by Jody Peterson for MMAWeekly.com (Photos by Julie McQuinn)
(Top: MacDonald works for the armbar; Bottom: Jason MacDonald)
Extreme Cage Combat held its third successful event on Saturday night in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Approximately 2,500 fans made their way to the Halifax Forum for three hours of fast-paced action, as they watched all ten fights end in either a knockout or submission.
In the main event, Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald squared off against the very tough and confident Fritz ‘The Animal’ Paul, who told MacDonald very simply at the weigh-in, “I’m going to knock you out!”
Coming into the fight with five knockouts in his seven wins, Paul was confident that he could be the first fighter to ever knock out MacDonald. “I’ve never been knocked out,” said MacDonald. “Fighters like to say they are going to knock me out… just plant your feet and try to knock me out. We’ll see what happens.”
The Halifax Forum buzzed with excitement before the main event, as this was another step and yet another test for MacDonald in his quest to fight in the UFC. The bell sounded, and the two fighters came out swinging. Paul took the center of the cage and fired a quick hard left, and MacDonald stepped right and countered, as both fighters looked to score a touchdown early. MacDonald fired a big right hook that was blocked by Paul, but MacDonald did land a nasty inside kick to Paul’s knee that turned him sideways.
Quick to pounce on his opponent, MacDonald shot in for the exposed leg, but to Paul’s credit, he recovered quickly and clinched with MacDonald. Both fighters worked along the cage from the clinch position until MacDonald landed a short right hand, at which point Paul started to look for a takedown. This was all the opportunity that – the Gracie Barra, Josh Russell and Mark Pavelich trained – MacDonald would need.
As Paul shot in, MacDonald secured a standing guillotine choke. Paul fought out, only to find his left arm in a tight kimura. Bringing the fight to the ground, MacDonald tripped up Paul and transitioned his kimura into a very tight armbar. Paul submitted, and MacDonald won the fight at 2:14 of the first round.
Commenting only moments after his second straight quick submission win and third overall victory in a row, MacDonald stated, “The UFC… that’s my goal. These fights are all small steps I’m taking to get there. I never look past my immediate opponent, but he’s just a step… a step I need to climb to achieve my goal.” MacDonald’s next step will be fighting for MFC on September 8th, and the next step after that is unknown. MacDonald is determined to climb his steps to the UFC one at a time.
In a highly anticipated bout between undefeated prospects Nelson ‘Akawui’ Riquelme (trained by Ivan Menjivar) and Jay Jenkins, Riquelme impressed once again against the bigger and very talented Jenkins. The first round could have been scored either way, as Jenkins was able to use his size and reach to frustrate the slick BTT Canada team member at times.
The second round would require no judges, as Jenkins missed a right cross and the creative Riquelme countered with an amazing spinning back fist that brought 2,500 fans to their feet and Jay Jenkins to the canvas. Riquelme followed up and scored the TKO victory at 3:35 of the second round.
In other action, Victor Valimaki stayed hot by winning his third consecutive fight, this time over the tough Shane ‘Sugar’ Lightle by TKO at 1:46 of the first round. Lightle came out throwing bombs, but Valimaki stayed calm and countered with a left-right combo that stunned Lightle. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Valimaki bullied into Lightle, slammed him to the mat, and finished the fight with an aggressive ground and pound assault.
Local Halifax product and rising prospect Roger Hollett looked very impressive in just his second professional MMA bout, as he won in quick fashion with a submission at 1:41 of the first round against the game but outclassed Jason Cecil.
-Jason MacDonald (15-7) def. Fritz Paul (7-3) by submission (armbar) at 2:14 of Round 1
-Roger Hollett (2-0) def. Jason Cecil (0-2) by submission (kimura) at 1:41 of Round 1
-Victor Valimaki (5-2) def. Shane Lightle (4-6) by TKO at 1:46 of Round 1
-Nelson Riquelme (3-0) def. Jay Jenkins (2-1) by TKO at 3:35 of Round 2
-Shawn Marchand (2-0) def. Dan Chambers (0-1) by submission (rear naked choke) at 2:25 of Round 1
-Jared Kilkenny (2-0) def. Robert Haynes (0-1) by submission (strikes) at 1:17 of Round 1
-TJ Grant (2-0) def. Daniel Grandmaison (1-2) by submission (armbar) at 1:46 of Round 1
-Nabil Khatib (5-0) def. Neil Berry (2-2) by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:55 of Round 2
-Jason MacKay (2-0) def. Curtis Fiander (0-1) by submission (rear naked choke) at 0:55 of Round 1
-Travis Axworthy (1-0) def. Robert Colbourne (1-1) by TKO in Round 2