Friday, February 6, 2009
Paul Bradley and Nathan Coy are up. I'm trying to think of a joke about Nathan Coy shying away from photographers and being coy, but I got nothing. The two come out with guns blazing, and though Bradley ends up bloody courtesy of Coy's jab, his counter hooks are finding their mark. Round 2 plays out in similar fashion but with more wrestling added (go figure). In the final round Bradley scores a knockdown, and when time runs out everyone around me agrees that this bout is a tough one to call. The judges give the split decision to Bradley. Last bout is Chris Liguori and Marcus Aurelio. Contrary to popular belief, Aurelio is not a Roman Emperor and father to Comodus. He's just some Brazilian. Anyway, Liguori winds up on his back in the opening round, but Aurelio is unable to pass his guard. In the second, Aurelio sends Liguori to the canvas with a right. It's all over. And I'm spent.
Al Buck and George Sullivan are up. They clinch against the cage and Sullivan knees Buck in jewels. In the manpurse. In the love center. In the baby batter maker. Buck understandably needs time to recover. They resume, and Sullivan takes Buck down, mounts him and drops leather for the TKO. Matt Lee and Dave Jansen are in the cage, which pits a tough-as-nails striker against a Team Quest guy who probably favors some form of grappling - maybe wrestling. The bout is underway and Jansen gets Lee down and puts him to sleep with an Anaconda at the 3-minute mark. What the hell? Why'd they let him bring a live snake in there? Rich Ashkar vs. Tom Gallicchio is next. Gallicchio is a big fan favorite, despite his past as a serial killer. Hey, forgive and forget, right? Round 1 is a total barnburner, with Ashkar getting a slam, Gallicchio dropping him with a kick, Gallicchio almost getting the rear naked choke and Ashkar scoring with damaging ground and pound. Round 2 is all Ashkar and his bombs from top position, and Ashkar continues it into Round 3 to nab the TKO. Tough fight for Gallicchio. He should have won that one based on his experience and skill.
Imagine if you will an entrance that involves a Portuguese rockabilly song blaring over the loudspeakers, and a fighter dancing while wearing some kind of hat that makes me think of a Brazilian farmer going out on the town. That's Felipe Arantes' entrance. His opponent, Steve DeAngelis, plays it cool and comes out to MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This". Okay, I feel good about this fight. Round 1 sees Arantes, an x-factor around these parts because of his Sao Paulo-based career, as pretty tentative, while DeAngelis is a huge pile of confidence and wrestling fury. Round 2 has Arantes land a hellacious flying knee square on DeAngelis' chin, but he shrugs it off, gives the crowd a thumbs up, and ground and pounds the Brazilian against the cage. In Round 3 Arantes is even more aggressive, but he has no answer for the Team Pellegrino/Bombsquad stud's wrestling, and DeAngelis is just too savvy to get caught with a sub. Time runs out and DeAngelis gets the well-deserved unanimous decision. Monte Cox is cageside, so out of curiosity I go over and ask him what he's doing here. He's in town setting up some future shows, including an Adrenaline in May featuring Tim Sylvia against Ray Mercer. Monte, I love you. Mike Medrano and Doug Gordon are going at it now, throwing down like there's no tomorrow. Both men have KO power, and the crowd is digging how they're giving it their all. A clash of heads in Round 2 has both men bloody with matching cuts over their eyes. What a slugfest. Things slow a tiny bit in the third, but there's no denying Medrano and Gordon have had the best fight of the night thus far. The unanimous decision goes to Gordon.
Eric Henry vs. Brian DeMuro is on deck. As an aside, the venue is pretty much full, and Panic's mojo did not kill anyone. Anyway, Henry strikes like Keith Jardine (i.e. awkwardly) and DeMuro strikes like a wrestler (i.e. poorly), so we're subjected to two guys waiting for that one golden punch or kick that doesn't ever seem to come. Henry takes the unanimous decision. It's time for Anthony Morrison and Kevin Roddy. If my memory serves me correctly, these guys trained together at one point. And now... Now they're bitter enemies. Yes, like most friendships gone sour, this one involved a girl most fair, with locks of blonde and eyes of the clearest blue. Both men loved her, yet her indifference stoked the flames of jealousy that burned... Whoops. Lost my mind there. Sorry about that. Anyhoo, Morrison specializes in ground and pounding and Roddy specializes in submitting cats from his guard (yes, actual cats), and Round 1 is all about each man trying to do what he does best. Round 2 is more of the same, while in Round 3 Morrison scores with a big slam. Despite about 100 close armbar attempts from Roddy, Morrison takes the unanimous decision when time runs out.
Phillip Wyman and Ryan Smith are coming to the cage. Smith is teammates with Doug Gordon. I know nothing about Wyman, so I'm going to make something up about him hunting crocodiles in the wilds of Africa. So, yeah, it's Smith against the Croc Hunter. Round 1 begins with Croc Hunter - wearing green, scaly fight shorts and carrying a spear gun - landing a hellacous kick to Smith's body. Smith goes down, but is game enough to survive Croc Hunter's ground and pound and go for a heelhook. Croc Hunter escapes, slaps on a triangle, and gets the tap. Now it's Pat White and Anthony Leone's turn. Leone is a veteran of the Underground Combat League, so expect him to pull out a shiv and stab White in the throat at some point. Wow. Okay, no shiv was needed. Leone dropped him about two seconds in with a right cross, then pounded on him until he sunk the rear naked choke at 4:36 into the round. Leone looks like the real deal. Keep on eye on him. Joey Camacho and Lester Caslow are up. Caslow always seems to have about a thousand young girls screaming for him - probably stemming from his time in that boy band. As usual, Camacho comes out strong, but Caslow weathers the storm to get top position and rain down the pain. Camacho makes it to Round 2, but Caslow TKOs him less than a minute into the round. Lord help us, now Panic is in the cage. I fear the dark magic.
The event is kicked off by some sort of announcer dude dressed as a goth and wielding a staff with a skull on it. His name is "Panic". Seriously. His driver's license says "Panic". First bout: Daniel Tavares vs. Brian Danner. Danner is making his debut, and after some cautious hugging and tentative striking, he seems to remember that he knows how to throw leather and knocks Tavares out with a one-two combo. Next up is Mark Getto against Ken Foster. I'm trying to think of something funny in regards to Getto being from the ghetto, but I got nothing. Sorry. Round 1 sees these two wrestlers chip away at each other with punches - Getto technically superior but Foster throwing more and throwing harder. Round 2 is more of the same, but Getto steals it late with mount and some payback. Thanks to a takedown and some ground and pound, Round 3 - and the unanimous decision - go to Foster.
MMA Journalist is cageside for the inaugural World Cagefighting Alliance show at Boardwalk Hall. The event is dubbed "Pure Combat", which means that tonight's combat will in no way be diluted with peace or love. Just pure combat, baby. The Garv is here, acting very Garvish, and I think I saw UFC veteran Guy Mezger walk by in a suit. He's either doing some sort of commentary or selling insurance. I'm not sure. Anyway, there will be 14 fights, and the cage is huge.
Strikeforce, the ultra-successful West Coast regional promotion that can boast live attendance records and a late-night television show on NBC, is poised to become the next Strikeforce thanks to its announced acquisition of ProElite's assets yesterday. Known throughout the industry for its strong business model and high-quality product, the organization that has brought fans match-ups featuring Cung Le, Frank Shamrock and Cesar Gracie, as well as other big ticket sellers, will now have access to EliteXC's superstars, like Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, and Robbie Lawler - and it will have EliteXC's broadcasting agreements with Showtime and CBS to boot. "Everyone says they want to be the next Strikeforce," said Strikeforce Head Honcho Scott Coker. "Well, with ProElite's assets, and, um, the fact that we already are Strikeforce, I think we're going to be the next Strikeforce. The Strikeforce of Strikeforces, if you will. Wait, now I'm confused..." The first rumored Strikeforce event on Showtime may be in April, and will feature Scott Smith against Benji Radach.