Lindland Dominates Horn;anacondas And Wolfpack Victorious
LINDLAND DOMINATES HORN;
ANACONDAS AND WOLFPACK VICTORIOUS
Report by Steven Marrocco – Photos by April Pishna
Over 5000 vocal fans witnessed the International Fight League’s first foray into the Pacific Northwest this Saturday at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum, proving once again that it is a vital fight scene in the MMA world. Bas Rutten’s Anacondas gelled as a team for the first time and redeemed themselves of a lackluster showing in the inaugural IFL show. Matt Lindland’s Wolfpack also stood out against the Seattle Tigersharks, as their Team Quest-heavy roster of fighters edged out Maurice Smith’s Sharks, revealing a local rivalry within the crowd that night.
In the main event of the evening, Matt Lindland took off his coach’s hat and stepped into the ring with Jeremy Horn, dominating Horn early to win a TKO by strikes in the first round. Lindland immediately pressed the action at the opening bell, throwing a few solid punches before taking Horn down. Lindland’s stay on top position was short lived, as Horn swept him and put Matt on his back. From there, Lindland attempted his go-to move in a guillotine choke, but didn’t have the leverage to pull it off against the ground guru. Where Lindland surpassed Horn was his clinch work, as his well honed dirty boxing skills kicked in to place the second both fighters scrambled to their feet. Lindland was able to land several vicious uppercuts and knees as he and Horn careened from one end of the ring to the other. Every time Horn pushed out of the clinch and fired a cross at Lindland, Lindland answered with a series of roundhouse kicks to Horn’s body. Catching Horn’s knee, Lindland slammed Horn to the mat and worked ground and pound until the close of the first round.
The second round opened and closed quickly as Lindland countered a high kick from Horn with a left hook that hit him right on the button, dropping him into the turtle position, where Matt rained down punches at Jeremy’s back until the referee stopped the bout. Visibly upset at the post fight press conference, Jeremy admitted "Matt fought like professional, and tonight I fought like an amateur." Asked if he would continue fighting, he conceded he might be suffering a little burnout with his extremely busy schedule, and that both coaching and R&R might serve him best in the near future.
In the preliminary bouts of the evening, the Sabres’ Shane Johnson ran out of gas in the second round after his submission attempts failed. Capitalizing on his tiredness in the second round, Bobby caught Shane with a flying knee that knocked Shane to the canvas and ended the bout.
The Tigersharks’ Dustin Dennis displayed some slick ground skills against the Wolfpack’s Brian Foster, nearly sinking in a triangle and then an armbar before catching a right hook that also dropped him to the canvas and caused the ref to step in.
By the end of the opening team match-ups between the Tokyo Sabres and Los Angeles Anacondas, one thing became abundantly clear: if the Sabres do not learn how to defend a guillotine, their team will be short lived. Of the shutout that the Anacondas dealt the Sabres, three of them were by guillotine. Amos Sotelos, John Cole, and Pride veteran Kazuhiro Hamanaka all fell prey to the move within the first two minutes of their bouts. Whether the pro wrestling roots of the team played a hand in this, or perhaps their lack of experience together, the Sabres left themselves vulnerable to this move time and time again.
An easy candidate for fight of the night, undefeated Chris Horodecki squared off against nearly undefeated Ed West. Whether training with Bas Rutten has put a swagger in his step, or Horodecki is a natural performer, he displayed a confidence in the ring that wore West down during the course of the fight. His proficiency in striking and wrestling and ability to segue from one to another was very impressive. West was undoubtedly one of Horodecki’s toughest challenges yet, as Horodecki ate several good punches from the bottom after being taken down in the second round, narrowly escaping a Kimura that was sunk in deep. Horodecki’s gas tank was simply a little fuller for this fight. After standing his way out of a takedown in the third, Chris unleashed a series of thigh kicks to the prone West that had the audience cheering for each shot landed, reminiscent of Pride fans. From there, he took West down and grounded pounded him until the final bell, earning a unanimous decision and causing at least one audience member to call out "who IS this guy?"
In the second series of team matches, the Portland Wolfpack’s Ryan Schultz finally got his wish to fight the Tigersharks’ Cam Ward, who had cancelled an earlier bout due to a burn injury on his back. Schultz got the better of most standup exchanges, wobbling Ward several times before sending him across the ring with an overhand right that forced an immediate stoppage in the second round.
A runner up for fight of the night was the Wolfpack’s Chris Wilson against Brad Blackburn of the Tigersharks. In the first round, Wilson let it all hang out with two flying knees that caught Blackburn’s body, until Blackburn got wise to the move and countered the flying knee with a right cross that flattened Wilson. Unable to stop the fight from the top, Wilson recovered to fight another round. Perhaps wary of his earlier recklessness, the second round saw both men tentative, trading punches and kicks until Blackburn secured another takedown, attempting to ground and pound from there. After a brief scramble to the feet, Blackburn surprised the audience as he suplexed Wilson right on the sound of the bell. The third round saw Wilson narrowly escape a guillotine after a series of flashy high kicks to end the bout. Both fighters clearly felt they had won, but Blackburn’s first round knockdown and submission attempts gave him a sound advantage, as he walked away with the unanimous decision.
The Wolfpack’s Matt Horwich simply overwhelmed Tigershark Bristol Marunde with a combination of dirty boxing, takedowns, and straight punches that resembled Randy Couture’s dismantling of Chuck Liddell in UFC 43. Exhausted but elated, Horwich walked away with the Heart of a Lion award from promoters Gareb Shamus and Kurt Otto.
Allan Goes returned to MMA once again, winning his first battle as a Tigershark against up and comer Devin Cole of the Wolfpack. Cole was seconds from sending Goes to Queer street, landing six unanswered punches from an early clinch that had Goes seeing "three devils" on the mat, until Cole got a little overzealous and shot for a double leg, exposing his neck to a guillotine that Goes quickly took advantage of, tapping him at 2:05 of the first round.
IFL "World Team Championship Results
"Malice in Wonderland"
Malice at the Palace 1
Held September 9th, 2006 – Cow Palace Arena
Report and photos by Keith Mills
San Francisco, CA — Billed as the first MMA show in San Francisco "Malice at the Palace" was also the first show put on by Full Contact Promotions (no relation to Full Contact Fighter). Fighters from Team Frank Shamrock, AKA, Team Cesar Gracie, and more fought in the Cow Palace, a legendary arena that has booked everything from the Rolling Stones to evangelist Billy Graham. Local and regional heroes Jake Shields, Nam Phan, and Urijah Faber all picked up key victories in match-ups that on paper were closer than many thought but in execution surprised few in attendance.
In the main event current Rumble on the Rock Welterweight Champion and former Shooto Champion Jake Shields controlled three-time UFC vet Steve Berger en route to a 2nd round TKO victory. Berger acknowledges he is picking up wrestling late in his career but on this night just wasn’t a match for Jake’s experience at controlling positions, taking multiple powerful elbows to the side of the head from Jake in full mount in both rounds.
KOTC and WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber’s fight unfolded like several of his fights to date: unconventional standup setting up powerful takedowns and devastating elbows/forearms from guard that open cuts and end fights. Sport Fight Champion Enoch Wilson seemed to be fairing better than most of Faber’s victims but Faber’s speed and accuracy with his short strikes got through Wilson’s defenses enough to open a cut and finish the evening for Wilson.
Nam Phan is a name not many recognize yet but given performances like tonight’s that should change quickly. Phan’s strategy seemed based around taking Nelson down but actually scored most of his damage with knees to the head. With Faber and Shields seemingly destined for bigger opportunities by the end of the year fans at least can be satisfied tat on "Malice at the Palace 2" on January 20thk, 2007 that Phan at least is more than likely to return, next time hopefully fighting the level of talent Faber and Shields did on this night.
Two other pieces of news had polar opposite affects. First Daly City, California Mayor Michael P. Guingona presented Full Contact Promotions an official proclamation declaring this day "Malice at the Palace Day". Not bad for a first-time event. In less settling news, both Shannon Ritch and Brian Ebersole have been indefinitely suspended by the Boxing Commission for what several insiders say was interpreted as being a fake fight or "work." Ritch adamantly denies said allegations and stated he plans on appealing the suspension within the rules of the Commission. Ebersole as of this writing could not be reached for comment and no member of the Boxing Commission will comment on the record at this time.
Look for a full report in an upcoming issue of Full Contact Fighter.