by Marco Antico – MMAWeekly.com
SAM STOUT FEELING CONFIDENT ABOUT NO LOVE
After an impressive return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Sam Stout is feeling confident about his next opponent, Rich “No Love” Clementi, scheduled for April 19 in Montreal, Canada.
“I think he’s definitely a step up in competition. It’s going to be a great fight. I think he’s a good matchup for me and I’m looking to go in there and work him over,” exclaimed Stout.
“I think my game has come along way since working with guys like Tyson Griffin and the whole Xtreme Couture gym. I’m always looking to improve and to keep getting better,” Stout elaborated.
In fact, “very much improved” is also how UFC commentator Joe Rogan described Stout’s last performance against Per Eklund. Not only did Stout show off his usual striking prowess in that fight, but he stuffed repeated takedown attempts and successfully frustrated Eklund to the point of exhaustion.
Stout should have tremendous support behind him when he takes on Clementi as local fans recognize him as the four time defending TKO champion. In addition there will be hundreds of people making the eight-hour trek from his town of London, Ontario.
JASON DAY EXPECTING TO OUTSTRIKE ALAN BELCHER
“A lot of people are saying that I’d be crazy to stand with him. I disagree, I’m confident standing and on the ground. I’d actually give myself the edge in striking,” explained Jason Day. “I see a lot of flair in his striking, but not a whole lot of power.
“It’s not my game plan to take him down to the ground. I’m comfortable where ever the fight takes place. In fact, if I had to guess, I’d predict that it’s going to be a standup war. It’s a great matchup between two exciting fighters and I expect it to be the fight of the night.”
Asked about how he feels about making his UFC debut, Day responded, “Oh man, I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for this! I’ve signed a four-fight deal and I just really hope the UFC likes what they see of me. I think they will. I also hope this can open the door for my teammates at the Canadian Martial Arts Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta.
“My cardio is through the roof right now. I’ve never had nine weeks to prepare for an opponent. I’m pretty much doing the same things in training that I’ve always done and working with the same group of guys. I’m just working harder than ever and concentrating a lot on my conditioning.”
HOMINICK BOOKED SOLID THROUGH 2008
Mark “the Machine” Hominick has experienced some of the greatest highs and lows in the sport of MMA. After having been a long time TKO champion, he made his UFC debut against one of the best lightweights at the time, Yves Edwards, and dominated him both standing and on the ground, finishing the fight by submission.
Riding high, he was looking to solidify his standing amongst the very best featherweights in the world when he defended his TKO championship against Hatsu Hioki. Hioki proved to be too much to handle on the ground and cost him his coveted title. Hominick rematched Hioki, but lost a controversial split decision.
Since that time Hominick had a couple of victories in TKO, but fell short in the WEC. Despite all the career turmoil, the show goes on for this talented and young fighter.
“I’m really looking forward to my next fight against Yves Jabouin on May 17 in Xtreme MMA. He’s been talking a lot of smack about me, so I can’t wait to get in there and knock him out,” said Hominick.
“I’ll be fighting for the new Affliction fight promotion in July, which I hear is connected to Golden Boy Promotions and is supposed to be on HBO. I’ve also resigned a three-fight contract with TKO and my first fight back should be in October. I want nothing more than to get my belt back. I don’t care who they put in front of me. I really want to be the TKO champion again.”
TKO HITS THE CARIBBEAN
Canada’s longest standing fight promotion, TKO Championship Fighting, is planning to hold its April 18 show in Aruba.
“I see this as an opportunity for me to reward the fighters that have been good to TKO over the years,” said TKO president Stephane Patry. “Going forward, I plan to take TKO to an exotic destination every year. I’ve already got the next three years booked at amazing locations.”
TKO fighters have responded favorably to the news.
The fight card pits many of the usual TKO fighters against newcomers from Aruba. “The Battle in Paradise” can also be characterized as Quebec versus Aruba. Several sources have confirmed that the whole island of Aruba seems talking about TKO coming to town.
The Aruban fighters have some amateur MMA experience and are expecting a sellout crowd to give them boisterous support. The saying “careful what you wish for” may prove true if the veterans from TKO treat this as a vacation instead of a true fight. Regardless, it will certainly be interesting to see what transpires.
In other TKO news, UFC veteran Wes Sims was recently signed to fight the popular local professional hockey player turned MMA fighter Steve Bosse at TKO 34 on Saturday, June 7 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
GUILLAME LAMARCHE VERSUS JEFF HARRISON AT TKO 34
Both fighters are coming off very impressive performances against top-notch opponents. Lamarche defeated Justin Tavernini by split decision in what most observers considered the fight of the night at TKO 32. With only one MMA bout to his name, Harrison pulled off the comeback upset against Tyler Jackson also at TKO 32. These fighters are now in talks to clash at TKO 34 in what would be a meaningful matchup in the featherweight division.
PHOENIX FIGHT PROMOTIONS STEPPING IT UP
MMAWeekly caught up with Phoenix Fight Promotions owner Scott MacLean to talk about future plans for his new fight company. “We’re holding a good second event with Joe “Diesel” Riggs in our main event. It’s a good card with a lot of recognizable names.
“In June I hope to book the Halifax Metro Centre, which is the biggest venue in town, holding up to 5,000 people. It’s going to be a huge card with a lot of local talent, headlined by TJ Grant fighting a big international name.”
Here’s the lineup for the Phoenix Fight Promotions “Street Justice”:
Mike Gates vs. Joe Riggs
Rowan Cunningham vs. Stephane Lamarche
Thierry Quenville vs. Jon Stutzman
Peter McGrath vs. Syd Barnier
Richard Arsenault vs. Jason Rorison
Craig Skinner vs. Travis Axworthy
Vartan Pour Nick vs. Devin Henry
John Hachey vs. Jeff Lundberg
Francis Thibault vs. Scott Levesque TBA vs. Steve Claveau
TBA vs. Tommy Pariseau
CANADIAN MMA CALENDAR
April 18 – TKO 33: Battle in Paradise at Surfside Beach in Oranjestad, Aruba
April 19 – UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre 2, Bell Centre, Montreal
April 26 – Phoenix Fight Promotions: Street Justice in Halifax, Nova Scotia
May 9 – MFC16: Anger Management at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch, Alberta
May 30 – Colosseum Fighting Championships VIII: at the Convention Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba
June 7 – TKO 34 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec
July 26 – Freedom Fight: Title Quest at the Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau, Quebec