Anthony Hamilton Outwrestles Darrill Schoonover to Retain Heavyweight Title at MFC 39

By Mike Whitman Jan 18, 2014
Maximum Fighting Championship heavyweight king Anthony Hamilton cruised to his first successful title defense in the MFC 39 main event, taking a unanimous decision over Darrill Schoonover from the Northlands Expo Center in Edmonton, Alberta.

Schoonover held no answer for Hamilton’s wrestling and athleticism early on, as the champion dumped him to the canvas time after time during bout’s first 15 minutes. Once on the mat, Hamilton picked his shots from a variety of positions and even took the back of “The Boss,” though he could not find a finish.

Well after the horn sounded to end round three, a frustrated Schoonover slapped the champion in the face from his back, apparently taking exception to Hamilton’s forearm being used as a brace across his chest. Though the referee threatened to take a point from “The Ultimate Fighter 10” vet, Schoonover was ultimately not penalized for the act.

Round four proved to be Schoonover’s best of the fight, as the Texan fired punches and kicks more freely as the champion began to tire. Nevertheless, Hamilton sealed his victory with a decisive fifth frame, dragging the challenger to the floor and holding top position to close out the contest.

“Darrill is a really tough guy. I have to be careful standing up with a guy like him, because he has serious knockout power. I’m just really honored and thankful to get the win,” said Hamilton. “I want to make you guys happy and put on an entertaining show. I’m sorry that it wasn’t that exciting, but next time, I promise to give you guys a good show.”

The evening’s co-main event saw Tom Gallicchio submit Kurt Southern, though he was not awarded the MFC lightweight title due to missing weight the day prior.

It was tough sledding for Gallicchio early on, as Southern stalked the Canadian with stiff jabs and hard right hands. Though “Da Tank” managed to earn a takedown in the first period, little came of it, as Southern reversed the position and then continued to punish his rangier foe once they returned to their feet.

The second stanza saw more of the same until Gallicchio turned the tide with a crisp right straight that backed his man up and left him open for a takedown. After landing in side control, Gallicchio then took Southern’s back and locked in a body triangle before securing the fight-ending rear-naked choke at 4:31 of the frame. The men will now rematch on May 9 for the lightweight title, provided both of them check in under the 155-pound limit.

“Ultimate Fighter 17” alumnus Gilbert Smith edged Jason South in their welterweight showdown, taking a unanimous decision from “The Mover” in a bloody, grappling-heavy affair. Smith completed numerous takedowns throughout the contest but was met with a continual stream of elbows from South’s guard in return. The most significant blow of the fight was landed to start the third period, when Smith dropped South with a hard right-left combination. Though the game Pit Elevated rep later answered with a power guillotine attempt, he could not find his squeeze and ultimately came up short on the judges’ scorecards.

Marcus Edwards completely dominated Sean Powers in their 164-pound catchweight contest, pressing the action early and punishing his lankier opponent with ground-and-pound. Though Powers defended himself adequately and escaped to his feet, he was only met with more leather, prompting him to shoot for a takedown of his own. The attempt was easily stuffed by “Bad Intentions,” who quickly took Powers’ back and earned a submission via rear-naked choke with just 10 seconds remaining in the opening period.

At light heavyweight, Sean O’Connell quickly ended Markhaile Wedderburn’s night with a first-round rear-naked choke. Though the American was swept by Wedderburn after securing the fight’s first takedown, O’Connell used a kimura grip from his guard to quickly return the favor, landing in mount and then easily cinching the submission after Wedderburn rolled to his belly at just 1:48 of the bout.

Andrew McInnes scored an efficient submission victory to open the evening’s AXS TV card, hurting Dan Ring with a knee to the jaw before climbing on his countryman’s back and forcing the tap with a rear-naked choke at 2:01 of the second round.

In their 200-pound contest, Jared McComb punched out Paul Grebinski 2:37 into the first round, while middleweight Cody Krahn needed just 64 seconds to slam Clay Davidson unconscious.

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