CALGARY, ALBERTA, Feb. 1 - Stampede Corral again played home to Hardcore Championship Fighting which returned with it’s fourth show “Destiny” which featuring some of the top talent in the industry. The crowd in the arena appeared to be twice as large as it was for the last show at the Corral and the fans that took it in were treated to a much better product. Very simply, few people gave Todd Gouwenberg a chance at defeating Rogerio Nogueira, who is considered one of the best light heavyweight fighters in the world. If the first round was any indication Gouwenberg proved that he could compete with the best with an inspired performance over the talented twin. The first round was a surprising one with Gouwenberg able to hold his own on the ground with the noted Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt and was able to scramble back to his feet when he was taken down. When he wasn’t taken down he was able to land good shots to the head of Nogueira off the sprawl. Interestingly, Gouwenberg chose to employ a southpaw stance instead of his traditional standard fighting stance and neither fighter really let his hands go in the first round but Gouwenberg did the more damage and appeared to win the round 10-9.
In the second stanza Nogueira was able to work on a head an arm choke on the ground and while he couldn’t finish the submission Gouwenberg may have had some energy sapped from the submission, when the fight went back to the feet Gouwenberg had a cut that over his eye that he pawed at, and that appeared to be the opening that Nogueira needed. He opened up with his hand and landed hard blows to jar the Canadian and used the clinch to punish the body of Gouwenberg who looked devoid of energy at this point. The end came when the referee had no choice but to stop the fight at 4:34 of the second round to close out the show.
In another fight that saw the underdog perform better than most expected, David Loiseau lost a split decision to Jason Day in a close fight that we had Loiseau winning 29-28.
Loiseau was able to get the fight to the ground when he wanted to and controlled position throughout with the exception of a short period in the second stanza where Day mounted the only effective offense of the fight.
Loiseau showed glimpses of the explosiveness he has built his reputation on with an occasional flying kick or whipping elbow but never landed the telling blow that would finish the fight. In fact neither fighter was able to land the telling blow in a somewhat slow fight. In the second stanza Day was able to get off his back and land some solid blows on Loiseau off a reversal but that was the only effective offense he would muster and Day collapsed to the canvas after the decision was announced in what appeared to be surprise and elation.
After the fight Loiseau was said, “I never got robbed like this in my life so it is kind of disappointing you know, [after the fight] Jason got up, he got on his knees and was like “Ahh yeah”, then he looked at me and said “David you got robbed”, he told me himself. But hey, he got the win, you know. He got the win tonight, he was the better man tonight according to the judges. “
Gegard Mousasi looked impressive in a first round stoppage victory over Evangelista Santos in one of the more anticipated bouts on the card. Both fighters felt each other out in the early goings but surprisingly “Cyborg” tied up looking for the takedown. Mousasi easily deflected it however and pulled off a nice takedown off the clinch where he went to work.
From there he was able to tie up Santos in a crucifix and began to drop the left hand down on the face Santos a la Matt Hughes. “Cyborg” squirmed and attempted to reverse position as best he could but with no real defence referee Vern Gorman stepped in and stopped the fight to the very obvious dissatisfaction of Santos and his team.
Santos immediately darted to his feet and pleaded to the referee repeatedly slapping and hitting himself in the face in an obvious attempt to show that he was able to take the blows, but antics or no antics, the fight went into the books as a first round TKO at 3:42 for Mousasi.
Thomas Schulte defended his welterweight title against Garrett Davis but it did not start well for Schulte who got his kick caught and was dropped to the canvas with a hard punch in the opening moments of the fight. Things did not look good for the champion in the early goings as a purple mouse formed over his left eye almost instantaneously thereafter, but surprisingly instead of causing trouble it almost seemed to wake him up and Schulte revved up the offensive in an almost instinctive manner after the blow. Soon after he was able to secure the rear naked choke off a scramble and squeeze his way to the title defence at 1:15 of the opening stanza.
In an entertaining bout Dan “Torture” Chambers was submitted by the less experienced Andrew Buckland via Kimura in the second round of a fight that saw Buckland constantly fighting to stay alive. Chambers looked every bit the more experienced competitor early, taking the mount and the back of Buckland numerous times in the first round and a half, but his inability to close the deal when he had the opportunity would prove to cost him. Buckland was able to secure an amazing Kimura that almost very obviously injured Chambers arm to force the tapout and secure the victory at 3:19 of round 2.
Derrick Noble stopped Brendan Seguin with a left kick to the face followed by a vicious right hand that sent Seguin crashing to the mat late in the second round. Round one and the early portion of the second stanza were competitive with both fighters having their moments, but the bout came to a violent end at 4:34 of the second round.
Randy Couture student Mike Pyle was able to expose a dearth of ground skills on the part of Damir Mirenic en route to an impressive victory. Mirenic has been unable to live up to his potential and after fighting off submission attempts and takedowns for much of the first and second rounds eventually succumbed to a submission for the tapout loss at 1:24 of the second round.
In the fight of the night Myles Merola and Ariel Sexton put on an impressive display of athleticism and will to win and take control of a charged crowd. Both fighters were explosive and aggressive throughout the fight but despite losing the first round, Ariel Sexton was able to secure the fight ending tapout to snatch victory from Merola at 1:08 of the second.
King of the Cage Canada’s heavyweight champion Tim Hague did not have the HCF debut that he was looking for losing to the more experienced Miodrag “Pele” Petkovic via split decision in the slowest fight of the night. Hague was unable to defend the leg kicks of Petkovic who won on the strength of a powerful right leg kick he went to again and again, in all three rounds. It was enough to secure the split decision over the game Hague who limped out of the cage after the first loss of his career.
Nabil Khatib displayed an impressive heart in his come from behind victory over Lucas Rota in the second bout of the card. Rota started off extremely strong knocking Khatib all over the cage with punches and punishing Khatib with effective knees to the face and body. Half way through the round the end looked near for Khatib and a case could have been made for a referee stoppage but Khatib dug deep was able to survive en route to a takedown that would be his saving grace.
Once he got the takedown he was able to employ an effective ground and pound attack to take the second and third rounds via a grinding positional assault and take the decision a win in a great show of heart by the veteran competitor.
In the first fight of the night, Juan Barrantes defeated Babien Cortez via armbar at 2:20 of the first round.
In other HCF news Amir Rahnavardi was scheduled to compete on the card against UFC veteran Solomon Hutcherson but Rahnavardi said that the bout was cancelled with almost no notice when Hutcherson could not make it into the country. He is scheduled to fight again on the next HCF card in Quebec, March 29 where HCF will go east with “Crow’s Nest” which will feature David “The Crow’ Loiseau’s return to fighting in front of his home crowd against an as yet unnamed opponent.