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…

Spyder Submissions Fight League – December to Remember – Results from December 10th, 2011

Spyder Submissions Fight League came rolling back into the Spinning Wheels Roller Rink in Mount Pleasant on December 10th with an event that made it TRULY a December to Remember. Promoter and Michigan pro fighter Brett “The Spyder” Sbardella, in association with Dan Hoogerhyde and Hitman MMA, did a GREAT job of delivering the goods once again to a PUMPED crowd. An A-list of northern Michigan’s rising stars as well as some popular guys from downstate came out to showcase their skills for the excited crowd in attendance. Before we get underway, we at FightMichigan would like to thank Mickey and Stacey Millis, who without their tireless efforts in the sport, this article would not have been possible. Hats off to them!

With eighteen killer fights on the card, fans were treated to every possible way a fight could end – TKO’s, submissions and LOTS of knockouts! Among the many great battles, there was a Welterweight war that was waged between Larry Cervantes and Brandon Woodcock throughout the entire regulation time limit. At the end of an entertaining and well-matched fight, the judges unanimously concurred that Cervantes put forth the more effective effort. The first of several BRUTAL and impressive knockouts occurred when E.J. Bashor and Matt Mills stepped into the cage to do battle. The AMAZING end came at only NINE SECONDS into the fight, when Bashor landed a shot that put his opponent straight to sleep and got the crowd on their feet! In the fight immediately following, it was another great battle that kept the judges busy, as Talmadge Barnes stepped up to face Michigan Extreme Combat Sports’ “Bionic” Brian Davis. After three rounds of great exchanges and nonstop action, the judges unanimously concluded that the Bionic one was the victor in this impressive three rounder. Next up, it was knockout-thirty once again as Travis Skinner and Mike Minski went to war. At only EIGHTEEN SECONDS in, Minski landed a THUNDEROUS head kick that brought an immediate halt to the fight and to his opponent’s consciousness! As a result, Minski earned “Fight of the Night honors! If you need to SEE why, check out the killer video. Not wanting to be outdone, in the very next fight James Smith II and Gabe Couch stepped inside to get it done. FOURTEEN SECONDS after “Vicious” Vance Swerdan started the fight, it was ended LITERALLY at the hands of Couch, pulling off yet ANOTHER fabulous knockout finish. Moving into the title brackets, the SSFL Bantamweight title fight was on the line as Michigan Extreme Combat Sports’ Justin Walls took on Jay Defoy. Nearing the end of the first round, Defoy was able to lock on a tight triangle choke. Walls couldn’t escape the technique, and with only FIVE seconds left in the round, Defoy got the tap and the title to go with it! Up next, it was a battle in the Lightweight division for the SSFL gold featuring James “Khaos” Bashor and Ed Celestino. This battle raged DEEP into the third round, when at almost two minutes in, Celestino was able to seal the deal with a sweet choke finish, emerging with the 155 pound title around his waist. Next on the night was the contest for the Light Heavyweight SSFL belt between Nate Sackett and Steve Walters. With ten seconds to go in the second round, Sackett was able to pound out the TKO victory, locking down the 205 pound title. The fight for the Featherweight title was an exciting contest between Robb Steiner and Jose Prieto. Prieto took the fight to his opponent IMMEDIATELY, and in under a minute in the very first round, he was able to finish the fight in DEVASTATING fashion to secure the win and the title. The final fight of the night was the Heavyweight title confrontation between Wes Dinan and Kyle Kinney. Early in the second round, Kinney unleashed an assault that left the ref with no choice but to stop the contest, awarding him the 205 pound SSFL strap. With another great night of action now in the books, it was time for the winners to prepare for the next challenge and the losers to get back in the gym to tighten up their game. Hats off to each and every warrior that came out to show the crowd what they came to see – the best northern Michigan talent on display! If you want to check out any – or ALL of these amazing battles, check out Michigan Extreme Combat Sport’s YouTube channel.

Now it’s shout out time – to the excellent staff that made the event special and dynamic. Maintaining safety, law and order in the cage was Michigan pro fighter and prolific referee “Vicious” Vance Swerdan. Judges for the event were Chris Cousins, Scott Ferguson and Mickey Millis. Keeping time and stats for the event was Stacy Millis. Rippin’ it up on the mic and keepin’ the crowd hyped was FightMichigan friend and King of the Cage experienced announcer Dave “The Butcher” Clifford. The great crew from Michigan Extreme Combat Sports was there shooting video for the event. Handling the color commentary on the footage were Dru Gardner and ammy bad boy Ryan Spicer. Last, but certainly not least, doing an AWESOME job of keeping the cage clean for the event was Kristoffer Hardy. The Spyder Submission Fight League delivers SOLID cage fighting action with each and every event, and there will be many great things to come from them in the future. And each and every time they announce an awesome new show, we’ll be here to deliver ya all the info. ‘Til next time, here are your results…

Total Warrior Combat – Anger Management – Results from November 12th, 2011

Total Warrior Combat returned home to where it ALL began this past Saturday night, the Causeway Bay Hotel in Lansing. The name of the event was “Anger Management”, and it was most appropriate, because there were some HEATED rivalries on this fight card! There was a top-shelf roster of amateur talent from the Lansing area, Indiana, Florida and Georgia, representing such great teams as Xtreme MMA, Murcielago MMA, American Top Team, Patino’s Martial Arts, The Torture Squad, Madmen MMA, The Man Cave, New Body MMA, The Lab, Pound 4 Pound, Camp Tisdale, Grand Rapids Mixed Martial Arts, Hollywood MMA, Target Martial Arts, Spartan Xtreme MMA, Soldado’s Boxing, Great Lakes Ground and Pound and Team Bully. Representing himself and American Top Team, UFC legend Thiago Silva was in the house, cornering his fighters, demonstrating techniques in the back, hanging out with fans and signing LOTS of autographs…a true gentleman indeed. Also, for the first time ever, fans arriving at the show found a fighter bio packet with each seat containing some vital details on some of the event’s combatants, as painstakingly assembled by Mr. Dru Gardner.

Once the action began, there was no time to blink between intermissions, as this was the most amazing card TWC has had to date, and that is an impressive feat, considering some of the previous events’ fight cards! Right from the start, Target Martial Arts’ Derek Walker took on Patino’s Martial Arts’ Aaron “Ironman” Cook in a well-matched battle that made it to the onset of round three before Cook was able to unleash a series of strikes on the ground that brought an end to the fight via ref stoppage. In the second matchup, Spartan Extreme’s Jeremy Swainston faced Great Lakes Ground and Pound’s Jamie Forton in a bout that was closely matched throughout the first round. In the early second round, the fight hit the ground right away, with the fighters in leglock position. Forton was QUICK to take advantage of the position by sinking in a PAINFUL achilles lock for the tap out and the win. In the ladies’ division, Xtreme MMA’s Caitlyn Young stepped up to face Mary Jane Matlock in Mary’s second fight, after debuting only a week earlier. Caitlyn fought a smart and careful fight, picking Mary apart piece by piece with jabs and leg kicks for the first round and a half. At just past the halfway point of round two, Caitlyn caught Mary with several hard shots, ending the fight in dominant fashion via TKO. Immediately following was a showdown between Madmen MMA’s Frank “The Tank” Thomas (who took the fight on the spot as a late replacement) and Indiana’s Andrew Karsten. This battle had so many amazing transitions, sweeps, hip escapes, submission attempts, you name it – through all three rounds and to the judges score cards. It was so close that the judges came up with a SPLIT decision in the favor of Karsten. An impressive and memorable fight indeed! Next came ANOTHER impressive display that went all the way, when Lansing’s Dana Ray faced American Top Team’s Andy Lopez in a Bantamweight war for the ages. The pace was frenetic and constant for the duration of the bout, with Dana Ray coming out on top via unanimous decision. NOW, if there was one fight on the card that defined the event name “Anger Management, it was this one: Pound 4 Pound’s Kory Wertz versus Grand Rapids Mixed Martial Arts’ Terry “The Greatest Show on Earth” VanAvery. There were some less-than-kind words exchanged between these two in the weeks leading up to the fight…and hostilities were high coming in. The first round was spent mostly in the clinch, up against the cage, exchanging knees and pummeling for position. Just over the one minute mark in the second round, with the fight on the ground, Korey unleashed a devastating ground and pound assault that brought an end to the fight and the rivalry. After all was said and done, mutual respect was shown by both combatants. The crowd electrified as Murcielago MMA’s hometown hero Skeeter Kittle faced Indiana’s always-exciting Nate “The Shinobi” Wac. It was non-stop excitement the whole first round, and at about thirty seconds into round two, Skeeter got into a dominant position and cinched a rear naked choke that put his opponent to sleep for the screaming hometown fans! The rest of the night was all title fight excitement, starting with the Flyweight division. American Top Team’s Andres Aleman faced The Lab’s MULTIPLE title holder Eddie “The Machete” Tamez to see who would emerge as the TWC 125 pound champ. It was a short lived but impressive display by both fighters that concluded near the halfway point of the very first round, with Aleman locking on a PERFECT armbar for the impressive victory and the title belt. The Heavyweight title fight was a highly anticipated rubber match, with each opponent holding a single victory over the other. Both Camp Tisdale’s Joe Clementz and Hollywood MMA and American Top Team’s Thomas “The Tornado” Duncan came to show the crowd in attendance that the big boys can go non-stop too! And they did just that, for one and a half rounds, before Joe Clementz scored a win via verbal sub, putting him at 2-1 on their ongoing saga. The next match was the title fight for the Super Heavyweight strap featuring two LARGE and skilled warriors, The Man Cave’s Ryan “The Rhino” Johnson and Matt “The Tower of Pain” Blaine. It’s a rare gem to see men this size that are able to push the pace the way these two did…on the feet, on the ground, wherever the fight went. Despite a valiant effort by Ryan that included some solid shots that found their mark and some impressive escapes on the ground, Blaine’s ground and pound assault proved to be overwhelming. Matt walks away retaining the Super Heavyweight championship…congrats! Next on the night was a Light Heavyweight belt fight featuring New Body MMA’s David O’Neil and The Lab’s wily cage veteran Matt “The Nightmare” Stringham. David surprised many people by dominating much of the fight, controlling position, and dishing out some excellent ground and pound. After nearly finishing the fight at the end of round one, O’Neil regained the same position as he had at the conclusion of the first round and unleashed another barrage of strikes on the ground to end the fight and claim the 205 pound belt. The last fight of the night was a Welterweight championship battle pitting Murcielago MMA’s Dequan “The Tarantula” Townsend against The Torture Squad and Man Cave’s undefeated Ryan Konrath. After a brief feeling out, the first strike of the fight was a flying knee by Dequan just as Konrath was shooting for the takedown. For a lesser fighter, that shot would have spelled the end. But Ryan pushed on, but was caught later in the first round in a fight-ending triangle, as Dequan used his length to his advantage perfectly. Dequan remains on top of TWC’s stacked 170 pound division. Hats off to ALL of the champions that retained their titles as well as all of NEW ones, and every other warrior on the card that came out to be a part of this landmark event!

And on to the great folks that make it all possible…the staff. Gotta start from the top…the promoters Adam and Pete, who have provided Lansing fans with some of the best MMA action out there, and have made HUGE improvements on each and every event, turning TWC into a force to be reckoned with. The cage enforcement professional in charge of all of the action in the cage was FightMichigan’s very own T.J. Corwin, assisted at the cage door by Justin “Bubba” MacKenzie, with David Rohn handling Vaseline duty. The judges for the event were the VERY experienced trio of Dru Gardner, Ed Pigeon, and Mickey Millis. The timekeeper for the event was FightMichigan’s lovelier other half, Shannon Hale. The M.C. for the evening was our good buddy and LEGEND on the microphone, Phil “The Voice” Davey. Still photography for the event was skillfully handled by Fierce Photography’s Noah Paris. Video for the event will be available soon via TWC’s YouTube channel. As we mentioned before, Total Warrior Combat is growing exponentially with each and every new event, and after only seven shows, has established itself amongst the best promotions out there. Their next HUGE event will be on January 21st, and we’ve had a sneak preview of who’s ALREADY booked for the card, and all we can say is BE THERE! For even more details on that show and all the other spectacular events in Michigan, check our “Upcoming Events” page regularly! Until the next time, here are your results…

Michigan Extreme Combat Sports – Arizing – Southern Michigan Championships 4 – Results from October 8th, 2011

Michigan Extreme Combat Sports returned to the scene with another spectacular fight card this past Saturday night at the Skateway in Monroe. Fighters from all over the midwest came out to showcase their skills for the ravenous fans in attendance! The night kicked off with a couple of very interesting grappling matches, consisting of one five minute round, decided by either finish or judges decision. Quendo Mendez went to WAR with Justin Torcolacci in a brutal three rounder that ended in a CLOSE split judges decision. The long-awaited rematch between Adam “The Beast” Gibson and “Bionic” Brian Davis finally took place, with Davis sinking in a choke late in the first round. It was a battle of the super heavyweights as Eric Harvey squared off against Derek “Double XL” Carter. This battle made it halfway through the third (and final) round before Eric secured the win with a nice TKO. For the championship bout in the Welterweight division, Nick “Rage” Sondergeld faced off against another cage veteran, Rob “The Reaper” Wofkowski. The Reaper was on his game, securing a SOLID guillotine choke in less than a minute in the first round. Moving on to the Featherweight division championship, the always tough Jose Prieto took the center stage against C.J. “I’m So Pretty” Proud for the belt. The battle raged on deep into the third round when C.J. cinched a textbook head and arm triangle for the win. In the Main Event of the evening, the amazing martial artist Kevin Lee stood toe to toe with one of the most feared amateur fighters in the state, Deven “Bad News” Brown. This short-but-sweet highlight reel quality fight ended when Kevin Lee landed a perfectly timed knee for what many had believed to be impossible – a KO win over Deven Brown. And Kevin emerged as the NEW M.E.C.S. Lightweight Champion! Promoter Kevin Whittenberg put together another truly amazing event, with MUCH, MUCH more to come in the future! Even the most professionally run promotion can be no better than it’s staff, which is why M.E.C.S. uses some of the best in the biz! Starting with the referees…a pair of well known pro fighters and uber-experienced refs, Danny McIntire and Josh “Short Stack” Robinson. The also very experienced panel of judges was comprised of none other than Mickey Millis, Dru Gardner and Shaun Mitchell. The timekeeper for the event was Mickey’s better half, Stacy Millis. Handling the sound setup and the MC duties were the crowd pumping pair from Eternal Entertainment Group, Joey Ruckus and DJ Trevy Trev. It’s true, folks…if you ever want to see a professionally run event, mark your calendars for the next time Michigan Extreme Combat Sports rolls into town! And keep FightMichigan bookmarked for all the latest event info as it becomes available! Here are your results…

Vengeance Fight League 5 – Results from September 24th, 2011

The Intersection in Grand Rapids was packed to capacity once again Saturday night with fans who came out in full force to witness one of the best promotions Michigan has to offer! Vengeance Fight League has sold out every show thus far, and for a good reason. Five shows in, and many people already feel that the VFL is the best promotion out there. Having attended almost every event, we can see why! There were SO many great camps represented here: Triumph MMA, Grand Rapids Mixed Martial Arts, The System, Team Relentless, Fight Club Proving Grounds, Bonebreakers MMA, Coon MMA, Team MOD, American Muscle MMA, Team Murcielago and the H8 Squad were ALL in the house! Most of Vengeance’s events are a veritable highlight reel. For instance, the third fight of the night featured the debut of the wrestling specialist Matt Steintrager facing the lightning-fast Tevin Hines. This fight went to the judges, but not before Matt executed a series of textbook slams. A little further into the night, David Shuckerow squared off against Rambo Roosevelt, culminating in a brutal (and crazy looking) knockout at the hands of Roosevelt. The ninth fight of the night featured Bruce “The Crazy White Boy” Cole against Kevin “The Silent Assassin” Shacks. Shacks pulled off a stunning flash knockout at only 15 seconds into the fight. Vince “The Prince” Murdock won the Featherweight Championship in dominant fashion over a game opponent in Delayno Kealohapauole. A little further in, in another Featherweight battle, Mike “The Shocker” Hamida pulled off a nice win with a triangle that was picture-perfect. Shortly after, their was a three round war between Michael “Papa” Paul and Terry “The Greatest Show on Earth” VanAvery that ended with the judges scoring a unanimous decision. In the Lightweight title fight, Budd Wright squared off against the seasoned warrior Mike Childs. In what I would consider his most dominant performance to date, Budd locked down the title with some EXCEPTIONAL ground and pound halfway through the first round. Finally, in the Main Event of the evening, Billy “The Psycho” Ward locked up with the phenom himself, Dequan “The Tarantula” Townsend. Billy showed true warrior spirit, but simply could not solve the riddle of Dequan’s amazing reach and skill. The staff for the show was also an all-star roster, starting with the referees: Sean “The Rebel” Dizay, Daron Cruickshank and Travis Travesty. The judges for the night were the trifecta of Ed Pigeon, Dru Gardner and Todd Skinner. Handling the crowd pumping and info dropping was the always uber-entertaining Phil “The Voice” Davey. Armed with the camera and capturing all the action was the video guru Shiloh Blu…check out his YouTube channel for all the latest and greatest fight footage. And it would be WRONG to forget the matchmaker Mickey Millis, who is ALWAYS on top of things and the sometimes overlooked but completely indispensable Jake Erickson. Kudos to you guys for ALL of your hard, selfless work! For those who haven’t been to a Vengeance show in person, words can’t adequately describe it. So we suggest you set aside the date for their next SPECTACULAR event, which we’ll relay all the info for the SECOND it is announced. ‘Til next time, here are your results…

Total Warrior Combat – Future Legends – Results from September 10, 2011

Total Warrior Combat cranked out another excellent night of cage fighting excitement with their latest offering – Future Legends. This was an appropriate title, since their was a lot of new up-and-coming fighters, as well as some established Michigan warriors. The L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon was roaring with fans who came out in droves to cheer on their local favorites. After another masterful rendition of our National Anthem by our good friend Jamie “The Songbird” Lange, the very first fight of the night featured Dakota “The American Dream” Lichner applying a textbook head-and-arm triangle for the win and “Submission of the Night”. In the very next fight, Steve Ohrazda masterfully demonstrated how a triangle choke works. In the first of a series of title fights for the night, Randy Patino faced off against Nate “The Shinobi” Wac in a fight that not only went the distance, but earned Randy the 175lb. Renegade belt, and also earned BOTH of these warriors “Fight of the Night” honors. Terry “The Greatest Show on Earth” VanAvery locked down yet another belt for his collection in the Renegade 155lb. title fight. Jordan Schillaci won the Renegade 185lb. belt with a very impressive victory against the always tough-as-nails Murcielago fighter, Andy Carter. “Knockout of the Night” was firmly secured by Matt “Tower of Pain” Blaine with his 26 second victory over a very game Kevin “Chaos” York. The main event featured an AMAZING battle (and CLOSE runner-up for “Fight of the Night”) pitting “The American Badass” Dan Dunbar against the ultra-impressive Cody “The Hobgoblin” Osborne for the Renegade 135lb. title. This battle raged on into the fifth round before Cody had to concede to an injury. This one DEFINITELY deserves a rematch! The referees for this action-packed event were FightMichigan’s T.J. Corwin and Joel “Lil Juggernaut” Chapman. Judges for the event were the experienced trio of Dru Gardner, Mickey Millis and FightMichigan’s Shannon Hale. Delivering all the verbal goods and keeping the crowd enlightened was our buddy Michael “Skipnosis” Gorham. All of the still photos for the event were shot by Fierce Photography’s Noah Paris. You can check out his gallery here. As Total Warrior Combat continues to grow and expand, they are quickly establishing themselves amongst the ranks of Michigan’s great promotions. Don’t miss their next event on November 12th, “Anger Management”, as they make their way back to the Causeway Bay Hotel in Lansing once again! Check out our “Upcoming Events” page for all the details…coming soon! Here are your results…

Ground and Pound Promotions – GPP XXXIII – Quick Results from July 23rd, 2011

GPP XXXIII rolled into the Rivertown Sports Complex on July 23rd for another night of great MMA action! It was a hot summer night with even hotter fights. Although FightMichigan couldn’t make it this time, we did manage to nab some results and info! Referees for this great night of fights, keeping the combatants safe as always, were Sean “The Rebel” Dizay and currently undefeated Michigan pro fighter, Bowe Vincent Jr. Judges at cageside for the show were 3 good, experienced fellas…George Hedgepeth, Ed Pigeon, and Dru Gardner. The timekeeper for the evening was none other than Miss Erin “I got a shoe and I’m not afraid to use it” Lenhart. Promoter and matchmaker for the show, Paul Simpson should be pleased…the man who submitted this fight report, a man who is too humble and kind to take credit openly, a good FightMichigan friend, tells us that out of all the fans he spoke with after the show, he heard nothing but praises! GPP has several events upcoming…stay tuned to FightMichigan for all the info! Here are your results…

Vengeance Fight League 4 – GPP 32 – Quick Results from June 11th, 2011

The Vengeance Fight League did it again in a stunning fashion last Saturday night with their 4th installment as they returned to the Intersection in Grand Rapids with a packed house and a stacked card! Promoter Dan Waterman keeps pumping out pro-caliber shows with every new event. If you have been to a Vengeance show, you know what we mean. If you haven’t, don’t miss the next one! Matchmaker Mickey Millis set the precedence with another great fight card! Phil “The Voice” Davey was on the mic keeping all the fights flowing and the crowd pumped to the max all night!. Hearing those famous trademark words “ARE YOU READY FOR A BEATDOWN?” really set the stage for the action to come. Order was kept – in and out of the cage – by none other than Michigan pro fighters Dom “I Hate You So Much” O’Grady and Sean “The Rebel” Dizay. With three unbelievable title fights, an awesome female bout and a stacked undercard, fans were not disappointed and stayed ’til the lights went off. Sadly, FightMichigan was unable to attend in person, but we’d like to thank the really special person who submitted the bulk of this article and results, who wished to remain anonymous…you know who you are. How humble! If you folks in MMA land need further proof of the top-shelf shows Vengeance delivers, look at the card and results…seeing is believing! Here they are…

GPP 31 – Boys ‘R’ Back 2 – Results from May 21st, 2011

GPP made a triumphant return to the Comstock Inn in Owosso with the latest event – Boys ‘R’ Back 2 – and FightMichigan was there. The house was packed wall-to-wall with fans who came out to see their favorites go to war. The action was fast paced and exciting all night…so fast, in fact, that GPP’s previous record for the fastest knockout was shattered by a full 4 seconds! The festivities were kicked off by the singing of the National Anthem by a FightMichigan favorite, Jamie “The Songbird” Lange. Handling the MC duties was another local MMA face and FightMichigan friend, Dan Hoogerhyde. The referee duties were masterfully handled by FightMichigan’s resident stud, T.J. Corwin and Bully Breed’s/Unleashed MMA’s Daniel Lenhart (Watch for their next show at Club Rox in Alma, MI on July 16th!). On stopwatch patrol was Daniel’s lovely wife, Erin Lenhart. The judges for the evening were George Hedgepeth, Mickey Millis and Dru Gardner. GPP’s momentum just keeps on rolling forward in 2011, with the next event, “Unstoppable”, coming to Grandville, MI on July 23rd. More info coming VERY soon…keep us bookmarked! Here are your results…

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