Following a successful inaugural event in June of 2013, the Toronto based MMA promotion, Substance Cage Combat returned Friday, May 30th. Their 2nd event was held at the Herbert H Carnegie Centennial Centre and featured a 8-fight card headlined by a lightweight matchup between Alex Ricci (7-2) and E.J. Brooks (7-2). The promotion run by Grants MMA gym co-owner and president of Substance Cage Combat, Neil Forester, gives local fighters from Ontario a chance to showcase their skills as they work towards advancing their careers and goal of signing with a major promotion.
The main event underwent a change just one week prior due to Alex Ricci’s original opponent, Jason Saggo signing with the UFC and debuting on the UFC 174 card in Vancouver. Former Bellator and RFA competitor, E.J. Brooks stepped in as a late replacement for Saggo, taking on Ricci.
Alex Ricci keeps it on the feet to win a decision over E.J. Brooks
A classic striker vs grappler match, saw the wrestler Brooks have success in the first round, as he used a hip toss to take Ricci down and transition to the back where Ricci was forced to defend the rear naked choke, while Brooks maintained the position. Ricci escaped and got back to his feet to land a couple of knees in the Thai clinch, but his offense was quickly stopped against the fence.
The striker, Ricci stuffed a couple takedown attempts from Brooks in round 2, and separated from the clinch, allowing him to open up and land his strikes. While still wary of the takedown threat, Ricci landed kick after kick to the body and legs of Brooks.
The kicking game carried over to the 3rd round where those kicks kept Brooks at a distance from shooting in for a takedown. Ricci continued to defend takedowns, not allowing himself to get taken down since the first round. Alex Ricci would take the unanimous decision over E.J. Brooks with rounds 2 and 3 in his favor.
Alex Ricci def. EJ Brooks via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
The second card also featured a few returnees from the first event, including Kyle Nelson, Todd Stoute, and Ahmed Kakar. And the return to MMA of top Canadian flyweight Adrian “The Bully” Woolley.
Kyle Nelson pulls off a 42 second submission
19 years age difference didn’t faze the undefeated Kyle Nelson (5-0) as he submitted the former Olympian Wrestler, 42 year old Ainsley Robinson (5-2) in just 42 seconds. Ainsley threw a couple strikes to get inside and land a power double, slamming Nelson onto the mat. “The Monster” quickly secured a guillotine choke and choked Robinson out cold to remain undefeated.
Kyle Nelson def. Ainsley Robinson via Submission (guillotine choke)–Round 1, 0:42
Jeremy Osheim uses his wrestling to remain undefeated
After suffering his first career loss in the inaugural SCC event, Todd Stoute (5-1) looked for a better showing the 2nd time around, but instead suffered a similar fate against opponent Jeremy Osheim (4-0). Two tall and physically imposing light heavyweight came out aggressive looking to exchange heavy shots. With brief takedown attempts in between. Osheim switched things up in round 2, landing two takedowns on Stoute—the first Stoute used a kimura attempt to sweep, but the 2nd kept him on the mat. Osheim went for a deep heel hook at the end of the round but luckily Stoute, showing agony on his face, was saved by the bell. A couple of double leg takedowns in the 3rd helped Osheim secure the unanimous decision to remain undefeated.
Jeremy Osheim def. Todd Stoute via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Adrian Woolley comes back from an onslaught first round to get back in win column
In what was easily the most entertaining fight on the card due to an incredible first round. Adrian Woolley (7-3) returned to action for the first time since 2011, his opponent Jeimeson Saudino (8-3) had him in all sorts of trouble in round 1. A round that saw both fighters having their moments exchanging strikes on the feet, until Saudino caught him flush with a flying knee that had Woolley dazed. Jeimeson followed up with multiple knees in the clinch and just an onslaught of strikes in an attempt to put Woolley away. But Woolley showed his toughness and didn’t go down, surviving the round–despite taking a ton of punishment.
Woolley came out in round 2, recovered quickly and mounted an incredible comeback in rounds 2 and 3, using his wrestling to get the takedown on Saudino, maintained top position to complete the come back and win the fight via unanimous decision, snapping a 2-fight losing streak.
Adrian Woolley def. Jeimeson Saudino via Unanimous Decision (129-82, 29-28, 29-28)
Promising prospect Mike Malott remains unbeaten with 1st round knockout
An opponent change on short notice proved no problem for Mike Malott (3-0), who remained undefeated against Allan Wilson (2-1). Malott landed a early takedown and spent a brief time on top position before Wilson scrambled to get back up to his feet. Malott was able to clinch up with Wilson and deliver a devastating left knee to the head that dropped Wilson for the knockout.
Mike Malott def. Allan Wilson via Knockout (knee)–Round 1, 1:29
Abdula Teymouri (1-0) def. Julian Villanova via TKO (knees)—Round 1, 3:10
Teymouri threw an abundance of kicks early in the fight, to the legs and body of the debuting Villanova. Teymouri would also land a couple takedowns, but Julian scrambled back up to his feet. During one of those scrambles in the first, Teymouri caught Villanova with several knees to the head on the way up in the clinch, and ended the fight.
Max Li (0-0) def. Rob Santos (0-1) via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Max Li won his pro debut defeating crowd favourite Rob Santos. Li spent the majority of the fight in top control, neutralizing the offense of Santos. Sweeping Santos into guard in round 1, utilizing a trip takedown into side control in round 2. And finally a takedown into half guard in round 3.
Ahmed Kakar (0-1) def. Omar Karami (0-0) via Unanimous Decision
In the opening bout, Ahmed Kakar won his first pro fight, defeating the debuting Omar Karami via Unanimous Decision. Karami was able to reverse the takedowns of Kakar in round 1, but rounds 2 and 3 were controlled by Kakar on the mat, in full guard (Round 2) and taking the back of Karami in Round 3.
Official Substance Cage Combat 2.0 Results:
- Alex Ricci def. EJ Brooks via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Kyle Nelson def. Ainsley Robinson via Submission (guillotine choke)–Round 1, 0:42
- Jeremy Osheim def. Todd Stoute via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Adrian Woolley def. Jeimeson Saudino via Unanimous Decision (129-82, 29-28, 29-28)
- Mike Malott def. Allan Wilson via Knockout (knee)–Round 1, 1:29
- Abdula Teymouri def. Julian Villanova via TKO (knees)–Round 1, 3:10
- Max Li def. Rob Santos via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Ahmed Kakar def. Omar Karami via Unanimous Decision (no scores read)