Elite Federation of Fighters – St. Patty’s Day Pounding – Results from March 16, 2012

The Elite Federation of Fighters was back in action once again at the gracious and spacious MRCC Banquet Center in Warren this past Friday night with yet ANOTHER spectacular night of cage fighting excitement. As usual, there were many, many well-known faces from the Michigan MMA community on hand for the event. There were also a lot of well-known and respected trainers and teams in the house, representing their respective camps and showing off the fruits of their labor. Isaiah Gathings and the Academy of Soo Do Thai, Al Cooper and Cooper’s Gym, Titan MMA and Vicious Fight Team, H8 Squad, Team Pound 4 Pound Canada, Master Bey’s Motor City Satin Panthers, the Institute of Mixed Martial Arts, Stealth Squad and Fitness 24, Team Wolfpack, Club Kickbox Detroit, and the Family. With a breathtaking rendition of our National Anthem by one of the best singers we’ve seen, Anitra Rice, followed by a formal hyping of the fans by one of the best announcers in the entire Midwest, Phil “The Voice” Davey, a truly great night of action was about to get underway.

The first thing that we would like to point out is the fact that a third of the matches went all the way to decision, which is a sure sign of solid matchmaking. Out of the first three fights, TWO of them went the distance, while the other came close. The third bout of the evening was fought under kickboxing rules, and featured Coopers’s Gym’s Hassan “Blaze” Albajad and the Academy of Soo Do Thai’s Isaiah Gathings Jr. This was a spectacular match between two great up-and-coming young strikers. Throughout the entire regulation time limit, both of these warriors put it all out there, with a clinic of kicks and punches. After three solid rounds of action, the judges were all in agreeance, awarding the hard-earned unanimous decision to Isaiah Gathings Jr. The battle immediately following was a HIGHLY entertaining one, pitting Titan MMA and Vicious Fight Team’s Chris “The Predator” Hansen and Stealth Squad and Fitness 24’s Kyle “Little Bull” Morgan. The opening round was an excellent one, with Morgan landing some great strikes, and Hansen returning fire with his own hands and takedown attempts. In round two, it was more of the same, with Hansen landing a series of vicious knees from the clinch. In the third round, Morgan took more control of the pace of the fight, exhibiting more excellent striking. The fight went down to the mat, and after two minutes of the third round, Morgan unleashed an impressive ground and pound assault, ending the fight via highlight reel knockout. The sixth fight of the night culminated in yet another full three rounds of action, as Club Kickbox Detroit’s Matthew Ray took on Team Wolfpack’s Mike Mendoza. These two were in it to win it, and it was evident that both men wanted that win for themselves. After all three rounds were in the books, the judges went to work again. They returned the verdict shortly, granting the unanimous decision victory to a tired but still excited Mike Mendoza. The tenth fight of the night was another amazing, memorable WAR that went all the way to the cards, as Pound 4 Pound Canada’s Andrew Vass and the H8 Squad’s Joseph “Ghost Bushido” Dale. In the first round, there was a very brief feeling out period as the two combatants felt out the other’s reach and tactics. Once that was over, the two went to work on the feet, with both landing multiple shots and some great takedowns. In the second round, the leather flew again early, and some more takedown work, with some great sweeps and transitions on display. Round three was an amazing blend of every aspect of MMA, just as the first two rounds were. After it was all said and done, the judges were left the unenviable task of having to decide which man had made the more effective efforts. And after all the cards were turned in, the judges concluded that Andrew Vass would emerge victorious in one of the best and closest fights of the entire event. Next up, it was time to put some gold on the line, starting with the E.F.F. Bantamweight belt. Cooper’s Gym’s James Park stepped up to face Team Wolfpack’s Clinton Montgomery. This was a five rounder, since it was a title fight, and ALMOST went all the way AGAIN! The ENTIRE fight was a non-stop clinic of jiu jitsu sub attempts, sweeps and escapes. Throughout the entire bout, Montgomery’s jits was on a whole other level, as he masterfully grappled his way through the first four rounds, while all the while, Park exhibited a warrior’s heart and managed to escape potential fight ending danger. It all came to an end in the final minute of the final round, as Clinton locked on a TIGHT armbar for the tap, the win and the strap. Now, it was time for the Middleweight title fight, as Pound 4 Pound Canada’s defending champion, Matt “The Meat Hammer” Socholotiuk faced Academy of Soo Do Thai’s LaBron “The L-Train” Oldham. Both warriors came out to finish, but Matt took control of the fight early on, and kept control for the entire first round. Round two started in similar fashion. LaBron executed a KILLER sweep, but Matt ended up finishing the round working an active Kimura. In the third round, at just over a minute in with the fight back on the ground, Matt unleashed a vicious ground assault, forcing LaBron to concede and retaining his title belt. It was now time for the MAIN EVENT – a battle between two highly skilled young men with AMAZING amounts of experience. Master Bey’s Motor City Satin Panthers’ Marcus “Icemane” Wheeler stepped up to face the current champion, the Institute of Mixed Martial Arts’ Mario “The Infamous Spider” Aguilar. Once the fight began, these guys wasted NO TIME in getting down to business. After some great exchanges that saw Mario getting the advantage, at just under two minutes in the very first round, Mario was able to dispatch a very game challenger on the ground with some fast and furious strikes that caused the referee to step in and stop the contest, making for another successful defense of one of his MANY belts. With the consummation of this fight, E.F.F. checked off another highly successful event in their rich history. Hats off to all the fighters, trainers and support staff that made this night the epic success that it was.

Now, it takes a really great cast and crew to put on a really great show, and one look at this well-known lineup of experienced officials, and it’s no wonder why this production turned out so well. Starting right from the top, the man who orchestrated it all, Sensei and promoter Isaiah Gathings, along with his lovely assistant, Christine Reed. Overseeing all the safety and action inside of the cage was E.F.F.’s mega experienced head referee, Michigan trainer and pro fighter, “Vicious” Vance Swerdan, alternating periodically with his trusty sidekick, Doug “The Thug” Gallegos. keeping close watch outside of the cage door and handling last-minute preparations was our buddy and distinguished gentleman, Bubba Mackenzie. Monitoring the overall safety from outside of the cage was one of the best cageside medics out there, and one of FightMichigan’s personal favorites, James Hill-Harris. Judges for this SPECTACULAR set of matchups where the exceptionally experienced trifecta of Mr. Samuel Crawford, alongside FightMichigan’s own Shannon Hale and T.J. Corwin. Timekeeper for the entire event was the lovely Miss Lianne Shami. The announcer for the evening’s festivities was one of the most prolific and experienced guys out there, as well as long-term friend of FightMichigan, Phil “The Voice” Davey. Spinnin’ the beats that kept shakin’ the streets was DJ Diallo. Keepin’ the crowd informed and excited between rounds was E.F.F.’s long-time head Ring Girl, Leanne Rumsey. Also a special shout out to Garage Muscle and Trained in Detroit’s Rye Spiteri, who was on hand with some awesome merch, as well as showing fans that red carpet treatment with their on-site professional photo booth. The Elite Federation of Fighters has big things planned for the future, and with every event, the phenomenon grows. So check back right here, click on that little “Upcoming Events” link at the top, as soon as we get the good news, we’ll deliver it straight to you! And don’t forget, the Elite Federation of Grapplers will be on the mats this Saturday, March 24th, right back at the MRCC Banquet and Conference Center. Don’t miss it! Until next time, here are your results…

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<

Donofrio MMA and the Impact Fight League – My Bloody Valentine – Results from February 18th, 2012

PROFESSIONAL Mixed Martial Arts returned to the glorious and historic Palace of Auburn Hills as presented with CLASS by Donofrio MMA and the Impact Fight League. The event was preceded by an extremely informational and FREE seminar on concussive injuries in sports presented by the Sports Legacy Institute’s Chris Nowinski and introduced by Impact Fight League/UFC referee Marc Fennell. Everyone who attended this great seminar received an added bonus to go with their free education – FREE General Admission tickets to the event, courtesy of Joe Donofrio! Double bonus! Shortly after the seminar, fans were brought to their feet by Phil “The Voice” Davey, who was letting them know, WITHOUT A DOUBT, they were about to witness first class excitement. And excitement is just the start of a Donofrio event…and that’s not counting the brilliantly lighted entrance and ramp, the dazzling laser arrays, the BOOMING sound, the CRAZY explosions, the INTENSE pyrotechnics…and the RING GIRLS! In addition, there were many truly great trainers, teams and gyms such as James David Gray and Scorpion Fighting System, Don Richard and Warrior Way, MASH Gym, Titan MMA, Maximum Training Centre, Glen Bailey and American Muscle MMA, Joachim Rodriguez and Murcielago MMA, Team Capital Punishment, James Lee’s MASH Fight Team, Team Conquest, H8 Squad, Team Bison, and Grand Rapids Mixed Martial Arts, just to name a few. With a list like that, you can’t go wrong! As the house lights went down, the sound system picked up, and another fabulous night of PRO action was about to begin.

The very first fight of the night was an entertaining battle featuring a fighter whom we had witnessed many times as an amateur, Titan MMA’s Tony “The Tiger” Zelinski against American Muscle MMA’s debuting Paul “Cage Soldier” Howard. The two warriors came to the center right away to test their respective skill set. There were some nice standing exchanges in the opening minutes, as well as a takedown by Zelinski, followed by some good ground control and damage, with Howard defending well and constantly looking to sweep. Round two did not stay on the feet for long. There was another nice takedown early on, and Zelinski began shopping for the opening to finish. At around the minute-and-a-half mark of the second round, Tony was able to do just that, and sealed the deal with a textbook straight armbar for the tap and the “W”. Fight number three featured the HIGHLY ANTICIPATED Professional debut of Murcielago MMA’s Dequan “The Tarantula” Townsend, as he took on Warrior Way’s UNDEFEATED Andy Hahn. Both of these guys have spent a LOT of time in the gym AND in the cage, and it was apparent in the fight. This was as close of a contest as fans could have hoped for. For three non-stop five minute rounds, Hahn and Townsend put on a crowd-pleasing WAR that has REMATCH written all over it. At the conclusion of the regulation time limit, the judges put the ink to the paper, and concluded that this bout would be awarded via RAZOR-CLOSE split decision to Dequan “The Tarantula” Townsend, making his first foray into the pro ranks a successful one. The fourth fight of the evening was a WAR between Team Capital Punishment’s Shaunton Davis and Scorpion Fighting Systems’ Tim Farr. This match was pure electricity…a GREAT match of styles. Both fighters stayed busy and aggressive throughout ALL of round one. The second round started just as frenetic and entertaining as the first, showcasing some nice, technical grappling. After some intense scrambling for position, Farr was able to cinch the victory by cinching a rear naked choke with the hooks all the way in for the tap and the victory. We couldn’t help but notice…James David Gray does the MOST IMPRESSIVE aerial acrobatics over the cage when his guys win (which they seem to do often)! The sixth bout of the night was a crisp standup display as Main Event Gym’s Marcus “The Invincible Dragon” Reynolds stepped inside the steel to face Grand Rapids Mixed Martial Arts’ Jorge Sarat. Both fighters came out to BANG. As they found the pocket, it was all flying fists and footwork. With action this pace, something was sure to happen. At barely past the one minute mark in the very first round, Reynolds planted some DEVASTATING leather, scoring a NICE knockout victory and getting the fans up on their feet. Fight number eight – it was time for the BIG BOYS to bring the pain, as the Academy of Soo Do Thai’s Aaron “Grown Man” Ware squared off against MASH Gym’s Ryan “Pokie” Pokryfky. Talk about a CLOSE contest…these guys went tit for tat NONSTOP throughout the entire fight, with Pokryfky working for the takedown from the clinch for a large portion of the battle, while Ware repeatedly demonstrated great takedown defense. There were also plenty of great boxing exchanges in every round. After three INSANELY close rounds, the judges awarded the SPLIT decision victory to an elated Ryan “Pokie” Pokryfky. In the ELECTRIFYING Co-Main event, two VERY well-known faces in the Michigan MMA community stepped in the cage to give fans, friends and family a fight that will be remembered for a long, long time. Jeremy Horn protege and Lightning Kicks trainer Amir Khillah hit the big stage to face the H8 Squad’s MULTIPLE King of the Cage title holder, Dom “I Hate You So Much” O’Grady. We here at FightMichigan have known both of these guys for a long time now, and when we saw this fight inked, we knew IMMEDIATELY that it would be a war for the ages. And it WAS! The extensive experience of BOTH warriors was apparent right away. Really phenomenal striking, unbelievable submission work and escapes, some VERY amusing showboating, a REALLY COOL axe kick…this fight had it ALL – THREE FULL ROUNDS WORTH! After all three of those rounds were completed, the judges were left once again to decide the fate of the fight. And after a short deliberation, all three judges awarded the unanimous decision victory to Amir Khillah. Hats off to both Dom and Amir…these are two of the most interesting characters you’ll find, both in and out of the cage. The MAIN EVENT of the evening was a clash between a local legend, MASH Gym owner Todd Allee, against former StrikeForce Heavyweight hitman Brett “Da Grim” Rogers. As both warriors took the center, they started to let the hands fly. Rogers landed an early hard shot that sent the fight to the ground. Brett then proceeded to unleash some vicious ground and pound, and Allee was blocking the shots and trying to wall walk into a better position. Brett was eager to finish while he had Todd in defense mode still, and in his attempt to end the fight, landed an inadvertant strike to the back of Allee’s head. Referee Marc Fennell stopped the contest momentarily to check on a dazed Allee, who was unable to continue. The fight was ruled a “No Contest” due to the accidental blow. Well, folks…these things DO happen from time to time, but as is the standard of Donofrio MMA, safety comes first! A massive shout goes out – as ALWAYS – to the fighters, trainers, gyms and dojos that provide us with all of this quality entertainment through all of their blood, sweat and sacrifice.

Now it’s time to hail the staff that ensures that the Impact Fight League’s production is SEAMLESS from start to finish. Let’s start with the “Fight Boss” himself, Mr. Joe Donofrio. As MANY will attest, this man spares no expense in providing a safe competition environment and entreating fighters and fans alike to a spectacular big stage event! The safety specialists (also known as referees) assigned to oversee the action was the globally certified buddy of ours, Marc Fennell, alongside another experienced cage official, Mr. Michael Miletti. Assisting these gentleman and working the cage door was Bubba MacKenzie. Judges for the event were Rose Gross, Nick Frania and FightMichigan’s own Shannon Hale. Timekeepers for the show were Mr. Dan Graschuck and FightMichigan’s T.J. Corwin. A special thanks to the wonderful and professional staff from the State of Michigan’s Unarmed Combat Commission, who ALWAYS make sure that these events are done by the books, ensuring the ongoing safety and longevity of Mixed Martial Arts in the Great Lake State! The OFFICIAL announcer of the Impact Fight League, the one and only “Voice” of Donofrio MMA, was/is none other than our close friend and microphone master, Phil “The Voice” Davey. Matchmaker for this exciting fight card was our good buddy Joey “The Don” Battaglia. Expert cutman for the event was Mr. Brandon Gallo. Masterfully handling the color commentary for the Live broadcast was the dynamic duo of Fight Guru Steve Lafrate and UNDEFEATED boxing specialist, Kara “KO” Ro. A huge shout out to the IFL’s Head of Security and Mr. Donofrio’s personal assistant, Oscar “Big Ox” Brown. Also, a big thumbs up to Big Media Buzz’s Andre Courtemanche, who did an EXCELLENT job of handling publicity and press releases on the event! Still photography was handled by Lena Lee Faulkner. A tribute goes out to Mr. Al Cooper and all of the great guys and gals from Cooper’s Gym, who help with EVERYTHING from the backroom, event coordination, security staffing…you guys are the gears that help run a well-oiled machine! Also, we noticed some more of our friends out on the Palace floor – MI Entertainment’s Izzy Quintanilla and his HUGE selection of affordable wares were on hand for the event…Rye Spiteri was in the house representing Garage Muscle and Trained in Detroit with their great merch and portable photography studio where fans could get a PROFESSIONAL photo taken on site…and last but certainly not least, Dan Waterman and Vengeance Fight Gear were in attendance, bringing to the table their own unique swagger. Yes, folks…it’s true. The Impact Fight League is ALWAYS a sure bet when it comes to delivering some of the best and SAFEST action out there. And you can bet that when they return to the Palace on May 5th, you will DEFINITELY want to be there. For all the info and details as they become available, check back right here regularly. Until next time, here are your results…

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…

Juggernaut Fight Series II – Winter Warriors – Results from November 3rd, 2011


Donofrio Entertainment presents – Impact Fight League – Caged Apocalypse – Results from November 19th, 2011

On Saturday, November 19th, 2011, Michigan MMA history was made as the Impact Fight League brought PROFESSIONAL mixed martial arts back to the massive, historic Palace of Auburn Hills. While the Palace is noted for being the home of the Detroit Pistons, one could only be reminded of the Lions by the MASSIVE roar of the excited crowd that came out to witness one the greatest productions in the sport. From the fully illuminated runway to the cage, to the massive hydraulic cell door style entrance gate, to the earth rattling sound system, to the thunderous explosions, to the red and blue color coordinated lighted archway, to the BLAZING pyrotechnics that could give you a tan at one hundred yards, to the microphone wizardry of Phil “The Voice” Davey, fighters AND fans were treated to one of the most elaborate and immaculate big stage events in Michigan history. Fans in attendance ALWAYS had a great view of the action from every seat in the house, thanks to MULTIPLE cameras and the Palace’s Jumbotrons facing every direction. The fight card was comprised of an A-list of pro favorites from Michigan and the Midwest. There were many seasoned veterans that came to showcase their wares, as well as some HIGHLY anticipated pro debuts featuring some local phenoms that came to prove that they are ready for the next level.

As the action began, the atmosphere was ELECTRIC. The first fight of the night was a Bantamweight battle pitting the self trained Chris Bourdon against Team Shoot’s debuting phenom Andrew Ventimiglia. These two pushed the pace right from the opening, and just past the halfway point of the first and final round, Andrew secured his first pro win via TKO by delivering some serious shots on the ground that caused the referee to stop the contest. The second fight of the night was the HIGHLY anticipated pro MMA debut of Lightning Kicks’ and Jeremy Horn’s Elite Michigan’s James “The Ninja Bunny of Doom” Carrow versus Murcielago MMA’s Andrew “The Smiling Assassin” Peterson. The fight started with a nice standup exchange early on. The fight ended up on the mat before very long, with both fighters scrambling for position. James came out with the dominant position, and proceeded to work in a rear naked choke for the tap and his first pro victory. Next up was a Featherweight WAR as Murcielago’s Jeremy “The Czar” Czarnecki took the big stage against Joe “The Viper” Voisin. This was a GREAT match of style types. The two warriors exchanged in the standup, on the ground and back to the feet again. This pace went on for a SOLID two and a half rounds. Then, nearing the three minute mark of the third round, Jeremy managed to take the back, get the hooks in, and get the tap out victory via rear naked choke. The next match on the card, a Welterweight match featuring Murcielago’s John “Warp Speed” Villegas and Corey O’Dell, went down in similar fashion…a good matchup with some excellent exchanges, this time with O’Dell locking in the rear naked choke for the tap out win in just under two minutes into round number three. Bout number six of the evening featured a couple of familiar pros making their return to the local scene; Lightning Kicks’ and Jeremy Horn’s Elite Michigan’s Hector “The Phoenix” Garcia and Cruickshank Fighting Systems’ Dan “Pac Man” Langbeen. These two vets did EVERYTHING they could to finish one another throughout the ENTIRE fight, but in the end, the judges were left to make the call. And after three thoroughly entertaining rounds, all three judges decided that Langbeen put forth the more impressive performance and awarded him the decision victory. Next up was an EPIC battle of two warriors who are quite familiar to the Michigan scene – one making his pro debut and the other making his pro return…Cruickshank Fighting Systems’ Cody “Mr. Wonderful” Stamann and Titan MMA’s Chad Coon. With FightMichigan being familiar with the careers of both fighters, we knew this one was going to be good. And it was. Both warriors were respectful of each other’s abilities at the start, and after a very brief feeling out, the action was ON. A few minutes in, the fight was on the ground. Cody managed to take Chad’s back and get the hooks in, and instead of working a choke, started raining down strikes. After a vicious ground and pound flurry, the referee was forced to stop the contest and Cody emerges the victor in his pro debut. Next was a battle of the BIG boys in the Heavyweight division as the Academy of Soo Do Thai’s Aaron “Grown Man” Ware faced MASH Gym’s Shaun “Big Sexy” Mirjavadi. These two giants waged war through the entire time limit, leaving the judges to decide who would walk away victorious. And after three grueling rounds, all three judges awarded the contest to a debuting Mirjavadi. The Co-Main event of the evening was a Lightweight duel featuring Lightning Kicks’ and Jeremy Horn’s Elite Michigan’s Ivan “The Psycho Mantis” Wolshlager taking on MASH Gym’s Jason “The Finisher” Fischer. The pace on this fight was BRUTAL, with both combatants displaying amazing heart. Near the end of the first round, Fischer had Ivan on the ground and was unloading a ground assault that ALMOST got the fight stopped in the final seconds of the round. As a result of Fischer’s “Finishing” efforts, Ivan was unable to answer the bell for the second round, giving Jason the win. The MAIN EVENT was a Middleweight BRAWL to determine whether the Impact Fight League 185 pound title was going back to Colorado with Pariah MMA’s Justin “The Pain Train” Guthrie, or if it was to remain with current champion, Black Feather Fight Team’s Brendan “The Caucasian Devastation” Seguin. The crowd was AMPED for this one, and for good reason. These two put on a show that was one for the ages. Guthrie managed to open a cut on Seguin early on, and every time throughout the fight that Justin got dominant position, he used his elbows and forearms to work the cut. They both fought hard through all FIVE championship rounds, but in the end, employing a smart fight strategy paid dividends, as Guthrie became the NEW IFL Middleweight champion via unanimous judge’s decision. Congratulations to all of the warriors who are coming off of successful debuts, all the returning warriors, and even to the defeated warriors…keep your head up, chin down, and thanks to EVERYONE who made this event one that will NEVER be forgotten.

Beyond the cage, there were a few notable vendors in the house as well with some KILLER deals on sweet MMA merch and some HUGE giveaways. Rye Spiteri was in the house repping Garage Muscle and Trained in Detroit. They had a sweet photo shoot setup where fans could go and get studio-quality souvenir photos taken from the event. They were also selling an arms length of raffle tickets for only five bucks, and giving away such awesome prizes as an Everlast 100lb. heavy bag, a framed & autographed photo of former UFC Light Heavyweight champ “Sugar” Rashad Evans, a framed & autographed photo of StrikeForce’s King Mo Lawal, TWO LCD flip-screen camcorders and a Garage Muscle military-style gym bag. Some fans went home VERY happy! MI Entertainment’s Izzy Quintanilla was also in the house, with one of the LARGEST selections of MMA gear and apparel of ANY vendor, hands down. Izzy had a TON of excellent deal for the holidays, including buy one, get one free deals on their MASSIVE T-shirt stock. Also in the house for the event was Dan Waterman and Vengeance Fight Gear, with their ever-evolving lineup of super-sweet merchandise. There were MANY notable others in the crowd for the show, including Michigan pro fighter Josh “The Hammer” Burns, who not only had BIG announcements concerning his career in the near future, but also had a wedding proposal up his sleeve, much to the joy – and surprise – of his fiancee. Best wishes to Josh on what will surely be a long, happy marriage! Also covering the event for MMAOnline.com was Jaime Feal…you can check out his report on the event here.

And now for a tribute to the absolutely AMAZING staff that made sure that the coordination of this event was both seamless and flawless. It is hard to adequately describe exactly how much work goes into putting on an event of this magnitude. (We even saw Doug Gallegos running around in back with a headset on!) Very few will ever understand it that have not been directly involved. The bigger the event, the more staffing and communication are required. It only takes ONE mistake to start a chain reaction. There were NO mistakes made at this event. That is impressive in and of itself, but considering the amount of people involved in a production this size, to have a PERFECTLY managed event like this one is virtually unheard of. So now it’s time to pay respect to those who helped make it all happen…starting with the promoter. The “Fight Boss” (as he’s known in the MMA world), Joe Donofrio, has done MANY full contact events, from pro boxing to ammy and pro MMA. And the experience shows. Joe spares no expenses in accommodating fighters, staff and fans, making his promotion one of the PREMIER shows to be involved in, as many will attest to. The referees in charge of this amazing night of fights were the highly experienced duo of Marc Fennell and FightMichigan’s T.J. Corwin. The expert cut man/fighter prep guy at the door was Mr. Brandon Gallo. Judges for the event were Anne Morrell, Joe Popelar and FightMichigan’s own Shannon Hale. Timekeepers for the event were Steve Daher and Randy Freiburger. The microphone MASTER of ceremonies for the event was none other than the prolific Phil “The Voice” Davey. Handling the color commentary for the broadcast was the awesome duo of Steve Lafrate and Kara “KO” Ro, with Kara lighting up the big screens with the post-fight interviews. Special thanks to Linda Douglas, Doc Weber and all the State representatives from the Unarmed Combat Commission…keeping law and order by the books. Hats off to Joey “The Don” Battaglia and Stephanie Battaglia, who were instrumental in the production of this event, and can usually be found ANYWHERE quality MMA action is taking place. Also, huge kudos to Mr. Donofrio’s right hand man and head of security, Oscar “Big Ox” Brown…not a single incident in the whole Palace all night! And we most definitely can’t forget the essential contributions of Mr. Al Cooper and ALL of the WORLD-CLASS alumni of Cooper’s Gym…you are ALL awesome. Still photography for the event was in the capable and ambitious hands of Miss Peggy Kramer. With TOP SHELF events like this one lined up well into 2012, and with no end in sight, Donofrio’s Impact Fight League will be delivering some of the most spectacular shows for a long, long time. There are several new events coming VERY soon, including the BeatDOWn II on December 2nd and a professional boxing event on January 6th that will see the return to the squared circle of the undefeated pugilist (and above-mentioned color commentator as well) Kara “KO” Ro. With all of these big things on the horizon, it’s best to keep us on standby at ALL times, to stay current on the IFL’s upcoming events as well as ALL of the other exciting things happening in Michigan MMA-landia! ‘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…

3rd Coast MMA and XXX Extreme Cagefighting – Judgement Day – Results from October 1, 2011

Saturday night marked the return to Michigan of 3rd Coast MMA and XXX Extreme Fighting with their latest top-notch event – Judgement Day. Going into this event, we had heard MANY great things about this promotion. After witnessing their production first hand we see that their great reputation was well earned. The venue was the spacious and accomodating Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College. We were impressed with the show from start to finish. Promoters Scott Johnson and Andy Dickey (and Anita!) spared no expenses in making this a first-class event. From the fighter accomodations, the precision coordination of the back room, the stacked and meticulously balanced fight card, the excellent lighting and sound setup, the very skilled and experienced staff…this show set the precedence for how a great show is run!

The referees for the evening were a VERY experienced duo, the protege and his mentor, T.J. Corwin and UFC veteran ref Marc Fennell. Judges for the event were David Hinkel, John Hammond, and Ira McDonald. Keeping time for the night was Chris Crumley. Holding down the MC duties for the show was radio personality Jason Lee from 103.9 – The Bear. The cageside medics (who did an EXCELLENT job!) were provided by Three Oaks Ambulance and the Galien Township Fire Department. Covering all the still photography were the crew from Victor Coar Photography. Also in the house covering the show were the guys from www.HometownContender.com. Also quite noteworthy, the audiovisuals for this show, which included 2 HUGE screens so fans could see the action at all times, an immaculate entrance lighting setup, on the spot DVD’s of the event and much more were provided by AV Magic Studio. We gotta say folks, this was truly one of the most well coordinated, memorable events we’ve seen in a while. We would definitely recommend setting aside the time to come out and check it out for yourself if you’ve never been to a 3rd Coast and XXX Extreme Fighting event…you have to see it to believe it! We’ll keep ya posted on all of their upcoming events as soon as the info is available. Until then, 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…

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