BTC Fight Promotions is continuing to make a name for itself as it proceeds to establish excellent young talent and host electrifying events. Woefully, many fighters come and go due to being connected to just one bout contracts and/or transitioning to other MMA organizations. But even with this constant change in key personnel, BTC has had around 60 athletes fight for them in the last two years.
BTC 6: Night of Champions took place on June 1, 2019. The event was hosted at the Central Arena in Burlington, Ontario. It saw nine fights take place across various different weight classes, including flyweight, strawweight, and super lightweight.
For an event that saw three champions crowned, there really was no better name for it.
Here’s The MMA Chronicles’ action recap.
It’s not often a fighter gets to participate in three professional fights prior to their 23rd birthday. It’s even rarer for that fighter to win all three of them, two of which by KO/TKO.
Serhiy Sidey is that fighter though, and he’s clearly on cloud nine because of it.
“It’s been amazing,” he said. “It’s awesome to turn pro and then get three fights in a row. So it’s been a great career, man. I’m just excited to get back in there.”
But these moments did not come easy. Sidey has been training with professionals since he was 16-years-old, and without his six amateur fights and impressive 4-2 record in them, he might’ve never gotten the opportunity to fight and win at a professional level.
Our own Jason Hagholm talks to the 23-year-old about his career path and what it took for Sidey to achieve his 3-0 pro MMA career start.
For an amateur fighter who retired in her early 20s, Gemma Sheehan has quite the resume. The native of Toronto has a 5-1-0 mixed martial arts record, including four wins in the first… [READ MORE]
If there’s one fighter that has earned the nickname “Maverick”, it’s Burlington’s Adam Assenza.
The 31-year-old is as independently-minded as they come; per his own words, he “doesn’t really care much about what anybody does.” His only focus is on preparing himself, both mentally and physically, and he only worries about doing his own thing.
That’s the perfect mentality to carry into his August 24th fight against Josh Wick for the BTC Lightweight Championship at BTC 7: Annihilation in Ottawa.
Our own Jason Hagholm talks to Assenza about how he handles preparations, how he gets over bad results, and his love for mixed martial arts.
Daniel Cormier’s future in UFC is at a stand still after losing his heavyweight title to Stipe Miocic in shocking fashion at UFC 241.Cormier, 40, was defeated in a fourth-round knockout by Miocic after receiving a dozen punches to the skull in Anaheim, California on Sunday night.
Following the devastating loss, the former UFC Heavyweight champion posted on Instagram to apologize to his coaches and fans as well as his wife and children.
“I am so sorry to all I have let down,” Cormier posted. “To my wife and kids I am so sorry you guys had to experience that, I never wanted y’all to see that and the hurt you guys showed breaks my heart every time I think about it.”
Cormier also took the time to congratulate Miocic and his team on an impressive victory.
“Stipe Miocic and his team, congratulations on a tremendous victory, you showed so much heart and grit, you are the definition of Cleveland tough.”
Miocic’s comeback victory Sunday night saw him become the fourth fighter in history to recapture the undisputed UFC heavyweight title as he avenged his loss to Cormier in July 2018.
The heavyweight’s previous encounter saw Cormier defeat Miocic by knockout in the first-round to become the UFC heavyweight champion and the second fighter in history to hold two championships simultaneously in separate weight classes.
At the post-fight press conference, Miocic explained the difficulty he had connecting shots in the first two rounds.
“In a fight anything can happen, he gave me some good shots, but I wasn’t really worried about it,” Miocic said. “He’s (Cormier) an amazing wrestler and like I said I started off slow in the first few rounds; I wasn’t me.”
“I was fighting like a bitch, I really was. I take nothing away from D.C (Daniel Cormier) he’s tough. He’s fought the best in the world and beat the best in the world. It took me sometime to get my mojo and I couldn’t feel it.”
“My one coach told me that when I walked in the fourth round he knew it would be over. He’s like, ‘I just see your face, the way your sweating, your hips are moving.’ he said he knew it would be good.”
Despite losing his momentum in the third-round, Cormier says that he was content with his performance early on in the bout. While talking to ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto after the fight, Cormier expressed his regret of not utilizing more wrestling takedowns in his game plan.
“I think when the first round started and we started finally trading (strikes), I was able to hit him,” Cormier explained. “In the second round everything was landing, but I was also taking shots and I just didn’t wrestle.”
“That’s what I should’ve continued to do…. I should’ve continued to wrestle and try and take him to the ground. On the ground I was controlling the exchanges and I was able to keep him down for three and a half minutes. So it never really felt that he was going to get away from me until the very end of the first-round where I ended up in a front headlock or something.”
While speaking with ESPN MMA, Cormier also spoke about a possible rematch with Miocic in the future. Although the former heavyweight champions future in MMA in uncertain, what is certain is that his decision for a third fight with Miocic will depend on if his coaching staff and family are on board.
“I think I can get a rematch if I wanted to,” Cormier said.” It’s something I’ll have to discuss with my team, my wife and my kids. My son, little Daniel, just asked me, ‘Dad are you retired?’ and I said, ‘Well, I don’t know Pop.’ I said, ‘Will it make you upset if I am?’ and he said. ‘No.’ He said I could spend more time with them.”
“So, I just have to take my time and figure it out.”
For most fighters, there’s nothing sweeter than fighting a professional fight in their hometown. But while most fighters fail to realize that dream, 36-year-old Dan “Daniel-San” Lariviere is only weeks away from experiencing it.
Although Lariviere was born in Halifax, Nove Scotia, the Lightweight fighter was raised in Ottawa, Ontario. It’s a city that remains number one in his heart, and when he fights Patrick Connors at BTC 7: Annihilation on August 24, he expects a special performance from himself to cap off a special event.
Our own Jason Hagholm speaks to Lariviere about the importance and gravity of such a moment.
Dustin Joynson could be a name on the lips of every Canadian mixed martial arts viewer very soon, if he isn’t already.
The native of Victoria, British Columbia, is one of the top Canadian Heavyweight prospects in MMA. He boasts a 5-0-0 record, and if he defeats the Australian Ben Sosoli on the season finale of Dana White’s Contender Series on August 27th, he could be rewarded with a UFC contract.
The MMA Chronicles’ Jason Hagholm speaks to Joynson about the opportunity to fight in the Contenders Series, his love of video gaming, and his wrestling roots.
You would think that the worst part of being a professional mixed martial artist is actually stepping into the cage and fighting another human being. After all, few people would prefer to eat punches and takedowns for a living. But for many MMA fighters, the real fight is preparing for weight cuts… [READ MORE}
Todd Soute is a Light Heavyweight with a ton of power.
There is a reason his moniker is "The Black Hulk."
At 6'3" and 204 lbs, Todd is currently 10-4 in professional MMA, with 6 KO/TKO's and many of his wins coming in the first round.
Our own Jason Hagholm spoke with Todd recently about his controversial suspension from TKO MMA:
Jason Hagholm interviews Barrie, ON native Patrick Connors about the upcoming event at BTC 7: Annihilation. Patrick is fighting at 155 lbs. against Ottawa’s hometown fighter, Dan Lariviere. See the interview below:
MMA in Ontario is on the rise. With new regulations coming into play and with promotions realizing this boom, Ontario is starting to become the hotbed in Canada that everyone knew it could be. With Ontario drawing eyeballs in the MMA world, let’s take a look at the Top 10 fighters that either fight in Canada’s largest province or call Ontario home.
#10: Adam De Freitas (1-0)
Adam De Freitas is a guy that had been chomping at the bit to make his pro MMA debut. After a successful amateur career where De Freitas went 3-1 with some quick submission victories, he was ready to turn pro. De Freitas had some major hiccups to start his run at the pro level—either he couldn’t find opponents, or when he had fights lined up, bad luck would strike in the form of injury, or opponents missing weight.
On June 15th, 2019 at PFC 10 in Windsor, Ontario De Freitas was able to make the walk to the cage as a pro. The hype that had followed him since his amateur days was no joke. De Freitas’ opponent Kris Allard has a great BJJ background, but De Freitas was able to put on a Jiu-Jitsu clinic of his own. He was able to submit Allard in the 2nd round via Rear Naked Choke. This performance was a reminder to the MMA world that De Freitas is a top fighter. He trains with the best of the best at Para Bellum MMA, and fight fans can’t wait to see De Freitas’ next fight.
#9: Ariel Zuniga (1-0)
Ariel Zuniga is a fighter that has a world of potential, and some of the heaviest hands that anyone at 145 lbs has to offer. Zuniga, much like De Freitas, made a name for himself on the amateur scene. He wasn’t able to make the jump to being professional as quickly as he would have liked, however. He worked long, hard hours in construction to support his family. But once he got the opportunity to showcase his skills, the Evolucao fighter did not disappoint. Zuniga turned pro back at BTC 6: Night of Champions in Burlington, Ontario. Many in attendance at the Central Arena may not have known much about Zuniga. Once the bell rang, he left an impact on Ontario MMA that won’t be soon forgotten. Zuniga faced off against the always exciting Marc Gillespie and was able to control the cage. He was able to deliver big shot after big shot, and eventually put Gillespie away in the 2nd round. Zuniga has the power, the heart, and the skill to become a force to be reckoned with in MMA. Keep your eyes out for the next Ariel Zuniga fight at the Featherweight level.
#8: Shane Monaghan (1-0)
Shane Monaghan has all of the tools to be a superstar in MMA. From the talent to the charisma, he is a name you don’t want to forget. Monaghan is a native of Dublin, Ireland and is becoming a standout from the Maximum Training Centre team in Windsor, Ontario. His camp works with the Laramie Brothers (TJ & Tony), and Kyle Prepolec, who is a recent addition to the UFC & former BTC Super Lightweight Champion. Monaghan had an excellent run on the amateur circuit, compiling a 5-2 record as well as being a Bantamweight Champion for PFC. Monaghan made his pro MMA debut at the PFC 10 show in his backyard of Windsor, Ontario. His opponent, Craig Power, learned just how quickly the “Irish Hitman” would make his first strike on the world of pro MMA. Monaghan was able to withstand the early flurries that Powers threw at him, and once the fight hit the floor, Monaghan locked up a beautiful D’arce Choke to give him the 1-0 start to his pro career.
#7: Teshay Gouthro (1-0)
Teshay Gouthro doesn’t do much talking before he fights—he does all of his talking inside the cage. Gouthro is a Niagara Top Team standout and was able to have arguably one of the best amateur records before turning pro. He went 7-1 as an amateur, winning multiple championships at 135 lbs (including a Catch-weight Championship). Since Gouthro did most of his damage in the amateur ranks in the United States, Ontario MMA fans may not have known what Gouthro was all about when he made his pro MMA debut on June 1st, 2019. At BTC 6: Night of Champions, Gouthro let everyone at Central Arena (Burlington) know that he can live up to his nickname, “My House”.
Gouthro, who had to move up a weight class to 145 lbs due to his opponent falling out, matched up against a great striker in Paul Fisher. Gouthro was up 10 lbs and owned the cage. He was able to bust Fisher up in the middle portion of the 1st round and was nearly able to put him away on his feet. With his ability to mix up strikes, Gouthro was able to get a 2nd round TKO victory (Doctors Stoppage) over Fisher, beginning his professional MMA career with a record of 1-0.
Gouthro looked great at 145. When he goes back to his natural weight class of 135 lbs, he will be one of the toughest guys to beat.
#6: Vladimir Kazbekov (5-4)
Vladimir Kazbekov is easily the most entertaining fighter in all of Ontario MMA. Whether it is his great interview skills or his wide variety of striking skills, Kazbekov is someone that fight fans will want to see again after seeing him once. Vlad trains with elite fighters Aaron Jeffery (current BTC Middleweight Champion) and Elias Theodorou at Para Bellum MMA. He also trains at Niagara Top Team with Chris Prickett & Matt DiMarcantonio.
Kazbekov has seen his skill set grow continuously as his career develops. He did not have the fight go his way last time out at BTC 6: Night of Champions. However, anyone who was in attendance during his highlight-reel KO at BTC 5: Typhoon (defeating Chuck Mady) will know he can finish the fight in a blink of an eye. Vlad has bounced around weight classes but seems poised to make a serious run at the BTC 135 lbs Championship.
#5: Josh Hill (17-3)
“The Gentleman” Josh Hill has been a staple in Canadian MMA since his pro debut back in 2009. Hill has traveled the world, showcasing his skill sets from Russia to Romania. He trains at Para Bellum MMA and has some of the best wrestling you will see at 135 lbs—which he uses to break his opponents’ will. Hill has cardio for days, throws smart combinations, and has an underrated BJJ game. His previous fight for TKO was billed as a battle to determine the best Bantamweight fighter in Canada. Hill fought former TKO Bantamweight Champion, “The Big Cat” Jesse Arnett, and what unfolded was a masterpiece in counter-striking.
The former WSOF Bantamweight Title Contender was able to use leg kicks to unsettle Arnett throughout the fight and avoided strikes while peppering his opponent with counters. Arnett felt the wrath of Hill’s big right hand, and the bout ended on a highlight finish that Hill had been looking for. Riding off of that momentum, Hill has been campaigning his way to fight on the upcoming UFC card in Vancouver. A big fight inside the Octagon is all that Josh Hill needs to solidify one of the greatest careers in Canadian MMA history.
#4: James Clarke (4-3)
James “Suplex Kid” Clarke is the current and inaugural BTC Flyweight Champion at the ripe age of 25. He has all of the tools to become a name to remember in MMA. Clarke turned pro in 2017 for the TKO promotion in Quebec but had difficulty facing some of the toughest guys at 125 lbs. Clarke was able to use those set back to catapult himself to a 3-fight win streak that has been one of the most interesting to see. Clarke picked up a quick 1st round win at BTC 4: Vendetta over Nathan Ledger by submission, before heading west to British Columbia to fight for the BFL (Battlefield Fighting League).
There, he scored another 1st round armbar submission over Howie Tan. Those quick wins got himself a title shot for the inaugural BTC Flyweight Championship at BTC 6: Night of Champions. In what was an instant classic in Ontario MMA, Clarke and his opponent David Henry had the ultimate back-and-forth battle. Clarke was able to get the unanimous decision victory in about that brought the Central Arena crowd to its feet. One of the best trash talkers that Ontario MMA has ever seen, the sky's the limit for the Suplex Kid.
#3: Scott Hudson (10-4-1)
“Handsome” Scott Hudson is the current BTC Super Lightweight Champion. He has been fighting as a pro since 2012 and has made the BTC Fight Promotions his home since 2017. Hudson, who used to fight at 155 lbs has helped demonstrate just how valuable the 165 lbs weight class can be for MMA. Hudson had his chance to be the inaugural BTC Super Lightweight Champion back in June 2018 at BTC 3: Prophecy but unfortunately suffered a 2nd round TKO to current UFC fighter Kyle Prepolec. That defeat has lit a fire under the Hamilton, Ontario fighter. At BTC 4: Vendetta, Hudson had a back and forth war with Xavier Nash.
He was able to win a close split-decision victory, then followed it up with another win at BTC 5: Typhoon. Hudson was able to put on a master class in wrestling, striking, and BJJ, getting the finish on a beautiful standing Guillotine choke over Adam Hazelton. At BTC 6: Night of Champions, everything came full circle for Hudson. With the vacant Super Lightweight Title on the line against the tough “Razorback” Dawond Pickney, Hudson was able to use clinches and wrestling to out-work Pickney. When Pickney went in for a take-down, he left his neck open. Hudson was able to capitalize and locked up another Guillotine to become the new BTC Super Lightweight Champion. Hudson is now the hunted with the gold around his waist, but he is up for the challenge.
#2: TJ Laramie (9-3)
TJ Laramie is the best Featherweight fighting in the country of Canada. The Windsor, Ontario native and Maximum Training Centre fighter has had eyeballs on him for the past few years. Laramie, with 6 of his 9 wins coming by either KO or TKO, has beaten the best Featherweights the country has had to offer—including current UFC fighter Charles Jourdain.
Laramie was one win away from getting the call to the UFC but unfortunately was upset by Alex Morgan back at TKO Fight Night 1. Laramie recently returned to the cage in his hometown of Windsor, Ontario at the PFC 10 show. He went off like a stick of dynamite on his opponent, James Dunn, and moved back into the win column with a 1st round TKO. Laramie seems to be back on the track that he was on before the Morgan upset, and is looking to string a few wins together.
#1: Adam Assenza (10-5)
Adam “Maverick” Assenza always brings the excitement with him whenever he fights. Assenza is arguably Canada’s top Lightweight fighter. Maverick is one of the purest athletes you will see. As a former gymnast, he has taken his athleticism from the gym mats and added it as another dimension to his repertoire of ways to beat you. Assenza hits like a Mack Truck. 7 of his 10 wins have come by way of KO. Assenza’s run over the last year has been one to remember. He became the inaugural BTC Lightweight Champion back at BTC 3: Prophecy in June 2018, with a 1st-round KO over Shawn Wallace. Assenza would then drop his title to former UFC Lightweight Jason Saggo back at BTC 4: Vendetta.
Since then, he has been zoned in on getting his belt back. His last performance at BTC 6: Night of Champions was one where he got to let out the frustration of losing championship gold and having last-minute cancellations from opponents during weigh-ins. At BTC 6, he was all over his opponent, Mark Coates. Assenza threw punches in bunches that rocked Coates out of the gate and was able to use his superior wrestling/BJJ to control the fight once it hit the floor. Coates was hurt so badly after the 1st round that he couldn’t make it out for the 2nd. Every time Adam Assenza fights, his fans get their money’s worth. Assenza will be getting his shot at the BTC Lightweight Championship on August 24th at the E.Y. Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. He will fight as the main event at BTC 7: Annihilation. Another win or two, and Assenza should be next. He could get the call to fight for UFC or Bellator in the near future.