GATINEAU, Quebec, June 10 — Despite the absence of Matt Horwich (Pictures) (yet again) from the main event of Apex: Evolution, a self-proclaimed “fat” Luigi Fioravanti delivered quite the performance on very short notice against Stephan Potvin (Pictures).
Despite an obvious reach advantage, Fioravanti was looking to score big from the bell and caught Potvin with an overhand right. Potvin retaliated with a spinning back kick only to have Fioravanti catch it and slam him to the mat.
The two fighters didn’t spend much time on the ground, but they had their moments — specifically Potvin, who nearly locked in a kneebar only to have Fioravanti roll out and get back to his feet.
Round two began with the same torrid pace: both fighters slugged it out, Fioravanti the aggressor. A failed takedown by Potvin found the two clinched in the corner. Another spinning kick from Potvin, this one partially blocked but still receiving acknowledgement from the crowd, and a one-two combination in return from Fioravanti greeted the bell as it sounded to end round two.
The final period opened with Fioravanti continually finding his range against the slowing Potvin. An overhand left caused Potvin to bleed from the nose, but the Quebec native connected with a big right over the top that immediately turned the tables.
Both fighters were bloodied and worked in the clinch against the ropes trading shots. Potvin secured a takedown but the two returned to their feet as the bell sounded to end the fight. The result was left to the judges, who scored the bout 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for Fioravanti.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu standout Wagnney Fabiano (Pictures) locked horns with Bao Quach (Pictures) in a match-up of 145-pounders that did not disappoint. Right from the opening, Fabiano shot and found himself locked in a clinch with “Taz.”
A beautiful throw had Fabiano firing away in Quach’s guard. A crisp right connected to Quach’s jaw, prompting the Team Oyama fighter to scramble and look to work the arm of Fabiano, but to no avail.
Back on their feet, the fighters worked the clinch in a corner and traded knees, one of which caught Fabiano. It looked as though Quach was gaining the upper hand when, out of nowhere, Fabiano launched a perfect right high kick that caught Quach flush on the chin, sending him crashing to the mat. With the knockout victory at 4:50 of the opening round, Fabiano upped his record to 4-0.
Crowd favorite and hometown hero Nabil Khatib (Pictures) was in against tough Ryan Gabourie on this night, as “Gattling Guns” charged in to nail Khatib with a right.
Gabourie was relentless in his attack, following up with combinations that compelled Khatib to take the fight to the ground. Gabourie worked for a Kimura from the bottom only to lose it. In Gabourie’s half guard, Khatib unleashed a vicious series of body shots before attaining the full mount.
Though he was swept, the slick-as-ever Khatib immediately caught an arm and extended it to force a tap from Gabourie at the 2:33 mark of round one.
Brent Beauparlent finally made his much-anticipated Apex debut. Credit must be given to the Apex crew for their hard work to keep this fight on the card. With Lucas Lopes out, Jason Cecil stepped up to make his MMA debut on only a few days notice.
Following the opening bell, Beauparlent shot in for a takedown and his persistence paid off, as he is able to take Cecil down to the mat. Beauparlent constantly worked to better position and it was only a matter of time before he found himself in the mount raining blows.
The referee soon jumped in to call a halt to the action at 2:22, securing Beauparlent’s stoppage victory.
In a lightweight tilt, Shaun Krysa (Pictures) kept his perfect record intact against a very tough Sean Ragnitz (Pictures). Mere seconds into the fight Krysa connected with a crisp overhand right that sent Ragnitz reeling.
Krysa looked to seize the opportunity and took Ragnitz down to the ground, landing in half-guard where he began to work elbows. Back on their feet, the exchanges seem to be evening out with Ragnitz now connecting with more regularity.
A scramble ensued as Krysa looked to trap an ankle. That seemed to inspire Ragnitz to do the same and the fighters spent a fair amount of time on the ground working heelhooks and various ankle locks until Ragnitz finally gave up his back.
It was at this point that Krysa slid his arm inside and applied a rear-naked choke that made Ragnitz tapout at 4:40 of round one.
Wojtek Kaszowski (Pictures) returned to the Apex ring and made quick work of Lethbridge, Alberta’s Lee Mein winning by knockout at 1:15 of round one. Mein could not beat the count after being sent to the mat by a series of right hands.
John Mahlow (Pictures) didn’t take long to show those in attendance that he is a force to be reckoned with in Apex. The Jacksonville, Florida native came out with a huge high kick that surprised Tyler Jackson (Pictures), but not enough to avoid being caught and on his way down hard to the mat.
Mahlow had a hold of Jackson’s arm by the time he landed and shifted his hips, extending the limb and forcing the British Columbian to tap 28 seconds into round one due to an armbar.
There was a little bit of controversy at the end of this bout, as initially Jackson and his corner, consisting of “Butcher” Bill Mahood (Pictures), protested the stoppage by claiming Jackson did not tap. Despite everything, Mahlow showed a ton of class and was seen telling Jackson they would undoubtedly do it again.
In other action, Eric Beaulieu (Pictures) controlled Dan Grandmaison en route to a submission win by rear-naked choke at 0:55 of round two.
Mike Hong (Pictures) utilized his ground savvy to pick up the submission win by armbar over Stephane Denis at 2:23 of round two.
Jason Motard made a statement in his MMA debut with a TKO win over “Prince” Aiteka Ukonga when a keylock looked like it popped Ukonga’s elbow at 3:32 of round number one.
Jordan Jewell stopped Eric Lacelle (Pictures) at 4:05 of round one.