Friday, May 14, 2010
Last fight and it's Ricardo Almeida-trained Dante Rivera against Iron Horse MMA's Ryan Contaldi. Based on cornermen alone Contaldi is in trouble, as he's got UFC fighter Mike Massenzio while Rivera has UFC champ Frankie Edgar plus Chris Liguori, Haz Ibrahim and Tom DeBlass. We'll see if he can overcome the deficit. The opening frame has the two going back and forth with select strikes and clinch-work, with Contaldi scoring a takedown late and Rivera nullifying his top game. Rivera is large and in charge in Round 2, though, throwing Contaldi with some high-amplitude takedowns and working into a North-South choke. The tap comes at 3:20 of the round. Good showing for Rivera. And that's all she wrote...
AMA FC flyweight Sean Santella vs. Midwesterner Josh Rave is the next bout on the menu, and if history tells us anything it's that this one should involve quite a bit of grappling. Santella finds himself on his back and immediately starts firing off armbar and triangle attempts, but Rave soon takes control with back-mount and a world of hurt visited upon the local fighter. "Shorty Rock" survives the round, yet in Round 2 he still seems stymied whenever Rave gets the better of the transitions, and every sub attempt is met with Rave deftly neutralizing it and escaping. Round 3 begins with Santella's fortunes reversing as he takes Rave's back and very nearly sinks the choke, but eventually Rave escapes and once more takes control. The unanimous decision goes to Rave. Next: Team Renzo lightweight John Cholish against ATT's Hitalo Machado in a five-round championship bout. This is another one where there should be a lot of grappling, maybe jiu-jitsu. Ah, what do I know? These two actually do engage a bit on the feet, each throwing some sharp and technical kicks and punches, but whenever Cholish wants a takedown he gets it, and on the ground they seem evenly matched (and equally dangerous). The second round has Machado getting the better of the boxing exchanges and the Team Renzo fighter firing off some killer kicks, and in the third Cholish has found a home for that low-kick and it's against the ATT rep's thigh. Machado is limping and visibly hurt, but he's still in it going into Round 4 - a situation Cholish remedies by mixing low-kicks with overhand rights until Machado collapses in a heap. The official time of the TKO is 2:25 of the fourth round, and Cholish comes away looking every bit the future superstar.
Sam Jackson and Mike Medrano take to the cage for a welterweight pairing. Medrano is a rising star coming out of AMA FC and is supposed to be fighting for the ROC belt at their next show, while Jackson starred in Pulp Fiction and played Mace Windu in those crappy Star Wars movies. The story of Round 1 is Medrano tossing Jackson to the canvas like a ragdoll and coming close with a kimura and Jackson swinging for the fences on the feet and reversing position on the ground. Round 2 sees Jackson get on top at first to deliver some damage, the Medrano take the reigns as ground-and-pounder for the duration. The last goes poorly for the AMA FC standout, though, as he finds himself on his back for the majority of the time. Regardless, he takes the unanimous decision when time runs out. TSMMA's Carlos Brooks is up and ready to face Team Link middleweight Alexandre Moreno. Well, it looks like Moreno did his homework, opting to avoid Brooks' deadly striking game and going right for the takedown. The Team Linker methodically works from the top, coming close with a kimura and an arm-triangle before finally catching Brooks with an arm-in guillotine. The official time of the tap out is 4:48 of the first round.
First fight and it's not Josh Key vs. Kevin Horowitz, as Horowitz gets negged at the last minute by the doctors for hypertension. Too bad, as that was a good match-up. Instead, 261-pound behemoth Willie Johnson and 246-pound mass of muscle Mike Dunaj take to the cage. Johnson hails from American Eagle Martial Arts, which is an affiliate of the GAP MMA Club and Team Banana Republic. This one is all Johnson, as he bullrushes Dunaj, gets on top and blasts him with about 300 fists and forearms. Ref Big Dan calls a stop to the onslaught at 2:27 of Round 1. Next is 145ers James Meals and Advanced Martial Arts' Jay McLean. Meals is actually the kickboxing instructor for Gold Team Fighters and he's been around MMA forever, but McLean is young, hungry and wanted in 15 states for a litany of crimes that include cattle rustling, jostling and soliciting a robot, so we'll see how this one goes. The bout begins and McLean comes out with guns blazing, landing strikes and throwing his opponent like he hates him. But Meals battles back hard, getting back to his feet and throwing knees and punches that put McLean on notice that he's in for a helluva fight. This slow in Round 2, as McLean is all about the ground and pound and Meals is suddenly tentative about launching leather lest he get taken down, while the final round Meals threatens with an armbar and almost takes McLean's back but is ultimately almost overwhelmed with strikes at the final bell. The Advanced Martial Arts rep takes the unanimous decision, but the cards don't do justice to the fact that this was one of the best James Meals we've seen in a long time.
MMA Journalist is here at the Armory in Jersey City for the second installment of the Urban Conflict Championship - a pro MMA show that does not require a two-hour trek to Atlantic City. Woot. Anyway, the card is a strong eight-bout collection of local rockstars in the making. In addition to Dante Rivera taking on Ryan Contaldi in the main event, Team Renzo's John Cholish is on deck to face Hitalo Machado, TSMMAer Carlos Brooks and Alexandre Moreno are going at it, and AMA FC's Sean Santella is going to do battle against Josh Rave in a flyweight bout. Sadly, it looks like the Joey Camacho/Jimmie Rivera match-up is off because Rivera couldn't get down to bantamweight. Is it me or is everyone starting to get out of control with the trips down the weight classes? Didn't UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar - who walks around at 118 pounds - just prove that you don't need to cut weight to win?