Empire Fight League (EFL) returned Saturday for its second amateur event, titled Reloaded. Once more taking place in the reception hall of the Rossignol, a sugar shack in St-Julie just East of Montreal, the event was promoted by Academie Pro Star MMA‘s Eric Bertrand.
As with July’s inaugural event, production values were excellent, including an illuminated entrance ramp, and the rousing voice of Ringside announcer Eric Emard.
Just under 400 fans showed up for the evening’s 12 amateur bouts, a slight drop from EFL 1.
The evening’s s co-main event was the setting for the hard-hitting 24 year-old Alex Laramée‘s amateur swansong. Veteran of over 30 amateur MMA and kick-boxing bouts, he was originally set to make his professional debut last January at Rising Star 1, before a neurological issue caused him to have his license denied. With the problem resolved to doctors’ satisfaction, he should be making the transition later this year. (Hear the details in his post-fight interview)
Heavyweight Martin Trempe (0-2, pro), derailed from facing Donald Brashear at June’s Ringside 11 by a shoulder injury, also fought at the event, continuing his sojourn back as an amateur after a TKO loss at EFL 1. The 27 year-old says he’s looking to get back to the majors later this year once his shoulder is back at 100 per cent.
Julien Dumont served as the evening’s referee. Sanctioned by the ‘Federation Quebecoise de Boxe Mixte Amateur’ (FQBM), Saturday’s fights took place under amateur rules. On top of being in a ring, the three rounds are two minutes each. Fighters wear 12 ounce gloves and shin pads. Elbow, knee, and heel strikes, hammer-fists, and submissions involving twisting (e.g. heel hooks), are all prohibited.
Full Results (Weight divisions in bold)
160 – Éric Dastout (Gym Action) submits Carlos Martinez (Pro Star MMA) via rear-naked choke at 1:59 of Round 3.
– Fighting before his home crowd in the main event in only his second amateur bout, Martinez opened solidly, winning the 1st with ground control, despite almost getting caught with a rear-naked choke as the round ended. The 2nd frame was close, with both fighters having a measure of ground control, Martinez with side control in the first half, Dastout in the same position later. In the 3rd, Martinez landed two takedowns, but while trying to take his opponent’s back, Dastout turned and reversed into side-control. Martinez attempted to improve his position, but Dastout took his back, forced him towards the ground, locked in the rear-naked choke, and got the tap a split second before the fight ended.
Dastout improved to 5-1 as an amateur with the win, while Martinez fell to 1-1. Feeling dizzy after the fight, Martinez was taken out of the building on a gurney, and sent to the hospital. Ultimately, his coach reported that he had suffered no major injury, but had required some stitches for a cut that opened up on his face during the bout.
180 – Alex Laramée (Team Bergeron) def. Mathieu Fournier (Team Extreme) via unanimous judges’ decision.
– In a performance he admitted was prudent, Laramée nonetheless looked impressive. The fight took place almost entirely on the feet, and though Fournier threw more, and possibly outlanded early on, Laramée’s shots connected with far more impact. Utilizing straights, uppercuts, leg kicks, and a left hook that had Fournier wobbly late in the 2nd, Laramée also scored the fight’s sole takedown late in the 1st round. Laramée completed the decision in the 3rd with more stand-up offense, attacking Fournier with leg kicks and punches to the torso, while also connecting with a few left hooks.
Laramée showed that he remains a serious threat on his feet in this, his last amateur fight. His punches connected more forcefully than anyone else’s Saturday, let alone at most other amateur events.
HW – Martin Trempe (Gym Action) def. Gabriel Meuleau (Pro Star MMA) via TKO (abandonment) at 0:28 of Round 2.
– Facing a 252 pound 39 year-old opponent who was making his amateur debut, Trempe was in control most of the fight, favouring body kicks and right straights throughout the 1st round, which he ended with a takedown. After landing a 2-3 right-left combo early in the 2nd, Trempe went to toss Meuleau to the mat, but the hefty fighter instead went tumbling towards, then through the ropes, about four feet down to the floor. Though Meuleau, aside from being slightly dazed, was apparently uninjured by the fall, the fight was stopped, and Trempe awarded the TKO.
Following the fight, the theatrics continued when Trempe was joined in ring after by former TKO fighter Bob ‘the Train’ Landry (2-2), who promptly delivered a pro-wrestling style challenge to face him for a new EFL heavyweight belt at the next event. Looking amused, Trempe accepted. Landry, now 35, last fought professionally in 2007, and also took part in the Strikebox/Titans Fighting stand-up fighting event in early 2008.
175 – Michael Cyr (Ultimaction) submits Ali Crezad (Academie Sportive) via rear-naked choke at 0:55 of Round 1.
– Having the poor judgement to start the fight by dropping his hands and beckoning his opponent to come at him, Crezad was soon in for an ugly surprise as Cyr happily accepted the challenge, shooting in with a solid right hook, which he followed up with a takedown. Crezad scrambled back to his feet, only to again be taken down by Cyr, who took his back and locked in a rear-naked choke for the quick win.
An aggressive performance for Cyr, who improves to 3-3 as an amateur, following up on a win a week earlier at Summum 5.
165 – Jonathan Dubé (Pro Star MMA) def. Samy Renaud (Team Extreme) via TKO (ground-and-pound) at 1:10 of Round 3.
– After a close 1st round, where the fighters traded punches and position on the ground, Dubé began getting the stand-up advantage half-way through the 2nd frame as Renaud began visibly gassing. Landing a right hook, Dubé swarmed, landing an uppercut on a cornered Renaud as time ran down. Following up as the 3rd round opened, Dubé landed a big counter right hook. Renaud, exhausted, went to his knees. Dubé move in with body punches and followed up with ground-and-pound from half-guard, then full mount, eventually prompting the referee to step in and award him the TKO.
The bout was named Fight of the Night, and judging by the crowd’s wild reaction, it was probably a good call. Dubé improves to 2-1 as an amateur with the finish.
165 – Dave Ladouceur Yanakis (Kanreikai FC) submits Nabil Abdel Kader (Academie Sportive) via guillotine at 1:25 of Round 1.
– The bout opened with the fighters trading kicks, soon after going into the clinch. Kader landed a double-leg takedown a bit past the halfway point of the round, but left his head out. Yanakis grabbed hold as Kader entered his guard, and locked in a guillotine, soon after getting the tap.
165 – Jason Fontaine (Pro Star MMA) submits Ricardo Moreau (Kanreikai FC) via rear-naked choke at 0:13 of Round 1.
– Fontaine, known as ‘the Wolverine,’ lived up to the moniker, showing up for the fight with his beard fully grown in. A hometown favourite, he played up to the occasion, stomping about as the fight was set to begin. The crowd ate it up, all the more when he opened with a takedown, quickly took Moreau’s back, and locked in a tight rear-naked choke to finish.
With his 13 second win, Fontaine was awarded the ‘Submission of the Night,’ improving to 2-0 as an amateur.
155 – Mathieu Allard (Iatskevich Submission) def. Norm Dywer (Total Martial Arts) via TKO (abandonment/injury) at 2:00 of Round 1.
– Back for a second straight Saturday with his red and black wrestling singlet, Allard got the TKO after a close 1st round where Dwyer attacked him with leg kicks and a back kick. After sprawling Dwyer for a long while, Allard finished the round with a kimura attempt. Dwyer indicated to his corner that something was wrong between rounds, and the fight was ended. Dwyer’s big right toe apparently landed badly off of a kick, resulting in a torn tendon. The 27 year-old was taken by ambulance to a local hospital by on-site EMTs, and will require surgery to repair the damage according to his manager.
155 – William Vasquez (Team Extreme) def. Samuel Deruisseau (Ultimaction) via unanimous judges’ decision.
– Seeming to dislike each other from the opening bell, the pugilists traded hooks wildly to start the fight, with Vasquez slightly out-landing Deruisseau in the close 1st round. The swinging continued into the 2nd, occasionally interrupted by clinching, as the fight began to resemble a boxing match. With the striking again about even, Vasquez captured the round with a last second takedown. In the final frame, Vasquez landed a double-leg takedown, and spent most of the round trying to land punches on the grounded Deruisseau from his feet with little success, having trouble getting past his guard. Still, it was enough to earn him a decision.
165 – Louis Charles Gareau (Team Extreme) def. Mathieu Lapointe Ricard (Pro Star MMA) via unanimous judges’ decision.
– A close fight that took place almost entirely on the ground, Gareau eked out the decision despite being taken down by Ricard in all three rounds. Round after round, Gareau managed to sweep from the bottom into full mount, ultimately spending more time than Ricard in dominant position.
185 – Tyler Best (Total Martial Arts) def. Simon Roy (Pro Star MMA) via unanimous judges’ decision.
– Following up on a 1st-round arm-bar win at EFL 1, Best looked dominant, exploding out of the gates with two right hooks that he immediately followed up with a takedown, spending most of the round throwing punches from guard at Roy. The next two rounds looked much the same, with Best landing early takedowns and getting to full mount, while also attempting a rear-naked in the 2nd. Best, 17, improves to 2-0 as an MMA amateur with the decision.
140 – Jamie Poulin (Total Martial Arts) def. Gabriel Doyon (Gym Action) via unanimous judges’ decision.
– In the evening’s opening bout, Poulin out-grappled Doyon, repeatedly landing takedowns, and controlling Doyon on the ground in side-control, and full mount during Round 2. Doyon managed to catch Poulin in guillotine attempts during the takedowns in Rounds 1 and 3, but Poulin escaped every time.
Quick Results available here
By schools, here’s how the win-loss records for the night came out
Gym Action (2-1)
Total Martial Arts (2-1)
Team Bergeron (1-0)
Iatskevich Submission (1-0)
Team Extreme (Montreal) (2-2)
Kanreikai FC (1-1)
Pro Star MMA (2-4)
Académie Sportive (0-2)
EFL returns for its third show November 5th in St-Julie, to be headlined by a heavyweight title bout between Martin Trempe and a returning Bob ‘the Train’ Landry, a former pro fighter with a record of 2-2.