Gladiators Muay Thai & MMA Review
Gladiators Muay Thai & MMA Results
Long time fight promoter Giuseppe Denatale put on his inaugural event under the Testa Dura Promotions banner at the Winnipeg Convention Center. The event had four Muay Thai and four MMA matches on the card, and Denatale spared no expense, with top local talent and even bringing in some of the best Muay Thai guys to fight each other despite not being from Winnipeg – he knows the fight game and what fights will be entertaining.
Denatale has come a long way, he was seriously injured last year in a car accident that almost took his life, he started a new gym with Rodrigo Munduruca and started Team Canada, trained Joe Doerksen for a few fights, changed direction and started his own Fight promotion Testa Dura and by all accounts put on a successful show that left everybody feeling like they got their moneys worth and looking forward to the next show. The attendance looked to be one of the bigger shows in the past year in the city, but I have no numbers to support this thought.
I am not as familiar with Kickboxing as MMA so i apologize if my reviews aren’t as technical, and harder for me to score the fights also, not being trained as a judge.
Justin Barnard vs. Roland Larson (MMA Rules)
They get right to it and Barnard lands a hard punch that Larson doesn’t appreciate and starts to turn away, Barnard pounces on him and drags him to the ground where he proceeds to pummel him with strikes from half guard not letting him recover. After repeated warnings the referee is forced to stop the action shortly after giving Barnard the 1st round TKO victory where he remains undefeated at 5-0.
Jon Henderson vs. Luis Rugama (Muay Thai Rules)
Henderson comes out aggressive and lands a hard leg kick and follows it up with some solid punches as he sets the pace of the fight. He is able to continuously land knees from the clinch, often jumping knees to the head. Rugama has no answer for them as he lands maybe 5 punches the entire round. Henderson takes the round 10-9 as he dominates.
Round 2 is pretty much the same with Henderson now landing about 30 knees everywhere, to the head, body, legs, and he also lands a hard head kick and followed it up with an uppercut but his opponent is able to hang on and survive the round. Another 10-9 round for Henderson.
Last round is the same as Henderson outclasses his opponent not allowing him to get any positioning while landing strikes at will to take the unanimous decision 30-27 on all 3 judges cards.
Curt McKinnon vs. Mitch Kaye (MMA Rules)
McKinnon starts the fight with a kick which is caught and he is taken down. Kaye is keeping his posture and landing punches to the body, while McKinnon starts slow and figures out his timing. He attacks an arm and appears to have a deep armbar, but Kaye is able to escape. When they get back to the guard position, McKinnon now looks like he is fighting and has a very active guard not taking any damage as he looks for a triangle, then an armbar, he then attacks an arm while sweeping his opponent to his back, he straightens the arm forcing the tapout to get the armbar submission victory in the 1st round. He also gets the honors of Cageplay.com’s Submission of the night. (Sorry Curt it’s not worth any money, but we’ll hook you up with some Cageplay bucks)
Mark Durant vs. Neal Fox (Muay Thai Rules)
The Fight starts out a little chippy but both fighters are trading kicks, punches and spinning back fists. As the round continues they are getting into it and the bell rings, hard round to score for this MMA guy, but 10-9 for Fox.
Second round is another even active round with Durant scoring a spinning back kick as Fox is starting to fade and not have as much power. 10-9 Durant
Durant comes out aggressive in the 3rd while Fox’s strikes aren’t as effective as they were as he continues to fade. He still has his legs and is throwing some shots that don’t land, that could have something on them, otherwise Durant is able to score at will, and barely misses a spinning back fist that barely misses as the round ends. 10-9 Durant.
Judges score it 30-27, 28-29, and 30-27 giving Durant the Decision
Rodrigo Munduruca vs. Demian Decorah (MMA Rules)
Rodrigo comes out striking using his reach advantage to score punches, while eating a few in the process. They clinch and Munduruca looks to go for his patented Uchi-Mata throw, but instead takes his opponent backwards really slamming him hard to the mat and stunning him. Munduruca jumps on his back and starts blasting away with some hard punches that Decorah wasn’t able to defend and the referee is forced to stop the action at 1:21 of the 1st round and Munduruca remains Undefeated. He appeared to almost take Decorah out with the throw. Look for Munduruca to look for a match with Chris Tuscherer by years end as he looks to position himself on the UFC’s radar.
Shane Campbell vs. Adam Higson (Muay Thai Rules)
Very exciting first round with Campbell landing a lot of head kicks and dominating as Higson takes a lot of punishment but is still able to keep his composure. 10-9 for Campbell in a very exciting round.
Round 2 Higson comes out with more aggression and is landing the better shots. Campbell appears to be a bit complacent and isn’t moving or striking as actively. 10-9 for Higson
(One of the best Muay Thai guys in the country) Alin Halmagean is screaming at his fighter Campbell to fight. He seems to really motivate him as the 3rd round he comes out with a vengeance and lands a hard punch stunning Higson as he follows up with a devastating head kick KO that leaves Higson unconscious on the mat. Very impressive victory as higson was possibly ahead at the time of the beautiful KO..
In a really dangerous scene the referee starts to count instead of calling the fight and putting the fighter in the recovery position. I think he made it to about 6 by the time the fighters own corner ran into the ring to make sure the fighter was okay. It was very bizarre, and not sure what the referee was watching or thinking. The fighter was blatantly unconscious with his legs both stiff off the ground. I hate to be critical of the refs as they have one of the hardest jobs, but all I ask is that they can at least tell the difference between Conscious and Unconscious. They took Higson off to the hospital we wish him well in his recovery.
Otherwise this fight was by far the Cageplay.com Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night. Both fighters came from Hamilton but the local fans were very much into this fight proving kickboxing isn’t dead in this town.
Brendan Seguin vs. Chris Fontaine (MMA Rules)
Both fighters are calculating and moving well with Fontaine stunning Seguin with a punch and landing lots of knees in the clinch. They are trading shots, and Seguin is gaining momentum as the round ends with Fontaine taking it 10-9
Fontaine is able to land the harder punches in the 2nd but Seguin is more active and lands more punches, as well as a flying knee to end out the round stealing a very close round 10-9 Seguin.
3rd round Seguin is the aggressor stalking Fontaine around the ring. Fontaine is able to land his jab at will, but never follows it up with anything, or doubles it up. He is landing the harder punches, but not enough in my opinion. Seguin is landing combos while Fontaine is only throwing his punches in singles. VERY close fight and difficult to call.
10-9 for Seguin.
Judges have a split decision at 29-28 Seguin 28-29 Fontaine 28-29 Fontaine with Fontaine retaining is Gladiators middleweight title. (Not sure why it wasn’t a 5 round fight as the title was on the line but this fight could have used a few more rounds with these vets)
Dave Zuniga vs. Jesse Sulsona (Muay Thai Rules)
Zuniga comes out and throws some hard leg kicks that are instantly affecting Sulsona, Zuniga also is punishing the body as he looks to make it a quick night for Sulsona. Once Zuniga sees his opponent is hurt, he instantly attacks and drops him with a leg kick. Sulsona barely makes the count of 10 and the round ends. His corner informs the ref he isn’t able to continue when the 2nd is about to start, and Zuniga wins by TKO after the 1st ends.
Now Zuniga looks to keep the momentum and prepare for his upcoming Contender Asia Season 2 Canadian qualifier in Calgary where he will take part of an 8 man tournament with the winner getting a spot on the Contender Asia Season 2 show.