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Friday, Feb 02, 2007

Victors Fit For Nhb

Victors Fit For NHB
Fit NHB steal the show at first Ultimate Warrior Challenge
Ultimate Warrior Challenge Feb 2nd, 2007
Prime Osborn III Convention Center-Jacksonville, FL
Report & photos by Keith Mills

Ultime Warrior Challenge: Marcus Foran digs a knee into Travis Cox' midsection - Photo by Keith Mills
Foran kneeing Cox

Jacksonville, FL With the rise of new MMA promotions vying for television and pay-per-view joining the UFC in snapping up the previously hyped up-and-comers over the last year the 2007 scouting scene is an open field. If the best bets for who are going to be news tomorrow are the fighters emerging from teams that have already fielded UFC fighters then shows like Ultimate Warrior Challenge should be added to the list of the ones to watch. Ultimate Warrior Challenge put on a very good show this night, especially considering it was their first show. Current UWC and former KOTC matchmaker Chris Cordeiro, also a veteran promoter who has held much smaller shows in Jacksonville himself, turned out to be the glue that held it all together for this sold out 5300 capacity event. The show was filmed but no plans are in the works for any form of distribution.

First let’s cover the UFC vet-trained fighters since the show was based around them. ATT’s Din Thomas’ student Justin Thrift had a disappointing showing as Thrift didn’t seem to be able to follow the gameplan against the unorthodox Coty Wheeler while Dean Lister’s student Brad Royster showed promise with his kicking but his wild right haymakers did little to impress the judges in his decision loss to Gerald Lovato. Crafton Wallace had two students with Travis Cox and Dinis Sejduevski both picking up losses by decision and TKO respectively however Cox/Foran was undoubtably the fight of the night. American Top Team affiliate Knockout Fitness with Luigi Fioravanti and Paul Rodriguez in the corner were the only UFC vet-trained team to have an up-and-comer pull out a victory as Jeff Emerson scored a powerful elbow from mount to open a cut on the aforementioned Sejduevski, following up with punches for the TKO. Fioravanti and Rodriguez were also in the corner of UFC/TUF vet Seth Petruzelli for the main event where Petruzelli made quick work of previously undefeated as a pro Bernard Rutherford from Georgia.

Ultime Warrior Challenge: Gerald Lovato back-mounted on Brad Royster - Photo by Keith Mills
Lovato back-mounted on Royster

So who were the fighters that beat the up-and-comers trained by the UFC vets? Aside from Knockout Fitness/ATT’s Emerson the night was all about a relatively new team named Fit NHB. Fit NHB’s Coty Wheeler beat Thomas’ Thrift, Marcus Foran beat Wallace’s Cox, and Gerald Lovato beat Lister’s Royster. Fit NHB also fielded Toby Johnson who was supposed to fight Lister’s Waachim Spiritwolf but due to an injury Johnson ended up defeating Eric Hill out of Spartan Academy in Orlando. If you haven’t heard of Fit NHB you probably will soon considering ROTR Welterweight tournament runner-up and WEC contender Carlos Condit calls Fit NHB his home. Based out of Albuquerque, NM this team may be behind (Greg) Jackson’s Fight Team in terms of notoriety but actually according to Condit Fit NHB started out as an affiliate of Jackson’s before they went their separate ways. Definitely keep an eye on these guys.

Ultime Warrior Challenge: Toby Johnson locking up a triangle choke on Eric Hill - Photo by Keith Mills
Johnson locking up triangle choke on Hill

In the main event UFC/TUF vet Seth Petruzelli defeated Bernard Rutherford from Georgia, a regional favorite previously undefeated as a pro. Both fighters scored with punches on the feet but Rutherford seemed intent on taking the fight to the ground while Petruzelli forced Bernard to stand and trade. As Rutherford was regaining his feet from one such unsuccessful takedown attempt Petruzelli scored the right/left/right that seemed to stun Rutherford and sent him to the mat on his back while Petruzelli’s follow-up overhand right to the face of the prone Rutherford was the KO blow.

Ultime Warrior Challenge: Seth Petruzelli pounding on Bernard Rutherford - Photo by Keith Mills
Petruzelli pounding on Rutherford

The card also had two fights with local team Hit Squad who went 1-1. Hit Squad’s Ali Radwan won his rematch against a questionably-conditioned Joe Lane out of Team Adrenaline while Hit Squad’s Jonathan Fernandez lost his debut fight against Team Obaki’s Tony Vartanian.

Ultime Warrior Challenge: Jeff Emerson takes Dinis Sejduevski for a ride - Photo by Keith Mills
Emerson takes Sejduevski for a ride


  • Coty Wheeler def. Justin Thrift by unanimous decision
  • Ali Radwan def. Joe Lane 1:59 R3 by rear choke
  • Marcus Foran def. Travis Cox by unanimous decision
  • Tony Vartanian def. Jonathan Fernandez 1:40 R1 by TKO
  • Gerald Lovato def. Brad Royster by unanimous decision
  • Jeff Emerson def. Dinis Sejduevski 1:40 R1 by TKO
  • Toby Johnson def. Eric Hill 1:59 R1 by triangle choke
  • Seth Petruzelli def. Bernard Rutherford 1:47 R1 by KO

IFL Press Release:

IFL logo
Matt Lindland Wins Superfight; Horodecki Decisions Palaszewski to Clinch Win for Anacondas over Defending Champion Silverbacks

HOUSTON, February 2, 2007- The Tokyo-based Sabres, led by Ken Yasuda and Los Angeles-based Anacondas, coached by Bas Rutten, won their respective season-opening International Fight League matchups today in front of 4,531 at Reliant Arena in Houston. Matt Lindland, coach of the Portland-based Wolfpack submitted Carlos Newton, Toronto-based Dragons’ coach in the "Superfight" which followed the team matchups.

The Sabres won, 3-2, over the Scorpions, coached by Don Frye and based in Tucson, while the Anacondas upended the defending IFL World Team Champion Silverbacks, led by Pat Miletich, by the same 3-2 count.

Lindland earned the victory with a second-round submission, taking out Newton with a series of punches to the face, backing Newton into the corner before dropping to the ground for the guillotine choke to finish the match.

The Houston card marked the first event in the Southwest for the IFL (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league, and is part of the full 11-event IFL 2007 schedule, the most comprehensive advance schedule in the history of fight sports.

In the first matchup, Antonio McKee (Long Beach, Calif.) got the Sabres (1-0) off to a good start with a TKO victory over Gabe Rivas (Tucson, Ariz.), when he delivered a kick to Rivas’ midsection which sent the Scorpions’ (0-1) welterweight crumbling to the mat with a leg injury. The referee immediately stopped the bout and Rivas left under his own power. Light heavyweight Vladimir Matyushenko (Retchisa, Belarus) pushed the Sabres’ advantage to 2-0 with a first-round submission victory over Dwayne Compton (Tucson, Ariz.), gaining a side mount and converting the armbar, from which Compton could not escape. Scorpions’ heavyweight Chad Griggs (Tucson, Ariz.) pulled his team within 2-1 with a third-round TKO triumph over John Marsh in a hard-hitting bout. Lightweight Savant Young (Pasadena, Calif.) clinched the victory for the Sabres with a hard-fought unanimous decision over Ed West (Tucson, Ariz.) in an entertaining battle. Matt Ver Halen scored a lightweight victory by unanimous
decision over scrappy Masaaki Izena (Tokyo) for the final 3-2 margin.

In the highly-anticipated battle between the Anacondas (1-0) and Silverbacks (0-1), heavyweight Ben Rothwell (Kenosha, Wis.) struck first blood for the defending champs, registering a second-round TKO over a game Matt Thompson (Austin, Texas), who served as a replacement for the Anacondas’ regular at the spot, Krzysztof Soszynski. In the welterweight bout, Jay Hieron (Las Vegas, Nev.) battled past another alternate, Victor Moreno (Des Moines, Iowa) to even the match with a first-round submission by rear naked choke. Moreno fought in place of Rory Markham, who was out with an eye injury. Anacondas middleweight Benji Radach (Longview, Wash.) took a slugfest from Ryan McGivern (Bettendorf, Iowa), landing a series of punches to finish off the TKO at 2:22 of the second round. The much-hyped lightweight battle between Chris Horodecki (London, Ontario) of the Anacondas and Bart Palaszewski (Wonderlake, Ill.) of the Silverbacks was everything fans expected, with Horodecki taking a split
decision to secure the team victory for Rutten’s squad. Light heavyweight Mike Ciesnolevicz (Williamstown, Pa.) took a split decision from Alex Schoenauer (Las Vegas, Nev.), completing the scoring.

The IFL next moves to the Gwinnett Center in suburban Atlanta, where the Dragons (Toronto), coached by Newton, take on the Wolfpack (Portland), coached by Lindland, and the Red Bears (Chicago), led by Igor Zinoviev, battle the Pitbulls (New York), led by Renzo Gracie. Popular MMA veterans Robbie Lawler and Eduardo Pamplona will match up in the "Superfight" following the team competition.

The IFL is the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league. Each of the 12 IFL teams for 2007 will compete in three regular season events; the teams with the top four overall win-loss team records will advance to the semi-finals, which will be held on Thursday, August 2, 2007 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. The 2007 IFL Finals will then be held at The Forum in Los Angeles on Saturday, September 15, 2007.

The 10 venues for the 2007 season (The Forum in Los Angeles will host two events) will scale to between 7,000 and 13,000 seats, which has been consistent with the IFL’s plan of managed growth.

About the IFL

International Fight LeagueTM (IFL) is the world’s first professional mixed martial arts sports league. IFL has its headquarters in New York, NY and offices in Las Vegas, NV. For more information about IFL, please see: www.ifl.tv

International Fight League
Reliant Arena, Houston, February 2, 2007
Sabres (Tokyo) def. Scorpions (Tucson), 3-2

WW/170 – Antonio McKee, Sabres, def. Gabe Rivas, Scorpions, via TKO (injury), 3:29, 2nd

LH/205 – Vladimir Matyushenko, Sabres, def. Dwayne Compton, Scorpions, via submission (armbar), 1:47, 1st

HW/265 – Chad Griggs, Scorpions, def. John Marsh, Sabres, via TKO (ref stoppage/strikes), 2:32, 3rd

LW/155 – Savant Young, Sabres def. Ed West, Scorpions, via decision (unanimous) after 3 rounds

LW/155 (alt.) – Matt Ver Halen, Scorpions, def. Masaaki Izena, Sabres, via decision (unanimous) after 3 rounds

Anacondas (Los Angeles) def. Silverbacks (Quad Cities), 3-2

HW/265 – Ben Rothwell, Silverbacks, def. Matt Thompson, Anacondas, via TKO (strikes), 1:47, 2nd

WW/170 – Jay Hieron, Anacondas, def. Victor Moreno, Silverbacks, via submission (rear naked choke), 1:55, 1st

MW/185 – Benji Radach, Anacondas, def. Ryan McGivern, Silverbacks, via TKO (ref stoppage/strikes), 2:22, 2nd

LW/155 – Chris Horodecki, Anacondas def. Bart Palaszewski, Silverbacks, via decision (split) after 3 rounds

LH/205 – Mike Ciesnolevicz, Silverbacks, def. Alex Schoenauer, Anacondas, via decision (split) after 3 rounds


MW/185: Matt Lindland def. Carlos Newton, via submission (guillotine choke), 1:43, 2nd

IFL Standings Through Feb. 2

Team Overall Match

Anacondas 1-0 3-2

Condors 1-0 3-2

Lions 1-0 3-2

Sabres 1-0 3-2

Dragons 0-0 0-0

Wolfpack 0-0 0-0

Pitbulls 0-0 0-0

Red Bears 0-0 0-0

Razorclaws 0-1 2-3

Scorpions 0-1 2-3

Silverbacks 0-1 2-3

Tiger Sharks 0-1 2-3

Special Awards

(Sabres vs. Scorpions)

Best KO – Antonio McKee, Sabres

Best submission – Vladimir Matyushenko, Sabres

Fastest finish – Vladimir Matyushenko, Sabres

Most exciting fight – Masaaki Izena, Sabres, vs. Matt Ver Halen

(Anacondas vs.Silverbacks)

Best KO – Benji Radach, Anacondas

Best submission – Jay Hieron, Anacondas

Fastest Finish – Jay Hieron, Anacondas

Fight of the Night – Chris Horodecki, Anacondas vs. Bart Palaszewski, Silverbacks

Most Valuable Fighter – Ben Rothwell, Silverbacks

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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