(A sign outside MFC headquarters reads: “Champions Wanted: Apply Within”)
MMAWeekly is reporting that Maximum Fighting Championships welterweight champion Douglas Lima (18-4) will reportedly vacate his MFC title to sign on for Bellator’s season 5 welterweight tournament. If he does, the Edmonton, Alberta promotion will be left with no contracted champions on its roster.
Earlier this month the organization unceremoniously and inexplicably stripped lightweight champion Antonio McKee (25-4-2) of his belt when it announced that Drew Fickett and Hermes Franca would be fighting for the vacant strap at MFC 30 on June 10. The problem is, nobody told McKee that he was no longer the MFC champ. He had to read the news online that Fickett and Franca were to fight for his belt.
According to sources close to the promotion’s only other champion, Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo’s future with the promotion is also unclear. Jimmo is sitting in contract limbo as he has fulfilled his obligations with the promotion and has not been offered another bout since his successful April 8 MFC 29 title defense against late replacement Zak Cummings. Jimmo is said to be taking some time away from the cage to heal up some nagging injuries and is weighing his future options, but if a recent scathing editorial written by the MFC’s director of media and fighter relations Scott Zerr is reflective of the promotion’s opinion on Jimmo, it’s unlikely the two sides will come to terms any time soon, freeing up the 15-1 light heavyweight, who hasn’t lost since 2007, to explore other avenues.