcott took down Denny at will in every round of the fight, controlling Denny from top and side control. Denny was able to tie up Westcott and neutralize his offense from the top at times, but Westcott's persistence paid off with enough offense to definitively win each round. A point deduction due to strikes to the back of the head made the outcome interesting in the end. Unfortunately, Denny didn't have enough gas or skill to overcome the improvements Westcott had made since their first encounter.
Hot prospect Dhiego Lima, the younger brother of former MFC champion and recent Bellator signee Douglas Lima, needed only two minutes and forty-seven seconds to dispatch of challenger Jamie Toney, stunning him during a scramble along the ropes and immediately pouncing on him for the finish with strikes. Lima was being outgunned on the feet early however, which should be a sign of the skills Lima needs to improve on before making a considerable jump up in competition.
Unfortunately for Lima, he didn't win the top honors for the quickest finish of the evening. The "Sweet Swede" Andreas Spang needed only a minute and eighteen seconds to choke out Cody Krahn. Krahn walked the line early, attempting to take down Spang, only to be caught in a guillotine choke moments after the start of the fight. Krahn escaped the ground war unscathed, but a second takedown attempt resulted in a deeper lock on the guillotine choke from Spang. Krahn quickly tapped once Spang put his back to the canvas.
Finally, it wouldn't be a regional card without a bad decision, and lightweight Robert Washington was the unfortunate victim. By most accounts, Washington controlled Demarce with superior wrestling for most of the fight, garnering 29-28 and 30-27's across the board. The judges initially saw it as a split decision win for Washington when the decision was announced. Roughly ten minutes later, the decision was overturned due to a misinterpretation of the scorecards, changing a 30-27 score for Washington to a 30-27 score for Demarce. Judging from my own commentary, Washington has a reason to be upset.
Brian Cobb def. Drew Fickett via TKO at 4:44 of Round 1
Marcus Davis def. Pete Spratt via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28).
Sheldon Westcott def. Thomas Denny via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Dhiego Lima def. Jamie Toney via TKO at 2:47 of Round 1.
Curtis Demarce def. Robert Washington via split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29).
Andreas Spang def. Cody Krahn via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:18, Round 1.