Sims Courts Controversy at TKO

By Freddie DeFreitas and Al Quintero Jun 8, 2008
MONTREAL -- Controversy seems to ride shotgun with Wes Sims (Pictures) everywhere he goes. It came along yet again for the long trip north of the border to TKO 34 at the Bell Centre against Steve Bosse (Pictures). For Bosse, a former American Hockey League enforcer, it was an opportunity to erase the bitter memory of his first professional blemish - a stoppage loss to Icho Larenas (Pictures) less than six months ago at TKO 31.

Rumors of the bout's cancellation made the rounds in the days leading up to the event. Sims confirmed with that he did roll his ankle two weeks prior to the bout, but wasn't about to neglect his commitment to the promotion.

Sims entered the ring, naturally, to a chorus of boos from the pro-Bosse arena but could be seen grinning from ear to ear. Bosse, in contrast, was greeted with a typical heroes' welcome from the hometown crowd. Within seconds of the opening bell, Bosse closed the distance and Sims jumped to guard, bringing Bosse gently down to the mat with him. From there it was all Bosse, as he uncorked right after right into Sims' closed guard. While the offensive explosion was making its mark with the fans, Sims did well to avoid most damage and cover up.

Then things went a little crazy.

In a misguided effort to penalize Bosse for holding onto the fence, referee Jerry Bolen inadvertently called an end to the contest by waving his arms in a manner in which the commission, along with everyone in attendance, took as a signal for a stoppage.

Visibly upset by the stoppage, Sims, from his back, kicked Bolen in the chest, to which he received a tongue lashing from ringside officials. UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman (Pictures) took up the cause and began to argue the call.

After a 10-minute pause in action, the bout was re-started by the commission with no explanation given to the perplexed crowd.

In the bout's second go, Bosses connected with a three-punch combination that rocked Sims. The match went to the mat and Bosse grabbed hold of an ankle. Sims signaled that he was okay, but the look on his face spoke louder than words, and referee Bolen, again, called an end to the contest -- much to the dismay of both Sims and Coleman.

In the co-main event, Toronto's Adrian Wooley was crowned TKO bantamweight champion after five hard-fought rounds with Arizona's Danny Martinez. With both fighters sporting a wrestling pedigree, the bout showcased some of the most technical takedowns and escapes the TKO cage has seen.

"Danny Martinez, one tough kid." Wooley said. "I'm not going to say I underestimated him, but on the ground the kid's a tough kid; he can take a hit. One word to describe the fight: war. Absolute war."

As the fight progressed into the later rounds, Martinez never faded, despite everything Wooley put him through.

"I picked him up. Big slam. Thought I'd take a little of the juice out of him, knock a little bit of the wind out of him," said Wooley. "He just kept getting up. The kid's like ‘Yeah, bring some more.'

"He asked me right after the fight ‘Hey man, would you do it again in October?' Sure, I think the fans had a good fight. I know I had a war. You had a war. If everyone liked it, and it's what TKO wants, let's do it again."

From the word go, it was clear that Thierry Quenneville (Pictures) and Ben Greer (Pictures) had distinctly different strategies going into their fight. For Quenneville, it was simple plan: keep the pressure on his opponent with power punches and utilize the natural size advantage in the clinch. On Greer's side, he primarily attempted to take the bout to the mat.

Both fighters had their share of success, but it was the pressure from Quenneville that often dictated the pace and ultimately ended the fight. After two rounds that saw the fighters trade dominant positions on the ground and on the feet, it took a little less than a minute into the third for Greer's night to come to a crashing halt in the form of a Quenneville straight right.

In a fight that many anticipated would be a technical standup war, Stephane Dube (Pictures) and Yannick Galipeau provided exactly the opposite. After an early feeling out period, Dube was the first to take the fight to the mat where he controlled Galipeau for most of the round chipping away with short punches to the head and body from half guard and side control. Sensing the end, Dube jumped to full mount and doubled the strike output, only to take a moment to stop and gesture to referee Bolen to mercifully stop the fight when Galipeau tapped at 3:42 into the first round.

Stephane "Simba" Vigneault continued his path to redemption with a second-round technical knockout victory over Arizona's Yaotzin Meza. After a slow start, Meza decided to try things on the mat and was unceremoniously greeted with an armbar from the bottom. Though Meza managed to fight his way clear of danger by slamming Vigneault twice, Vigneault latched onto another arm and fully extended it. Meza ‘s face showed the ill effects of the submission, but the Arizonan refused to tap and miraculously escaped the hold.

Vigneault opened the second with a beautiful trip takedown in to Meza's open guard. A lack of action prompted a restart back to their feet where Vigneault scored a neat double-leg takedown against the fence that landed him in full mount. He teed off with punches to end the contest at 3:28 into the second round.

In heavyweight action, former TKO heavyweight champion Icho Larenas (Pictures) showed a great deal of patience in his bout with Oranjestad, Aruba's Guido Carlo. Larenas grabbed top position and forced a tapout from strikes at 4:21 of the opening round.

Dakota Aruba's Gregory Milliard fell short in his Canadian MMA debut against Tom Murphy (Pictures). Milliard surprised everyone in attendance after shooting for the double-leg, despite holding the edge in standup. Murphy promptly reversed, worked short elbows from side control and cranked an Americana for the submission win 3:21 into the first.

Tim Wadsworth wasted little time taking Jeff Harrison to the mat, where he worked his ground-and-pound with a myriad of elbows and punches from every imaginable position. For almost three-and-a-half minutes, Wadsworth hammered on Harrison until referee Yves Lavigne finally had seen enough, calling a halt to the action at 3:33 into the first round.

Despite getting firmly planted on his rear with the first punch Syd Barnier threw at him, Guillaume LaMarche rebounded and took the fight to the ground where he dominated the former muay Thai champion, finishing him with a rear-naked choke at 3:27 of the opening round.
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