Saturday, December 4, 2010
The first of two title fights and it's Jared Gordon of New York Jiu-Jitsu/Renzo vs. Robert Fabrizi of Vendetta at 160 pounds. Fabrizi proves himself to be a competent sprawler and brawler early on, and in the waning seconds of Round 1 he stuffs a Gordon takedown and slaps on a D'Arce. Gordon makes it to the bell, and in Round 2 Fabrizi keeps up the pressure. However, in the final frame Gordon does get the takedown, and he spends the duration looking for an opening. Is it enough to sway the judges? Nope. Fabrizi takes the split decision. Last bout and it's Kenneth Rivera defending his 145-pound belt against Jimbo Hoffman. Wow. Okay, well, we knew Rivera was fast, but Hoffman is faster - and smooth, as he jumps into an arm-in guillotine and puts Rivera to sleep at 1:05 of Round 1. And that's it.
It's time for Greg Quarantello of Shore Academy BJJ vs. Vincent Sinclair of Universal Martial Arts. Well, apparently Quarantello's got some hands, 'cause he uses them to chin-check Sinclair three times in rapid succession. After going down the last time, Sinclair is done, and the ref waives it off at 1:43 of Round 1. Ramy Awad of Codella MMA and Billy Mac Nair of BBMMA square off for some 175-pound action. It seems like Awad trained for an MMA bout and Mac Nair trained for a wrestling match, because once Mac Nair's attempts at tying up are foiled, Awad gets on top and puts him through the submission ringer. In Round 2 Mac Nair survives a close rear naked choke and a triangle, and he survives a choke in the third, but surviving ain't winning. Awad takes the unanimous decision. Mark Agnew of Street Fit and Gladstone Allen of NY San Da enter to do the dance of combat. Allen and Agnew come at each other swinging, but Agnew lands a left that sends his foe tumbling. The Street Fit rep follows it up with a rear naked choke, and Allen is asleep at 51 seconds.
First bout of the evening and it's a 147-pound pairing between Pat Kelly of the Jungle Gym and Chung Yeung of New York Jiu-Jitsu. The opening round is about 25 percent kickboxing and 75 percent clinch-work - a recipe that seems to favor Yeung. But thanks to the expert tutelage of coach Justin Garcia, Kelly changes things up and instead makes it a ground battle. He slips on the D'Arce and puts Yeung to sleep at 1:06 of Round 2. Next is Brayan Moncada of Cerebus against Tim Fowler of Renegade at 154 pounds. Round 1 plays out as a classic "guy who likes to kick the legs" vs. "guy who likes to punch the face" match-up, with Moncada the leg-kicker and Fowler the head-hunter. It turns into a grappling match in Round 2, though, as Fowler ends up on top working some ground and pound and nearly getting a triangle from guard. Perhaps sensing that his fortunes lie on the feet, Moncada comes out for Round 3 trying to punch Fowler's head off - and he nearly succeeds. But Fowler survives, and an exhausted Moncada spends the rest of the round backpedaling. Moncada takes the unanimous decision. Max McGarr of Team Renzo and Abdul Beyah of Universal Martial Arts step into the cage for a 190-pound pairing. McGarr's got Renzo in his corner. Jeez, no pressure there. Round 1 has Beyah establishing one thing early: he hits hard. This little tidbit suddenly makes it all about McGarr trying desperately to get it the the floor (although when he is successful, Beyah slams his way out of an armbar). McGarr manages another takedown in the latter half of the second, but never really gets to do anything with it before time expires. The final round is a contest to see who can keep it in their realm, and with a few well-timed punches it seems like Beyah might do it. But McGarr is relentless, and when he gets Beyah down he takes his back and flattens him out. Beyah takes the split decision when time runs out.
Another day, another MMA show - this one amateur and called Evolution "Holiday Havoc". Steve Katz is the man making the magic, the venue is the Schuetzen Park nightclub in North Bergen, and there are eight bouts on tap, including a title fight between Kenneth "Buck" Rivera of Rhino Fight Team and Jimbo Hoffman of Team Vendetta. Schools represented tonight include Team Renzo, New York Jiu-Jitsu, Universal Martial Arts, Jungle Gym and New York San Da - a nice cross-section of NYC schools compared to some of the other amateur organizations' New Jersey-centric cards.
MMA Masters rep Valdir Araugo is challenging Serra/Longo middleweight Chris Weidman for his belt. Will he succeed? Both men come out swinging and maintain a fast pace, but Araugo begins to slow halfway through Round 1 - which enables Weidman to out-wrestle him and drop him with a punch. Although Weidman drops him again in Round 2, Araugo rallies and threatens with a close leglock and some grappling back and forth, making the frame a close one. It doesn't get any easier to judge in Round 3, as both swing hard and wrestle hard. But when time expires a decision is made - Weidman unanimously. Last bout and it's Gian Villante of Bellmore Kickboxing defending his belt against Joseph Kenneth Reyes. Well, this one doesn't take long. Villante comes out, gets on top of Reyes, and simply carpet bombs him. The TKO comes at 1:03 of Round 1. Adios.