Larenas Beats Bosse at TKO

By Freddie DeFreitas and Al Quintero Dec 15, 2007
MONTREAL, Dec. 14, 2007 -- The bitter cold couldn't keep the throng of MMA fans from downtown Montreal as the Bell Centre provided a warm welcome back for TKO Championship Fighting 31 and its circa 1999 UFC 19 title, "Young Guns."

The card was decorated from top to bottom with heavyweight fighters, but it was "The Boss" Steve Bosse who brought the crowd to its collective feet with the first step he took toward the cage.

Bosse's opponent was former TKO heavyweight champion Icho Larenas (Pictures), a hard-luck loser of two straight. At the sound of the opening bell, Bosse began stalking Larenas, who, compared to Bosse's last two opponents, did not look the least intimidated by the hockey enforcer.

Throughout the first, Bosse was right-hand happy. An errant finger in Larenas' eye during the opening moments of the second round forced the action to be halted for several minutes. Upon resuming, the two heavyweights could not duplicate the pace of the first, but Bosse continued to land more frequently than the former champion. With 30 seconds left in the round, Larenas was bleeding below the left eye.

The third and final stanza saw a continuation of rounds one and two. With the pace continuing to slow and Bosse starting to fade, Larenas seized his opportunity and grabbed the double-leg takedown. He then began hammering away from Bosse's open guard.

Larenas sensed the shift in momentum, jumped to mount and was relentless, pounding away at Bosse until referee Yves Lavigne had seen enough and called the contest at 2:31 of the final round.

The pro-Bosse crowd stood stunned as the once unstoppable fighter tasted defeated for the first time in his young professional career.

The co-main event featured former TKO featherweight king Mark Hominick (Pictures) taking on the undefeated and relatively unknown Danny Martinez. From the opening bell, Martinez never managed any solid offense. He only offered wild looping overhands, none of which found their mark.

Hominick used pinpoint accuracy to pick apart Martinez with a variety of punches that dropped him to the deck twice.

Martinez came out for the second a little more aggressive than the first, almost as if the young American had endured the worst. Hominick continued plodding forward, virtually landing at will. Straights, hooks, jabs, overhands -- maybe even a kitchen sink was tossed into the mix.

Round three saw more of the same with Hominick connecting but unable to land that one shot to put the resilient Martinez away. Martinez, bleeding profusely from the nose and mouth, showed no signs of quitting as Hominick continued his attack right up to the bell.

In the end, Hominick walked away with the lopsided unanimous decision: 30-24, 30-24 and 30-27.

The matchup between Chad Reiner and Stephane Dube (Pictures) resembled a day at Abu Dhabi instead of a mixed martial arts bout.

Dube opened things up with a head kick that was blocked. Reiner dove in for the takedown and took his opponent's back, but Dube reversed only to find himself trapped in an arm-triangle.

Eventually Reiner took the back again and looked to work in a choke with both hooks secured. Dube did well to defend, but Reiner grabbed his arm and extended it for the tap just as the bell sounded to end the first.

Ben Greer returned to TKO after a disappointing debut to take on local favorite Stephane "Simba" Vigneault.

Greer opened with a jab and shot for a double-leg, hoisting Vigneault high and driving him to the canvas. He then postured up and delivered a couple of rights. Vigneault worked his way back to his feet, and the two fought in the clinch against the fence. Greer secured the trip takedown but was reversed in the butterfly guard via a sweep. Vigneault then closed out the round with some right hands from the top to the delight of the crowd.

Vigneault missed with a wild left to open the second, and Greer scooped him up and put him down into the closed guard. A failed triangle attempt from Vigneault allowed Greer to pass to side-control, where he grabbed hold of a tight shoulder lock and cranked it, forcing Vigneault to reluctantly tap at 1:26 of the second.

Lance Evans (Pictures) finally made his long overdue return to the TKO cage to take on local product "The Train" Bob Landry. Both fighters were well aware of the other's power as they exchanged punches cautiously to open the fight.

A takedown void of any setup by Landry was stuffed and subsequently reversed. Evans took control of the fight on the mat and landed some stiff shots. Later, Evans secured another takedown and began to fire away. Landry, covering up at this stage, took a moment to query referee Yves Lavigne about an unintentional shot to the back of his head, and Evans landed a crushing left to the jaw. The fight was stopped at 2:57 of the opening round.

Yoon Heo looked a little gun-shy to start his fight against Thierry Quenneville (Pictures), who seemed relaxed, throwing single shots. Heo scored a takedown but seemed stifled in the open guard, with Quenneville trapping and tying up his arms.

Back on the feet, Quenneville score a trip takedown and landed in the butterfly guard of Heo. A lack of action led the fighters to being stood back up, where Quenneville's slip on an attempted high kick opened the door for another Heo takedown.

Round two began much the same as the first, with Quenneville taking control of the fight on the feet. Outside of a right straight, the round was all Quenneville, who scored with low kicks and straight punches to the body. An overhand right also partially connected and sent Heo sliding on his backside.

After taking a "superman" punch and a knee, Heo tripped his opponent to the ground in the third. Later, back on the feet, a right kick to the body of Heo echoed throughout the arena while the fighter doubled over. Quenneville rushed him, but Heo did well to reverse and survive the round.

However, Quenneville notched the unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).

Yannick Galipeau and Josh Bitner were both looking to impress in their TKO debuts. Galipeau, coming in with a karate background, came out with kicks, starting low and going up high. Bitner defended well, but Galipeau used the clinch to perfection, battering Bitner's body with knees and also occasionally landing one to the face with some dirty boxing mixed in for good measure.

A right hook jacked the jaw of Bitner to open the second round. Galipeau followed up with a knee to the face, followed by a right uppercut before referee Phillip Chartier called a halt to the action at 43 seconds of round two.

The bout between Mark Fraser and Eric Leclerc did not go on as planned. Fraser was not medically cleared to fight, due to abnormalities found in the results of his pre-fight CT scan.

In the second preliminary bout of the evening, the ladies did not disappoint as Alexis Davis and Valerie Letourneau (Pictures) came charging out of their respective corners throwing punches.

Davis dropped levels and took Letourneau to the mat. With Davis looking to inflict damage from the top, Letourneau was active in the open guard. Back on their feet, Letournearu threw a high kick that was partially blocked but pleased the partisan crowd.

Round two began right where they left off on the feet, trading leather. Davis' face was beginning to show the effects of the exchanges, but she managed a takedown, only to get locked up in a tight triangle. Letourneau then pounded away at the defenseless Davis and transitioned to a mounted triangle, where she continued to pepper Davis.

A Letourneau slip in the third round allowed Davis to take full advantage, jumping into the half guard. Letourneau latched on to an arm, but Davis maintained composure and broke free to go right back to pounding away from the top position.

After time expired, the split decision was awarded to Alexis Davis by scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 27-30.

In opening action, Stephane Bernadel and Guillaume Lamarche cautiously exchanged leather in the center of the cage. Lamarche looked to counter, getting the better of the limited standup action.

Eventually, Lamarche dove in for a double and put Bernadel on his back. From the guard, Lamarche swiftly moved to side control and began to work Bernadel's arm, from Kimura to armbar and finally ending the bout with a triangle at 2:25 of the first.

Ben Gallent* defeated Adil Ayoudi defeated by submission from armbar at 1:45 of round one.

* incorrectly reported that Ayoudi had defeated Gallent, when in fact Gallent was the victor
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