TKO 48 is set to go Friday, May 24th at 6:00 PM ET. TKO returns to Gatineau, Quebec for a card that will be broadcast on The Fight Network and UFC Fight Pass.
A myriad of championship fights and number one contender bouts are slated for the jam-packed event. Robert Guertin Arena is poised to have its roof blown off this coming Friday. Read on for a thorough breakdown of the fights below.
The Quest for Heavyweight Glory
The heavyweight, bantamweight, and women’s flyweight belts will be up for grabs in Gatineau.
The top of the marquee features Roggers Souza journeying over from Brazil to usurp the throne from sitting TKO titlist Cyril Gane. Gane has a 2-0 record, but it’s quite deceptive, as he has a wealth of Muay Thai experience to his credit. Souza comes in with an 8-1 record and the Brazilian bruiser trains with a Nova Uniao affiliate.
Souza’s best bet would be to get in close and work his submission grappling game. It doesn’t pay to work at kickboxing range with Gane, as Cyril’s prior victims can attest to. Both men have 100 percent finishing rates in their respective MMA careers, so it is likely that the judges won’t be needed for this TKO 48 headliner.
Battle for the Bantamweight Belt
Taylor Lapilus vs. Nate Maness is an intriguing contest with the TKO bantamweight title on the line. Maness is coming off a memorable finish over Jesse Arnett and the unbeaten prospect is looking to notch his first title defense. The two were supposed to fight in March but the bout was postponed due to an injury sustained by Maness.
Lapilus also has a victory over Canadian bantamweight royalty, which came in the form of beating Josh Hill in his last fight. Lapilus had a 3-1 UFC record but left the promotion on a win so he could try his hand at boxing. Maness has the better chance at securing the finish but if Lapilus can weather the storm, he is a crafty grinder that can end up becoming the new champion via decision.
Inaugural Women’s Flyweight Champion Crowned
There’s also a prize fight for the vacant women’s flyweight title at TKO 48 with Jade Masson-Wong locking horns with Mandy Bohm. Two unbeaten women head into this bout both ranked number one pound for pound in their respective countries, per Tapology’s rankings.
Masson-Wong is representing Canada and holding it down for her fellow Quebecers as she welcomes in Bohm who is the top woman in Germany. Jade comes in with a 3-0 record and has some amateur kickboxing experience. Mandy has a striking based finish in her last fight but also has a prior win via rear naked choke, indicative of some level of grappling aptitude.
Bohm will have the height advantage which could translate into striking success at kickboxing range but perhaps she’ll also look to flex her grappling muscles a bit. Masson-Wong’s key to winning this is heavy forward pressure and putting it on Bohm from bell to bell.
Most Important Bantamweight Fight in Canadian History
Jesse Arnett and Josh Hill are two names that Canadian MMA fans have wanted to fight for years. Arnett and Hill occupy the number one and two rankings for bantamweight in the great white north (per Tapology’s ranking system). Both are coming off losses but that does nothing to take away from the luster of this TKO 48 bout.
Arnett has the reach advantage and will presumably be looking to piece up Hill from the outside. Hill will ideally look for close quarters striking/ grappling exchanges. This fight is also a number one contender’s bout with the winner taking on the victor of Lapilus vs. Maness.
Other Main Card/ Prelim Highlights
TKO 48 features a number of intriguing competitors who are early on in their formative fighting years. Mateo Vogel is an undefeated bantamweight on the card who people should keep their eye on.
There’s also a host of exciting debutante fighters from some of the most well-regarded gyms throughout Ontario and Quebec. Wessels vs. Laframboise could also set up the first contender for the TKO women’s flyweight championship. Many tendrils of intrigue protrude from the TKO 48 card, and it goes down Friday, May 24th live on UFC Fight Pass/The Fight Network.