Successful Unified MMA doubleheader concludes the year for Canadian MMA

It was a busy couple days this past weekend for the folks at Unified MMA.

Canada’s leading MMA promotion held Unified MMA 48 in Toronto, Ont. on Friday night followed by Unified MMA 49 back in Edmonton, Alta. on Saturday night.

In the Unified MMA 48 main event, Shane Campbell (now 21-8) picked up his sixth victory in a row, along with the Unified MMA 165-pound title, after submitting Darren Smith Jr. in the fourth round.

It was one-way traffic for Campbell for the entirety of the fight up until the finish with Smith Jr. displaying incredible heart and toughness.

“He took some hard shots and didn’t want to go down at all. There’s no one I should be fighting at this level that’s an easy walkover,” said Campbell in his post-fight interview.

In the co-main event, Scott Hudson (now 14-5-1) extended his winning streak to seven fights with a unanimous decision win over Austin Tweedy in a three-round war.

Hudson said Tweedy was one of the toughest opponents he’s ever faced and was pleased overall with the end result.

“I was really taken back with how quick he was. His hands were really fast and he was just really quick. I knew he was going to be fast, but I didn’t realize he was going to be that fast. He dropped me in the first round with what I thought was a left hook at the time, but when I went back and watched the fight it turns out it was a right hand, it was a missile. So that’s how fast he was; I thought I got hit with a left, but it was a right. I was able to gut out the rest of the first round, defended his choke, he got on my back and was kind of holding on for dear life. When I went back and watched the fight, I was defending better than I thought I was,” said Hudson in an interview with MMA Empire.

“In the second round, I started turning it around a little bit, turned on the jets. I was having success in the clinch, so I tried to keep going back there. The guy is so tough; I don’t think I ever had this happen before where I hit him with some big shots, some big elbows, some big knees and my elbows were getting so sore that I didn’t know if I could keep throwing them. That’s how bad it was. I was like how is this guy still standing?

Hudson continues to rack up the wins on the regional scene, all against top-level opposition, but has yet to receive a call to one of the bigger promotions.

Hudson said he continues to do everything in his control to get signed and feels like he’s proved he belongs in one of those bigger promotions.

“I’m not really sure what Unified wants to do or what their schedule is like in the new year. I’m not against fighting for Unified again, but I haven’t put a lot of thought into it yet on whether I’m going to sit and wait for an event (UFC) to come to Canada,” said Hudson.

“At one point a few years ago, they told us ‘we’re not in interested in signing Scott outright right now, but get another win.’ Then it was another win, and then another win, and then another win. I can only control what I can control. I’m not UFC or bust either. I want the chance to fight top, top, top guys. I’ve shown what I’m capable of to fight guys with big records. As far as proving what I’m capable of, proving the level I’m able to compete at, there shouldn’t be any questions. I’m really one of the only guys that haven’t got their shot yet. There’s lots of guys who got their shot and it didn’t work out or had careers and are done now, but I still feel like I’m kind of waiting my turn.”

In the Unified MMA 49 main event, Ty Flores (now 10-4) silenced the hometown crowd, taking the unanimous decision over Graham Park.

Flores said there was some adversity to overcome during the fight due to an inadvertent eye poke, as well as some in-fight adjustments he made that led to the decision.

“Game plans kind of altered. I feel like I was one to strike more, he was one to wrestle more, but we flip-flopped,” said Flores in an interview with MMA Empire.

“In the very first wrestling exchange when I was defending it, I don’t think he did it on purpose but he poked me in the eye and I couldn’t really see until the third round. I felt like my left eye was underwater. In the second I took him down again and couldn’t really see too much in the third. My nose got split open, I had to make adjustments in the fight, but I think it went well overall.”

The bout was initially supposed to be for the Unified MMA light heavyweight title, but was changed to a three-round non-title fight due to Flores missing weight.

This was the first time in his career Flores missed weight and he said it was a scenario that could’ve been prevented.

“Everyone was being really pissy about it. I haven’t gone back and watched the fight yet, but everyone told me the commentators were biased as shit. If you want me to make weight, when I ask you weeks before to book me a flight on the Wednesday. I wasn’t supposed to get in until Thursday evening and then it got delayed and I didn’t get in until Friday morning. I don’t know if you’ve ever flown and tried to cut weight but you retain water weight. I asked weeks ago for them to book we a flight on the Wednesday, at least, or the day before, and they didn’t do it. I didn’t get in until Friday morning, then they lied and said the hotel doesn’t have a hot tub. It does have a hot tub. I tried to go to a different gym; the hotel wasn’t helpful at all. They wouldn’t give us the comfort to cut weight, all of this shit. I didn’t even get to start cutting until around noon. I never even got to meet the promoter, no one says anything to me,” said Flores.

“They didn’t even tell us what time we had to be at the venue. I didn’t even find out I was having a three-round fight instead of a five-round fight until I happened to hear the commentators talk about it two fights before mine. If they want me to make weight, maybe don’t book me an international flight that gets in the morning of fucking weigh-ins. I’ve never missed weight before and I know it’s a big issue, it would’ve been a fun fight to do for five rounds, but they can blame themselves for that. If they want to talk shit about it, you book an international flight and try and cut weight the same day. Now I have to go back to my team, my team’s pissed at me. I’m not looking forward to going back and facing my coach, Vinny, and he’s going to chew my shit off. I’m not trying to put the blame on anybody, but I did the best I could. Then, they only gave me an extra half hour after instead of an hour. They want to bitch about it, but you couldn’t be anymore against me from the start, which I get. I’m the American.”

In the co-main event, Tim Smith (now 17-12) overcame some tough moments early in the fight to storm back and earn the TKO stoppage of Nick Hrabec in the second round.

Smith said while he still has some areas to work on, he’s happy with his overall performance and with the result.

“It was a great fight, I just rewatched it on Fight Pass. I definitely still have a lot of improving to do and tightening up, but I’m happy with the win,” said Smith in an interview with MMA Empire.

“Nick was a tough fight, he did a lot of good things. I’m just happy to have a good win over a tough, skilled, up-and-coming opponent.”

Prior to his layoff in 2013, Smith was the Unified MMA lightweight champion and never lost that title in a fight. He was stripped of the title due to inactivity.

Smith said one of the main reasons for his comeback was to get his title back, which remains the goal for him after this win.

“My whole comeback was to get my 155 title back. If that’s what’s next, I definitely want to take it, whoever’s holding I’ll fight whoever has it, or if they vacate it, whatever the situation is. If I’m next in line for it, I’m taking that fight. If I have to go through a couple more people first, I will,” said Smith.

“That’s definitely my goal right now, to get that belt back. Whatever I have to do to get it I’m going to do.”

To view the fulls results for both cards this past weekend click here.

Fight recap brought to you by Lisa McInnes – Verico Paragon Mortgage Inc.