Prospect Watch: Mike Hackert, Joseph Henle, Dhiego Lima and Elvis Mutapcic cruise to victories at MFC 34
August 13, 2012
Stalwart Canadian mixed martial arts promotion the Maximum Fighting Championship packed their 34th event with a handful of bright prospects. With high roster turnover in the past 12 months the MFC has managed to cultivate and sign some top tier prospects to fight for their promotion. MFC 34 featured nearly a half dozen MMA prospects that could compete for the UFC or Bellator within the next year.
The top prospect booked for MFC 34 was four star middleweight Elvis Mutapcic (11-2). The 26 year old Mutapcic was paired with Idaho fighter Jacen Flynn (10-3) in a fight that would last a little over 90 seconds. Riding a three fight win streak, that includes a win over recent Ultimate Fighter Brazil winner Cezar Ferreira, Mutapcic wasted little time and effort to dispatch of Flynn.
The Iowa fighter opened his bout with Flynn with a right hand and kick combo that put his opponent on the defensive. Moments later Mutapcic dropped Flynn with a knee and finished the bout with punches to the head. The official time of the TKO was the 1:39 point of round one in favor of Mutapcic.
A brawling Midwest striker with an underrated ground game Mutapcic is due for a shot in the UFC or a Bellator tourney. Mutapcic brings an exciting style into he cage and has the talent to compete in a larger MMA organization. Look for Mutapcic to be called up to the big show sometime in the next six months pending on how long he signed with the MFC.
In the 2012 middleweight prospect rankings Mutapcic comes in at number nine according to ULTMMA.com.
Brother of current Bellator star Douglas, Dhiego LIma bounced back with a nice win after his first pro defeat at MFC 32. Lima calmly picked apart veteran Nick Hinchliffe (19-9) over the course of their 15 minute fight. Lima swept the scorecards with a 30-27 showing across the board versus Hinchliffe.
The decision victory was Lima's first win that went the distance. Only 22 years old Lima remains a rising welterweight prospect and needed to get back on the horse after a loss to Strikeforce vet Nathan Coy back in January. Rated as a four star welterweight with a high ceiling, Lima has developed nicely under the MFC banner and remains on track to become a big time free agent signing once he gains more in-cage experience.
Lima is rated as the number 13 unsigned welterweight prospect in MMA per ULTMMA.com and has the raw talent to be competing at the higher levels of the sport in three to four fights time.
A former cast member on the Ultimate Fighter 11, middleweight Joseph Henle (8-0) is a perfect 5-0-1 since being eliminated from the UFC's signature reality show. Henle was matched up with Alberta veteran Luke Harris (9-2) in the co-main event of MFC 34.
Harris, who came into the fight on a nine fight winning streak, was dropped early the fight with a pair of right hands from Henle. The 28 year old Californian finished off Harris with some brutal ground n' pound and the fight was halted at the 1:57 mark of round one. Henle has gotten the needed big fight experience and wins to warrant a second look from the UFC.
In a division always in search of new stars Henle could provide depth and a somewhat recognizable name to the promotion's 185 pound weight class.
Canadian heavyweight Mike Hackert (6-1) was booked in a rematch versus former UFC big man Tim Hague (14-7). In a rerun of a bout that took place in May, Hackert left little doubt with a first round TKO of Hague. The 24 year old Hackert came out the gates full speed and unloaded on Hague with punching combos and body shots.
A well timed knee dropped Hague and Hackert continued his striking barrage with unblocked punches. The referee would save Hague from further punishment at the 2:27 of round one. After six straight decisions to begin his pro career the stoppage victory was Hackert's since turning pro in October 2008.
A 6'0 230 pound heavyweight Hackert needed both a win over a UFC vet and a finish to warrant looks from larger MMA promotions. Though undersized for a heavyweight Hackert is perhaps the best unsigned Canadian heavyweight in MMA and is now on track for a big league call-up sometime in 2013.
Maximum Fighting Championship 34 results
Mukai Maromo def. Adam Lynn by KO (Knee) 1:26 R2
*Joseph Henle def. Luke Harris by TKO (Punches) 1:57 R1
*Mike Hackert def. Tim Hague by TKO (Punches) 2:27 R1
*Elvis Mutapcic def. Jacen Flynn by TKO (Punches) 1:39 R1
*Dhiego Lima def. Nick Hinchliffe by Unanimous Decision
Jason Zentgraf def. Cody Krahn by Submission Rear Naked Choke 1:15 R1
Derek Boyle def. Dan Ring by TKO (Punches) 0:20 R1
Derek Parker def. Paul Grandbois by Submission Rear Naked Choke 3:24 R1
Smealinho Rama def. Lee Mein by TKO (Punches) 2:49 R1
*Prospect to watch