Saturday, March 14, 2009
Rex O'Corr of World Gym and Jason Moore of Team Vicious take to the cage for the second-to-last fight. It looks like Moore forgot this was amateur because in the opening seconds he kicks O'Corr in the face and punches him in the grill when he's down. After a restart they resume slugging and O'Corr takes one in the groin, then they restart yet again and O'Corr gets the takedown - at which point Moore armbars him. Boy, if there was ever a day that O'Corr should have stayed in bed... Last bout of the night and it's Oscar Arizmendi of Wilkie's Warriors against Liam Kerrigan of NJIMB/Cabecca, a battle between two men who would just as soon rip your ears off as look at you. Just kidding. They seem like nice guys. Arizmendi has a small puppy with him, while Kerrigan is tossing daisies into the crowd. Anyway, Kerrigan takes Arizmendi down and taps him out with a bent-armlock at 2:12 of the first round. That's all, folks.
Leif Albright of Wilkie's Warriors and JC Carie of Dragon Theory Martial Arts are up. Albright is controlling Carie on the ground handily, and the bell rings with him almost landing an armbar. Carie makes it competitive in Round 2, winding up on top a few times and going for a guillotine or two, but Albright flexed his wrestling muscle for the final frame to take the unanimous decision. This is shaping up to be a good night for Alex Wilkie's team. Next is Kyle Malone of World Gym against Major Jon Lapidow of the New Jersey National Guard, who only trains one weekend a month and one month out of the year. It's enough. Major Lapidow puts Malone to sleep with a guillotine that has Tom Velasquez (a pro fighter working as a judge) beside me screaming "He's out! He's out!" The official time is :24 of the first round. It's time for Darryl Haze of TSMMA and Claudio Ladesma of North NJ MMA/Renzo Gracie Danville to go at it. Round 1 is pretty back and forth as the two take turns in top position punishing the other, while in the second Ladesma does a little more damage on the ground. Round 3 plays out just like Round 2, thereby convincing the judges that Ladesma deserved the decision.
It's time for Steven "the Crab" DiSebastian of Wilkie's Warriors to take on Brandon Rook of Dragon Theory Martial Arts. You might wonder why DiSebastian has the nickname "the Crab". Well, in all seriousness, he's got six legs and a pair of claws - which is kind of amazing, actually, but it begs the question: why is he allowed to fight against a normal bipedal human? An interesting aside about his opponent Rook: the kid can only move forwards and backwards and side to side - not diagonally. Round 1 sees the Crab very nearly land a rear naked choke, but Rook counters with melted butter and some Old Bay seasoning and survives. The Crab controls his opponent with his pincers in Round 2, while in Round 3 the Rook rallies with a series of punches and a crowd-pleasing spinning backfist that has his opponent scuttling and trying to retreat back into the waves. It isn't enough, though, and the Crab gets the majority decision. Jovany Alvarez of TSMMA and Josh Aarons of Team Vicious take the cage, a pair of 120 pounders who move so fast on the ground no one can discern what they're doing until they replay it in slo-mo on the big screen. Alvarez takes the first round with about 50 sub attempts from the bottom, and he takes the second by feeding Aarons punches on the feet and pounding on him on the ground. Alvarez gets the armbar at 2:12 of the final round, but his victory celebration involves him screaming in his defeated opponent's face - which, um, ain't too cool. Outstanding performance, though.
The Garv just asked for a Shabazz Fruit Cola. I guess the Shabazz company liked his announcing at that Newark show last month, and now they're sponsoring him. It's fitting. The Garv practically bleeds Shabazz Fruit Cola. TSMMA's Juan Pichardo and Team Pellegrino's Craig Theiem are up. This one is the best fight of the night thus far, as the two are aggressively blasting each other. I give the edge to Theiem in Round 1 - he's landing more and harder. Pichardo finds his range with his counterpunching in the second round, bloodying Theiem's nose, while in the final round Theiem goes to Plan B and starts bringing the fight to the ground and holding Pichardo there. The unanimous decision goes to Theiem when time runs out. Next up is Phil Mazzurco of Wilkie's Warriors and Matt Barth of Bloomsburg MMA. Here's a trip down memory lane for you: I was ringside for Mazzurco's first fight ever at BAMA Fight Night about 30 years ago; it was against Mike Ciesnolevicz, who fights in the UFC now, and Mazzurco lost by guillotine. Anyhoo, Mazzurco gets the takedown but they scramble and slam each other and Barth throws up sub attempts while Mazzurco pounds on him over and over again until I am hypnotized and no longer capable of rational thought. Mazzurco takes the decision. Naheem Selby of Vita Saana Assassins and John Flock of Team Vicious are up. According to one of Selby's cornermen, "vita saana" means "art of war" in Swahili, although Selby loses the war on the ground thanks to Flock's positional dominance. Time runs out and there's no question Flock took the decision.
Garv is in the cage asking for a ten-count of silence for Charles Lewis, a.k.a. "Mask" of TapouT. Also, there's apparently some New Jersey National Guard colonel here and that colonel has a fighter on the card. If that fighter loses, a tank is going to crush the cars in the parking lot, so we'll see how that goes. First bout is Rob Depalo of TSMMA against Jimmy Finck of Rhino Fight Team, and Round 1 sees Depalo scoring on the feet and Finck very nearly sinking the Anaconda on the ground. Round 2 features both men trading and tagging each other and Finck getting a takedown late, and in the final round the Rhino rep kept up with the takedowns until the bell. It's not enough to convince the judges, though, who award Depalo the unanimous decision. Lyman Good is here. I ask him how his training's going for his Bellator FC bout on April 10th. He responds by breathing fire. Now it's time for Gabriel Crawley of Vita Saana Assassins against Kenny Blewett of Team Pellegrino, and the two are engaging in a grappling chessmatch that has Blewett hunting for subs from the bottom and Crawley slamming him over and over. Things come to an end at 2:04 of Round 2 when Crawley slams Blewett hard for the TKO win. Randy Dunn of Bloomsburg MMA and Eric Steppe of Team Vicious are up next. Steppe gets the takedown, Dunn goes for a biceps crusher and then it's scramble and slam time. Steppe's superior wrestling is enabling him to throw his opponent around, but Dunn is going for more finishes. Steppe takes the second round with positional dominance, and he lands a decent right hook and keeps up with the top game in Round 3 to earn the decision.
MMA Journalist is cageside here at Asylum Fight League 12, an amateur MMA event in Northern New Jersey. The venue is Club Abyss in Sayreville, and the cage is set up in the middle of what would normally be the dance floor; expect a lot of victory dances involving "the Robot" and "the Electric Slide". There are 14 bouts on the card, with such fight schools as Kurt Pellegrino's Ballet Studio, Alex Wilkie's Ballroom Dancing and Team Tiger Schulmann's Tapdance Academy represented. The Garv is in attendance with a microphone and pages of fresh material.