Malcolm Gordon will defend his Havoc flyweight belt against Austin Ryan on Friday at the Prairie Pavilion.
Originally a co-main event, it has become the lone headlining fight on the 12-fight card after Ryan Machan’s bout with UFC veteran Cody McKenzie fell through.
Still Machan says the title fight should be worth the price of admission.
“These guys are a couple of the top flyweights in Canada, it’s going to be interesting to see who comes out on top,” said Machan, also a Havoc co-owner.
Gordon carries a 5-1 career record into the ring while Ryan is undefeated at 4-0. Gordon fights out of Adrenaline Training Centre in Longon, Ont., and won the belt in his last Havoc appearance at HFC 4 on Jan. 31, 2014, beating Michael Davis by submission at 2:16 of the second round.
Since then he beat Chris Kelades at Bellator 114 on May 9, 2014 but is coming off his first career loss at Provincial Fighting Championship 3 in his hometown, losing by TKO to Randy Turner on Oct. 18, 2014.
This will be his second fight in Havoc.
Ryan is a Red Deer native fighting out of Arashi Do ATC and has made all four of his fights in Havoc, but this will be his first title shot. He is coming off a TKO win over Bojan Kladnakovic at 4:42 of the second round at HFC 6. Only one of his fights has gone the distance, a decision win over Keegan Oliver at HFC 4, he has also won by submission over Mike Glover and Robert Nelson.
“They’re both unpredictable, they’re really not great at anything but they’re really good at everything,” said Machan. “They both grew up in the gym, they didn’t come from one style, they grew up learning it all. You won’t be able to predict how the fight is going to end, it’s going to be an entertaining fight.”
Machan, 31, was scheduled to fight McKenzie (15-7), but was suspended earlier this week for 90 days after he was disqualified for an intentional head butt in his last fight against Andrew McInnes. His opponent suffered a broken orbital bone in the fight. Due to the timing of the suspension there was no time to find a top level replacement for Friday.
Machan (23-9) is on a five-fight winning streak and has lost only once in his last nine fights. He was hoping the fight with McKenzie would help elevate his position in the mixed martial arts world.
He has already signed on to fight in a new promotion in Calgary, Fight Night at the Corral on May 9. Though Machan’s opponent has yet to be named, there is the possibility that it will still be McKenzie.
“McKenzie is an eight-time UFC vet and I’m looking at taking the next step to the UFC, so I’m trying to make sure I get the right fights by fighting only former UFC guys,” said the Sylvan Lake native.
There are four more fights on the pro card on Friday, headlined by Devon Neis (5-4) and Grayson Wells (0-1) at 205 pounds, a rematch of their meeting at HFC4.
“Their first fight was really entertaining and it ended up getting stopped because of a cut,” said Machan. “Both of these guys wanted a rematch because they don’t know which is the better fighter.”
Also fights include Trent Rowell (1-3) against Ronnie Oar (0-0) and Zach Chalmers (1-1) versus Dan Juricic (0-0) both at 205 pounds. The other pro fight pits Wolfgang Janssen (3-1) against Mark Maruzs (3-6).
The night will be kicked off with seven amateur fights including Malcolm Tisadle (1-0) against Marc Lanouette (0-0) at 170 pounds, Travis Marshall (1-0) against Daniel Yoner (0-0-1) at 185 pounds, Andrew Marsden (0-2) against Austin Stewart (0-0) at 170 pounds, Simone Villetard (0-0) versus Alix Beatty (0-2) at 135 pounds, Patrick Leblanc (0-0) against Josh Strate (0-2) at 145 pounds, Mike Pyska (0-0) versus Murray Hunter (0-0) at 205 pounds, and Blaine Cust (1-2) against a yet to be determined opponent at 205 pounds.
Though the amateur card does get overshadowed by the pro card, for Machan and co-owner Jesse Fox, it is an important part of developing the brand and the sport.
“To jump right into a professional fight, you don’t know what you’re getting into,” said Machan. “In an amateur fight, there’s no ground and pound, you can’t punch the face on the ground, so it really lets guys get used to being in the cage and get used to being hit and get used to the feeling of having to cut weight and go through all of the motions of a pro fighter but you can’t really get hurt. The rules are a lot safer to protect you.”
There are still a few tables available and tickets available for Friday night, both can be purchased through www.havocfc.com.