As most of you know, I usually like to start with some rambling diatribe about something stupid, however, I've been on the wagon as of late and, as such, without my usual powers of inane rambling.
As many of you alkies know, once you get off the sauce, it's important to have some other vice to focus on. In my case, it's amphetamines.
(*DISCLAIMER* There is no evidence for or against the writer of this article having ever taken an illicit substances and any speculation off of an unsubstantiated work of fiction shall be considered libelous and just plain naive.)
Fortunately, I have people in my life that are concerned about my health and are able to offer life lessons in an effort to save me from a fated life of prostitution and sub-par writing.
Enter Alex P. Keaton
For those of us old enough to remember the Twins winning a World Series back in 1987, we also remember a very special episode of Family Ties in which APK took amphetamines to help with his studying only to be confronted by his ex-hippie parents. It was very emotional.
Sadly, I have an addictive personality and it wasn't enough.
Enter Carlton Banks.
One time, on a very special episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Carlton mistakenly took amphetamines out of his cousin Will's locker, thinking it was Vitamin K in hopes that it would clear up an inopportune pimple for the school dance. He was rushed to the hospital after some awesome dancing.
It was very emotional. Yet still not enough.
Then there was Jessie Spano.
One time, on a very special episode of Saved By The Bell, Jesse felt so overwhelmed with her school work and extracurricular activities that she took amphetamines to get caught up only to have a breakdown in front of her best friend, Zach Morris. It was very emotional.
It stirred something inside me...down south of the boarder. So I decided to watch Showgirls.
I tell you what, that s*** sobered me right up. Jesse Spano boobs or not, that movie is rancid.
Okay, time for fights.
Lydell Miller (3-7) vs. Tanner Walsh (1-0)
Round 1) Miller immediately presses and goes for a standing guillotine. The two fight for cage control and it’s quickly turning into a wrestling match. Walsh gets full guard as the fight hits the ground. Walsh throws up a triangle and fights to tightened, it looks pretty solid, but not great. Miller is pure heart (luck) surviving, but he does.
Round 2) Walsh goes for a trip and pulls full guard. Miller drops a few hammers and stands. Miller lands a solid jab-cross that Walsh wants nothing of and digs for underhooks. Miller gets the fight to the ground and pulls full guard. Miller passes and they stand. Miller sticks a few more solid punches that get Walsh to turn. Miller gets a bear hug from back and drags the fight down. He takes back and locks in a body triangle, but isn’t able to finish before the bell.
Round 3) Walsh tries a head kick and Miller ties up. The fight hits the ground with Miller in bottom half guard with an overhook. He is able to get the sweep and Walsh gets full guard. Miller is throwing heavy shots as he postures in a desperate attempt to win some points to what looks like could end up as a split decision (knowing these judges).
Winner: Lydell Miller wins via split decision. 30-27 (Miller), 29-28 (Walsh) and 29-28 (Miller).
Though, how the f*** a judge could call the first round for Miller is anyone’s guess.
Eric Berg (0-3) vs. Jeffery Brummett (0-1)
Round 1) Very strange kick exchange between the two fireplugs (both fighters are 5’7”). Brummett is giving up 8 pounds at a 181 catch weight against Berg. I dunno, whatever. Anyway, Brummett goes for a spinning kick and slips. Berg pounces like he sees a cupcake, getting top crossbody. Brummett bullies his way back to his feet and is able to force Berg to the ground and take mount. Berg is able to survive the first flurry, but Brummett lands to many unanswered bombs (should have been stopped sooner).
Winner: Jeffery Brummett at 2:15 of the 1st round via knockout…even though it was really a TKO…sigh…
Brandon Bell (3-1) vs. Kyle Todd (4-2)
Round 1) Todd pushes the action and Bell tries to jump guillotine. Todd gets the takedown and Bell works rubber guard. Bell does his best to control posture and it almost looks like he goes for a gogoplata as the round ends. Todd won the round by virtue of landing punches from guard.
Round 2) Todd’s striking is far crisper. Bell jumps and arm-in guillotine. Todd goes to the ground and avoids the choke. Bell goes for rubber guard again. For some reason Todd has no interest in passing guard. Todd finally passes just before the Bell. This one could be a coin-flip.
Round 3) Todd immediately shoots and gets a slamming, pure power, single leg. Bell goes right back to rubber guard. Bell eventually is able to turn and set up an omoplata, but Bell stays calm, postures and passes to turtle control. Todd is able to turn Bell over and take mount just as the round ends.
Winner: Kyle Todd wins via unanimous decision (30-27 for all three judges)
BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE ELIMINATOR FIGHT…
I don’t know what that means…
Adric Kennedy (4-0) vs. Angel Pacheco (3-2)
Round 1) Both men come out and it looks like they are more than happy to trade punches. Early on it looks like Pacheco has the edge in speed, but Kennedy has the edge in power. Pacheco has good head movement and has to block two blistering head kicks. Kennedy presses the action to the cage and lands two body kicks. The second makes Pacheco go to a knee and the ref stops the fight, thinking it was a liver kick.
The action restarts and Kennedy slips going for another head kick. Pacheco is able to get back control at the bell.
Round 2) Kennedy is the aggressor this round, but Pacheco stays composed. For a moment it looks like Pacheco could turn the momentum in his favor, but Kennedy gets it right back with a couple of powerful punch-kick combinations. Kennedy wins the round.
Round 3) Kennedy mixes things up and shoots for a takedown, getting Pacheco’s back standing, but isn’t able to get him to the ground. Pacheco comes on stronger as the round progresses, but it isn’t with the kind of urgency he needs for a finish. It looks more like a boxing match, content to win the round. But is it enough to win the fight?
Winner:Adric Kennedy via unanimous decision (20-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Again, how the f*** could anyone say Kennedy won the last round? With that not-quite-a-takedown?
Codie Kahler (2-0) vs. Floyd Hodges (11-6)
Round 1) Kahler gets the early trip and lands in top half guard, but Hodges escapes the back door. Hodges is looking strong with some crisp boxing, but Kahler pushes right in for another trip. He gets it and lands in top mount. He stays patient, solidifies the position then goes to work with hard punches and elbows from wherever he can find them.
Somehow Hodges survives a LONG TIME on the bottom and gets to his feet, but his face is cut and beat badly. Kahler is relentless and pursues with punches, kicks and knees. Twice it looks like Hodges is going down, only to turn and return a couple punches. Guy has a hell of a chin, but no one lasts forever. Finally, Hodges’ legs give out and Kahler pounces. The ref waves it off.
Winner: Codie Kahler via TKO at 3:44 of the 1st round.
Dude…dude…Kahler is a f***ing animal!
Frankie Johnson (10-7) vs. Ben Locken (2-2)
Round 1) With father and Rice Street Gym Owner Johnny Johnson in his corner, Frankie goes to work with his boxing, but it looks like Locken wants to wrestle. Locken gets a strong double and tries to posture and pass to cross-sides, but Johnson is able to throw his legs up and get a tight triangle. Locken taps quickly. Damn nice triangle submission for the boxer.
Winner: Frankie Johnson via submission (triangle choke) at 1:12 of the 1st round
Josh Wiseman (4-1) vs. Donald Williams (2-1)
Round 1) Williams ties up early and tries to throw for the takedown, but Wiseman avoids. They break and Williams lands a solid combo. Williams is looking quick and strong, but Wiseman has great takedown defense. I'm going to go ahead and break down this round in a manner that saves us all a lot of time: Williams gets a lot of takedowns, Wiseman does a good job of escaping bad places.
Round 2) Williams' pace has slowed a bit and Wiseman gets the better of the early exchange. Then more of the same for a while (which from this point on means Williams getting takedowns and Wiseman escaping). Wiseman takes a thumb to the eye when the two are on the ground and takes time to recover. Wiseman comes out aggressive after the break, but Williams gets another takedown as the round ends.
Round 3) Just to mix things up, Wiseman goes for the takedown and Williams gets the better of the follow-up punch exchange. Then it is back to more of the same. Eventually, Williams is able to slip away and get to Williams' back standing, he pulls for a suplex, but just ends up pulling Williams on top as the round ends.
Winner: Donald Williams via unanimous decision (30-27 for all judges)
Damion Hill (7-2) vs. Courtney Buck (10-8)
Round 1) Buck starts out the fight looking a little more confident and Hill doesn't seem as composed as previous fights, having trouble finding his range early as Buck plants him with a solid punch. Buck tries to follow up with a knee, but Hill circles away. Buck lands another punch that puts Hill on his butt and again Hill stands. Hill lands a wicked teep kick to Buck's midsection that knocks Buck down. As Buck stands the pace slows as both men have to respect each others stand up. Buck stumbles Hill with another shot and tries to follow it up, but Hill gets a double leg as the round ends
Round 2) Hill shoots for an early takedown and Buck has to pull full guard. Buck throws his legs up and gets a circle, but isn't able to lock in his triangle as Hill stands to avoid. The two start trading leg kicks and Hill starts to look more comfortable on his feet. Hill bullies another double leg and Buck gets full guard with an overhook. The round ends with little action.
Round 3) Hill is finding his composure and hits another double leg takedown. The ref stands after a period of inactivity and Buck comes alive for a few moments with a strong combination. The two are looking tired and trade more leg kicks. Bucks lands a great body kick and Hill drives for another takedown. Buck goes for a kimura sweep from guard, then tries a guillotine, but can't find it. Buck gets a head kick as the round ends.
Winner: Damion Hill via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Are you f***ing kidding me? Buck didn't win the first round after planting Hill twice? What the f*** more do the judges need?
FEATHERWEIGHT AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Nick Spina (8-3-1) vs. Sean Richman (4-0)
You know what, there have been a lot of decisions tonight and this one is a five round fight. Unless I am amazed by something, these are going to be two sentence round descriptions at best. I don’t type well enough to keep up with all this.
Round 1) Richman takes an early shot to the cup and they break…once the fighting starts again, Richman is the aggressor with a strong teep to Spina’s face. Spina circles away, but Richman pursues…there’s my two sentences…DAMN! Richman puts Spina on the canvas! Three hard bombs and Spina is out. Fight over and a new featherweight ammy champ.
Winner: Sean Richman via KO at 1:52 of the 1st round
Steve Merth (6-1) vs. Ben Neumann (5-2)
Round 1) Neumann comes out with a gap fighting stance, head leaning back away from Merth. Merth gets staggered by a fall-away hook but recomposes as Neumann drives for a double leg. Merth sprawls perfectly and is actually able to get mount out of the exchange. Neumann goes belly down to avoid and barely avoids an armbar. Neumann goes for a heelhook from his back, but Merth turns out of it and gets cross-side control, then turtle landing punches along the way.
They stand and Neumann goes for another takedown, but Merth's sprawl is spot on. Neumann stands and lands a couple of hooks, but Merth forces the action into the cage wall then to the ground. Neumann barely misses locking in an armbar just as the round ends.
Round 2) Neumann is cut early across the left eyebrow and Merth tries to bully him to the ground and into a north/south choke, but Neumann avoids. They stand and Neumann misses another shot. Merth is executing his gameplan perfectly to avoid the dangerous grappler. Neumann goes for a desperation heelhook, then nearly get's Merth's back, but Merth reverses and gets Neumann's back with both hook and digs for a rear naked choke that isn't there.
Merth moves to mount and has to bail, but still maintains turtle control, landing punches all the while. Merth gets mount again then back control AGAIN. Neumann doesn't have an answer for Merth's game, but refuses to give up. Very impressive.
Round 3) Neumann tries to pull a kimura early and transition it into an armbar, but Merth is able to walk around it to avoid. Neumann throws his legs up for a pseudo-inverted triangle, but just ends up inverted and learning why inverted guard doesn't transition from BJJ to MMA after a couple punches to the face. Neumann just can't find the answer he's looking for and is going for any and every submission that he possibly can. Merth is just too composed and willing to disengage and re-engage at his corner's demand. Truly excellent execution, planning and cornering.
Winner: Steve Merth via unanimous decision (I left, but assume 30-27 on all cards, then again, with these f***ing judges, someone let me know if I got it wrong).
This was actually a really great night of fights. Normally, my biggest and really only gripe about fighters is stepping into the cage and not bringing their A-game, but all the guys on tonight's card fought hard and made it difficult for even myself to be a cynical prick.
Either that, or it's the quaaludes.