The Maximum Fighting Championship has officially signed one of the biggest heavyweight matchups in organizational history for MFC 36: Reality Check.
Canada's top two heavyweights will square-off with an MFC title shot at stake when undefeated hotshot Smealinho Rama meets rising star Mike "The Honey Badger" Hackert on Friday, Feb. 15. The bout will be a highlighted matchup on the MFC 36 card airing live on AXS TV Fights emanating from the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.
The winner of the bout earns a shot at the MFC heavyweight title later in 2013.
"Canadian fight fans have been wanting to see this fight, and frankly, so have I because this is the kind of fight I wanted when we put the heavyweight division back in play this year," said MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich.
"These two guys are exciting heavyweights. They're not going to lay there and smother you. They're going to put on the gloves and just go at it.
"Rama has so much natural talent. He moves incredibly well for a young man of his size, but most importantly, he has risen to the occasion each time and has passed each test with flying colors.
"Hackert demolished Hague in their rematch and left no doubt who the No. 1 heavyweight in Canada is right now. Mike has some of the most incredible hands in MMA today and he can be a very destructive force.
"I have no doubt this will be the best heavyweight fight in Canadian MMA history, and the winner will deservedly get the MFC title shot."
Rama (5-0) has also agreed to a new, multi-fight contract fresh off his tidy first-round submission victory over Ryan Fortin at MFC 35. The native of Albania, who now fights out of Calgary, Alberta, has not been outside the first round in all five of his outings. In fact, his two knockout and three submission verdicts have all come in under four minutes including his test against Fortin which lasted all of 2:02.
Against Fortin, Rama flashed deceiving quickness along with a decent ground attack from a young fighter who weighed in at 260 pounds. He nearly finished the fight in the early moments with a neatly put together armbar, and ultimately coaxed the tapout with a rear-naked choke.
Hackert (6-1) has just one stoppage to his credit, but it came in his most recent and most important fight of his career thus far. Following up on his stunning upset of veteran Tim Hague this past May, Hackert stepped forward for a rematch then promptly put on a striking clinic and took out Hague with a TKO victory at the 2:27 mark of the first round.
The Comox Valley, B.C., product, who stepped in the ring against Hague for the rematch at a lean 222 pounds, has some of the fastest hands in the heavyweight ranks – an arsenal that quickly put Hague in peril in the much-ballyhooed rematch.