Ryan Ford, Christian Larsen and Maged Hammo crowned champions on a finish-filled Unified MMA 45 card

Ryan Ford (left), Christian Larsen (right). (Photos by Joel Griffith/MMA Empire)

The judges were not needed very often for Unified MMA 45 on Friday night.

The sold out show took place at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton, Alta. and saw a whopping nine of the 11 fights finish inside the distance.

In the main event, Ryan Ford (now 24-5) became the Unified MMA 175-pound champion, finishing Robert Hale (now 11-6) with a flurry of punches after dropping him midway through the first round.

There was a lot of back on forth on social media in the lead up to this main event showdown, including Hale calling for the first round knockout, but it was Ford who delivered on that front.

“It was beautiful. I don’t even remember what I caught him with; I think I caught him with a back hand to shut his ass up,” said Ford in his post-fight interview.

While Hale did prove to be resilient and tough to put away following the initial knockdown, Ford said he knew the moment the fight was over and he became a Unified MMA champion.

“When he was on the ground moving like a fish. In Edmonton, Alberta we reel those fish in and we eat them.”

In the co-main event, Christian Larsen (now 7-2) didn’t need long to defend his Unified MMA heavyweight title, dropping Grayson Well (now 5-5) 30 seconds into the opening round and finishing him with a barrage of punches.

Larsen said he was pleased with how the fight played out but also praised the toughness and willingness of Wells to step to the plate on short notice.

“I thought the fight went well. I told myself I wasn’t going to chase the knockout or anything like that. He came out with a snappy jab, caught me a couple times. I caught him with his back against the cage and I just knew I could go forward and throw some bombs and put him in trouble,” said Larsen in an interview with MMA Empire.

“The guy took the fight on eight days notice, he’s tough as s**t. Fighters fight and it was good to have him out.”

Larsen has now successfully defended his title twice and was originally slated to do so against UFC veteran Rashad Coulter.

Another name that was also lined up for Larsen was another UFC veteran in Anthony Hamilton, a matchup Larsen said he would welcome next.

“Originally, I was supposed to fight Anthony on this card, but then he lost pretty embarrassingly to a guillotine in like one minute. Then Sunny didn’t want to bring him in anymore,” said Larsen.

“Now he’s just been beaking me off saying I’ve been ducking him and dodging him. Shut up, win a fight, then I’ll come knock you out.”

If the Hamilton matchup doesn’t come to fruition, Larsen said he also has other options for bigger promotions around the world.

“I’ve been talking a little bit to ONE Championship. I think that would be a good fit, but I’m also happy fighting here with Sunny and Unified where I came up. But if an opportunity comes around somewhere else I’ll look at that then.”

In the first title bout of the night, Maged Hammo (now 11-6-1) successfully defended his Unified MMA featherweight title in violent fashion, dropping Neal Anderson (now 11-5) in the fourth round before the referee stepped in.

Although he also earned the stoppage win in the first meeting with Anderson, Hammo said he felt he still had a statement to make in the rematch.

“I wanted to make a point, I wanted to knock him out, and that’s what I did,” said Hammo in his post fight interview.

The results for the rest of the action on the card can be viewed here.

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