MM-Eh! MacDonald's turnaround compensates for late start
Joe Doerksen's new contract gives him a shot for the middleweight title, while Scott Junk pounded Jimmy Ambriz to be crowned the new heavyweight champion, writes Andy Cotterill in his MM-Eh! report.
The "TUF Killer" moniker might be a little closer to sticking now after Red Deer, Alberta's Jason MacDonald pounded out a come-from-behind stoppage victory over Rory Singer at UFC 72.
Singer had MacDonald in serious trouble in the first stanza of their fight in Belfast, Northern Ireland, rifling off a few hard knees before getting the mount and finally putting "The Athlete" in a tight looking triangle choke to end the round.
But MacDonald confided to Sherdog.com that Singer's triangle was nowhere near as dangerous as spectators might have thought.
"It wasn't close at all, in my opinion," MacDonald said. "At no point did I ever feel like I was in trouble, or that I felt an urgency to get out of there.
"We were on the mat right in my corner and Josh (Russell, MacDonald's BJJ coach) said that there was only 15 seconds left in the round, so I figured I'd just get myself 15 or 20 seconds extra rest going into the break between rounds."
In the second round MacDonald used a can opener to force open Singer's guard, which allowed the Canadian to pass, mount and finally punch away until referee Yves Lavigne had to call an end to the fight. It was MacDonald's third UFC victory inside the octagon.
Before the fight, Singer exclaimed that the striking abilities he honed while training with American Top Team would give him an edge. MacDonald countered by saying that his own striking was better than people realized.
These pugilistic skills never materialized for either fighter really, and although each found their mark with a sporadic punch or two, it was in the clinch and on the ground where this fight was decided.
MacDonald told Sherdog that overall he's happy with his performance; although he admitted that he was a little disappointed with his effort in the first round, and that he struggles with slow starts.
"That's something I'm going to have to work on and overcome," said MacDonald. "As the quality of opponent gets better I won't be able to give up that first round."
UFC coming to Montreal
During the wind down from the Belfast card, UFC president Dana White told the Canadian Press that his organization would hold an event in Montreal in October of this year. According to the CP, White claimed that Canada is ''a phenomenal breakthrough market'' for them, and that going there, England and Mexico is a "no-brainer."
There is already speculation though that Canada's most popular fighter, Georges St. Pierre, would not be on the card in his hometown of Montreal, as he's already scheduled to meet Josh Koscheck in August.
Toronto Dragons miss IFL playoffs
A victory over the New York Pitbulls during Saturday's International Fight League season finale would have secured a trip to the postseason for the Toronto Dragons, but things didn't work out that way for Canada's sole IFL team. Toronto started the evening well, with Brent Beauparlant and Wagnney Fabiano scoring rousing victories. Yet losses by Gideon Ray and Wojtek Kaszowski followed by a disqualification to heavyweight Rafael Feijao in the deciding match meant that the Carlos Newton-led squad would remain on the outside looking in.
In the third round of an essentially even match with new Pitbull Marcio Cruz, Feijao illegally kicked his fellow Brazilian in the head, drawing a point deduction from referee Mario Yamasaki. Feijao followed almost immediately with another kick to the head that forced Yamasaki to call for a disqualification.
Both of Toronto's wins were impressive, and with his quick arm bar victory over Erik Owings, Fabiano clearly solidified his position as the top lightweight in the IFL.
Fight fans should salivate at the possibility of seeing Fabiano meet Chris Horodecki in the postseason lightweight grand prix.
Tompkins keeps busy
Canadian trainer extraordinaire Shawn Tompkins will have a vested interest in several fights this weekend, as two of his fighters, albeit temporary ones, have high-profile matches. On Friday night Tompkins' new charge Phil Baroni will step into the cage to settle his score with Frank Shamrock at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Tompkins told MM-Eh! that Baroni approached him about training just after Tompkins helped Dan Henderson successfully prepare for Wanderlei Silva in February. About Baroni, Tompkins said that he was "impressed with his graciousness and the way he came to me about it."
"I'll be honest with you, I don't think I've ever been so excited to train somebody for a fight than I am to train Phil Baroni," Tompkins said. "It's a good fight for him, and it's a great fight for the MMA world. I think I can figure Frank out, and with a guy like Phil Baroni, he's so talented, and people don't realize that he's never really had a coach.
"I think of it as the rebirth of Phil Baroni. He and I together: I think we're going to do great things."
The day following the Strikeforce card will see the mixed martial arts debuts of infamous street fighter Kimbo Slice and boxer Ray Mercer. The pair will meet in an exhibition bout in Atlantic City, N.J. for the Cage Fury Fighting Championships.
Kimbo's claim to fame comes as a fighter for hire, whose video-captured exploits have engrossed Internet fans for several years now. "Merciless" Ray Mercer sports more credible fighting credentials, having previously been the world's heavyweight boxing champion as well as winning a gold medal for the U.S. at the 1988 Olympic games in Seoul, South Korea.
Kimbo seems to have wisely embraced the idea that MMA is a completely different animal than boxing, and has supplemented his training regimen with guidance from Tompkins and Bas Rutten. A new video clip widely circulated on the Internet shows Kimbo training with Rutten, and he looks to be in terrific shape.
Stout vs. Fisher at UFC Fight Night
In a fight that some have called a "Fight of the Year" candidate, London, Ontario's Sam Stout dropped a one-sided unanimous decision to Spencer Fisher in a rematch of their fight from last year. This was a thrilling contest that saw each share the role of aggressor. The majority of the fight occurred dead center in the cage, with the two trading punch for punch.
While their punch counts might have been similar, it was Fisher who was able to pinpoint his strikes with accuracy that his Canadian counterpart couldn't match, which is why all three judges scored the match 30-27 for Fisher.
AFC 2 Results
The small city of Vernon, British Columbia, seems to have a disproportionate amount of mixed martial arts. Shut Up and Fight, King of the Cage, and now Jason St. Louis's Alliance Fighting Championships have all promoted in Vernon. The five-bout AFC card kept fans entertained, with Rob Miller, Dylan Ferguson, Mike Neufeld, Brandon McDowell, and Jesse Bongfeldt emerging victorious.
Bongfeldt is a tough welterweight from Lethbridge, Alberta's Canadian Martial Arts Centre, who impressed MM-Eh! very much with his strength and wrestling when we saw him at ECC 2 in Halifax last summer.
MFC 12 "High Stakes"
Edmonton mixed martial arts fans have a treat this weekend, as Western Canada's premiere MMA organization -- Maximum Fighting Championship -- holds another great looking card. The main event will see a clash of true heavyweights, as 265-pound MFC veteran and B.J. Penn student Scott Junk takes on 320-pound Jimmy Ambriz.
In a lightweight match, Georges St. Pierre's Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach Fabio Holanda finally will get a chance to compare his skills with those of the Shaun Krysa. This pairing originally was scheduled for Extreme Cage Combat 4 in Halifax last December, but personal issues with Holanda forced the delay.
Both fighters are coming off losses and have a lot to prove. Holanda couldn't continue his February match against Sam Stout due to fatigue, and Krysa is hoping to erase the memory of his controversial loss to Jason MacKay at ECC 5.
Speaking of Halifax, native son Roger Hollett is set to make his second MFC appearance, this time in a No. 1 contender match against late replacement Shane Biever.
Hollett is a true monster at light heavyweight, and is touted by many to be the best Canadian prospect at any weight. He originally had been booked to meet tough ATT fighter Tom Lawlor, but Lawlor fell out last week due to injury.
Finally, current MFC light heavyweight champion Victor Valimaki readies himself to exact a little bad blood against Marcus Hicks. Valimaki's manager Mark Pavelich claims that Hicks is the one person his fighter truly hates.
All Martial Arts Championships This Saturday night the Mickey McDougall Gymnasium in North Vancouver, British Columbia, will play host to the All Martial Arts Championships, a combined MMA, kickboxing and Muay Thai event. Dominic Richard faces Will Hammond for the Pacific Northwest heavyweight title.
Other fights on the card:
Cesar Narita vs. Adam Thomas
Ryan Chiappe vs. Joel Gunther
Rakan Khatib vs. Walter Buse
Dave Logan vs. Paul Derrick
Paul Kane vs. Murray Sogen
Kyle Holt vs. Ben Yoo Jin Zollne
Jerry Elliott vs. Leonard Carter
Hardeep Singh vs. Andre Moreira
Dustin Dickeson vs. Tua Aiono
Jay Jenkins vs. Dave Pogson
Amateur MMA rules set in Ontario
In an article on MMAWeekly.com, Marco Antico of the Canadian Mixed Martial Arts Association revealed that their technical committee recently has finalized a set of rules and regulations to govern amateur MMA, which they will soon submit to the government of Ontario. If these rules are accepted, this will be the first hurdle crossed in the race to bring mixed martial arts to Canada's most populated province.
Ontario has a vast market potential for MMA, but is currently an MMA void due to the perceived indifference of Ontario Athletics Commissioner Ken Hayashi.
Bantamweights coming to TKO
In the same article, Antico revealed that Quebec's TKO organization would feature 135-pound fighters on Sept. 28, with a possible bantamweight world championship during its subsequent event on Dec. 14.
Starnes to start foundation
After his unanimous decision win over Chris Leben at UFC 71, Surrey, BC's Kalib Starnes talked of his plans to establish a Microcredit charity in his name. Microcredit, also known as Microlending, is the lending of very small amounts of money at low interest, especially to a start-up company or self-employed person.
The Grameen Bank's founder, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, received the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with Microcredit in his home country of Bangladesh.
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