Archive for January, 2013

By Jonathan King

Up and Comers Unlimited XIV at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Palm Springs California provided an extremely entertaining night of fights. Amateur fighters began the night, throwing with reckless abandon. All of these fighters made the most with the opportunity of fighting in a pretty large arena, and in front of a packed crowd.

With a total of 6 professional and 5 amateur fights, promoter Jason Weiner worked feverishly to produce an exciting fight card, even as the event was under way. In a very strange twist, Co Headline fighter Anthony Shifflet (0-2 MMA) disappeared after having his hands wrapped. Leaving Dethrone Base Camp prospect Chris Honeycutt without a fight. Honeycutt, who has been featured on NuvoTV’s “Fight Factory” had several family members fly in for his debut, including his father from China.

Weiner made the Honeycutt family’s trip worth while, finding a local fighter Jessy Torres (who was sitting at home when he got the call) to step in for the absentee fighter. His fighting spirit, enabled the co main event to go on as scheduled  However he ran into the juggernaut that is Chris Honeycutt.

Honeycutt was able to secure an early take-down  and transition to Torres’s back. Once he was able to flatten out Torres, Honeycutt began raining punches from the back mount forcing the stoppage. The crowd reacted with boos, as they thought the stoppage was early. However replay shows Torres was not defending himself.

Steve Swanson (brother of UFC fighter Cub Swanson) added to his reputation for finishing fights quickly, defeating Eric McMorris in just :17 seconds. Swanson immediately landed a chopping leg kick to McMorris’s knee, leaving the young fighter unable to stand. Swanson swarmed with punches that seemed academic as the referee stopped the fight.

Swasnon has now won his last three bouts in less than :45 seconds. At 10-0, Swanson seems destined to join his talented brother in the UFC. His power and speed will translate well in the UFC 125 lbs division.

Thoughts on UPC Up and Comers XIV: Jason Werner has created an incredible promotion that blends together a talent pool of young, hungry amateurs with seasoned professionals creating an intoxicating cocktail of fights for both the casual and the hardcore fight fan. Not many fighters ever get to fight in the UFC, but the UPC offers a great chance for those who are trying too, to showcase their skills on a large stage. A great night of fights!

Pictures By: John Walsh

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by:Jonathan King

Wrestling in MMA, may be the strongest of all bases for an athlete to excel in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. As UFC commentator Joe Rogan has pointed out several times. The MMA ranks are littered with  former collegiate  wrestling champions. As Rogan pointed out the competitive wrestler is a different breed, an animal-like humanoid who literally starves for competition. This rare mentality translates poetically to the organized violence that is MMA. Simply put, wrestlers know what it takes to win.

Chris Honeycutt (Dethrone Base Camp) is cast in the familiar mold that several current and former champions originated from. As an NCAA finalist, Honeycutt announced his intentions to pursue a career as a mixed martial artist. Immediately making him one of the hottest sought after prospects in the sport. After a short tryout, he signed on to become a member of Dethrone Base Camp in Fresno California, alongside fellow Edinboro alumni Josh Koscheck.

Koscheck’s transition from wrestler to striker is legendary, his protege Honeycutt’s athleticism should translate similarly. In his debut, at UPC Fights Honeycutt was dominating the early exchanges with powerful shots, and only resorted to his wrestling pedigree once he caught a kick parlaying the defensive move into a single leg take-down. Once on the mat, Honeycutt’s transitions were extremely sharp. Taking his opponents back he ended the fight with a barrage of strikes to his opponents head.

With his debut in the rear view mirror, Chris Honeycutt is well on his way to a successful career. However the transition from prospect to contender is never a guarantee. So far he has made excellent choices with regard to his team and training partners. Under the watchful eyes of Bob Cook, Josh Koscheck, and DeWayne Zinkin his path is well lit. However its his foundation as a wrestler, the work ethic instilled since childhood, that will assure his success.

 

 

 

 

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Bellator made its debut on Spike TV, and did so in tremendous style. The partnerships first joint venture featured two title fights, and two light heavyweight tournament quarter final fights. Early results in show that just under 1 million people tuned in to watch the inaugural event. A huge increase from the numbers they had been seeing on MTV2.

Once all the pieces were in place and the lights heated up, it was out of the promoters hands. The fighters themselves would dictate the success or failure of this event. The gladiators made their intentions known from the onset, as several hotly contested preliminary fights got the crowd juiced, and more importantly the fighters waiting to perform. The under card was featured on Spiketv.com. Savant Young provided the spark with a tremendous one punch knock out of heavily favored Mike ‘The Joker’ Guymon. After being behind in the fight, Young countered an advancing Guymon with a well time left hand that floored the former UFC vet. A thunderous shot, on the ground was purely academic as the ref leaped in too stop any further damage.

The live portion of the Spike TV card began with an incredible back and forth scrap between featherweight title holder Pat Curran and aggressive challenger Patricio Pitbull. The crowd and the audience may have been expecting fireworks, however instead they were treated to a back and forth battle of attrition, that left both fighter swollen, battered, and bleeding. Curran narrowly eked out a split decision, holding on to his coveted featherweight crown.

Not may people gave a young unknown fighter from Russia a chance against a former UFC title contender, but Mikhail Zayats could care less about being an underdog. He only cares about winning, and he proved that after he over came huge odds, and a lopsided crowd to destroy UFC and Strikeforce veteran Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral. A vicious spinning back fist, was the beginning of the end. Zayats left the crowd stunned, and the tournament with a new favorite!

The main event of the evening made several points clear. First of all after defeating a very game Rick Hawn, Michael Chandler’s name certainly has to be mentioned in the pound for pound category. His striking, and dominating wrestling made the fight look easy, although i am sure it was not. Chandler never looked to be out of control, and his pedigree as a champion has been solidified.

Thoughts on Bellator: Bellator provides an extremely exciting format with their tournament based champions. The roster of fighters has always been an exciting fusion of homegrown young talent, mixed with savvy veterans who have fought in several organizations. Bjorn Rebney and his partners have created a juggernaut of a promotion that seems to be creating its own path. For years, many companies have tried to follow the UFC business model and have failed miserably, simply because they were not the UFC. Bellator seems content to succeed in areas that UFC is either no longer interested in (fighters), or in avenues the UFC has no interest in such as: Pro wrestling. As long as the fights are exciting, and the product is not watered down the promotions success appears to be a guarantee at this point. 2013 could be the year Bellator becomes a true rival for the UFC, although it appears they don’t seem to care either way. Bellator seems only concerned with Bellator, and in the combat sports world, that is a refreshing take!

All Photos are provided by: John Walsh

 

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

 

Main Card:

Khabib Nurmagomedov (155) vs. Thiago Tavares (155)

Interesting match-up. Both fighters are well rounded, and capable of ending the fight in any position. Tavares has the edge in experience, however Nurmagomedov is 18-0 riding a 2 fight UFC win streak so he is the favorite at (-200).

Prediction: Tavares by submission 3rd round 

 

Gabriel Gonzaga (255) vs. Ben Rothwell (258)

Good news for Gabriel Gonzaga is that he is back in the UFC heavyweight fray after winning his second chance fight against Ednaldo Oliviera, bad news is his next opponent is Ben Rothwell. In his last fight, Rothwell needed only 1:10 to knockout a very strong Brendan Schaub. Both fighters have consistency issues but it should be exciting,

Prediction: Rothwell TKO rd 2
C.B. Dollaway (186) vs. Daniel Sarafian (186)

C.B. Dollaway is often over looked in the UFC. Although Dollaway is not a flashy striker, to the true fight fan his performances are at times masterful. As a wrestler, he can grind with the best of them. Wearing on his opponent, saturating strength with a smothering attack. Daniel Sarafin is new to the UFC but certainly not to the sport, or to the grappling game. The owner of several submission wins,  is perfectly at home in the same neighborhood where Dollaway works. Very evenly matched

Prediction: Dollaway via Unanimous decision

Vitor Belfort (185) vs. Michael Bisping (186)

Michael Bisping has been lobbying aloud to anyone with in an ear shot about deserving a title shot against Anderson Silva. The brash, and dry Brit is often writing checks with his mouth, however this one he can cash. His record of wins over ranked fighters reinforces his braggadocious demeanor. However, Vitor Belfort hopes to extinguish those flames, and reignite his own title claim. Belfort may have an edge on the ground, however Bisping was able to neutralize Jason Miller’s jujitsu so this fight is primed to explode into a slug fest. The is no clear edge in the striking department, while Belfort maintains a power edge, Bisping is more technical and has better conditioning. Should be an exciting fight.

Prediction:

Bisping via 2nd rd TKO

Savant Young and Mike Guymon begin their tango!

Savant Young and Mike Guymon begin their tango!

Pat Curran delivers a liver kick to Patricio Pitbull

Pat Curran delivers a liver kick to Patricio Pitbull

Chandler yanks the title hopes, and the neck of a very game Rick Hawn to retain the Lightweight Championship

Chandler yanks the title hopes, and the neck of a very game Rick Hawn to retain the Lightweight Championship

by: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Patricio Pitbull v Pat Curran

Round1: Feeling out process immediately eats up the first minute.  Pitbull circling, not much for the first 3 minutes both fighters very wary of the others power. Curran using his range to land with the jab and cross. Not much action in the first round both fighters are obviously preparing for a long bout. I give it to Curran in a close 10-9

Round2: Pitbull beginning to land in bunches and finishing with the leg kick. Pitbull bleeding from the nose, after a long right hand from Curran. The champion tosses Pitbull to the mat, but Pitbull bounces back up! Curran landing with the jab, Pitbull landing with the kicks. another close round could go either way but we have Curran winning another 10-9 close round.

Round3: Pitbull starting to pen up with dynamic strikes. Flying knees, and combinations beginning to land, and still landing leg kicks. Curran landing now to the body of Pitbull. Curran backing up as Pitbull stalks. Flying knee by Curran misses, round ends. we are calling a 10-9 round for Pitbull but again very close could go either way!

Round4: Curran backing up as Pitbull flurries, a right hand lands to the back of the head and the ref seperates. A touch of the gloves, and Curran opens up with a 4 punch combination. Now Curran stalking. Pitbull shoots he has a single but a opposite flying knee, breaks the clinch. Curran again lands a hard one two combination. The round ends again, very close, but I have Curran  10-9

Round5: Both fighters trading ones and twos, as Pitbull shoots, Curran lands a big right hand stopping the take down attempt. Curran lands a liver kick that is caught, and breaks free with a straight right to the head.  Curran shoots but to no avail. Both fighters standing in the center of the cage, as Pitbull stalks. Pitbull is hurt by a big left hand. Curran cautiously closes in with a few straight punches that find there mark. Pitbull is gassed. Elbow by Curran lands in the clinch. Pitbull flurries with the last 20 seconds. Both fighters are landing as the bell sounds. Again very close but have to give Curran the nod 10-9 Have him wining the fight 4 rounds to 1.

Pat Curran wins by Split Decision.

Mikhail Zayats v Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral

round1: Babalu starts out pawing with the jab, pushing Zayats backwards. Up against the cage Babaluu begins to land with the dirty boxing and the elbows.  Big John separates the fighters. Zayats lands a big right,  but lands low on Babalu. Big John gives Sobral a minute to recover but he doesnt need it!  now there back in the center of the cage. Back up against the fence, Babalu controls the clinch. Again big John separates the fighters.  Zayats lands big spinning backfist Babalu is in trouble. Zayats landing as Babalu gets on his bicycle. Left hands drops Babalu,  Zayats swarms Babalu on the ground with vicious hammer fists. And that is it!  Big John steps in. Mikhail Zayats wins by TKO Big upset, moves Zayats on to the semi finals of the light heavyweight division

Rick Hawn v Michael Chandler

round1: Both fighters are feeling each other out, as the circle Chandler lands an uppercut but Hawn counters with a leg kick. Big take down by the champion. Hawn working from guard, looking to secure an arm. Hawn very busy from his closed guard. Chandler very busy, but cannot seem to posture up. Hawn is controlling with a body lock from guard. Both fighters stand and Hawn lands a big left hand. But Chandler still coming forward. Round ends, with Chandler seemingly ahead 10-9 with his wrestling.

round2: Round two begins with Chandler taking Hawn down after a quick clinch. Hawn able to regain his feet, but immediately taken down again by Chandler. This time Hawn is on is his side, and Chandler quickly transitions. to the back, where he secures the choke yanking Hawn backwards before securing the tap. Winner Michael Chandler by submission Rear Naked Choke

The Calm Before the Storm

The Calm Before the Storm

Superman or Silverback? or Both! Seth Petruzelli

Joker

Joker

Two Lions

Two Lions

Intensity in Pitbull

Intensity in Pitbull

Confident Champion

Confident Champion

Challenger vs Champion Featherweight Fury!

Challenger vs Champion Featherweight Fury!

The Legend Babalu!

The Legend Babalu!

The Champion Michael Chandler

The Champion Michael Chandler

Hawn v Chandler

Hawn v Chandler

Noe v Petruzelli

Noe v Petruzelli

Superman or Silverback? Seth Petruzelli or Both!

Live on Spike TV DEBUT!Live on Spike TV DEBUT!

Jaime Yeagar

Jaime Yeagar

Yoked!

Yoked!

Bellator 85
Date: January 17, 2013
Venue: Bren Center
Location: Irvine, Calif.WEIGH In ResultsMain Card (on Spike TV):
-Michael Chandler (10-0) weight 154.6 vs. Rick Hawn (14-1) weight 155
-Renato “Babalu” Sobral (37-9) weight 205.2 vs. Mikhail Zayats (19-6) weight 205.7
-Seth Petruzelli (14-6) weight 205.4 vs. Jacob Noe (8-1) weight 205.9
-Pat Curran (17-4) weight 144.8 vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (17-1) weight 144.5

Preliminary Card (on Spike.com):
-Emanuel Newton (18 – 7) weight 205.4 vs. Atanas Djambazov (17 – 2) weight 205.6
-Hector Ramirez (9 – 4) weight 204.8 vs. Jason Lambert (24 – 13) weight 205.5
-Aaron Miller (12 – 8) weight 145.8 vs. Joe Camacho (13 – 17) weight 145.8
-Joe Williams (7 – 1) weight 170.7 vs. Jamie Yager (6 – 3) weight 170.8
-Savant Young (10 – 9) weight 155.5 vs. Mike Guymon (14 – 5) weight 155.7
-Brian Warren (18 – 15) weight  165 vs. J.J. Ambrose (17 – 4) weight 164.5

-Mario Navarro (4 – 2) weight 144.8 vs. Cleber Luciano (7 – 4) weight 144.9

By Jonathan King

Photo by John Walsh

Photo by John Walsh

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

With a mere 48 hours before Bellator is set to make their historic debut on Spike TV, an obviously anxious Bjorn Rebney walked thru the Huntington Beach training center to see the fighters warm up, wish them well, and of course speak with the press. With an absolutely stacked fight card featuring two world title fights, and also the opening round of the light heavyweight tournament; the promotion is set to hit the ground running with what on paper seems to be the most exciting card in their distinguished history.

Rebney spoke eagerly about the new venture on Spike Television. With this contract in place, the company seems destined to demand a larger sare of the MMA universe. Spike has always done really well in the world of  MMA, with both live events, and highlight shows. Also in the future are possible pay per view deals, that are being discussed. With the partnership with Viacom, and now with companies like TNA, Bellator seems to be gathering up a pretty sizable partnerships that will market the product to the highest level.

Recently Bellator was in the news as word broke that former title holder and fan favorite Eddie Alvarez was contesting the contract matching offer that kept him in Bellator and away from the competing UFC.  Rebney, however seemed optimistic that the former title holder would again be in the Bellator family. “Yes, I do see Eddie fighting in Bellator again.” Rebeney said. “We have had a really good relationship in the past, and hopefully we will again!”

The competitive under card  features UFC veteran Mike Guymon vs crafty veteran Savant Young. Guymon is making his Bellator debut after returning from a recent retirement from the sport, the hometown favorite is 2-0 since returning to the cage, and is looking to make one last run at a world title in the 155 lbs division.

The premiere of Bellator on Spike TV will air three live bouts. The first will be the third of the light heavyweight quarterfinal fights, as former UFC and Strikeforce title contender Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral faces off against heavy handed Mikhail Zayats. ‘Babalu’ was present for the open workouts, shadow boxing lightly. After a quick bout with the media, he was looking to make an exit.

Other combatants such as the two fighters who will be putting their belts on the line, Michael Chandler and Pat Curran took there time answering questions, and working out. Chandler even admitted to appreciating the added attention “The fact that  you guys want to take pictures of me, still gets me!” Chandler humbly said. “Its something athletes take for granted.” 

Also present were Mike ‘The Joker’ Guymon, featherweight contender Patricio Pitbull Friere, lightweight title challenger and Rick Hawn.

Interviews will be up soon!

Gallery:

DSC_2558 DSC_2454 DSC_2446 DSC_2417 DSC_2298

Mike 'Joker' Guymon checking in.

Mike ‘Joker’ Guymon checking in.

by Jonathan King The Clinch Report

MF1 MF2 MF3 MF4

Mixed martial arts events around the world have become almost identical in display. Arena type atmosphere, with Pink Floyd like laxer light shows. Even in many of the amateur showcases, promoters make a vain attempt at trying to appear UFC-like. This is exactly why Mansion Fights in North Hollywood California stands above most other amateur showcases.

Set in a elegantly decorated banquet hall fighters clamoring for future spotlights, fight just as eagerly under the soft glow of chandelier light. The setting provides a contrasting tone for the exhibition on display. The soft, and luxurious space makes everyone comfortable as the blood flies.

The fighters are in the CAMMO division. An amateur division of mixed martial arts fighters, but that doesn’t mean the fights lack excitement. With dreams on the line, every fighter fought with noticeable desire. The agony of defeat scarred as many as victory blessed.  Although the level of skill is night at the highest level, the will to entertain may exceed that of many professional showcases.

With several fights in the rear view mirror, and more on the docket for 2013 Armored Wings Promotions is certain to strike gold with the future stars of the sport. As the sport continues to explode, so to will this burgeoning promotion.

December 20, 2012

San Manuel Casino and Bingo

KING OF THE CAGE: VIGILANTE

by: Jonathan King  Photos by John Walsh The Clinch Report

Once again The King of The Cage promotion put on an amazing event of Mixed Martial Arts. The fight card featured 3 title fights, and a stacked under card that saw several upsets.

The Night began with an amazing .9 second knockout. King of The Cage stall-wort, and 185lbs contender Johnny Cisneros walked into a counter right hand from Joshua Aveles that immediately twisted and folded ‘The Tattooed Terror’ leaving him unconscious  and supine. The crowed was in shock, even the Aveles fans seemed stunned by the quick finish. Next for Aveles is a title shot at the 170 lbs division. As for Johnny Cisneros, its back to the drawing board. Suffering his first professional loss, was undoubtedly a rough dose of a reality for Cisneros. Fortunately though, his pedigree and skill will certainly carry him through this setback.

The first of three title fights saw Marvin Garcia vs. Justin Robbins for the vacant KOTC featherweight title. The first round featured a back and forth affair exhibiting some excellent striking and effective counters by both fighters. Garcia maintained a great pace, and stalked Robbins throughout the fight. Once on the ground, he was able to secure the victory via guillotine choke in the second round becoming the promotions strap holder in the 135lbs division.

The second title on the line belonged to David Gomez, who had been riding a 5 fight win streak coming into the fight. As the current champion Gomez had the crowd on his side, a ton of momentum, and a few defenses under his cap. His opponent Sam Liera, simply had a desire to become champion. Round 1 began with Gomez landing several hard strikes to the challenger Liera’s head, however they did little to deter the advances of the pugnacious challenger.  Halfway through the frame, Liera landed a huge left hand counter that immediately moved Gomez backwards. Showing a champions will, Gomez fought of the cage valiantly moving the scrap back to the center of the cage. His smile was replaced with a look of uncertainty, and Liera swarmed.  Shortly thereafter a counter left hand from Liera again rocked the champion as he fell to the canvas. A few unanswered hammer-fists from Liera forced referee Mike Beltran to step in to stop the fight at 4:42 of round the very first round. The winner Sam Liera is now the reigning KOTC Welterweight Title holder.

The final title bout of the evening featured KOTC Heavyweight and Super heavyweight Title holder and MMA legend Tony”Kryptonite” Lopez against a very savvy and well decorated fighter in his own right Trevor Prangley. Early on, Prangley was able to land a few heavy counter shots, that set up a few take-downs  Lopez however fought actively from the bottom, and Prangley seemed unable to provide any offense in Lopez’s guard. After two rounds of Prangley dominating with his smothering ground game, the referee began to stand up the fighters. after Prangley was unable to advance position. Here is where Lopez began to take control. Once standing, Prangley’s exhaustion was evident. Lopez landed at will, as Prangley was standing right in front of him, with very little if any head movement. In the fourth round a huge left hand from Lopez rocked Prangley, and sent him to the canvas. As Lopez moved in for the finish, and inadvertent knee seemed to hit Prangley in the head, forcing the ref to step in and halt the action. Consequent replays show the knee landed towards the neck area, and not the head. Prangley complained to ringside doctors that the knee may have broken his jaw, so the fight went to the judges score cards in the middle of the fourth round.  The judges awarded a technical decision to Trevor Prangley, who is now the KOTC Light heavyweight champion. *Interesting side note The Clinch Report’s photographer John Walsh caught the left hand that broke Prangley’s jaw proving it was not the knee that caused the damage!

KOTC TL22 KOTC TL6 KOTC TL5 KOTC LG12 KOTC LG14 KOTC LG15