Friday, December 3, 2010
Title fight #1 and it's AMA FC 125-pounder Sean Santella against Tran-Lovato MMA's Mickey Lovato. Round 1 has Santella taking Lovato's back early, Lovato working his way on top, and Santella threatening with about 200 sub attempts. The AMA FC rep keeps up the pressure in Round 2, and at 2:56 he snags the armbar for the win. Now up for the featherweight strap: BJJ Shore Academy's Ryan Vaccaro and Nova Uniao's Marcos Pereira. In the epitome of back-and-forth, Pereira starts off by getting top and absolutley blasting Vaccaro. But the American deftly escapes, and in turn beats on the Brazilian for the second half of the round. Round 2 is all Pereira, who lands more and scores the only takedown, while Round 3 has him large and in charge from beginning to end. Pereira takes the unanimous decision and 145 strap. Now, for the lightweight title, are Jungle Gym's Joe Aviles and MMA Institute's George Sheppard. Clearly cognizant of Aviles' dangerous striking, Sheppard tries his damndest to be the Jungle Gym rep's new coat. It doesn't work, and Aviles lands the right hook for the crushing KO at 4:21 of Round 1.
The ladies are up, and it's TSMMA's Munah Holland vs. Ryan Hoover's Extreme Karate rep Justine Kish. From the outset Holland tries to bullrush her foe into the cage to smother her, and Kish replies by deftly climbing up the cage and slapping on the guillotine (think: Renzo vs. Pat Miletich). Staying one step ahead in Round 2, Kish turns Holland's aggression into a pit trap of submissions, with the bout-ender a triangle at 2:53. Next: George Sullivan of Pellegrino MMA and Erik Oganov of Alpha Omega MMA. Oganov wisely wants none of Sullivan's deadly striking, so he gets Sullivan down and tries to punch. But the Pellegrino MMAer sweeps him and drops fists of his own, and Round 1 ends with him on top. No such joy for Sullivan in Round 2, though, as when the Russian gets him down, he's just stuck there. Luckily for him, there's a Round 3, which sees him score a reversal with a kimura attempt from the bottom and pound on Oganov throughout. Sullivan takes the unanimous decision. Team Serra/Longo's Costa Phillipou takes to the cage to face Aung La Nsang of Crazy 88. Crazy 88 of Kill Bill fame? God I hope so. Nsang comes out aggressive and throwing kicks, but he's sloppy and Phillipou drops him with a right and a left and finishes him with punches on the ground. The TKO comes at 11 seconds of Round 1.
Tom DeBlass of RABJJ has been kicking ass and taking names lately, and tonight we'll get to see how he stacks up against the very experienced Mitch Whitesell of Wreck Room. Round 1 is all stand-up - Whitesell with a chopping leg-kick and DeBlass with some potent flurrying that makes Whitesell almost cower. DeBlass continues to get the better of the exchanges in Round 2, and spends almost all of Round 3 stalking Whitesell like a predator. DeBlass easily takes the unanimous decision. Geidrius Karavackas of Logi International and Joshua Key enter for their turn at the altar. Karavackas let's Key nail him repeatedly on the feet in the opening minute, and then it goes to the ground for some of the most furious sub attempt/escaping sequences ever - Karavackas trying everything from omoplatas to reverse triangles and Key dodging them like Houdini. Key gets some licks in in Round 2, but come Round 3 he's spent, and Karavackas takes his backs and pounds out the win by TKO. The official time is 2:28 of Round 3. Justin Haskins of Pellegrino MMA and Danilo Cherman of Nova Uniao are next. Cherman's got Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro in his corner, which likely means ground-and-pound ace Haskins should have a lot of jiu-jitsu lovin' to overcome tonight. Cherman makes no bones about wanting this one on the ground. But Haskins is too good a wrestler to go down or stay down there for long, and in the dying seconds of Round 1 Haskins drops the Brazilian with stunning punches. Cherman survives, and scores two takedowns in the second frame that likely give him the round. It's anyone's ballgame in Round 3, and by virtue of him landing more leather, Haskins takes the unanimous decision.
First bout of the evening and it's James Jenkins of Varner's Combat Academy and Yaser Shaukut. This is what we know about Jenkins: he can take a punch and he can throw a punch. Well, after absorbing a high-kick from Shaukut, Jenkins effortlessly gets the takedown, moves into back-mount, and slaps on the rear naked choke at 1:11 of Round 1 - so now we know he can nail subs too. Good stuff. Next up is Whitney Jean Francois of Brooklyn MMA vs. George Glykas of Reality Martial Arts. Francois trains under Philippe Nover and Nover told me to keep an eye on his boy; the last time Nover told me to look out for one of his guys it was Dave Branch (when he fought Alexis Aquino), and Branch is in the UFC now. Okay, well Nover sure ain't a liar. Francois comes out and steamrolls over his oppenent, stifling him with relentless pressure and eventually getting on top, taking Glykas' back and pounding out the TKO win at 2:54 of Round 1. Mervin Rodriguez of Pellegrino MMA and Brian Smiley of Wreck Room take to the cage. From takedown to scramble to slam to ground and pound to armbar attempt, it's clear this is the best Mervin Rodriguez we've ever seen. The beating continues into Round 2, and Rodriguez snags the armbar at 1:58. The last prelim and it's JA Dudley of Team Endgame against Mike Parzych of Fight Factory. Dudley comes out strong, mixing wrestling with knuckle-sandwiches, but Parzych proves to be tough as nails, as he survives and turns the tables in the latter half of Round 1. Round 2 is all Dudley, though, as he gets on top and drops leather for the duration. Dudley takes the majority decision when time expires.
Atlantic City. Where dreams are made, and where nightmares are realized. Case in point: Ring of Combat 33 at the Tropicana tonight, which will feature 15 pro fights. Statistically, that's 30 fighters, half of which will get their asses kicked and lose (and some of the winners may wind up beat up as well). That's a lot of fighting, a lot of bruises and abraisions, and for MMA Journalist - who will be sitting in his usual cageside spot - a lot of trips to the bathroom, because, Jesus, 15 fights? That's 15 fights tonight and 10 fights at the Evolution amateur show tomorrow night... and you wonder why I only watch UFCs and Strikeforces on fast-forward nowadays? Anyway, it should be a great night of fights tonight, with Munah Holland, Chris Weidman, Tom DeBlass and Gian Villante all doing one great battle royale and George Sheppard taking a chainsaw to anyone who dares kick him in the groin.