Miletich’s Silverbacks Take Ifl Finals With 3-2 Tally
Miletich’s Silverbacks Take IFL Finals With 3-2 Tally
Palaszewski, Markham, and McGivern Clinch Team Championship for Midwest Squad
By Derek Callahan – Photos by Tom DeFazio
ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey, June 3—The International Fight League wrapped up their inaugural tournament tonight at the Trump Taj Mahal with ten fights that saw no submissions, but plenty of action. Pat Miletich and his Silverbacks took the team title in a 3-2 win over Maurice Smith’s Tiger Sharks that was, in effect, not nearly as close as it seems. The Silverbacks swept the first three fights, then dropped the last two, clinching their title before the trouble began. It was all preceded though by five individual match-ups.
Two right-handers started the night, and in one of the first exchanges, one of them lost his mouthguard. Travis Doerge’s (4-5) mouthpiece flying askew was a sign of things to come as Ben Uker (4-3) landed some cleaner shots at the start of their encounter. The bout had a quick pace to it as the fighters followed that mouthpiece to the canvas. Working away in Doerge’s half-guard, Uker looked more for a submission than any type of strike. He landed some, and as Pat Miletich coached him from the corner, Uker wrenched a Kimura that had Doerge tapping at 2:10 into round one.
Possibly the new baby-faced assassin (Josh Barnett has grown up) in MMA, Canadian Chris Horodecki had a tough task in the form of fellow newcomer, the 1-0 Erik Owings. Coming off of an impressive debut in which he beat Justin Jones at the first IFL, 26-year-old Owings looked to be the favorite against an 18-year-old Horodecki. Now 5-0, Horodecki had other ideas. Early in the fight he landed a one-two that transitioned into a clinch. Obviously not afraid to go toe-to-toe early on with the Renzo Gracie brown belt, Horodecki saw his shot to take it to the mat when Owings tossed a high kick his way. Making it quickly to his feet, Owings opted back into a clinch where he muscled for a toss, and Horodecki kneed at his legs.
Some wild exchanges followed a separation and restart by the referee, with Owings eventually pulling guard. Trying the aerial tricks early on made it seem as if Owings didn’t want to try to shoot in, and the two were soon back on their feet. Although outmatched in the Muay Thai realm, Owings traded willingly with Horodecki, who mixed up an attack that saw him kick to the body, then raise up for a fight-ending kick to the head. The end came so near to the close of the first round that not only did the bell ring, but the referee walked away from the action, taking an unacceptable moment to notice the sanguine Owings.
In the third bout of the night, previously undefeated Jake Ellenberger (14-1) looked unsure of himself against Jay Hieron (9-2). A unanimous decision that saw all three judges give the Anaconda’s alternate the sweep, Hieron stuck with his wrestling throughout the fight. Ellenberger’s high point was in the third round when he knocked Hieron down with a right hand; he was quickly taken back down though, where Hieron worked in his guard. The Las Vegas-based welterweight earned a clear decision, but 14 wins since 2005 say that Ellenberger fought well under his potential.
The Alex Schoenauer (11-5) fight quickly became a Jamal Patterson (2-0) fight early on. Patterson started the fight with a double-leg takedown and followed up by wrenching Schoenauer’s head into a guillotine choke. It didn’t work the first time, but after some strikes in Schoenauer’s guard, Patterson again secured a guillotine and this time made it work. With two straight wins over two bigger name opponents, light heavyweight Patterson has officially arrived. Whether or not he’s capable of continuing as impressively, fans can look forward to seeing. He has been after all, impressive so far.
Rounding out the individual fights of the night was Wes Sims (11-8-1) in a rematch with Daniel Gracie (4-1-1). The first fight was a draw, and judging form this fight it’s a wonder as to how. Wes Sims is an unpredictable and entertaining fighter to watch, but this fight was all Gracie. Gracie started the fight off chopping at the front leg of Sims, then getting in close with a clinch. It was a sharp idea, as he quickly got to side control after taking Sims to the mat. He turned his side control into a full mount, then allowed Sims to turn his back. Issues of respect aside, one doesn’t turn their back to Gracie. He locked in both hooks and went for the obvious rear-naked choke. A stand up by Sims didn’t shake the Brazilian, nor did his falling into the ropes. Sims flailed against the ropes but Gracie held on, and choked Sims out at 2:42 of round one.
In the team finals, Silverback Bart Palaszewski (25-7) came into the lightweight bout with an injured hand, and late replacement Steve Bruno (5-3) was feeling under the weather. They each had a little something working against them, but Palaszewski took advantage, landing a left hook at 1:48 of the first round that crumpled Bruno, calling a halt to the fight.
The welterweight bout between Tiger Shark Brad Blackburn (11-8-1) and his Miletich-trained opponent Rory Markham (9-2) turned on a dime. Blackburn dominated the first round, lighting up Markham with a jab and quick right hand. He found a good range on the outside that he was comfortable with exploiting. Markham’s face showed the wear and tear when he returned to his corner in between rounds. Pat Miletich must have given him some incredible advice though, because no sooner did the bell for the second round ring before Markham was all over Blackburn. He packs serious power in his hands, and from a clinch landed on Blackburn almost at will. Twenty-three seconds into the second round, the referee stopped the fight. It put the Silverbacks up 2-0 in the team competition.
Dennis Hallman (38-12-2) looked lethargic against Ryan McGivern (8-1) in their middleweight pairing. His best moment of the fight was the first one, when he came out and threw an immediate right hand that knocked McGivern down. After taking his back though, it was all downhill from there. Throughout the three-round duration, McGivern landed small shots in the clinch that eventually added up well. The proof was in Hallman’s face, which was marked up by the close of his three-round unanimous decision loss. This was the clincher for the Silverbacks, who took an unbeatable 3-0 lead. With the win they became the first team champions in the IFL.
The second-to-last bout of the night wasn’t a crowd pleaser, but did feature two undefeated fighters. Mike Ciesnolevicz (8-1) dropped a split decision to Reece Andy (3-0), in a bout that saw both men secure takedowns. Andy may have won his two judges over with a textbook slam that had the Silverback’s Ciesnolevicz hanging on for a ride. Both were evenly matched in a fight that could have gone either way.
The final fight of the card was a venerable wrestling clinic put on by both Devin Cole (7-1) and Travis Wiuff (41-9). Weight definitely looked to have played a factor in this bout as the Tiger Shark’s Cole grinded out a unanimous decision win over a much more experienced, but lighter, opponent. The two traded takedowns throughout the fight, but Cole got the best of takedowns, and controlled enough action to warrant the decision.
Alvarez Dominates at MFC 7
Report by Jim Genia – Photos by Keith Mills
(June 3rd, Atlantic City, New Jersey) There’s no doubt about it: Eddie Alvarez is the real deal. Facing his toughest competition to date in UFC veteran Derrick Noble, and with the Mixed Fighting Championship welterweight belt up for grabs, Alvarez stepped up to the plate and knocked the ball out of the park. The seventh installment of the MFC featured two thrilling female fights, a Russia vs. the USA main card, and slew of exciting match-ups – but it came down to the Fight Factory superstar and the Silverback, and the bout didn’t disappoint. Highlights of the night included:
Sergie Kaznovsky (Red Devil-257lbs) vs. Jerome Smith (262lbs)
Eric Oganov (Red Devil-169lbs) vs. Chris Ligouri (Rhino Fight Team-170lbs)
Vladimir Zenin (Red Devil-154lbs) vs. Matt Lee (Team Elite-160lbs)
Joey Brown (Team Renzo-164lbs) vs. Vadim Kulchitskiy (Bulldozer Fight Club-164lbs)
Stephen Haigh (Fight Factory-169lbs) vs. Toraji (AACC-168lbs)
Tara LaRosa (Northwest Elite-133lbs) vs. Hitomi Akano (AACC-135lbs)
Shanya Bazler (134lbs) vs. Amanda Buckner (Academy of MMA-136lbs)
Kaream Ellington (South Bronx Fight Team-206lbs) vs. Kenichi Yamamoto (196lbs)
Yusuke Masuda (AACC-214lbs) vs. Mike Patt (Team Jorge Gurgel-215lbs)