Sunday, February 28, 2010
Three-hundred pound warrior James Kene enters to take on Israel Martinez, and this one is abrupt and furious, as Kene bullrushes in with punches and Martinez battles back and gets him off balance. Kene trips and Martinez is on him like a predator, blasting him until Kene taps out. Obasi and promoter Peter Storm get in the ring to hype their fight at an upcoming UCL, and Funaro gets in the ring to announce that the absent Darrow is a clown. Last bout and it's a rematch between New Gen Karate's Chris Corr and Empire Fight Factory's Lionheart. When last they fought it went the distance, with Corr's superb grappling giving him the edge and enabling him to take the decision. This time is no different, although Lionheart is definitely a threat with various triangle choke and guillotine attempts and some elbows from the bottom. Corr takes the unanimous decision when time runs out. And that's that.
James Funaro is here and ready, but Wargod is a no show. First up is veteran fighter Kirkland Campbell against New Generation Karate's Eric Blasich. Campbell is an ace ground-and-pounder who's been in a ton of wars, while Blasich is young and mean - which translates into a close three-round battle. Round 1 sees Blasich sprawling hard and working a D'Arce, and when Campbell does get him down, Blasich does a solid job of neutralizing Campbell's punch-party. Rounds 2 and 3 play out in similar fashion, Campbell's takedowns an almost unstoppable force and Blasich's submissions and striking from the bottom a constant, and when time runs out Blasich takes the split decision in a good fight. Next: John Velez of Ultimate Karate against Dante Thomas of Empire Fight Factory. This one is an absolute war, with Velez giving up 40 pounds but unafraid to throw down. For all three rounds Thomas gets Velez down and drops leather, and for all three rounds Velez is blasting away with upkicks, elbows, fists - everything. Thomas takes the unanimous decision thanks to his concise grappling and aggression, but it's a good showing by both men.
There are a lot of underground notables here, including Chaz Dimitriopoulos, whose UCL fight was on a Fox News segment, as well as Wing Cun stud Shawn Obasi. Obasi was challenged by some 52 Blocks representative (52 Blocks is a style allegedly divised in prisons), but it doesn't look like Obasi's opponent has shown up. Wise move. Obasi is a killer.
MMA Journalist is here at an undisclosed gym in the heart of Brooklyn for the latest installment of the Underground Combat League, NYC's only vale tudo show. For those who've been following the saga on the Internet, today is supposed to be the day MMA fighter James Funaro faces ex-prison fighter Christian "Wargod" Darrow in the ring, which is a rematch of their first bout (which happened in the parking lot behind Funaro's gym and ended with Funaro knocking out Darrow's tooth). For those who haven't been following this rivalry over the Internet... ha, you suck. Anyway, there's allegedly no bad blood between the two, as "their beef has been quashed". The two were only fighting now because their first meeting had garnered a ton of attention. Unfortunately, all that is in jeopardy, as Funaro fought in an Asylum Fight League show in Atlantic City last night and got knocked out by the highly-touted Chris Wing. What now? Will James risk his own well-being and step into the ring today? Will his twin brother Joseph fill in? Damned if I know. But the suspense is killing me, and personally, I hope James sits this one out. "Vale tudo" is Portuguese for "anything goes", not "to the death".