Saturday, June 19, 2010
MMA Institute (not an accredited university) fields another one in the form of Rob Conner, who will have to deal with the fury of top dog Chris Liguori in the cage. Liguori is the yardstick by which lightweights are measured against - if you beat him, you're ready for the UFC, and if you lose to him, well, you just your ass kicked by a UFC vet, so yeah, what's up. Round 1 is the very definition of seesaw battle, as both men take turns on top working their respective ground assaults. The second round is more of the same, but as it wears on one thing becomes apparent: Connor is running out of gas and Liguori's still got 3/4 of a tank. Round 3 is all Liguori, as he gets on top and delivers some punishment, and when he gets reversed he just locks on the triangle and bloodies Conner with elbows. Ref Big Dan steps in at 3:16 of the round when it becomes apparent Conner isn't going nowhere. Last bout and it's Dante Rivera of RABJJ against Dan Cramer of American Top Team. Both are veterans of TUF 7, so this is a reunion of sorts, and afterwards they're going to sign each other's yearbooks. The huggy game is in full effect in the opening round, with both men jockeying for an advantage against the cage and peppering each other with knees and short punches. Maybe Cramer steals the round with a throw late - maybe - but it's an otherwise insanely close round. Ditto for Round 2. Miraculously, the tempo increases in the final round, with every minute filled with them flurrying each other at point-blank range. Time runs out and the judges award the split decision to Rivera. Good, hard-fought win that could've gone either way. And I'm out.
Kimbo Slice is in the house, literal munching on a loaf of bread, and Matt Serra was last seen at the tray of lasagna in the back. How confident is Zuffa that MMA is about to be legalized in New York? So confident that they're sending Serra up to Albany on Monday to either shake hands or bust heads. Welterweight old schooler Jose Rodriguez enters the cage to take on Rob Morrow of 11th Dimension. Morrow is pretty tall for his weight, but the last time Rodriguez faced someone with that kind of height advantage Rodriguez simply tapped him with a flying heelhook (seriously). The two come out and blast each other, and Rodriguez ends up off balance and falling to the canvas. However, he takes Morrow with him and has on the double-armbar practically instantaneously. Morrow manages to get one arm out, but he's tapping by the time the clock hits 1:03. Rodriguez is victorious, and his kids are cageside, thrilled that they're dad is okay and still a complete badass. A break in the action has Kimbo stepping into the cage showing the fans some love. He in turn gives the mic to some guy who calls his girlfriend into the cage and proposes to her. How touching. I give them six months. Just kidding. Adam Fearon of AMA FC enters to take on Justin Herbst of DOA Combat Squad in a welterweight match-up. Fearon looks to be in fantastic shape, and he comes out aggressive, but failed throw has him on the bottom and Herbst punishing him from mount and back-mount. Fearon toughs is out, though, and after dodging a rear naked choke he gets back to his feet and puts Herbst down with a double-leg. They scramble, and when Herbst leaves his neck exposed, a now-bleeding Fearon falls into a guillotine. The official time of the tap is 3:06 of the first round, and it's a strong showing for the local stud.
First bout and it's George Sheppard from MMA Institute (not an accredited university) against Williamsburg BJJ lightweight honcho Roger Mamedov. Despite having grappling elite like Ricardo Almeida and Frankie Edgar in his corner, Mamedov engages in a stand-up contest with Sheppard, the two going toe to toe and dinging each other repeatedly. But at around the three-minute mark Sheppard tags Mamedov on the chin and drops him. Mamedov rises only to get knocked down again, and another knockdown after that has the ref stepping in. The official time of the TKO is 3:29 of Round 1. Next is Quinton McCottrell of 11th Dimension MMA and Jim Tomczuk of RABJJ in a middleweight pairing. Round 1 has McCottrell flexing his wrestling muscle and Tomczuk beating him on the grappling transitions and scoring with some dirty boxing. Round 2 is more of the same, and when Tomczuk works onto his opponent's back, flattens him out and pounds him, it only seems like the inevitable is coming to fruition. Ref Kevin Mullhall halts the bombardment at 4:05 into the round.
MMA Journalist is here at Six Flags Great Adventure for MMA Mayhem, a six-fight pro card in the middle of a gigantic amusement park. New Jersey veteran Jose Rodriguez is slated to fight the Tasmanian Devil (or someone in a Tasmanian Devil suit), while Chris Liguori is facing the Joker from the Batman rollercoaster and Dante Rivera and Dan Cramer are squaring off on the Log Flume. So, um, yeah.