Bodogfight:gracie Victorious In Debut, Pele Stops Silva
Gracie Victorious In Debut, Pele Stops Silva
Report by Kelsey Mowatt – Photos by Mike Neva
The PNE Agrodome in Vancouver, British Columbia, hosted BodogFight’s pay per view event Saturday night, featuring the promotion’s Team USA vs Team Russia match ups, 3 "Superfights", and 2 other additional bouts which featured local fighters. In the evening’s main event, submission grappling phenom Roger Gracie defeated Ron Waterman, tapping out the UFC and Pride veteran with an armbar at 3:38 of round 1. Despite giving up an astonishing 55 pounds to the much larger, and physically imposing Waterman, the much smaller Gracie, who came in at 220 pounds at Friday’s weigh in, looked calm and collected in his MMA debut.
"People always ask me, "how come I look so relaxed?" said Gracie to reporters after his victory. "I guess it is just in my nature."
Waterman almost immediately began looking for the takedown after the opening bell sounded, and despite Gracie’s ability to fend off his initial attempts from the clinch, Waterman eventually swept Gracie to the mat. Attacking the Brazilian fighter from sidemount, Gracie quickly worked Waterman back into his defenses and began looking for submissions with a high guard. From there Gracie isolated Waterman’s right arm and attempted his first submission of the evening, only to have his opponent escape the arm bar by slamming Gracie free. Waterman, at the insistence of corner man Matt Lindland, began to posture up more effectively from within Gracie’s guard, and landed a couple of right hands to the head of the Brazilian. Gracie however, continued to remain calm and soon once again had Waterman’s right arm trapped, swinging his hips around to offer yet another arm bar attempt. This time however, Waterman was unable to wrestle himself free, tapping to the submission at 3:38 of round 1. A jubilant Gracie contingent, that included among others; IFL Coach Renzo Gracie, poured into the ring, hoisting the victorious MMA rookie Roger on top of there shoulders.
But the news was not all good for the Brazilian fighters tonight, as the highly heralded and previously undefeated Antonio Silva fell to King of the Cage Superheavyweight Eric Pele, losing to the 300 pound plus giant by TKO. Silva, who weighed in Friday at 296 pounds, had Pele in considerable trouble early on, peppering his opponent with hard punching combinations that sent Pele reeling across the ring. With Silva in hot pursuit, the two wound up crashing to the ground nearly falling through the ring ropes. Silva appeared to be on the verge of victory, punishing Pele further from the top position on the ground. The fight however, had to be temporarily halted, as the fighters appeared to be on the verge of falling out of the ring. When the fight was resumed it was not in the centre of the ring with Silva in the same dominant top position, but rather, with both fighters standing. With Silva almost immediately landing an inadvertent low blow to Pele via an errant leg kick attempt, the fight was delayed even further.
As the action finally resumed a thunderous right hand from Pele greeted the pursuing Silva, sending the Brazilian superheavyweight to the canvas. Pele continued to punish Silva from the top position, landing a couple of more punches to Silva as he struggled to defend himself. Referee Kevin Dorman halted the action at 2:40 of round one, giving Pele the upset TKO victory while Silva and his incensed corner vehemently protested the stoppage.
In what arguably featured the most notable match up of the night, Trevor Prangley battled his way to a unanimous decision victory over the experienced Russian middleweight Andrei Semenov. Prangley utilized his wrestling skills effectively throughout the bout, taking Semenov to the mat several times to avoid further damage, or stopping the Russian’s takedown attempts transversely when he was bettering Semenov in the stand up exchanges. Despite an admirable and passionate performance by Semenov, there was little doubt that Prangley would be awarded the decision victory after the final bell sounded.
In the other Team USA/ Russia match ups, lightheavyweight Michael Patt worked his way to split decision victory over Martin Malkhasyan, Vladimir Zenin KO’ed Nick Agallar at 4:26 of round 1, Eric Oganov edged out a split decision victory over Keith Wisniewski, Nick Thompson submitted Ansar Chalangov with a rear naked choke at 4:59 of the opening round, Chael Sonnen wrestled his way to a unanimous decision victory over Alexey Oleinik, Tara LaRosa tapped out Julia Berezekova with an armbar, and heavyweight Mario Rinaldi was also given the unanimous decision nod by the judges, defeating Sergey Kaznovksy.
Eddie Alvarez electrified the Vancouver crowd with a stunning knock out of American Top Team fighter Aaron Riley. The MFC welterweight Champion rocked Riley early on with a devastating uppercut that marked the beginning of the end for his veteran opponent. A vicious onslaught of punches from Alvarez, only seconds later, gave the referee no choice but to halt the action at 1:05 of round 1, extending Alvarez’s record to 9-0.
Local Team Revolution fighters, Rob Velek and Todd Gouwenberg, were both victorious in front of their hometown fans, as Velek stopped Tim Smith in just 35 seconds by TKO, while Gouwenberg knocked out UFC veteran Ron Faircloth at 1:34 of round 1.
No attendance figures were announced Saturday night, however, estimates of approximately 3,000 were given by some of the Bodog staff at the event.