Fans in attendance at Regina’s Turvey Centre Saturday Night were treated to the best that the sport of MMA can deliver – and in one bout, maybe the worst, too. Ten fighters from across Saskatchewan put it all on the line in the province’s only showcase for professional fighters.
The first two fights ended relatively quickly, with Sheldon LeBlanc forcing the tap in the first round due to a rear naked choke applied to Derek Gatz. Then, Drayton Angus fell victim to the same sub in the first round of his fight against.Thomas Richardson.
Then the fights became a series of stand-up wars, each becoming more vicious than the last. Cody Moorman relentlessly stalked a game Luke McKay over three hard fought rounds, flooring him with a stunning superman punch at one point and following up with savage ground and pound that McKay somehow survived. The doctor took a close look at McKay’s eye after the second round, but allowed the fight to continue. By the time the announcer read the unanimous decision in favour of Moorman, McKay’s eye was nearly swollen shut.
Tyler Weran and George Davis engaged in a grueling clinch game, each landing knees and elbows inside. But at the end of the second, Weran was able to secure the plum behind Davis’ neck and launched his 6 foot 5 frame into a series of knees that crumpled Davis against the turnbuckle. Davis was unable to answer the horn for the third, giving Weran the TKO.
Denys Zelynskyi and Chris Day then went toe-to-toe – but only for a matter of seconds before Zelynskyi absolutely flattened Day with a brutal right hand. Day sprang back up within seconds, but wasn’t protesting the decision – and as the referee held him and attempted to guide him back to his corner, Day began throwing knees in his clinch with the ref – clearly out on his feet but with his spirit still in the fight.
The co-main event pitted Cory Chambers against Blair Oster. The two men have known each other since elementary school in North Battleford, and while there didn’t seem to be any animosity, both are known for bringing a war and fans were eager for a potential fight of the night. But as the bout began and Chambers walked forward with his hand extended to touch gloves, Oster extended his hand as if to do the same, but instead launched a huge overhand right that bounced Chambers off the ropes and onto the mat. Oster followed up with hammerfists, and the ref was forced to intervene, giving Oster the win. The crowd was inflamed, and Chambers was enraged, calling it a sucker punch in a post fight interview. Promoter AJ Scales has already declared they will have a rematch, and you can bet there will be no touch of gloves next time.
The main event delivered on every level. Adam Lorenz, once on the list of the top 5 fighters in Canada, squared off against Matt Jelly. Both fighters were returning to competition from years-long layoffs, but neither showed and reluctance to engage. It was Lorenz that took the fight to Jelly, though, blasting him with huge power strikes almost from the initial horn and dropping him repeatedly. Jelly was always able to return the fight to standing however, eating shots like they were tic-tacs and continually moving forward like a zombie and landing some blows of his own. In the waning seconds of the first round Lorenz managed to drop him again and this time would not be denied. He pounced on Jelly with ground strikes that forced the referee to step and rescue Jelly with just a second left in the round.
Adam Lorenz defeats Matt Jelly by TKO (Punches) in Round 1, 4:59
Blair Oster defeats Cory Chambers by TKO (Punches) in Round 1
Denys Zelenskyi defeats Chris Day by KO (Punches) in Round 1, 0:14
Tyler Weran defeats George Davis by TKO (Retirement) in Round 2, 5:00
Cody Moorman defeats Luke McKay by Unanimous Decision
Thomas Richardson submits Drayton Angus by Rear-Naked Choke in Round 1, 1:30
Sheldon Leblanc defeats Derek Gatz by TKO (Punches) in Round 3