Jimmo’s Streak Reaches 16 in MFC 31 Decision over Sokoudjou

By Brian Knapp Oct 7, 2011
Ryan Jimmo’s streak lives on.

Jimmo retained the Maximum Fighting Championship light heavyweight crown with a controversial but unanimous decision over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the MFC 31 “The Rundown” headliner on Friday at the Mayfield Inn Trade and Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Utilizing an experimental half-point scoring system, all three judges -- John Braak, Matt McCallister and Tom Collins -- scored it for Jimmo: 49-48.5, 49-48.5 and 49-48.

Perhaps cautious in the face Sokoudjou’s fierce punching power, Jimmo spun his wheels out of the gate, leading to an uneventful first round void of meaningful action. In the second, Sokoudjou upped his offensive output and delivered the most significant blow of the bout. The Team Quest standout bullied into the clinch, secured a quick takedown and cracked Jimmo with a knee as he returned to his feet, opening a vertical gash on the champion’s forehead.

From there, the exchanges between the two grew more and more sporadic, with Jimmo operating from the outside and Sokoudjou doing his most effective work in close quarters, with clinches and knees to the body and legs. The challenger was the clear aggressor throughout the 25-minute encounter. However, neither man made a clear play for victory as the fight spilled into its fifth round, as they were seemingly content to follow their chosen paths to the final horn.

In the co-main event, Tristar Gym representative Kajan Johnson blitzed “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 alum Richie Whitson, as he submitted the Team Quest product with a first-round rear-naked choke. The tapout came 3:52 into round one.

Johnson (19-10-1, 1-1 MFC) has won 13 of his last 16 bouts.

Whitson (11-2, 1-1 MFC) was never in the fight. Johnson popped him with some straight punches to start, then assumed top position on a failed takedown attempt from the Alaskan. From there, he transitioned to Whitson’s back as he stood and put him back on the canvas with a suplex. Again, Johnson worked from Whitson’s back, mounted briefly and forced him back to his stomach. Flattened out and helpless against the Canadian’s onslaught, Whitson succumbed to the choke.

Meanwhile, UFC veteran Terry Martin won for the fourth time in five outings, as he stopped Allen Hope on first-round punches in a featured middleweight matchup. Martin (22-9, 1-1 MFC) drew the curtain 2:13 into round one, having buried Hope -- a late replacement for the injured Dhiego Lima -- with ground-and-pound.

The two exchanged in the opening moments. However, Martin backed Hope (7-9, 0-2 MFC) into the corner, ducked under his punches and secured a double-leg takedown. The Canadian journeyman never got back to his feet. Martin increased the ferocity and pace of his punches from top position, forced Hope to turn away from the barrage and earned the stoppage.

Elsewhere, the resurgent Adam Lynn posted his sixth straight victory in riveting fashion, as he floored Curtis Demarce with a short counter right elbow and knocked him stiff with a pair of follow-up right hands 98 seconds into their lightweight showcase.

The well-traveled Lynn (17-8, 1 NC, 1-0 MFC) -- who has competed inside the WEC, the International Fight League, Shooto and Strikeforce promotions -- caught Demarce (11-10, 2-3 MFC) with his guard down and made the most of the opportunity. It was as beautiful as it was violent and figures to go down as one of the more memorable knockouts of 2011.

In other action, Zimbabwe import Mukai Maromo (6-2, 2-0 MFC) chopped down fellow lightweight Sabah Fadai (6-2, 0-1 MFC) with a series of wicked leg kicks en route a unanimous decision, taking 30-27 nods on all three scorecards; Cody Krahn (11-4, 1-1 MFC) submitted Tristar Gym representative Ryan Chiappe (8-7, 0-1 MFC) with a guillotine choke 3:45 into round one of their catchweight tilt; the once-beaten James Haddad (4-1, 1-0 MFC) coaxed a tapout from Garret Nybakken (3-3, 2-3 MFC) with rear-naked choke 4:12 into the first period; and the undefeated Dan Ring (4-0-1, 2-0 MFC) took a unanimous decision from King of the Cage veteran Neal Anderson (2-2, 0-1 MFC).

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