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–Kenny Rice Inside MMA Anchorman

It it roughly 1479 miles (2380 km) from Edmonton, Alberta to Tucson, Arizona. Until recently it could’ve been Earth to Mars as far as any civility or basic negotiations between Maximum Fighting Championship owner Mark Pavelich and fighter Drew Fickett were concerned. A war of words, innuendoes and border line threats put their entire relationship on Uranus.

Time changes, needs develop. The feud  going on since  July 25, 2008 when Pavelich screamed, literally, that  Fickett reneged on a deal to fight Ryan Ford for the MFC welterweight title opting for a Strikeforce stint instead, has reached a deal beyond amicable. Fickett will not only fight in the MFC on February 25 live on HDNet, he will go to Canada for a title shot against champion Antonio McKee.

Fickett told us on Inside MMA that Pavelich is “my kind of guy. He lays it out there. I just want to fight that’s all I want to do.”

Pavelich reciprocated to HDNet as he prepares for MFC 28, “I’m excited about it, we got the bugs worked out. Drew has a great future in Maximum Fighting Championship.”  Light years from the F-bomb tirade voice message he left Fickett’s agent those now long years ago.

Their planets have finally aligned,safely nestled into the Sea of Tranquility for the moment because of the basics of MMA attrition.

Fickett who began his pro career in 1999 reeling off a 12-0 record and has amassed a very solid run with wins over Josh Koscheck, Dennis Hallman, Kenny Florian and Carlo Prater (twice) has run out of paying promoters. He’s fought in the UFC, Strikeforce, XFC,ROF,KOTC, Cage Rage, even our own short lived HDNet Fights. He’s still viable, respected and recognized. But where to go for a talented fighter deserving respectable pay?

The ebullient Pavelich has long prided himself, and rightfully so, in not settling for a second class label. He’s not going to compete with the UFC or Strikeforce overall but he does stack an entertaining, competitive card consistently satisfying to almost any MMA fan.  He’s done that by never settling, always looking to bring in fighters from all over the U.S., Europe occasionally and stock up on outstanding local talent.

He couldn’t let the methodically gifted tactician  McKee grind out (even with that first round TKO of Luciano Azevedo in his last defense ) another win.  He had to have Fickett’s caliber in that ring. Fickett responded on Inside MMA in Pavelich fashion predicting he will finish the fight early.

In a parallel universe Pavelich is that orbit’s Dana White, only with hair. He can be charming, profane, contradictory, controlling, impulsive but above all smart. Fickett is a wise move to make, buzz is created— a prodigal son who was never home to start with but is some way coming back to fight for it all. From hate to love, always a sell.

Fickett concedes he’s a different man now thanks to two- and- half- year old daughter Thalia. “I’ve grown up since then (the ’08 contract debacle). I have changed in my outlook on it all because of her.” McKee even discussed his  own expereicnes with his daughter on Inside MMA, relating to Fickett evolving in parenthood. The stars of MMA world briefly sparkled for them.

Forget, not a chance. Forgive, if the money is right and both parties gain. This is the real MMA world. And in the galaxy of the MFC the distance is void, it is a peaceful orbit, for now.

Don’t miss the Mark Pavelich and Drew Fickett sitting next to each other on the panel  joined by Kenny Rice, Bas Rutten, and Ron Kruck on Inside MMA.  Tonight at 8:00 PM ET.  Only on HDNet!

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