In April 2011 when Maximum Fighting Championship switched from a ring to a cage for MFC 29 it appeared to be a sign of the times, MFC finally getting on the same page as almost all the other MMA promotions. Now the Canadian-based company reverts to a ring starting with MFC 34 August 10th. The change to a cage was made in accordance with the regulations in Ontario which require a cage, the one adopted by MFC being dubbed “the Ring” (capitalized). According to MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich, “our fans watching the event live in person have expressed that they can see the fight better in a ring from any seat in the house” so the change back to an actual ring (as opposed to cage named “the Ring”) was sought.
The problem is in a ring MMA is a different sport arguably favoring strikers. Even if the surface is the same size a striker can cut off the ring easier and a grappler has a harder time with takedowns due to lack of hard surface to pin an opponent against. Add to that both the safety and strategic issues involved with fighters falling through, getting caught in, or squirming under ropes and live fans are getting a better view of a different event, a throwback to Pride.
This reverting to an actual ring does not mean MFC may not go back to a cage in the future, there are just no plans at this time to do so.
MFC aren’t alone in the preference for a ring as M-1 has always use one however most other shows that started out using a ring such as Ring of Combat have made the permanent switch to a cage. DREAM even made the switch before that promotion’s demise while fellow Asian show One FC has bucked the trend of shows in that region by using a cage.
MFC airs on AXS TV (formerly HDNet) which so far issued no comment.