Despite MFC Lightweight Championship Win, Graham Spencer Says “My Next Fight Is Definitely Going To Be At 145”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Graham Spencer may have just added the most impressive piece to his trophy collection to date, by securing the Maximum Fighting Championship’s lightweight belt on February 15th, but according to the fighter he has no plans to defend the title. Heading into his recent bout with Mukai Maromo, Spencer said he planned on returning to the featherweight division afterwards, and the fighter hasn’t changed his mind despite having a championship belt for his efforts.
“No, I’m going to be heading back down to featherweight,” said Spencer, when asked if winning the title had made him reconsider his earlier statements. “I was trying to put on a bunch of weight for this fight but I ended up walking to the ring at the exact same weight, maybe even a bit less than when I fight at 145. So my next fight is definitely going to be at 145.”
Although Spencer is not much shorter than Maromo, the Nanaimo fighter appeared to be quite a bit smaller than Maromo via the MFC 36 broadcast on AXS TV. Prior to the bout, Spencer relayed that although the opportunity to fight for a title was appealing, his primary reason for taking the lightweight fight was because he wanted to keep busy.
“He definitely felt really strong,” Spencer noted. “We were at the press conference the other time, and I thought ‘oh, I’m about the same size as this guy’, but then I saw pictures of us standing beside each other and he looked quite a bit bigger.”
Maromo has made his presence felt in the Canadian MMA circuit by showcasing impressive striking skills and athleticism since he turned pro in 2010. The former kickboxer and track star was largely unable to land any explosive strikes, however, and appeared to be fatigued by the second round.
“Yes, but I mean, that’s what I do to people,” said Spencer, who worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Maromo in 2010, when the two fought at a catchweight of 150 pounds. “That’s part of the gameplan and that happened the first time we fought. I knew it was going to happen again.”
When Maromo wasn’t dealing with Spencer’s takedowns and top game, he did fire off some hard knees in his direction.
“He hit me with a really good knee to my quad; it didn’t really hurt at the time but after the fight it sure did,” noted Spencer. “I was expecting those knees; I trained for them. I caught one of them and took him down…My ribs were a little bit messed from TJ Dillashaw beating the crap out of me, so I was trying to avoid taking knees just on my right rib cage. Other than that I wasn’t too worried about him.”
At one point, as round two came to a close, Spencer appeared to stun the feared striker with a hard punch.
“It’s something I’ve been working on a lot in camp,” said the Nanaimo, BC, resident, who once again headed south to Sacramento to train with Team Alpha Male. “Duane Ludwig was showing it to me. It’s like a switch-step right hand. I actually threw it a little bit sloppy because I was tired.”
“In between rounds I was just watching on the big screen and saw him wobbling,” added Spencer. “I thought I better come out pretty fast in the third round and took him down right away.”
The end of the bout came not long after, as Spencer quickly worked his way into north-south-choke that prompted Maromo to tap-out.
“I get that choke a lot on people, but usually it’s on the other side though,” said Spencer, who also reported that he’s hoping to fight on the MFC’s next event in May. “I didn’t really have great position for the choke, but I put the squeeze on a little bit, he sort of lifted his hand like he was going to tap, so I squeezed a bit harder and he tapped out.”