THE GREAT FIGHT NORTH

News and Notes from the World of Canadian MMA

By Mike Doyle and Mike Russell

Welcome to our latest installment of The Great Fight North, The Fight Network’s Weekly Canadian MMA News column. This past weekend saw Montreal’s George “Rush” St. Pierre (13-2) defeated by Matt “The Terror” Serra (9-4-0) in what is being called one of the biggest upsets in the history of mixed martial arts.

Reminiscent of the mood of the crowd on-hand to witness Anderson Silva’s domination of former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin at UFC 64, spectators looked on in shocked silence as Serra outboxed the heavy-handed Canadian to snatch away the title. Betting lines for Saturday night’s main event had GSP at -900, meaning if he had won, you would have had to bet $900 dollars to make $100. Serra, on the other hand, was at +500 guaranteeing anyone who bet on him $500 for every $100 wager – a long shot if ever there was one.

Rest assured St. Pierre will rebound from this setback like he did when defeated by Matt Hughes at UFC 50. Complimenting Serra on his victory, St. Pierre proved why he is one of the sport’s most well liked fighters by not making excuses and apologizing to his disappointed fans.

For Canadian fans hungry to watch their first UFC live, UFC president Dana White said he was unsure how this turn of events would affect the promotion’s proposed plans for a Montreal debut later this year. The Fight Network team will be sure to keep you posted as we get word.


DRAGONS HOPING RAY WILL BREATHE FIRE

The injury-riddled Toronto Dragons of the IFL have adopted American Gideon Ray (13-5) to replace injured welterweight Claude Patrick April 13 against Don Frye’s Tucson Scorpions. Team officials could not be reached this week to confirm whether Ray will fill in for Patrick for the remainder of the year as the Toronto native recovers from knee surgery scheduled for the same day his team faces the Arizona squad. Ray joins Montreal’s Brent Beauparlant (4-4), Toronto’s Wagney Fabiano (5-1) and Wojtek Kaszowski (0-5) and Rio de Janeiro’s Rafael Feijao (4-2) on the only Canadian-based IFL team.


HOMINICK TO MAKE WEC DEBUT JUNE 3

London, Ontario striker Mark “The Machine” Hominick (13-6-0) will make his World Extreme Cagefighting debut at the Zuffa-owned company’s June 3 event in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hominick, who is coming off a tough loss to TKO Featherweight Champion Hatsu Hioki this past February, has been outspoken about facing WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber (18-1-0). Undefeated in Octagon with wins over Yves Edwards and Jorge Gurgel, Hominick forfeited the remainder of his contract with the UFC to sign with Zuffa’s other promotion, enabling the 24-year-old to take a run at Faber’s title.


STOUT VS. FISHER II?

As reported in our first edition of “The Great Fight North”, Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout will make his return to the UFC in an upcoming installment of Spike TV’s UFC Fight Night Live. We hear the hard-hitting Team Tompkins fighter will face Spencer “The King” Fisher in a rematch of their hard fought UFC 58 battle in March 2006. Stout won a split decision victory over the Team Miletich lightweight, but Fisher has publicly refuted the decision, believing that he should have been named the victor, thus prompting the soon-to-be-announced rematch.

JOSLIN BACK TO UFC IN JUNE OR JULY

Welterweight contender Jeff Joslin was scheduled to make his second UFC appearance during last week’s UFC Fight Night at The Pearl in The Palms Casino & Resort in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, an injury forced the Canadian to pull out of his scheduled bout with Kuniyoshi Hironaka (10-3).

In December, Joslin (5-3) made his long-awaited UFC debut, albeit a decision loss to Josh Koscheck. Regardless, “The Inferno” was impressive in his first appearance under the bright lights, as he controlled the stand-up portion of the fight, which forced Koscheck to revert back to his elite wrestling skills to earn the nod from the judges.

The Fight Network recently learned that the UFC has asked the Hamilton native to be ready to fight in either June or July. An opponent hasn’t been mentioned for Joslin, or whether the match will take place on a future UFC Fight Night or PPV event.

In addition, Joslin has received an invitation to train with Team Tompkins in California, to prepare for his next fight.

KRYSA APPEALS RULING

Last week, ECC promoter Peter Martell supplied The Fight Network with some clarification surrounding the controversial ruling from the March 31 lightweight championship bout between Jason MacKay and Shaun Krysa in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

During the second round of the fight, Krysa was hit with an up-kick by MacKay while his knees were still on the ground. Afterwards, the native of Georgetown, Ont. was unable to continue and the Halifax-based promotion went to the scorecards, which declared MacKay the winner.

Martell indicated the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority rules stipulate that an unintentional foul resulting in a fighter being unable to continue with less than one round complete is a "No Contest.” However, should the same foul occur after the start of the second round and the fighter isn't able to continue, the decision goes to the judges’ scorecards.

Nonetheless, Krysa’s manager, Chris Boreland has filed an appeal with the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority regarding the ruling. For what it’s worth, Krysa has been offered a rematch with MacKay in the ECC, but he likely won’t make any decisions until this situation is resolved.


HEAVYWEIGHTS HEADLINE MFC UNPLUGGED

The Maximum Fighting Championships Unplugged series returns with “Hits Back” at the Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe on April 20 in Edmonton, Alberta. In the main event, Hawaiian fighting sensation Scott Junk squares off against Dominic Richard of British Columbia.

Mark Pavelich, the owner/president of Maximum Fighting Championships and Pro Camp Sports Management recently recruited Junk, and the Alberta promoter is quite confident he’s found a diamond in the rough in the former BJ Penn student.

“He’s going to be the next heavyweight champion of the world,” claimed Pavelich. “As long as Fedor [Emelianenko] doesn’t cross over from PRIDE, we’re pretty safe. You can take the top three or four guys out of the heavyweight division, and everybody else beneath them will get destroyed.”

Junk (4-1) started out in the Hawaiian-based promotion Rumble on the Rock, and after dropping his first fight to former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez, he’s won his last four. In Junk’s last appearance, he scored a ten-second knockout over John George at Icon Sport.

Richard is a relative newcomer to MMA, having only made his debut in November with the Valley Fight Fest organization. Nonetheless, Richard (3-0) carries a reputation as a heavy-handed striker, as he’s recorded lighting fast KO’s in his last two fights.

Also featured on the card is Ryan “The Kid” McGillivray, who is coming off a first round submission victory over Aaron Gallant at MFC 11 “Gridiron.” McGillivray (3-0) is one of the top up-and-coming fighters in the Pro Camp Sports Management stable

CANADIAN CALENDAR

Upcoming events hitting The Great Fight North in the coming months include:

• April 20 - MFC “Unplugged 3 Hits Back” Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe, Edmonton, Alberta, 7:30 PM
• April 21 - Rumble in the Cage 23, Exhibition Pavilion, Lethbridge, Alberta, 7:30 PM
• April 28 – King of the Cage “Meggido” Multiplex, Vernon, BC, 7:30 PM
• June 1 - TKO 29 “Repercussion” Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, 7:30 PM
• June 22 - MFC 12 “High Stakes” Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, 7:30 PM

To check out more dates spanning the globe, visit The Fight Network Events Calendar here.

POSTED -- 04/09/07