Nickels rolls into Retribution feud, ’09 MFC award winner replaces Gouveia for clash with Lewis

Mike Nickels, co-winner of the 2009 Maximum Fighting Championship’s Fight of the Year, is stepping in to replace an injured Wilson Gouveia for a showdown against Dwayne Lewis at MFC 26: Retribution.

The owner of the Colorado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy returns to the MFC fold for the first time since he squared-off against David Heath at MFC 22 last October. A surprising stand-up war electrified the sold-out crowd and earned the nod as the organization’s best bout of the year. Nickels eventually posted the victory, coaxing a third-round submission out of Heath via rear-naked choke.

Nickels (8-3) is a renowned jiu-jitsu practitioner, earning six of victories via tapout. The six-foot-four Denver native, who holds a brown belt in BJJ, won gold at the 2005 Pan-Am Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships.

Lewis (11-5), a product of Fort McMurray, Alberta, and one of the MFC’s most popular fighters, had his seven-fight winning streak stopped at MFC 25 in May when he dropped a unanimous decision to former MFC light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton. Prior to that loss, Lewis’s run of success had included a savage first-round knockout of veteran Marvin Eastman.

Gouveia steps aside due to a back injury.

“I’m disappointed that Gouveia had to pull out but the MFC did an excellent job with a replacement. Nickels is a tough opponent and stylistically we match up great,” offered Lewis.

“But that being said … I will still knock him out.”

Tickets for MFC 26: Retribution slated for Friday, Sept. 10 at the River Cree Resort and Casino are on sale now via the MFC Ticket Hotline at (780) 504-2024 and via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone (780) 451-8000 and MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from “blocked::http:” claiming to be www.ticketmaster.ca.

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