Serious Eye Injury Sidelines Chris Barnett from MFC Title Fight vs. Smealinho Rama

Due to a failed medical, Chris Barnett has been pulled from the MFC 37: True Grit main event for the Maximum Fighting Championship heavyweight title fight against Smealinho Rama.

An examination of Barnett’s eyes revealed three holes in a retina, and a review two of Barnett’s doctors as well as Dr. Shelby Karpman, Edmonton Combative Sports Commission’s head physician, concluded that Barnett would be risking serious damage to his eyes including possible blindness should he be struck again. Upon the doctors’ verdicts, Barnett has been pulled from the fight.

“I’m disappointed for Chris Barnett, but definitely more so for Smealinho Rama who trained so diligently for the title shot he desperately wanted,” said MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich.

“Rama is such a talented young fighter and on top of that a really good kid. I promised him that he’s not going anywhere – he’s the undisputed No. 1 contender and he’ll get that title shot right away.”

Rama will be paid his show purse for the title bout which was slated for Friday night at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. The Calgary, Alberta, fighter will also be immediately put into a title fight at the MFC’s next event.

“It’s an absolute shame that it came down to this, and it didn’t have to go this way for Rama at all. Had Barnett’s manager Mickey Dubberly been more professional and more on top of things, we would have

been notified at least two weeks ago that there was an issue with the medicals. Instead we find out one day before he’s scheduled to leave.

“With proper notice we could have found a suitable replacement and had the title fight but because of irresponsible management, Rama and the MFC fans have been robbed of that opportunity.”

The MFC 37 card airing live on AXS TV Fights will now see the much-anticipated bantamweight fight between Ryan Benoit and Anthony Birchak move into the main-event spot. As well, a middleweight tussle pitting Allen Hope against Paul Grandbois moves from the undercard to the opening fight on the TV broadcast.

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