Saturday, February 5, 2011
Gemiyale Adkins of 302 BJJ and the veteran John Doyle step into the cage for their bout. Doyle comes out doing what he does best - wrestling people into mush - and he spends all of the first round working Adkins over. But Round 2 is all about the dirty boxing and the ground and pound - which is apparently Adkins' bread and butter. The final frame is a lot more competitive, with Doyle keeping in it with his dogged grappling and Adkins winning the exchanges. Adkins takes the unanimous decision. Main event time, and Team Vision rep Victor O'Donnell enters to take on Ricardo Almeida-trained Andrew Riddles. Odds are, someone is getting knocked out or someone is getting the blanket treatment. We'll see which comes to fruition. Round 1 is very competitive, with O'Donnell scoring a takedown and the two feeling each other out extensively on the feet. It's a blowout in Round 2, however, as O'Donnell closes Riddles' eye with a fist then chokes him out with a hellacious guillotine. The official time of the finish is 2:40 of the second round. And I'm out.
James Meals of AMA FC steps into the cage to take on Trevor Suter of Team Hard Drive. Suter was originally from Team Central Processing Unit, but he had a falling out (ROM issues). We'll see if the change in camps affects him. Wow. The revitalized Meals strikes again. After weathering Suter's agressive striking and wrestling, he starts blasting Suter on the feet and attacking from the bottom, sneaking in an Anaconda choke at 4:52 of the first round. With AMA FC, Meals has made himself into a totally different fighter. Now it's time for Pellegrino MMA's Craig Thieme and Infamous Rival's Nah-Shon Burrell to mix it up. Round 1 is an utter slugfest, with the face-mashing party interspersed with the odd takedown and guillotine attempt. It's close going into Round 2, but when Burrell opens up a cut near Thieme's eye, it turns into a bloodbath that favors the Infamous Rival rep. Round 3 is more carnage - Burrell's knuckles somehow finding Thieme's cut with every punch - and at 3:34 of the frame referee Keith Peterson has seen enough and waives the bout off. Anthony Dagostino of SPMF and Jared Gordon of the Bombsquad are up at bat. This one starts of wild, with each tossing the other about and scrambling like they know their way around a wrestling mat. It's all about the boxing in Round 2, though, and once Gordon tags Dagostino on the chin and stuns him, the rear naked choke comes easily at 1:42. Good effort by Dagostino, who's just made his pro debut at 46-years old.
First up is a bantamweight bout between Kurt Kalash and Tuan Pham. Pham is a hard-hitting striker through and through - he was once on a safari in Africa and when he was attacked by a rhino he knocked it out with a right hook. Let's see if he can employ that same mojo against Kalash. Round 1 sees the two feel each other out on the feet a bit, and then Pham scores a takedown and begins working Kalash over on the ground. The grapple-fest continues through the second round, with Kalash coming perilously close with a triangle and Pham giving him the business with scrambles and punches. Though Kalash is the one scoring the takedown in Round 3, it ends up being the Pham Show with Pham affixing himself to Kalash's back and staying their for the duration. He takes the unanimous decision when time runs out. Now it's time for the heavyweights, with Team KOA's Lewis Pascavage squaring off against Chris Sydnor. It takes about two seconds for Sydnor to feel his opponent's power and decide he wants to take him down, and what follows is some spirited back and forth that ends with Syndor on top and dropping bombs. Pascavage is KO'd at 2:12 of the first round. Next: Mike Rideout of Team SPMF and Team Bombsquad's Mike Winters. Winters makes it clear from the outset he's all about clinching and jiu-jitsuing the hell out of his foe, and if not for Rideout's sprawl-and-brawl game and his competence in the grappling department, Winters would be kicking ass and taking names. But he's not and Round 1 is pretty back and forth. Round 2, though, is all Winters, as he seems to have enough boundless pep to control and pound on Rideout mercilessly. Rideout rallies for the briefest of instants in the third, but when Winters gets him down he's too spent to defend the crucifix, and Winters unleashes a barrage of elbows for the TKO. The official time is 3:47 of Round 3.
MMA Journalist is back in Atlantic City (actually, I never left), at the Resorts Casino for the return of the Cage Fury Fighting Championship. As some of you may remember from a few years ago, CFFC was the biggest New Jersey-based show around, and its swan song was a magnum opus that saw Kimbo dispatches Ray Mercer atop a card of ultra-talented yet ultra-overpaid locals. Well, it's a wiser, more frugal CFFC now, and matchmaker Arias Garcia has gathered together a roster that includes slugger Victor O'Donnell, wrestler Andrew Riddle and MMA workhorse John Doyle. So stay tuned for some live coverage from cageside. Or don't. See if I care.
Another solid installment from promoter Lou Neglia. Highlights included Jimbo Hoffman's dominant performance in his pro debut, Jessica Eye's "Cyborg-esqe" striking, and watching two strikers in Ariel Sepulveda and Aung Nsang nail submissions over grappler opponents. Costa Philippou and Uriah Hall had so much respect for each other's ability - and rightly so - that whatever stand-up war we might have expected was muted by caution. And Philippou won based solely on his takedowns late in Rounds 1 and 2. That's it. I had to commentate alongside the Garv for the Pague/DeAngelis fight, hence no crappy pics of the bout, but it really is heartbreaking to see DeAngelis lose like that knowing he put so much effort into training. DeAngelis literally did everything right - he kicked, he moved around a lot, he mixed in takedowns, he threw punches from the inside, and he even broke his opponent's nose. Yet all it takes is one pinpoint-accurate right cross and you've got yourself a knockout. Hopefully, DeAngelis will be back.