Saturday, October 2, 2010
Team Greg Jackson's Jerome Martinez enters to take on fan-favorite Jose Rodriguez in what should be a scrap. Some of you may be wondering why Rodriguez took this fight after going three hard-fought round at M-1 Global two weeks ago. Well, the answer is simple: he's crazy. Crazy for violence. Or he likes to fight. I dunno. Anyway, Martinez rushes in and takes Rodriguez down, and after some scrambling, the Team Jackson rep pounds on his with an assortment of fists and elbows. One such elbow opens up a cut above Rodriguez's eye, and when it fills with blood he tells ref Big Dan that he can't see and that he's done. The official time of the verbal submission is 3:26 of Round 1. Last bout of the evening and it's Gregor Gracie versus Mariusz Linke. Can you guess which one is related to Renzo? Well, it seems Gracie's got somewhere else he wants to be, because he comes out and nearly clobbers Linke with he high-kick, is instantly on Linke's back, and sinks the rear naked choke at 2:13 of Round 1. And that's it.
Now it's time for the first Team Renzo vs. Gold Team match-up, and it features lightweight Daisuke Yamaji against Maciej Linke. Linke represents the Polish affiliate of Gold Team, and in his only other New Jersey fight he was TKO'd by TUF 12 contestant Jeff Lentz, so we'll see if he has a better showing. And... he does a little better, surviving Yamaji's bombing run on the ground, getting dropped when they go toe-to-toe but recovering and delivering some ground and pound and the final 30 seconds of Round 1. However, Yamaji comes out on fire in Round 2, taking Linke down and TKOing him with punches from the mount at 1:01. Next: Sharks Cage rep Don Wagner vs. Team Renzo's Carlos Cline. Cline was the Reality Fighting champ back in 1965, so let's see if he's still got it. Round 1 opens with Wagner employing his two best weapons: his fists and his heart. He uses the first to drop Cline early, and he uses the second to survive when Cline turns up the jiu-jitsu heat. Round 2 is mostly Cline bringing the pain, although Wagner does have his moment, finagling escapes and threatening with knuckle sandwiches. The last round is more of the same, and there's no questioning Cline has earned the unanimous decision when time runs out.
Josh Key of Rhino Fight Team and Eric Bradley of Wanderlei Silva's gym in Las Vegas square off for a welterweight bout. People who stand with Key tend to get knocked out, so Bradley eats two low kicks and decides to wrestle Key to the ground and try to submit him. Almost all of Round 1 is spent with Bradley in mount or on Key's back, although Key does make it back to his feet to reinforce that whole "dude, I will kill you with theses fists" thing. Round 2 is the same exact thing, with Key getting closer and closer to putting Bradley away with his ten seconds of punching. Key gets even more time to punish the hell out of Bradley in the third, but ultimately Bradley's wrestling keeps him from getting knocked out, and he takes the unanimous decision. Two longtime New Jersey staples take to the cage in JA Dudley (Team Endgame) and Glen Sandull (AMA FC) for a heavyweight pairing. Sandull goes back to his wrestling roots for this one, keeping Dudley down and doing his best to work him over. Dudley shows his usual gameness, though, and survives, escapes and delivers punishment of his own to punctuate the opening round. Sandull is on top for the vast majority of the second, and repeats that scenario in the third, cruising to a clear-cut unanimous decision.
Greg Jackson-trained Ran Weathers is up first, taking Miletich Fighting Systems' Brandon Adamson in a lightweight contest. If I've learned anything in all my years of covering fights, it's that you can never bet against someone with a verb as a first name, so keep an eye on Mr. Weathers. Round 1 has Weathers scoring with a nice double-leg, fighting out of a tight guillotine, and working his mojo from Adamson's back. Adamson doesn't like this, so in Round 2 he comes out and kicks Weathers in the ribs - nearly folding him over. Adamson ends up on top on the ground, again working for a guillotine. But Weathers catches his breath, escapes, again takes his foe's back, and this time manages to sink the rear naked choke. The official time of the tap out is 1:47 of Round 2. Artur Rofi of Team Renzo enters to take on Adolpho Sanchez of Rhino Fight Team in another 155-pound scrap. A clear crowd-favorite, Rofi comes close to falling prey to an arm-in guillotine in the first 30 seconds. However, the next four and a half minutes are all about Rofi putting Sanchez through the ringer with the kind of back-control reserved for long prison nights and gay pride parades. Sanchez toughs out about two dozen rear naked choke attempts, but he refuses to tap to an armbar at the bell, and from then on it's clear he can barely use it. Round 2 sees Rofi punish him on the feet with knees and punches, then finish the job with a KO from the mount at 4:53.
MMA Journalist is here at Essex County College in Newark, cageside for the debut of the Brick City Fighting Championship. There are nine bouts scheduled, and if there's a theme to the match-ups, it's best described as "Team Gracie versus Gold Team" (Gold Team is Jorge "Macaco" Patino's boys). For those unfamiliar with the results of New Jersey's 2010 census, Newark has a huge Brazilian population, so the audience reaction for tonight's fights should be about as passionate as it was for Rio de Janeiro's 1997 Pentagon Combat (hopefully, with less stabbings).