Icon Promoter Shown “no Mercy” At Ax Fighting 12
Icon Promoter Shown "No Mercy" at AX Fighting 12
Report & photos by Mike Neva
EVERETT, Wash., August 5 — At 39 years old, there isn’t much Icon Sport promoter T. Jay Thompson hasn’t done in mixed martial arts. Perhaps it was a mid-life crisis, or just a desire to sew his wild oats one more time, but Thompson stepped into the AX Fighting ring at the Everett Armory for one last kick of the can before he would officially hang up the gloves. Coming in with an 0-1 record, it had been over six years since Thompson had competed and newcomer Ryan Alvarez showed Thompson he wasn’t simply a walk-over for Thompson’s swan song.
From the opening bell both fighters seemed content to work the clinch with neither man landing any telling blows. Thompson was able to land a few knees to the legs and mid section, but Alvarez was no worse for the ware after the opening three minutes.
In the second round, Thompson was able to get double underhooks into a bodylock and take Alvarez down. From the bottom Alvarez adeptly swept Thompson and landed in the side mount where he went to work with punches and shoulder strikes to his downed opponent. Alvarez kept on punching throughout round two, which opened a large gash on Thompson’s forehead. Although he survived the onslaught of punches, Thompson could not get past the watchful eye of the ringside physician who stepped in and put a halt to the bout after round two.
After the bout a happy-go-lucky Thompson beamed with joy at his return to the ring. "This was a fantasy for me, I wanted to be in a real fight, and as you can see I was in a real fight," Thompson said, pointing to the stitches on his forehead. "I leaned a lot about training, I learned a lot about myself, and I have a much greater respect for what these guys do". When asked if he had any thoughts of entering the ring one more time, "Absolutely not, no"!
In other action, Buck Bisbey pounded his way to victory against a very game Jesse McCarty. After barely surviving the opening round, McCarty sustained a large cut over his eye in the second stanza, which seemed to quell his spirit as he relented to Bisbey’s storm of strikes from rear mount.
Other noteworthy performances included Chris Inman, who had the crowd in a frenzy as he swiftly knocked out James Hulet with a devastating right hand. First-timer Mario Miranda also impressed by using a multitude of high altitude slams to soften up Steve Storwick before ultimately attaining the mount to finish the previously undefeated Storwick with an armbar.
Billy Janis def. Glen Turner – TKO (Corner threw in towel) 1:33 R1
Omar Estrada def. Nicholas Jacobsen – Split decision
Brett Malphrus def. Chris Miller – TKO (Ref stoppage) 1:29 R1
Dave Glover def. Chris Garcia – Unanimous decision
Jeff Bourgeois def. Ken Mishima – Unanimous decision a
Brent Knopp def. Mark Benoza – Submission (Rear-naked choke) 0:40 R1
Mario Miranda def. Steve Storwick – Submission (Armbar) 2:19 R2
Chris Inman def. James Hulet – KO 1:42 R1
Coby Parmenter def. Tim Sternod – Unanimous decision
Steve Dulani def. Roman Stump – Submission (strikes) 0:40 R3
Nate Cantiberos def. Brian Tellis – Submission (strikes) 1:28 R1
Sean Villalva def. Thomas Lizama – Submission (Guillotine choke) 0:21 R1
Ryan Alvarez def. T. Jay Thompson – TKO (Doctor stoppage – Cut) 5:00 R2
Jeff Lafeyette def. Tim Abell – Submission (Toe hold) 0:18 R2
Taurean Washington def. Jason Reno – Split decision
Buck Bisbey def. Jesse McCarty – TKO (Ref stoppage- strikes) 1:29 R2
Sakuraba Survives HERO’S; Manhoef, Uno, Menjivar Advance as Well
Report by Roxanne Modafferi – Photos by Shohei Dio Uesugi
TOYKO, Aug. 5 — 11,900 spectators packed Ariake Colosseum Saturday night, as Sammy’s HERO’S (K-1) hosted the quarter-finals of their light heavyweight and middleweight (lightweight in the U.S.) tournaments. Tonight’s winners will advance to the Yokohama Arena this October. It was a night of surprising finishes and shocking decisions.
In his first appearance outside the PRIDE organization in eight years, Kazushi Sakuraba faced off against Lithuanian Kestutis Smirnovas. Saku fell early in the first round and covered up against a barrage of shots from Smirnovas. The referee stopped the fight only to reposition Saku so he wasn’t falling out of the ring. Smirnovas resumed, but Saku managed to weather it. Both fighter’s stamina seemed shot after standing back up, but Saku was the one who managed to throw down in the end, finally finishing Smirnovas with an armlock 6:41 into the first round. Japanese fans will see their favorite fighter again as he advances on to stage two of the light heavyweight tournament.
Light-heavyweights Rodrigo Gracie and Shungo Oyama came out looking ready to brawl, but the fight ended in a cautious stalemate with Oyama getting the nod from the judges. They tested each other with sharp punch-kick combos before Gracie shot in for a double. The action went up and down for a minute before slamming into a roadblock as Oyama tried unsuccessfully to pass Gracie’s guard without him snatching a submission.
In a non-tournament single bout, Don Frye stalked out onto the stage with a glare that’d scare small children into eating their vegetables. He lay into Yoshihisa Yamamoto with the same confidence, his punches strong and accurate. Yamamoto landed some shots of his own until Frye knocked him down and applied the rear-naked choke, making him tap at 4:50 in.
Caol Uno had his hands full with "Black Mamba," who took his name from an extremely venomous African snake. Kultar Gill downed him early on, but Uno exhibited his own anaconda-like qualities by clinging tight to the Mamba and riding his back for a good deal of the fight. He finally finished it off with a rear-naked choke 3:30 into round two. The crowd leapt up and screamed for the popular fighter. "I’m aiming for number one," Uno said, about the middleweight tournament he is still very much alive in.
Yoshihiro Akiyama topped Taiei Kin, but not in the way he would have wished. The fighters went into a clinch right off the bat. Akiyama tripped Kin backwards and took full mount, swinging around for a straight armlock. Kin hung on, twisting and turning to escape, which shifted the fighters so Akiyama’s body was covering the arm from the referee’s view. He stopped the fight, much to the disappointment of crowd and Kin, who raised a commotion. Rather than naming the win a submission, the judges went to the score cards and deemed it a win by "decision." Akiyama was the third light heavyweight advancement.
One of the more anticipated match-ups for American viewers, Melvin Manhoef versus Carlos Newton didn’t happen (FCF has been unable to confirm the exact reason Newton did not compete). Instead, HERO’S asked Crosley Gracie, Rodrigo’s brother, to face off against the furious Dutch striker on two days notice. As the match got underway, it was clear Gracie wasn’t comfortable standing with Manhoef; nearly every technique was aimed at getting Manhoef to the ground. Of course, Manhoef felt the opposite, and soon the ref was screaming "Go! Go! Action!" He awarded a yellow card for stalling. After a frustrating nine minutes and 12 seconds, Manhoef got Gracie into a corner and pounded, earning himself a referee stoppage and the final slot in the light heavyweight tourney’s second round.
In the post fight interview, Gracie commented that if he had time to prepare, things would have been different. "I took the fight. I didn’t have to take the fight," he said. "I don’t regret it. I’ll just learn from this."
The hyped up fight between Hiroyuki Takaya and Gesias "J.Z." Calvalcante was short and sweet. The fighters threw a few combos, testing the waters. Then suddenly, J.Z. grabbed Takaya’s head and unleashed a jumping knee to the face, which knocked the Japanese senseless 30 seconds into round one. He thus advances on in the middleweight division.
When the giant Semmy Schilt faced off against Min Soo Kim in single bout action, it was obvious the Korean’s strategy was to avoid the heavy strikes from Schilt’s long limbs. He managed to clinch and used a judo move to force him backwards and into side control. The action slowed for a bit until Schilt escaped and reversed positions. He sank a triangle on Kim and at last submitted him 4:46 seconds inro round one.
Hideo Tokoro and Canadian Ivan Menjivar both put on an impressive display of technique, stamina, and heart, but unfortunately no finishes. Menjivar received the nod from the judges in a split decision. Stand-up went back and forth, with Tokoro relentlessly slapping on submission attempt after attempt when it went to the ground. Menjivar skillfully escaped and tried some of his own, eventually managing to take Tokoro’s back and almost choking him out. Tokoro hung on, but couldn’t gain back the advantage he lost from being backmounted for a portion of both five-minute rounds. Menjivar will be back in October as a middleweight contender.
Before meeting striker Kazuya Yasuhiro in the ring, Brazilian Rani Yahira said, "I want to prove that jiu-jitsu is better than Karate." He did just that as he shot in for takedowns and forced him down to the mat. Yahira slid from side to North-South position, sinking a side choke and finishing the Japanesefighter 1:08 into R1. He will advance on in the middleweight tournament as well.
Koutetsu Boku earned a decision over Alexandre Franca Nogueira after an up and down battle, with both fighters demonstrating prowess on the ground, and Boku dominating the stand-up.
Reality Fighting 13: Battle at the Beach
Held Aug 5, 2006
Wildwood Convention Center
By Derek Callahan