News and Notes from Canada

By Freddie DeFreitas Aug 14, 2007
This week we catch up with Krzysztof Soszynski (Pictures), the newest member of Team Quest, to discuss the season that was in the IFL. Gary Goodridge (Pictures) talks about his fight with Hong Man Choi (Pictures) as well as what lies ahead. Ken Kupsch from King of The Cage gives us the details on the first "I Quit!" match in Canadian MMA history, as well as a quick look ahead to MFC 13 and look back on XFO 19.

Soszynski joins Team Quest, talks drop to 205

A newly anointed Team Quest member at the Temecula, Calif. facility operated by Dan Henderson (Pictures), Krzysztof Soszynski (Pictures) took a moment to look back at the season that was in the IFL, specifically his season-ending loss to Ben Rothwell (Pictures).

"It's part of the sport," said Soszynski, who cornered Team Quest's Jesse Taylor (Pictures) in Tijuana, Mexico last weekend. "You win some. You lose. Sometimes you get the knockout. Sometimes you get knocked out."

"We had a game plan," he said. "We were watching a lot of his tapes and I notice for some reason when he was going backward he wasn't doing as well. I don't think he's got too many guys in his camp at Miletich that actually push him backwards, so in a lot of his film every time the fighters were pushing him he wasn't doing so well. My plan was to be very aggressive, come out, throw punches, [and] try to get the clinch. I threw a jab, a cross to the body -- landed the cross -- I stepped off, threw a four-punch combo and next thing you know I'm waking up off the ground. Honestly I don't remember what he hit me with cause I didn't have a scratch on my face when I went back to the dressing room."

The experience led Soszynski to believe "heavyweight is not a division for me so I'm going down to 205 for my next fight."

What impact does the drop to light heavyweight have on his current status as TKO heavyweight champ?

"I'm not sure," he said. "I talk to [TKO promoter] Stephane (Patry). I have one more fight on my contract with TKO and that's one of the things I definitely need to finish off. Stephane Patry said it's no big deal if I go down to 205; we'll kind of take it from there as we go forward and see if I can possibly have that fight sometime this year if not next year."

With all of the talk of moving down in weight, and with one more fight left in TKO the "Experiment" gave his thoughts on a possible rematch with Martin Desilets (Pictures).

"That'd be definitely one for the books," he said. "I really would love to see that fight happen, yes, at 205, I'd love to fight him for sure."

Goodridge talks K-1 loss, future

Longtime combat sports veteran Gary Goodridge (Pictures) went into his K-1 bout with Hong-Man Choi confident after an arduous training camp that saw him employ a number of unusual training techniques to help cope with South Korean's size.

"I really thought that I had studied some things. I really had thought that I was going to knock out this individual. I knew I couldn't beat him any other way. I had to go for broke or go home, so I attempted to do a Mighty Mo special. But really only Mo can do his thing," Goodridge said from his home in Barrie, Ontario.

"I thought that I could catch him with an overhand. With a guy that big you really can't do too much; it's not MMA where you can equalize things. Obviously, you know, he's 11 inches taller than myself, so we had a little bit of a problem with that -- not a little bit, quite a bit of problems with that," Goodridge laughed.

"After he caught me with the knee I don't remember anything else and the fight carried on for a while after that. It appeared that I could have argued with the referee for stopping early, but the referee did his job correctly, because I had no idea where I was or what I was doing. I had to look at the tape to have any recollection of what happened."

Goodridge had plenty of praise for his adversary.

"Hong-Man executed his plan perfect to a tee. As a matter of fact, I have never seen this individual kick before, and he was kickin' me," Goodridge chuckled. "He was trying for a side kick, but he was kicking my calf. And two days later, it was sore … the calf kick.

A massively popular fighter with the fans in Japan, Goodridge is still under contract with K-1 for another 16 months. "My contract should be done December 31, 2008," he said. "It's up to K-1, but my past two fights, my performances really sucked. You know, I am who I am. I am an aging fighter. I really don't think age has anything to do with it. I'm a kind of guy I take any fighter any time, any style, and that's who I am, so I live this way and I die that way. Sometimes I get bad ones, sometimes I get really good ones. Hong-Man Choi was just a bad one as it turned out."

So what does the future hold for "Big Daddy"?

"Now I'm looking for a job and start another chapter in Gary Goodridge (Pictures)'s life, like all of the other aging fighters very soon. You come to a certain point in time where you have to do something else. I've reached that point and I've just gotta step into it properly and hit the ground running rather that hit the ground crawling."

KOTC: Brawl in the Mall

King of the Cage Canada's Ken Kupsch took time to speak with this past week about the promotion's forthcoming August 17 event at the Edmonton Event Center inside West Edmonton Mall.

Headlining the event are Adriano Bernardo and Tim "The Thrashing Machine" Hague, who will battle it out for the vacant King of the Cage heavyweight championship, as well as Canada's first "I Quit" mixed martial arts bout.

"Tim's fought for us four times now," said Kupsch. "He's 4-0; most recently at a match in Vernon B.C. he beat Warpath, so that was a big accomplishment for him. Adrianno's a judo black belt. He's fought in tournaments. He's got a lot of experience. He actually beat Bill Mahood (Pictures) in a tournament earlier this year, so that's going to a good fight."

Returning to the KOTC for the first time since a submission loss to Ryan Diaz (Pictures) back in 2005 is former TKO rising star Thierry Quenneville (Pictures).

"Thierry Quenneville (Pictures) was to fight Tim Thurston (Pictures) out of Vancouver, unfortunately Tim has an injury so we've replaced him with Ben Greer, so it's not going to be any less of a fight. Ben Greer usually fights at 145 so he'll be stepping up to 155 to fight him. He didn't seem too concerned about it. I'm not sure what he walks around at, but he's probably up close to that weight anyway, but he'll probably have a little bit of a disadvantage there."

Team Denarius' Marcus Hicks is back in action looking to make it three in a row as he meets undefeated Nick Hinchcliffe.

"We have a fight with Marcus Hicks who's always a popular guy, not necessarily cause of how his fights go -- cause of how they don't. His last fight he was supposed to fight Victor Valimaki (Pictures) and he injured himself right before the fight. He's going to be fighting Nick Hinchcliffe from Nanaimo, B.C. Nick's 4-0. He's fought for us three times, and he's definitely a contender."

Finally, we move on to the "I Quit" match between Cory Knapp (Pictures) and Paul Ebejer. Yes, you read correctly: this is not a misplaced pro-wrestling article -- this is still mixed martial arts we're talking.

"Cory Knapp (Pictures) was asking me to fight before, but his record is 0-4," said Kupsch. "I just didn't feel I could put him in our events. He just isn't ready for it. Paul Ebejer -- he's 0-3 -- he fought for us at one of our last fights out in Quebec. These guys start bashing each other on our Web site forum and before we know it, the fans got involved and we had a small war going there. These guys really wanted to fight and everyone wanted them to fight, but the loser, I mean, if you're 0-3 or 0-4 and you get beat by another guy that's 0-4, you should take a little time off I think. The loser has to retire for two years, he can't fight pro for two years, so if you go for that, and I'll put the fight on. They did, they're excited, the fans are behind it. Should be pretty entertaining, nobody is going to fight as hard as these two guys that night."

When asked who would have thought one the most anticipated fights would be between two guys with combined records of 0-7, Kupsch simply stated, "People want to be entertained. People want to see something that's fun; they want to see something that interests them. We've had as many comments on this fight as we've had on our main event … it is kind of funny in a way. They want to see good fights, and they want entertainment."

King of the Cage Canada has rescheduled its event at West Edmonton Mall on Sept. 22 for Oct. 19, however they still intend on holding a show September in western Canada as well as working on shows out east in the near future.

KOTC: Brawl in the Mall - August 17, 2007 - Edmonton

Adriano Bernardo vs. Tim Hague
Thierry Quenneville (Pictures) vs. Ben Greer
Daryl Bonar vs. Dan Shenk
Marcus Hicks vs. Nick Hinchliffe
Christian Smith vs. Danny Valimaki
Karl Erikson vs. Jerry Winslow
Sheldon Westcott vs. Victor Buchmann
Jase Nibourg Ryan Chiappe
Jason Volpe vs. Dustin Dickeson
Richard Menard vs. Mike Musie
Cory Knapp (Pictures) vs. Paul Ebejer
Lee Berger vs. Chris Ladouceur

Maximum Fighting News

The Maximum Fighting Championship hosted its second MFC Celebrity Poker Tournament with proceeds going to Child Find Alberta this past Friday at the River Cree Resort and Casino. Notables at the tables included MFC light heavyweight champion Victor Valimaki (Pictures) and UFC veteran Jason MacDonald (Pictures), who narrowly missed out on making the final table.

Fireworks are expected as one of the most highly anticipated match-ups in Canadian mixed martial arts takes place August 24 at the River Cree Resort and Casino. "The Matrix" Valimaki is set to defend his MFC light heavyweight title against rising star Roger Hollett (Pictures).

Hollett's last three fights have lasted a combined 61 seconds and include two knockouts and one stoppage. Many question whether that is a result of the quality of opponents or whether "The Hulk" is really that good. Valimaki is considered Hollett's first real test as a professional and it will be interesting to see what "The Matrix" has in store.

MFC "Lucky 13"
Victor Valimaki (Pictures) vs. Roger Hollett (Pictures)
Ryan McGillivray vs. Donald Sanchez (Pictures)
Ryan Ford vs. Randy Valette
Chad Cox vs. Dwayne Lewis
Mike Bell vs. Ryan Heck
Brad Zazaluk vs. Luke Harris
Sean Huffman vs. Jason Biggeman
J.C. Cousins vs. Jason Randle
David Lainoff vs. Nick Penner
Steve Dubeck vs. Jason Kushera
Josh Fletcher vs. Mike Sorenson

XFO 19: Outdoor War

There were mixed results for Canadians in action over the weekend at Jeff Curran (Pictures)'s XFO 19 at Sideouts Bar and Grill in Island Lake, Ill. Team Joslin's Simon Marini (pro) and Matt Ferrarro (amateur) both won their bouts in the first by rear-naked choke.

Meanwhile, Team Tompkins' Aaron Basso (pro) choked out Lee Defosse; however, fellow team member Andy Ross (pro) wasn't so lucky, losing by guillotine in round one.
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