Bodog Fight’s Fan Favorite Returns toCosta Rica for Paradise Lost
For Immediate Release Forward this News
August 6, 2007
With an impressive first round knockout in the inaugural season of Bodog Fight, Team Quest’s Chael Sonnen won enough fan votes to earn the “favorite fighter” award, and an extra fifty grand.
Now, the 29-year-old mixed martial arts athlete from Oregon returns to Costa Rica looking to prove his dominant performance was no fluke.
Sonnen (18-8-1) takes on 24-year-old Tim “The Wrecking Machine” McKenzie (12-3) of Arizona in an all new episode of Bodog Fight: Paradise Lost this Tuesday, August 7th at 11 p.m. / 10 p.m. Central on ION television and in Canada on The Fight Network.
Also featured on this episode is a light heavyweight matchup between Ohio’s Mike Patt (13-1) and Canada’s Todd Gouwenberg (5-2).
It’s amazing Gouwenberg can even climb into the ring considering the arduous journey the Surrey, British Columbia native has taken to get to this point.
Tossed out of school at age 16 for threatening the principal with a baseball bat, Gouwenberg moved out of his parents house and never looked back. But despite landing a job in construction, he found it hard to make ends meet.
“It was tough,” he says. “My monthly income was about one-hundred dollars less than my bills at the time so I didn’t eat much, but I got through it.”
Looking for a place to vent his pent up frustration Gouwenberg took up kickboxing. His first instructor was former world champion, Dennis Crawford.
“One time, Dennis took me out for dinner,” recalls the hard-hitting Canuck. “He said, ‘I’ll be honest with you Todd, you’re a tough guy and you try real hard, but I don’t see any natural ability. You should consider quitting the sport.’ I told him I had no intention of quitting, and that his words only made me want to improve even more.”
Gouwenberg began preparing for his first real fight in 1993 at the age of 18, training with another world champion kickboxer, Mel Murray.
“I remember Dennis had lined up this fight in Tacoma, Washington, and I really didn’t know, or care, who my opponent was. I took Mel with me and as we were walking into the arena we bumped into this fighter who appeared to know Mel. He asked what we were doing there and Mel replied, ‘My guy Todd is here to fight one of the locals.’ The fighter, a guy named Matt Hume, replied, ‘I think he’s actually fighting me!’. At that point, Mel pulled me aside and asked me if I wanted to go through with this. He said, ‘Look Todd, I know this guy well, and he’s something like 12-0. He’s a good fighter…. real tough.’ I just said, ‘Look, I came here to fight.'”
“I came out throwing and did pretty well in the first round, but I wasn’t checking his low kicks. I was so green, I thought to myself ‘those kicks don’t hurt that much.’ But I got back to my corner and Mel told me if I didn’t start defending them they would start to add up on me.”
He was right. Hume landed more kicks in the second round, sending Gouwenberg to the canvas several times.
“I sat on the stool after that round and my knee started to swell. Turned out I had torn my ACL and had to be carried out of there. I learned my lesson. They call it kickboxing for a reason, and this guy chopped me down like a big tree, all credit to him.”
Although Gouwenberg may have learned his lesson, before he could prove it in the ring, he suffered a small setback.
He was shot multiple times following a traffic dispute.
“I guess these three guys in another car felt I was trying to steal their parking space. We starting yelling at each other, then I jumped out and started fighting them. I was getting the better of one of them, when his friend pulled out a gun and shot me twice in the back. I tried to get out of there, but was shot again in the leg and then in the hip. Next thing I remember I was on the way to the hospital, bleeding all over, wondering if I was going to live or die.”
Gouwenberg survived, with all four bullets passing right through his body. It would be several years, however, before he’d return to the ring.
At 28 years of age, the 6’1″ 205-pound light heavyweight got a job at local gym and started training mixed martial arts. Now 32, Gouwenberg has amassed a pro MMA record of 5-2 as he prepares to face his next opponent, 31-year-old Mike Patt. Patt is a submission specialist who trains with former champion Rich “Ace” Franklin in Beaver Creek, Ohio. Patt beat Kaream Ellington in the inaugural season of Bodog Fight, and Martin Malkhasyan in Bodog Fight: USA vs. Russia pay-per-view last December.
“Mike’s experienced and he’s great on the ground,” says Gouwenberg. “I’d prefer to stand up with him so I’ve been working hard on my takedown defense, but I’m really ready for anything.”
After hearing his story, few would doubt that.
Can’t catch the action on ION (or The Fight Network in Canada)? All episodes of the Bodog Fight series are available worldwide through streaming video at BodogFight.com, with behind-the-scenes exclusives, fighter bios and additional footage only available online.
About Bodog Fight
Since its inception in 2006, Bodog Fight has become one of the heavy-hitters in the world of mixed martial arts. Created by billionaire entertainment mogul and longtime MMA enthusiast, Calvin Ayre, Bodog Fight offers viewers a unique combination of action and allure from exotic locations throughout the world. Bodog Fight can be viewed in more than 90 million homes across the United States on ION Television and around the world on Bodog.TV. Some of Bodog Television’s other programs include: a poker lifestyle and reality show, Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker I and II; and a million-dollar indie band search competition, Bodog Battle (BodogBattle.com). For more information, contact Media Relations at 1-866-892-3371, or firstname.lastname@example.org . BODOG is a registered trademark of Bodog Entertainment Group.