Photos by Frank Parsons
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Canada – Warrior One made a successful first trip to the east coast in front of approximately 3,000 fans at the Halifax Forum. W-1 “New Ground” featured a main event between former Strikeforce heavyweight title contender Brett Rogers and well-seasoned journeyman Ruben Villareal.
Rogers, MMAWeekly.com’s No. 10 ranked heavyweight, came out throwing hard leg kicks, one of which dropped Villareal about two minutes into the fight. Rogers pounced on Villareal and threw numerous punches on the ground, but Villareal managed to tie him up. Rogers stood up from Villareal’s guard where a slow paced stand-up fight ensued.
Rogers threw a couple of big punches that missed wildly. The Minnesota native found himself in an unusual position, taking his opponent to the ground a couple of times in the second round, but doing little damage.
Villareal landed two knees to the groin in the opening two minutes of the third round. Villareal scored a takedown of his own at about the 3:30 mark of the third. Rogers stood up rather quickly, but looked exhausted. At one point a tired Rogers stepped back and put his hands on his knees.
Rogers won by unanimous decision, 29-28, across the board.
In the co-main event Cesar Gracie disciple Roy Boughton (5-1) scored the biggest win of his young MMA career defeating Murilo “Ninja” Rua by unanimous decision. Boughton just made his pro debut in March of this year and upset the 32-fight veteran. The stunning victory was tainted slightly, however, as Boughton came in five pounds over the 190-pound catchweight limit.
The first round saw both fighters coming out trading takedowns and scrambling back to their feet in a feverish pace. Ninja looked for a heel hook on two occasions, but Boughton escaped.
The Concord, California, fighter controlled the second and third rounds with numerous takedowns landing some solid ground and pound to win the crowd-pleasing unanimous decision.
Halifax’s own Roger Hollett brought the hometown fans to their feet as he came out fast against Mychal Clark. Hollett dropped Clark early, but could not finish the experienced veteran.
A few times during the fight, the flashy Clark faked a spinning back-fist and shot in for the takedown. Hollett was able to stuff the takedowns and overpower his way on top of Clark. Hollett showed positional dominance passing Clark’s guard on multiple occasions. Hollett improved his record to 11-3 with the unanimous decision victory.
Eleven-year MMA veteran Sean Pierson of Toronto, Ontario, took little time to defeat New Galsgow, Nova Scotia, native Ricky Goodall. After getting the better of a stand-up exchange, Pierson took Goodall to the mat and quickly advanced to full mount. Goodall gave up his back and Pierson continually flattened him out and rained down a plethora of unanswered blows before the ref stopped the fight at 1:44 of round one.
Local fighter Matt McGrath landed some nice slam takedowns against Red Deer, Alberta, native Ryan Machan, but to Machan’s credit he continuously scrambled back to his feet. McGrath won a grinding unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three cards.
Two-time UFC vet Doug Evans continued his run at 145 pounds with a third-round rear naked choke victory over up and coming Tristan Johnson. Evans controlled the fight with takedowns before pressuring Johnson into giving up his back. The Anchorage Alaska native secured the tap at 1:55 of the final round.
W-1 “New Ground” Full Results:
Brett Rogers def. Ruben Villareal by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
Roy Boughton def. Murilo “Ninja” Rua by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), R3
Roger Hollett def. Mychal Clark by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28), R3
Sean Pierson def. Ricky Goodall by TKO at 1:44, R1
Matt McGrath def. Ryan Machan by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
Doug Evans def. Tristan Johnson by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:55, R3
Musa Tolliver def. Jason MacKay by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
Nordine Taleb def. Chad Cox by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
Jeremy Hamilton def. Chris Johnson by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:56, R1
Jeremiah Bernard def. Todd Henry by KO at 2:20, R1
Pat Schilling def. Tom Waters at Submission (Kneebar) at 2:34, R1
Michael Imperato def. Jeff Black by Submission (Armbar) at 4:36, R1