TSN Deal with MFC: "I Think It's a Great Partnership"—MFC Fighter Ryan Chiappe

Leon Horne@@Leon_HorneAnalyst IOctober 7, 2011

"ESPN of the North" is a phrase often used to describe Canadian television station TSN. If you're an athlete in Canada, TSN is where you want to be seen.

The news that Canadian fight promotion Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) has formed a year-long partnership with TSN which will include a replay of the Oct. 7 MFC 31 event involving a main event between Ryan Jimmo and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou was music to the ears of many fighters on the card, including Ryan Chiappe.

"Growing up, TSN was the channel I watched religiously, I'm a big sports fan myself and TSN is obviously the biggest sports channel in the country," Chiappe told Bleacher Report's Leon Horne.

"Having a chance to have one of my fights shown on there, especially with an organization like the MFC, it's fantastic. I think the MFC puts together good shows and has good fighters, I think it's a great partnership."

Chiappe grew up in Prince George, British Columbia and played almost every mainstream sport you could think of until he decided to get involved in the game of mixed martial arts at the age of 26.

It wasn't easy at first, having gone 4-5-0 in his first nine fights, but he has won four of his last five and improved his record to 8-6, looking to make it 9-6 tonight against 10-4 welterweight Cody Krahn at MFC 31 being broadcast on HDnet (it will be rebroadcast in November on TSN).

"I think Cody is a well-rounded fighter, but I don't think he is a rock star anywhere," Chiappe said."The way I fight, I definitely like to bring it and I think Cody likes to bring it too. I think it's a good matchup."

With an 8-6-0 record, many people wouldn't think to check Chiappe out, but the record doesn't do him justice. Look at some of his fights on the Internet, he is a guy who brings it.

Like fellow fighter and roommate Kajan Johnson, it took a major beat down before Chiappe started taking the sport very seriously and now he is winning a lot more than he is losing.

"I got a tripod fracture on my orbital bone... I took a knee, you can find that fight somewhere, I took a knee and yeah, man, it cracked my face in three spots," Chiappe said. "That's the kind of fight that turned it around, you realize if you don't pay this sport the respect it deserves, you kind of get hurt."

Right now, Chiappe is simply curious to see how far he can take his fighting career one fight at a time. He knows it takes a lot of hard work and after training at Georges St-Pierre's home Tri Star gym he realises he has what it takes to make a good run.

Tri Star head honcho Firas Zahabi extended an invitation for Chiappe to join the gym along with his friend Kajan Johnson, but to make the permanent move right now wouldn't be the easiest thing to do.

"Firas took me aside and said to me I'm welcome to join the team," said Chiappe. "The full-time move, I don't know if that will happen right away, but when I do fight, I will be going there for my training camps."

While Chiappe was there, he had the opportunity to roll with big-name talent like Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald. This gave Chiappe an opportunity to gauge himself and realize he has what it takes to go to that next level.

"I got a chance to go around with Georges," Chiappe said. "I definitely got tested for sure. I definitely didn't have any easy rounds, but that's what I wanted and looking back, I definitely think I am a better fighter because of it."

The training at Tri Star gym will hopefully pay dividends this Friday against Krahn. This is a very important fight for his career, but he can't let the pressure get the better of him.

"This MFC fight, I'd be lying, it's huge for me, it can determine a lot of things [for me], but I can't really focus on that," Chiappe said. "I just got to go out and be me."

Chiappe pushes the pace and is an exciting fighter to watch, so if you are subscribed to HDNet, check him out and the rest of the card tonight or catch his fight in November on TSN. If you want to stay up to date on Chiappe's whereabouts, give him a follow on twitter, @RyanChiappe,



Leon Horne is a writer for Bleacher Report and is part of the BR MMA interview team,


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