Saturday night, MacDonald defeated Edwin Dewees (Pictures) in front of roughly 3,500 fans at the Halifax Forum for the biggest win of his career.
MacDonald, who moved up a weight class from his usual 170 pounds to fight the much more experienced Dewees, showed both patience and poise to survive an initial onslaught.
Dewees switched from MacDonald's back to an armbar attempt, but the Canadian was able to slide his arm out and get on top. The submission specialist Dewees then went for a heelhook followed by a kneebar attempt, but MacDonald repeatedly shook his head to the referee indicating that he was not going to submit.
MacDonald suddenly stood up and transitioned from Dewees' full guard to mount, and started to drop down some heavy punches, forcing the American to roll over onto his front. MacDonald sunk both hooks in, and continued to rain down blows until the referee pulled him off.
Dewees was visibly upset at the stoppage, but MacDonald dismissed any claims of a premature ending, saying that he had great position and that there was nowhere for Dewees to go.
Pictou County's Jason MacKay (Pictures) had a very brief time inside the cage, as a kick to the face of Jorge Gurgel (Pictures) student Jon Stutzman only seconds into the bout signaled the start of the end. MacKay pounced on a dazed Stutzman and landed shot after vicious shot until the referee mercifully stopped the fight.
It should be noted that Stutzman had come to Halifax expecting to fight at 145 pounds, but with opponents for both he and MacKay dropping out, the fight happened at lightweight.
The only bout of the night that went the distance, Yves Jabouin's aggressive style garnered a unanimous decision over Brad Cardinal. Jabouin was the aggressor for the entire time, winning all three rounds on all three judges scorecards. Cardinal, who used a retreating game plan, was taken to the hospital after the fight with a broken leg.
In his pre-fight video intro heavyweight Ryan Jimmo (Pictures) cheekily proclaimed himself to be "kind of a big deal," and proceeded to prove just that, defeating Ontario super-heavyweight Muay Thai kickboxing champion Samir Seif in the first round. Jimmo controlled all of the action, taking Seif down with trips and a nifty side suplex that allowed him to immediately get the mount, and punch away until the referee intervened.
Craig Skinner (Pictures) looked so dominant early in his bout against Chad Cox that it appeared as if the referee was positioning himself to step in and stop the fight. Skinner was on top of a seemingly helpless Cox, but Cox was able to materialize a super-tight armbar out of nowhere for the win.
If Clint Martin had any nerves about going up against hugely popular local fighter Mike Scudder (Pictures) he certainly didn't show it. Charging Scudder from the opening bell, Martin got the takedown, and worked a very effective high mount that gave Scudder no chance for escape. Martin by TKO.
Iraj J Hadin and Steve Rogers showed fairly even skills to start, until Hadin started employing a very effective Thai plumb that Rogers couldn't seem to escape. Knees by Hadin followed, and the fight hit the mat with Rogers in Hadin's full guard, his head in a tight guillotine choke. Several accounts said that Rogers tapped, but if he did the referee didn't notice, and ultimately it was Hadin who released the choke on his unconscious opponent.
All of Halifax had been buzzing for weeks about the pairing of Peter McGrath (Pictures) against Vartan Pour Nick. Fighters from rival local clubs, each fighter had previously shown tons of aggressiveness as well as dynamic striking, so fans hoped to see something great.
McGrath and Pour Nick did not disappoint, going toe to toe, giving and taking, advancing and retreating, neither giving an inch. At the start it was Pour Nick who was winning the exchanges, just a little faster and more accurate with his strikes. McGrath seemed unfazed by the hits to the head, taunting Pour Nick with a "knock-knock" on his own head, as if to say "you can't hurt me."
The second stanza saw the tide turn, as Pour Nick wasn't able to maintain the hypersonic pace the pair had set in the first. McGrath on the other hand, seemed only to get stronger, and ruthlessly stalked his opponent across the cage. With a final attack reminiscent of a German blitzkrieg, McGrath had Pour Nick's back against the cage unable to avoid the majority of the incoming blows, forcing the referee to put a stop to an amazing fight.
Jason Rorison used nearly four minutes of brutal ground-and-pound to soften up opponent Jon MacGrath and set him up for an armbar that could not be escaped. A slam by Rorison less than 10 seconds into the bout may have gotten the loudest crowd cheer of the night.
Chris Currie escaped the armbar attempt by Shane Daley the best way he knew how -- by picking him up and slamming him headfirst to the mat … twice. The second slam obviously hurt Daley very much, as he tapped to stop the fight, and was taken out of the cage and to the hospital on a spine-board.
The first match of the evening saw Remi Morvan execute a couple of nice slams on foe Larry Sockobasin before applying a rear-naked choke for the win.