- SPOTLIGHT ON CANADA

May 8, 2008
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by Marco Antico – MMAWeekly.com


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ADRIAN
WOOLEY CHALLENGES FOR THE TKO BANTEMWEIGHT TITLE

 

Adrian
Wooley, from Toronto, Ontario, will challenge American Danny Martinez for the
vacant TKO bantamweight title at TKO 34 on Saturday, June 7.

 

Wooley is
renowned for his wrestling pedigree and has used those skills to build an
impressive 4-0 professional record with three wins coming by technical knockout
via ground and pound.

 

Martinez’s
record is perhaps even more impressive, as he’s 9-1 with his only loss coming
above his natural weight class to one of the better featherweights in the
world, Mark Hominick.

 

“Things
have been really busy lately with work, moving and training,” said Wooley.
“It’s been no rest for the wicked, though I’m still finding ways to train every
day. This is the first time I’ve fought another wrestler, so I look forward to
potentially a grappler’s duel. I really don’t know a whole lot about Martinez
other than he’s got a good record. He’s a bit of a wildcard in my mind in that
no one really knows how good he is.

 

“I’ve been
working hard on my standup by training and getting the s*** beat out of me at
Iron Tiger gym in Hamilton, Ontario,” he continued. “Led by Kru Alin Halmagean,
those guys at Iron Tiger are a bunch of Muay Thai studs! That’s not been my
bread and butter in the past, so I’m trying to work with the best to round out
my skills.”

 

Wooley is
aware that experience isn’t on his side in this fight, but he’s not going to
pass up the opportunity either. “In an ideal world, I would have liked a couple
more fights before challenging for the title. But when I was offered this
tremendous opportunity, I definitely couldn’t turn it down. The future now
holds five-round fights for me against all really tough guys. I would have
liked to have gotten a little more experience before moving to this level, but
that’s fine. I’ll be ready!”

 

 

SEAN
“THE PIMP” PIERSON ON THE COMEBACK ROAD AGAIN

 

Sean
Pierson was one of the pioneers of Canadian MMA, competing in 1999 at the
International Fighting Championships, one of the first MMA events ever held in
Canada. He quickly made a name for himself as one of the most dominant
middleweights in the country. But in 2003 he decided to part ways with the
sport, get married, and begin full time work with Dell Canada.

 

Four years
later, in 2007, Pierson returned to TKO making quick work of an overwhelmed,
Chester Post. Next, he accepted a fight on short notice against a formidable
Jesse Bongfeld (currently the TKO welterweight champion). After a back and
forth affair, Pierson was stopped by strikes with only seconds left in the
second round.

 

“I had
shoulder surgery a couple of months ago and I’m only now able to begin with
rehab,” said Pierson. “I’ve been back in the gym doing very limited things.
I’m still a few months away from full sparring. I think the earliest I could
return would be late July, perhaps in TKO if they do a summer event. If not,
I’ll have my ears open for Hardcore Championship Fighting in late summer.
Worst case scenario, you’ll see me back on TKO’s show on Oct. 3.

 

“I’m
currently training at the United Martial Arts Club (UMAC) in Stouffville,
Ontario, since it’s close to my home. I’m working with the usual guys like
Adrian Wooley and Sam Zuckula. I’m definitely planning to check out Xtreme
Couture Toronto when it opens up. Just like they’ve been doing for years in
Quebec, it’d be good if we could get all the top Ontario fighters together at
one place for some regular training sessions.”

 

 

HALF OF
THE BELL CENTRE WAS FROM THE GREATER TORONTO AREA

 

Sources
from the Montreal Bell Centre have indicated that over three quarters of the
21,000 fans in attendance for UFC 83 purchased their tickets through the UFC
Fight Club. In fact, half of the tickets were sold to individuals with postal
codes in the Greater Toronto Area. All of which contributed to the biggest
live gate in Canadian combat sports history, $5.1 million.

 

 

CHARGES
LAID AGAINST PROMOTERS OF NATIVE RESERVE EVENTS IN ONTARIO

 

Charges
have been laid against five promoters from the Iroquois Mixed Martial Arts
events held near Hamilton, Ontario. The Six Nation’s police say it was the
Ontario Athletic Commissioner, Ken Hayashi, who initiated the official
complaint. The complaint resulted in one charge being laid against each of the
promoters for holding a “prize fight,” which is in violation of section 83 of
Canada’s Criminal Code and punishable by summary conviction. Section 787
states that the maximum penalty for a summary conviction offence is a sentence
of six months of imprisonment, a fine of $2000, or both.

“We have
precedence set in Ontario in that we’ve charged someone in the past for holding
an event of this kind on native land,” explained Hayashi. “It’s in the hands
of the courts now.”

 

Hayashi
seemed resolute when asked about what impact the success of UFC 83 in Montreal
might have in Ontario. “It has absolutely no impact whatsoever,” he stated.
“Money does not factor into this equation. It’s not even a blip on the radar
screen for the province. When it comes to the economy, Ontario’s main concerns
are over manufacturing jobs, the automotive industry, housing and so on, not
MMA. Besides, what no ones talks about is the potential cost to the government
if one of these athletes were to suffer a severe injury and would have to be
cared for by our provincially paid for health care system.

 

“The
correct first step is to try to set up amateur MMA to get the province
comfortable with the sport and also to establish a good track record,” Hayashi
elaborated. “I don’t have any say in amateur sport, as that’s run by the
Ministry of Health Promotions. But, I will inquire on behalf of the Canadian
Mixed Martial Arts Association as to the status of their application review.”

 

 

CANADIAN
MMA CALENDAR

 

May 9
– MFC16: Anger Management at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch,
Alberta

May 17 – Xtreme
MMA at Jonquiere, Quebec

May 30
– Colosseum Fighting Championships VIII: at the Convention Center in
Winnipeg, Manitoba

May 31 –
The Fight Club 3 at the Shaw Convention Centre in Edmonton, Alberta
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June 7 – TKO 34
at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec

July 19
– King of the Cage at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta
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July 26 – Freedom
Fight: Title Quest at the Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau, Quebec

 

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