Looking to keep the kids busy in the basement? The Maximum Fighting Championship has a ring to sell you.
The Edmonton-based MMA organization is moving to a cage after 30-plus shows. Owner-president Mark Pavelich prefers the ring but says more and more local commissions are mandating a cage, which is what the UFC uses.
Ontario is one such jurisdiction that only allows MMA in a cage so Pavelich went that route last April at MFC 29 in Windsor. But he went back to the ring for subsequent Alberta shows, including last Friday's MFC 32 — the ring's swan song.
"I'm done arguing the small points," he said of the move to the cage. "I need to save my energy for the big stuff."
The MFC ring measures some 32 feet across (about 10 metres). The circular cage the MFC will use as of its next show in May spans 30 feet (about nine metres).
Pavelich is asking US$19,500 for the ring, which he had specially made around MFC 12 in June 2007 from Throwdown Industries in Las Vegas. The custom-made ring cost $50,000 to $60,000.
"I went nuts though," Pavelich said. "I bought the best everything."
It was so nice, he added, that Affliction — the clothing manufacturer had a brief stint as MMA promoter — opted to buy a duplicate.
Pavelich has already had offers with others only looking for a ring mat or corner post.
"It's like we were tearing down old Tiger Stadium or something.
he said with a chuckle.
But Pavelich says he is not giving in to nostalgia.
"I had our photographer take a gazillion pictures the last show. It's a shame because I still think it's the best fighting apparatus.
"But I did notice some things even in my last show, that guys were kind of slipping out (through the ropes) purposely now ... Guys were kind of cheating the system by ducking out of the ring."
That forces the referee to stop action and reposition the fighters in the middle of the ring.
He also saw a promotional plus in moving to the cage. Using footage from fights in both ring and cage made for confusing viewing, he said.
Never one to miss a promotional opportunity, Pavelich staged a "name the cage" contest when it debuted at the MFC show in Ontario. That drew more than 100,00 entries, he said, with "The Ring" chosen as the winning name for the circular cage.
The cage, which has been in storage since Windsor, will be used again May 4 in Edmonton.
NOTES — Pavelich is negotiating to hold a show in Houston ... The MFC has cut former lightweight champion Antonio (Mandingo) McKee, Brian (The Bandit) Cobb and James Haddad for failing to make weight at its last show. ... The MFC boss is also returning to managing fighters, although he says others in his organization will act as their hands-on handlers. Pavelich says he has already struck a deal with Ryan Jimmo and Frank Trigg to manage their appearances. "I'm not going to manage fighters inside the MFC," he added.
For more information on the MFC ring, contact MFC@maximumfighting.com