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WCMMA debuts in CT at Foxwoods
U.S. beats Portugal, China in MMA event
Brett Oteri, left, of Team USA tries to block a punch from Wang Sai of Team China on Sept. 15 at Foxwoods.
By Brian Woodman Jr.
The World Cup of Mixed Martial Arts, an MMA promotion based out of Rome, held its first event on Sept. 15 at the Foxwoods casino and resort in Mashantucket; a location on the Pequot Indian reservation where Connecticut statutes effectively prohibiting MMA do not apply. Promoters for the organization emphasized the international nature of an event that included a heavyweight title fight between Alexey Oleinik of Russia and Mike Stewart (see related story).
The event featured teams of mixed martial artists from the United States and Portugal paired against each other with the U.S. emerging victorious. Two fighters from a Chinese team also lost.
WCMMA used a points system for the bouts between the Portuguese and American fighters, who were organized into teams of four men and one woman. American Jessica Rakoczy (0-3), who is also a professional boxer, cancelled her fight at 125 pounds with Rute Frias, a 2010 Brazilian Jui Jitsu champion in her home country, due to medical reasons; this began the competition with a 2-1 score in favor of Team Portugal, but Team USA’s male fighters submitted all their opponents in the subsequent two-round fights.
The system awards one point each to teams for a bout ending in a draw while the losing team gets one point for each bout in which a member fights. A fighter that wins by a decision or by disqualification of an opponent scores two points for their team, a win by technical knock-out scores three, a win by submission scores four, a knock-out scored by a punch scores five and a win by a knee or kick scores six.
Team USA won by 17-6. Team members took each fight with Team Portugal to the ground.
American James Reese, despite sustaining an accidental knee to the crotch in the first round of a fight at 155 pounds, submitted Portuguese Paulo Darque with a rear choke in the second round. American Shaun Dillon submitted Portuguese Falco Neto in the first round of their fight at 174 pounds with a guillotine choke. American Mike King choked out Portuguese Bruno Silva in the first round of their bout at 195 pounds. American Steve Skrzat performed a particularly spectacular takedown of Portuguese Nuno Mendes early in the first round of a 220-pound fight that ended with a submission following some ground-and-pound.
Dave LaChapelle of Team USA (1-0) earned his second professional career victory that evening in a featherweight title bout with Yao Honggang (7-3) of Team China. The five round fight ended with LaChapelle winning by decision. Although Honggang scored multiple single and double leg takedowns against LaChapelle during the first round and had the American in his guard for much of the five-round bout, he was generally dominated in the remaining four rounds.
Wang Sai (5-3) of Team China was disqualified after landing a knee to the face of Team USA’s Brett Oteri (10-3) during the second round of their five-round middleweight title fight. Judges for the bout stated that Oteri, was visibly shaken in the second round following a flurry of punches, was on at least one knee when Sai kneed him.
Honggang and Sai held titles through the Beijing-based WMMAC (World Mixed Martial Arts Champion-ship), which participated in the event. The title fights marked a unification of the titles held by both organizations.
Brian Kelleher (7-3) knocked out Bill Jones (10-6) about 10 seconds into the first round of a lightweight title fight earlier that evening. He replaced Yang JianPing (5-3), who was originally scheduled to fight.
(Editor’s note: statistics for certain fighters were not available at the time that this fight was posted).
Pictured Below: Tim Walsh attacks on Pedro Rivera during their bout on Sept. 15 at Foxwoods for WCMMA I.