Ugly Leg Injury Ends Landi-Jons’ Night

By Freddie DeFreitas and Al Quintero Feb 29, 2008
MONTREAL, Feb. 28 -- It is a lesson all kickboxers know: leg checks hurt.

The Bell Centre welcomed a UFC veteran and an MMA legend to the TKO cage Thursday, as Brian Gassaway (Pictures) and Jose "Pele" Landi-Jons (Pictures) met in a welterweight bout for the main event of TKO 32 "Ultimatum."

With Bibiano Fernandez in his corner, Pele came out firing kicks and was greeted with a well-timed Gassaway counter left hand that momentarily stunned the Brazilian.

Pele recovered and locked up Gassaway's body before taking the Chicago-based fighter to the mat, where he settled into side-control. After being stood by the referee following a lack of action, Pele attempted flashy spinning-heel and front kicks as the round came to a close.

Landi-Jons opened the second frame much the same as the first. Gassaway, however, stood in front of the striker and didn't back down an inch.

Using solid defense, Gassaway checked a low kick. The impact was enough to snap the Brazilian's right leg just above the ankle and Pele crashed to the canvas. Gassaway jumped in to finish but backed off while calling for assistance from his corner and event doctors.

"I checked it, and it hit my knee and I heard the pop," Gassaway said after the fight. "But I really didn't realize what happened. When I checked it, I came with the right and actually I thought that's what damaged him and so I followed him down. I pounced on him. I think I hit him a few times, the ref stopped it and then I look down and I see his leg is just bent so -- you know it's bad news."

Landi-Jons received a rousing ovation from the shell-shocked crowd and gave a thumbs up as paramedics removed him from the arena. Gassaway took the win, albeit in a manner no one wanted, 50 seconds of round two.

With the TKO welterweight strap on the line, TJ Grant (Pictures) and Jesse Bongfeldt met in the co-main event. Bongfeldt came out aggressive with strikes, catching Grant with a left straight and right hook before shooting in for a takedown.

Grant quickly swept and found himself in Bongfeldt's guard working short elbows. The fighters scrambled to their feet and back to the floor, where they traded positions until Grant unloaded two hard right hands that got the attention of Bongfeldt and the capacity crowd.

Bongfeldt charged at Grant with heavy leather to start the second. Moving to the canvas, the two went back-and-forth with numerous sweeps and reversals; neither man could establish himself over the other.

The third period started with a classy touch of the gloves and Bongfeldt swung for the fences again. The 170-pounders went to the floor again, where Bongfeldt absorbed shots. Grant, a little too aggressive, was careless with his arms and Bongfeldt grabbed a fight-ending armbar at 2:52 of the middle round to retaining his TKO championship.

Derek Gauthier and Yannick Galipeau come out blazing. Galipeau did well early on to defend an assortment of submissions while the two rolled on the canvas. Eventually he made the mistake of standing up. Gauthier sunk in the hooks and choke for the submission win at 3:24 of the first round.

A competitive lightweight fight between Samuel Guillet (Pictures) and Jordan Mein started as it ended, with Mein battling a kimura submission attempt. While he escaped early in the fight, Mein could not free himself late in the second round. With Mein in his half-guard, Guillet grabbed hold of an arm and cranked a kimura that forced a tapout at 4:05 of the second round.

Local lightweight favorite Stephane Vigneault (Pictures) got back on the winning track with a stoppage victory over Daniel Ferguson. An active opening round led both men to start aggressively at the open of the second.

The end came after Vigneault slammed Ferguson into side-control and trapped his opponent's left arm. The position allowed Vigneault to relentlessly hammer away with left hands until the referee had seen enough and called an end to the contest at 1:27 of round two.

Late replacement Guillaume Lamarche (Pictures) stepped in against the much more experienced Justin Tavernini and the size difference between the featherweight fighters was staggering. Tavernini looked to be one or two divisions lighter than Lamarche.

After two competitive rounds, the final period saw Tavernini and Lamarche stand in front of one another, unafraid to let the limbs fly. After shrugging off a Tavernini left high kick, Lamarch caught a middle kick from Tavernini and chopped away with kicks before tossing him to the mat and landing in full guard. Tavernini looked for the armbar but Lamarche swiftly escaped and went back to work with strikes until the final horn.

Lamarche escaped with the split decision win over a very game Tavernini (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).

Adrian Wooley and Syd Barnier provided the classic wrestler-striker matchup and the boo birds were out in full force in the opening 90 seconds. Neither fighter was ready to commit to an attack until a Wooley takedown briefly found the two on the mat. Up and down they went before Wooley was successful in controlling the fight. He adeptly moved to rear-mount, where he let go a barrage of strikes forcing an end to the contest at 4:57 of the opening round.

After nearly an eight-year layoff, Mark Fraser returned to MMA action to meet debuting Aruban Johan Croes. Croes attained the mount and teed off, forcing the referee to call an end to things at 34 seconds into round two.

Lightweights Jeff Harrisson and Tyler Jackson (Pictures) kicked off the main card. Harrisson, a decorated muay Thai specialist, launched a high kick that narrowly missed the head of Jackson as he ducked up and took the fight to the ground.

As he'd done in rounds one and two, Jackson tried to take the fight to the mat but it was the Thai fighter who grabbed hold of a fight-ending guillotine. Jackson was forced to tap 19 seconds into the final period.

Heavyweights Ben Gallant (Pictures) stopped Scott Wright to close the evening's preliminary action. A Wright sweep briefly silenced the pro-Gallant crowd but it was all for naught as Gallant reversed and moved from side-control to mount where he took full advantage, delivering a series of right hands that ended Wright's night at 2:27 of the first.

Tim Wadsworth wasted little time in taking his bout with Brad Duguay to the mat with a well-timed single-leg. From various top positions, Wadsworth scored with a wide range of strikes until the 3:32 mark, when referee Phillippe Chartier had finally seen enough.

Christopher Hulme won his MMA debut by referee stoppage at 3:24 of the first round over Vladimir Victor.
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