TFC's Mark Sinclair Talks Devastation, Vic Valimaki, Canadian MMA, and Even GSP
Can't wait until UFC 124 this Saturday?
Don't worry about it—The Fight Club's Mark Sinclair has you covered.
The road to The Fight Club's Devastation card tonight has been a rocky one, but Sinclair still can assure you that if you're near the Shaw Conference Center in Edmonton, you can still guarantee yourself that you will get a good night of fights out of the Canadian promotion.
How can you tell it was rocky?
"This [TFC] Canadian Middleweight Title bout has been changed about three or four times now," Sinclair said of tonight's main event.
Originally, The Fight Club's Canadian Middleweight title bout was to be a bout between Chase Dagenhardt (8-1) and Cody Krahn, but an injury sustained in an outside fight caused Krahn to withdraw from the bout and be replaced by Craig "Farmer" Brown (7-3).
Unfortunately, both Brown and Dagenhardt would pull out of the bout as well, with Brown withdrawing after an injury suffered by Dagenhardt.
Nick Hinchcliffe (17-6) would replace Dagenhardt, while Bastien Huveneers (8-3-1) would wind up replacing Brown, who declined an opportunity to avenge a third-round tapout loss to Hinchcliffe at a May event hosted by Agression MMA.
While Sinclair now has a main event featuring two gentlemen who will be making their TFC debuts, Sinclair is not the least bit disappointed with the event that will be headlining the card.
"We started out with guys who have fought for our organization before, of course fighting for a title, and as it turns out I've got two guys that have never fought for us before, but they're both high-ranked Middleweights from Canada and it's a very good fight."
Also, former UFC veteran Victor "The Matrix" Valimaki makes his return to The Fight Club Cage, as he takes on Minnesota native Karl Knothe, who stands at 17-6 inside the cage with ten career wins by submission.
If you're unfamiliar with the record of "The Matrix", that's because the two UFC fights of Valimaki's career were against David Heath and perennial striking sensation Alessio Sakara—and both outings didn't go Victor's way.
After one more loss in King of the Cage, Victor posted a seven fight win streak which was only halted by two straight losses to Martin Desilets.
The last win of that seven fight win streak saw Valimaki win TFC's vacant Light Heavyweight title, with the second loss to Desilets being a rematch of the first, which ended by TKO with ten seconds left in round one.
A knockout by way of a knee did in the former UFC fighter in his last outing.
"[Victor] is obviously a step up," Sinclair said, "he's fought some of the best, and so we'll see how Karl does, but from what I understand, it should be a good fight."
With the array of talent on the card aside from Valimaki, Huveneers, and Hinchcliffe, the event looks to showcase another strong selection of Canadian fighters.
The Fight Club has existed since December 2007 in response to the rise of Mixed Martial Arts in Canada, and Sinclair admits that he's learned how different the MMA game is altogether, but it hasn't stopped TFC from becoming one of the most prominent promotions in the Great White North.
"We consider ourselves one of the top promotions here in Canada...we've got four or five dates set for next year, and we'll continue putting on great shows for the Edmonton fans," Sinclair said.
So what is it about the fighters in Sinclair's group that separates them from other Canadian-based promotions like Mark Pavelich's Maximum Fighting Championships?
"From top to bottom, I think our fighters represent the elite of Canadian MMA," Sinclair said.
When you note that The Fight Club has not only maintained fighters such as these but also young prospects like Claude "The Prince" Patrick, it's tough to try and argue that The Fight Club is one of, if not THE top promotion in Canada.
Regardless of what happens at TFC 12: Devastation tonight, you can guarantee that any doubts of them being a top promotion will be put to rest in Edmonton.
"It's going to be exciting, especially the main and co-main event—I'm really looking forward to those," Sinclair said.
The fight will be streamed on Go Fight Live tonight for anyone unable to attend the event in person tonight.
As far as UFC 124 tomorrow, his pick for the Georges St. Pierre-Josh Koscheck rematch should not surprise anyone at all.
"I don't think there's any question, but GSP," Sinclair said. "I just think he's a dominant guy in the sport and he'll walk away with his title."
After TFC 12 concludes tonight in Edmonton, and after UFC 124 tomorrow night in Montreal, it could be the weekend in which Canada walks tall in the world of Mixed Martial Arts.
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