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<