Promotion Name: Michigan Extreme Combat Sports
Event Name: Sandford vs Meadows
Date: April 19th, 2014
Location: Taylor Town Trade Center
Promoter: Kevin Whittenberg
Referees: Danny McIntire & Josh “Short Stack” Robinson
Judges: FightMichigan’s T.J. Corwin, John Bond & Tito Brown
Timekeeper: Anna McIntire
Medics: Cathy Harman
Announcer: Pete Trevino Jr.
Still Photography: Anne Miller Effects, Chris Trevino Photography
Video: Kevin Whittenberg Jr.
Honorable Mention: The entire Whittenberg family – thanks for being some of the most sincere and caring people in the game. Also, don’t forget to check out the M.E.C.S. Pro Shop!
The evening of Saturday, April 19th marked another exciting and successful event by Michigan Extreme Combat Sports. Fans packed into the Taylor Town Trade Center to witness firsthand the skills of the area’s greatest amateur mixed martial artists. And they were not let down – it was a spectacular night of fights that culminated in a war for the ages that will be remembered by all in attendance for years and years to come.
But before we get to that, let’s run down some of the other great action that preceded it. Starting from the top, the event “kicked” off with a well-matched kickboxing exhibition featuring Jackson MMA’s “Hollywood” Blake Genco against Songahm Kickboxing Academy’s Dom “Lobito” Lichti. For five tough rounds, these 2 up-and-coming strikers went toe-to-toe, keeping the pace fast and heavy the entire time. At the end of regulation time, the judges were left to hand down a decision, awarding a unanimous and hard-earned victory to Dom Lichti.
When it comes to entertaining stand-up WARS in women’s MMA, the fifth fight of the night was a real treat for the fans. Michigan Extreme Combat Sports’ Jessica Short took center cage to face off with Spyder Submissions’ Cheryl Jacob. For the better part of two full rounds, these ladies engaged in a face-crushing slugfest that reminds us all that the women are just as tough as the guys! After an amazing display of guts and striking prowess, Jessica Short was forced to concede to the onslaught of Jacob, who picked up her first of what will likely be many more wins at the ripe YOUNG age of fifty two! Gotta respect that…all day long!
The fight immediately after was another kickboxing exhibition that left the crowd in awe. Jackson MMA/United States Army bad boy John “Loose Cannon” McDonald stepped inside to face the always dangerous and exciting man from Mady’s Karate – Tom “Bam Bam” Barry. Attention strikers in training – watch this fight video to see some high level leather being dealt. For five rounds of pure striking clinic which found McDonald getting the better of the Barry for most of the fight, Barry continued to gut it out and continue to find a weakness in McDonald’s striking game, but it seemed there was simply none to be exploited. At the end, the judges unanimously agreed (50-45) that John McDonald took the fight with his absolutely amazing offense.
A little further down the card was an extremely exciting – and extremely short – flyweight fight featuring Jackson MMA’s Mike Pantangco versus Team Organized Chaos’ Gabriel “Gabi” Espinoza. Both fighters came out looking well prepared, but after a brief feeling out, Pantangco threw a CRUSHING right high kick that brought an end to both the fight and Espinoza’s waking state. Another highlight reel finish for a Jackson MMA fighter…it is something that seems to happen rather often these days!
In yet another impressive and thoroughly entertaining kickboxing exhibition, Jackson MMA’s Moe “The Machete” Williams took on Hess Oriental Martial Arts’ Clinton Smith. This bout was another action-packed clinic in effective striking. These two went at it the whole regulation time limit, and despite an excellent showing and an amazing display of warrior heart by Smith, Williams was able to get in a rhythm and fight the fight that he wanted. In the end, he pulled off a unanimous judge’s decision to retain his M.E.C.S. Welterweight kickboxing belt.
In the Co-Main Event of the evening, it was a heated battle for the M.E.C.S. Light Heavyweight Interim belt. Greg Sizemore, a member of the fairly recently formed Eastern Michigan University MMA Team, tested his skills against independent mixed martial artist Jacob Freiburg. About midway through the second round, Sizemore had the fight on the mat and seized the opportunity to lock on an Americana for the tap out victory. He will now advance to face the current title holder – Moofie – at the next event.
And now for the Main Event – a fight that was so sure to be a barn-burning, crowd-pleasing war that it had an entire event named after it (Brandon) Sandford (Jackson MMA) vs (Tyler) Meadows (Michigan Top Team) – and as expected, it was every bit the war – and more – than could have possibly been anticipated. But hey…when you put two of the hardest working, most elite bantamweights in the State, something exceptional is a guarantee. This fight was five pure rounds of high-level MMA action…if you weren’t fortunate enough to have borne witness to this fight in person, you gotta check out the video to really get a good perspective. There are a lot of pros out there that could even take notes from these two superbly trained athletes. After five full rounds of MMA mayhem, the judges had the unenviable task of rendering a decision. In the end, they unanimously concluded that Brandon Sandford had managed to put on a slightly more dominant performance, awarding him both the hard-earned victory as well as the Michigan Extreme Combat Sports bantamweight gold.
When it comes to safe and family-friendly mixed martial arts action, Michigan Extreme Combat Sports is second-to-none. Watch for more great events in the near future, and we here at FightMichigan will let you know as soon as they announce their next date! ‘Til next time…here are you results…
Promotion Name: Hometown Throwdown
Event Name: Hometown Throwdown 6
Date: March 29th, 2014
Location: Ionia Theatre – Ionia
Promoter: Dru Gardner
Event Coordinator: Ashley Fisk
Referee: FightMichigan’s T.J. Corwin
Cage Door Patrol: Kendall and Kyle Cahoon
Judges: FightMichigan’s Shannon Hale, Ed Pigeon and Joe Heikkila
Timekeeper: Tayvon “Not-So-Lil’” Soldier Gardner
Medics: Rob Fisk
Announcer: Michael “Skipnosis” Gorham
D.J.: Bobby Cantwell – A.K.A. D.J. BabyDaddy
Still Photography: Maria Sinclair – Sinclair Photography Free
Video: Anthony Wolf – Wolftrax M.M.A. Audio and Video Productions
Honorable Mention: Dru Gardner – for being dedicated to the sport, for being a fair and experienced professional matchmaker who knows and researches his matchups, for promoting the safest events possible and for promoting small town local business and growth. Also, HTTD 6 Official Ring Girl Desirae Lahr, Aggressive Productions and Izzy’z Barber Shop for all of your hairstyle needs.
The Hometown Throwdown – Ionia’s ONLY MMA Supershow – filled the Ionia Theatre with energy and action with the SIXTH in the series of events that are geared toward supporting small town local fighters and businesses. Promoter, professional matchmaker and MMA aficionado Dru Gardner prides himself on promoting the safest and most well-matched events out there today. This event was proof-positive that Dru means business when it comes to mixed martial art promotion.
The second bout on this exciting card ended with the fan’s fave finish – a KNOCKOUT! Heavyweight bad boys Josh Page and Jordan King stepped into the cage to do business and wasted NO time getting to work. No groundwork to be found here – this one was pretty much all leather, with each man looking to finish the fight with each shot. Josh Page was the one to place said shot, bringing Jordan King to the canvas and the fans to their feet.
The fight immediately following featured a well-known cage veteran, a super-talented up-and-comer, and yes, another KNOCKOUT when Parker Martial Arts’ Cliffy Creech met in the center of the cage to face Dustin Dann. The uber-experienced Creech was looking to add another W, while Dann was intent on adding one more victory to his solid 5-0-1 record. After a quick and entertaining opening the fight ended up on the mat. Dann got the mount right away, and as Creech tried to turn over to regain position, Dann quickly took the back, and instead of seeking a choke, decided to rain leather. Creech defended a few, but at only 40 seconds into the round, the punches penetrated his defenses and put him under, adding another crowd-pleasing win to Dann’s credit.
Number five on the night was a lightweight barn-burner featuring two very adept and smooth strikers. When Eric Lyon squared off against Alliance AZO’s David Kubacki, a striking clinic was fully expected. And that is precisely how things started. But Kubacki had a plan…he switched his attack from all Muay Thai to a takedown attempt. He landed the takedown after some effort was expended, which Lyon simply wasn’t expecting from the predominantly Thai fighter. The approach worked masterfully, with Kubacki cinching an RNC win late in the first (and last) round.
Next up were big boys with some bad blood and a lot to prove. Heavyweight warriors Esteban Rodriguez and Andrew Fernelius put on an absolute standup WAR that kept fans screaming through the ENTIRE fight. It was an impressive display of heart, fortitude and punching power that culminated in Rodriguez (A.K.A. Mohawk) dealing out some BRUTAL punishment that put an end to this exciting fight late in the second round.
The headliner of the card was a well-matched title fight featuring an Ionia local favorite and legend – Justin Shattuck versus Target Martial Arts’ Cody Richards. The feeling out process was short, with Shattuck looking to put on a show for his home crowd. But Cody was well-prepared for this fight, and used finesse over raw aggression. Despite an awesome performance by Shattuck, Cody’s technical approach paid dividends midway through the second round as he got position and slid in a rear naked choke for the win and the HTTD Middleweight gold.
With yet another successful event in the books, it would seem that promoter Dru Gardner may be switching focus to promoting professional MMA in the near future, so this may be the last amateur HTTD we see, but rest assured Dru will be around working on something awesome…like the fight card that he assembled for Total Warrior Combat on April 26th at the Best Western Plus in Lansing! Stay tuned for up-to-date info on that and all of Dru’s other future endeavors. ‘Til then, here are your results…
Promotion Name: Total Warrior Combat
Event Name: Vital Force
Date: March 8th, 2014
Location: Best Western Plus Hotel – Lansing
Promoters: Adam Molnar & Petey Keung
Event Coordinator: Sheena “Starr” Brandenburg
Referee: FightMichigan’s T.J. Corwin
Judges: Ed Pigeon, Joe Heikkila and […]
Promotion Name: Triple X Cagefighting
Event Name: Legends III
Promoters: Joe & Stephanie Battaglia
Date: Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
Location: Macomb Music Theater – Mt. Clemens
Referees: Doug Gallegos and Mike Miletti
Judges: Nick Frania, Ed Pigeon and Rose Gross
Timekeepers: Steve Daher and href=”https://www.facebook.com/FightMichiganTJ” target=”_blank”>FightMichigan’s T.J. Corwin
Matchmaker: Glen Quinn
Cut Man: Brandon Gallo
Announcer: Kara “KO” Ro
Color Commentary: Steve Lafrate and Kara “KO” Ro
Still Photography: Chris Rabior and ACSLive.tv’s Jason “Muggzie” Mugg
Video: Cage Fighting Live
Honorable Mention: Joe & Stephanie Battaglia for a great event and the hospitality, Jason “Muggzie” Mugg and our affiliates over at ACSLive.tv, Frank Patino and the Patino Diet, Anthony Lebron and Defyant Industries, Cave Radio Broadcasting, our buddy Harley “Swede” Wallen – he didn’t get a chance to rock the video he was in recently, but we found it, and the link to it is right here. Check it out…cool video and some familiar MMA faces.
WOW – It is the easiest one-word description of the high-quality professional MMA action that took place at the Macomb Music Theater on the night of February 22nd, 2014. The venue was absolutely SOLD OUT – there were fans filling the tables, seats, balcony seats, swinging from the rafters – you name it – that came out to see this great night of fights. An all-star cast and crew made the event’s production smooth and seamless. Triple X Cagefighting definitively let the fans know why they are truly amongst Michigan’s elite promotions. There were a TON of highlights throughout the night…right now, we are going to go over just a few, but you can recap the event in it’s entirety courtesy of our friends over at Cage Fighting Live at their official site.
When two of Michigan’s most skilled featherweight warriors stepped in to do battle, the fans got to witness an a rapid-fire MMA clinic. Triumph MMA’s Rich “Roughneck” Stafford took on MASH Gym’s Tommy Bagnasco in a battle that saw frenetic action on the feet and on the mat. A perfect matchup on paper – and it was an excellent display of heart and fortitude. Every great fight has to come to an end, and this one came to an end midway through the second round when Bagnasco cinched a TIGHT rear naked choke for the submission victory.
In the fight immediately following, the always formidable Ryan “The Psycho” Brettingham squared off against the up-and-coming phenom, Eric “The Ram” Ramirez. Both of these warriors earned a solid reputation when they were in the amateur ranks, so familiar fans knew the explosive potential that this fight had. It did not take long for something to happen…Ramirez closed the deal on his professional debut in under thirty seconds with a TIGHT and inescapable armbar.
Heavyweight fans were treated to an exciting war when Extreme MMA’s local badboy Ray Lopez took on a TOUGH opponent, Terry “Tough and Handsome” Davinney . One things was clear about Davinney – he was there for war. But it appeared he would’ve preferred more of a ground battle. Davinney made several great attempts to get the fight grounded and employ his strength early, but Ray had him well scouted and knew he was a phenomenal wrestler and for the most part, Lopez was able to control the action using his experienced hands. After Ray landed a staggering overhand right, Davinney was never able to fully regain composure. Lopez went on to end the battle shortly thereafter with a rear naked choke.
The tenth fight of the night was an absolutely spectacular barn burner in the featherweight division that left fans amazed. Justin “The Hawk” Steave came all the way from Weirton, West Virginia to face the always explosive Ruben “The Romanian Wrecking Ball” Baraiac . This fight was three rounds of solid pressure that largely saw Ruben in dominant position either dealing out punishment or looking for a sub. Justin managed to escape many bad spots and pulled off some nice sweeps, but cardio monster Baraiac’s relentless onslaught was overwhelming. The bout hit the end of the regulation time, and the judges awarded a hard-earned unanimous decision to the Romanian Wrecking Ball. Mark our words…Ruben Baraiac is one of Michigan’s pros to watch in the future.
The evening’s Co-main event was a fight where fans could not afford to blink. Two elite Bantamweights met in the TXC cage to see who wanted it more – Tony “The Tiger” Zelinski and Michigan Top Team’s Mike “The Hurricane” Hernandez. We here at FightMichigan have seen Tony Zelinski do battle many times – both as an amateur and as a pro – and he is a superbly trained martial artist. But there is a reason Mike Hernandez’ nickname is “The Hurricane” – and anyone who watched this fight needn’t ask why. The fight was mostly a standup clinic, with both men being respectful of one another. Hernandez delivered many textbook punches and kicks, employing great footwork and head movement, sometimes seemingly scoring at will – not an easy feat against “The Tiger”. The fight reached a BRUTAL end nearing the three-and-a-half minute mark in the second round when Mike Hernandez landed some CRUSHING punches on the ground from above that sent Zelinski into unconsciousness and Hernandez into the spotlight.
In the Main Event, Two of Michigan’s toughest Featherweights, representing two of Michigan’s most respected teams, met in the center of the cage to see who would walk away wearing the TXC 145 pound gold. Murcielago MMA’s Jeremy “The Czar” Czarnecki pitted his skills against long-time Daron Cruickshank protege and Michigan Top Team badboy Cody “Mr. Wonderful” Stamann. Both of these fighters were hungry to add another win to their respective collection, and both fighters have reached a career point where every win is a step closer to the top. This was a VERY well matched fight. So much so, that after five grueling, tit-for-tat rounds, the judges had to be the ones to determine the outcome. After all was said and done, they collectively agreed that Cody “Mr. Wonderful” Stamann had the better showing, making him the NEW champion.
Triple X Cagefighting knocked this event outta the park, and there are many more great things on the horizon. Check our event page regularly for future TXC events, as well as all other MMA related events. We will see you at a show soon!
Promotion Name: Total Warrior Combat
Event Name: TWC 21: Black Magic
Promoters: Adam Molnar and Petey Keung
Date: January 11th, 2014
Location: Best Western Plus Hotel – Lansing
Referee: FightMichigan’s T.J. Corwin
Judges: Ed Pigeon, Joe Heikkila, Kevin “The […]
We admit, things have been slow here at FightMichigan for several months now, but we have not been completely dormant. We have been beta testing some new AWESOME site features, a new look and […]