Mark Pavelich Hypes MFC 38 & Talks About Anthony Birchak and Smealinho Rama
By Bryan Levick
With MFC 38 taking place this Friday October 4th Pavelich has gone into full promoter mode and is pushing this card with the same passion he pushes his athletes and his organization. To say he’s been all over the place is really putting it mildly.
“I’m in the weeds sitting in my office with camouflage on my face,” Pavelich told Alchemist Radio. “I have a helmet on, it’s insanity. If I had an ounce of athleticism myself I’d be world champion at anything I wanted to be.”
Last week we had Anthony Birchak on as a guest on Alchemist Radio. The Tucson, AZ native will face Tito Jones in the main event for the opportunity to become the first ever MFC bantamweight champion. Birchak’s girlfriend had just given birth the day before and he attended the funeral of one of his best friends the day we spoke to him. Regardless of the situation he was ready and willing to give us a great interview. Combine his dedication with his athleticism and charisma and you have yourself a star.
“If I had 10 Birchak’s I would be the number two organization in the world,” said a confident Pavelich. “I’m not kidding! I can’t be the number two organization in the world because of finances. If I had 10 Birchaks it would subside because not only can he fight, he can also promote the fight. That’s very rare in our industry and he understands the promotion aspect.”
“I think Tito is really good, but I don’t think he can sell fights. I don’t think he can promote fights and that’s what it’s going to take in our organization to get to the next level. My goal is to get a lot of people to see what Birchak is doing and do lots of that. If they did then that would change immensely because you have a lot of guys that just don’t get it.”
Pavelich went on to explain the difference between a guy like Birchak who is constantly willing to do what it takes to make himself successful and help the promotion he fights for. Judging by the one conversation I had with Birchak, it was easy to understand what Pavelich was talking about. On the other hand you have fighters who aren’t willing to go that extra mile and those are the guys Pavelich can do without.
“There are guys who have Nick Diaz-it is. Here you have a guy like me who is very grateful for being the owner of the MFC and I get to do something I obsessively love. People disrespect that by not wanting to do interviews or show up on time for weigh-ins and press conferences.”
“Honestly, I don’t care how good of a fighter you are, people don’t understand my side sometimes, they see some guy get cut after missing weight by 7lbs and they say I lost my mind again. I’m like really, do you want me to start letting stuff like that go? Then I can’t charge people $600 to sit in the front row at an MFC event anymore. Then I can be like everyone else and let all the crap fly and charge $20 to get in. I’ll be broke by the end of next year. That’s why I’ve stayed in business, because I’ve ran this like a business. I’ve never run this like an MMA organization. If I did I would’ve been out of business by now.”
Not only will the first ever MFC bantamweight champion be crowned at MFC 38, there will be a new heavyweight champion and the middleweight title is up for grabs as well. Offering three title fights is certainly a way to draw fans in to watch your product. Pavelich didn’t want to stop at three title fights; in fact he had much more in mind and still does.
“They had to stop me because I wanted to do six (Title Fights),” Pavelich stated. “They had to jump on me and say stop Mark that’s enough! We started with one and got up to three and I was like why don’t we do five? No one had ever done it before, so let’s do five, but they have to be legit and the opponents all have to make sense. They said no, that’s enough, but I’m going to do it. It’s going to happen next year. I’m going to have a show with five title fights and I won’t be cheesy and call it the Night of Champions either!”
The last time we had Pavelich on Alchemist Radio was right before MFC 37 in May. The main event of that card was a heavyweight title fight featuring the undefeated Smealinho Rama vs. Chris Barnett. Unfortunately Barnett suffered an eye injury and the bout was canceled. Pavelich was very high on Rama back then and was even more so this time around. Rama will look to capture gold when he faces Anthony Hamilton at MFC 38.
“I just call him Mr. Rama because I don’t want to screw up his first name,” Pavelich jokingly said. “The kid is 6-0; he’s 21 years old and has hand speed like Mike Tyson did. He’s got head movement like Floyd Mayweather and he could care less who he’s fighting. If I told him he was fighting Cain Velasquez he’d line up to do the fight. He’s not just the best heavyweight in Canada; he’s probably the best heavyweight ever from Canada. I think he’s going to get tired of hearing that real soon because I think he sees himself much bigger than that.”
“I saw Hamilton today for the first time and oh my God the guy is a monster. He’s gigantic; I thought he was someone who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers or something. The guy was huge and when you saw him and Rama next to each other it looked weird because he looked so much bigger. Rama didn’t even blink, he just doesn’t care. That’s what people are going to find out about Rama, he’s got tons of game. He doesn’t care where you come from; you’re going to get it.”
Another interesting fight on this card is a rematch between lightweights Kurt Southern and Jonatas Novaes. The two met at MFC 36 in February and Southern was seemingly in control before succumbing to an armbar in the third round. That fight has been clouded in controversy as replays show Novaes grabbed Southern’s gloves and used it for leverage. There is absolutely no love lost between these two.
“We have some real controversy here,” stated Pavelich. “Southern is the best lightweight in the country and the funny part is he was killing Novaes in the first fight. Then Novaes armbarred him and there was some questioning about grabbing the gloves. I hate all that grabbing the glove crap. I don’t care; forget it because this Friday night it doesn’t matter anymore. I told them they should grab gloves, grab shorts and punch each other in the face. Do whatever you want, but settle it once and for all.”
“Southern is a farm boy kind of guy, but he has an undertone to his mentality. It’s going to turn into a street fight, it’s going to be a bar fight, it’s going to be an MMA fight, it’s going to be a mess. I’m telling you right now these two are going to kill each other, one will be at the after party and one will be in the hospital.”