EFL 4 Recap – Self-KO Edition
Saturday night, south of Montreal in Ste-Julie, Empire Fight League (EFL) returned for its fourth amateur event. Along with high production values and two title fights featuring solid submission finishes, what may have stuck with the approximately 400 fans who showed up happened one bout earlier, when a need-to-see-it-to-believe-it self-inflicted knockout took place.
Capony earns #1 contender status in unique fashion
The closely contested back-and-forth bout between Orion’s Jeremie Capony and Fit MMA’s Dan Lariviere, who had dropped a decision at Hybrid the Saturday prior, came to an end suddenly two-thirds of the way into the second round.
Coming towards Capony, Lariviere launched himself into the air for what started out looking like a switch kick, but end up resembling a pro-wrestling style dropkick. Capony wisely backed up, leaving Lariviere hanging perpendicular to the mat for a brief moment. Connecting with nothing but air, Lariviere soon came crashing down, his shoulder hitting the mat a split-second before the side of his head bashed against the shoulder.
Just like that, the bout was over, with Lariviere laying unconscious on the mat. Ambulatory staff quickly rushed into the ring to assist Lariviere. After some time, he came to, but took a couple of minutes to get back to his feet. Looking rather perplexed, Capony’s hand was eventually raised, as he was awarded the TKO win. (Check it out HERE)
Fully conscious and aware a bit later, Lariviere seemed more likely to have suffered a concussion and slight shoulder injury than any damage to his neck.
Following the unexpected finish, the evening’s two title fights took place.
Richardson captures Welterweight belt
Back just one week after capturing the Hybrid Welterweight belt, adding to the Summum title he already held, Kevin Lampron (Kanreikai) looked to extend his winning streak to eight while grabbing a third amateur title in the process.
Facing him was Matthew Richardson, a muay thai-based fighter out of N-1 in Ottawa, who had himself come up short in a title bout three weeks prior.
Heading for the mat early, Lampron caught a Richardson leg kick and took him down. Richardson later worked his way to Lampron’s back, and began softening him up with solid head punches. Likely realizing Richardson was the superior striker when the fight got back to the feet, Lampron attempted another takedown, but this time was sprawled. As time ran down, Richardson unloaded with a left hook-right straight combo. Absorbing the shots, Lampron gestured with his head for Richardson to come at him with more.
With his nose bleeding slightly, Lampron was again outstruck in the second round, leading him to resort to a single-leg takedown attempt. Stuffing the effort, Richardson clamped onto Lampron’s neck as he began to rise. Though he first looked to be working towards a rear-naked, Richardson quickly muscled Lampron down to his knees in a headlock, where he tightened his grip in a bulldog choke, soon after coaxing the tap. With the win, Richardson improved to 6-3 (1 NC) as an amateur.
Dexter earns vacant Featherweight title
A second title, lower down at Featherweight, was also on the line after former champ Mic Dufort opted to go pro (he debuts at Ringside 13) without having defended the belt.
In his place, Cornwall MMA’s Derek Dexter, also back after a win a week earlier at Hyrbrid, and Ultimaction’s Samuel Desruisseaux went to battle.
After trading briefly on the feet, Dexter landed a takedown, ending up in Desruisseaux’s guard. Working to side-control, then half-guard, Dexter was soon after swept onto his back by Desruisseaux.
Keeping his cool, Dexter reached up and around Desruisseaux’s neck and locked in an arm-triangle choke for the finish from his back, as Desruisseaux leaned forward in his guard.
With the 95-second submission, Dexter improved to 8-5 as an amateur. The title win put an end to a brief spell of bad luck in Quebec title fights for Dexter, who had previously dropped his Victory MMA belt to the above-mentioned Dufort, and come up short against Mario Pereira in his attempt to win the Summum title.
Top MMA News Awards:
KO of the Night: You guessed it! Also the evening’s only KO finish. You’ve already read about it, so have a look instead. The video has already gone semi-viral in the Quebec amateur MMA community.
Fight of the Night: A no holds barred slug-fest between Jeremy McNamara (Orion) and William Vasquez (Team Xtreme), where two game fighters delivered nine minutes of nearly non-stop action. McNamara looked to have done enough to win the first two rounds via a slight edge on the feet and some solid submission attempts. Vasquez escaped in the first round and did some damage of his own, and was saved by the bell in the second from an arm-bar. Both swinging for the fences come the third, Vasquez and McNamara both landed solidly with their fists, making it the closest round.
The crowd-pleasing bout was marred by a slightly controversial decision win for Vasquez. Controversial not because the fight wasn’t close enough to theoretically go either way, but because Vasquez also serves part-time as a referee and judge for the FQBM, which sanctioned the event. That the decision, right or wrong, was left in the hand’s of Vasquez’s colleagues, individuals he has previously served as judge with at events, was a clear conflict of interest.
Submission(s) of the Night: Hard to pick just one (sorry). Besides the excellent title bout finishes, the evening saw two solid guillotine chokes from Robert Seres (Fighter Dream) and Francois Hudon Genest (MMA Magog), as well as a rear-naked choke for Felix Roberge (Pro Star) with a second left in the 2nd round of his bout. Jamie Poulin (Total Martial Arts) also kicked the evening off with a nice ankle lock.
Former UCC/TKO fighter Yannick Loof, and the on-hiatus 7-6 Guillaume ‘Showman’ Lamarche split the refereeing duties for the evening’s eleven bouts. Sanctioned by the Federation Quebecois de Boxe Mixte Amateur (FQBM), Saturday’s fights took place under amateur rules - fighters wear 12 ounce gloves and shin pads. Elbow and knee strikes, as well as submissions involving twisting (e.g. heel hooks) are prohibited.
180lbs – Matthew Richardson (N1 Muay Thai) submits Kevin Lampron (Kanreikai) via bulldog choke at 0:57 of Round 2. Richardson captures the EFL Welterweight title.
150lbs – Derek Dexter (Cornwall MMA) submits Samuel Desruisseaux (Ultimaction) via arm-triangle choke 1:35 of Round 1. Dexter captures the vacated EFL Featherweight title.
175lbs – Jeremie Capony (Orion) def. Dan Lariviere (Fit MMA) via TKO (injury) at 1:55 of Round 2.
170lbs – Robert Seres (Fighter Dream) submits Jason Fontaine (Pro Star MMA) via guillotine choke at 1:42 of Round 1.
165lbs – William Vasquez (Team Xtreme) def. Jeremy Mcnamara (Orion) via unanimous judges’ decision.
175lbs – Francois Hudon Genest (MMA Magog) def. Jo Dubé (Pro Star MMA) via guillotine choke at 0:38 of Round 1.
145lbs – Mathieu Boisvert (FC St-Jean) def. Matthew Poulin (Total Martial Arts) via unanimous judges’ decision.
165lbs – Julien Ravart (Orion) def. Ruben Fournier (FC St Jean) via unanimous judges’ decision.
165lbs – Felix Roberge (Pro Star MMA) submits Anthony Bracken (FC St Jean) via rear-naked choke at 1:59 of Round 2.
155lbs – Jeremy Lefebvre (Serei Repentigny) def. Alex Coté (Gladiateur FC) via unanimous judges’ decision.
140lbs – Jamie Poulin (Total Martial Arts) submits Joel Tessier (Ultimaction) via ankle-lock at 1:35 of Round 2.
EFL returns for its fifth amateur event on May 12.
*All photos by Julian Cymbalista-Clapp. Follow him on Twitter @JulianCClapp