By Geordie McCredie
Prestige FC held their fourth event this past Friday, May 18th in Fort McMurray and with six amateur and 8 pro fights delivered an action packed night of entertainment. The event was well organized and with Big John McCarthy refereeing, held itself to a high standard of professionalism. Patrick Cote was also in attendance and cornered several fighters. When I approached him to ask what the future held for him he said that he is hoping to fight at UFC 149 in Calgary if the opportunity arises. He further stated that if he could pick anyone to fight it would be Michael Bisping and the otherwise soft-spoken Quebecer went on to say “I fucking hate that guy, he’s a dickhead…if I knocked him out it would be the best moment of my life.” The action kicked off with a fast-paced amateur undercard which featured a local fighter in each contest. The crowd was exceptionally loud for the size of venue and there wasn’t a quiet moment from bell to bell.
Rollin Berland vs Paul Carpentier – Catchweight 140 lbs
Both fighters started out circling and throwing tentative strikes until Berland landed an uppercut that wobbled Carpentier and immediately took him down. Once on the mat he worked the ground and pound before attempting a guillotine from top position, this put him off balance and he was reversed but refused to let go. Carpentier escaped and landed some shots himself before attempting to stand and giving up his back in the process, but the round ended before Berland could take advantage of the position.
Round two saw Carpentier determined to take Berland down and after one failed attempt he succeeded, landing in Berland’s half guard. From there he quickly passed to mount and began striking, but while Berland didn’t appear to take many hard shots he was unable to escape and after trying to strike back from the bottom several times the ref called a stop to the contest.
WINNER: Paul Carpentier via TKO at 2:02 of Round Two
Stacey Nest vs Mike Flett – Light Heavyweight 205
Neither fighter showed up in stellar condition and it seemed as though they probably belonged at 170 if they were in better shape. They were both looking to land big strikes and Nest in particular was swinging for the fences right from the start. Flett got the worse end of the only meaningful exchange of the round and was sent reeling but recovered and both fighters spent the last minute of the round circling and avoiding any real contact.
To start the second round both fighters threw wild punches until one landed on Nest’s nose, breaking it, and he immediately attempted a takedown. He was stuffed and whimpered as he rolled into a nearly fetal position after being hit again. Flett paused, unsure if he should continue but Big John waved him on and he finished Nest with a few more shots.
WINNER: Mike Flett via TKO at 0:51 of Round Two
Stephane Hovington vs Fraser Jordan – Middleweight 185
Hovington came out as aggressive as Jordan initially, but Jordan’s onslaught of punches quickly overwhelmed him and he was unable to stop the inevitable clinch and takedown that were to follow. Moving directly to mount, Jordan began raining down punches and though Hovington was able to roll over to avoid them momentarily the punishment never stopped and the ref was forced to step in.
After the fight, I spoke to Fraser about his future in the sport and he indicated his frustration with a lack of opponents at amateur. Look for him to make an immediate impact on the western Canadian middleweight division when he makes his long overdue professional debut.
WINNER: Fraser Jordan via TKO at 0:24 of Round One
Shane Nest vs Travis Cardinal – Welterweight 170
The first round of this fight was rather uneventful with both fighters throwing ineffective strikes. In the second it seemed to be more of the same until Nest became visibly exhausted and unable to defend himself halfway through the round, yet somehow Cardinal was unable to land anything significant even though nearly all his strikes landed. In the third Nest made a Herculean effort to wildly throw some sloppy haymakers before falling after a flurry from Cardinal…although it was unclear whether any of the punches had done any damage or Nest was simply collapsing from exhaustion.
WINNER: Travis Cardinal via KO at 0:58 of Round Three
Steven Audet vs Teddy Ash – Light Heavyweight 205
Audet immediately landed a double leg takedown to start the fight, but Ash was able to stand and threaten with a guillotine before breaking contact. He then landed a jab on Audet’s chin that had him in serious trouble and he tried to shoot but was stuffed under Ash into the bottom of side control. From there it was an easy finish via ground and pound for Ash.
WINNER: Teddy Ash via TKO at 0:17 of Round One
Kent Forneau vs Johnny Joubert – Heavyweight 265
Both fighters came out swinging but quickly clinched and Joubert tried unsuccessfully to lock in a guillotine, but was able to use the headlock to drag Forneau to the ground. Working ground and pound Joubert was able to quickly put Forneau away.
WINNER: Johnny Joubert via TKO at 1:42 of Round One
Jonathan Cowan vs David Lafond – Lightweight 155
Cowan went straight for the single leg takedown to start the round but was unable to capitalize and got stuffed under Lafond into half guard. He was able to escape and get back to his feet, but after his second failed attempt he was mounted by Lafond. From there the ground and pound began and Cowan rolled over, giving up his back and Lafond was able to sink in a rear naked choke to end the fight.
WINNER: David Lafond via Submission at 4:48 of Round One
Nick Spohn vs Mitch Fryia – Lightweight 155
This fight was a dynamic groundbattle, both men were obviously skilled grapplers and eager to use their explosiveness to gain an advantage. Fryia quickly landed a double leg takedown but after a scramble they stood up and Spohn was able to land a single leg of his own. Fryia immediately went for an armbar from guard but that proved to be his undoing as when it failed Spohn took his back and immediately sunk a rear naked choke for the victory.
WINNER: Nick Spohn via Submission at 3:02 of Round One
Steve Dubeck vs Chris Lauzon – Middleweight 185
Dubeck came out swinging and caught Lauzon with a punch that dropped him. He immediately took side control and fed Lauzon punches until the ref called it.
WINNER: Steve Dubeck via TKO at 0:46
Jordan Berland vs Travis Moritz – Catchweight 160 (Moritz weighed in 2 lbs over at 162)
Berland looked physically outmatched by Moritz, so it was no surprise when Moritz was able to utilize a double leg slam almost immediately. Berland remained calm and got back to his feet but when they broke contact Moritz landed a standing hammerfist, perhaps the first one I’ve seen in MMA, it was completely ineffective but rather comical. At this point Moritz seemed to be very fatigued and it looked as though the tide might turn in Berland’s favor, but any hope of that was quickly snuffed out as Moritz executed a hip toss with raw power and little finesse and was able to secure the victory with strikes from mount.
WINNER: Travis Moritz via TKO at 3:22 of Round One
Rod Montoya vs David Letourneau – Lightweight 155
Montoya began the match by shooting for a single and after a struggle, wrestled Letourneau to the mat but was unable to stop him from standing back up. Letourneau then landed a double leg of his own, landing in Montoya’s half guard. From there, Montoya would try for a kimura but never came close to landing it, however that didn’t stop him from attempting it repeatedly throughout the entire match. In fact, most of the match was spent the same way, round after round with Letourneau content to lay on top Montoya and Montoya with only the kimura on his mind. In the dying seconds of round three, Montoya desperately went for a big knee and landed it but then failed a takedown and had his back taken, Letourneau sunk a rear naked choke just as the bell sounded. After three rounds it was no surprise that Letourneau was ahead on the judges score cards in perhaps the only lacklustre bout of the evening.
WINNER: David Letourneau via Judges Decision, All Three Judges Scored it 30-27
Brandon MacArthur vs Markhaile Wedderburn – Middleweight 185 (Wedderburn weighed in 4 lbs over at 189)
Wedderburn had a clear size advantage over his opponent and while in the early going it didn’t seem to make a huge difference in the striking battle, as soon as it came to grappling it was painfully obvious that size mattered. MacArthur tried hard to land big shots early, but when they failed to land Wedderburn took him down. MacArthur then tried an armbar and failed, but on a second attempt appeared to have Wedderburn in serious trouble, possibly hyperextending the elbow, but Wedderburn refused to submit and escaped before the round ended.
In the second round Wedderburn tried to showcase his striking and landed some shots to the body before landing a huge slam. MacAruthur was able to get back to his feet, only to be slammed again. From there, Wedderburn stood up out of MacArthur’s guard, leaving him in a buttscoot on the mat and landed several roundhouses and axe kicks before MacArthur was able to stand up and the round ended. The third round saw more of the same with Wedderburn repeatedly taking MacArthur down and securing the decision victory. Wedderburn was dominant for most of the fight, but considering his failure to make weight and repetitive use of power moves to win, the value of his victory is questionable.
WINNER: Markhaile Wedderburn via Judges Decision, All Three Judges Scored it 30-27
Sean Quinn vs Kyle Oliveira – Bantamweight 135
In the shortest fight of the evening, Quinn was able to land an overhand right that put Oliveira to sleep, he recieved Knockout of the Night honours for his performance.
WINNER: Sean Quinn via KO at 0:22 of Round One
Mike “the Honey Badger” Hackert vs Tim “the Thrashing Machine” Hague – Heavyweight 265 (Hague weighed in at 265, Hackert at 229)
For his debut at heavyweight, Hackert decided to use a new nickname and he more than lived up to it, punishing his bigger opponent at every turn. Hague would say after the fight that while he felt he was in good shape and had a good training camp, Hackert hurt him with nearly every shot he landed and stayed a step ahead throughout. Known for his knockout power, Hague intended to make short work of Hackert utilizing his heavy hands, but it was not to be. Hackert used his speed and explosiveness to make the most of his strikes, starting with several punches and a knee to the face, Hague responded by rushing him into the fence, but he failed to land the takedown. From there Hackert reversed Hague into the fence and landed several knees to the body, Hague would later say that the first knee that landed to the mid-section nearly knocked the wind out of him. Hackert then used his superior footwork and head movement to dodge the punches coming at him as he began to punish Hague with precision strikes to the head and body.
The only slip up of the first round for the “Honey Badger” came when he threw a kick that Hague caught, immediately taking him down into half guard. However, Hackert was unphased and worked steadily to improve his position and stand up without taking any punishment from Hague. Once he was back on his feet, Hackert went back to landing strikes seemingly at will with Hague unable to respond with anything effective. Hague then attempted a double leg but ended up eating a knee before the round came to a close.
The second round saw more of the same with Hackert really finding his rhythm and Hague unable to land his own strikes or keep up with the pace set by Hackert who never slowed his relentless onslaught and the bodyshots seeming to take a toll on Hague’s gastank. Midway through the round Big John McCarthy paused the action to replace both fighters’ mouthpieces. The break in the action clearly benefited Hague but he was unable to capitalize, though he did land a single left hook during the middle frame. As the round wore on the damage to Hague’s face became more and more apparent as he started to bleed visibly from the nose. In the final seconds of the round, Hackert dropped his hands and let Hague swing, using his speed to duck and dodge while he fired back, landing without fail.
Before the third round began, Big John called the physician into the ring to examine Hague’s face after his corner failed to stop the bleeding during the intermission. The doctor cleared Hague to continue, with the extended break again helping him stave off exhaustion.
He began the round by landing an overhand right, but Hackert immediately responded by putting him in the Thai clinch and delivering five consecutive knees to the face, followed by several punches. Hague then tried unsuccessfully to shoot for a single and Hackert went for one of his own, pushing Hague into the fence. It was then that Hague began bleeding profusely onto Hackert’s back as he struggled to avoid the takedown. From there, they separated and Hackert went back to using Hague’s face as a speedbag, followed by a few big knees to the head. “The Honey Badger” seemed determined to take Hague down and made another failed attempt before landing more punches and finally securing a single leg. He seemed to be in trouble momentarily as Hague went for the guillotine on the way down, but after a short struggle Hackert was able to escape the choke and stabilize his position in Hague’s guard. Hackert then stood up and tried to rain down strikes before Hague got to his feet and they clinched as the round ended.
While the result may have been unexpected by pundits and fans alike who made predictions before the event, there was no doubt about the decision in the minds of the judges or the audience and the fighters were awarded Fight of the Night honors. After the fight Hague said he would have to reevaluate his plans, his hopes of a quick return to the UFC seem to be ended for the moment. Hackert stated he would entertain all interesting offers but had no immediate plans to sign with any specific promotion and had no particular opponent in mind for his next bout.
WINNER: Mike “the Honey Badger” Hackert via Judges Decision, the Judges Scored it 30-27, 30-27, and 30-26 all in favor of Hackert