Archive for April, 2014

Andre Fili posturing up for a big right hand, as Enoch Wilson defends in guard!

Andre Fili at Tachi Palace v Enoch Wilson. Photo By: John Walsh

 

By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

Andre Fili vs. Max Holloway

Max Holloway is a real tough dude, but unfortunately for him he is running into a juggernaut in Andre Fili. Fili should have no problem out working Holloway, utilizing his superior reach, and dynamic arsenal of strikes. However Fili has yet to prove his game on the ground, which is where Holloway will try to capitalize. Fili should be able to keep the fight upright, utilizing his length. Look for him to get more comfortable as the fight wears on. Winner: Fili via UD

Yancy Medeiros vs. Jim Miller Filling in on short notice is difficult enough, but to do so against 155 lbs stalwart Jim Miller takes testicular fortitude. In Miller,  Medeiros; who stepped in for injured Bobby Green will face his toughest test yet in the world of MMA. Miller has been “The Guy” in the 155 lbs division who decides wether you’re worth a shot or not, for a long time, and will be for the near future. Miller will rely on his experience to sink in a slick submission. Winner: Miller via Submission

Tim Boetsch vs. Luke Rockhold Tim Boetsch is a grinder with elusive power. He is basically Vladimir Matyushenko with Wanderlei-esque knockout power. In the clinch his uppercuts starches chins, and his ground game is pretty powerful as well. Luke Rockhold however is going to be way too much of an athlete for Boetsch. Rockhold’s striking prowess, natural athletic ability, and solid grappling will neutralize Boetsch where he is at his best, frustrating him. The fight could end in merciful TKO, but it will probably be an ugly one sided decision, simply because Boetsch is one tough dude! Winner: Luke Rockhold via UD

Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson is back in the UFC following his successful run in The World Series of Fighting at Heavyweight. Now back at 205 lbs, and back with the UFC, ‘Rumbles’ first fight is no small task. In fact, Johnson will have to rely on his heavy hands to test the previously uncracked chin of Phil Davis. Davis is one of the sports most accomplished wrestlers, and more importantly he is probably the most successful at adapting a pure wrestling style into one that is effective in MMA. His long reach and trunk-like base make shooting for a takedown, a very punishing experience. Johnson will have to somehow get inside and maintain his feet if he expects to win. However Davis is looking to make a statement in the division, and looking to do so at ‘Rumble’s’ expense. Winner: Phil Davis via Submission

Jon Jones* vs. Glover Teixeira For Light heavyweight title (*current champion)

Jon Jones is one of most talented fighters to ever set foot in the cage. His only official career blemish came because of a questionable DQ loss to Matt Hamill. And since defeating Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua in March of 2011, the title has remained on Jones waist. However, in his last fight Alexander Gustafsson was able to beat Jones to the punch, in most cases, leaving the champion battered after five rounds. Jones was able to escape with a narrow decision, however his facade as an unbeatable fighter had been torn away. In steps Brazilian slugger Glover Teixeira. Teixera hasn’t lost a fight since Pope John Paul held the Vatican’s title. However, in the UFC hs wins come over Ryan Bader, James Te Huna, Quinton Jackson, Fabio Maldonado, and Kyle Kingsbury. A nice collection of wins, but none except Jackson were ever title contenders, and he was long removed from that status when he fought Teixeira. Jones, on the other hand has fought everyone, and defeated them! Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Maurico Rua, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, as well as Jackson and the aforementioned Gustafsson. Experience favors the champion, but fortune favors the bold, and Glover Teixeira is more than ready for this fight.

Winner: Glover Teixeira via TKO 

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Chaos in The Casino Returns: Muay Thai, MMA, Boxing and “The Supernova from Moldova”.

Promoter George Bastmajyan and Team Shafir

Promoter George Bastmajyan and Team Shafir

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

 

Promoter George Bastmayjan and his “Lights Out Promotions” team, once again put together an incredible sports exhibition that left a taste of every discipline on the pallet of LA’s loyal combat sports fans. The event took place once again at the Hollywood Park Casino, and just like the last event an empty seat was difficult to spot.

The MMA portion of the card, featured some of SoCal’s best such as Christos Giagos, John Robles, Ara Muradyan, TUF Alumni Karim Ghazi, Dmitry Gerasimov, Danny Navarro, Arsen Galstyan and Cameron Harris. However it was a fight on the undercard drew most of the attention. The pro debut of Marina Shafir. Shafir is one of the sports most highly touted prospects, and it doesn’t hurt that she is from Albany NY (Go Danes!).

‘The Supernova from Moldova” is known well too MMA fans, as being part of the ‘Four Horsewomen” of MMA. A team that features Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and of course UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. Rousey was on hand, and working in Shafir’s corner with her coach Edmund Tarverdyan. The rest of her team, was not very far.

Shafir, had previously stormed through all of her amateur opponents, finishing them all in impressive fashion. Her pro debut was not any different. Shafir needed only 1:57 to defeat Chandra Engel via armbar. Aggressively Shafir, closed the distance early instigating her grappling game. Once the fight found the mat, it was evident that Shafir was looking for her signature arm bar. Engel did her best to defend and roll out of the first few attempts, but Shafir stayed patient and when the opening presented itself, she secured the arm and forced the tap.

Shafir, is seems to be destined for a successful career in mixed martial arts. Her extensive background, judo pedigree, and the dogs she shares the pen with are sure to keep her sharp, we can only hope the sport expands the growth of the women’s divisions.

“The Chaos in the Casino” series of fights are known in SoCal for being one of the best valued tickets in town. The dynamic fighters, and alternating disciplines give fight fans a look at several different sports, all under one roof, without ever letting you get comfortable. Just when a jujitsu exhibition tempts you into a glass of red wine, BAM, a muay thai head kick has you calling for the tequila! The Boxing portions of the fights never disappoint, they always feature consistent striking, devastating knockouts, and back and forth exchanges The Hollywood Park Casino provides the perfect backdrop for mixed martial arts, and all combat sports. They have a long history of supporting events like these.

Personal Commentary:

Supporting events like ‘Chaos in The Casino’ are crucial to the future of the sport. These operations often put their entire business on the line to put on events like these. The fighters get taken care of with this promotion, so each ticket sold directly supports local fighters.

Make sure you BUY a ticket and help support your Local Fighters!

 

 

 

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MMA Portion:

Vardan Sholinyan won via decision over Tremain Lewis

Arsen Galstyan, who won via TKO over Danny Lockhart

Emilio Chavez, was able to out point Dmitri Gerasimo, and won via Split Decision

Armen Bakanian won via impressive KO (punches) over Matt Doyle

Jay Bogan was able to secure an arm, and the tap over  Melsik Baghdasaryan

Danny Navarro took a UD over Fernand Vargas

Selah Williams took Damien Marzett’s back and was able to secure the tap via RNC

Christos Giagos TKO’d Preston Scharf  (Ref Stoppage)

TUF veteran Chris Karim Ghazi was victorious via submission over Dominigue Gutierrez

And in the Co Main Event, Ara Muradyan was able to win via signature armbar over a very game John Robles.

Muay Thai Card:

Sergey Martirosyan won via decision over Dennis Mendez
Levon Sargsyan and Ming Freeman, slugged it out, resulting in a majority draw

On The Boxing Card:

Alexi Zubov KO’d Ritchie Cherry

And in the Main Event:

Art Hovhannisyan peppered a very tough Miguel Zuniga for the entire fight and won via UD (main event)

 

 

 

 

Bellator 116: On the Cusp of Immortality,The Return to Form, and Farewell to A Legend.

Blagoi Ivanov

 

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

 

Bellator MMA’s roster of fighters is a diverse group of young talent, coupled with a few older lions who are looking for to either return to form, win a world title, or too  prove to themselves that they can still mix it up with the best. Three fighters that we will focus on tonight are Blagoi Ivanov, Karo Parisyan, and Vladimir Matyushenko.

On the Cusp of Immortality

Two years ago, Blagoi Ivanov was at the start of a very promising Bellator MMA career. He came to the company on the heels of defeating MMA Legend Fedor Emelianenko in the World Sambo Championships. Everything was going according to plan. Until armed thugs confronted Ivanov and a group of friends in his homeland of Bulgaria, at a nightclub. During the melee, Ivanov was stabbed under the armpit with a 12 inch blade. The wound pierced his heart, and lungs. Emergency surgery was performed to save the young fighters life, but then infections set in. Ivanov was placed into a medically induced coma, where he lay near death for over 80 days, in the dark.

When he awoke, he was a shell of his former self. The once strapping heavyweight was closer to a welterweight in size, and walking and breathing became his new hurdles. His career was effectively over as a fighter, however someone forgot to tell him. He spoke with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebeney and promised that he would return. After one year of intense training, Ivanov began to put on the weight he slept off, and slowly but surely began regaining his facilities.

Since his return, Ivanov appeared to not have missed a step. He has remained undefeated. His latest win at Bellator 116 over former UFC fighter Lavar Johnson, came via a slick Americana late in the first round that forced ‘Big’ to tap. The win has earned Ivanov a place in the Heavyweight Tournament Finals where he will face former Title holder Alexander Volkov for a shot at the World Title. In two years Ivanov has been in places not many have gone before. He keeps defying the odds at every turn, he is a champion in life, and soon may have the belt to match.

Return to Form

From 2002-2008 Karo Parisyan was one of the worlds top welterweight fighters. He was fighting all over the world, and was on the verge of a title shot. During this run, the young judoka was considered one of the sports most talented fighters. With wins over Nick Diaz, Josh Burkman, Ryo Chonan, Former Champion Matt Serra, and Chris Lytle, Parisyan seemed set to have a long successful career. Then the wheels fell off!

Parisyan spoke with us before his fight with Rick Hawn, and told us how his life spun out of control. Substances that initially were designed to heal the nagging injuries a fighter must deal with, became part of his every-day routine. He was cut from the UFC, and seemed to be another case of wasted talent.

Like a real champion, Parisyan woke up one day and realized what he was losing. He sought help and slowly began to find himself again. He also started to feel that fire in his belly, that once labeled him ‘The Heat’. Taking some fights on the regional circuit may be difficult for a fighter who once fought at the top, however it was that same humility that led Parisyan back into the light.

After a few fights with mixed results, ‘The Heat’ began to churn into an inferno again. With his weight in check, and his problems in his rear view mirror, Parisyan was given a second chance with Bellator. His first fight against Rick Hawn was a difficult task, however Parisyan attacked from the opening bell. His hands looked up to speed, his movement was working and then he got caught. Hawn won the fight but it was obvious to everyone in attendance that Parisyan was on his way back.

His next fight was equally difficult. At Bellator 116 Parisyan was paired with AKA’s Ron Kesslar who is coming off a big win over War Machine. On paper the match pitted judoka v wrestler. However its was Parisyan’s hands that made the difference. late in the second round, Parisyan dropped Kesslar with a series of punches and was able to finish with impressive ground and pound.

The win solidified Parisyan’s chances for being selected in the next welterweight tournament. Parisyan, at one time could have been one of the best in the world. In fact he was one of the best. However real champions are not made they are built. In Parisyan’s case he is rebuilt. This version, the 2.0 version is much more humble and intelligent. Like the phoenix before him, ‘The Heat’ has risen from the fire and the future looks very bright!

Farewell to A Legend

Vladimir Matyushenko has fought everywhere, and in every major organization. ‘The Janitor’ has long been one of the top light heavyweight fighters in the world. The former IFL Champion, fought in the UFC, Bellator, IFL, IFC, and Affliction and many other organizations around the world. With a record of  27-8, Matyushenko has shared the cage with a ‘who’s who’ of the MMA elite.

At Bellator 116, Matyushenko lost to Joey Beltran via North South choke late in the 3rd round. The legend left his gloves in the cage signifying his retirement. Like a wrestler leaving his shoes on the mat, ‘The Janitor’ said goodbye to the world of fighting but will remain relevant in MMA as one of the best wrestling coaches alive. Vladimir is living the American dream. He came to this country speaking only the language of a wrestler, now he is revered as legend. Matyushenko will continue as the head wrestling coach at Dynamix MMA in Santa Monica where he will be an amazing influence on all fighters young and old for many years to come.

UofMMA-13

 

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

 

Every fighter has one trait in common. Weather you are the best in the world, or cutting your teeth as an amateur in your first bout; every fighter shares the fear and hatred of losing. At the amateur level these losses hurt the most. A devastating loss at this level can crush dreams, and expose confidence as a fraud.

The ‘U of MMA’, offers a unique stage to showcase that raw talent with a professional feel. With the Club Nokia as the backdrop, some of southern California’s finest gyms were represented. Teams like 10th Planet Van Nuys, 10th Planet Costa Mesa, PKG Westwood, Lighting MMA, Glendale Fighting Club, Systems Training Center, Xtreme Couture, Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA Gym, CSW, and NZT Pankration, all had fighters on the card, ready to make a name for themselves.

Juan Orta was one fighter that made sure he left an impression. Using his superior foot work and hand speed, Orta landed a starching right hand that removed his opponent from his senses long enough for the referee to save him from a further beating. Fighting out of Lighting MMA, Orta was making his amateur debut and certainly gained some notoriety with that short right hand finish.

Also remaining perfect with an amateur record of 4-0 was Team PKG’s Flavian Pilgrim. Pilgrim was able to pace himself and outlasted a very tough Jarett Conner (4-2). Conner seemed too be looking to bring the fight to the mat. However, Pilgrim utilized his athleticism to keep on his feet for most of the fight, and used his counter punching to cruise to a hard fought unanimous decision win.

CSW fighter Shohei Yamamoto also improved to 4-0 as an amateur with a highlight reel KO over Dean Bo Moskowitz. Yamamoto landed a huge right hand that caught Mokowitz on the temple, dropping him to the canvas where he was unable to defend himself. The knockout seemed to be the highlight of the evening, however there was more to come.

NZT Pankration fighter Ozzy Diaz came in to his first amateur title fight with a record of 3-1, and apparently he didn’t feel like wasting any time earning that title. Diaz barely broke a sweat when he dropped Xtreme Couture’s Jerell Cephas like a sack of potatoes with one shot. The KO was blistering, and immediately fired up the pro Diaz crowd. Diaz improved to 4-1, as an amateur and earned the inaugural “U of MMA” Light Heavyweight Title.

Also earning a “U of MMA” title was CSW featherweight Jacob Rosales. Rosales was able to do enough on the scorecards in the first and second rounds and was able to survive a late onslaught from a very tough Ryan Lilley. Early on, Rosales repeatedly slammed Lilley with consecutive suplexes, building up a clear lead in the judges minds.  With the win, Rosales remained perfect as an amateur with a stellar 5-0 record.

Events like the ‘U of MMA’ are crucial for the future of the sport of MMA. The difficult and even match-ups play a vital role by separating the wheat from the chafe. At this level records can often be bloated, but promotions like the ‘U of MMA’ serve as protectors and ambassadors by forcing the competitors to earn their bravado.

 

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