Upsets are in, at Adrenaline
The fastest growing MMA promotion in Canada had finally signed the highly anticipated fight between Jens Pulver and Duane Ludwig. The fight that many thought would never happen was finally a reality and the Pierre Charbonneau center was ripe with the excitement that only Montreal fans bring. Would Jens Stand and Bang or would he Ground and Pound? The question was on the lips of everyone in the arena and boy would they ever find out.
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The fastest growing MMA promotion in Canada had finally signed the highly anticipated fight between Jens Pulver and Duane Ludwig. The fight that many thought would never happen was finally a reality and the Pierre Charbonneau center was ripe with the excitement that only Montreal fans bring. Would Jens Stand and Bang or would he Ground and Pound? The question was on the lips of everyone in the arena and boy would they ever find out. The UCC had quietly built up a quality promotion that few would have guessed could have grown to the immense size that it had, in the few short years that it had been in business. Mr. Stephane Patry had built a very solid card that was to many was as anticipated as the next UFC. The only thing that was left was for the fights to be fought and the drama to play out. A rivalry between Jens Pulver and Duane Ludwig had peaked until this moment, and the moment of truth would soon arrive, unfortunately for one competitor, the truth would be a bitter pill to swallow. The anticipation of the event had finally come to fruition and the UCC fans were in for a night that they would never forget.
David The Crow Loiseau Vs Tony The Freak Fryklund
In the another relative upset, David The Crow Loiseau would be able to do what no other had done in the past and that is stop one of the toughest chins in MMA with strikes. Tony Fryklund came into the arena in what looked to be great shape and many felt that this fight would be more then The Crow would be able to handle at this point in his young career. The Crow felt differently as he controlled the fight from start to finish, which in the end did not turn out to be very long. David used his vastly improved boxing skills to keep The Freak at bay and on the defensive from the outset. Fryklund could never get inside to go for the takedown and took numerous very hard blows to the face and at two points in the bout briefly turned his head away from The Crow as the relentless punishment came at him in waves. Uncharacteristically, Loiseau even threw two high head kicks, neither of which was very hard, but they both found their mark and kept The Freak off balance. To end the bout, Loiseau threw a high knee and followed up with a right hand and a right elbow that opened a very deep cut in his face. It looked like, just as the combo found its mark, Fryklunds face exploded and his face was scarlet with his own blood. The ref stepped in and after examining the cut had no choice but to stop the bout at 4 minutes and 34 seconds of the first round.
Jens Little Evil Pulver Vs Duane Bang Ludwig
Jens Little Evil Pulver had been introduced before the fight as the Best pound for pound fighter in MMA. The question that needed to be answered was this, would Jens Pulver Ground and pound for the A typical Jens Pulver win, or would he stand and trade with the K-1 level fighter and put on a show for the fans. Most felt that this fight was Jenss to lose, and that what he chose to do would dictate how the fight played out. If he chose to wrestle and bring the fight to the ground, a submission or ground and pound victory was likely. Duane would prove that he had a bigger say in the fight then Jens would this night and asserted his will for the duration of the fight, dominating the short contest from front to back. Duane and Jens came out and measured each other early but a lightning quick left hand dropped Pulver to the canvas only 30 seconds into the fight. Ludwig jumped on Jens and peppered him with compact punches from the front headlock position and it was clear that Jens was in deep trouble. Jens was able to clinch up and hold on to Duane for a few moments to buy time to recover, but the ref soon separated the two due to lack of action. When the ref pulled them apart Jens was still wobbly and it was clear that for all intents and purposes the fight was over. Duane backed him up with punches and kicks that Jens defended out of instinct, but another punch found the mark and Jens fell to the mat and rolled out behind the ropes. It was clear he did not know where he was and the ref had no choice but to halt the bout early at 1 minute and 4 second into the very first round. This fight was an upset to many people in the arena who cheered loudly for as Ludwig screamed Ï Love Canada at the top of his lungs after the announcement. The Number one ranked Lightweight was felled and it seems inevitable that he will have to give up his ranking to BJ Penn. It is unclear what will be next for Jens but after seeing him after the fight he seems to be in relatively good spirits considering the outcome. In typical classy Jens Pulver style he told MMAringreport I cant accept all my wins, if I cant accept my losses".
John Alessio Vs Jason Black
Alessio actually trained at the Miletich camp in Iowa for a brief period after his fight with Miletich in the UFC, but since then they have broken off and a rivalry has emerged. Alessios feud with The Miletich camp started at UCC 11 where he was unable to compete due to a torn ligament in his hand. There would be no injury this time around and Black and Alessio were ready to settle their differences in the ring. Round one saw Alessio use his stiff jab and quick footwork to stay clear of Blacks takedowns and offense. Interestingly Black only attempted one takedown in the first two rounds and instead looked to bang it out with Alessio. Black was always moving forward chasing Alessio down and The Natural used his speed and jab to keep him at bay. Alessio was able to drop Black with a shot in the first round, but could not do more damage as Black recovered well and the round closed. The second round was more of the same as Black could not find a way inside but landed a few good shots on Alessio. The The Natural however, would do a little more and seemed to do enough to win both the first and second round. The third round was a different story however as Black controlled the round getting several takedowns and passing the guard. He was not able to unleash too much punishment but he was able to land solid shots and a couple very good knees to the head. Alessio was able to work his way off his back several times only to get taken down again and Black closed the fight in strong ground and pound style. After three rounds the judges gave the fight to Jason Black and Alessio was relegated to runner up. MMARingreport had this fight scored 2 rounds to 1 for John Alessio but again the judges made their decision and awarded the win toe Black.
Jermaine Bam Bam Andre Vs Steve Vigneault
An exciting fight with a suspect ending was none the less a very exciting fight. Both Jermaine Andre and Steve Vigneault came with their Banging shoes on and put on a fight that had few in the arena in their seats. The first round was a back and forth affair with Steve Vigneault taking vicious knee strikes to the thighs that Andre was able to throw with pin point accuracy. Vigneault showed resiliency however and fought back with good punching combos that found their mark. Bam Bam looked good in round one beating up the legs of Vigneault until the round closed. Vigneault would not however be without his hands and he surprisingly outboxed the Mui Thai fighter from St Louis cutting his eye open early in the fight. It seemed to bother him for the rest of the fight and Vigneault used it to good effect controlling round two with solid combinations and good clinch-work. The third round saw Vigneault get one takedown but from there he was unable to mount an effective offense, Andre however was very impressive with the most effective striking from the back that I have ever seen. The punches and elbows were not powerful but they were sharp and crisp finding their mark and stinging the face of the Lionheart over and over to close round three. To the applause of the fans, and the disappointment of Jermaine Andre, Steve Vigneault was awarded the victory after three hard fought rounds. MMARingreport however had this fight scored 2 rounds to one for Jermaine Andre but the judges felt differently and Vigneault was awarded the Unanimous decision after three rounds of action. Obviously disappointed with the decision Bam Bam was none the less very classy and polite after the fight telling MMAringreport that he enjoyed his time in Canada and didnt want to take anything away from Vigneault.
Thomas The Wildman Denny Vs Georges St Pierre
The Wildman was looking to extend his three fight winning streak to 4 and St Pierre was all that stood in his way. Denny wanted to stand and bang so he could assert his stand up while George had the opposite on his mind. St Pierre would get his wish on this night and controlled much of the bout with takedowns and ground control. Denny was not able to stop Pierre from passing the guard and was punished with elbows knees and head drops from side mount. The Wildman showed off a huge heart and kept working and working while he was on his back but it would be in vain. In the UCC knees to the head ARE allowed when the opponent is down and Pierre used them to his advantage winning the bout in round two. St Pierre wins via ref stoppage due to punishment late in the second round.
Stephane Laliberte Vs Mark Hominick
Laliberte would try to avenge the loss of his mentor Steve Claveau who had a bitter feud with Mark Hominick and his Mentor Shawn Thompkins. The origin of the dispute is unclear but what was clear was the fact that both teams wanted this win very badly. Mark Hominick who is an acomlished kickboxer and stand up Machine demolished Lelibertes mentor Claveau at the last UCC and revenge was on the mind of Laliberte. Laliberte had been on a solid streak of late, doing very well in the UCC Proving Grounds events. The fight would start with a short feel out period until Laliberte was able to secure a takedown and drop some very solid shots to the face of Hominick. One of the punches opened a cut on Hominicks head but it would not be enough to stop him. After escaping, Hominick took control of the fight eluding the wild punches of Laliberte and stinging him with razor sharp combinations that the Nordic Thunder had no answer for.Laliberte was able to get his wish and have the affair taken to the ground, but Hominick would beat Laliberte at his own game with a beautiful armbar that Laliberte did NOT want to tap to. Eventually he had no choice but not before injuring his arm in what looked like a very tight armbar. Hominick wins in impressive style via submission at 4 minutes and 43 seconds of the first round.
George Peters Vs Samuel Guillet
George Peters claiming that hell would come with him would not be able to do what he set out to do as Samuel Guilet knocked him out midway through the fight. Peters who is the younger brother of UCC fan favorite Shawn Pain Peters was unable bring Hell with him as he claimed in his intro and instead was knocked out for his efforts in round two. He was game however and showed heart and aggressiveness in the fight much like his older more experienced brother. His brother however could not help him this time and he would be knocked out by Guillet in the second round.
Shane Rice Vs Stephane Vigneault
Rickson Gracie purple belt Shane Rice returned to the UCC for the second time fighting tough kickboxer Stephane Vigneault. The first round saw Shane Rice control much of the action with the takedown attempts and a close triangle submission attempt. The second round was a different story however, as Shane Rice seemed to tire badly and his futile takedown attempts left him on his back and prone to a Vigneault leg kicking assault that left Rice flinching in pain after each leg kick found its mark. The fight went to decision and the two round affair was given to Stephane Vigneault. MMARingreport had this fight scored as a draw with Rice winning round one and Vigneault winning round two but the judges felt differently and gave the fight to Vigneault. Vigneault by unanimous decision after two rounds.
Dirk Waardenburg Vs Joel Pigeon
Joel Pigeon must be a Robbie Lawler fan, as he did his best Lawler impression and came out swinging for the fences early and often. Pigeon was relentless with his wild haymakers going back and forth so hard he already looked a little weary after only one minute of action. Pigeon punished Waardenburg dropping him, and following up with a barrage of looping punches until the ref stepped in. The ref however was slow in reacting and it looked like Waardenburg took more punishment then he deserved to take. The ref came in much too slow and Waardenburg looked worse for the wear after the fight. Pigeon gets the knockout at 1 minute and 38 seconds of the first round.
Pain Peters Vs Dany Laflamme
This would be a rematch as Laflamme who before this fight was 0 wins a nd 4 losses lost to a rear naked shoke in their first fight at a previous UCC event. Pain who was coming off a high profile loss to Matt Hume at a Hook N Shoot event in Florida and was looking to get back into the winners column after losing a tough fight to Hume. Rumor had it that Pain had difficulty with his elbow after the loss and couldnt train for the fight with Laflamme but came to fight regardless. Early on in the contest Peters used his judo to good use taking Laflamme down but and looking for the pounding but it was not meant to be. Laflamme controlled most of the fight with punches on the feet and ground and pound tactics that worked will for him. At one point in the fight though Both Peters and Laflamme were tied up in the ropes with Laflamme in the mount position. Laflamme used the situation and pummeled peters even though the ref was supposed to break the contest as both contestants were outside the ring. At another point in the fight both fighters were outside the ring again and Laflamme looked like he had Arm Triangle choke on Peters outside of the ring but when the Ref yelled Break to Laflamme he wouldnt let go of the choke hold. He was not given a point deduction for the infraction and Peters looked worse for the wear. At several points during the card I felt the Refereeing was poor and not nearly sharp enough for an event of this magnitude. This is however, a problem with the Athletic commission and not the UCC and needs to be addressed as the events keep growing. Throughout the punishment Peters remained aggressive, always moving forward even though he tired badly as the fight went on. By the time the third round came around he was so tired his hands where no higher then his waist, yet he still came forward with sluggish kicks and punches. He heart was always their and fought like a warrior even going for a last ditch armbar attempt on Laflamme, but it would not find its mark, and Laflamme avenges his loss to Pain Peters and took the victory. Laflamme wins the unanimous decision after 3 rounds.
Kultar Gill Vs Donald Ouimet
Kultar Gill has been on a tear of late after a setback in Hawaii against Yves Edwards early on in his career. Kultar though not yet well known, is highly regarded by those who have seen him, as the next great fighter to come out of Canada behind Carlos Newton and David Loiseau. He trains under former UFC competitor Lance Gibson and works as a prison guard at a local prison in Vancouver. Gill who is a lightweight at 155 pounds fought his last fight at Middleweight division of 185 pounds! He could not get big enough to make the weight at the weigh ins so he put rocks in his pants at the weigh in so he could make the cut off for the middleweight division. This, his first fight in the UCC, would however be a step up in competition for him as UCC veteran Donald Ouimet is well known as a tough competitor who has gone the distance with Team Extreme member Jesse Jones in the past. From the outset it was clear who had done his homework as Gill punished Ouimet with deep leg-kicks that that found their mark and Ouimet could do little but eat the sharp kicks. Ouimet closed the distance and Gill but was able to reverse a futile takedown attempt and take the top position right into the full mount. Ouimet was clearly in trouble as Gill patiently dropped heavy punches and elbows onto the head of Ouimet. Ouimet had no answer for the punishment and eventually give up his back as a last resort, Gill would have the answer and he sunk in the rear naked choke forcing Ouimet to tap out to the choke. Gill by submission at 1:56 of the first round.
A Look Back
Upset was the word of the day, as many unexpected outcomes littered the card and the underdogs were the heroes of the day. A couple of close decisions were controversial and could be called into question. The John Alessio vs Jason Black fight and the Jermaine Andre Vs Steve Vigneault fight were debatable and petitions have been filed with the athletic commissions so the outcomes are still in question. With the exception of the disappointing judges decisions, the rest of the night was ripe with excitement. The Mixed Martial Arts Media Top Ten list is in for some changes as top fighters stumbled out of the gate. For the biggest MMA show to ever take place on Canadian soil it was a big step forward for the fans of the sport in Canada. The future looks bright for the UCC and MMA around the world. The UCC pulled out all the stops and brought in some of the best fighters from around the world to compete in their event. It is still very early, and a lot can happen between now and December, but we have a nomination for the best show of 2003. I hope this is not the last time we see a big show like this north of the border. Props go to the UCC as upsets were In, at Adrenaline.