UFC veteran Ivan "The Pride of El Salvador" Menjivar continued to roll and rack up the victories with an impressive showing against the game Joe Lauzon at Apex 2 "Undisputed" in Montreal, Quebec. Our newest writers bring us the report.
Mike Hong (Burlington BJJ) (0-0-1) DRAW (19-19/19-19/18-18) Nino Bezerra (BTT Canada) (0-1-1)
From the opening bell, Hong surprised with crisp combos with his hands that rocked Bezerra from the outset. Being a little over-enthusiastic though, Hong delivered a knee to Bezerras groin, that floored the Brazilian native, and broke Hongs rhythm. The first round looked a bit like an exchange of illegal shots between the two young fighters as Bezerra got in a kick when Hong was down, and Hong got a headbutt in Bezerras guard. First round looked to be Hongs, he got his hands to work and placed some big combos that made Bezerra pull guard a few times and we also saw Hong, standing up, and kicking Bezerras legs while the Fabio Holanda protegé was on his back.
Second round was very different however, Bezerra came in more aggressive with his kicks, keeping Hong on the outside. Bezerra tagged Hong with many high kicks and push kicks that made Hong more insecure about going inside and that change in the game plan made Bezerra more secure about going in for the takedown. Hong defended the single leg brilliantly, almost sinking in a kimura on the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, but most of the time ended on the bottom, getting some huge elbows to the face by Bezerra. After a hard fought first round, Bezerra brought the heat to his opponent and clinched the round to end up with a draw. Both fighters seemed satisfied about the results.
Nabil Khatib (Team Bushido) (1-0-0) TKO 1 (4:38) Sébastien Poirier (Wrecking Gym) (0-1-0)
I had some concerns about the weight of the fighters coming into this fight and my concerns were verified after Ive saw a much larger Khatib entering the ring eleven pounds heavier than Sébatien Poirier. So the fight started and right off the bat, Khatib revealed himself to be the much stronger of the two, lifting him up from the clinch and putting him back down in his guard, and started to punch his ribs. Poirier defended himself really well despite the weight difference and he got some right hands in, some knees from the clinch and multiple takedowns on Khatib. On the other part, Khatib looked to have made a smooth transition from kickboxer to mixed martial artist. Despite the multiple double leg takedowns by Poirier, Khatib kept getting back up, so Poirier eventually tried to pull guard, but ended up being slammed on his back for his efforts. The fight was stopped shortly after, when Khatib caught Poirier straight on the jaw with a punch, while Poirier was in his guard. The ending was premature, but Khatib, the much larger man, was getting the upper hand anyway.
Wojtek Kaszowski (Warrior MMA) (1-0-0) MD (49-45/47-47/47-46) Serge Lafond (Team Bergeron (1-1-0) (Kickboxing)
Im no expert at analyzing kickboxing , but heres how it went. Right from the start, Kaszowski made his size come into play and pushed Lafond into the corners, showing good agility and spectacular kicks. Lafond tried to wear down the stronger man with his punches and with clinching, but Kaszowski paced himself and always brought the fight to Lafond even dropping him with a punch in the third round. Team Bergeron claimed it was an elbow, but the fight still went on. Lafond ended with a strong fifth round, but it was too little too late, and Kaszowski won the majority decision.
Kevin Knabjian (Gilbert Grappling) (1-0-0) Submission 1 (Kimura) (0:55) Randy Newell (Alliance) (0-1-0)
This was a very short, but action packed fight. Both guys came in to trade for the first seconds, but after getting tagged, Newell changed his mind and got the single leg takedown. Knabjian got his opponents back, but Newell brushed him off and they started back on their feet. Newell shot again for the single leg, but Knabjian got the kimura and fell to his guard, breaking Newells arm and ending the fight in the process. Great display by both guys, but Newells arm was an ugly sight in the end and Knabjian went home with the « W » on his record.
Sean Ragnitz (Ronin MMA) (0-1-1) DRAW (19-19/20-18/19-19) François Flibotte (Team Union) (3-2-1)
Right off the bat, Ragnitz connected with many leg kicks that seemed to hurt Flibotte. The Team Union representative tried everything to take the fight to the ground, but Ragnitzs wrestling skills were too much for him. Flibotte ended up pulling guard, with Ragnitz hitting him from the top and Flibotte ended the first round on top due to Ragnitz failing a guillotine attempt. The round ended with Flibotte finally getting the dominant position he was looking for.
The second round saw Flibotte coming back into the fight with some accurate jabs and some more aggressive boxing. Ragnitz seemed more hesitant to engage, but kept the leg kicks going, battering Flibottes front leg. Ragnitz compensated the lack of aggressiveness standing up by shooting some nice double leg takedowns, but from his back, Flibotte caught him with a guillotine and a kimura, endangering the Ottawa fighter. Ragnitz stayed calm, weathering the storm, but it was too late, Flibotte won the second round and the fight was ruled a draw. Ragnitz wasnt sour about the decision and declared that it was a part of the game.
Rowan Cunningham (Abahaya/Alliance/Joslin) (1-0-0) Submission 1 (Rear Naked Choke) (2:00) Éric Beaulieu (BTT Canada) (5-6-0)
I thought this fight would be a war, well I was wrong. Both guys started off clinching and looking for the takedown that would give them get the dominant position on the ground. Finally, Cunningham scored the takedown with a very impressive Judo shoulder throw (Seio-Nage) that totally surprised Beaulieu. Cunningham wasted no time getting side mount, mount and backmount on an overwhelmed Beaulieu, and finished him off with a rear naked choke at the two minutes mark. Very impressive debut for Cunningham who quickly finished a rugged veteran.
Martin Grandmont (Team Bergeron) (2-1-0) TKO 1 (5:00) Éric Lacelle (Hawkesbury) (0-2-0)
Grandmont felt that this rematch was not necessary from the start and was about to prove it. The kickboxer started his demolition enterprise few seconds in the first round, blasting Lacelle with powerful hooks and uppercuts. Grandmont soon launched some kicks in his flurries to the great pleasure of the crowd that quickly got up to chant his name. Lacelle desperately worked for the takedown, but Grandmonts work with Revolution BJJ in Montreal paid off and he took mount on Lacelle. The fight got back up to the roaring crowds pleasure where Grandmont continued the onslaught and opened up a huge cut on Lacelles face, making the Ontario fighters face a bloody mess. Finally, the bell rang and Lacelles corner threw in the towel, preventing him from getting more punishment. Great performance from Grandmont, who should take his place on the local welterweight scene.
Nuri Shakir (Team Elite) (7-10) UD (30-26/29-28/29-28) Steve Berger (Vaghi Jiu-Jitsu/Jones Boxing (15-13)
This anticipated rematch started off with Shakir testing Berger with a few low kicks and quickly jumping in for some clinch work. That was the story of the fight quite honestly. Shakir got double underhooks and struck Berger with many knees to the ribcage and to the tights that wore the UFC veteran down. Shakir didnt give Berger one inch to maneuver and even scored a nice Judo throw (Uchi Mata) at the end of the first round that made the crowd roar.
The second round was more of the same and Shakir got some knees in and even a great upwards elbows in close quarters. Shakir let his hands fly a bit more and tried two Judo throws again (Harai Goshi) but ended up having his back almost taken by Berger who didnt do much in the rounds, but throw a few dirty boxing combos and some well defended takedown attempts.
Shakir was way more fatigued in the last round and Berger made the most out of it. He finally got some dirty boxing in, bullying Shakir around. Shakir did score a huge Harai Goshi throw to the pleasure of the crowd, but the third round was Bergers who almost secured a mount in the end of the fight but it was too late though for Berger, Shakir goes home with a hard fought well deserved decision.
Claude Patrick (Toronto) (3-1-0) Submission 1 (Rear Naked Choke (3:26) Mandela Kponou (Dragons Lair) (4-3-0)
Patrick wasted no time with his American opponent, shooting for a well executed double leg takedown right away that tumbled Kponou to the mat. Patrick started to work his magic as he patiently waited for openings while mercilessly hitting Kponou with hammerfists and elbows from sidemount. Soon enough he took full mount and started raining some very heavy punches and elbows to Kponous face. Kponou tried a gutsy reversal, but ended up giving his back to the very dangerous Patrick who slapped the rear naked choke and forced him to tap out. An exuberant Patrick stepped out of the ring and jumped in the crowd to celebrate his very impressive victory.
Stephen Thompson (Upstate Karate) (6-0-0) TKO 3 (0:47) Freddie Espiricueta (Mexican Top Team) (3-1-0)
Crowd favorite Stephen Tompson quickly showed a huge speed advantage over the Mexican Muay Thai fighter as he calmly and wisely took Espiricueta apart with some boxing combos and kept Espiricuetas Muay Thai kicks far from him with lightning quick side kicks. Espiricueta lost all his confidence when he realized he couldnt even touch Wonderboy and took a knee soon in the third round and didnt get up from it. Good showing for Thompson who was fighting an overwhelmed opponent.
Ivan Menjivar (Tristar Gym) (17-4-0) Submission 1 (Calf Cruncher) Joe Lauzon (Reality Self Defense) (9-2-0)
As it started, Lauzon caused a big surprise and really brought the fight to the UFC veteran, who gladly welcomed the takedown attempts with some clever defense. Menjivar patiently sprawled and countered any offense that a game Joe Lauzon dished out but ultimately, Menjivar dropped Lauzon with a big elbow. From his back Lauzon got Menjivar in an Omoplata, but the Salvador native defended well and countered with a foot stomp. Lauzon grabbed Menjivars ankle and went for a heel hook, but initiated a leglock game that ultimately ended the fight. Menjivar organized the tangle of legs as if solving some kind of human puzzle that only he seemed to understand, and solved the riddle with a calf cruncher that tapped Lauzon out. A good representative for the sport, Menjivar had a speech about people supporting the sport and had a great showing from a great ahtlete. Whats next for him?