Hardcore Championship Fighting made its way to the Stampede Corral in Calgary, Alberta and headlined with a main event featuring Alexander Emelianenko in a heavyweight championship bout against a fellow Pride veteran Dan Bobish. The mere thought of Emelianenko fighting in Canada only a year ago would have drawn sneers of ridicule but he and his brother, a relative unknown named Fedor Emelianenko, were on Canadian soil for the first time ever. The crowd appeared to be a very receptive one cheering loudly for Fedor Emelianenko when he was introduced to the crowd. HCF promoter Keith Crawford even had him choose the ticket for the 50/50 draw which was an interesting sight to see.
In the main event of the evening his younger brother Aleksander Emelianenko proved to be too much for the huge 300 plus pound Dan Bobish, defending the early shoot and quickly finishing the wrestler with a standing guillotine early in the first round. Dan Bobish tried to jimmy his head free but the Russian held on and forced the tapout to close out the night and take the heavyweight championship belt.
Not much was known about Damir Mirenic coming into the bout other than the fact he hailed from Croatia and that he had good standup. That is why it was so confusing when he dove in for the takedown against pride veteran Gegard Mousasi. Mousasi looked like the much stronger fighter easily staving off the weak takedown attempt and worked his way to the mount position. From there he hammered his way to the referee stoppage victory impressively stopping the young Croatian at 4:46 of the first round.
In the fight of the night Victoria native Sarah Kaufman won the vacant womens bantamweight belt in impressive style dominating almost all of the fight on route to a second round stoppage over the overmatched but game Marquez. Kaufman started off throwing hard punches and Marquez obliged in the early goings but as Kaufman started to catch her with more and more shots Marquez eventually switched to shooting in for the takedown. Kaufmans takedown defense proved to be up to the challenge and then some, stuffing multiple attempts and taking the top position when it went to the mat.
Marquez showed incredible heart, despite eating salvo after salvo of hard punches from side control and eventually mount and the blood pouring out of her face showed it. Marquez gave no quarter getting to the top position off of reversals but the end came in the second round when the referee stepped in to stop the contest with Kaufman landing blow after blow with the Josh Barnett cornered Marquez unable to defend herself at 3:22 of the second Stanza.
In a lightweight title bout, Thomas Schulte applied a triangle choke on Ariel Sexton, off a scramble early and despite being hoisted high in the air and dropped on his head, he held on and finished the fight only 50 seconds in. The slam was so loud it resonated through the cage but Schulte was resilient and was able to win the fight impressively in under 1 minute.
UFC veteran Sean Salmon came in as the heavy favorite against the relatively unknown Marcus Vinicios but the Brazilian fighter showed that he belonged taking everything Salmon had to offer. In the early goings Salmon looked to find the right time to shoot in and take the fight to the ground but Vinicios was able to weather the takedown and get back to his feet. Salmons impressive wrestling credentials would not be denied however as he looked to be the much bigger stronger fight taking the fight to the mat at will. When on the mat Salmon was able to work himself into the crucifix position and hammer away at his opponent in Matt Hughes type fashion. In fact in the post fight interview he admitted he learned the technique from watching Matt Hughes in the UFC. Vinicios was able to fight his way through the round but in the second it was more of the same. The young Capoeira fighter was able to land a solid kick but Salmon was recovered and re-applied the crucifix position and hammer-fisted and elbowed his way to the finish via referee stoppage at 4:20 of round 2.
Ryan Machan was able to secure a kimura early in the first round and powered Brad Cardinals arm so far up his own back he almost touched the back of his head with his fist but still didnt tap out. The limber Cardinal fought off the kimura as long as he could rolling several times and trying to jimmy his arm free but in the end it was Machan who eventually forced the tapout at 1:44 of round 1.
In a three round decision Gereld Lovato was able to take the split decision from Len Tam. Tam was unable to get to the ground enough times to land any serious damage and the more seasoned striker, Lovato, was able to stay on his feet long enough to take the split decision victory.
In the best undercard fight of the night Myles Merola was able to survive a spirited triangle choke attempt from the ground specialist Juan Barrantes, and work his way to an impressive victory. The Canadian slammed his way out of the Barrantes choke power bombing his opponent several times to loosen the grip in an entertaining first round. In the second stanza Merola landed a well timed head kick dropping his opponent to the mat and pounced on his helpless opponent finishing up with a few punches before the referee stepped in to halt the contest at 1:04 of the second round.
Andrew Buckland was able to land the takedown when he needed it most and took the Stand up fighter Lucas Rota off his gameplan to earn the 3 round decision. Weathering the occasional stand up flurry from Rota who looked to be the more seasoned striker, Bucklands wrestling proved to be the difference maker putting in a workmanlike ground and pound festival over three rounds to take the unanimous decision.
Garrett Davis vs. Toby Johnson
Davis showed a much improved skill set finishing the fight via rear naked choke at 3:03 of the first stanza
Tim Smith won a split decision over Mike Rowbotham in a an odd decision. Rowbotham took Smith down at will and although Smith worked hard from the bottom neither fighter was able to land any decisive blows over the slow three round contest. At one point Smith landed a strike to the back of Rowbothams head and was deducted a point for his actions by the Referee yet still won the split decision. The crown showered the decision with boos after the outcome was announced but in the end Smith took home the victory.
Larry Lyttle defeated Steve Hachey via rear naked choke in the first fight of the night
An International flavor permeated The HCF event as 13 of the 24 fighters on the card came from countries other then Canada. Countries represented at the event included Croatia, Armenia, Russia, USA, Costa Rica and Brazil. It is a rare card in Canada that features more foreigners then locals, and the main event of the evening did not feature a Canadian in it and that might not change anytime soon as the promoter of the event Keith Crawford announced to the crowd that both Renato Babalu Sobral and Rogerio Nogueira have both signed to fight for the HCF. Their next event is tentatively scheduled to take place on November 24 possibly taking place in B.C. The event is scheduled to run on The Score.