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Reality Fighting opens up 2016 at Mohegan Sun
MMA Fighters Terrell Clark and Jason Ward
Terrell Clark puts Jason Ward in a rear naked choke on Jan. 2 at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Photo by Nicola Faraone
By Brian Woodman Jr.

(Editor’s note: the professional bouts at this event featured three five-minute rounds while the amateur bouts featured three three-minute rounds.)

   Reality Fighting held its first event this year on Jan. 2 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville. Despite changes to the card that included a 170 pound bout between Tyler Rose and Montoyia Swilling being dropped, the event still offered 14 bouts that included two women’s fights.
   The event also included a five-minute submission-only match between Kory Saxer of Gladiator MMA and William Knight of Kipp’s Basement. Saxer weighed in at 230 pounds during the amateur bout while Knight came in at 240. Knight dominated most of the match and won by Americana at 3:47.
   A 185-pound bout between Jason Ward of Westchester MMA and Terrell Clark capped the evening. It ended with about halfway through the first round with Terrell winning by TKO.
   Ward opened the fight up by throwing a kick at Clark, but it almost immediately went downhill for him from there when Clark responded by knocking him down with a punch to the head. He subsequently grounded and pounded Ward, lifted him up to body slam him and attempted a rear naked choke. 
Both fighters returned to heir feet and clinched against the fence with Ward attempting a guillotine choke. But Clark grounded and pounded Ward again until the referee waved the fight off. 
   The event opened with an amateur bout at 170 pounds between Zack Watson of Kipp’s Basement and Tom Foley (no ground-and-pound was allowed because t was an amateur bout). Foley won by rear naked choke at 2:50 in the third round.
   Will Smith, who trains at DCNU in Rocky Hill, won by unanimous decision during the next fight -- a 135-pound amateur bout with Luis Finateri of the Stamford Fight Club. Finateri landed some punches and knees in the clinch as the third round ended, but Smith generally dominated the bout.
Pat Casey of Team Link knocked out Diego Onishi of Ultimate MMA during the first round of a 170-pound amateur bout. Casey took Onishi down early and knocked him down twice before the referee waved the fight off at 1:57.
   Giorgi Chilingarashvili of CT United knocked out Mike Piacentini of Kipp’s Basement at :38 in the first round of an amateur 145-pound fight.
   Evan Scott of Lauzon MMA appeared to dominate the first round of his 145-pound bout with Dan Dubuque of DCNU, attempting an arm triangle from the bottom while on the ground and a rear naked choke while standing. But during the rest of the fight, which was the first professional bout of the evening, both fighters generally kept it standing and Dubuque won by unanimous decision. 
   Morgan Dean of Dexter Vale Tudo managed a flash knockout of Holland Ahern of Strikezone MMA at 2:47 in the first round of a 205-pound amateur bout. Although Ahern was quickly on his fight after the referee waved the fight off, spokespersons for Reality Fighting cautioned the audience of the bout’s amateur nature.
   Andrew Lischke of CT United defeated Harris Bonifiglio of GF Team by unanimous decision during a 135-pound amateur fight. Bonifiglio attempted a guillotine choke from the bottom during the third round but Lischke generally dominated the fight.
   The first women’s fight was an amateur 130-pound bout between Janice Meyer of Cortland MMA and Sarah Payant of Gladiator MMA. Meyer won by split decision.
   The first round of the fight featured lots of knees in the clinch, with Meyer getting Payant to the ground. The fight went to the ground again during the second round with Payant attempting an armbar from the bottom. 
   During the third round, Payant managed to hip throws against Meyer that elicited strong reactions from the audience. After a referee stoppage that followed a punch to the back of Payant’s head, the fight resumed with Meyer knocking her down twice. 
   Cody McMahon of CT United knocked out Anthony Lauria of Ultimate MMA at 2:23 in the second round of a 170-pound amateur bout. Lauria left the cage on a stretcher, although spokespersons for Reality Fighting stated it was mostly as a precaution.
   Austin Schall of Dexter Vale Tudo submitted Hector Ramos of Team Ramos during an amateur 155-pound fight. Early in the first round, there was a referee stoppage Schall received a kick to the groin.
Ramos appeared to generally dominate the fight during the first two rounds. But during the third round, Schall secured a guillotine choke while standing in the clinch and Ramos tapped out.
   Johnny Lopez of Underdog BJJ submitted Tim Wheeler by Americana at 3:29 in round of their professional 130-pound bout.
   Jessy Miele of IMBCT submitted Jamie Driver of SityodTong Boston by rear naked choke at 2:57 in the second round during the second women’s fight of the evening. It was a professional 135-pound bout and preceded the fight between Clark and Ward.

Jessy Miele, top, battles Jamie Driver on Jan. 2 during Reality Fighting's latest event.
Photo by Nicola Faraone