GATINEAU, Quebec -- Fighting in his home country for the first time in more than 13 years, Carlos Newton made a triumphant return at Warrior-1 “Inception,” as he knocked out local favorite Nabil Khatib in the main event on Saturday at the Robert Guertin Arena.
Newton’s road to redemption has been an uphill battle. Having lost his last three fights, two of them by submission, he returned to form against Khatib (8-5) and demonstrated lightning-fast hands and smooth movement on his feet. Newton used his strikes to set up a takedown. From there, the former UFC welterweight champion trapped Khatib’s right arm across his face, like a straight jacket, and pounded him into unconsciousness 3:12 into round one.
“My coaches told me to go to 170 [pounds], and I said, ‘I don’t know if I can make that weight,’” Newton said. “Making 170 this time was the easiest time I’ve had doing it.”
Newton (14-13) gave credit where he felt it was due, as he notched his first victory since October 2006.
“I have two great trainers -- Everton McEwen [and] Terry Riggs,” Newton said. “They said, ‘Stay in there, stay relaxed. You’ve been around this world and fought the champions.’”
Holst (4-1) connected almost at will and had the Team Bergeron prospect backpedaling with three- and four-punch combinations. Grandmont (8-4) appeared to have no answer until he sent Holst to the canvas with a crushing overhand right 4:13 into the first round.
Meanwhile, Craig Brown showed hometown fans that he is more than just a banger in his first-round submission win over Dean Martins.
Brown stunned Martins (2-3) early in the fight and kept him on the defensive, as he did damage with a series of uppercuts that put the fight on the ground. From there, Brown (5-1) never let up, as he worked short elbows and opened up an opportunity for a rear-naked choke. The tapout came 4:04 into the fight.
Elsewhere, Hosier Bruno brought the crowd to its feet with a devastating knockout against former World Wrestling Entertainment performer and Canadian Football League standout Glenn Kulka.
In other action, Sean Quinn sent Remi Morvan crashing to the canvas with a straight right just seconds into their bout and silenced the pro-Morvan crowd. Despite the rocky start, Morvan (6-0) kept his composure, swept Quinn with an omaplata and took over top position. From there, the Ottawa native locked up a guillotine choke. Quinn (2-2) tried in vain to escape the hold before he reluctantly tapped out 3:30 into the opening frame.
Mike Hong kept with the theme of first-round finishes.
Hong stunned Michael Clark with the first flurry of the fight and had him on the defensive. After a Hong double-leg put him on his rear, Clark (1-1) spent most of the round attempting to tie up his opponent; those attempts were unsuccessful. Hong (2-0-1) transitioned from side control to mount and finally moved to rear mount. From there, he battered Clark until he found an opening for the rear-naked choke and the tapout 4:29 into the first period.
Meanwhile, Daryle Pinter paid the price for his aggression, as Mustafa Khalil handed him his sixth loss with a slick armbar submission. In his professional debut, Khalil (1-0) jumped to a guillotine choke and, as Pinter (1-6) pulled his head out to escape, switched to the armbar to coax the tapout out in just 56 seconds.
Finally, Tom Waters put Aaron Thompson on the canvas with the first counter right hand of the fight. Waters was relentless once the fight hit the ground, but he failed to put away Thompson early. Waters held the advantage on the feet throughout the bout, ultimately ending it with an unanswered barrage of strikes that dropped Thompson for good 4:24 into the second round.
Stephane Bernadel def. Fred Pilon -- TKO (Body Kick) 2:40 R2
John Macphearson def. Denis Poirier -- TKO (Punches) 3:53 R1
Fred Belanger def. Ian Shirley -- TKO (Punches) 2:24 R1
Xavier Desroches def. Tim Chessel -- Submission (Armbar) R1