MacKay Ends Debate by Defeating Krysa


HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, March 15 -- If there was controversy, consider it quashed.

On a snowstorming night in Halifax, Jason MacKay (Pictures) retained his Extreme Cage Combat lightweight championship with a dominant drubbing of former foe Shaun Krysa (Pictures), seemingly putting to rest a yearlong disagreement.

The two first met in March 2007 to crown the ECC's first lightweight champion. Krysa largely controlled the bout from the top position before MacKay landed a crushing, but more importantly, illegal up-kick that ended Krysa's night.

While a disqualification seemed in order, the kick was strangely ruled accidental and prompted a technical decision. Despite losing a point for the kick, MacKay improbably won a unanimous decision in the truncated tussle.

Their second go-around Saturday told a far different tale.

Krysa took his opponent to the ground with a single-leg takedown in the bout's early stages and moved to north-south position. However, MacKay quickly nixed any notion that this would be a repeat of their first bout, as he bridged and rolled backward from the bottom to take Krysa's back with both hooks in a spectacular display of technical grappling that drew raucous applause from the partisan Halifax crowd.

For the duration of the first round, MacKay remained on top, sprawling out of Krysa's single-leg attempts and squashing scramble opportunities. MacKay also pounded away from top position and stifled any attempts at offense from a quickly tiring Krysa.

In the second round, Krysa again looked for an early takedown. Desperation coupled with exhaustion saw his attempt to drag MacKay to the mat with a waist lock fail miserably, with MacKay ending up on top.

Just when it seemed as if MacKay were attempting to slow the pace of the bout, the Pictou native launched a powerful salvo of punches that rocked Krysa. Stacking the prone Krysa against the fence, MacKay continued the offensive with a barrage of hammerfists. With MacKay continuing to smash away, Krysa awkwardly attempted to tap out against the fence -- an action that was either misunderstood or initially ignored by referee Ken Wood. The end then came a second later as Wood rescued Krysa at 2:13 of the second round.

If MacKay needed a breakout performance to put him on the national stage in Canada, this may have been it. After largely toiling in the shadow of the likes of locals Roger Hollett (Pictures) and TJ Grant (Pictures), his decisive dispatching of Krysa moves his mark to 8-0.

If Matt MacGrath (Pictures) was genuinely insulted by Travis Axworthy (Pictures), he should rest easier after pushing his undefeated record to 5-0 with a first round submission victory.

Prior to the bout, MacGrath alleged that his adversary had slighted him in the past, saying Axworthy had even told him he was lucky they were not in the same weight class. However, with both fighters now at 170 pounds, Axworthy had little to offer MacGrath, who easily caught his low kicks and dumped him on the mat.

While MacGrath idly chipped away with strikes from side control, Axworthy sought to scramble to his feet. Yet MacGrath was a step ahead, preempting his counter and spinning for a beautiful far-side armbar that forced Axworthy to tap out at 3:48 of the first round.

MacGrath will head west next to compete on the MFC's May 9 card in Edmonton, Alberta, against Kaipo Miller. Headlining the card will be fellow upstart Canadian welterweight Ryan Ford. Should both MacGrath and Ford emerge victorious, there are designs on pairing the two undefeated 170 pounders in a MFC welterweight title clash.

Touted Haligonian prospect Ryan Jimmo (Pictures) wasn't given much of an opportunity to show why he's dubbed "The Big Deal."

Jimmo was originally scheduled for 205-pound action against Ray Penny, but Penny withdrew from the bout after the untimely passing of his father. Wanting to keep the popular local product on the card, ECC promoters revised the bout to a heavyweight contest, slotting in the hulking but severely overmatched Jeff Lundburg, a 260-plus-pound former Strongman competitor.

Unfortunately, truck pulls and Atlas stones did little to prepare Lundburg for MMA. After charging Jimmo into the fence, the enormous force of which shook the entire cage, Jimmo got double underhooks and essentially killed any offense Lundburg had hoped for.

When Lundburg inexplicably dropped to a knee against the fence, Jimmo began to pound away until his turtling opponent was saved at 1:31 of the first round.

Like his teammate Matt MacGrath (Pictures), Jimmo will also next see action on the MFC's May 9 offering in Edmonton.

Railroaded by knee injuries for the last four years, Kyle Sandford (Pictures) put his once-promising career back on track by easily submitting Chris Currie (Pictures) in 54 seconds.

When Sandford last fought, in February 2004, MMA was not even regulated in Nova Scotia. Perhaps inspired by the opportunity to fight in front of his hometown crowd for the first time, he was effortlessly dominant Saturday.

After a quick takedown attempt had landed him on his back, Sandford, who recently received his BJJ brown belt from Renzo Gracie (Pictures), got wrist control and snuck his right leg up around Currie's neck. He finished the triangle in textbook fashion, choking Currie unconscious.

Currie was a replacement for the late Rene Ayangma, the 20-year-old Prince Edward Island native who passed away suddenly and shockingly late last month.

Louis-Christophe Laurin (Pictures)'s unorthodox attack translated to a TKO win over Peter McGrath (Pictures).

McGrath, a seasoned and experienced striker, landed early with hard leg kicks, but Laurin charged at him with a leaping hook that dropped him to the mat. Although McGrath got to his feet, Laurin put him on the deck with another lunging hook and followed up with strikes that halted the bout at 1:47 of the first frame.

Fighting on a day's notice, Michelle Vienneau made her first fight a win. She took a quick submission over Jenna King, though it was hardly pretty.

After an uncomfortably inept punching exchange in which both women landed flailing punches, King scored a takedown and ended in a weak guillotine attempt. Despite poor positioning from the half guard, Vienneau adjusted her squeeze and secured the tapout at 45 seconds of the first round.

Richard Arsenault (Pictures) dominated Adam MacDonald on the floor, taking him down and assuming the full mount repeatedly. When an exhausted MacDonald looked to sweep him from the mount, Arsenault worked for an armbar that netted him the victory at 2:13 of the first round.

Local hard-luck fighter Tim Skidmore (Pictures) defeated Craig Skinner (Pictures) to notch his second career victory. After being pounded with knees to the body from side control and being hammered from the mount, Skidmore bucked Skinner and wound up in his guard. With little time left in the round, a sloppy leglock battle ensued. Skidmore surprisingly forced Skinner to tap with a straight Achilles lock at 4:59 of the first round.

Jaret MacIntosh made a successful MMA debut by steamrolling Rene Grenon (Pictures) in only 16 seconds. MacIntosh connected with a hard head kick and followed up with a barrage of punches, dropping Grenon against the fence and forcing him to turtle up until he was rescued.

In the opening bout of the evening, Jason Rorison (Pictures) battered Ryan Kenny with knees to the body from a front facelock before locking up a standing guillotine. Although Kenny didn't tap, referee Hubert Earle halted the bout as a result of the guillotine at 3:25 of the first round.

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