Last Saturday, the Colisée de Laval received for the first time, a visit from the TKO warriors. The jam packed arena was ready for some action and the word action describes pretty well what TKO 24 about. From the beginning to the end, there were some wars, some submissions, some gritty technical knock-outs, and no boring fights. No fight went the distance, and we even got two disqualifications as a topping for variety in this night of action. Let's recap the action, fight by fight:
Last Saturday, the Colisée de Laval received for the first time, a visit from the TKO warriors. The jam packed arena was ready for some action and the word action describes pretty well what TKO 24 about. From the beginning to the end, there were some wars, some submissions, some gritty technical knock-outs, and no boring fights. No fight went the distance, and we even got two disqualifications as a topping for variety in this night of action. Lets recap the action, fight by fight:
Brian Schall (Jacksons Submission Fighting) TKO 3 (3:00) Krzystof Soszinski (Team Tompkins)
The night kicked off with a heavyweight contest. Schall, billed as a boxer, was brought in Canada to fight champion Icho Larenas, but due to a hand injury, the Canadian champion withdrew and left the place for Soszinski, a behemoth from Team Tompkins that was looking for redemption after being stopped by Martin Désilets at TKO 23. The first round was disputed mostly in the clinch, where Soszinski had an edge on Schall, being more aggressive and occasionally flipping him into the front headlock position to deliver some knees. At one point he even cradled Schall and tumbled him down into sidemount position, to deliver some ground and pound. The round ended in a furious exchange from the clinch, and with Soszinski taking home a 10-9 round.
The second stanza began like the first with a clinch, but was soon to be broken and as if waking up from hibernation, Schall used his boxing and started to be the aggressor. Both were trading shots on their feet, but the American is punched the giant from the outside, long enough for Soszinski to decide changing strategies and getting back to what worked for him, the clinch. The round finished with the Polish Canadian on top, with a mounted position, hammering away at Schall who was saved by the bell.
The third round showed who had more stamina. As they were engaged in a furious exchange of strikes from the clinch, Schall decided to take the fight down, considering his other previous attempts failed, he caught him with a surprisingly smooth double leg. The American worked for a kimura, but decided to pound away in Soszinskis half-guard instead, which turned out to be the wise decision, because an exhausted Soszinski couldnt protect from the heavy charges of the Team Jackson member, which earned Schall the TKO in this very exciting fight. Schalls style is very awkward, unorthodox, but it prevailed against a very strong and capable opponent.
Damacio Page (Jacksons Submission Fighting) KO (Punch) 1 (1:26) Stéphane Vigneault (Tristar Gym)
The next fight pitted another Greg Jackson fighter in Damacio Page, an intriguing prospect with an immaculate record and an eerie gaze, facing off against local jack-of-all-trades, Stéphane Vigneault, who proved himself more than able in every aspect of the game. The young American, according to many, was getting thrown in the claws of Simba. As the bell rang, Page tried immediately to take the fight down, but Vigneault sprawled him back to guard with relative ease. As Vigneault was trying to posture in Pages crafty guard, the American illegally up-kicked Vigneault three times in the face. In TKO it is illegal to up-kick somebody from the guard, if that person isnt standing up. As Yves Lavigne stood them up to warn Page, Vigneault had lost the top position and the fight was starting on the feet again. This time, Page took no time in swinging a wild overhand right that got Vigneault right on the button and as Vigneault fell down, Page ended his night of work with a huge downward punch from the mounted position, which forced Yves Lavigne to stop the fight.
Jay Estrada (Combat Do) TKO 2 (5:00) Samuel Guillet (BTT GAMMA)
The enigmatic American fighter, best known for a victory against Sam Stout in Stouts first MMA fight was brought into Montreal for the first time against Samuel Guillet, a hot prospect from BTT Canada, coming off an impressive win over Lance Gibson fighter Tyler Jackson. Estrada, a renowned grappler shot right away for the takedown, but the very strong Guillet took him back to the clinching position, where he thought he would have the advantage. Sadly enough for him, Estrada took the advantage from the position with a crafty suplex what brought Guillet to his back, to mounted position, which Guillet was able to regain guard from. The action stalled a bit, but Guillet took the initiative and grabbed a hold of a solid kimura that looked like it could end the fight. The veteran was methodical in his escape, rolling out of the guard, getting back up and somehow yanking his arm out of the very tight kimura in very entertaining fashion. The round ended with Estrada back to his guard after a failed takedown, but with no time for Guillet to do significant damage. Estradas patient and patented work from the top position eventually paid dividends as it caused Guillets eye to swell visibly at the end of round one.
As the second round kicked off, Estrada attacked right off the bat with a jab-cross combo that saw Guillet reel back into the ropes. The young fighter gathered himself and got a hold of a clinch to power down the American with a nicely executed fatman suplex. The story of the second round was balance, everytime Guillet attempted a takedown of his own, Estrada used great balance and almost floated over them and landed in advantageous positions and capitalized with effective ground and pound, damaging Guillets face more and more as the fight went on. The damage got so bad that Guillets corner decided to stop the fight between the rounds and give Estrada the win after a great display of experience, patience, balance and ring savvy.
Martin Désilets (Team Legion) No Contest (Double DQ) Ricardeau François (Team Nestor)
This fight was highly anticipated by the fans in the arena because both guys had some history together, a story that started wtih Fritz Paul, Françoiss team mate challenging Désilets over the internet. The impetuous Team Legion fighter gladly took over the opportunity of showing what he could do against Team Nestors heavyweight. Désilets was on a roll, fresh over a surprising victory over the highly touted Krzystof Soszinski and as the bell rang, Désilets charged forward to cut the distance between himself and the ultra tall François who himself started to get his feet going moving laterally around Désilets with his hands high, to deflect Stresss power attacks. As the round went by, Longplay used less and less back pedaling, and started to find his range, tagging Désilets with big jabs, a high kick, some side kicks and even a spinning back kick on the hip. François even got a takedown and some elbows before the bell rung to end the first round. After the end of the round, for an obscure reason, a brawl ensued in the ring and a stool was thrown in by Françoiss corner. As the mayhem and confusion ensued, the commission disqualified both fighters. The word was that Désilets attacked François after the bell and that his corner retaliated, but everything happened so fast that Im not really sure of what happened. The one Sure thing was, this first round was entertaining and I would like to see them duke it out again in a future TKO.
Rich Clementi (Team Voodoo) TKO 3 (4:20) Fabio Holanda (BTT Canada)
This fight was intriguing as Holanda stepped on the scale near eight pounds overweight, moving up the fight in the welterweight division. Both guys took some time before engaging the fight, studying each other looking hesitant, and respectful of each other overall game and reputation.
Holanda started off the confrontation with some takedown attempts, the first two of which were reversed by Clementi into guard, with the American smartly walking away from the Brazilian jiu-jitsu masters guard. It was on the third takedown attempt that Holanda finally got a hold of the top position and even though Clementi tried to stall the action from the bottom, Holanda got good posture and started an effective ground and pound, bloodying up Clementi in the process. No Love got to try an Omo Plata, but Holanda, moving methodically got out of it before the bell rang.
The second round saw Holanda more aggressive, trying to finish this fight. He took Clementi down, who retaliated with a nice heel hook attempt, which was astutely defended by the Brazilian. As Holanda got the top position for most of the round, he had to struggle with an energetic Clementi, Holanda, mixing ground and pound and efforts to pass the guard, eventually landed in sidemount, and began secured a kimura....only to be stood up by the now notorious referee, that I wont even name. Twice, twice during the round Holanda was stood up even though he had been working an effective submission attempt. The frustration in the crowd was so intense that we even saw a bottle of water fly over the ring.
Holanda, who have given everything he had in the second round, started the third with no energy at all. Exhausted, he was able to secure a single leg on Clementi, but that was too late, Holanda was now too exhausted to mount any effective offense and the fight ended as he pulled guard after a last shoot attempt, with Clementi, also exhausted, pounding away on Holanda to get the stoppage. It was an amazing fight, and an amazing war of attrition between both fighters, only sad that bad reffing stained an awesome performance by both contestants.
Chris Horodecki (Team Tompkins) TKO 1 (2:48) Dave Parizeau (Team Legion)
The two fighters promised to stand up and bang with each other, and they didnt let us down as they got into each others face and started to throw bombs at the sound of the bell. As an answer for a low kick, Parizeau retaliated with a right hand that got Horodecki right on the button, the young fighter from Ontario, reacted well though, sending the fight to the ground with a double underhook takedown. On his back, Parizeau reacted quickly and grabbed a hold of one of Horodeckis arms, which was still around his torso and yanked out a kimura which seemed to be fully sunk and painful, but Horodecki succeeded in tumbling over it and out of the ring, granting him of a restart on the feet. This time, looking angry, he started throwing everything he had at Parizeau, finishing a lightning fast combo with another of his trademark takedowns. On the ground he started beating up on Parizeau, passing to mount and to backmount, forcing a stoppage at 2:48 in the first stanza.
Urijah Faber (Capital City Fighting Alliance) DQ (Illegal Kick) (2:02) Round 2 Ivan Menjivar (Tristar Gym)
This fight was as exciting as it promised to be. Faber, fighting a new level of opposition looked nervous early as he flurried on Menjivar, trying to close the gap and get a takedown clinch. Menjivar, pressed to a corner fought the takedown showing great balance and even ended up mounted on Faber, for a short while, but the energetic American yanked himself from under the adoptive Canadian. Menjivar countered everything Faber has to offer in the first. Despite being very agressive, the American found himself against an opponent who was like water and slid between his attacks. Menjivar, after sliding to Fabers back from the clinch went to try his trademark Menji-plex, but well-prepared, the American hooked Menjivars leg and landed on top, provoking an entertaining scramble. The story of this first round was Fabers aggressiveness against Menjivars counter elbows & knees. Faber did achieve a takedown at the end of the round, throwing some GnP until the bell rang, Menjivar defending well, held Faber down and close until the close of the round.
The second round was more of the same with some extremely fast paced action. Menjivar cut Faber with an amazing flurry of elbows from the clinch but as Menjivar sprawled out over another takedown attempt from Faber, the American tumbled away, and Menjivar, getting over aggressive went in with a soccer kick, that sent Faber to his back. The fight was stopped by referee Denis Bourdon, remarking a huge gash over Fabers eye. The stoppage went soon after, disqualifying Menjivar for the kick. It was a controversial disqualification, if was unclear whether the kick landed on Fabers face or shoulder, but illegal blow causing a fight stopping cut should be enough for a disqualification, although it was an ambiguous and difficult call to make for the referee. The stoppage of this exciting fight showed how hard the referee job can be in a fighting sport. Good fight, odd finish, hope to see one again soon.
Mark Hominick (Team Tompkins) Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 3 (2:23) Naoji Fujimoto (Pancrase)
That was an unusual but very good fight. Fujimoto, like a lot of fighter from the country of the rising sun, came in with an enigmatic style, fighting southpaw with his hands low and his chin high. A very patient and focused Mark Hominick took some time to find his range on him but worked his methodical and effective stand up attack, standing his opponent up after each successive failed takedown attempt. Fujimoto, on his behalf had some unorthodox attacks, shooting in for the single leg and sucking himself in for a leglock each time Hominick sprawled him back. Too bad for Fujimoto, there was such a strength disparity between the two that he wasnt even able to pick up Hominicks heel from the floor to put him in a heel hook. As the fight went on, it was more and more Hominicks, as his relentless and disciplined style, sapped away Fujimotos warrior spirit with each passing exchange. In the third round, Hominick decided to take another leap with his gameplan and go to the ground with the Japanese who wasnt threatening with his grappling. Hominick, behind a solid ground and pound strategy took full mount over Fujimoto, who gave his back, and a rear naked choke to the TKO champion who choked him out and assured himself a spot in UFC 58.