by Marco Antico – MMAWeekly.com
MONTREAL – Fans at Thursday night’s TKO 32 were treated to an exciting night of fights at the Bell Centre, but also bore witness to one of the most brutal endings to a fight in mixed martial arts history.
BRIAN GASSAWAY DEF. JOSE “PELE” LANDI-JONS BY TKO AT 0:50, R2
Both fighters came out with the intentions of striking as Pele threw mainly leg kicks as Gassaway countered with hands. Gassaway landed the biggest strike of the round as he threw a perfectly timed right hand that landed square on Pele’s jaw as he threw a right low kick. However, Pele got the only takedown in the round and spent the majority of the round in half guard and side control. It was a difficult round to call as Gassaway did more damage, but Pele controlled most of the round.
Round two began with both fighters stalking each other. Neither fighter was able to land anything meaningful. Pele continued to throw mainly low kicks as Gassaway focused more on hands. Then, at 0:50 of round two TKO fans witnessed one of the most brutal looking injuries ever in MMA. Reminiscent of a YouTube video from years ago, which many hardcore MMA fans will remember, Pele threw a low kick which landed on Gassaway’s firmly planted left leg. The impact caused Pele’s leg to buckle backwards and his shin bone visibly protruded below the knee.
It brought all spectators to their feet in horror. On a slightly positive note, TKO was classy enough not to show the replay on the big screens. Gassaway was awarded the victory due to TKO by injury.
Pele is scheduled to undergo surgery today and must spend three days in the hospital to recover in Montreal before flying home. Doctors predict that it would be at least six months before he can begin to do any form of training. Teammates Bibiano Fernandes and Tyler Jackson emphatically stated that not even an injury this severe would stop Pele from fighting again.
JESSE BONGFELDT DEF. TJ GRANT BY ARMBAR AT 2:52, R3
As usual, Bongfeldt came out guns blazing, landing a few punches that snapped Grant’s head backward and then successfully took him to the mat. He landed some brief ground and pound until Grant was able to sweep him. The rest of the round was mostly controlled by Grant through superior jiu-jitsu.
The second round started with Bongfeldt seemingly going for broke as he threw nontechnical punches and kicks with all of his might. Grant responded with a good exchange and soon got the takedown himself. Once again, Grant controlled most of the round from top position.
Round three began as more of the same as it seemed that Grant continued in cruise control and was dominating the fight with Bongfeldt mainly fighting back in spurts. Pressed up against the cage, Bongfeldt went for what may be analogous to a Hail Mary armbar. Knowing he was caught with his arm fully straightened, Grant was forced to tap.
Bongfeldt showed tremendous heart and perhaps most impressively found a way to win when things didn’t seem to be going his way, a quality which all great fighters seem to have.
Grant was visibly very disappointed, as the last thing he imagined was that the fight would end by a Bongfeldt submission. Still, Grant showed once again the quality of fighter he is and at the age of only 24, this should serve to make him even better and more focused for future bouts.
DEREK GAUTHIER DEF. YANNICK GALIPEAU BY REAR NAKED CHOKE AT 3:24, R1
This welterweight showdown between popular Quebec locals was a fight billed by TKO as “who would be the next Georges St-Pierre?” Gauthier came out very aggressive and confident against multiple time karate champion Galipeau. Gauthier actually landed the bigger punches as he kept Galipeau guessing and off balance, never really being able to find his timing and range. Gauthier got the first takedown and landed meaningful ground and pound until Galipeau was able to scramble out to his feet.
Back on his feet, Galipeau secured the clinch and was able to land knees to the body. Unphased, Gauthier continued his attack by securing a second takedown. Gauthier appeared to have a fight ending armbar on a few different occasions. Galipeau defended intelligently, but Gauthier continued to cycle through his submission arsenal as he displayed ground wizardry. Gauthier pounced on Galipeau’s back as the fighter scrambled back to his feet. Reminiscent of Matt Hughes’ submission on Frank Trigg, Gauthier secured the standing rear naked choke as Galipeau fell backwards and tapped.
Gauthier is certainly not yet on par with Georges St-Pierre, but he does seem to be well on his way. It was a tremendous performance in which he showed well rounded skills. Now at 4-0, Gauthier is definitely going to be a fighter to keep an eye on in the welterweight or perhaps lightweight division.
STEPHANE VIGNEAULT DEF. DANIEL FERGUSON BY TKO AT 1:27, R2
Ferguson was wanting to trade with Vigneault as the fight began and he seemed to get the better of the standup exchanges. Ferguson also got the takedown and landed significant ground and pound from guard and side mount on Vigneault. But, Vigneault was able to sweep and delivered ground and pound of his own. The fighters reversed each other several times as they seemed fairly evenly matched. In the end, it was likely Vigneault’s superior size, strength and sheer will to win that allowed him to overcome Ferguson with strikes from top position. Vigneault was ecstatic after the victory as it had been a while since his last victory in TKO.
SAMUEL GUILLET DEF. JORDAN MEIN BY SUBMISSION AT 4:05, R2
Much like his coach, Fabio Holanda, Guillet is a far better fighter than his record shows. His losses have mostly come to Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans, when he accepted the fight with very short notice. Guillet appeared to control the majority of this fight as he dictated the pace of the fight and where it was contested. After controlling the majority of the ground work, Guillet managed to secure a fight ending kimura.
GUILLAME LAMARCH DEF. JUSTIN TAVERNINI BY SPLIT DECISION, R3
Lamarche was a last minute replacement for an injured Damacio Page. They agreed to meet at a catch weight of 140 pounds. However, Tavernini walks around at 137 pounds, whereas Guillame was cutting down from about 160 pounds. This was without a doubt the fight of the night as it had a little bit of everything. Both fighters showed crisp kickboxing and slick ground work. Tavernini clearly won the first round and Lamarche won the third. The second round could have gone either way with Lamarche landing more punches, but Tavernini landing far more low kicks and one punishing high kick, which snapped Lamarche’s head back as he was in the midst of landing an impressive hand combination.
Lamarche won a split decision much to the delight of the partisan crowd. However, this was one of those fights which can be argued that both fighters’ stock rose.
ADRIAN WOOLEY DEF. SYD BARNIER BY TKO AT 4:57, R1
Both fighters were very cautious as the fight began. They danced around the ring for nearly two minutes as the fans began to boo. Barnier was never able to let his hands go as Wooley rushed him back into the cage and got the takedown. Wooley passed to mount, but Barnier successfully escaped back to his feet. However, Wooley almost immediately charged forward tying Barnier up, picking him up onto his shoulders and slamming him with authority to the canvas. Wooley got the mount again and Barnier gave up his back. However, this time Wooley was able to flatten Barnier out and land punches to the side of the head until the referee had decided he’d seen enough with only a few seconds left in the round.
JOHAN CROES DEF. MARK FRASER BY TKO AT 0:34, R2
This was a very, very entertaining fight that got the crowd roaring on more than one occasion, as both fighters really let their hands go in a good display of boxing skills. Fraser executed good takedowns and landed some hard strikes as he postured up in top position. Croes hung in there and early into the second round he rocked Fraser with a hand combination and pounced on him to finish the fight.
JEFF HARRISON DEF. TYLER JACKSON BY GUILLOTINE CHOKE AT 0:19, R3
Jackson clearly did not want to stand and trade with Muay Thai champion Harrison. He successfully took Harrison down quickly and maintained top position for the entire first round landing some ground and pound. The second round was more of the same up until the last few seconds when Harrison was able to sweep and begin landing hammer fists, which had Jackson in seeming distress as the bell sounded.
Round three began with Harrison seemingly having more left in the gas tank than Jackson. Harrison landed a beautiful right hook, left high kick combination that dropped Jackson. He then pounced and went for a front guillotine choke. Jackson tapped out as Harrison served notice that he is a new force to be reckoned with in the lightweight, or perhaps featherweight, division.
BEN GALLANT DEF. SCOTT WRIGHT BY TKO AT 2:27, R1
This was a back and forth affair with both fighters having opportunities from the mount to end the fight. In the end, Wright was unable to escape from underneath Gallant’s ground and pound assault as the referee stepped in to call a halt to the bout.
TIM WADSWORTH DEF. BRAD DUGUAY BY TKO AT 3:32, R1
Wadsworth showed some good wrestling abilities as he wasted no time in taking Duguay to the mat. Duguay showed his toughness by surviving countless barrages. Eventually, the referee had seen enough and called a halt to the contest.
CHRISTOPHER HULME DEF. VLADIMIR VICTOR BY TKO AT 3:24, R1
Christopher Hulme won his MMA debut by referee stoppage at 3:24 of the first round over Vladimir Victor mainly by maintaining dominant position and delivering effective ground and pound.