MFC’s Kurt Southern Ready For Title Shot, Preparing For Tom Gallicchio’s Game “Has Been Good For Me”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Kurt Southern is coming off consecutive wins and avenged an earlier loss to Jonatas Novaes not long ago, the veteran will not be able to fully kick back and enjoy the Holiday break. The reason being that the Maximum Fighting Championship recently awarded Southern with a title shot, as “The Hurt” will fight Tom Gallicchio for the vacant lightweight title January 17th.
“That’s what I was hoping for. The win over Novaes and then to get the title shot was what we were expecting and hoping for,” said Southern, while referring to his first round, stoppage win over Novaes, which went down at MFC 38 in October. “It’s good that things go the way you want him.”
While Southern won’t be able to pack away a ridiculous amount of food like most people will over the coming days, by fighting so early in 2014, he could be set for a busy campaign.
“I know the MFC wanted to keep my active and so far they’ve had me on every single show since they’ve signed me, so it’s been really good for me,” the Saskatoon fighter noted while appearing on Full Contact Fighter Radio. “I haven’t been this active since early, early into my career. It would be awesome to get in at least three to four fights next year again. Four would be awesome…Two in the first half of the year would be awesome.”
“For me it all depends on how your body’s holding up, like health wise, if you’re dealing with injuries” added Southern, when asked if he would like to keep fighting three, four times a year as his career continues. “The older you get you have to take a little more time to recover and for your body to heal and rest, but right now I think I could keep going at three or four fights a year.”
In Gallicchio, Southern (13-4) will face a well travelled and accomplished vet, who recently earned his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. The 17-8 fighter hasn’t fought since May, 2013, when he submitted David Johnson in the first round while competing for Gladiator Challenge.
“I’d heard of him and I know he won the U.S. M-1 tournament a while back and I think he fought in Russia and a couple of big shows there once or twice,” Southern noted about the Team Quest fighter. “But he was a welterweight too, so he’s coming down so I never really paid that much attention to guys like that, but I had heard of him.”
And after study Gallicchio further, what are some of Southern’s thoughts about “Da Tank”?
“He looks like a tough guy; pretty well rounded,” said Southern. “More looks like a wrestler, submission guy; that sort of seems to be his strengths. So we’ll prepare for that.”
“I haven’t fought a wrestler in a while, so it will be kind of good to prepare, it’s always good to prepare for different kinds of styles of fighters,” added Southern. “It kind of brings some freshness to your training, and what not, if you’re kind of working on different things then you have been working on the last three or four fights. So that way it’s been good for me I think.”
MFC 39 will be hosted by the Northlands Expo Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, on January 17th. The main card will be broadcast on AXS TV.