Total Warrior Combat 9 – Bragging Fights II – Results from March 3rd, 2012

Total Warrior Combat further solidified their rise to the top of the Michigan MMA scene with yet ANOTHER absolutely unforgettable event, Bragging Fights II. They opened up the entire ballroom at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Lansing for this one, to accommodate the hordes of screaming fans that came out to witness the best and the baddest action around. We have to say this, folks. This event was only Total Warrior Combat’s NINTH event, but already they have established themselves amongst the crème de la crème of Michigan’s top promotions. Whether you ask the fighters, the trainers or the fans, they will gladly tell you that the ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE action and quality the TWC provides is worth every last penny, every single time. With a rock solid lineup of the areas best and most well-respected gyms and trainers like Leroy Ortega and Soldados Boxing and MMA, Pound 4 Pound MMA, Murcielago MMA, The Factory, The Pit, Steve Gossett and MadMen MMA, Tate’s House of Pain, Team Impact, Target Martial Arts, The Torture Squad, Smokin’ Aces MMA, Strike Fitness and Indiana Boyz and Dusek Gym. Once Skipnosis let the hyped crowd know it was time for the action to get underway, the already electric atmosphere got even more intense, and stayed that way the entire night.

Early on in the SMOKIN’ undercard, there was a Featherweight WAR between Ionia’s Kendall Cahoon and Team Impact’s Michael Roy. Despite both young warriors having low records, this fight had the quality of a title fight! From the very start, it was a fast-paced, back-and-forth battle that kept the crowd SCREAMING through the ENTIRE regulation time limit. After three thoroughly impressive rounds, the judges deemed that the more dominant effort in this contest was put forth by a victorious Kendall Cahoon. Hats off to Michael Roy as well, for a valiant and entertaining fight! The sixth fight of the night pitted Target Martial Arts’ Brandon Ramos against Strike Fitness’s R.J. Bailey. Round one was an entertaining battle, featuring some great boxing exchanges, some great takedowns, and some nice ground and pound. Round two started right away with another great boxing exchange, followed by another great takedown by Bailey. While Bailey started trying to rain down punishment from within Ramos’ guard, Brandon was able to work in a TIGHT triangle choke for the tap and the victory at only about three-quarters of a minute in the second and final round. The seventh fight on the night was an absolutely magnificent Lightweight matchup as The Pit’s UNDEFEATED Justin Thiel took on Soldados Boxing and MMA’s Dana Ray. This was absolutely as great of a matchup as a fan could ask for. Very entertaining boxing tradeoffs, exciting clinch work, some EXPLOSIVE takedowns, some killer defense off the back, ground and pound, a series of transitions…this fight had it all. THREE full rounds of it, as a matter of fact! After an absolutely unbelievable display of skill and heart by BOTH fighters for the entire battle, the judges awarded the unanimous decision to a fatigued but elated Dana Ray. But Justin’s efforts did NOT go unnoticed or unrewarded, as this EPIC war earned both warriors “Fight of the Night” honors! The eleventh conflict on the card was a Welterweight contest between two always rapid-fire phenoms – Target Martial Arts’ UNDEFEATED Jason Anderson and The Torture Squad’s Nate Wac. The first round started with an early striking exchange, a quick clinch, and the fight ended up on the canvas. Anderson found himself in Nate’s guard, and started dropping some leather while Nate tried to block the onslaught and work toward a better position. Round two started with another quick and exciting boxing exchange, then Anderson was able to hit another takedown, ending up in Nate’s closed guard. As Anderson started looking for openings to dish out more punishment on the ground, Nate EXPLODED his hips up and nabbed a TIGHT triangle choke, then hooking the leg for good measure to prevent an escape, finishing the fight with a tap out victory at just past a minute in the second round. NOW, it was time for some GOLD to be contested, starting with the TWC Junior Lightweight title. Current champion Kory Wertz put his strap on the line against a VERY experienced Redd “Wishahonkeywood” Williams, representing Indiana Boyz and Dusek Gym. The second that the two gentleman touched gloves, it immediately became apparent that both fighters wanted the title BADLY. A couple of hards swings by Kory at the start, and Redd shot for the takedown, ending up clinching briefly with Wertz. Wertz kept creating space and letting the hands go. Redd tried several more times for the shot, but caught some solid shots for his efforts. The cumulative effect of those shots caused Williams to hit the canvas hard, forcing the ref to stop the action at just past the half minute mark in the first, and final round, causing Kory Wertz to retain his 150 pound strap for yet another future defense. The MAIN EVENT of the evening featured TWO of the most elite, experienced and dominant Lightweights in the State, facing each other in one of the most highly anticipated and speculated on matchups in recent history. Both warriors have dispatched an ELITE list of some of the best there is, and it was inevitable that they would one day collide in the cage. When they finally did, it was for possession of the TWC 155 pound strap, which was held by Murcielago MMA’s Marky “Cash” Christiansen. Looking to strip Marky of that belt in a very physical manner was Pound 4 Pound MMA’s legendary Lightweight bad boy, Zack Shaw. This fight had experience written all over it, as both fighters were so well matched, they were able to counter each others strategies nicely. All three rounds started with a bit of great striking, a bit of clinch work and a takedown. Throughout rounds one and two, Zack fought mostly within Marky’s always-dangerous guard, working a constant combination of effective body and head shots, while Marky blocked as best as possible and looked for subs and ways to sweep, while delivering some palm strikes of his own from the bottom. Round three started off exactly the same way as the previous two. With Shaw in top position once again dropping bombs, Marky tried to throw up a quick triangle choke and was stuffed on the first attempt, but managed to regain his hip position and nab a far superior triangle, this time pulling the arm across the body and pulling down hard on Zack’s head for the spectacular tap out victory in just barely over a minute and a half in the third round over an absolutely top-notch opponent, ONCE AGAIN successfully defending his Total Warrior Combat Lighweight title. Special thanks to Marky, Zack and ALL of the other fighters and trainers that represent TWC…YOU are the ones that make it EASILY one of the top of the MMA promotion food chain.

Now it’s time once again to pay honor to the dream team that comprises TWC’s staff…the guys and gals that collaborate and coordinate with one another, making TWC’s production a well oiled machine. Every company is built from the foundation up, and in record time, using the combined business prowess and learning from every experience they’ve encountered thus far, TWC’s promoters, Petey and Adam have already established a promotion whose foundation will most certainly endure the test of time. Total Warrior Combat’s long-time head referee in charge of the entire evening’s action inside the cage was FightMichigan’s very own experienced MMA official, T.J. Corwin. Judging the event was an experienced trio comprised of Mr. Dru Gardner, Mr. Joe Heikkila and former TWC Bantamweight champion Dan “The American Badass” Dunbar. Timekeeper for the event was none other than FightMichigan’s lovely miss Shannon Hale. The microphone master appointed to deliver the goods to the anxiously awaiting fans was our buddy and all-purpose pimp, Michael “Skipnosis” Gorham. Backing up Skippy with some street shaking beats was TWC’s DJ extraordinaire, Bobby “DJ BabyDaddy” Cantwell, keepin’ the turntables a-twirlin’ all night long. Heading up the Security Staff and helping gentleman Josh Stuer run the back fighters room was Mr. Tony Sterk. The man who has been doing an absolutely OUTSTANDING job of promoting Total Warrior Combat through every available medium is TWC’s SUPERB Director of Sales and Marketing, Mr. Bear Fitz. Helping with the cage door, Vaseline duty and cage cleanup were the EXTREMELY helpful trio of Dillon Deal, Jake Prosser and Max Little. Capturing all the rolling video footage of this unbelievable event was Mr. Anthony Wolf. His EXCELLENT event footage can be viewed on TWC’s website >>>here<

Vengeance Fight League 6 – Results from February 11th, 2012

Vengeance Fight League, in association with Ground and Pound Promotions, returned to the spacious and familiar Intersection in Grand Rapids, Michigan with another INSANELY GOOD night of mixed martial arts action. And once again, in TRUE Vengeance fashion, the event was COMPLETELY SOLD OUT. The house was PACKED, door to door, wall to wall with some of the most excited and the LOUDEST fans around. And they were hyped for a good reason…you could simply look at the list of well-known and experienced warriors on the card and without looking any further, you KNEW there was NO DOUBT that you were in for a real treat. And the list of gyms and trainers involved with the event only affirmed that fact EVEN MORE, with such powerhouses as Murcielago MMA, Grand Rapids Mixed Martial Arts, Lightning Kicks, The Lab, American Muscle MMA, Grand Rapids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Triumph MMA, The System, Unleashed MMA, Scarred MMA, Corruption MMA, Xtreme MMA, Coon MMA, Vengeance MMA, and Vincent’s MMA. After a wonderful rendition of our National Anthem by the lovely and multi-talented Jamie Lange, the familiar ring of OFFICIAL Vengeance announcer Phil “The Voice” Davey’s patented “Are you ready for a BEATDOWN?” let the excited fans know that the action was about to begin!

This event kicked off in the best way possible…with a crowd-pumping, brutal one-shot KNOCKOUT! An undefeated Thomas DeLeon stepped inside the cage to take on Scarred MMA’s Jorge Arcos. The two came out, touched gloves, stepped back, engaged, and BANG. Argos threw a single point-on shot to the button for the highlight reel KO victory. Whatta way to get the crowd screaming right from the start! Fight number seven was a lightning paced battle between two undefeated Featherweights – Murcielago MMA’s Tobin Klusty and Corruption MMA’s Brandon Murray. These two wasted no time at all in getting to work – it was a barn burner of a first round! They locked up in the clinch right away, and it was a clinic of pummeling and takedown defense by both fighters. Klusty ended up getting the fight down to the ground, where he controlled position and dealt some ground and pound for the remainder of the first round, while Murray fought back HARD. Round two started off quickly as well, with Tobin hitting another takedown early on. He was able to secure top position after a series of transitions, and opened up with some more punishing ground and pound for the finish and the win. Well folks…here’s the part where I have to stop and say this – there were so many great and notable fights on the card that in order to get this article published for you, the MMA community, we had to skip over a few that are really worthy of recognition. I’ll definitely suggest that if you weren’t fortunate enough to have gotten your tix before the show sold out and you weren’t able to be there in person, or even if you WERE there, you should take time to watch ALL the footage from the event for yourself! The tenth fight of this spectacular event was a grinding WAR in the ladies’ 125 pound division between two SUPERBLY trained young women, The Lab’s Sanya Cordray and Murcielago MMA’s Carly Mocny. Right from the opening of the fight, these ladies were eager to mix it up, with some excellent striking exchanges, some really great clinch work and knees, and a TON of ground work, including multiple submission attempts and escapes. Round two was every bit as amazing – a veritable clinic from A to Z. The third round did not disappoint either, with Carly doing a great job of staying out of Sanya’s sub attempts and dealing out some sweet ground and pound. After three rounds of the best ladie’s action we’ve seen since Carly’s last fight, the judges scored the razor-close SPLIT decision victory for an exhausted and elated Sanya Cordray. And while this was Sanya’s night to shine in the spotlight, we must say something about Carly and the Women’s MMA division. We at FightMichigan witnessed Carly’s debut fight at Total Warrior Combat against The Factory’s Nekhai Hong in January. As ANYONE who saw that fight will quickly tell you, it was not only the best female debut bout in recent history, but that fight also ended in a VERY close decision. When you are gaining that type of experience and can entertain the fans like that in only TWO outings, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many, many more times – there TRULY can be no loser! And mark my words, the female division is quickly getting saturated with some phenomenal talent, and ALL THREE of these young ladies mentioned above will be a factor in the not-too-distant future! The eleventh fight of the night was a short-but-AWESOME standup battle between two experienced cage veterans as Triumph MMA’s UNDEFEATED Kevin Lee took on Coon MMA’s also UNDEFEATED Jacob Butler. And we say UNDEFEATED in all Caps, because these are no small records, 8-0 and 11-0, especially when you factor in the top-notch names that comprise each man’s respective hit list! You KNOW something spectacular is going to happen. And it most certainly did, in short order. The two combatants took to the center, and some very calculated striking began. Kevin Lee grabbed his almost trademark clinch and let go with a series of nice knees, while Butler fought back gallantly. At just under ONE MINUTE in the first and final round, Kevin landed a PERFECTLY placed shot that sent Butler down, and pounced in IMMEDIATELY for a BRUTAL highlight reel ground and pound knockout over a seasoned opponent to add to his highlight reel career! Mark our words once again, folks, this young man is going to the top! Moving back to some more excellent action in the ladie’s division, it was ANOTHER great matchup, as Vengeance MMA’s Randi Riva stepped up to face Coon MMA’s Ariel Burlington. Round one was a LOT of back and forth striking on the feet, with both ladies landing some good headshots. Despite giving up a LOT of reach, Riva was able to get inside and land a couple of HARD punches that snapped Ariel’s head back. Round two saw some more great standup from both ladies as well as some ground work, with both combatants scoring some damage throughout the regulation time limit. Round three started off with another heated exchange in the standup, and after closing the distance, Ariel landed a takedown. After securing a dominant position, Ariel unleashed some devastating ground and pound, forcing a stop to the contest at just past the halfway mark of the third and final round. Next up was a CRAZY heated matchup between two Lightweight fighters with some CRAZY experience…Murcielago MMA’s Marky “Cash” Christiansen and American Muscle MMA’s Kamron “Young Gun” Snyder. The staredown as these two got ready to do battle was NASTY. A lot of hype and bad blood seemed to precipitate this one, but as true sportsmen do, the two touched gloves at the start of the fight as a display of mutual respect. But with the formalities now out of the way, the war was ON. Clinching, knees and boxing, a takedown…all in RAPID succession. With action coming at that pace from warriors that skilled, something was bound to happen fast. The end of the contest was declared in LESS THAN A MINUTE in the first round via TKO due to a merciless onslaught of strikes on the ground, as delivered by the hands and knees of Marky “Cash” Christiansen. Next on the lineup was the battle for the Vengeance Light Heavyweight gold…a clash between The System’s Mike Smiley and Corruption MMA’s “Lethal” Eric Leiter. This fight did not stay on the feet long. There was an interesting series of transitions and submission attempts, with both warriors looking to stay clear of danger and finish with a sub of their own. At just past the two minute mark in the first round, Leiter was able to capitalize on his position and ended the fight with a NICE inverted triangle, getting the tap out victory and the 205 pound title. Now it was time for the Bantamweight gold to be on the line, as The System’s reigning champion Steve Johnson defended the belt against American Muscle MMA’s Joel “The Phenom” Vincent. All three of the opening rounds were a careful battle on the feet, with Vincent landing the more effective strikes. Rounds four and five also featured some great standing exchanges, with Steve sinking a takedown in each round and dishing out some damage from the mat. After five GRUELING rounds, the judges awarded a SPLIT decision, in favor of the NEW Vengeance 135 pound champion, Joel “The Phenom” Vincent. The sixteenth war of the card was ANOTHER exciting battle in the ladie’s division featuring Lightning Kicks and GRBJJ’s Jen “Tink” Aniano versus Scarred MMA’s Chrissie “The Demon” Daniels. Daniels had a sizeable reach advantage, which she was able to use well. Chrissie came out in full-on attack mode, leaving Jen to block the onslaught and try to fire back whenever possible. Chrissie’s attack was unrelenting, and at just past the halfway mark of round one, she unloaded a barrage of well placed shots for an impressive KO victory. Now we can see why she has earned the cage name “The Demon”! The next bout of the night was a contest between two of the top contenders in Veangeance’s Featherweight division, GRMMA’s Mike “The Shocker” Hamida and Frank Sade. This fight appeared to be a classic wrestler versus jiu jitsu match. The two clinched up right away. After a brief exchange, Frank was able to land a HARD takedown. Hamida appeared calm and comfortable on the ground, though, and immediately went to work to lock on a crushing triangle choke, which netted him yet another impressive submission victory. The Co-Main event was a fast-paced match in the Flyweight division, where the belt was on the line as Scarred MMA’s always-impressive and undefeated Mike Gantner took on American Muscle MMA’s very experienced Kirkk Moore. After a brief standup tussle, the fight ended up on the canvas. Gantner was able to control position and drop some heavy leather all throughout the first round, while Moore did his best to escape the position and battle back. Round two started the exact same way, with Gantner able to secure top position and unload, forcing the referee to call a halt to the action at under a minute in the second round, making Gantner 11-0 AND the NEW Vengeance Bantamweight champion! The MAIN EVENT of this exceptional night of action was EPIC WAR for the Vengeance Welterweight title (vacated by Murcielago MMA’s Dequan “The Tarantula” Townsend, who is making his PRO debut at the Palace this weekend…congrats!) pitting GRMMA’s Antwain “A-Train” Wilson against The System’s Drew Hellner. Well, folks, if you weren’t there for this one in person you may have missed out, because we don’t know if the video can even show what a great fight this truly was. After all FIVE brutal, EXPLOSIVE rounds were in the books, the judges were left with a decision. And in the end, all three judges concluded that Drew Hellner would emerge the victor and NEW Vengeance 170 pound champion. Hats off to Antwain for a GREAT and memorable fight, and a MASSIVE SHOUT goes out, AS ALWAYS, to the fighters. Without ALL of your sweat, blood and sacrifice, there would be no show for us to write about! Here’s to YOU.

Now it’s time to show love to all of the absolutely FIRST-CLASS event staff that made this great event possible…starting from the top. Promoter Dan Waterman has had nothing but success since his arrival on the promoting scene barely over a year ago, already setting a high production benchmark for others to try and reach, and providing fans with TRULY some of the best action around…a fact to which both fighters and fans will attest. During that action this time around, the keepers of the rules (A.K.A. referees) for the event were Michigan pro fighter and trainer Daron Cruickshank (whom we had just seen the night before on the other side off the State…busy man!) along with one of his star pupils, fellow phenom and pro fighter, Cody “Mr. Wonderful” Stamann (whom we had also seen just the night previous). Judges for the event were Ed Pigeon, Wade Poland and FightMichigan’s own T.J. Corwin. The deliverer of stats, info and crowd pumpery was none other than the microphone master, the “Voice” of Michigan MMA, Phil “The Voice” Davey. Backing him up with the bumps and the beats was the dynamic deejay Bobby “DJ BabyDaddy” Cantwell, joined by his lovely BabyMama, Heather Cantwell. The matchmaker who PUT IT DOWN with another SWEET fight card was FightMichigan’s good friend Mickey Millis. Helping coordinate things in the back room was Mickey’s lovely wife and assistant, Stacey Millis, alongside two more of our good friends, Jake Erickson and Amy Cottrell. GPP’s big cheese, Paul Simpson, was unable to make it in person, but we can’t leave him out…we miss that guy. Hi, Paul! We noticed that the man working the red corner cage door was none other than GPP’s Head of Security, Samson Marlatt. We also noticed, at this event and many others, the ever-growing presence of Loved By A Pitbull, along with their killer product lineup and REALLY COOL people, such as Dru Gardner, Amy “Red Hot” Rusnell and Tayvon “Lil’ Soldier” Gardner. Well everyone, if you haven’t heard it yet from your local MMA fan/fighter, we can honestly tell you that the Vengeance Fight League is the home of some of the best mixed martial arts action around. But PLEASE, don’t just take our word for it, see for yourself the next time they are in town! And when the date is delivered, we’ll relay it to you, our loyal reader. Take care…and until the next time, here are your results…
[…]

Total Warrior Combat – TWC 8 – New World Order – Results from January 21st, 2012

Total Warrior Combat held it’s BIGGEST and BADDEST event to date (which is an ASTRONOMICAL achievement, considering some of their previous fight cards) at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Lansing (formerly the Causeway Bay Hotel and Resort). One look at the card, and there was NO DOUBT that fans were going to be in for one of the most memorable events in recent history. And they were not disappointed! From the very first fight (which ended in a spectacular knockout), to the Ray Reynero/Dan Dunbar Co-Main event and the Adam Nixon/Kory Wertz Main event, the entire event was a barn-burner. The great teams and trainers that came out to rep their gyms and their fighters were a veritable A-list of the very best in the area…Grand Rapids Mixed Martial Arts, Team Striking Dragons, Murcielago MMA, Soldado’s Boxing and MMA, Pound 4 Pound MMA, Master Bill’s Karate, The Pit, Lansing Jiu Jitsu, The Factory, Old School Fitness, Parker’s Martial Arts and Freedom MMA, as well as a who’s who of individual coaches and trainers. From the National Anthem to the afterparty, TWC delivered intensity and excitement from A to Z. As we were looking down the fight card, we noticed something AMAZING. Beside EVERY fighters name on the card, there was a gym or trainer listed. No one-fight Facebook warriors, only TRAINED martial artists. This is quite possibly the only time we’ve seen this at an amateur event to date…a testament to TWC’s credibility.

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, the event turned ELECTRIC right from the get-go when Sammy Watchmaker entered the cage to square off against the VERY experienced Cliffy Creech. Like true warriors, the two engaged right away. In only a few short seconds, Sam landed a shot that rattled Creech. As the fight went to the canvas, Sam knew he was in a position to end the fight, and with Cliff caught against the cage, a few more DEVASTATING and well-placed fists brought an end to the contest, leaving Sammy’s always-game opponent temporarily in Dreamland. By the way…all of this occurred in less than THIRTY SECONDS. Is there any better way to start an event?! After a spectacular undercard that featured some of the area’s best up and comers, we move on to the next bracket. The eighth fight of the evening was a Welterweight WAR between One of Matt Torres’ proteges, Bobby Nash and the ALWAYS tough, ALWAYS game George “Superman” Allen. Nash was aggressive in this fight…but you could tell that there was a mutual respect between the two fighters. Nash controlled dominant position for a majority of the first round and dealt out some ground and pound, while George flaunted his experience with some pretty nice ground defense. As the second round began, the fight hit the canvas QUICK. There was a scramble for position that left Nash on top in side control. He shot the arm under George’s neck and rolled his shoulder forward, executing a PERFECT shoulder choke. Unable to alleviate the tremendous pressure, George was forced to concede the contest via tap, granting Nash a VERY impressive win over the uber-experienced Allen at exactly the thirty second mark in the second round. The very next fight on the card was an absolutely UNBELIEVABLE matchup between The Pit’s Josh “The Blood Shark” Fish and Team Striking Dragons’ Cameron Brewer. After a brief moment of feeling out on the feet, this fight went ELECTRIC, and so did the crowd. The pace was just plain GRUELING for the whole first round. In round two, both warriors came out with renewed fervor. Fish got the better of an early exchange, and the fight ended up on the ground. There was a battle for position, and Josh weathered the storm and took Cameron’s back. Fish managed to work the hand under the neck with the hooks in deep, and then cinched a really tight rear naked choke for the finish and the win. Fight number twelve on the card was one of the MOST IMPRESSIVE ladie’s debut fight that we have ever seen! Murcielago MMA’s Carly Mocny entered the cage for the very first time to face off against The Factory’s Nekhai Hong. Now, before we go any further, let me say this – when you have Murcielago in one corner, and Jen Kelly and Elsa Gallegos in the other, you are absolutely, 100% GUARANTEED to be in for a treat! These two ladies DID NOT DISAPPOINT! They both showed heart, skill and experience WELL beyond what their record would reflect. The majority of the entire fight stayed on the feet, with some BEAUTIFUL striking exchanges, footwork and clinch work. After three SOLID, NON-STOP rounds, the judges concurred that Nekhai had gotten the better of the amazing exchanges, and awarded her her very first of what will surely be MANY more victories in her career via unanimous decision. Mark my words…BOTH of these young ladies will be ones to watch! Next up, it was a HIGHLY anticipated battle between Murcielago MMA’s Kevin “The Silent Assassin” Shacks and Pound 4 Pound MMA’s Mike Thompson. Intense is really the only way to describe this fight…aside from EXTREMELY well matched. These two chose to stand and bang it out for ALL THREE ROUNDS, keeping the fans screaming the whole time. After what was a veritable standup CLINIC for all three rounds, the judges were assigned the unenviable task of deciding who would get the glory this night. As they reached their decision, they handed over a RAZOR-CLOSE decision (and we say razor-close because it came right down to splitting hairs) in the favor of Mike Thompson. As with any split decision, but ESPECIALLY with this one, it has REMATCH written all over it! Up next, it was time for the Renegade Welterweight title to be put on the line in a rematch that had been MONTHS in the making – Murcielago MMA’s Skeeter Kittle versus Striking Dragon’s shooting star, Denato Richardson. Round one was much like their first encounter, exciting and fast-paced. Both warriors put it down in the first round, trying to one-up each other on the feet, as well as on the ground. Round two started in similar fashion, with the pace going full tilt right out of the gate. The back and forth exchange continued deep into the second round, and around the two minute mark, Skeeter got into full mount and let the fists fly, bringing a stop to the contest via (a somewhat controversial) TKO. Then, it was on to the TWC Interim Lightweight championship, featuring Lansing’s local legend, Pound 4 Pound MMA’s Zack Shaw taking one of Bob Fish’s disciples, Joe Rogers. Zack came right out and did a smart thing…he used his experience and pushed the pace so quickly, he did not afford Rogers the luxury of being able to fight HIS fight. The strategy paid off, and in rapid fashion, when Zack got the back and whipped out a textbook rear naked choke for the win and the title. Then, it was time for the BIG boys to wage war for the Heavyweight gold, when Lansing Jiu Jitsu’s Joe Clementz took on Grand Rapids Mixed Martial Arts’ “Big” John Lofquist. Now, we all know that when two heavyweights of this caliber are throwing hands, WHEN one of those shots find it’s mark, the results are DEVASTATING. And that is precisely what happened. Both fighters came out with the intention of emerging the victor, and let the leather go early. Joe’s fist found the mark first, dazing Lofquist, and after a quick follow-up, Joe was able to end the night early with a spectacular KO. Clementz was proud to FINALLY be wearing the TWC gold, so much so that it was rumored that he slept in his hotel room with it! Congrats, big guy. The next fight was one for the “WOW” category, as The Pit’s seasoned veteran, Luke “The Assassin” Hnevsa, took the center cage against Murcielago’s undefeated Mario “Wario” James. This is a fight that you could really only fully appreciate it’s magnitude by having been there in person. What a barn-burner! Luke wanted the gold BAD, and you could see it etched on his face. Mario, on the other hand, was not willing to just let him take it, so the frenetic battle ensued. Luke came out to FINISH. The relentless assault began immediately, and early on Mario found himself in some serious danger. At one point, Mario actually rode the momentum of Luke’s VICIOUS flurry of uppercuts back up the cage from the ground! SOMEHOW, Mario endeavored to weather the storm and dish out some gnarly strikes of his own. The onslaught continued at a break-neck pace until nearly the end of the second round, when all of the body shots and kicks were really starting to take their toll, making it impossible to breathe, forcing him to concede the match, leaving a tired, yet satisfied Mario James holding the title strap. Next on the card was the 135 pound title fight, featuring the highly anticipated cage return of GRMMA’s Dan “The American Badass” Dunbar, as he squared off against Soldado’s Boxing and MMA’s Bantamweight badboy, Ray Reynero. While many were expecting to see a lot of boxing in this fight, it ultimately became more of a grappling match. For the ENTIRE first two rounds, both warriors pushed the pace without cease. Round three maintained the same intensity. It was a virtual Grappling 101, with a non-stop chain of submission attempts, sweeps, escapes reversals…you name it, they did it. Nearing the two minute mark in the third round, a well timed reversal found Dan in a compromising position. Ray maintained position, a started delivering blows to the head. Dan fought valiantly to escape the position, but to no avail. The cumulative effect of Ray’s fist were too much, and the referee was forced to stop the fight, crowning Ray Reynero as the NEW TWC Bantamweight champion. The final fight of this CRAZY card was a battle for the TWC Junior Lightweight title pitting Team Striking Dragon’s Adam “The Atomic Zombie” Nixon and Pound 4 Pound MMA’s rising star Kory Wertz. As the battle began, these two wasted no time getting right in the pocket and banging it out. Adam fought like a soldier, but this night would see Wertz emerge the victor, when he landed a series of well placed and timed hands that brought about an early FLASH KO…at just barely past the thirty second mark of the fight! Kory seemed VERY happy about his new hardware, as did his team and his fans, evidenced by their ear-shattering roar of approval! As with EVERY event, FightMichigan honors and recognizes EACH and EVERY fighter and trainer that came out to represent and make this show that will carry an afterglow for a VERY long time!

Now it’s time to shout out the TWC dream team that made this event run silky smooth from top to bottom, starting with the promoters. In only eight shows, Adam Molnar and Petey have made LANDMARK improvements with each event, very quickly scaling the promotional food chain and fixing the TWC name on the lips of fans across the State. The staff they have elected over the course of their tenure in the sport has changed minimally, also providing the consistency that the fans have come to expect. One staff member that has been there since the very beginning is TWC’s head ref and referee for the ENTIRE event, FightMichigan’s T.J. Corwin. The panel of judges were comprised of the experienced trio of Ed Pigeon, Dru Gardner and Mickey Millis, with Scorpion Fighting Systems’ LEGENDARY BJJ master James David Gray and Miss Shannon Hale from FightMichigan (who was also armed with the trusty stopwatch for the event) stepping in to judge a couple of fights. Handling Vaseline duty at the cage door and occasionally stepping in as a ring GUY was Marky “Cash” Christiansen. The man on the mic for the event was the crowd-pumping up-and-coming MC extraordinarre, Michael “Skipnosis” Gorham. Backing him up on the DJ stand with the street-shaking beats was the one and only Bobby “DJ BabyDaddy” Cantwell. The Director of Sales and Marketing for TWC is the one-man street team, Bear K. Fitz. Heading up TWC’s team of hotties (ring girls) was the always eye pleasing Michaela Prevost. Handling still photography AND video for the event was Fierce Photography’s Noah Paris. The pics look AWESOME…check out the gallery HERE. Assisting Mr. Corwin with the cage door and keeping the competition area clean were the extremely helpful trio of Jake Prosser, Max Little and Dillon Deal. Last, but MOST DEFINITELY not least, were the guys who MASTERFULLY handled ALL of the coordination in the locker room (a challenging and unenviable task, for those familiar with the promotion game), Mr. Tony Sterk and his assistant, Josh Stuer. We also noticed there were a LOT of people sporting Loved By A Pit gear…if you haven’t got one of these SWEET shirts that support an awesome cause, GET ONE. We did! Well, folks, it’s safe to say that Total Warrior Combat is not only here to stay, but with future plans that include MANY yet-to-be publically announced events and other HUGE, HUGE things on the horizon (that we can’t WAIT for the green light to reveal), TWC has already, and will continue to be, one of the front-runners in the sport. As Petey and Adam release all of this great info to us for public dispersal, we’ll IMMEDIATELY release it to YOU, our loyal readers. Until the next great event, here are your results…
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Loved by A Pitbull and The Ellison Foundation present – The Hometown Throwdown – Results from January 14th, 2012

The Ionia Armory was COMPLETELY SOLD OUT Saturday night, packed in elbow to elbow, wall to wall with fans who came out to support their favorite local fighter as well as TWO truly great causes, Loved By A Pitbull and The Ellison Foundation. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these noble organizations, we’ll give you a quick overview. Loved By A Pitbull raises public awareness about this gentle and often misunderstood breed of dog, as well as find loving homes for them and rally against breed-specific legislation. We here at FightMichigan (Shannon and T.J.) are proud owners of two hyper-affectionate and exceptionally well-mannered Pitbull mixes, so L.B.A.P. is a cause we truly stand behind. The Ellison Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial support for underprivileged fighters by providing gym memberships, equipment and more, so that some of these young athletes can train PROPERLY and have a positive outlet. A lot of great teams also came out to be a part of the event, including Michigan Extreme Combat Sports, Tate’s House of Pain, 416 Annihilation, Corruption MMA and True Fighter, plus a few up-and-coming indies. As final battle preparations were being made in the back, the playing of our National Anthem signified the beginning of a great night of action.

Once the action got underway, it was clear that all the warriors on the card came in with something to prove. One of the faster submissions we’ve seen in a while occurred when True Fighters’ debuting T.J. Wolosonowich stepped up to face Corruption MMA’s Brandon Murray. With no feel out process, the two engaged immediately. The fight hit the ground within seconds, with Murray securing dominant position. He then quickly shot the hand under the chin and cinched in a TIGHT rear naked choke for the tap and the win at only FIFTEEN SECONDS into the fight. The fifth fight of the night was an unbelievable display of grit, heart and determination as Kyle Miller took center stage against Tate’s House of Pain’s Gilbert Chapa. This match was as well matched as a fan could ask for. These two combatants traded back and forth, blow for blow throughout the ENTIRE first round. Round two was more of the same, with neither man willing to concede or break. But, at the conclusion of the second round, the amazing battle had taken it’s toll, leaving Miller unable to answer the bell for the third round, awarding the HARD-FOUGHT victory to the excited and exhausted Gilbert Chapa. Later on the card, it was another UNBELIEVABLE war as the brother of the previously mentioned grueling battle, Tate’s House of Pain’s Adon Chapa squared off against Michigan Extreme Combat Sports’ undefeated Mitchell “The Artist” Bartes. And just like his brother, Adon wasted NO time in getting to work. Mitchell found himself staving off a BRUTAL and non-stop volley of strikes from Chapa. Bartes managed to weather the vicious storm, and also managed to stay composed enough to work for a continuous series of potential finishes, from triangles to leglocks. Chapa managed to escape them in succession, and mete out more punishment in the meantime. In round two, the pace didn’t slow much, if at all. It was a clinic of both strikes and submission attempts for the whole round. Nearing the end of the second round, Bartes managed to secure a dominant position, and opened up with the hands. With the final seconds winding down, Bartes doubled his finishing efforts, and Chapa couldn’t get out of the compromising position quite quickly enough, and with ONE SECOND left in the round, the referee stopped the fight, awarding Bartes the TKO victory. The pace of this fight was UNREAL. Both of these guys showed great fortitude and skill, and this one has REMATCH written all over it! The final fight of the night featured Richard Dominguez facing off against Richmond Stone. The two warriors took to the center of the cage right away, and the striking began. Dominguez got the better of the standup exchange, then the fight went to the mat. Right away, Dominguez started doling out the punishment. At less than a minute into the first and final round, Stone was forced to tap, as one of Richard’s many strikes caused a fight ending injury. All in all, the event went exceptionally smooth for a first-time event. And as always, a HUGE shout goes out to all of the fighters that made this event truly special. Without you, there is NO SHOW!

Now it’s tribute time. The staff that helped make this event SUCH a success was second to none. From start to finish, everything went off without a hitch – a feat that even the most experienced promoter will be quick to tell you is NOT easy. Starting from the top, promoter Dru Gardner smacked it outta the park on the first swing. Impressive! But he didn’t do it all alone. He had his lovely assistant, Amy “Red Hot” Rusnell, as well as the support of Paul Simpson and the AWESOME Ground and Pound Promotions alumni. The enforcer of rules and keeper of safety (referee) for the entire event was FightMichigan’s T.J. Corwin. Judges for the event were two local well-known title holding ammys – “The American Badass” Dan Dunbar and Marky “Cash” Christiansen, joined by Mr. Nick Garland. The timekeeper for the evening was FightMichigan’s resident angel Shannon Hale. The medic on site was the knowledgeable and experienced Ken Merriman. Workin’ the cage door and handling Vaseline duty was Middleville MMA’s Rich Burtts. Rippin’ up the night, hypin’ the fight and treatin’ the mic right was Michael “Skipnosis” Gorham. Backing him up on the beats was mixmaster Bobby “DJ BabyDaddy” Cantwell. GPP’s Head of Security Samson Marlatt and his crew were on site to keep law and order outside the cage. Keeping the competition area clean and debris-free were Tayvon “Lil’ Soldier” Gardner and Mac Case. This event turned out so well, there are already plans for even bigger and better things coming down the line. While we haven’t officially been authorized to release the date just yet, we promise as soon as we get the green light, we’ll have all the details for ya. Until then, here are your results…
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