Jungle Fight 2 Review: Refusing To Surrender!
Jungle Fight 2 Review:
Refusing to Surrender!
UFC and Pride veterans show they still have what it takes in the North of Brazil
By Eduardo Alonso
It has been a while since Travis Wiuff, Carlos Barreto and Assuerio Silva had a shot at the UFC or Pride and people often debate on whether certain fighters are done for the "big thing" or not. This past Saturday, entering the early hours of Sunday, up in the north of Brazil at Jungle Fight 2, those three fighters surprised many showing they not only have what it takes to have a shot at the "Major Leagues" of our sport, as well as they are in constant evolution despite the ups and downs an MMA fighter career can present. Among many things, Jungle Fight 2 also helped to show that with our sport becoming so even, with fighters going fast from the "next big thing" to a "tomato can", it’s very important to give new chances to competitors that once were considered among the elite of mixed martial arts.
In the hot weather of the city of Manaus, counting with a interesting production and a good crowd on hand, Wallid Ismail and Antonio Inoki clearly saw an upgrade in the level of excitement from their first Jungle Fight venture to last Saturday night’s Jungle Fight 2. In the fight that was maybe the most awaited one, former Chute Boxe fighter Assuerio Silva stunned most of the audience with his improved ground skills in a winning effort against Brazilian Top Team fighter Fabiano Scherner. The first round saw Scherner get a slight upper hand with some takedowns and a bit of ground and pound, but doing close to no damage to his opponent. However, in the second round Assuerio dominated the action with his Boxing skills, connecting with solid uppercuts only to make Fabiano fall victim of a guillotine choke that amazingly submitted the Jiu-Jitsu stylist. Following this fight, the main event saw a smart, fit and strong Travis Wiuff execute a perfect gameplan and give no chance to local hero Leopoldo Montenegro. After Montenegro’s submission win over Mark Schultz at Jungle Fight 1, expectations were high among local fans, but what they saw was Wiuff hurting him on stand up early in the fight, controlling the takedowns and escape every submission attempt from the bottom, until Leopoldo tried for a triangle that made Wiuff slam him so hard on the mat he got semi-unconscious, so Travis would just finish him with hammer-fists and punches still in the first round.
Another highly awaited match-up had two UFC veterans battling each other in Carlos Barreto against Bobby Hoffman. Many doubted Barreto’s chances against Bobby’s pure aggressiveness, however the Brazilian Top Team fighter worked a Jiu-Jitsu clinic on Hoffman, attempting one triangle choke, one footlock, one kata-gatame choke from the bottom, another one from the top and one armbar from the guard, all in mere five minutes of fighting! Bobby came into the fight with a strategy to ground and pound Carlos, however the was forced to spend the whole fight defending, even being saved by the bell in the first round when he was caught in a tight kata-gatame choke from the top. The second round saw the same domination, as Barreto mounted him and pounded away until the referee saw indications that Hoffman wanted no more after one impressive outing by a fighter most call boring. Another UFC veteran, Ebenezer Braga, didn’t had the same luck as he was controlling the fight against Fabricio Werdum, defending takedowns well and hurting him with knees and punches, until he was caught by a prayer in the second round that sent him do dream land in brutal fashion. To his credit, Werdum is an amazing grappler and proved he have a great chin and will only improve. As knockouts weren’t rare in Jungle Fight 2, Daniel Acacio scored his first KO as a Chute Boxe member, completely dominating Buck Greer with better Wrestling and more aggressive stand up, despite the reach difference.
The other fights of the night saw Gabriel Napao fighting cautiously against 43 year old "Charlie Brown" because of his punching-power, and earning his win due to superior cardio and speed, French Kickboxer Boris Jonstomp controlling Adriano Martins on stand up, and prevailing with his cardio and agility, even though he got caught by a hard knee that almost got in out in the second round, Jiu Jitsu prodigy Ronaldo Jacare making quick work of Victor Babkin with a quick takedown followed by a mount that got the Russian helpless, Japanese Wrestler Katsuyori Shibata running over "Ice Man" needing around one minute to secure a side choke for the win, and BJJ world champion Fredson Paixao showing amazing heart and will in his MMA debut, imposing his pace and aggressiveness against a surprisingly passive Rani Yahira that didn’t seem comfortable at any moment in the fight. Happy with the success of Jungle Fight 2, Wallid Ismail is already planning the third edition for September, and a rematch between Carlos Barreto and Travis Wiuff, who fought at HEAT FC 2 with Wiuff winning a judges’ decision, is being considered for the main event.