Monday, November 12, 2012
TakeOn returned to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, and with the kickboxing promotion came a 13-bout event, 2,862 screaming fans,and all sorts of Muay Thai goodness. With the Northeast's recent weather troubles forcing the postponement of CFFC and ROC's shows in New Jersey, a healthy dose of combat sports was just what the doctor ordered - and just what Muay Thai at the Mecca II provided. Highlights of the night included:
- The war of attrition between Westchester MMA's Sean Fagan and Mushin MMA's Joey Hernandez. Hernandez was rock solid early on, but Fagan wore him down, and when the fifth round rolled around he ended Hernandez's campaign for the 145-pound title with a dominant TKO.
- Team Renzo's Elijah Clarke, who employed a monstrous reach and a world of confidence to cruise to a unanimous decision over Team Kamikaze's Angel Flores.
- The unwavering onslaught of Team Renzo's Steve Hernandez. Challenging champ Ariel Abreu of Camp Undefeated for the belt, Hernandez resisted being drawn into a brawl - which is Abreu's bread and butter. Instead, he remained calm and crisp, and took the clear-cut decision when time expired.
- Sitan stud Jay Matias, who ran right through Janjira Muay Thai's Cody Moberly like Moberly wasn't even there, and ended it all with a KO via flying knee.
- If a slobberknocker can be considered technical, then that's what Italy's Angelo Campoli and Sitan's Eddie Martinez had. For five rounds the two went back and forth, and though Martinez racked up the points to garner the unanimous decision, Campoli sure as hell didn't make it easy for him.
- Tarek Rached's quick and sudden finish over UFC vet Ryan Madigan. The Sitan rep seemed unfazed by Madigan's star status, and wasted no time nailing him with a kick that took out Madigan's knee right at the bell at the end of the first. Good stuff.
There was another installment of Manup Standup on Saturday, and the event - which blends raw and unsanctioned combat with some heavy kung fu/Wu-Tang Clan flavor - had no shortage of up-close and personal violence. New York's recent weather woes seemed to have thinned out the audience, but everyone who stepped up to fight was game, so it was definitely worthwhile. Highlights of the event included:
- Jerry from Utah, who repped some form of kung fu but ultimately was all about wrestling and slams. He took out Paul the ninja (seriously, a ninja) in his first fight, then went on to take the decision over Wendell the Humble Buddha later.
- The scrap between Yahuda and the White Taoist. Sporting full robes while he fought, Yahuda seemed to meet every fistic challenge the White Taoist put before him with skill and determination, and after a significant amount of groundfighting, the White Taoist fell in the second round.
- MUSU champ DJ (real name: Darrell Johnson), who faced Mike from Harlem in a rematch and beat him more convincingly this time around thanks to a tap out via guillotine. Thus far, every time I've seen DJ fight he's won, so I asked him afterwards when he plans on trying out MMA competition. His answer: the next UCL. Oh hells yeah.