The first MMA event to be held in Canada since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t disappoint.
MFL 17 featured 19 total amateur fights, 15 MMA and four kickboxing, and was held outdoors, just outside of Montreal, QC on Saturday night.
In the main event, Gordon Cunningham (now 3-0) was successful in dethroning Louis-Philippe Caron (now 1-1) as the MFL light heavyweight champion with a unanimous decision victory.
Despite leaving with the title, Cunningham said he wasn’t happy with his performance, and was also surprised with the fight Caron brought to him.
“It’s definitely not what I wanted, and not what I expected either. He just held me against the fence every chance he got, which I was super frustrated with, but I was still able to do some damage,” said Cunningham in an interview with MMA Empire.
“If his gameplan was to just try and hold me against the fence, in my opinion, that’s not really a championship mentality. Sorry if that comes off as disrespectful, but these people are paying good money in a time where everyone’s kind of struggling a bit. Not only are we fighters, but we’re entertainers. You have to put on a show for these people.”
Now just three fights into his amateur career, Cunningham has secured his first amateur title, albeit in a weight class above his preferred division.
Going forward, Cunningham said he’ll be looking to start competing at middleweight again, and has every intention of claiming that title as well.
“Honestly, I have no intention of fighting at 205 pounds again. But when I was offered this fight with the whole COVID going on, you have to take your opportunities,”said Cunningham.
“185 is my weight class and I absolutely plan on taking that belt also. The champ-champ is coming.”
Morrisson claims back what was his
In the co-main event, Tommy Morrisson (now 7-1) was successful in winning back the MFL amateur flyweight title he once had, submitting Zachary Baldwin (now 3-2) via rear-naked choke, just as the clock expired in the second round.
Morrisson said it feels great to win the title back that he never actually lost, and believes he’s proven he’s the true number one in the flyweight division.
“It feels amazing. I had the belt, but I didn’t want to defend it because I had my final exams, and I wanted to concentrate on that, so I let it go,” said Morrisson in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I came back and took what’s mine, and I feel really good about it. I really think I cleared my division, so I’ll see what’s next now.”
In his eight-fight amateur career, Morrisson has fought at bantamweight just once, which turned out to be his lone loss on his resume.
But having defeated the majority of contenders at flyweight, in his eyes, Morrisson said he has his sights set on adding the bantamweight title to his collection next.
“Of course, I’m thinking about going pro, but not right away. I want to have more experience before I do,” said Morrisson.
“I’m thinking about going to 135 and getting that belt too.”
Gallagher seeing results
In the battle for the vacant MFL amateur bantamweight title, Liam Gallagher (now 5-0) was successful in taking home his first career title, defeating Patrick Arseneau (now 3-1) by unanimous decision.
Gallagher said winning the title means a lot to him, and said it’s proof all the hard work he’s been putting in for years is starting to pay off.
“It’s a great feeling. It’s something I’ve been working towards for a long time. I’ve put in countless hours with my coaches, days, weeks, months, and years of working in this sport,” said Gallagher in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’m just happy it’s paying off, and it’s just another chapter in a long book.”
With everything surrounding MMA in Canada still uncertain with COVID-19 still restricting many events, Gallagher said he’ll be looking to stay active in the amateur ranks, if MFL continues to run events, before aiming for his professional debut in 2021.
And when informed of Morrisson’s plans of moving up to bantamweight to compete for the title, Gallagher said he more than welcomes it.
“Tell that little man to come up to 135; I’ll punch him around,” said Gallagher.
In other MMA action, Alejandro Alvarado-Jimenez, Charles Azoulay, Olivier Poisson, Kevin Ostiguy, Luke Roberts, Innokentiy Perelmutov, Zak Raymond, Nikita Ponomarenko, Jo Gauthir, Geran Buckner, Mohammad Safa, and Alex Moher were all also victorious. Asher Alfieri, Jonathan Ramundi, Nick Gallipoli, and Etienne Gagne took home wins in their kickboxing bouts.