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Thursday, Sep 23, 2004

Reality Combat Hits Mississippi

Reality Combat Hits Mississippi
By Loretta Hunt

60-year-old Skip Hall puts the squeeze on promoter Rich Clementi
Hall puts the squeeze on promoter Rich Clementi

Down a stretch of vacant highway, a cluster of casinos all within walking distance of the other beckon the wide-eyed driver with a fluorescent tapestry that lights up the black Mississippi sky. This is Tunica, a community that was said to have once been in economical disarray, until these beacons of chance sprung up, luring throngs of fortune seekers from local Memphis, Tennessee and beyond to its doorstep.

It’s also where Reality Combat will host its 23rd event tomorrow night from Sam’s Town Casino. Catering to the Gulf Coast area of Louisiana, this event will be promoters Rich Clementi and Jim Cunningham’s inaugural engagement in the area. Hosting a mix of local professionals and amateurs hailing from Arkansas to Tennessee, "Duel in the Delta," will look to draw a crowd of 1,000 spectators.

In the main event, UFC veteran and pro boxer LaVerne Clark looks to get his name back into the welterweight picture following a sporadic record and a recent spell of inactivity. He’ll face promising up-and-comer Melvin Guillard, whose furious fists have garnered him a loyal local following. "This is the new LaVerne Clark," the seasoned fighter said tonight from the official weigh-ins. "I’m changing a lot of things that I was doing before and things that I wasn’t doing, I’m doing the right things now." Currently training with Jason Reinhardt and company in Illinois, Clark says he’s getting the inspiration he has long needed to get back into regular training for competition.

Main event: Melvin Guillard  vs. LaVerne Clark
Main event: Melvin Guillard vs. LaVerne Clark

Opponent Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard seemed unimpressed by Clark’s notoriety. "He hasn’t fought anybody," the younger fighter said of Clark’s past opponents, who have included Frank Trigg and Fabiano Iha. "Everybody’s telling me he’s as good as he is. You really don’t know that till you fight somebody. I have nothing to prove. I’m just going to go out there and fight my fight and come home with the victory."

Heavyweights Matt Thomas and Patrick Lachney
Heavyweights Matt Thomas & Patrick Lachney

Also on the card, heavyweights Matt Thomas and Patrick Lachney are hoping to impress in a bid to quench a heavyweight draught currently sweeping the nation. Thomas is 9-0 in amateur action, while Lachney has seen a comparable amount of play as well, and currently trains under Clementi and others in the Louisiana area.

Although 25 pounds separates fighters Fred Grishwald and Will Hymer, a little healthy animosity has spurned one of two rematches to grace the RC card. Both fighters are willing to overlook the formality for a chance to settle a score. Without an athletic commission to oversea the proceedings (Mississippi remains one of numerous States still weighing the MMA issue), promoter Clementi was left to decide if these two should meet again.

Possibly the most mature mixed martial artist still competing, 60-year-old Skip Hall will look to improve his record to 5-3 tomorrow evening. He faces Anthony Barbier, absent from tonight’s weigh-ins, but expected to join the group tomorrow.

Reality Combat’s "DUEL IN THE DELTA" Weigh-In Results

Melvin Guillard (165 lbs.) vs. LaVerne Clark (172 lbs.)*

Antonio (Flea) Smith (145 lbs.) vs. William McGlothlin (145 lbs.)

Patrick Lachney (234 lbs.) vs. Matt Thomas (250 lbs.)

Kenny Stevens (185 lbs.) vs. Ray Totorico (185 lbs.)

Skip Hall (208 lbs.) vs. Anthony Barbier*

Adam Brune (210 lbs.) vs. Jason Johnson (222 lbs.)

Mike Breazele (275 lbs.) vs. Ray Grossman (252 lbs.)

Fred Grishwald (172 lbs.) vs .Will Hymer (147 lbs.)

Seth Kleinbeck (205 lbs.) vs. Alan Belcher (208 lbs.)

*Fighters were given a two-pound allowance for clothing
**Barbier is expected to weigh in tomorrow morning

Sean Sherk shooting on Brody Farber
SportFight Results
By Keith Mills

Reno, NV — It was a night of occurrences many fans probably thought they wouldn’t see individually let alone all on one card as Matt Lindland brought his show SportFight to Reno. Headlining the evening Jeremy Horn was back in the Light Heavyweight division after concentrating on Middleweight lately as he won a rematch against Chael Sonnen on short notice. Dennis Hallman was set to move up to Middleweight from his most successful Welterweight segment of his career as he defeated Mike Seal although Hallman’s announced weigh-in weight was actually 193. Sean Sherk was the most famous fighter on the card that fought at their famous weight although this would be strange to most fans as this was actually the "new" Sean Sherk, bent of demonstrating his submission skills and avoiding ground and pound. You read that right, Sherk avoiding ground and pound in favor of submissions to show the world he is more exciting since the loss to Hughes and not just a 35-1-1 fighter ranked between #3 and 5 on most polls. Add in a Team Cesar Gracie fighter that prefers to box, a Heavyweight fighter giving up 45 pounds and managing to get a 0:15 KO, and an opening fight with one fighter cornered by John Hackleman and the other by Mike Kyle and you have a strange but very entertaining night.

There were two minor downsides to this night of action. No fights going to a decision is usually preferable but most of these fights were over so early the total length of ring time was around 22 minutes. The other low point of the night was post Horn/Sonnen. First Chael Sonnen insulted Jeremy Horn immediately after Horn submitted Sonnen and before the ref could raise Horn’s hand. With a look on his face that made some present ringside wonder if the fight was about to continue Chael was heard to say Jeremy got lucky and he’d beat Horn any day of the week. Horn blew Sonnen off but when given the mike to speak got his own shot in by saying Sonnen ‘hits like a girl.’ For what otherwise would definitely been the fight of the night this was an embarrassing ending, as if it is still not over.

SportFight returns in Oregon in November.

Antonio Banuelos def Brandon Shuey 0:22 R1 by KO
Matt Horwich def Billy Miles 0:59 R2 by rear choke
Tony Sanza def Adam Torres 1:00 R2 by rear choke
Jeromy Freitag def Santino Genaro 0:15 R1 by KO
Dennis Hallman def Mike Seal 0:50 R1 by rear choke
Sean Sherk def Brody Farber 0:55 R1 by side choke
Jeremy Horn def Chael Sonnen 2:35 R2 by guillotine choke

Look for full coverage of this show in the next issue of Full Contact Fighter.

From the event’s promoter:

European Vale Tudo "Gladiators" only two days away!

This Sunday will see 20 international fighters enter the cage in Solnahallen, Stockholm to battle it out in the toughest form of contest known to man ? Vale Tudo. In the main bout, Brazilian Top Team’s Allan Goes will face Pierre Guillet of Tsunami Gym, UK. There is still time to buy tickets at Budo & Fitness Stockholm and on Fighter Centre Stockholm.

This is the second event of its kind held in Sweden. It is fighting sports taken to the extreme – two fighters go head to head in a cage of steel. Almost anything goes, including punches and kicks to an opponent on the ground. The fights consist of three five minute rounds and are stopped if one fighter is knocked-out, taps out or by the referee.

The fight card of this, the fourth event arranged by the European Vale Tudo organization, is an impressive read. Some fighters are new to EVT and some have become familiar to the EVT-audience, but all are at the top of their game.

The fight card

Match 1, -70 kg Lightweight
Sebastian Korschilgen, OC Fight Team (Germany) Vs.
Robbie Olivier, Tsunami Gym (UK)
*new fight with new fighters*

Robbie Olivier usually spends eight weeks preparing for a fight like this. Still, he accepted the offer to fight in EVT 4 "Gladiators" with only one weeks notice, because "I just love to fight". Robbie Olivier has a record of 8-5-1 and is the more experienced of the two fighters.

Match 2, -77 kg Welterweight
Tim Vinther, Advanced Gym Copenhagen (Denmark) Vs.
Diego Gonzales, Pancrase Gym (Sweden)

At 20, Diego Gonzales has time on his side to reach his full potential, something he feels he was not able to do in his last fight due to poor conditioning. This time around he comes prepared – and ready to go the distance if necessary. And that might just be the case. Tim Vinther has a record of 5-2-0 and has won his last three fights.

Match 3, -84 kg Middleweight
Marcus Karallus, OC Fight Team (Germany) Vs.
Johan Antonsson, SBJJA

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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