MMA in CT
By Brian Woodman Jr. and John Fulcher
Bellator 194 will be coming to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT on Feb. 16 and the main card looks promising.
The main event, a bout between Roy "Big Country" Nelson (23-14) and Matt Mitrione (12-5), will mark the start of the promortion's latest Heavyweight Grand Prix. But the rest of the card does not suffer by comparison -- the co-main event is a lightweight bout Patricky Pitbull (18-8) versus Derek Campos (19-6), while Liam McGeary (12-2) will battle fellow light heavyweight Vadim Nemkov (8-2)
But a women's flyweight fight between Heather Hardy (1-1) versus Ana Julaton (2-3) may be what really grab's people's attention. The fight will proceed a boxing math between the two that will occur at a later date.
The main card will also offer a featherweight bout between Tywan Claxton (1-0) and Jose Antonio Perez (0-1)
The preliminary card as of press time is:
The preliminary card as of press time is:
Lightweight: Marcus Surin (4-1 ) versus Dean Hancock (3-1).
Bantamweight: Mike Kimbel (0-0) versus Geoffrey Then (0-1).
Welterweight: Vinicius De Jesus (5-2) versus Jesse McElligott (5-3).
Lightweight: Tyler Hamilton (1-0) versus Pat Casey (0-0).
Featherweight: Regivaldo Carvalho (4-2) versus Thomas English (6-8).
Catchweight: Peter Nascimento, in his professional debut, versus Kastroit Xhema (1-1).
Lightweight: Ross Richardson (0-0) versus Nick Giulietti, both in their professional debuts.
More information will be posted in the next two weeks.
By Brian Woodman Jr., with contributions by Marc Karmelowicz
(Jan. 3 - Mashantucket, CT)
Three title fights went to decision at Foxwoods Resort and Casino during Lion Fight 40 -- Lion Fight’s latest Muay Thai event. One of these was for the company’s first North American belt. Five of the other six professional bouts on that evening’s card ended in knockouts.
Lion Fight also announced that it would host its next event on April 7 in London.
Brett Hlavacek (19--5) won the company’s first North American title, defeating fellow light heavyweight Elijah Clarke (7-2) after five rounds that went to a split decision. The fight began cautiously with Clarke alternating between southpaw and orthodox stance, but the pace gradually increased as the fight progressed. Both fighters exchanged a variety of strikes with Hlavacek attempting a lot of elbows. There were a few instances in which Clarke attempted a high kick and Hlavacek would attempt to kick his standing leg out from under him. Two judges awarded it to Hlavacek by 48-47while one scored it 49-46 for Clarke.
During the main event, Chip Moraza-Pollard (7-0) successfully defended his cruiserweight belt with Lion Fight against Slava Alexeichik (30-9). Moraza-Pollard, who recently won another belt from the British promotion Muay Thai Grand Prix during Lion Fight 39, looked relaxed as he and Alexeichik stalked each other during the first round. It went back and forth as the fight progressed, with Alexeichik leaning more toward punching and Moraza-Pollard working on his opponent’s legs. The pace increased as the fight continued, with Moraza-Pollard applying more pressure with punching combinations and trying to trap Alexeichik against the ropes. Moraza-Pollard landed a knee and a spinning back elbow during the fifth round that prompted the referee to count to eight as Alexeichik recovered. The fight ended with both fighters practically in mid-punch and tempering their actions. Moraza-Pollard earned a unanimous decision victory.
During the co-main event, Lerdsila PhuketTopTeam (195--31-5) earned a unanimous decision over Alexi Serepisos (40-11) during a lightweight title fight. Although both fighters landed strikes, Lerdsila had a visible edge and appeared far more relaxed -- he seemed to be standing still as he inched toward Serepisos before exploding with strikes and clinching attempts. The first round ended with Lerdsila clinching with Serepisos and in the middle of attempting a knee and the second with him landing straight kick to the body. Lerdsila threw Serepisos to the ground a few times during the bout with the latter returning the favor once. The fight ended with a striking exchange. Two judges scored it 50-45 and one scored it 49-46.
During the first professional fight, Tom Evans (1-3) knocked out fellow middleweight Johnny Adams at 2:00 in the first round with a punching and kicking combination. Doctors subsequently examined Adams, who making his professional debut that evening, while a visibly upset Evans looked on. Evans announced after the fight that it would be his last fight.
The next professional bout was a middleweight fight between Cody Laskar, who made his professional debut, and Brian Bogue (1-1). Laskar, who appeared more dominant earlier in the earlier rounds, pressured Bogue through much of the fight and won a unanimous decision. Bogue became more aggressive as the fight progressed and increased his pace during the striking exchanges.
Mike Triana (2-0) dominated the lightweight bout that followed, knocking out Johnny Lindor (2-2) at 2:56 in round four. The referee briefly stopped the fight in the second round after Lindor sustained a kick to the cup -- the round ended with Triana landing a high side kick and a few punches. There was another stoppage after Triana punched Lindor to the ground in the third round -- it ended with Triana clinching and kneeing Lindor. The fifth round began with Lindor catching one of Triana’s kicks and throwing him. Toward the end of the fight, Triana knocked Lindor down twice – the second time, courtesy of a punching combination and a knee, ended the fight.
Julio Pena (5-1), in what he announced would be his last fight, won a lightweight bout against Issac Tijerina (1-2) by TKO at 1:35 in round two. Tijerina opened the fight with a high kick, trying to keep distance between himself and Pena while periodically closing in on him. But Pena brought him to his knees with a flurry of punches and the referee nearly counted him out before the bell saved him. Tijerina went for a spinning elbow early in the next round, but Pena later brought him down with a straight jab that ended the fight.
P.J. Sweda (3-2) won the middleweight bout against Chris Mims (1-1) that followed with a TKO at 2:59 in round three. Sweda was bleeding from the face at the end of round one, but during the fight kept throwing uppercuts followed by a knee – a strategy that eventually worked and sent both men to the canvas. Mims threw lots of elbows and at one point caught one of Sweda’s kicks before he threw him, but had a bloody nose by the end of the fight.
Steve Walker (3-0) defeated Cole Fetzner (1-1) by TKO at 1:42 in round two. Walker knocked Fetzner to the ground in the first round and the referee counted to eight before the fight resumed. Walker ended the round with an impressive punching combination. Walker opened the second round with a series of high side kicks, later unleashing punches that prompted a ten-second count and ended the fight.
The card opened with a trio of three-round amateur bouts on the card.The first was a light heavyweight bout between J. Luck Henry and Ross Levine that ended in a split decision -- the fight ended with two judges scoring the fight 28-29 I favor of Henry and one scoring it 29-28 in favor of Levine. The next was a middleweight bout between Jurrrell Laronal and Shaun Schubert that ended with Laronal winning by majority decision -- one judge called it a tie while the other two scored it 28-29 and 27-30. The third was another middleweight bout -- it ended with Aaron Ortiz defeating Connor Fenton by unanimous decision.
By Brian Woodman Jr.
Reality Fighting released an updated listing of MMA bouts for their next card since we last posted information on the event. The main event will still be a heavyweight title fight between the former Reality Fighting belt holder, New Britain's Parker Porter, and New Jersey resident J.A. Dudley.
- Randy Francis versus Kenneth Rayside (145 pounds, amateur)
- Jordan Riley versus Arslan Otchiyev (145 pounds, amateur)
- Austin Schalla versus Redd Pottinger (170 pounds, amateur)
- Ron Marshall versus Gio Fiasconaro (225 pounds, amateur)
- Tracy Baldwin versus Anastasia Bruce (115 pounds, amateur)
- Harris Bonfiglio versus Tim Flores (125 pounds, amateur)
- Matt Bienia versus Nate Ghareeb (155 pounds, amateur)
- Billy Goff versus Steve Morrell (170 pounds, amateur)
- William Knight versus Franklin Johnson (225 pounds, amateur)
- Hugh McKenna versus Jesse James Kosakowski.(170 pounds, professional fight)
The highlights for Reality Fighting's next MMA event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT include three amateur title fights and a potentially impressive main event -- a heavyweight title fight between former Reality Fighting belt holder Parker Porter (7-4) and New Jersey's J.A. Dudley (8-17, according to www.tapology.com). But the grappling super fights sharing the the organization's 100th card, including a bout with UFC veteran Gabriel Gonzaga, could make the evening even more interesting.
- Steve Morell versus Bill Goff (both 0-1, acording to www.tapology.com).
- Arslan Oticheyev (4-4-1, according to www.tapology.com) versus Jordan Riley (2-2, according to tapology.com).
- Murat Keshtov versus Rob Best (statistics not available).
- Austin Schalla (1-9, according to www.tapology.com) versus Harrison Adamo .(2-1, according to www.tapology.com)
- Kenneth Rayside (1-10, according to www.tapology.com) versus Randy Francis (2-3, according to www.tapology.com)
- Traci Baldwin versus Anastasia Bruce (statistics not available).
- Ron Marshall versus Giovanni Fiasconaro (statistics not available).
- Marco Alvan of Team Link versus Lee Richardson of Underdog BJJ.
- Dan Simmler of Abusado versus Oz Parisher of Soul Fighters.
- Mat Santos of Santos BJJ versus Nate Lamotte of Burgess MMA.
- Mario Ramos of Dragon's Lair BJJ versus Kevin Quigg of Martinez BJJ.
- Pete Jeffrey of Tri-Force Training Center versus of Kirkor Papasian of Strikezone.
- Ed Carr of Team Link versus Nolan Dutcher of Dutcher Martial Arts.
- Chris Simmons of Carlson Gracie versus Gabriel Souza of Casa of Jiu-Jitsu.
- Frank Latina of DCBJJ versus Walter Smith-Cottito of Team Link.
The organization Premier Fighting Championship is presenting its next event, Premier FC 24, on Nov. 11 at Chez Josef in Agawam, Massachusetts. The smaller, more intimate setting makes an interesting site for MMA events and tomorrow evening's event looks promising with a card that includes three amateur title fights.
- Jahmel Parkinson versus Victor Irwin , both debuting, at 205 pounds.
- Mike Hansen (1-3) versus Reginaldo Felix (1-2) at 185 pounds.
- Geoffrey Then (0-1) versus Magdiel Matias (0-0) at 135 pounds.
- Kastriot Xhema (1-1) versus Keenan Raymond (3-4) at 160 pounds.
- Kemren Locinov (5-4) versus Gil Penheiro (2-3) at 170 pounds.
- Jason Showers (1-5) versus Chris Almestica (0-1) at 165 pounds.
- Christian Robinson (0-2) versus Randy Francis (1-3) at 145 pounds.
- Yu Ji (0-0) versus Josh Jones (2-1) at 185 pounds.
Tomorrow night, Oct. 21, the Eastern State Expo (The Big E) in West Springfield, MA will host the Glastonbury-based company AMMO Fight League's third event. AMMO rescheduled the event from earlier this month.
The event, AMMO "No Man's Land" III, is tentatively scheduled to feature four amateur bouts and four professional bouts in the expo's Mallary Complex. The organization offered it's first event in February and another in June.
The amateur bouts are;
- Elias Morales of Plus One Defense) versus Ray Johns of Team Thunder MMA (170 pounds)
- Randy Francis of Strike Zone versus Aaron Hughes of Regiment Training Center (!50 pounds)
- Jason Francisco of Plus One Defense versus Wesley Hall of Team BA (185 pounds)
- Blaze Robinson of Ravenous MMA versus Casey Norton of Team Thunder MMA (125 pounds)
The professional bouts 5 rounds
The professional bouts 5 rounds
Bill Idol of AMMO has released the following statement regarding the rescheduling of the organization's October 7 event.
"AMMO Fight League regrets to inform our fans, fighters, and everyone in support of AMMO FL that due to unforeseen circumstances the upcoming AMMO FL 3: 'No Man's Land' show on October 7th, at the “Courtyard” on the ‘Big E’ fairgrounds in West Springfield, Ma. will be moving to October 21st at the Mallery Bldg. on the grounds.
The last minute rescheduling is a result of short notice requests made by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission of our fighters. The short window of time would not allow a majority of the fighters to be eligible to compete this Saturday at AFL:3.
Rather than cancel the show we will be moving it to Oct 21st, providing the Commission allows AMMO FL to do so. This would allow the fighters the time to provide the Commission with what they are expecting from each fighter.
We understand the blood, sweat, and tears, the time away from family, the long hours at the gym, and all that encompasses preparing mentally and physically for a Mixed Martial Arts fight. A simple sorry cannot make up for this improbable circumstance after so many have worked so tirelessly.
Going forward we will be sure all fighter requirements are fully disclosed and required with adequate amount of time for the fighter to fulfill all of the MSAC (Massachusetts State Athletic Commission) stipulations. Thank you for your continued support and see you on the 21st."
In our coverage for Lion Fight 38, we mentioned that the event's main bout, a title fight between Regian Eersel and Matous Kohout, was a replacement for a prospective main event that was cancelled -- a bout between Tong Anucha and Saempapecth Fairtex. Lion Fight spokespersons announced the changes to the main card more than a month ago.
(Editorial Note: the purpose of this post is to launch a possible regular column on "up-and-coming" fighters in the Connecticut MMA scene.)
We recently had a chat with North Haven's Blair Tugman (10-6) regarding his career and upcoming featherweight fight on the main card of Bellator 182 with A.J. McKee (8-0) on August 25 in Verona, New York. Look for more updates on the event later this week.
1. You are one of two Connecticut fighters on the main card for Bellator 182 (editor;s note: Brennan Ward of Waterford will also be on the card in a catchweight fight with Fernando Gonzalesz). Two other CT fighters (Matt Bessette and Carlos Camdelario) achieved national attention for their appearances on the UFC's contender series. In your estimation, is there a budding trend?
2. Your wins have all come by
submission or decision. How do you anticipate a potential win over A. J. McKee this month?
I've envisioned the fight playing out a million different ways in the past right weeks of training. I am prepared for any scenario. Id love to finish a young undefeated super star like AJ via TKO and really make a statement.
3. In what areas do you feel your skill set has particularly grown?
In the past six fights I feel I have becomea much more well rounded fighter. Ive become much more comfortable with my striking and would like to continue to showcase those new skills in this fight. I've woked tirelessly with my Coach Andrew Calandrelli on my boxing, kickboxing and blending them with my wrestling. I have a great relationship with Andrew and truly trust in what he is showing me and working on with me. We have added and/or taking out certain techniques because they did not fit with my style. He has helped transform me from just a wrestler/grappler to a "True" mixed martial artist.
4. Who has been your most difficult opponent so far?
5. What is your next career step?
By Brian Woodman
Premier FC 23 provided nine bouts, including three professional fights, to a boisterous crowd. The event included two amateur title fights and consisted mostly of finishes.
The restaurant Chez Josef in Agawam, Massachusetts hosted the June 3 event.
The first title fight was for the vacant 185-pound belt.
Link’s Pat Casey (6-1), whom also holds Premier FC’s 185-pound belt, defeated Castantino Gemelas (4-3) of FAA (Fighting Arts Academy) by decision to win the strap. Although both fighters exchanged shots, Casey appeared dominant and stalked Gemelas during the earlier rounds, Gemelas landed a kick in the fourth round and almost reversed the direction of the fight, attempting an arm bar submission as the round ended. But Casey shot at and took Gemelas down, winding up in his guard until the fight ended.
The next title fight, a heavyweight bout between Ray Sherwood (2-0) of Ultimate MMA and Mike Leverette (4-2) of Garage MMA, came to a swifter end. Sherwood shot out and took down Leverette, grounding and pounding him until the referee waved the fight off at 1:18 in the first round.
The next fight was a professional bout between Erick Santiago (2-1), also of Team Link, and Timothy Wheeler (who contracted for the fight at 135 pounds, according to information from Premier FC). Santiago, who contracted at 140 pounds, ground-and-pounded Wheeler (1-4) and ended the fight at :11 in the first round.
The next professional bout was a 125-pound women’s fight between Tammy Worrick (0-2) of Extreme Ambition and Lisa Blaine (1-0) of Ultimate MMA. Blaine unloaded a punching combination on Worricjk at the end of the first round after a lot of clinching. During he second round, Blaine hit Worrick with a combination that sent her falling straight backwards and stunned. The fight ended at 2:23 in the round with Blaine winning by knockout.
The main event, a 205-pound bout between Mike Diorio (1-0) of Cortland MMA and Sean Evans (1-2), was the only other fight that went to a decision. Diorio won by split decision.
The first round started off with clinching and was marked by cautious stand up. It climaxed with a furious punching exchange.
There was a brief stoppage during the second round, by which time Evans had a cut on his cheek. Evans attempted a flying knee during the exchanges.
Diorio rushed Evans as the third round opened and unleashed a punching combination on his upper body. Although the strikes went back and forth, Diorio appeared more dominant and seemed to push the pace. The round ended in mid-clinch.
The evening opened with a heavyweight amateur bout between Nicholas Brown (0-5) and R.J. Hayes (2-6). Brown verbally submitted at :42 in the second round following strikes on the ground.
The next bout was a 165-pound amateur fight between Jason Showers (0-1) of Extreme Ambition and Jason Thomas (1-0) of Diverse Academy. The first round included simultaneous submission attempts but Thomas wound up on top of Showers in a bully mount and began throwing punches. The referee waved the fight off at 2:29 in the round and a visibly exhausted Thomas, who won by TKO, collapsed.
Arslan Otchiyev (4-3), also of FAA, won the next fight -- a 145-pound amateur bout with Diego Lopez (1-1) of Juniko.
Lopez went for Orchiyev’s neck from the bottom after they went to the ground during the first round -- Otchiyev attempted side control as the round ended.
During the second round, Otchiyev brought the fight to the ground and submitted Lopez at 1:03 with a rear naked choke.
The fourth fight, a 155-pound amateur bout, also ended with a rear naked choke in the second round. Miguel Cuevas (3-0) of Battlecrew defeated Harrison Adamo (2-1) of Ultimate MMA at 2:32 in the round.
Lion Fight, which presents live Muay Thai events, will return to Foxwoods Resort Casino on July 28 with two championship fights on the main card.
Spokespersons for the promotion just announced that Jo Nattawut will defend his super welterweight title that evening against Petchtanong Banchamek.
East Hartford's Paul Banasiak, who won by unanimous decision over Brett Hlavacek during a cruiserweight bout at Lion Fight 36 in April at Foxwoods, is scheduled to face Chip Moraza-Pollard. The winner will earn the promotion's vacant cruiserweight belt.
Moraza-Pollard also competed in Lion Fight 36. He knocked out Matt Coleman in spectacular fashion during the second round of a super cruiserweight bout.
Other bouts on the card include a lightweight fight between Amine Ballafrikh and Johncy Lincor, a welterweight fight between Alex Olave and Eric Rocha, and a lightweight fight between Jafar Toshev and Geoffrey Then.
By Brian Woodman Jr.
Premier Fighting Championship 22 is coming Agawam, Massachusetts on March 11 with 12 fights scheduled on the card. The Chez Josef dining hall will host the event.
Karyn Wesch is the principal owner of Premier FC, according to information from the organization. A statement from spokespersons indicated it is New England's first female-owned MMA organization.
The main card includes; a 195-pound bout between Justin Sumter and Mike Diorio; a 170-pound bout between Addison O'Neil and Nick Alley; a 185-pound bout between Sean Evans and Montoyia Swilling; a 130-pound bout between Sarah Payant and Tammy Worrick; and a heavyweight bout between Walter Taylor and James Dysard.
The undercard includes three amateur title fights -- William Knight versus Ron Marshall (205 pounds), Pat Casey versus Angelo Richardson (170 pounds) and Charles Boner versus Nick Fiori (155 pounds).
Other scheduled bouts include; a 170-pound bout between Bobby Garner and Jason Showers; a 145-pound bout between Kenny Champion and Miguel Cuevas; a 170-pound bout between Joe Mikolinski and Mario Peterson; and a 175-pound bout between Ray Johns and Jordan Boisvert.
Further updates on this and other events will be posted on our Facebook page.
By Brian Woodman Jr.
The Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts, better known as the Big E, hosted AMMO Fight League’s debut MMA event on Feb. 25. The event, AMMO Locked and Loaded MMA 1, included four mixed grappling bouts, two amateur MMA fights and two professional championship matches.
The organization has up to this point been best known for its mixed grappling events, which are held at the Nomads Quest recreation facility in South Windsor. The AMMO event was originally scheduled for November of last year.
Leon Davis secured the organization’s inaugural welterweight belt during the main event. He submitted Ralph Johnson at :40 in the first round with a guillotine choke.
During a lightweight title fight that preceded it, Vovka Clay submitted Andrew Chirico with an anaconda choke at 1:50 in the first round. Earlier in the fight Chirico took Clay’s back and attempted a rear naked choke.
The event opened with a submission-only grappling bout between Gabriel Souza and Donnie Osier. Both competitors wore gis in the cage -- the other grappling matches were gi-less with the fighters wearing rash guards. The first bout ended with Souza winning by securing what appeared to be a wrist lock.
Damian Roofy, who came in as a replacement, submitted Matt Bienia with an ankle hold at 4:44 in a subsequent grappling match.
Mike Kimbel of Waterbury fought fellow 140-pounder Randy Francis of Norwich during the evening’s first MMA bout. After a first round marked primarily by ground work, the fighters entered the second round swinging. Kimbel combined punching with a few high kicks and won following a referee stoppage, with Francis appearing dazed but still on his feet as the fight ended.
The next match was a 155-pound MMA bout between Harrison Adamo and Chris Balboni. Adamo submitted Balboni at 2:44 in the first round with a guillotine choke.
During another mixed grappling match, Placido Santos submitted Chris Manley at 4:41 with what appeared to be a heel hook. Santos spent much of the match actually sitting and waiting for Manley to grapple with him.
The final grappling match lasted for nearly 13 minutes. It ended with Oliver Taza submitting Caio Magales with an ankle lock.
As I drive through Bristol center this week, I see a billboard for Bellator 170 that shows the competitors in the main event, Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen, snarling and throwing punches. Great marketing, but let's face it -- the relevancy of these two fighters to the current MMA scene is a matter of debate.
The real news is the co-main event -- a welterweight bout between Brennan Ward (15-4-0), "the Irish bad boy," and Paul Daley (38-14-2). Ward, who made a name for himself in Bellator's middleweight tournament a few years ago, is poised to make a main event at this rate. He has gone beyond merely appearing on Bellator cards when the organization comes to Mohegan Sun -- something some of the best fighters in the area could not always do consistently.