Saturday, September 18, 2010
The heavyweight finals are upon us, which means we get Kenny Garner vs. Pat Bennett. Wow. Well, this one is all Garner, as he tenderizes Bennett in the corner then uses Bennett's face as a speedbag when they've got some distance. Bennett is in Wobblesville, USA and ref Big Dan waives it off at 2:51 of Round 1. Time for the lightweight finals, with Jose Figueroa and George Sheppard entering the Crucible of Doom (tm). Despite being much shorter, Sheppard comes out head-hunting - and scoring - until Figueroa kicks him in the junk. And not once, but twice, which costs Figueroa a point. Sheppard ends the round with a good takedown. Sadly, Sheppard comes out in Round 2 swinging, then changes his mind and says "no mas". Figueroa gets the win by verbal submission, and Sheppard goes home clutching his groin. Last bout of the evening and it's Tom Gallicchio against Leonard Bentley for the welterweight finals. Bentley's got Matt Lindland and Dennis Hallman in his corner. Gallicchio's got the entire state of New Jersey. This one is all Gallicchio, as he gets Bentley down, pounds, moves into back-mount, and sinks his favorite rear naked choke (the kind that makes you crap your pants). The official time of the tap is 4:38 of Round 1. And that's all, folks.
Hometown hero Jose Rodriguez is up at bat, taking on Mike Winters in another non-tournament bout. Rodriguez has forgotten more about killing men with his bare hands than you and I will ever know, so Winter might be in trouble. Things start off rough for Winters, with Rodriguez very nearly tapping him with an arm-in guillotine and later a heelhook. Winters is tough, though, and survives to control position and score with punches on the ground. Winters takes Round 2 with some unrequitted pounding from the top, and he does the same for Round 3 - only this time around Rodriguez very nearly snaps his arm with a bent armlock from the guard. Time runs out and Rodriguez is livid, insisting Winters has a broken arm and that the fight should have been stopped. Regardless, Winters is awarded the unanimous decision. Now Mike Geurin and Tyson Jeffries are in the ring, ready to get the middleweight tournament finals under way. Geurin is contractually obligated to take a beating in every fight, so if this one ends quickly and he's unharmed, expect him to step in front of a bus afterwards just to take damage. True to form, Geurin is bleeding from a cut above the eye simply from them touching gloves. The rest of Round 1 sees them picking at each other strikes. More methodical kicking and punching in the second round, although Jeffries does walk face-first into a right cross. The final frame is all about Geurin delivering one heck of a beating, both on the feet and on the ground. But Jeffries is made of iron, because he rallies and catches Geurin in a triangle of which there's no escape. The official time of the tap out is 3:43 of Round 3. Make a note of Jeffries; the kid's got some series ability.
It's time for the light-heavyweight final between Byron Byrd and Daniel Viscaya. The winner of this bout gets his choice of ring card girls to bring home and use for card-, tapestry- and poster-holding purposes, so the stakes are high. Viscaya gets the takedown and attempts to get his offense going, but in short order Byrd has a triangle cinched. He survives a high-amplitude slam and gets the tap out at 2:43 of Round 1. Next up is middleweights Luigi Fioravanti and Woody Weatherby in a non-tournament pairing. Hailing from ATT, Fioravanti's got Din Thomas and Rich Attonito in his corner. Weatherby has the Geicko Lizard and a bunch of balloons. This one is pretty straight-forward, as Fioravanti takes Weatherby down and blasts him with leather, then continues smashing him on the feet. The ref calls it off at 2:51 of Round 1.
First to the ring is a lightweight match-up between Josh Thorpe and Brendan Weafer. Thorpe is a Sagitarius who likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. Weafer, meanwhile, trains out of Greg Jackson's camp, is not into health food and has half a brain. We'll see how their date goes. After a brief hugging period Thorpe puts Weafer on his butt with a clean left hook. Weafer responds by popping back up and kicking Thorpe square in the nuts. Yeah, there's definitely some chemistry here. They restart and Weafer is soon on his opponent's back, working a standing rear naked choke that Thorpe defends right to the bell. Round 2 sees Thorpe score some payback with a spinning backfist, a nice hip toss and some ground and pound, and Weafer is bleeding from a cut near his eye when the bell sounds. Other than a slam by Thorpe, not much happens in the final round, and the clock runs out with Thorpe in Weafer's guard exchanging slaps and quiche recipes. Thorpe takes the unanimous decision. Next is Shane Primm vs. Bristol Marunde. You may remember Primm from such films as "Locker Room Horseplay: The Silent Killer" and "Honey, I Shrunk the Jedi". Marunde ate the entire cake at his bachelor party before they could tell him there was a stripper inside. Anyway, the first round is all Marunde as he keeps planting his right hand on Primm's face, catches Primm's kick and puts him on his back, and controls him a bit on the ground. Primm keeps it competitive with his jab in Round 2, but Marunde is still large and in charge with his cross and a nonstop barrage of leg kicks. Sensing he's a dead man on the scorecards, Primm turns it up a thousand percent and uses strikes to open a nice cut above Marunde's eye in the third round. However, his onslaught fizzles after two minutes, and Marunde's kicks once more take over. Marunde takes the unanimous decision.
MMA Journalist is here in sunny Atlantic City, ringside for the finals of M-1 Global's "Selection" tournament. A bunch of dudes fought a bunch of times to get here, and when you and I were relaxing on the beach this summer eating hamburgers with crushed Fritos stuffed under the bun and knoshing on funnel cakes, these dudes were training and dieting. Except heavyweight Kenny Garner. At 250 pounds, I think he was eating whatever he wanted. Anyway, M-1 Global. Bally's Casino. Fights. Booyah.