Montreal, Quebec (Canada), Monday April 15, 2019 – For the first time in 17 years, Canada’s biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, TKO MMA, will showcase its world-renowned brand of combat sports and entertainment at the Robert Guertin Centre on Friday, May 24, 2019.  

TKO last visited the very same venue on June 15, 2002 for what was a history making event.  On that night, a young stud by the name of Georges St-Pierre won his first professional championship fight while a relative unknown named Mark Hominick overcame the previously undefeated Richard Nancoo in a fight for the ages.  By the time all was said and done, ten of the twenty-two fighters featured on the card that night would go on to compete in the UFC.

On May 24, history will undoubtedly be made once again as the evening’s card will feature an extraordinary blend of international superfights as well as homegrown talents looking to make their way up the rankings. In the main event of the evening, the TKO Heavyweight championship will be up for grabs in an international showcase as undisputed champion Ciryl “Bon Gamin” Gane (2-0-0, 1 KO) and 13-0-0 in professional Muay Thai) from France puts the gold on the line against Brazilian powerhouse Roggers “The Tiger” Souza (8-1-0, 7 KO). 

Gane has become a worldwide phenomenon since his professional MMA debut last summer.  With the power of a heavyweight and the agility of a featherweight, he is a prototype unlike anyone that has come before. On top of being the TKO World Heavyweight champion, Gane is an undefeated champion in Muay Thai where he knocked-out nine of his thirteen opponents. That being said, at 

TKO48 he faces by far his toughest challenge to date in Souza, who has finished eight of nine opponents. The Brazilian behemoth is known for his heavy strikes and aggressive fighting style.

The co-main event of the evening will see the TKO World Bantamweight championship on the line in a fight that already has fight fans at the four corners of the globe buzzing as undefeated title holder Nate “Mayhem” Maness (10-0-0, 3 KO) of the United States will put his title on the line against the #1 contender, France’s Taylor “Double Impact” Lapilus (14-3-0, 5 submissions).  Maness shocked the world last September, winning the championship via knockout and showing that he belonged in the discussions as one of the most dominant bantamweights.  Now the #1 prospect in the world at 135 pounds, Maness must face his toughest test yet in Lapilus, a UFC veteran who went 3-1 with that organization and has never been finished in his 7-year career.

In the other championship bout of the evening, TKO will crown the first female champion in the promotion’s history as two undefeated athletes will go toe-to-toe for the women’s World flyweight championship.  The highly anticipated title fight will see Quebec City’s own “Evil Smile” Jade Masson-Wong (3-0-0, 1 KO) attempt to go home with the gold at the expense of Germany’s Mandy “Monster” Böhm (5-0-0-1, 2 KO).  Both women have invested significantly in their training camps in order to bring their A-game to Gatineau in May.  Masson-Wong recently travelled to Vegas to sharpen her skills while Böhm trained in Ireland with Conor McGregor’s team.

The card will also see Canada’s top 2 bantamweights square off in a dream match many thought we would never see as Calgary’s Jesse “Big Cat” Arnett (15-5-0, 10 submissions), the former TKO bantamweight champion, will finally take on Ontario’s “Gentleman” Josh Hill (16-3-0, 3 KO).  Both men suffered setbacks in their last outings and are looking to get back on track in the hopes of earning a championship fight later this year.

The Gatineau-Ottawa rivalry will also be re-ignited in one of the most anticipated showdowns on the main card when Gatineau’s Julien Leblanc (5-1-0, 2 KO) takes on Adam “Warhammer” Hunter (7-2-0, 6 KO), a veteran of the Canadian armed forces and former UFC signee who trains out of Ottawa’s New Era Combat Sports gym.  The fight will be contested at 185 lbs., a weight class in which both men are undefeated.

Also, on that night, BJJ phenomenon Mateo “Carrapato” Vogel (3-0-0, 3 submissions) looks to break out of the pack and stake his claim as an elite bantamweight.  To do so, he will take on his first international challenge in Khurshed Kakhorov (5-0-0, 4 KO), a young man born in Tajikistan who now resides in Germany.  Both are undefeated and hungry and this scrap has all the makings of a fight that could very well steal the show.

Also scheduled to appear are Gatineau’s Zackery Powell, Cédric Mongeon, Isaac Blais, Guillaume Poulin, Mathieu Charette, Vincent Houle, Nicolas Pedneault and Serge Dancos as well as Ottawa’s Matar Lo, Alex O’Neil and Rob Thomas.

This event will be broadcast live around the world on UFC Fight Pass and from coast to coast in Canada on The Fight Network.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday April 17 at noon at the Robert Guertin Centre by calling 819-773-7260 or by reaching the TKO ticket office at 514-700-1909