In what could be one of the best cards that TKO has ever built TKO 24 Eruption is set to take place in Laval, Quebec on January 28th with a decidedly different hue. Headlined by super lightweights, Mark Hominick and Naoji Fujimoto, the card is stacked with the lighter weight fighters, a stark contrast to many other MMA organizations that seem to put a premium on size. In this card
In what could be one of the best cards that TKO has ever built TKO 24 Eruption is set to take place in Laval, Quebec on January 28th with a decidedly different hue. Headlined by super lightweights, Mark Hominick and Naoji Fujimoto, the card is stacked with the lighter weight fighters, a stark contrast to many other MMA organizations that seem to put a premium on size. In this card, of the 8 rumored bouts, 6 are set to feature fighters that are 155 pounds or lighter!
The card is riddled with International talent, with KOTC champion Urijah Faber, UFC veteran Rich Clementi, Damacio Page, and Brian Schall making their way from America, Pancrase fighter Naoji Fujimoto hailing from Japan, Brazilian Top Team black belt Fabio Holanda from Brazil, and TKO champion Mark Hominick and UFC veteran Ivan Menjivar by way of Canada, Eruption will feature a good mix of talent from the four major hotbeds of MMA talent in the world. In fact, if you look up and down the card you could very well see some of the top lightweight and featherweight talent in North America. On the downside, there are a few changes as future UFC fighter, Sam Stout is not out of his fight with Jay Estrada due to an injury, stepping up in his place will be Samuel Guillet who was set to fight John Fraser in a lightweight bout. Results courtesy of Full Contact Fighter.
Urijah Faber (10-1) vs. Ivan Menjivar (17-3)
Ivan Menjivar is a well rounded UFC veteran that is not particularly strong in just one area, but is very good at everything, in some ways he reminds me of Georges St. Pierre I that respect. His weakest element I believe is his takedown defense and it showed in his only UFC appearance against Matt Serra who was able to take him down when he needed to and won the unanimous decision.
Menjivar has lost only three times in his career, once to Jason black at 170 pounds, once to Vitor Shaolin Ribiero at 155 and once to Matt Serra also at 155. He is undefeated at 145 pounds, and has competed in Pancrase, TKO, KOTC, and the UFC defeating such fighters as Jeff Curran, Miki Shida, and Joe Lauzon along the way. Only three of his fights have ever gone to a decision.
Faber is a good wrestler out of California with a 10-1 record and is currently the King of the Cage champion, he was at one point the Gladiator challenge champion as well but lost that belt to Tyson Griffin a few months back in his only loss. Faber is a solid all around fighter with good natural skills and an abundance of talent, but faces the best fighter of his career in Menjivar.
This is a very close fight in my mind, and I feel Fabers best opportunity to win the fight is going to be by taking Menjivar down and working the ground and pound for the decision, I dont know that he will be able to finish the fight, but has the wrestling to control the action on the ground if he gets on top as Serra did in their UFC contest. There is one caveat however, the TKO rules dont like inactivity on the ground and that has been proven again and again by the Quebec Athletic commission referees over the years with moderately quick standups if the fighters show any inactivity on the ground, so he will need to keep active to keep the fight on the mat.
Prediction: Faber, I feel that Faber will work well in a cage as he has fought his whole career in a cage while Menjivar has only 2 Cage fights in his life. Faber will use his wrestling to take it to the mat and control the pace of the fight on the ground.
Naoji Fujimoto (4-3-2) vs. Mark Hominick
This is the main event and is going to a great litmus test to see how far Hominick has come over his years as TKO super light weight champion. This could very well be Hominicks biggest test in the TKO arena and a victory over Fujimoto would be a big step in the right direction for the Team Tompkins fighter who has been impressive in his run as champion. Seeing his teammates Sam Stout and Rob MacDonald make it to the UFC in the upcoming Canada vs. USA card must be motivating Homnick to make waves and get international recognition and this fight would be the first step in achieving that. Hominicks game is clear, he is a striker, and a very good one at that. Training under one of the best stand up trainers in the country Shawn Tompkins has honed his stand up skills to one of the best in the world at his weight, MMA or otherwise. Hominick will be looking to keep this fight on his feet and use his hand speed to keep his opponent off balance and at bay.
Fujimoto is a Pancrase and Deep veteran with a very solid game, dont be fooled by his record, he is an accomplished fighter that has extensive experience on the Japanese scene. This will be his first foray outside of Japan and he will be fighting in Hominicks adopted home of Montreal, Quebec where he is arguably the most popular non native fighter in Quebec. Fujimoto is a good ground fighter and follows in the Japanese mold of great submission fighters but has not been able to craft the impressive record that some of his peers have. He will need to take this fight to the ground as early as possible and work his submission game if he is to have a chance to win this fight where Hominick has had trouble before.
Prediction: Hominick, I think he has improved his tackle defense enough to keep it on the feet and use his hands to pepper his opponent into possibly taking a bad shot, his cardio is also legendary and should help him capitalize in the latter rounds of this 5 round contest.
Rich Clementi (23-9-1) vs. Fabio Holanda (2-3-0)
Looking at these two fighters records it would seem that this fight is a severe mismatch with UFC veteran Rich Clementi looking to be a huge favorite over Holanda who has a losing record of 2 wins and 3 losses. I will go out on a limb and say that Holanda is one of the best fighters in the world with a losing record. Holanda is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Murilo Bustamante and is Brazilian Top Teams Canadian representative at BTT Canada in Montreal, Canada. He has spent time as a Jiu Jitsu coach for some great fighters including Georges St. Pierre and is currently on a two fight winning streak after having lost his first 3 fights. Take a closer look at the three fights he lost and you see some impressive UFC veterans such as Jay Heiron, Thiago Alves and Drew Fickett all three of whom are highly regarded welterweights and are fighting in the 170 pound weight class. Holanda is a 155 pound fighter now and at that weight he is undefeated with solid victories over Blake Fredrickson and Kultar Gill en route to his fight with Rich No Love Clementi.
Clementi is a lightweight UFC veteran who once fought at 205 pounds if you can believe it. He is now fighting at 155 and if you are looking to find a success story that started off his career on the minus side of the record look no further then Rich Clementi, who started off his career with a 3-6 record. He is coming off some huge victories, his most recent and impressive victory over Ryan The Lion Shultz who is a highly regarded Lightweight out of Team Quest and is primed to take a stab at grabbing hold of a bigger organization. In his one shot in the UFC he was defeated by Yves Edwards, but since then has gone 12-2.
Prediction: One thing that I am uncertain about is the fact that Holanda has scheduled a fight with Mac Danzig 2 weeks after his scheduled bout with Clementi, I dont know if this is over confidence, but overlooking Clementi would be a dire mistake. Holanda has the ability to win this fight but I think that Clementis wrestling will make the difference, stopping the takedowns and earning him the unanimous decision. However, if this fight goes to the ground, Clementi could be in trouble.
Ricardeau Francois (12-4) vs. Martin Desilets (3-0)
It has been rumored that Light Heavyweight fighter Ricardeau Francois has been vocal on the French forums about wanting to get a chance to take on Martin Desilets in the ring, he will get his chance in one of two heavyweight bouts on the card. Francois has a good record and is a regular on the Montreal scene having multiple fights in the UGC organization where he has a record of 9-1, but outside of the UGC his record is not quite as impressive and sits at 3-3. This will be his chance to improve on that but in his way will be true heavyweight Martin Desilets who is in the 235 pound range and on a roll winning his only three fights in the last three TKO events. Francois usually fights at light heavyweight and the weight disadvantage could hurt him, but despite the weight disadvantage, he will have a substantial height advantage with his lanky and lean 6 foot 6 frame.
Desilets will be shorter on experience then Francois, with only three fights to his name, and as a matter of fact, his very first pro MMA fight was less then six months ago! He is a powerful, aggressive fighter and although he does not have a wealth of experience he is a gamer and has a victory over Krystof Soszynski who also had more fights under his belt then Desilets. Desilts is a heavyweight with heavy hands provided his training is sound could find himself knocking on the door of a thin heavyweight division.
Prediction: I am picking Desilets, who despite being greener, is the much bigger fighter, to take the victory over the taller, lankier Francois in the first round by KO.
The rest of the card looks to be as follows, card subject to change.
Samuel Guillet vs. Jay Estrada
Brian Schall vs. Krystof Soszinski
Chris Horodecki vs. Dave Parizeau
Damacio Page vs. Stephane Vigneault