Last weekend in Gatineau at the Robert Guertin Arena, a new promotion exploded onto the Canadian MMA scene… and it exploded in style. It was one of the most action packed fight cards I have witnessed in some time. 4 of my team mates from Renzo Gracie Ottawa were getting in the cage that night. When you’ve worked so hard, trained, bled, sweat, puked, and watched them work until complete exhaustion in the gym, that’s when an MMA show takes on a different light. It’s not just entertainment any more. It’s the last 8 weeks of your life coming down to a 15 minute max. Being a corner man is a different challenge all together… I’d honestly rather fight. You have no control from the outside. You can only hope that your teammates perform. I still got a chance in between hand wrapping and warm up duties to check out some of the fights though…
In the first fight of the night, my team mate Xavier Deroches made short work of his opponent Tim Chessel with a vicious armbar 3 minutes into the first round. It was a dominating performance from start to finish, and he simply outclassed his opponent with his purple belt ground skills.
Next up Eon Shirley got taken down and pounded out from mount by Fred Belanger.
In what turned into an epic war, OAMA fighter Steph Berdadel took on Muay Thai fighter Fred Pilon. To many people’s surprise Pilon came out and took Steph down. Maybe he had heard about Steph’s extensive kickboxing record. Either way it turned into a scramble that was obviously taking its toll on both fighter’s energy levels. The first round was far to close to call and had the ground on it’s feet. In the corner it was our coach Pat Cooligan asking Steph why he wasn’t letting his hands go, and letting him know that that was the key to victory. Steph went out and took the advice and put Pilon away with a 1-2 liver kick combination that dropped his opponent for the KO via Body kick.
After the celebration backstage I went back out to watch the veteran grappler Mike Hong dominate a kick boxer, who honestly had no business being in the same cage. Hong’s ground game was way too much for Mike Clark, and he got the tap via rear naked.
Next was my good friend Remi Morvan, taking a tough test by facing off against Sean Quinn, a very experienced fighter with an excellent wrestling background and a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu. Remi is an undefeated ground wizard who works hard and has an undying belief in himself and an incredible toughness. He needed it. Sean landed a hard straight right that actually looked like it put remi right out, I hung my head as he fell to the mat thinking it was over, but when I looked back up, he was trapping Quinn in his guard. Later that night he told me he woke up when his head hit the mat. He took some punishment while recovering, but got his bearings and used a beautiful omoplate sweep to roll quinn .. in the scramble of quiin trying to get out from the bottom, Morvan locked up the fight ending Guillotine. After the fight TKO bantamweight champion got in the ring and it looks like those two will be locking horns in the near future to see who the best 135 lbs fighter in Canada is.
Next up was Glen Kulka, of CFL and WWE fame. He simply got dominated by Hoosier Bruno, a man who not only looks like Chieck Kongo but fights like him too. Knees punches, and a front kick to the chin put Kulka away in minutes. It was an impressive display of Muay Thai by the Quebec heavyweight.
In the co-main event, I watched cage side, as my training partner and good friend Mark “boots” Holst faced off against Martin Grandmont. Mark put his hard training to work. His worked his kicks, knees and amazing hands against Martin Grandmont, dropping him twice. It was a domination. Off of a scramble Grandmont performed a fireman’s carry into a slam and from that point on it turned into a war. Boots got back to putting a Muay Thai whooping on Grandmont, who was returning fire with crazy right hands. It was honestly the best fight I have seen in a long long time. Maybe the best. It came to a shocking end when Grandmont landed the punch he was looking for and dropped Holst. It was basically a carbon copy of the fight in TKO when Grandmont challenged Stout for the title. The challenger was dominating and the veteran ended the show with one punch. Brutal. It’s a horrible thing watching a team mate lose. That’s really all I can say about that. Boots will come back stronger like the champion he is.
In the main event, former UFC champion and a true pioneer of the sport Carlos Newton domintated Team Bushido’s Nabil Khatib. It was an outclass through and through. After displaying smooth striking Newton hit a textbook double leg and took his time on the ground. At 3:12 he finished Khatib by gift wrapping his arm around his face and punching.
June 13th is the next w1 card. It was truly a professional event and I encourage anyone who loves MMA to come to the next one.