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TKO 20 - Champion Vs. Champion
by Daniel Diaz and fight reported by Luigi Di Serio

Click Here To See our Trip Photos for TKO 20

Friday April-01-2005 It is 7:20am and already it’s a beautiful day. I stand on my driveway exhaling on a quickly disintegrating cigarette, while my wife Karen and I await our ride to arrive. My cousin Luigi should be pulling up any minute along with his current flame (now ended) Sarah . This will be the first time we’ve allowed our wives to tag along to a TKO MMA event, NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just kidding of course. The five and a half hour drive from our city Toronto to our destination Montreal is pretty uneventful except for the nice O.P.P (Ontario Provincial Police) officer who pulls us over for speeding (133Km). Luckily for us, our humour amuses the officer enough to reduce our ticket to just $50.00 dollars.

We finally arrive in the historical and charming city of Montreal with just enough time to check our wives into our downtown hotel room. Did I say check our wives in? I meant drop them off so Luigi and I could race over to the fighter’s official weigh in. Upon arriving at the Auberge Universal Hotel we are stunned by the lack of local media covering the event. Could it be possible that such a liberal society still feels that MMA is a barbaric and primitive form of sport? Could it be that a city in a province so enriched with a boxing history that dates back to its earliest beginnings, have a double standard that thumbs its collective noses at Mixed Martial Arts. What ever the reason we were stunned to say the least. Maybe the media just doesn’t get it, that MMA is the purist form of one on one combat it is an art that deserves recognition not damnation!!!!

TKO has put out a nice layout for the weigh-ins to take place. The fighters all pass their weight requirements and we manage to meet many of our heros, here’s Luigi with “The Crow” David Loiseau.

On our way back to our hotel we decide to check out the venue for TKO 20. This is the first time TKO will be hosting a card within an actual theatre not the usual arena. As we approach the Metropolis both our mouths fall to floor of the car as we see in bright lights “Steve Vai Tonight”, you have to understand Luigi and I are both musicians who also play in a Hard Rock band. Steve Vai is unquestionably one of the greatest guitarist alive today. We purchase four tickets and race back to our hotel rooms giggling like two little high school girls. Our wives don’t seem too thrilled about the prospect of going to a hard rock show that night but that was just too damn bad, they had no choice.

The Metropolis is a huge majestic theatre located directly downtown on the world famous St. Catherine strip. Inside we find a packed house waiting to hear the Guitar God tear his soul into his guitar. He doesn’t disappoint, note after note pure magic is emitted through the theatre’s sound system. We leave fully satisfied and hungry for tomorrows TKO event inside this beautiful venue.

Back at our hotel rooms, we find that the rest of our entourage has arrived, Luigi’s sister Angela, her husband Ryan, his brother Tyrone and their cousin Jason. After a little chit chat, we retire for the evening exhausted from our travels and dreaming of tomorrow’s fights.

Saturday April-02-05 As usual I am the first to awaken, leaving me with the daunting task of waking everyone else up. We have a busy day of sightseeing (for the girls of course) ahead of us. The day’s news brings a sad reality for all of us “The Pope has died” we alter our scenic routes to include a number of Montreal’s historic churches in memory of our fine “Papa”. The irony of his death in conjunction with going to a TKO event does not escape us, but as they say “the show must go on”.

We arrive at the beautiful Metropolis and the buzz in the air is electrifying. People are streaming into the venue at a feverish pace, all of them wanting to see their hero’s put on an excellent show. The theatre grows dark as a collective hush travels across the venue. TKO 20 starts now!!!!!

Aaron Tregear vs. Martin Grandmont
A showdown between two kickboxing specialists sees an early even exchange of low kicks and straight jabs from each fighter. Martin Grandmont takes a couple of clean left right combos from Aaron Tregears and seems to be on the defensive. Tregear gains full mount and starts to ground and pound Grandmont. Grandmont gives up his back and Tregears quickly submits him with a rear naked choke at 3:26 of the 1st round.

Ryan Diaz vs. Phillipe Lagace
Diaz seems relaxed and ready as he enters the ring to the sounds of booming hardcore rap. The second the bell rings, Diaz comes out flying with booming hardcore knees. Lagace manages to hold on and clinches with Diaz. Diaz unloads some close range but nevertheless effective knees. It seems to stun and create some distance from Lagace. Diaz then unleashes a barrage of elbows and punches causing the referee to stop the fight. Splatters of blood land on the reporters table where I am sitting. After the fight, Ryan Diaz dedicates his victory to all the Tsunami victims in Asia. Ironically Ryan Diaz fought like a human Tsunami on this night and won his 4th consecutive fight in TKO, defeating Phillipe Lagace by KO at 2:05 of the 1st round.

Blake Fredrickson vs. Thierry Quennville
The chants of “Thierry, Thierry” should have encouraged Quennville against a hungry Blake “The Snake”, who had lost his first two TKO appearances, but it didn’t. While the fans booed The Snakes continuous foot stomps, the real damage was done during and after each clinch. Aside from a quick flurry by Quennville with 1:30 left in the first, he found himself, being takedown at will by The Snake’s methodical, picture perfect slams. Even after many referee re-starts, (standing fighters up for little activity on the ground), Blake Fredrickson seemed to always gain the upper hand, clinching and taking down Thierry Quennville at will. The one time Quennville managed a takedown, the Snake was able to slither out and counter with strikes and good low kicks. “Blake the Snake” was too sly and won the fight with a well-deserved unanimous decision victory.

Sam Stout vs. Tyler Jackson
This was a showdown of two men who not only resemble each other in style, but also physique. Each about 5’ 8” and 155 pounds and both being power punchers. “T.N.T” Tyler Jackson being the older of the two, and “Hands of Stone” Sam Stout being the more experienced TKO fighter of the two. Maybe Sam Stout took Tyler Jackson lightly, because in the first round Tyler had the edge with meticulous boxing skills, also Tyler won a takedown and ended the round with a couple of good combinations. Stout came out with more confidence in round two, using flying knees, lunging strikes and accurate counter attacks. Jackson held his own, for the entire round, but this “all stand-up” round went Sam Stout’s way. The momentum carried into the third round as Sam Stout took the fight to Tyler. “T.N.T” responded using exploding spurts of good counters, but seemed to be more gassed than Stout. Sam Stout won a unanimous decision, scoring 29-28 by each judge. This fight received a partial standing ovation and the sportsman-like Sam Stout held up the hand of the respectable Tyler Jackson. Good showing by both competitors.

Iccho Larenas vs. Jacob Conliffe: Heavyweight Championship Fight
The big boys squared off as the young Jacob Conliffe had to defend his TKO heavyweight title for the first time. Iccho Larenas, looking huge and hungry came out swinging, Conliffe, calmly evaded a few big swings and clinched, taking down Larenas nicely a few times in the first round. After a see-saw battle Conliffe narrowly escapes a late guillotine attempt by Icho. The second round started out evenly, but one and a half minutes later, Conliffe was either overpowered or simply just fell over right into the strong mount of Larenas. That was the beginning of the end of Conliffe’s short-lived tenure as heavyweight champ. Larenas with a full mount rained down punch after punch to defeat Jacob Conliffe by TKO at 1:38 of the 2nd round. Iccho Larenas is crowned the new TKO HW champ.

Donald Quimet vs James Martinez: Lightweight Championship Fight
James Martinez says “I’m not a big talker, but a big fighter” and I’m not going to argue with that. He came out swinging. His style resembled movie star Tony Jaa from ONG BAK, using devastating Muay Thai knees and lunging attacks from all angles. Ouimet’s experience allowed him to control the first round on the ground by winning most clinches and taking James Martinez down to utilize his Jui Jitsu skills. Things started to get ugly in the next 2 rounds, you see Martinez brought with him from New Mexico, some of the most-fierce attacks TKO had ever seen. Ouimet would be punished by low kicks, vicious elbows, and brutal flying knees. Martinez seemed to use some dirty tricks at times, holding on to the ropes and using an illegal elbow strike to the face. Overall Martinez dominated the fight standing up and when on top in the guard. Ouimet on the other hand had endured a lot of physical punishment. Ouimet had the slight advantage on the ground, but inflicted very little damage. Ultimately Donald Quimet retained his belt by defeating James Martinez by split decision. Although, I gave the fight to Martinez, as did one other judge, the other two judges saw it the other way. Maybe because of Martinez’s dirty tricks or because the judges didn’t see enough reason for Ouimet to lose his belt. Also the refereeing in this match was one of the worst officiating ever in TKO history. The ref was constantly re-starting the fighters when he should not have been, and he also missed the illegal elbow strike by Martinez. Either-way Ouimet is a local crowd favorite and the controversy surrounding this fight may carry on in a much needed rematch.

Jonathan Goulet vs. Tony Fryklund
This one had all the elements to be a classic welterweight match-up… but it wasn’t. Foe Jonathan Goulet it went just fine, since he came out with a torrent of strikes, including a vicious knee that opened a HUGE gash above Tony “The Freak” Fryklund’s eye. As the blood gushed down, “The Freak” tried a last ditch effort to submit Goulet with a guillotine choke, but Goulet managed to sneak out of it. As the action slowed down, the referee ordered a break to check the fighter’s wound. As the “safety first” rule would have it, the doctor stopped the fight deeming the cut too large for Tony Frklund to continue. It was the right decision, because The Freak looked quite freakishly like a mortal combat character covered in his own blood. Jonathan Goulet defeats Tony Fryklund by doctor stoppage at 1:16 of the 1st round.

Mark Hominick vs. Stephane Vigneault: Super-Lightweight Championship Fight
The fight starts out cautiously as both fighters try to feel each other out exchanging light jabs. As each fighter closed the gap with systematic baby steps, Hominick was able to connect with a right hand scoring a flash knockdown. Vigneault quickly stood up and returned with an accurate delivery of straight right hands. Oddly enough, Vigneault seemed to want to keep the fight standing, when one would think he would have more luck bringing the crafty handed Hominick to the ground. Midway through the first round, there was an impressive exchange of hard strikes by each fighter in the center of the ring. Hominick seemed to get the better of this exchange when all of a sudden Vigneault landed a swift spinning back fist. Hominick quickly recouped and delivered a lovely low kick that knocked his opponent slightly off balance. Hominick, smelling blood pounced of his wounded prey and delivered a barrage of straight hard punches that dazed the already staggered Vigneault. Mark Hominick defeats Stephane Vigneault at 4:35 of the 1st Round by TKO. Overall this was a great fight that had some good exchanges. Mark Hominick continues to show his dominance at the super-lightweight division, and is willing to accept any and all challenges.

This was another stellar card organized by the TKO staff and a good time was had by all. TKO continues to grow and evolve into a world class fighting organization. We can’t wait for the next event and neither can our wives, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

For more information on upcoming TKO events, feel free to contact Mr. Stephane Patry via their website at www.TKOmma.tv

You can also find this article in IronLife.com Magazine

Click Here To See our Trip Photos for TKO 20
* Article by Daniel Diaz and reporting by Luigi Di Serio

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