The Maximum Fighting Championship will settle the issue of who is truly the undisputed lightweight champion as belt-holder Antonio “Mandingo” McKee will take on top-rated challenger Brian “The Bandit” Cobb at MFC 31.
McKee (25-4-2) has re-signed with the MFC and the reigning champ will defend his title for the second time when he faces Cobb (19-6), the No. 1 contender who is currently ranked ninth in the world by Fight Matrix. In the same rankings, McKee is seeded 33rd in the world (www.fightmatrix.com/mma-ranks/lightweight/).
The bout will headline the MFC 31 card on Friday, October 14 airing live on HDNet. The location and host venue for the event will be announced in the very near future.
“Antonio is back, but he’s walking right into the fire against Brian Cobb. He talked his way into this and now he’s going to have to back it up,” said MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich.
“Antonio needs to show that he still has a burning desire to compete. That’s been called into question by many people and that’s why for a time he was no longer considered our champion because there was this doubt that he was still interested in competing. Now he has the shot to prove everyone wrong.”
McKee will certainly be facing his toughest MFC test in Cobb, who had a spectacular debut in the organization at MFC 30. Cobb stretched his winning streak to four with a stunning first-round TKO victory over Drew Fickett – a defeat which stopped Fickett’s five-fight winning streak and halted his quest for a title shot.
“Brian Cobb is one of the best lightweights in the world, there’s no doubt about that,” added Pavelich. “His effort against Fickett was sensational –turning the bout around in a split-second and then finishing it in a big way.
“Brian is dedicated, he is fierce, and he is on a roll. That’s a very dangerous combination of factors working in his favor.
“McKee said that he would retire if he was forced to go to a decision against Luciano Azevedo. I don’t think Brian Cobb is going to give him that option. This may very well be a forced retirement.”
Before entering the MFC, Cobb, who fights out of Bakersfield, California, and is the assistant wrestling coach at California State University-Bakersfield, picked up notable career wins over Kazunori Yokota and Diego Saraiva.
McKee, who fights out of Lakewood, California, claimed the MFC lightweight title at MFC 20 with a resounding decision win over Derrick Noble. He would go on to topple Carlo Prater at MFC 22 (non-title fight after Prater missed weight), and then defend his title in convincing fashion with a first-round stoppage of Luciano Azevedo at MFC 26.
McKee also boasts notable career wins over Marcus Aurelio and Edwin Dewees.
Further details on MFC 31 including more matchups will be revealed shortly at www.mfc.tv.