Kurt Southern: MFC 38 Win Was “By Far” The Best of His Career
By Kelsey Mowatt
Chances are most hardcore MMA fans in Canada have been aware of Kurt Southern and what he’s been accomplishing in recent years, but more recently, the lightweight has been able to showcase his skills throughout North America. The reason being is that as a result of his current run with the Maximum Fighting Championship, American fans have been able to see Southern fight live on AXS TV, and more recently, stop Jonatas Novaes.
“I’ve seen it myself, first hand,” Southern said recently on Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing the additional exposure he’s received via the MFC and its broadcasting partner. “I’ve fought all over Canada. I fought in Montreal, Ontario, Winnipeg, Alberta, you know, all over the place and in pretty big shows, but I’ve never had this amount of exposure.”
“This sort of thing, guys wanting to get ahold of me for podcasts, radio interviews, I’ve never had that type of exposure before…so I really notice a difference in the marketing level for sure and being on AXS TV. My fiance’s American, and she has a lot of family in the States and they all get to watch me fight.”
Southern made his MFC debut this past February against the aforementioned Novaes, but after moving ahead on the scorecards, he was submitted in round three. According to Southern, however, Novaes illegally grabbed the cuff of his glove “to get the position for the armbar.” Although Southern’s appeal process was not successful, a rematch was booked for MFC 38 earlier this month. “The Hurt” avenged the loss by stopping Novaes in the first round.
“The second time there was a little bit of trash talking going on,” said Southern. “He had an interview and said that beating me was going to be a piece of cake. That’s when I kind of went a little more public with the armbar…and I said he was a cheater, and that he cheated to win the first time…so there was a little bit of animosity.”
Trash talk aside, the win was huge for Southern, as Novaes had gone 8-2 in his previous 10 fights heading into the rematch. The BJJ black belt holds wins over UFC vets like Ryan Thomas and Drew Fickett, and eight of his 11 wins have come via submission.
“It was definitely, probably the best performance of my career,” Southern (13-4) said. “I went out there and did what I said I was going to do. Any interview I had, I said I was going to try to knock him out or TKO him; that was my goal.”
“To go out there, and have everything work that I trained to do, almost perfectly, and to have it on AXS TV, where so many people can watch it, and get my name out there, I think by far it was the best fight of my career.”
Prior to his rematch with Novaes, Southern took on Mukai Maromo at MFC 37 in May, and submitted the punishing striker with a north-south choke. As a result of the consecutive victories, the Saskatoon fighter has positioned himself in the title shot mix.
“That bout was promoted as a title eliminator,” said Southern, who has gone 4-1 in his last 5 fights. “I should be up for the title. I’m in talks with Mark (Pavelich); that was the last fight on my contract, so Mark’s supposed to be putting together another contract offer and I’m pretty sure the next fight will be for the title.”