Saturday, August 7, 2010
More heavyweight action, as Kenny Garner of ATT takes on a Russian boxer named Andrei Kapylou of Team Kapylou. Round 1 is all Garner, who absolutely puts the Russian through the grappling ringer, mounting him again and again and even nailing an omoplata. The crowd is nuts over Kapylou, though, and he makes it to Round 2 to land maybe two punches before getting owned on the ground yet again. The beating continues throughout Round 3, and despite possessing the heart of a lion, Kapylou has to watch as the unanimous decision is awarded to Garner. Last bout and it's Gallicchio vs. Meisner. This one starts out with them clinching and throwing knees, and Gallicchio taking one square in the jewel box. Gallicchio takes a breather, and when the fight resumes they simply blast each other. Both are bloody come Round 2. Things get even uglier in the second, with Gallicchio getting a takedown and dropping some leather and Meisner punishing him repeatedly with knees to the body and punches over the top. It's Meisner's show up to this point, but if there's one thing you learn after years of covering Northeast MMA, it's that you can never ever count "Da Tank" out. He comes out in Round 3 and guts out a takedown, and goddamn if he doesn't sink a rear naked choke. The official time of the tap out is 1:45, and it's a storybook ending to a very solid show. Out!
It's heavyweight time, and Pat Bennett of Bombsquad and Mehdi Hassan of ATT are doings the honors. From the outset you just know this one is one punch away from instant slumber, and Bennett and Hassan take their time waiting for that big punch to materialize. The first round sees Hassam throwing windmills from the outfield, while Bennett counters with a painful inside leg-kick. Bennett continues racking up the points in Round 2, but in Round 3 Hassan lands on flush to the face, putting Bennett on his butt in the most decisive blow of the fight. However, it ain't enough, and Bennett takes the unanimous decision when time runs out. Next up: Tyson Jeffries of Team Quest against Gold Team's Plinio Cruz. If Cruz wins, this sets up a rematch with Geurin (Geurin won via bodyshot KO the first time). These two come out of their corners and Cruz immediately - and accidentally - kicks Jeffries in the junk. "Oh it hurts man," Jeffries tells ref Big Dan. They resume after a brief recovery period, but after a few minutes of Muay Thai madness Cruz once again kicks him in the yam bag. Cruz loses a point for that one. Meanwhile, Jeffries now sings soprano. A lengthy recovery period follows, and when the action continues Jeffries lands a pair of hellacious kicks to the body and deftly throws the Brazilian to the canvas. Perhaps sensing a need to change thing up, Cruz comes out in Round 2 winging overhand lefts, and lands enough of them to put Jeffries on Queer Street. Jeffries survives on autopilot, and Round 3 has the Team Quester mixing in takedowns with his striking assault. It's enough to garner the split decision in a truly gutsy performance by both men.
Time for the welterweights, and it's Colin Schrader of the Bombsquad against Len Bentley of Victor Athletics. Uh oh, Bentley's nickname is the "Liger", which is a cross between a lion and a tiger. Does he not know that those kinds of big cats are usually mentally retarded? Round 1 has Schrader working his jiu-jitsu magic, going for subs off of some sweet transitions. Bentley dodges all of it, though, and keeps putting his fist in the New Yorker's face - a fact that makes this one nice and competitive. Round 2 is all Liger, as Schrader engages in a slugfest with the stronger man and takes one square on the chin at 1:45 in. Good win for Bentley, and Schrader is carried out on a stretcher as a precaution. Next, the light-heavyweights, with Chris Syndor of Team Hustle and Daniel Vizcaya of Power Martial Arts. Syndor's nickname is "the Finisher". Not because he finishes people, but because blah blah blah something about Finland. Shades of Lesnar/Carwin in this one, as Vizcaya survives a hard punch to the chops to get the takedown, jump to side-control and sink the head-arm choke. Now it's time for Shane Primm and Mike Geurin to get it on, which should be a real treat as it pits a tough TUFer against a real mean (and skilled) bastard who can wrestle and box. After a brief feeling out period, these two really start trading leather, and Geurin starts getting the better of it and wobbling Primm hard. The round ends with Geurin dropping bombs. Round 2 is more of the same, and two things become apparent: Primm has on heck of a chin, and Geurin simply does not know how to not have a war. Bloodied but still in the driver's seat, Geurin switches to takedown-mode in the final round, easily taking the unanimous decision, 30-27.
First bout and it's Byron Byrd of American Top Team vs. Sammy Collingwood of Capitao MMA in a light-heavyweight match-up. Both guys are from Florida, so consider this a contest for Disney World bragging rights. Who will come away with the coveted mouse ears? Well, as Collingwood seems to have an aversion to head-movement, it's Byrd, who needs only 40 seconds to use Collingwood's grill as a speedbag and TKO the hell out of him. Collingwood takes a long time to come to his senses. Next up is Josh Thorpe of Port City MMA against Jose Figueroa of ATT in a lightweight bout. Figueroa's got Din Thomas in his corner, so expect him to at least be well-rounded. Round 1 sees things moving at a somewhat slow pace, with both men mixing methodical striking and grappling with brief explosions of violence. The advantage goes to Figueroa, whose lanky build and Muay Thai skills force Thorpe to have to play his game. But Thorpe gets some licks in by way of fistic lovin', and Round 2 ends with him tossing Figueroa to the canvas and glaring at him. Round 3 has Figueroa getting Thorpe down and pounding on him from above, and though Thorpe eventually escapes back to his feet, the ensuing hug-a-thon means all the points go to the ATT rep. Figueroa takes the unanimous decision. Josh Bacallao of Champions MMA vs. George Sheppard of MMA Institute (not an accredited university) are in the ring ready to do their lightweight thing. Although clearly a concise and technical fighter, Bacallao seems to have trouble overcoming Sheppard's strength and right hand, and by the end of the first Bacallao's forehead is pretty marked up. Round 2 has Bacallao out-working his foe, but still Sheppard's heat-seeking missiles find their target. But all his hard work finally pays of in the third, as Bacallao gets a takedown and scores points from top position, and then ends up stalking Sheppard when it's back on the feet. Is it enough? Nope. Sheppard takes the split decision.
MMA Journalist is here at Bally's in Atlantic City for M-1 Global's "Selection" show, which brings together some of the Northeast's toughest fighters and pairs them up against a whole ton of dudes I know nothing about. But hey, Fedor is supposed to be here somewhere, and there's ten bouts scheduled with Tom Gallicchio and Aaron Meisner rocking the main event, so yeah, it should be lovely.