Usually, I love weigh-ins. It’s the one place you can go to see the fighters squirming, visibly angry that most promoters are so slow to start the actual process of scientifically measuring the mass in their dehydrated bodies. But last Thursday, the local TKO 35 promotion decided that they needed to hold theirs some 45 minutes outside of Montreal. Presumably, they were running a little over budget, and chose a location remote enough to keep rubber-neckers and broke ass bloggers away. Since we’re the latter, we decided against the trek.
Friday was your typical day before an event. We decided to leave late, since these guys never seem to be able to start a show on schedule. Arriving at the Bell Center, we were disappointed to learn that rather than a nifty press pass (which we’ve been collecting with pride), we were being given gay ass green bracelets that reminded me of being in a shitty after hours club.
When we got to the seating area, our press relations contact was a woman named Anne, who looked about 8 months pregnant. She was running around so much I half expected her to go into labor, although to her credit she was prompt bringing everyone water (which was also quite cold-that’s high class, baby!). I won’t deny I kind of felt like a redneck piece of shit asking a pregnant woman to gemmie somethin’ ta drink, but the humor of the whole thing wasn’t lost on me.
Our seats were very close to the cage, which would have been great was it not for the fact that the cage door was directly in my line of site. I’ve never had this shitty angle before, and it’s not something I want to happen again. The padded bottom of the door meant 70% of the time I had to look at the giant television screen behind me to know what the fuck was going on. No matter where the action took place in the cage, as soon as it went to the ground the door’s bottom padding obscured all.
I broke out my camera looking to take some great shots for the site, but to my great dismay, all of my batteries had been improperly charged, and I managed to only take a handful of shitty shots. Before they died off, I did manage to capture a shot of the ring girls that were sitting only a few feet from us. Although they weren’t as hot as the XMMA girls from the last local event, the added benefit of watching their underwear riding up while bending down to pick up their placards more than made up for it.
The first few fights were what I’ve come to expect at small shows. They never seem to get passed round 1, and usually it’s some up-and-comer against a sacrificial lamb. Luckily one of the fights featured a kid we’ve had our eyes on for some time. His name is Remi Morvan. He’s a fighter out of Ottawa who seems to have a knack for being called last minute to fight and winning in a spectacular fashion. In Gatineau, he pulled an epic win against a heavily favored opponent who was being cornered by Evan Tanner. Although at this event he appeared a bit flat, his spectacular backwards slam of Richard Ho had the poor fighter unconscious for a scary 2-3 minutes.
We always suspect that the Montreal shows will have some UFC star cornering a nobody from his home town. Imagine our lack of surprise to find that none other than Joe Lauzon at the event with Noah Thomas. He’s event funnier looking in person, and although we were tempted to go and interview him after the fight (which his fighter won, carrying away a shitty looking belt), the only question we could think of was why he had chosen such a tragically gay nickname. Honestly, who thinks “JLo” is a fucking good idea?
One of the big “draws” of the event was Forrest Petz, who had recently washed out of the UFC after a bullshit decision against Josh Burkman. I’ve never been impressed by Petz and he was totally owned during the entire fight by TJ Grant, who eventually subbed him. It’s interesting to note that his opponent, after 12 wins, has never gone to a decision. His fight wasn’t highlight worthy, but you have to wonder if anyone is going to pass up on someone who can at least finish more than Petz (who is the decision master, even above Karo).
The real highlight of the evening was a kid by the name of Jordan Mein. Jordan’s 18 but he already has a shitload of pro fights under his belt, having gotten an early start at 16. When the bell rang he came out strong, and his first fucking punched actually broke his opponent’s nose. Although the fight lasted only about 50 seconds it felt as though Harrison was in a meat grinder the whole time. After the fight was over, I looked over at a stunned Ryan who said “We gotta find out who this fucking guy is”
The only other honorable mention was the Steve Bosse fight. He was the guy that Lance Evans was supposed to fight, but the piece of shit backed out at the last minute. His replacement, Sherman Pendergast, also fucked off for no apparent reason. They managed to find instead Sebastien Gauthier, who literally had a few hours advanced notice. Although his jujitsu was strong, Bosse managed to escape about 3 solid rear naked chokes thanks in no small part to the insane cheering of the crowd. One thing Bosse has is a solid command of the crowd, that’s for sure.
After the show was over, Ryan and I decided to head to the local pub for a brew. After quickly downing a cheap flat picher, we headed over to a friends house to finish the night off with a bang (it helps that this friend also happens to get high on a fairly consistent basis). One insanely powerful joint later, we headed to the station to catch the last bus home. Ryan was out of his mind tired. At the McDonald’s on the way, I asked him if he wanted anything to eat. He had no idea what I was asking, saying “I don’t understand what the fuck you’re talking about”. For his rudeness, he would go without food.
Our decision to see the TKO event over covering the Strikeforce show was, in hindsight, a great idea. I always enjoy myself tremendously at these local events, always wondering if I’m not catching a glimpse of the next big thing in MMA. It also helped that the overall card was solid, despite the fact that there were no big names (except Petz, but fuck him). The next card is in December, and failing a heart attack or the disastrous economy, we’ll be there with bells on.