With Derek Medler picking up his seventh win on Saturday, his time as the top fighter on the local scene should be coming to and end.
That would be the logical progression, said Jason Heit, who is both Medler’s coach and co-owner and promoter of the Armageddon Fighting Championship mixed martial arts league.
Medler won the headliner by submission over Brian Grimshaw in the first round of AFC No. 7: Break Out, at Bear Mountain Arena on Saturday.
Prior to the fight Medler, a 170-pound welterweight, was already knocking on the door of an elite group of Canadian mixed martial arts athletes.
“I don’t know how much longer we’re going to keep Medler, the UFC has to take notice at some point.”
Medler, an ex-Canadian Football League player, is now undefeated in seven fights. On Oct. 14 he was ranked in the honourable mentions list of Canadian website Top MMA News as a potential top-10 welterweight fighter in the country.
“Once you’re in that top-10, six of the top seven in Canada are UFC (and Strikeforce) guys, and he’s only a couple of spots away from that,” Heit said. “Moving a local fighter up to the next level is one of the goals for the AFC.”
However, anything goes in the fight world, and it’s a wait and see game.
As for the AFC itself, fan support isn’t what it was when it started in 2009. But Heit says the AFC’s not about to change its ways anytime soon.
“Overall we’re pretty happy with the fan support but, I’d like to see more people there.
“We have a lot of MMA fans in this city and because there is the support in this city, (AFC) truly is the launching pad for these guys to follow their dreams. For local guys to get to the highest level, they need AFC.
Next to Medler’s fight the biggest hype of the night surrounded Sanjeev Sharma in his first go since he lost his father in a tragic accident earlier this year.
Sharma lost a decision to Dustin Porter and from where Heit stood, Sharma, a UVic student, was mentally run down.
“His training was there but, (on the night) his energy wasn’t there. His weight cut was tough, his opponent had a good game plan. Sanjeev’s been through a lot.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, he’s inspired everyone from the gym.”
Corner to corner
Island MMA’s Karel Bergen defeated Dave Logan (170 lbs.) but not without Heit passing on “mad credit to Logan for stepping up on three day’s notice.” Bergen won by stoppage three minutes into round one.
Nathan Swayze defeated Brad Robinson (145 lbs.), while shoulder trouble kept Tristan Connelly (Island MMA) from fighting a third round against winner Matt Trudeau
Tyler Dolby (Zuma) def. Shane Jung (145 lbs.), by rear naked choke in first round.
Jean Marc de Groot (Island MMA and Fierce Studios) def. James Pratt 130 lbs., by arm bar submission.
Johnny Williams def. Guy Gauthier, (150 lbs.) submission by third-round.
Dillon Brown (Island MMA) def. Ron Pierce, 155 lbs.
Ty Daggis (Canada’s Best Karate) def. Joel Conway, 145 lbs.