Thursday, October 21, 2010
Kenny Foster and Lester Caslow enter the cage to mix it up. The story of the opening round is Caslow landing a few kicks, the two flurrying and pressing each other against the cage, and a lot of running around. Foster takes Round 2 with a takedown and some time in the mount, Foster's wrestling and agression continue to make the difference in the third, and he takes the unanimous decision. Last bout and it's Jamal Patterson vs. Tim Carpenter. These guys go back and forth with wild punching, failed submission attempts and some less-than-smooth transitions. Carpenter takes the split decision when time runs out. Ghost!
Hey, guess what? Based on the deafening chants of "Eddie! Eddie!" it sounds like it's time for Eddie Alvarez vs. Roger Huerta. Round 1 sees Alvarez absolutely pounding on Huerta on the feet, putting fist to face seemingly at will. Huerta's got no shortage of heart, however, and he manages to land a batch of knuckles that briefly puts Alvarez on his butt. Round 2 is more of the same, with Alvarez wrecking Huerta's lead leg with a hellacious inside leg-kick. Huerta can't come out for Round 3, and of course the crowd explodes. Thus concludes the live broadcast. Now, with about 2/3 of the audience heading to the exits, comes the rest of the card. Ed Guedes and Luiz Azeredo are up, and given their respective strengths on the mat, the spend all of the first round kickboxing (and oddly enough, Azeredo seems to be getting the better of the exchanges). Round 2: more kickboxing. Okay, seriously, what the hell? Azeredo is kicking Guedes' ass, and drops him with strikes in Round 3. Where the heck was this version of Azeredo when he fought Mikhail Malyutin for the ROC belt? And is this Guedes' secret, less-skilled twin brother? The version is a shadow of his usual self. Time runs out and they're still scrapping pretty hard, but there's no question Azeredo has taken the unanimous decision.
First bout of the live broadcast and it's Levon Maynard and judoka Rick Hawn doing the welterweight knuckle-tango. The two exchange kicks and punches in a piecemeal fashion for the majority of the first round. But when Hawn misses a high-kick and Maynard attempt to take his back things really pick up. Tossing Maynard over his shoulder with a picture-perfect seoi-nage and unloading with fists from above, Hawn gets the TKO win at 4:53 of Round 1. Nice technique. Now it's time for champ Lyman Good to defend his belt against Ben Askren. The crowd goes wild over Good's mere presence. God help us if he loses... Round 1 and Askren gets the takedown early, yet is met with a constant barrage of punches and elbows. Good reverses twice and finishes the round on top, but Askren has exerted the most control. Askren spends most of Round 2 in the mount, and does the same for the third round. It seems like the wrestler truly is unstoppable with his takedowns. Round 4 goes just like the two preceding it, but referee Kevin Mulhall doesn't like the stalemate of Askren in mount getting nowhere and he stands them up. It soon returns to the ground, and Round 5 is Askren again doing his ground-and-pound thing. The crowd does go nuts when Good stuns Askren with an up-kick and sinks in the triangle - like, insanely nuts - but it's short lived when Askren escapes and gets back on top. Askren takes the unanimous decision.
First bout of the evening and it's Lewis Cassner against Fran Evans at bantamweight - both making their pro debuts. Other than eating a few short punches whenever he comes in, Evans proves to be the more dangerous of the two, threatening Cassner with an armbar from the guard before nailing the triangle at 3:20 of Round 1. Next up is Nick Cottone vs. Tuan Pham in another bantamweight pairing. This one is a classic blanket- against- striker match-up, so expect... I don't know. Something. Round 1 sees Cottone score four takedowns, but he's surprisingly active on the ground and working to finish, which makes it more exciting yet gives Pham opportunities to get back to his feet. Cottone slows in Round 2, though, due in no small part to the fists and knees Pham lands, and it's clear going into the third that if Cottone doesn't keep up the pressure his opponent is going to knock him out. Round 3 has Cottone absorbing more than a few jumping knees from the clinch but otherwise shutting Pham down and cruising to a unanimous decision. Last prelim and it's featherweights Deividas Taurosevicius taking on Wilson Reis. Cognizant of the fact that his only chance of winning is to get things to the ground, Reis walls-and-stalls Taurosevicius like nobody's business in the first. The Brazilian does more of the same in Round 2, while in the third Reis somehow finds the confidence to throw kicks and punches - and actually scores. Time runs out and Reis edges out the split decision. Not the most thrilling fight.
Bellator. From the Spanish word for "enchilada". Well, truly, Bellator 33 - which takes place at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia - will feature the whole enchilada of combat. Tonight, Philadelphia's favorite son Eddie Alvarez will square off against UFC vet Roger Huerta, while Bellator welterweight champ Lyman Good is set to defend his belt against Season 2 170-pound winner Ben Askren. It's a recipe for excitement, and due to Alvarez's and Good's overwhelming fan presence, it's a recipe for the kind of civil unrest not seen since the 1964 Philadelphia race riots if either man were to lose. So stay tuned for what promises to be the biggest and most electric East Coast show since Kimbo fought Ray Mercer at the Cage Fury Fighting Championship.