Montreal – It was an evening of broken noses, thrilling submissions, and hard-fought battles Saturday night, as 550 fans packed Club Soda for Rising Stars 1, Ringside MMA’s showcase of up and coming Quebec talent.
The evening’s main event between heavyweights Lenard Terrance (2-0) and Robert Masson (1-1) ended almost before it began, with Terrance securing a TKO victory 83 seconds into the fight. From the start, he was able to use his 55 pound weight advantage to keep Masson pressed up against the cage.
“Somewhere in there one of his knees caught my pinky,” said Masson after the fight. “I thought my finger had come out of the glove.” After managing to escape, Masson signaled to the ref. Upon closer inspection, his finger had been broken. A doctor was called in to inspect, and the fight was stopped.
“It sucks, it’s two months of training gone to waste,” said Masson after. He was set to visit the hospital Sunday to see if surgery was necessary to repair the bone and damaged ligaments. (Listen to my post-fight interview with Masson for more details.)
Yohan Gariépy (2-2), one of three members from Victoriaville’s Team Legion fighting on Saturday, managed to pull out a unanimous decision (29-28) victory over an exhausted Jean-Francois Royer (2-2) in a back and forth battle. After landing two take-downs in the first round, and blocking Royer’s attempts to take him to the ground in the second, Gariépy was able to pull away in the third round, unloading on Royer, and getting the better of their exchanges. It was enough to convince the judges he was the winner.
In a violent bantamweight tilt between Stéphane Pelletier (3-1) and Maxime Fecteau (1-1), a broken nose forced a stop to the fight during the second round. Though Fecteau was able to hold Pelletier in a rubber guard after he was taken to the ground in the first, Pelletier persevered. While trading shots later in the round, Pelletier secured a clinch, then unloaded a vicious knee to Fecteau’s face, breaking his nose in the process.
“I felt it crack and snap,” recounted Pelletier after the fight. After having several fists landed on his face in the second round, Fecteau’s nose began bleeding profusely, leading the referee to call in a ring-side doctor, who put an end to the fight at 1:44 of the 2nd round. Though sastified with his TKO victory, Pelletier said he would have liked to continue. “I was ready… to mess up his face even more.”
In a thrilling finish, Team Legion’s Tommy Côté (2-0) pulled off an arm-bar in the third round of his battle with opponent Danny St-Gelais (2-1). After a close first round full of back and forth standing shots, and a second round where both fighters mostly failed to connect with wild haymakers, the third round started with neither fighter having a clear advantage.
Half-way through the last round, Côté suddenly landed a knee to St-Gelais’s face, grounding him instantly. Côté swarmed to finish with punches, then St-Gelais attempted an escape. “I couldn’t finish him…, but he gave me his back, and from there I tried to knock him a bit,” explained Côté after the fight. “I was going to fall off, but on the way down I grabbed his arm.” Côté quickly secured an arm-bar, forcing St-Gelais to tap at 2:41 of the 3rd round. The exciting conclusion to the fight earned huge applause from the crowd.
In a fight characterized by one-sided top control, Xtreme Couture Toronto fighter Albert Cheng (2-0), won a unanimous 30-27 decision from the judges. Repeatedly landing his take-downs, and fighting off guillotine attempts by his opponent Taylor Solomon (2-1), Cheng was unable to gain a stoppage over three rounds, instead settling for a decision.
In a slobberknocker of a fight between heavyweights hungry to make a mark, Jeff Breau (1-0) gained a TKO victory over Martin Trempe (0-2), finishing him with a left kick to the liver at 2:38 of Round 1. Trading a series of heavy shots throughout the match, the fighters seemed intent on knocking each others heads off. When Breau landed the kick, Trempe fell to the ground and instantaneously began tapping, clearly in a great amount of pain.
For Breau, tasting victory in his first fight was sweet. Speaking after the fight, he credited his kick-boxing training with helping him gain the finish. “My left foot, right to his body, straight to the liver,” he said. The victory was a “dream come true,” he added.
In a short but exciting fight that led off the night, Maxime Dubois (1-0), secured a rear naked choke to gain his first professional victory of Round 1. Leading off Team Legion’s three victory night, he submitted fellow bantamweight Eric Daigneault (0-2) after breaking out of two guillotines. During an exchange on the ground, Dubois was able to secure his opponent’s back on way to victory. A visibly shaken Daigneault was slow to get to his feet.
With five of the night’s seven fights coming off in an exciting manner, fans seemed overall satisfied, despite the main event’s sudden, unceremonious ending. Ringside MMA president Eric Champoux summed it up after the event. “I was very surprised,” he said. “We got to see battles tonight… these beginners fought like they were veterans.”
Note that all fighters’ records listed in the article include the results of Saturday’s fights.