Special to BTC Fight Promotions - By Alexander K Lee of TheScore.com
Featherweight: Patrick Connors vs. Jo Petahtegoose
Making his professional debut, Patrick Connors rode his grappling to an eventual submission win against Jo Petahtegoose. Connors was the aggressor from the start, taking the action to the mat early and often while working to improve his position. He nearly locked on a choke in Round 1, but Petahtegoose ended up shaking him off. From top position, Petahtegoose managed to advance to mount where he was able to do some damage to the newcomer.
In Round 2, Connors stayed aggressive, once again gaining back control before transitioning to mount. From there, Petahtegoose fought to escape, but wound up having to tap out instead.
Light Heavyweight: Chris Lee Byrne vs. John McPherson
This was a grind-it-out affair between two of the bigger fighters on the card. Chris Lee Byrne almost put this one away early when he trapped John McPherson in an ugly-looking armlock, but McPherson was able to escape. Both fighters showed a lot of heart, swinging away at each other to close the opening round.
Rounds 2 and 3 saw Lee Byrne take advantage of a rapidly fading McPherson, using his wrestling to ground his opponent and work from mount for long stretches of the match. In the end, the judges awarded Lee Byrne a unanimous decision for his efforts.
Bantamweight: Vladimir Kazbekov vs. Josh Rich
In what might have been the Fight of the Night, Vladimir Kazbekov and Josh Rich alternated between some thrilling exchanges on the feet and tactical ground work. It was Kazbekov who proved to be the superior grappler, taking Rich down and scoring points from half guard and side control.
Even with his nose bleeding badly heading into Round 3, Rich stayed in the fight and made it to the final buzzer. All three judges scored the fight in Kazbekov's favour due to his impressive wrestling and ground-and-pound.
Strawweight: Coralie Dixon vs. Anastasia Nikolakakos
Anastasia Nikolakakos was fighting professionally for the first time after compiling an impressive amateur record and she didn't disappoint in her debut. The speedy striker used a seemingly endless amount of lateral movement to befuddle Coralie Dixon. She repeatedly landed hard shots, swarming Dixon against the cage.
To Dixon's credit, she showed one of the best chins on the entire card and she never showed any sign of backing down. However, Nikolakakos eventually opened up with a series of shots on the mat that forced the referee to stop the match in Round 2, earning Nikolakakos her first pro victory.
Lightweight: Krzysztof Dobrzynski vs. Scott Hudson
These two were fighting in a phone booth, clinching up and punishing each other with short shots. It didn't take long for Scott Hudson to take the lead with crunching elbows to Dobrzynski's body and a takedown that developed into an airtight guillotine submission. Dobrzynski was forced to tap out about a minute and a half into the opening round.
Lightweight: Braedon Ward vs. Adam Assenza
Other than some discomfort to his left eye, Adam Assenza's night couldn't have gone much better. He looked loose as a goose from the opening bell, throwing all kinds of advanced striking techniques, most of which seemed to connect on Braedon Ward's head. 90 seconds into the match, Assenza unloaded on Ward to pick up a quick TKO victory.
Featherweight: Khama Worthy vs. Kyle Nelson
Nelson entered this bout with a sterling 10-1 record and he showed why he's rapidly becoming one of Canada's most talked about prospects. The Huntsville native scored the most devastating finish of the night, overwhelming Khama Worthy before knocking him flat onto the mat with a punch right to the chin. He didn't need the referee to tell him this one was over.
Afterwards, Nelson was serenaded with "UFC" chants and he cut a promo agreeing that it's time for him to get the call to the big show.
Light Heavyweight: Matt Van Buren vs. Todd Stoute
Todd Stoute escaped early trouble in this one to claim a hard-fought unanimous decision. It looked like Matt Van Buren's UFC experience would pay off in Round 1 as he managed to tie Stoute up and nearly lock on a fight-ending choke. Stoute stayed patient, listened to his corner, and eventually got himself free.
On the feet, Stoute consistently got the better of the striking exchanges and as it became increasingly difficult for Van Buren to hold him down, Stoute pulled ahead on the scorecards. In the final frame, Stoute even reversed a takedown to earn some top control for himself. In the end, Stoute's hand was raised, but both fighters showed they were worthy of main event status.