The Ionia Armory was COMPLETELY SOLD OUT Saturday night, packed in elbow to elbow, wall to wall with fans who came out to support their favorite local fighter as well as TWO truly great causes, Loved By A Pitbull and The Ellison Foundation. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these noble organizations, we’ll give you a quick overview. Loved By A Pitbull raises public awareness about this gentle and often misunderstood breed of dog, as well as find loving homes for them and rally against breed-specific legislation. We here at FightMichigan (Shannon and T.J.) are proud owners of two hyper-affectionate and exceptionally well-mannered Pitbull mixes, so L.B.A.P. is a cause we truly stand behind. The Ellison Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial support for underprivileged fighters by providing gym memberships, equipment and more, so that some of these young athletes can train PROPERLY and have a positive outlet. A lot of great teams also came out to be a part of the event, including Michigan Extreme Combat Sports, Tate’s House of Pain, 416 Annihilation, Corruption MMA and True Fighter, plus a few up-and-coming indies. As final battle preparations were being made in the back, the playing of our National Anthem signified the beginning of a great night of action.
Once the action got underway, it was clear that all the warriors on the card came in with something to prove. One of the faster submissions we’ve seen in a while occurred when True Fighters’ debuting T.J. Wolosonowich stepped up to face Corruption MMA’s Brandon Murray. With no feel out process, the two engaged immediately. The fight hit the ground within seconds, with Murray securing dominant position. He then quickly shot the hand under the chin and cinched in a TIGHT rear naked choke for the tap and the win at only FIFTEEN SECONDS into the fight. The fifth fight of the night was an unbelievable display of grit, heart and determination as Kyle Miller took center stage against Tate’s House of Pain’s Gilbert Chapa. This match was as well matched as a fan could ask for. These two combatants traded back and forth, blow for blow throughout the ENTIRE first round. Round two was more of the same, with neither man willing to concede or break. But, at the conclusion of the second round, the amazing battle had taken it’s toll, leaving Miller unable to answer the bell for the third round, awarding the HARD-FOUGHT victory to the excited and exhausted Gilbert Chapa. Later on the card, it was another UNBELIEVABLE war as the brother of the previously mentioned grueling battle, Tate’s House of Pain’s Adon Chapa squared off against Michigan Extreme Combat Sports’ undefeated Mitchell “The Artist” Bartes. And just like his brother, Adon wasted NO time in getting to work. Mitchell found himself staving off a BRUTAL and non-stop volley of strikes from Chapa. Bartes managed to weather the vicious storm, and also managed to stay composed enough to work for a continuous series of potential finishes, from triangles to leglocks. Chapa managed to escape them in succession, and mete out more punishment in the meantime. In round two, the pace didn’t slow much, if at all. It was a clinic of both strikes and submission attempts for the whole round. Nearing the end of the second round, Bartes managed to secure a dominant position, and opened up with the hands. With the final seconds winding down, Bartes doubled his finishing efforts, and Chapa couldn’t get out of the compromising position quite quickly enough, and with ONE SECOND left in the round, the referee stopped the fight, awarding Bartes the TKO victory. The pace of this fight was UNREAL. Both of these guys showed great fortitude and skill, and this one has REMATCH written all over it! The final fight of the night featured Richard Dominguez facing off against Richmond Stone. The two warriors took to the center of the cage right away, and the striking began. Dominguez got the better of the standup exchange, then the fight went to the mat. Right away, Dominguez started doling out the punishment. At less than a minute into the first and final round, Stone was forced to tap, as one of Richard’s many strikes caused a fight ending injury. All in all, the event went exceptionally smooth for a first-time event. And as always, a HUGE shout goes out to all of the fighters that made this event truly special. Without you, there is NO SHOW!
Now it’s tribute time. The staff that helped make this event SUCH a success was second to none. From start to finish, everything went off without a hitch – a feat that even the most experienced promoter will be quick to tell you is NOT easy. Starting from the top, promoter Dru Gardner smacked it outta the park on the first swing. Impressive! But he didn’t do it all alone. He had his lovely assistant, Amy “Red Hot” Rusnell, as well as the support of Paul Simpson and the AWESOME Ground and Pound Promotions alumni. The enforcer of rules and keeper of safety (referee) for the entire event was FightMichigan’s T.J. Corwin. Judges for the event were two local well-known title holding ammys – “The American Badass” Dan Dunbar and Marky “Cash” Christiansen, joined by Mr. Nick Garland. The timekeeper for the evening was FightMichigan’s resident angel Shannon Hale. The medic on site was the knowledgeable and experienced Ken Merriman. Workin’ the cage door and handling Vaseline duty was Middleville MMA‘s Rich Burtts. Rippin’ up the night, hypin’ the fight and treatin’ the mic right was Michael “Skipnosis” Gorham. Backing him up on the beats was mixmaster Bobby “DJ BabyDaddy” Cantwell. GPP’s Head of Security Samson Marlatt and his crew were on site to keep law and order outside the cage. Keeping the competition area clean and debris-free were Tayvon “Lil’ Soldier” Gardner and Mac Case. This event turned out so well, there are already plans for even bigger and better things coming down the line. While we haven’t officially been authorized to release the date just yet, we promise as soon as we get the green light, we’ll have all the details for ya. Until then, here are your results…
Chris Williams (6’1″, 173 lbs., 416 Annihilation) vs Ethan “The Nightmare” Aikens (5’7″, 135 lbs., 416 Annihilation)
Winner: Chris Williams at 59 seconds in round 1 by tap out due to guillotine choke.
Don “The Terror” Trout (5’8″, 148 lbs., Michigan Extreme Combat Sports) vs Dan Baird (5’10”, 155 lbs., Corruption MMA)
Winner: Dan Baird at 48 seconds in round 1 by tap out due to rear naked choke.
Kendall Cahoon (5’6″, 150 lbs.) vs Bill “The Eskimo” Koutrouba (5’8″, 147 lbs., 416 Annihilation)
Winner: Kendall Cahoon at 49 seconds in round 1 by tap out due to rear naked choke.
T.J. Wolosonowich (6’0″, 173 lbs., TRUP Fighters) vs Brandon Murray (6’2″, 205 lbs., Corruption MMA)
Winner: Brandon Murray at 15 seconds in round 1 by tap out due to rear naked choke.
Kyle Miller (6’0″, 188 lbs.) vs Gilbert Chapa (5’10”, 183 lbs., Tate’s House of Pain)
Winner: Gilbert Chapa at the conclusion of round 2 – opponent is unable to answer the bell for round 3.
Johnny “The Dreamer” Kenny (6’2″, 184 lbs., 416 Annihilation) vs Ruben Vasquez (6’1″, 170 lbs.)
Winner: Johnny “The Dreamer” Kenny at 2:16 in round 2 by tap out due to north-south choke.
Dillon “Demon” Burri (6’1″, 243 lbs.) vs Dwayne McCoy (6’1″, 260 lbs.)
Winner: Dwayne McCoy at 1:46 in round 2 by TKO – referee stoppage due to strikes.
Mitchell “The Artist” Bartes (6’0″, 155 lbs., Michigan Extreme Combat Sports) vs Adon Chapa (5’6″, 154 lbs., Tate’s House of Pain)
Winner: Mitch “The Artist” Bartes at 2:59 in round 2 by TKO – referee stoppage due to strikes.
Richard Dominguez (5’11”, 213 lbs.) vs Richmond Stone (6’0″, 227 lbs.)
Winner: Richard Dominguez at 46 seconds in round 1 by tap out due to strikes.