Extreme Cage Combat 4 “Fury” Hosts GSP

By Andy Cotterill and Chris Harding Dec 3, 2006
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Dec. 2 — The fourth edition of the popular Maritime mixed martial arts show went off Saturday, showcasing 10 fights.

Tonight was the first time that elbows to the head were allowed, and this new rule was put to good use on several occasions. In attendance was new UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (Pictures), who is in the nearby city of Truro giving a two-day seminar.

The main event pitted local favorite Roger Hollett (Pictures) against tough Boreland Combat Team member Ray Penny. Penny entered the cage first, and unfortunately had to suffer through a lengthy video montage featuring Hollett on the big screens claiming, “If Ray Penny thinks he’s going to come here and beat me he’s sorely mistaken. Halifax is my town.”

At the end of this statement the Halifax Forum might’ve heard its loudest cheer ever, as the estimated 3,500 fans got to their feet all at once.

Penny started the action with a leg kick, but Hollett immediately countered with a straight right. Penny continued his aggression as he quickly advanced with a left-right-left-right combination, but Hollett backpedaled and blocked.

Hollett put Penny into a Thai clinch that turned into the start of a guillotine when Penny bent to grab his legs. Penny showed some impressive strength and tried to pick up and slam Hollett to the mat, but Hollett defied the takedown attempt by hopping on one foot and keeping his balance.

In the center of the cage, Penny threw more kicks and Hollett continued to counter with punches. The crowd began to repeatedly chant “Roger.”

Penny took Hollett’s back against the cage, but he swung out and they traded some more. Penny tried to shoot in, but Hollett was very quick and sprawled, putting Penny in the start of a guillotine choke. Penny showed equal quickness and got out of it, but unfortunately for him, ended up with Hollett mounting him.

Hollett scored from this position, and when Penny squirmed to get out of the mount Hollett passed up several opportunities for an armbar. Penny finally gave up his back to Hollett, who wasted no time in sinking both hooks in and applying a rear-naked choke for a submission victory.

This was Penny’s first fight at light heavyweight, coming down from 230 pounds. He showed tremendous heart, and said afterwards that the worst part about losing was that he felt like he disappointed his teammates. Despite the loss, I felt that Penny showed great dexterity and speed for a big man, with skills to match. I also think that if his opponent tonight had have been anyone other that Roger Hollet, his hand would have been raised in victory.

ECC President Rob Walker revealed to Sherdog.com in an exclusive, that Roger Hollett (Pictures)’s next fight will be February 3, 2007, in the MFC organization based in Edmonton, Alberta. His opponent will be professional football player Mike Mauer of the Edmonton Eskimos. With this victory Hollett is 3-0 in the cage, but remains largely unknown outside of the Maritimes. MMA fans are going to wonder where this guy came from once he starts doing shows that have more exposure.

The co-main event of the night had Fitness Plus member and Dartmouth native TJ Grant (Pictures), facing off against veteran Eric Beaulieu (Pictures) out of BTT Canada.

Both fighters started off looking very relaxed. Beaulieu kicked and Grant countered with a straight right and the two of them tumbled to the matt. Beaulieu went to his knees as Grant rained blows down on him. With no end in sight, referee Troy Swan stepped in to stop the fight and give the win to Grant.

Jason MacKay (Pictures) and Daniel Grandmaison (Pictures) are both very well regarded welterweights in Canada, both are ECC veterans, and their fight was fantastic. The fight started with some light exchanges, including MacKay with an inside leg kick. MacKay then tried a high kick, which Grandmaison saw as an opportunity to charge in. Somehow during the fall to the matt MacKay was able to secure the full mount on Grandmaison.

Grandmaison twisted and MacKay immediately made an armbar attempt, but Grandmaison somehow got out of it. Both still on the ground, it looked at first like MacKay was going for a kneelock, but on closer inspection it was Grandmaison going for an ankle lock.

Grandmaison has a Sambo background, so it was fortunate for MacKay that he inched forward to remove the leverage. MacKay tried another armbar, but once again Grandmaison escaped. Grandmaison then slammed MacKay to the matt, but he was up on his feet very quickly.

The two went back to the ground and MacKay attempted his third armbar of the match; this one was finally successful. Too successful actually, as the referee didn’t see Grandmaison tapping right away, so MacKay continued applying pressure. It was only after Grandmaison tapped a second time and was verbally telling the referee that he thought his arm was broken, the fight was stopped. Grandmaison told Sherdog afterwards that his arm was a little sore, but fine.

When Shaun Krysa (Pictures) initially signed his contract with ECC, it was to have him face BTT Canada leader, Fabio Holanda (Pictures). Holanda had to withdraw, so Samuel Guillet (Pictures) was recruited. However, only a few days before the fight Guillet was injured in training, so Marco Jolly from the UGC organization in Quebec was game to take Krysa on.

Krysa came out immediately with a nice leg kick, and then Jolly replied with one of his own. There were a few exchanges, and then the crowd roared as Jolly exploded onto a spinning back fist that narrowly missed Krysa. They grabbed each other and went to the mat, where Krysa immediately took Jolly’s back.

He got one and then two hooks in before starting to deliver blows down on Jolly. Jolly did a really slick move that gave him the escape but he ended up in Krysa’s guard, where Krysa wasted no time in setting a tight armbar for the submission victory.

Serge Tufegdzic versus Dave MacMillan was a barnburner of a fight, with both athletes being very aggressive from start to end. MacMillan went for the double-leg takedown, but Tufegdzic stepped back and the two fighters ended standing against the cage.

Tufegdzic displayed some very nasty knees to the body. They separated and Tufegdzic tried a left high kick and MacMillan went for a single-leg and took him down. MacMillan is now in Tufegdzic’s guard, which is very active, switching from open to closed frequently. For some reason, several times MacMillan steps up as if to walk out of the guard, but immediately went back into it. Tufegdzic remains busy on the bottom, going for a Kimura from his back.

Round two began with a few punches from both fighters, then MacMillan went for a double-leg and took his opponent to the ground once again. Tufegdzic appeared to be going for a gogoplata, but just as it was close to being locked in, MacMillan stepped up and away. The fighters separated, and Tufegdzic leapt in with a flying left knee that connected perfectly on the top of MacMillan’s head.

MacMillan fell into Tufegdzic’s guard, and with blood starting to flow down onto his opponents’ body, the referee stepped in to have the cageside Doctor take a look at MacMillan’s wound. Unfortunately for MacMillan, it was a huge vertical gash right on the top of his head, forcing the Doctor to halt the match.

Alex Sung versus Nelson Akawui Riquelme (Pictures) was one of the fights on this card that I was looking forward to very much. This was Riquelme’s third ECC appearance, and the BTT Canada member has always been extremely entertaining. His opponent, Alex Sung, is a Captain in the Canadian Army, and he displayed some very solid skills during several training sessions that Sherdog.com witnessed. Riquelme came to the cage with a big stick behind him, as Georges St. Pierre (Pictures) followed him out to be in his corner.

This was the only fight to go all three rounds tonight, and each round was pretty identical to the others. The rounds obviously started with both fighters on their feet, with Riquelme showing his trademarked powerful high kicks. Sung would execute a takedown and the two would end up against the cage with Sung in Riquelme’s guard. Sung would step so that he was standing in the guard, and Riquelme would snap some very powerful looking up kicks. GSP was shouting instructions in French to Riquelme fairly constantly throughout all three rounds.

Sung was up and down in Riquelme’s guard, and on two occasions did cartwheel escapes to get out. At another point he was reminiscent of Kazushi Sakuraba (Pictures) as he leapt, feet first onto a prone Riquelme, passing his guard. The crowd was very appreciative when he did this. Sung was alone in the entertainment though, as Riquelme caught him with a beautiful spinning back fist that connected with the whole forearm.

Riquelme had earned a TKO victory over Jay Jenkins (Pictures) this way at ECC 3, but unfortunately for him, Sung was able to tough it out and take him down with a double-leg. The third round saw much the same as the first two, but you could sense that Riquelme know he was behind and had to pick up the pace. Sung still in his guard, Riquelme was throwing elbows from the bottom and clapping his hands over Sung’s ears. It seemed to be having an effect, but it was too little too late, as Alex Sung wins by Unanimous Decision.

Matt Dutkowski versus James Landrigan. The two faced off, with Landrigan throwing a jab and several kicks until Dutkowski bulled him against the cage, leaned on his back, and dropped both punches and elbows to the side of his head until the referee stopped the fight.

The fastest fight of the evening saw two first timers in Aaron Jollimore taking on Tim Skidmore. Starting with a powerful spear then double-leg takedown/slam, Jollimore followed for an armbar right away. It didn’t take the first time, so he tried again immediately and this time it was successful. Jollimore earns the submission in only 20 seconds.

The fight between Travis Axworthy and Craig Skinner was definitely one of the more exciting fights of the night. The pair started off each showing some pretty impressive kicks. Skinner was easily able to reach the head of the taller Axworthy, who in turn unleashed some wicked thigh kicks, evidence of which was displayed by beet red welts on Skinners thigh.

For the next round and a half, Axworthy was able to keep Skinner in one form of choke or another. Skinner valiantly tried to escape, but Axworthy wouldn’t let him. Skinner threw the first elbow strikes in ECC history, connecting several times but not inflicting much damage. A few times Skinner was able to be on the offensive, but Axworthy always found a way to regain a choke. For the final time Axworthy got top position and started throwing down punches and elbows of his own, forcing head referee Hubert Earle to stop the fight.

Curtis Fiander came out aggressively against first timer Adam MacDonald, throwing several kicks before taking his opponent to the cage. MacDonald showed good composure though, as he was able to secure a nice tight Thai clinch followed by several nasty looking knees to the body. After a minute of MacDonald continuing with his knees, Fiander looked noticeably fatigued, and he dropped to the mat and the fight was over.
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