The latest TKO installment included a few newcomers, a few crowd favourites, a few surprise endings, and as always from TKO, action-packed fights that did not disappoint. TKO 15, on February 28 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, featured 12 matchups, including 3 title fights. Although scaled-down in production ‘extras’, ie. the absence of the ring card girls, the TKO organization delivered another unbelievable night of fights that saw knockouts, submissions, and only one fight go to decision.
Jeremy Horn vs. David Loiseau
In the main event of the might, and the third title bout, Jeremy Horn proved once again that he is one of the most skilled fighters in the world. Horn quickly took Loiseau down and easily gained side control. Loiseau was able to get back to his feet, seemingly effortlessly, but in the process left his neck open and gave Horn the opportunity to capitalize. Horn quickly locked on a guillotine choke and seconds later Loiseau tapped out. A modest Horn admitted after the fight that he didn’t think he had the choke locked on that tight, and that Loiseau’s nerves got the best of him more than Horn did. Horn wins via guillotine at 0:55 of Round 1 to become the new World Middleweight Champ.
In the second title fight of the night, crowd favourite Steve Vigneault took on relative unknown, Chris Fontaine. After losing his Canadian LHW title to Patrick Cote last November in what was considered a huge upset, no one expected another upset for the MW belt. Fontaine came out strong, controlling the clinch with devastating knees to the body of Vigneault. The clinch broke up momentarily, but was quickly regained. Fontaine continued delivering knees to the body and was able to land a devastating knee to the nose of Vigneault, breaking his nose and sending him through the ropes. Fontain wins the Canadian Middleweight title by KO at 1:14 or Round 1.
Mark Hominick vs. David Guigui
Mark Hominick put his Canadian Superlightweight Title on the line for the fourth time in this matchup versus David Guigui. Not surprisingly, Hominick controlled the entire bout; surprisingly, though, the Team Tompkins kickboxer took the fight to the ground and showed surprising submission skills, attempting two armbars and a rear-naked choke on jiujitsu trained Guigui. Hominick ended the fight in the second round in familiar fashion—with devastating ground and pound from the mount. Unable to handle the punishment being dealt to him, Guigui was forced to tap at 4:21 of Round 2. Hominick, at age 21, has now successfully defended his Canadian SLW belt four consecutive times.
Bill Mahood vs. Yan Pellerin
This number 1 contender bout was set up to determine who would be the next to face the undefeated LHW Champ, Patrick Cote. There was much hype surrounding Bill Mahood, making his long-awaited TKO debut, and it proved to be warranted. Pellerin looked in control in Round 1, scoring a takedown and avoiding Mahood’s submission attempts.
The second round began in the same manner, with Pellerin getting the takedown and finding the top position. Mahood, however, was able to reverse and gain the mount position. The round ended with Mahood raining down punches to the face of Pellerin, forcing him to roll, exposing his back. The bell rang, ending the round, and it seemed as though Pellerin was saved by the bell from Mahood’s onslaught. However, after getting back to his corner, Pellerin collapsed and had to be attended to by doctors. Mahood wins by TKO at 5:00 of Round 2 and is next in line at a title shot versus Patrick Cote.
This fight, which many called the fight of the night, was an all out war between two very exciting fighters. The majority of the fight was kept standing, with the fighters clinched and trading knees. It was a back and forth battle in the first round, with both fighters landing some solid punches, but ending so close that it could have been awarded to either man. The second round began with Sandford attempting a kick, but slipping—later explaining that the slip had caused him to injure his knee. Despite this, Sandford was able to begin controlling the fight, landing a clean knee to the face of Potvin. Sandford came out on top after 3 rounds, but never completely controlled the action. Sandford earns the split decision, that could easily have gone either way.
It was another impressive showing for former LHW and defending MW Champ Steve Vigneault’s younger brother, after an extended absence. Vigneault seemed to have no problems in dominating the standup game versus Muay Thai fighter Troy Quesnelle, landing solid leg kicks and throwing fast and effective punches, opening up an opportunity for Vigneault to score a takedown. From the ground, Vigneault gained the mount and secured an armbar to tap Quesnelle at 2:46 of Round 1.
Todd Gowenberg vs. Marc Cambier
Todd Gowenberg used his greater physical strength to easily control and dominate Cambier. The fighters began by clinching but quickly went to the ground with Gowenberg gaining the mount position and grounding and pounding his way to victory. Cambier taps out due to strikes at 1:53 of Round 1.
Stephane Dube vs. Kajan Johnson
In his second MMA matchup, Stephane Dube proved that, despite being 38 years old, he is still a dangerous contender in the LW division. Dube controlled the fight from the onset, wanting to stand and trade with Johnson. Johnson, a jiujitsu fighter, was able to get a takedown and temporarily quell the onslaught of Dube. But due to inactivity on the ground, the fighters were brought back to their feet. Dube finally ended the night for Johnson with a spinning back kick that connected with Johnson’s abdomen, sending a bone-cracking smack throughout the arena, and sending Johnson to the ground. Dube wins by KO at 4:06 of Round 1.
Claude Tremblay, with a record of 0-2, took on one of the most physically intimidating fighters in the lightweight division in Steve Duquette in an attempt to improve his MMA record. The fight began with Tremblay scoring a takedown on Duquette and landing in his guard. This would be the only advantage Tremblay would score this night, as Duquette was able to totally dominate the fight from then on, reversing Quenneville and gaining the dominant top position. Duquette threw down a number of powerful shots from Tremblay’s guard, which knocked him out totally. Duquette, with his second appearance at TKO, as well as his second KO there, is a definate force in the lightweight division. Duquette wins by KO at 3:02 or Round 1.
Thierry Quenneville vs. Phillipe Lagace
Coming off a brutal, and difficult to watch, loss against Antonio Carvalho (a fight that was named one of the most brutal beatings of the year), Phillipe Lagace looked focused and ready to prove he was a better fighter than his last bout showed. Lagace came out strong, taking Quenneville down and controlling the ground game from side control. The fighters made their way back to their feet, clinching until Lagace brought it back down to the ground again. This time, however, Quenneville was able to capitalize on his position and secure an armbar, forcing Lagace to tap at 4:45 of Round 1.
Mark Bocek vs. Mark Colangelo
This was the long awaited MMA debut of the BJJ phenom, Mark Bocek, and although his grappling skills were unquestionable, many were unsure as to how he would fare in an MMA bout. Colangelo landed several solid punches early in the fight that stunned Bocek, but didn’t slow him down. Bocek was able to get the takedown, and passed the guard fairly easily. Although Bocek was able to gain the dominant position, he was not able to do significant damage to Colangelo. The round ended and both fighters returned to their corners. Colangelo, however, had aggravated a knee injury during the first round and was unable to continue. Bocek wins at 5:00 of Round 1 due to abandonment. A solid debut showing for Bocek, but not the ending many had wanted to see.
After his last controversial decision win over Jeff Joslin at TKO 14, many doubted the skill level of Jonathan Goulet. He quieted many critics tonight after an impressive and quick victory over Team Tompkins fighter Alex Gasson.
Gasson came out with a quick flurry of punches at the opening bell, which Goulet was able to endure. Goulet then scored the takedown and found Gasson’s back. After struggling to secure a rear naked choke, Goulet eventually got it locked on and was able to force Gasson to tap out at 1:43 or Round 1. After the fight, Goulet was quick to defend his skill, stating that he is a better fighter than Jeff Joslin and would take a rematch to prove it.