Despite cold weather and falling snow outside, the Gladiator Fight Club gym, located about an hour from Montreal in Sorel-Tracy, was packed to capacity for the show with about 250 fans.
A former night club, the Gladiator gym still sported remnants of its past. A disco ball hung high above the ring, but more importantly an excellent sound system allowed ring announcer Eric Emard to ply his trade to its full potential, aided by the boisterous crowd, who shouted their approval for most of the evening’s ten amateur fights. Intermissions were partially filled by Emard offering updates on the Habs’ hockey game, eliciting further approval from the crowd.
Gladiator MMA was a collaboration between Fight Sports Promotions (Summum MMA’s parent company) and the Gladiator Fight Club gym in Sorel-Tracy.
Check back later for post-fight interviews with Alex Morgan, Karim Ranni, Mic Dufort, and Mario Pereira, as well as Ringside 10‘s Rejean Groulx, who was in attendance to help some of the fighters.
Here are the full results (quick results available here)
-Weight divisions in bold, records are amateur.
160 – Alex Morgan (Gladiator Fight Club Sorel) v. Karim Ranni (Orion MMA)
Karim Ranni wins by unanimous judges’ decision. Takes Gladiator 155 lbs title.
– Easily the best fight of the night, both skill and action-wise, there appeared to be some miscommunication ahead of the fight, as Ranni later stated he’d understood it was a five rounds at 155-160 lbs, not 155 lbs. Showing up weighing 161 lbs, the rematch (Morgan won the 1st fight via arm-bar) nonetheless went ahead, with a lightweight amateur belt on the line. Morgan received huge applause, playing up to his hometown crowd as he entered the ring.
-Morgan took the 1st, controlling Ranni on the ground for much of the round. After an intense stand-up exchange, where Morgan landed a clean kick to Ranni’s head, Morgan landed a take-down. With Ranni on the ground, Morgan controlled him, eventually gaining full mount. Ranni twisted back and worth, giving Morgan his back several times, during which time Morgan landed a few punches. When Ranni eventually made it back to his feet, he landed a few solid shots before the round ended.
-Ranni looked better in the 2nd, as the round again began with stand-up. Ranni eventually caught one of Morgan’s kicks, and used that to gain a takedown. The fight soon returned to the feet, with Ranni beginning to out-strike Morgan, including repeated leg-kicks. After tossing Morgan to the ground, Ranni began attacking him from his feet, landing several solid punches that had Morgan in trouble before the referee stepped in and stood up the fight, citing an illegal hammer-fist on Ranni’s part as the reason (hammer-fists are illegal at the amateur level). The fighters traded more stand-up as the round ended.
-The decisive 3rd round was quite close, with Ranni gaining a slight edge. After solid stand-up where both cleanly connected, an uppercut for Morgan, and a jab for Ranni, Morgan landed a takedown that Ranni quickly reversed. Ranni controlled Morgan on the ground for the rest of the round, punching Morgan from side-control, before moving to guard, half-guard and back to his feet without landing much as the fight ended.
-The fighters embraced, and Ranni was declared winner by unanimous decision. Despite their dissapointment, the crowd showed its support for the excellent fight. Post-fight, both fighters expressed willingness down the line to fight a third time in a rubber match. Ranni and Morgan are both considered top-5 for Quebec amateur lightweights. Ranni wins the rematch, improves to 8-2, and is crowned the first Gladiator MMA lightweight champ. Morgan falls to 8-2.
140 – Michael Dufort (Fight Club St-Jean) v. Steven Lamy (Steevie boxe)
Michael Dufort wins by triangle choke submission at 1:20 of Round 1.
– Facing the more experienced Lamy, a fighter who’s record includes a professional loss, Mic Dufort pulled off his fifth straight first-round submission. First attempting a guillotine on Lamy, Dufort later successfully locked in a triangle after Lamy wrestled him to the ground, eventually securing a tap after getting his gloves on Lamy’s neck and pulling down. Dufort improves to 8-1 as an amateur, Lamy falls to 15-10.
150 – Guillaume Frechette (Team Venom) v. Mario Pereira (Gladiator FC Sorel)
Mario Pereira wins by arm-bar submission at 0:52 of Round 1.
– The lights were lowered for Pereira’s entrance, harkening back to the gym’s dance hall roots. Pereira made quick work of Frechette, first landing a takedown Frechette quickly escaped. As the fighters then spun to the ground while tied up, Pereira ended up on his back, quickly twisting Frechette around and locking in an arm-bar. Frechette eventually tapped after Pereira fully extended the hold, though his arm appeared to be injured after the fight, and he was attended to by on-hand ambulance technicians. Pereira pulls off his 2nd straight arm-bar, improving to 4-0. Frechette falls to 1-3.
180 – Jonathan Roblin (Team Barbarian) v. Kevyn Thouin (Team Venom)
Jonathan Roblin wins by unanimous judges’ decision. (I scored it 29-28 Roblin)
– Roblin got the better of Thouin on the ground for much of the fight, attempting triangles, and achieving full-mount in the 1st and 2nd rounds. Thouin won the 3rd, controlling Roblin most of the 2 minutes with a takedown followed by ground control, including an unsuccessful rear-naked choke attempt. Roblin goes to 3-1-1, while Thouin loses for the first time, going to 1-1.
185 – David Morin (Gladiator FC Sorel) v. David Pouliot (Spartan Fight Club)
David Pouliot wins by arm-bar submission at 1:20 of Round 2.
– In a wild 1st round, Pouliot out struck Morin, but succumbed to a take-down. A Morin arm-bar attempt got caught in the ropes, at which point referee Loic-Pascal Magnier attempted to reset the position in the center of the ring. After Pouliot’s coaches loudly protested, Magnier warned them verbally, and sent the fighters back to their feet shortly before the round ended. In the 2nd, Pouliot locked in his arm-bar, catching Morin as the fighters were tied up. Morin tapped, but was on the ground for a while. Ambulance technicians checked the shaken up Morin carefully, before following him backstage, slightly delaying the Roblin-Thouin fight. Morin loses in front of his home crowd, evening out to 2-2. Pouliot remains undefeated at 3-0.
170 – Steven Campbell (St-Hya MMA) v. Patrick Chayer (Team Barbarian)
Steven Campbell wins by unanimous judges’ decision. (I scored it a narrow 29-28 for Campbell)
– A close fight, Chayer appeared to win the 1st, holding Campbell in side-control for part of the round, but failing to do much damage. In the 2nd, Campbell appeared to narrowly out-point Chayer, attempting a kimura from his back, before gaining side-control, only to lose it to Chayer, who unsuccessfully attempted a rear-naked choke. Campbell regained his feet and threw punches at the still-grounded Chayer as the round ended. In the 3rd, as both fighters tired, Campbell ended up on top of Chayer as the tangled fighters fell to the ground, fully mounting him and delivering punches. Campbell attempted a rear-naked choke after Chayer turned, but he resisted. All three rounds were close, with the judge’s favouring Campbell. The crowd showed their appreciation for this exciting debut for both fighters. Campbell improves to 1-0, Chayer falls to 0-1.
145 – Samuel Giguere (Karaté-Jitsu Beauce) v. Mike Héroux (Team Venom)
Samuel Giguere wins by rear-naked choke submission at 1:00 of Round 2.
– In the 1st, Guiguere twice failed to capitalize on take-downs, both times allowing Heroux to reverse into a dominant position. In the 2nd, Giguere had better luck, taking a resistant, sprawling Heroux to the ground, maneuvering to his back, and locking in the choke, forcing Heroux to tap. Guiguere improves to 3-1, Héroux remain winless at 0-2.
160 – Patrick Archambeault (Team Barbarian) v. Eric Bessette (Ultimaction)
Eric Bessette wins by unanimous judges’ decision. (I scored it 29-28 Bessette)
– In an excellent high-energy match-up, Archambeault took the 1st round, edging Bessette in the stand-up, before landing a takedown followed by ground-and-pound that Bessette eventually escaped. The tide began to turn in the 2nd, as Bessette twice took Archambeault to the floor, first using full mount to land punches after a sprawl, then later throwing more of the same after pushing him to the ground during a standing tie-up. In the final round, uppercuts were traded during a tie-up, before Bessette again took Archambeault to the ground. Despite Bessette achieving full mount, Archambeault escaped back to his feet, at which point Bessette landed a superman punch, tossed Archamabeault, full mounted him, and ground-and-pounded as the round ended. Bessette improves to 3-2, Archambeault evens to 1-1.
200 – Frederick Héroux (Team Venom) v. Carl Loubert (Spartan FC)
Carl Loubert wins by TKO via ground-and-pound at 1:30 of Round 1.
– In the evening’s heaviest fight, Loubert landed a takedown in the 1st after trading punches with Héroux, then moved from side-control to full-mount, peppering Héroux with punches throughout. Eventually, Loubert landed enough clean ground-and-pound for the referee to stop the fight. Debut fight for both, Loubert goes to 1-0, Héroux 0-1.
155 – Sébastien Narbonne (Team Barbarian) v. Julien Ravart (Orion MMA)
Julien Ravart wins by TKO via ground-and-pound at 1:13 of Round 3.
– Ravart was in charge throughout, holding Narbonne in side-control in the 1st, and attempting a triangle with seconds left, then fully mounting Narbonne and delivering ground-and-pound in the 2nd, before again getting full-mount in the 3rd, this time landing enough punches for the referee to stop the fight. Ravart improves to 2-1 as an amateur, Narbonne suffers a loss in his first outing (0-1).
By schools, here’s how it came out:
Orion MMA (2-0)
Spartan Fight Club (2-0)
Fight Club St-Jean (1-0)
Karaté-Jitsu Beauce (1-0)
St-Hya MMA (1-0)
Gladiator Fight Club Sorel (1-2)
Team Barbarian (1-3)
Steevie Boxe (0-1)
Team Venom (0-4)