Goulet and Grant win at KOTC Canada

By Andy Cotterill Jul 15, 2007
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, July 14 -- King of the Cage Canada brought its traveling road show east of Quebec for the first time tonight, and treated an estimated 2,000 fans to a polished event at the Halifax Forum.

The main event paired UFC veteran Jonathan Goulet (Pictures) against Kingston, Ontario's Cory MacDonald (Pictures). The two squared off at 185 pounds, up a weight class from the 170-pound limit they typically compete at.

At the staredown MacDonald seemed much bigger than "The Road Warrior." The bout started with the pair feeling each other out, before a nice inside leg kick by Goulet, who then muscled MacDonald to the cage. MacDonald quickly reversed and Goulet countered with a shot for a takedown. MacDonald stuffed it, and then came a scramble that ended with MacDonald on top of Goulet on the ground.

MacDonald started to dictate the pace of the bout, and began dropping punches and elbows, and finally cinched up a tight looking D'arce choke on the French Canadian. MacDonald briefly got the mount, but Goulet squirmed out of it, and swept MacDonald to put him on his back.

Goulet was then able to start dropping down some hard looking shots, and one of them appeared to hurt MacDonald's eye just as the first round was ending. MacDonald's trainer, Ali Nestor Charles, entered the cage and the pair had a brief discussion. Charles then spoke to referee Ken Wood, who promptly waved his arms to call a halt to the fight.

Afterwards MacDonald told Sherdog.com that about an hour prior to the match he had scratched his eye, which already contained scar tissue from previous fights, with a plastic aglet from his sweatshirt, and after a blow to the eye from Goulet, he was unable to see anything out of his right eye.

Local favorite TJ Grant (Pictures) entered the Forum to the loudest cheers of the night. His opponent, Kevin Manderson (Pictures), aggressively rushed him as soon as the bell rang, but Grant swung him to the cage and then applied a very nice Thai clinch followed by some vicious knees to the body and head.

Having set a furious pace, Grant moved around Manderson and looked for a back suplex. Although Manderson grabbed the cage, lessening full force of the throw, Grant still took him to the mat, and then took his back. Grant looked for a rear-naked choke, but Manderson defended well.

Incredibly, Manderson was able to escape, and ended up in Grant's half butterfly guard. Grant swept, and was able to take his opponent's back for the third time. Manderson was able to stand up with Grant hanging onto his back, but Grant was able to sink the rear-naked choke. A last ditch effort by Manderson was to slam himself backwards hoping to knock Grant off. Instead, all it accomplished was Grant sinking in the choke tight enough to cause the tap.

Alex Sung (Pictures) and Tim Thurston (Pictures) engaged in a technical, competitive match that went the distance. The pair was fairly evenly matched with multiple reversals in the body clinch to start the match, and some good defensive wrestling by Thurston to thwart Sung's takedown attempts. Sung went for a guillotine choke that may have ended the match had the two not been so slippery from sweat.

Sung continued to out-grapple Thurston, advancing position to the mount, and having several opportunities for armbars and triangles. However, sweat again played a factor, and the circumstances were too slippery for Sung to lock up a submission. After three rounds, Sung took all three judges' cards to notch the unanimous decision win.

Five seconds into the fight between John Cole and Peter Rogers (Pictures), it was easy to see that it was going to be over in a hurry. Both fighters came out quickly and began trading punches. Cole began to take over the bout with a few nice kicks, followed by a takedown and a rear-naked choke attempt. Rogers defended well and rolled into Cole's guard, where Cole remained active with repeated submission attempts, including a triangle choke and a kneebar, before the round expired.

In the second round, Rogers was able to land an overhand right early, but it wasn't long before Cole was back in top position. After securing the mount, Cole dropped heavy punches and elbows, forcing Rogers to roll to his stomach. Cole continued to flurry, forcing the referee stoppage midway through the second frame.

The fastest fight of the night started with Tim Skidmore (Pictures) scooping up and slamming Shawn Marchand (Pictures). Marchand was able to immediately sweep and put on a tight rear-naked choke that forced Skidmore to tap at just 49 seconds of the first stanza.

The bout between Stephan Lamarche and Jeff Evely followed a repetitious sequence for nearly the entire bout: Lamarche would take a shot for a double-leg, Evely would easily defend with an outstanding sprawl, and after reaching their feet, Evely would idle while Lamarche scored with sparse jabs and low kicks.

The repetition ended with a minute left in the match as Lamarche finally got the takedown that he had sought. As Evely scrambled to his feet, Lamarche was able to sink the rear-naked choke standing, and drag Evely to the mat for the submission win with just 38 seconds left in the bout.

Tony Legnaro and Ryan McKenna also went the distance. Although McKenna was the aggressor, it was Legnaro who was landing more significantly with strong punches and thudding bodywork, while McKenna wasn't connecting with anything substantial.

McKenna found his offense in the third round, taking Legnaro to the mat and advancing position. McKenna was able to lock up a deep Kimura from side-control, drawing thunderous reaction from his hometown fans. However, Legnaro refused to tap, and McKenna's third round offense proved to be not enough, and the Canadian soldier originally from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia won by majority decision.

Jon Christink and Chris Currie obviously came to bang. Both traded punches, kicks and knees, until Christink dropped Currie face first on the mat with a short counter punch. Christink was then able to work to the mount and began landing some punches and hammer fists, forcing a referee stoppage.

Vartan Pour Nick put on a striking clinic against an overmatched Neil Walsh. Pour Nick, a former Iranian kickboxing champion, was absolutely devastating with his speedy and accurate punches and kicks. Walsh offered little resistance to the varied strikes, which included some spinning back kicks. Walsh's only reprieve was a takedown that put Pour Nick on the mat for a minute in the final stages of the first round.

Walsh ended up losing a large amount of blood that necessitated extra time between rounds one and two to clean up the cage floor. The second round was much of the same, as Pour Nick continued to punish Walsh, forcing him to wear a complete crimson mask, until the cage-side doctor called an end to the bloodbath two minutes into the second.

Matt Hamilton made short work of Justin Bougois. Hamilton quickly picked up and slammed Bougois, then took the mount and went for an armbar. Bougois was able to roll out and into Hamilton's full guard, but Hamtil was able to quickly transition to a triangle choke for the submission win.

Ian Dawe showed superior wrestling in his win over Chris Myra. A back-and-forth bout, Dawe was the aggressor early with a slam, and advancing position to the mount. However, Myra was able to escape the pounding with a nice sweep that allowed for him to take top position. After both men scrambled to their feet, Dawe delivering some knees from the clinch, punctuated by referee Ken Wood calling for a doctor's check, which resulted in a cut stoppage win for Dawe.

Todd Wood (Pictures) started the evening with a bang, as he scooped up Brad Duguay and slammed him twice to start their fight. Wood demonstrated outstanding technical wrestling, controlling Duguay with a chancery, flipping him to his back, and taking several easy passes to the full mount. With time winding down in the first round, Wood secured an armbar, and Duguay tapped with milliseconds remaining before the bell to end the round.
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