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ARCHIVED STORY WINTER 2018
Reality Fighting: the 100 Event
Kenny Rayside lands a kick against Randy Francis on Jan. 6
Photo by John Fulcher
By Brian Woodman Jr.
(Uncasville, CT -- Jan.6)
Clarification: Parker Porter won back the championship on Jan. 6.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: We will post the results for the event’s grappling matches on our blog)
Marlborough-based mixed martial arts promotion Reality Fighting, which also holds mixed grappling events under its NAGA banner, has presented its 100th MMA card.
The Mohegan Sun Arena hosted the event, although there were a few changes to the original card. Organizers removed UFC veteran Gabriel Gonzaga’s mixed grappling bout from the card -- spokespersons stated that Gonzaga’s opponent, Ray Sherwood, injured his hand during a fall.
The promotion also dropped a 225-pound amateur fight between William Knight and Franklin Johnson from the card. Spokesperson’s announced only that Knight’s opponent, whose name was not used, had behaved unprofessionally prior to the event. Knight was originally scheduled to make his professional debut that evening against Mark Glover.
But despite these and other changes to the original card, the evening still offered 15 mixed grappling bouts as well as 11 MMA fights that included a heavyweight professional title fight between defending champion Parker Porter of Hartford’s Underdog BJJ and J. A. Dudley. The challenger, who trains at Lucky Devil, appeared cheerful and game as he clinched with Porter and exchanged strikes. But Porter dominated the fight before winning by TKO at 1:16 into the third round, attempting a few submissions early in the fight and barraging Dudley’s bleeding face with elbows in the clinch during the second round. The referee waved the fight off toward the end after Porter unloaded punches on a dazed Dudley.
Parker Porter, left, versus J.A. Dudley during the main event at Reality Fighting's 100th MMA event.
Photo by John Fulcher
The evening’s other professional bout was a 170-pound bout between Jesse James Kosakowski of PSDTC Warriors and Hugh McKenna of Long Island MMA. The fighters spent much of the first round on the ground, with Mckenna later taking Kosakowski’s back. McKenna picked up Kosakowski as the second round began and tried to drop him -- Kosakoski responded by pouncing on McKenna, attempting ground-and-pound and securing an Americana submission hold that earned him victory at 2:15 into the round.
The evening included two amateur title fights. The first was flyweight bout between Harris Bonfiglio of Calandrelli MMA and Tim Flores of Fighting Arts Academy that ended in the latter earning a split decision win. Matt Bienia of Zen Quest won the second one -- a lightweight bout with Nate Ghareeb of Jon Manley MMA.
Flores opened the first round by rushing Bonfiglio and throwing a series of rapid straight shots. After some clinching, Bonfiglio threw knees before attempting to secure a guillotine on Flores.
The referee briefly stopped the fight during the second round after Flores sustained a knee to the cup. Flores later jumped in the air and secured a guillotine on Bonfiglio, bringing him to the ground as the round ended.
Flores grabbed Bonfiglio from behind and threw him to the ground during the third round and both fighters went for simultaneous submissions. Bonfiglio later attempted a rear naked choke, but Flores escaped and attempted a ground-and-pound attack as the fight ended.
Bienia opened the first round of his bout in spectacular fashion by lifting Ghareeb in the air with a single-leg takedown attempt. But Ghareeb appeared more dominant in the striking exchanges. The rounded with Bienia attempting a spinning back fist.
Ghareeb grabbed one of Bienia’s kicks following the striking exchange that opened the second round, attempting a mount and winding up in his closed guard. The referred stood them up and Ghareeb caught another one of Bienia’s kicks, throwing him. Bienia attempted an arm bar as the round ended.
Ghareeb caught and threw Bienia again as the third round opened, subsequently shooting for his legs. Bur Bienia wound up on top, attempting some ground-and-pound before submitting Ghareeb at 2:11 in the round with an arm bar.
The MMA card opened with a featherweight bout between Randy Francis of Strikezone MMA and Kenneth Rayside of Next Level MMA. Both fighters entered the first round swinging but Francis sustained a kick to the head while ducking punches, catching a shin to the temple. Rayside followed up with a punching combination and the referee temporarily stopped the fight at 41 second into the round because of bleeding over Francis‘s eye. Cageside officials declared Rayside the winner by TKO after a doctor examined Francis.
The next fight was a 170-pound bout between Austin Schalla of Dexter Vale Tudo and Redd Pottinger of Next Level MMA. Pottinger rained punches on Schalla during the first round, at one point sending his mouthpiece flying. He also intercepted a few kicks from Schalla and threw him. But Schalla knocked Pottinger to the ground during the second round and the referee had to pull him off as the fight ended with him winning by TKO at 2:51.
Austin Schalla, left, versus Redd Pottinger on Jan. 6 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Photo by John Fulcher
Ron Marshall dominated his cruiserweight battle with Giovanni Fiasconaro, winning by TKO due to strikes with 1:44 left in the second round. Fiasconaro, who trains out of Rogers Academy, tried to close the distance and using clinching to his advantage but it was not enough.
The next fight was a 115-pound bout between Tracy Baldwin of Thornton MMA and Anastasia Bruce of Next Level MMA.
The bout opened with both fighters cautiously striking and relying on peek-a-boo defense with Baldwin leaning toward southpaw stance. Bruce shot for a double-leg takedown but Baldwin caught her and threw her to the ground twice. Baldwin wound up in Bruce’s closed guard and dropped a few bombs from the side as the first round ended.
Bruce received an eye-poke during the second round, prompting a brief referee stoppage.
Baldwin eventually sunk a guillotine choke during the third round, submitting Bruce and winning the fight.
Later in the evening, Billy Goff won his 170-pound fight with Steve Morrell by TKO due to strikes. Morrell appeared more dominant during the first round, unloading punches and taking Goff’s back. But Goff released a flurry of strikes that shook Morrell and prompted the referee to wave the fight off 2:27 into the round. Organizers later dubbed it “the fight of the night.”
Tracy Baldwin, left, versus Anastasia Bruce on Jan. 6 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Photo by John Fulcher