Gracie Submits Miletich,silverbacks & Dragons Advance To The Semifinals
Gracie Submits Miletich,
Silverbacks & Dragons Advance to the Semifinals
By Dustin Lee DePue
September 23, Moline, IL — It was one out of two for Pat Miletich Saturday night. His team, the Silverbacks, won their team competition against the Pitbulls three fights to two but he was submitted by Renzo Gracie in their superfight in front of 6,212 enthusiastic fans at the Mark of the Quad Cities. Carlos Newton’s Dragons were successful in their match-up with Frank Shamrock’s Razorclaws and will also advance to the semifinals.
Two new coaches and two superfights were announced. Marco Ruas and Don Frye will each coach teams next season. Mark Kerr versus Mike Whitehead and Allen Goes verus Daniel Gracie were the fights announced.
In preliminary action, Joseph Heleno landed a highlight reel-worthy flying knee on opponent Ben Uker, sending Uker to the mat where Heleno quickly followed with punches for the TKO stoppage at 3:14 of the first round. Dennis Hallman looked sluggish in his victory over Jeff Quinlan. Unwilling to trade on the feet, Hallman took the fight to the ground, where it was clear he came close with an armbar and several triangle chokes which he nearly finished at the end of both the first and second round en route to a majority decision victory.
Razorclaws Vs. Dragons
In the opener for the team match-up of the Carlos Newton-coached Dragons versus Frank Shamrock’s Razorclaws, lightweight Josh Odom of the Razorclaws but a beating on an extremely tough Rob Di Censo. Odom opened the fight with very crisp leg kicks, something he would use throughout the fight. Di Censo, making his MMA debut, was able to take the fight to the ground on multiple occasions but couldn’t get anything going on the mat. Odom opened up the second round with a spinning back kick to the midsection. Clearly hurt by the kick, Di Censo opted to roll to the ground. It was a smart move as Odom wanted to stay standing and therefore allowed Di Censo back to his feet, effectively giving Di Censo a few seconds to recover. Standing back up, Di Censo came at Odom swinging wildly; a last defiant hurrah, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, outgunned and out maneuvered but not lacking in heart and will. It wasn’t enough as Odom continued to pick Di Censo apart with strikes, finally ending it in the third round after a series of kicks to the midsection followed by a punch that sent Di Censo crumbling to the mat. Some follow up strikes on the ground and the ref called the bout at 1:47 of round 3. Odom looked very impressive in victory while Di Censo showed a level of poise you don’t often find in a debut fight.
Razorclaws welterweight Ray Steinbeiss was overwhelmed by Claude Patrick. Patrick was able to score with knees from the clinch before getting a takedown and punching from the top. Steinbeiss looked to reverse but as he made his attempt, Patrick wrapped his neck and fell back and pulled guard. Despite only getting half-guard, Patrick, who described the guillotine choke as his "secret weapon" was able to force the tapout at 3:12 of round 1 and put his team on the scoreboard.
Razorclaws Brian Foster and Dragon Joe Doerksen had a war for two rounds. Doerksen showed his Jiu-Jitsu skills early, working an armbar and several beautiful sweeps to keep the pressure on Foster throughout much of the round. A referee standup gave Foster the window he needed to rock Doerksen with a vicious right hand that had Doerksen doing the wobble dance as he desperately hung on for round two. Starting the round, Foster came out looking to finish what he started. Doerksen looked cloudy as he took more heavy shots but was able to fight back, landing some punches of his own before eventually getting a takedown. With a minute and a half left in the round, Doerksen mounted Foster. He used strikes to force Foster to turn and give up his back where Doerksen was able to finish with a rear naked choke at 3:40 of round two. A gutsy performance by Doerksen, whose experience fighting all over the world clearly played a role in his recovery from almost certain defeat. Doerksen was given the "Submission of the Night" which, like all the rewards, are given out for each team match-up.
Light-Heavyweights Raphael Davis of the Razorclaws and Brent Beauparlant of the Dragons displayed plenty of heart if not much solid technique. It was clear from a very early point in the fight that cardio was an issue for both fighters as the fight quickly degraded to a sloppy haymaker exhibition that appeared at times to be taking place underwater. Davis did manage to land some nice knees from the clinch and had a couple of Kimura attempts, however, Beauparlant was trumped him with a suplex and total ground control to earn the unanimous decision victory that sealed the team win for the Dragons.
To end the match, Travis Wiuff dominated a very strong and very game Wojtek Kaszowski. Kaszowski was unable to stop Wiuff from taking him down and unable to get back up as Wiuff controlled the somewhat slow and uneventful bout. Wiuff wins by unanimous decision with a score of 30-25, 30-25, 30-27.
Pitbulls Vs. Silverbacks
To start things off, Marcio Feitosa took on Bart "Bartimus" Palaszewski in the lightweight division. Bartimus started off firing several three punch combinations and trying to find his range. Feitosa continually shot in for the takedown, getting Palaszewski on the mat and controlling in both the first and second round. Although he never really had Palaszewski in danger, he certainly built up points and looked to be in control of the match. In the third Palaszewski landed a monster right hand that dropped Feitosa. On losing end of two rounds, it looked like he would need to finish to win the fight. "Bartimus" was relentless and put a real beating on Feitosa’s face, but he couldn’t seal the deal. Heading into the judges decision it looked to be a 29-28 fight in favor of Feitosa, however, two of the judges saw differently as Palaszewski was awarded the split decision victory by scores of 29-28, 30-28, 28-29. It was a hard pill to swallow for the Pitbulls but both fighters put on a tremendous display of heart and were rewarded with "Fight of the Night" honors and thousand dollar bonuses.
Next up were Welterweights Marcelo Dos Santos of the Pitbulls and Rory Markham of the Silverbacks. Markham survived an early submission assault on his leg, rolling from one end of the ring to the other as Dos Santos switched from a heel hook to an Achilles lock. Escaping to his feet, Markham landed a one-two combination that hurt Dos Santos and followed it up with a jumping, Superman right hand that landed flush and put Dos Santos down. With seconds left in the round, Markham pounced on Dos Santos, raining down punches for the TKO stoppage at 3.58 of round one.
With two losses, the Pitbulls needed to make something happen. It was up to Middleweight fighter Fabio Leopoldo of the Pitbulls to get the team back on track. His opponent, Ryan McGivern, didn’t make it easy. McGivern was busy with this hands, throwing several one-two combos and landing a nice straight right that staggered Leopoldo. Clinching, Leopoldo went for a guillotine choke, pulling guard and squeezing with all his might to try and finish but McGivern was able to escape. Round two saw McGivern become even more dominate with the strikes, hurting Leopoldo, who was firing back but getting tagged. After a McGivern takedown, Leopoldo, who was clearly behind on points, turtled up, prompting McGivern to swing around to try and take the back. Leopoldo, using what may have been the last of the gas in his fuel tank, rolled and took hold of McGivern’s leg, slapping on the kneebar that forced McGivern to tap at 0:49 of round 2. A great display by both fighters. Fabio Leopoldo was awarded the submission of the night.
The Light-Heavyweight match-up featured Andre Gusmao of the Pitbulls verses Mike Ciesnolevicz of the Silverbacks. Gusmao was very impressive as his explosive power gave him the edge both standing and on the feet. While all of the Renzo-coached Pitbulls were willing to trade strikes with their opponents, Gusmao was the only team member whose standup truly looked dangerous. He proved that early in the second round when he opened up on Ciesnolevicz, mixing up knees and hooks that put Ciesnolevicz down. Gusmao followed him to the ground where he delivered more punishment forcing the ref to step in at 1:01 of round 2 and giving his team the chance to take the team title.
With four fights down and two wins apiece it was up to the big boys to decide who would be advancing to the semi finals. The Pitbulls’ Bryan Vetell took on Silverback Ben Rothwell in a battle of heavyweights. With a home-town crowd behind him, Rothwell looked calm and seemed to be feeling out Vetell’s rhythm, waiting to throw the right hand. Built like a tank, Vetell threw a punch and followed it by pushing Rothwell to the ropes, where he landed several knees from the clinch. Rothwell, however, was able to free himself from the clinch and he caught Vetell with a big right hand that ended Vetell’s night early in the first and secured the team victory for the Silverbacks. The jumbo screens repeated the knockout punch several times, elliciting the deafening roar of a well satisfied home-town crowd. Big Ben Rothwell was awarded the "Knockout of the Night"and the Silverbacks advance to the semi’s.
The superfight of the evening brought the Mark to its feet as not a sitting fan could be seen in the sea of cheering, fist-pumping bodies bearing down on the IFL ring. MMA legend Renzo Gracie made his entrance to a throng a boos which, however inappropriate, were testament to the hometown crowd’s love and loyalty for their resident legend and hero, Pat Miletich. The man could run for office in these parts. The sound was deafening as his name was called and his face appeared on the jumbo screens as he made his way down the catwalk and into the ring.
Circling, both fighters judged each other with jabs and feints before Gracie shot in for a leg. Miletich sprawled and was able to stay standing. He clinched and pinned Gracie in the corner until the ref broke them up. Miletich quickly clinched again and pushed Gracie against the ropes. Miletich fatigued early and could be seen sucking wind as he prepared for his next move. Before he could, Gracie jumped into guard and slapped on a guillotine. At the press conference, Gracie stated that he knew he didn’t have the choke at first, but he readjusted and was able to cinch the choke in tighter, eventually forcing Miletich to tap at 3:37 of the first round. With the victory, Renzo Gracie’s camp stormed the ring and hoisted him up on their shoulders. At the press conference, Miletich announced his retirement from competition, while Renzo, all smiles, was looking forward to getting in the IFL ring again with another legend of MMA.
Pitbulls vs Silverbacks
Razorclaws vs Dragons
A Hardcore Card for a Mainstream House
By Steven Marrocco
Anaheim, CA — Under the roof where the Mighty Ducks fly, UFC 63 introduced some strong newcomers, solidified the talent of veterans, and answered a lingering question in the reign of the most dominant 170lb fighter mixed martial arts has ever known.
Coming into his fight with Matt Hughes, BJ Penn was clearly a little bit cocky. He had a good reason to be so. He was one of the select few who had bested the champion, and one of the only men to do it on public stage of the UFC. "I’ve got Matt’s number," he proclaimed in the weeks before the show. And with the highlight reels running full speed on the Arrowhead big screens throughout the night, showing his dispatch of the MFS fighter by rear naked choke, one might agree with him.
One prediction of the fight’s outcome that proved to be prophetic was provided by the man who was supposed to face him that night, Georges St. Pierre. "If it ends in the first round, it will be because BJ won," Georges remarked at ringside. "If it goes the full five rounds, it will be because Matt Hughes has won."
Early in the first round, it looked like BJ was on his way to repeating history as he managed to stuff Hughes’ legendary takedown, hopping on one leg as Hughes’ furiously pulled and twisted his leg to no avail. After Hughes finally gave up on his initial attempt, BJ wrenched himself away from him, agreeing to trade with Hughes and test his stand up meddle. His power had obviously flourished in his training prior to the fight, as he landed a left hook that dazed Matt, causing him to re-attempt his single leg staple. After an accidental thumb in Hughes’ eye caused a doctor stoppage, Hughes grew eager to return the favor.
Unfortunately for Matt, the situation only got worse in the second round. After finally scoring a takedown in the opening stanza, Matt found himself fighting off a rear naked choke attempt by BJ, a virtual carbon copy of the technique he used in their first meeting whereby Penn maneuvered his way out of Hughes’ guard and took his back.
The house was going absolutely crazy.
Matt’s power allowed him to twist free of the danger, but Penn’s slick jiu-jitsu once again reared it’s head as he transitioned from a rear naked choke to an armbar and then a triangle. Most of the audience thought Matt had escaped as he twisted out of the rear naked; the gravity of the situation was only revealed when the screens showed the ringside camera view. Matt was faltering under the pressure of the triangle, turning purple as BJ cranked his hold with everything he had.
The house was beside itself.
There was only one problem for BJ: Hughes would not tap. After a ten nail-biting seconds, Hughes was saved by the bell.
Eddie Bravo had scored both rounds for Penn, making it a do or die situation for Hughes. Matt immediately went to work in the third, peppering BJ with jabs, body punches, and leg kicks. One thing had become clear: BJ had used all of his gas in the submission attempt. Offering virtually no defense to Matt’s punches, he finally collapsed to the mat, where Hughes followed, trapping BJ’s arms from side mount and raining down punches that ended the bout at 3:50 of the third round.
Amidst the frenzy of the audience after being re-fitted once again for the belt, Hughes admitted that BJ had come close to finishing him with the armbar. "I just wish he had come in shape to go five rounds," Hughes said. "I really wanted to show what I could do in five rounds."
In the night’s co-main event, Mike Swick hopefully made his last argument as to why he should get a title shot at middleweight champ Rich Franklin, facing off with previous title challenger David Loiseau. While Swick looked impressive in his standup skills, putting on crisp display of boxing and Muy Thai, he did not face the same competitor that had given Franklin a five round war. Throughout the first two rounds, Loiseau was unable to find his rhythm or mount any solid offense as Swick brashly showed that he couldn’t be hurt by "The Crow".
Finally coming alive in the final round, Loiseau landed an overhand right that stunned Swick, putting him on the defense for the first time. From there, Loiseau took Swick down and re-asserted himself, landing several hard punches and elbows inside Swick’s half guard. Scrambling back to their feet, Swick ate some more elbows, but was anxious to let the audience know he wasn’t slipping, waving his finger "no" from the clinch after Loiseau let up.
All in all, it was too little, too late as Swick earned the unanimous decision from the judges, who all scored it 29-28 in favor of Swick. Overjoyed, Swick profusely thanked his fans and remarked at his ring posturing in the replay after the fight.
"I don’t know what that was,’ he laughed. Then the screens showed Swick catching a vicious elbow from the clinch. "I know what that was," he said. "Those hurt like hell. I take nothing away from my opponent. He’s a really tough guy."
It was a brief and unforgiving welcome back into his former home as Miletich standout and former lightweight champ Jens Pulver was upset by newcomer Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon, who caught him early with a stiff hook against the fence in the opening note of the fight. Regaining his composure as he resumed his boxing stance, Jens shook off the cobwebs and attempted to trade with "J-Lau". After a brief exchange, Jens mistakenly sprawled against a non-existent takedown that allowed Lauzon to clinch and fire a knee to Pulver’s head that sent him reeling back. Following it with a right that clipped Pulver’s chin, Lauzon pummeled him with punches until referee Herb Dean called a stop to the bout at just 48 seconds of the first round.
Wearing a "Fear No Evil" shirt, Lauzon was cautiously optimistic post fight when Rogan suggested that he was basically lightweight champion. "I don’t think I’d go that far," he quipped. "I’d put myself up there though. There are a lot of tough guys in the division."
After an initially slow start, TUF 2 winner Rashad Evans put an exclamation mark on his characteristically methodical style against North County Fight Club’s Jason Lambert, stopping him with a series of brutal punches that completely knocked out the Californian. Even though Lambert looked as if he had 20lbs on the Michigan native, Evans was able to power through Lambert’s ground defense, transitioning to mount in the second round and unleashing the blows that put a stop to the fight. Until the light heavyweight division thickens, Evans could see a dramatic uptick in the level of his competition very soon.
Fellow TUF 2 cast member and newly anointed Team Punishment fighter Melvin Guillard survived a rough patch against former WEC champ Gabe "Godzilla" Ruedinger, possibly scoring the UFC’s first one punch body blow knockout in history. Humbled after fending off a series of strikes and a rear naked choke attempt in the first, Melvin took coach Tito Ortiz’s advice and went to Ruedinger’s solar plexus, connecting with a straight cross that sent Ruedinger back a foot. Ruedinger’s face registered a look of worry, but he shrugged it off and re-took his position in front of Guillard. The second body punch was the one that made the difference. Firing the cross again, Guillard hit "Godzilla" in the solar plexus again. Almost instantly, Ruedinger dropped to the ground, wincing in pain as Guillard charged at him to stop it. The ref mercifully stepped in to stop any further damage, putting a half to the bout at 1:01 of the second round.
In his UFC debut, Roger Huerta made good on his promise to be impressive, winning a unanimous 30-27 decision against a game but overmatched Jason Dent.
Total Combat and King of the Cage veteran Eddie Sanchez made the best of this late replacement of Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga, knocking him out at 0:17 of the second round with the trademark overhand right he desperately wanted to utilize.
Although he lost a close split decision, TUF 3 cast member Danny Abbadi impressed the audience with an impressive display of counterpunching as he fought off TUF 2 vet Jorge Gurgel. Having popped his knee out only two days before the fight, Gurgel was admirable in pressuring Abbaddi throughout the match, pushing Danny back with overhand rights and leg licks. Ultimately, his aggressiveness was the deciding factor in the fight, earning him a tie breaking 29-28 score on the third judge’s scorecard.
The tables were unexpectedly turned as newcomer Tyson Griffin submitted fellow newcomer and submission artist and Erik Paulson student David Lee, tapping him out with a rear naked choke at 1:50 of the first round.
Full Results for UFC 63:
Cook Takes Belt, Sauer and Whitehead Set for December
Combat Fighting Championships 2
Held Sept 23, 2006
At the University of Central Florida Arena
By Keith Mills
Orlando, FL — On the same night as UFC 63 and just weeks before UFC returns to the Sunshine State it was another organization, Combat Fighting Championships, that was making waves among Orlando fans. People may not have realized it but Orlando has become the second hottest spot for MMA in Florida with UFC vets like Crafton Wallace, Luigi Fioravanti, and Seth Petruzelli all hailing from the immediate area. Take those vet’s training partners and up-and-comers, throw in local teams like Team Trauma and Gracie Barra, and add rumored interest from a Disney subsidiary and one has the makings of news the likes of which hasn’t emerged from outside California all year.
The main news was TJ Cook took the inaugural Combat Fighting Championships belt by defeating Jesse Chilton while Sauer and Whitehead advance to face each other for the inaugural CFC Heavyweight belt in December.
Whitehead/Buchkovich showed Whitehead using surprising techniques before reverting to a more traditional ground-and-pound strategy to take Buchkovich almost entirely out of his game. Buckkovich was holding his own trading knees in the clinch with Whitehead and avoiding Whitehead’s Kimura attempt in the first ground segment but seemed to run out of gas the second time these two Heavyweights went to the ground, succumbing to a barrage of punches with Whitehead mounted on his back.
Sauer/Sylvest was more disappointing. Sylvest took an early right that left him off balance but not truly knocked down. Sauer charged, forcing Sylvest down while Sylvest seemed to be tapping on the way down as if he didn’t think he could recover with Sauer barreling down on him. At thirteen seconds into the fight Sauer earned the right to face Whitehead in December but the brevity and method didn’t truly satisfy, especially considering the talent on the rest of the card.
In he Middleweight title fight Jesse Chilton didn’t seem to have an answer for TJ Cook’s kicks which may be the factor that resulted in Chilton succumbing to a knee injury.
CFC are also keeping pace with some of the more established "feeder shows" by holding significant women’s fights while still standing out for having this one at 125 pounds instead of the established 135 class. This fight was also significant as it was one of two between American Top Team affiliates and Team Trauma. This angle alone could prove interesting in the months to come but more on that in the full report. Tamera Arnold was making her pro debut but did a hell of a job as she and Marcus Paumpa’s Jessica Aguilar went to war. Both fighters at times had mount and were raining down punches, both fighters scored on the standup, and both fighters deserve a closer assessment. IN the end this night it was Aguilar’s edge with submissions that earned her the guillotine choke with just twenty second left in the second round.
One of the pleasant surprises this night was Jonathan Brookins of Team Trauma. At Lightweight this kid can move fast and knows his striking and submissions. It would be interesting to see him step up and fight someone with more experience than him such as a champion of one of the other feeder shows or an up-and-comer from a better known team. For now fans had to settle with seeing Jonathan dominate a game but overwhelmed Ryan Nakamura, pulling off the win in a little over a minute. More interesting up-and-comers were on this card but Brookins had that "something else" that set him apart, a charisma that could take him a long way.
Look for a full report in an upcoming issue of Full Contact Fighter.