Back in January at TKO37: Rivals we were saddened to see that our boy, the “Man Child” Derek Falk, got relegated to fighting in an untelevised preliminary bout against Stevie Yahp. The only video we got to see was this brief Facebook clip of the rear naked choke that ended the fight. Needless to say, we were obviously sad that we missed the fight, but glad to see that he picked up the Dubya.
The Man Child returns to the cage again Friday night at TKO38: Ascension, once again from La TOHU in Montreal as he takes on fellow Ontarian, Tony Laramie. This time out, we’ve got our fingers crossed that we’ll see the Falk on the televised portion of the undercard as the fight appears to be the “headline” preliminary bout, although we’re still left scratching our heads as to why exactly this fight isn’t being featured on the main card. I mean, TKO themselves stated the importance of this matchup, stating, “Currently ranked #1 and #2 in the TKO flyweight standing, there is a good chance that these two will meet again at TKO41: BATTLE FOR THE BELTS when it’s time to crown the first ever TKO 125 pound champion.”
So basically, what the TKO executives are telling us is: hey, this is a totally awesome fight, but we’re going to book it now because why the hell not? We’re all for good fighters squaring off against one another – it’s what makes this sport much more entertaining than others, where records are padded against schmucks. And of course, we weren’t the only ones who felt this way, as The Godfather joined us on MMA DnA back in February to discuss exactly this subject.
Now, foolishness of the bout order aside, this really is a great match up. Robin Black, in one of his final gigs for The Fight Network, was touting both fighters as being among the elite in terms of Canadian flyweight prospects. Big praise from one of the biggest names in the Canadian MMA scene. While Falk got the victory over Yahp, Laramie picked up an impressive win of his own over Keith Lee, brother of UFC fighter/apparent Mayweather training partner Kevin Lee.
Predictions from fans seem to be leaning more toward Laramie, with 65% of voters on Tapology thinking he’ll pick up the win (great profile picture on there, Laramie), while 57% on TKO’s site feel the same. Which means that we’ll be going against the grain, as we’re putting our votes behind Falk, and not just because we’ve been a sponsor of the Man Child for this outing. We think that he’ll be the slightly more well-rounded and mature fighter, as Laramie is just 18-years old and certainly seems to fight with the youthful exuberance of someone his age, which may be act as a slight weakness to his own solid overall toolbox.
It’s unfortunate that these two will be meeting so soon in their careers, but perhaps this could be the beginning of a budding rivalry. Two closely matched opponents can often bring out the best in one another, and that’s exactly what we’re hoping for here, as both men continue to build a name for themselves.
Tune in Friday night on The Fight Network (in Canada) or on UFC Fight Pass to find out who gains the lead in the race to become the first TKO flyweight champion.