On a night that included three title fights, the action did indeed live up to the hype at Havoc FC 12 in Red Deer Friday night.
The event originally had nine fights scheduled, but was reduced to seven on short notice. Evidently the 14 fighters who did compete were more than willing to make up for the scrapped bouts, as they put on a quality show for the sold out Sheraton Red Deer Hotel.
The main event of the evening featured two combatants hailing from British Columbia. Grayson Wells (3-1), fighting out of Kelowna, was defending his heavyweight strap against Victoria’s Dustin Joynson (3-0).
This was the exact fight MMA fans love to see; both competitors left it all in the cage in a bloody brawl. In the first round, Wells appeared to have had Joynson in trouble on multiple occasions, but the undefeated warrior weathered the early storm, and made it to the second round where he found glory.
As the second round was drawing to a close, Joynson sunk in a rear naked choke on an exhausted Wells, who would tap out at 4:54, and relinquish his belt to the new champion.
“This was the first time I’ve ever really been hit, so it really put me to the test,” said Joynson in an interview. “I have a hard, strong will, so I knew I’d come back.”
Joynson was surprised by how strong Wells came out, and was a lot more nervous than he expected to be out of the gate.
“My arms felt like jello in that first round. It was really hard for me to get anything going.”
Joynson improved to 4-0, while Wells suffers the setback, dropping to 3-2.
In the co-main event, Calgary’s Justin Basra (3-0) was also put through a couple scenarios he’s yet to contend with in his young professional career. His opponent, Randy Turner (8-6), had 14 professional fights to his name heading into their bout, compared to Basra’s three fights.
Basra was in control for the majority of the contest, other than a smooth head kick from Turner that connected, and certainly got Basra’s attention. Turner said he was hoping to get the fight into the deeper waters of the fourth or fifth round, but Basra was having none of it.
At 4:47 of the second round, Basra put an end to the fight, sinking in a rear naked choke and forcing Turner to tap out. The contest was for the vacant Havoc FC bantamweight championship, which now belongs to Basra.
“I’m happy with my performance,” said Basra in an interview. “I got to show off a lot of my skills, like my wrestling, striking, and jiu jitsu.
Basra improved his professional record to 4-0, while Turner heads home to Ottawa at 8-7.
After the fight, Basra was quick to name a couple fighters he would like to see across the cage from him next time around in Mike Davis and Austin Ryan.
“I was offered to fight them prior, but they end up taking different opponents every time,” said Basra. “I’m trying to stay active, and if you’re in my division and you’re ranked higher than me, I’m going to call you out.”
In the amateur main event, the hometown hero, Jett Grande (3-0), didn’t disappoint his enormous entourage of fans that flocked to the Sheraton. Grande welcomed Calgary’s Sean Michaels (3-1) to the Havoc FC cage in a bout to determine a new owner of the vacant amateur lightweight belt.
Grande took control of the fight from start to finish, using his strong wrestling to take the fight to the mat, and maintain a dominant position. He appeared to be close to finishing Michaels on multiple occasions, but ultimately wound of the with unanimous decision victory, and a shiny new belt to take home.
“For this fight, I just wanted to mix my striking and my takedowns, and that’s what I was able to do,” said Grande in an interview. “I’m a little bit disappointed I couldn’t finish him, but I definitely did everything I wanted to do.”
Grande said to win the title in front of his hometown crowd means everything to him, and something he’s worked extremely hard for in his young career.
“I’ve trained for seven years just to get to this point,” said Grande. “But this is just the beginning of what you’re going to see from me.”
With the victory Grande’s record rises to 4-0, while Michaels takes a hit, dropping to 3-2.
The remaining results from Havoc FC 12 can be viewed online.