Saturday, June 27, 2009
An MMA stylist named Santiago and a freestyle fighter nicknamed "Romeo" are up. Wowsers. Okay, this one is even quicker, as Santiago nails Romeo with a low kick than nails him with a high kick that knocks him out and sends him right through the ropes. Romeo falls limp onto the concrete. Curiously, after he's revived, the ring announcer asks him how he feels. "I feel good," Romeo answers matter-of-factly. Final bout: a tae kwon do fighter named Quzandor against a freestyle fighter nicknamed "Flash Master". Strong kicks punctuated by a Quzandor suplex - that's the first round, while in the second it's back and forth and pretty even. Unfortunately, Quzandor at this point has written a check his body can't cash, and he just straight up collapses in Round 3. Flash Master is the winner, and it takes a few minutes and a lot of ice on his neck for Quzandor to recover. And that's it. Solid event as underground shows go.
After a lengthy intermission where plates of chicken, rice and plaintains are dished out, the fights resume. Someone nicknamed "The Asian Submission Machine" and claims grappling as his style enters the ring to face a Shotokan Karate rep called "Superman". Hmmm, give me second. A good Kryptonite joke will come to me... Something pertaining to grappling and karate... Nah, I got nothing. Anyway, Superman TKOs the grappler in the first with far superior striking on the feet. Time now for big boys, as a 250-pound Muay Thai rep named Dale squares off against 240-pound wrestler called "The Savage". How savage is he? The dude is wearing a lioncloth. That's savage. But apparel notwithstanding, Dale comes out and needs about six seconds to land a picture-perfect high-kick to the head. The Savage is out cold, facedown on the canvas.
Next up is Tony "the Tiger", a tae kwon do rep, against Torin, a Goju Karate dude. Apparently the Tiger hails from Michigan, where they teach a lot of jumping and spinning back-kicks with their MMA - techniques he uses to prove that white men can indeed jump. He batters Torin for the second-round ref stoppage. Frosted Flakes for everyone! The next pair of fighters take to the ring, with a self-proclamed MMA stylist named "Lockman" taking on a tae kwon do dude name Jarrett. No, not the Subway guy. That's Jared. Anyhoo, Jarrett immediately puts Lockman on his butt with a pushkick, and when they get back to their feet it's a UFC 1-style mix of kicks and telegraphed punches coming a mile away. They really lay into each other, though, and in Round 3 Lockman catches Jarrett's kick and feeds him a right hand for the KO. The crowd goes wild.
The fights haven't yet started, but there's some fighter doing katas to warm up. Excellent. I ask the judges what their backgrounds are; one is a black belt in karate, the other a black belt in kung fu. Okay, it's about to start. But first, that guy who was practicing katas is now doing them for us in the ring with a pair of those bladed thingies that feudal Japanese farmers used to cut wheat. The opening bout: a kung fu stylist nicknamed "Blackie Chan" vs. a jiu-jitsu guy named "Chaos". Uh oh. The ring announcer asked if we're ready to rumble. He's going to get sued. The fight begins with Chaos slightly more aggressive. However, the fact that they're wearing headgear - and that they have to pause to replace it whenever it falls off - enables Blackie Chan to recover and out-scramble his foe to earn the decision.
This is actually their second MAM event, but the first one was a smaller trial-run thing back in March. This one is larger scale, and includes free food consisting of roast chicken, rice and beans. They've won me over already. It's shaping up to be about a hundred spectators, which will pretty much fill the venue. And the judges are actually in suits and ties. Wow.
MMA Journalist is ringside for Martial Arts Madness, an underground MMA show at a boxing gym in East New York - one of the worst neighborhoods in Brooklyn. How bad is the neighborhood? I was mugged three times walking here from the subway (although the second set of muggers actually gave me stuff so the third group would have something to steal). Anyway, the promoter stressed that these are just exhibition bouts, and in addition to the seven-bout card, there's some sort of photo shoot going on with bikini-clad chicks.