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Bullshido Fight Report: April 4, 2008. IFL: New Blood, New Battles
Out With the Old, In With the New.
IFL: New Blood, New Battles
April 4, 2008. East Rutherford, New Jersey
The ride out to the Izod Center in East Rutherford was a typical New Jersey road trip; complete with rush hour traffic, bad drivers, and poor air quality. I actually think I saw yellow smog coming from one of the factories we drove past! But, Tom Kagan and I were very willing to put our health on the line and try our hand at covering the IFL for this Bullshido fight report! The IFL was crazy…cough…umm…generous enough to contact Bullshido, give us free tickets, and ask us to report on their show! And Bullshido was crazy enough to let Tom and I compile the report! So, here we go everyone, this is what went down at the Izod Center tonight…
It was to be an action packed night for this beginning season of the new and improved IFL. I have been to several IFL shows during the past 2 years, including the inaugural show and last year’s semi finals, so I was very interested in what changes had been made. I had always thought the old IFL put on good shows, which was a gift for this and every east coast MMA fan who wants more shows in our neck of the woods. Well, after tonight I can safely say that the team format and logo for the IFL may have changed, but the high quality of the show’s fights and production have not. Tonight’s event presented ten quality MMA bouts that certainly delivered all that it promised: A night of great MMA action with three IFL titles on the line.
The show kicked off with an undercard Light Heavyweight (205lb) bout between TUF and IFL veteran Alex Schoenauer (13-9) and Brendan Barrett (3-3). This fight was all Schoenauer's. Barrett had little to offer in the way of competent stand-up or ground game. Round one was Schoenauer’s best and most active round with several guillotine and foot lock attempts. Barrett was able to narrowly escape all Schoenauer’s submission attempts, but offer little in return. The second round highlighted Schoenauer’s rock solid chin as several of Barrett’s sloppy haymakers connected to no avail. By the end of round two both Barrett and Schoenauer were looking gassed, but Schoenauer took the round with more effective striking and several more submission attempts. At this point both Tom and I had Schoenauer ahead on our cards. Round three was uneventful as both fighters looked like they just smoked a pack of Camels (unfiltered). Their cardio was in the gutter. But, this is the round where Barrett threw the only noticeable technical punch in the whole fight: a jab…quickly followed by a few more sloppy haymakers, which did not connect. Somewhere in this mix of tired striking Barrett gets cut below his left eye. The round finishes with another Guillotine attempt by Schoenauer, but the bell rings before he can finish the job. The judges must have been watching another fight as they determined Schoenauer the victor via split decision. Tom and I were both in the dark as to why this was not a unanimous decision in favor of Schoenauer, but he did get the win he deserved.
The next bout was the first in a series of three bouts pitting American Top Team against Miletich Fighting Systems. This 145lb division bout had Miletich’s LC Davis (10-1) facing off against ATT’s Rafael Dias (10-4-1). It is not an understatement to state that this fight set the pace for the entire show. LC Davis’ devastating left round kick to the wide open face of Dias ended the fight just 4 seconds before the end of round three. Tom and I had Davis ahead on our cards up to that point as well. Round one was close, but Davis inched it out with more effective striking. Dias and Davis did manage to take the other to the canvas, but both fighters showed an inactive and ineffective ground game. Davis came out stronger in round two, dictating the pace and direction of the bout, offering up more effective striking and keeping top control during the majority of ground exchanges. During round three, much of the bout was spent on the canvas after several shoot attempts by Dias. Both fighters managed to obtain periods of top control where they worked some ground and pound, however they managed to tie each other up fairly well, leading to restarts by the referee. One of these restarts was 10 seconds before the final round’s end…and six seconds later Dias was unconscious on the mat. Davis’ KO left Dias out of commission for quite a while, along with the whole show as he was taken out by stretcher and, apparently later, by ambulance. This delay kept the medical staff away from ringside, which pushed the two remaining undercard bouts to the end of the night after the main events.
Bout three was Chris Horodecki’s (155lb, 12-1) awaited return to the ring. Horodecki’s last bout, a TKO loss served up by Ryan Schultz at the 2007 IFL Grand Prix, broke his 11 fight winning streak. Tonight’s fight was expected by many to be Horodecki’s triumphant return to the ring. The Team Tompkins golden boy was going up against IFL newcomer Nate Lamotte (6-3). No doubt, this was intended to be a tune-up fight for Horodecki. And, as expected, he did win the bout…but only by a narrow decision. While not a devastating win for Horodecki, his jab - low round kick combination had Lamotte’s name all over it. Throughout the bout Horodecki landed his right low round kick at will to Lamotte’s undefended thigh. Lamotte may have lost this fight, but he was determined not to go down lightly and show has much to offer the IFL. Lamotte managed to get to Horodecki’s back at the end of round one and his kick catch and subsequent takedown in round two was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, that one kick catch was outnumbered by many more undefended leg kicks by Horodecki. Lamotte’s pace seemed to slow in round three, but he still gave Horodecki a run for his money with the last minute of the round spent in Horodecki’s guard offering up some unanswered ground & pound.
Next in the line-up was Midwest Combat’s Bart Palaszewski (155lbs, 29-11) Vs. IFL newcomer Jim Miller (11-1). Miller won the unanimous decision after three hard fought rounds. Miller nearly ended the fight early in round one with a tight anaconda choke. Both fighters exchanged blows throughout the bout, but striking was neither fighter’s key to success tonight. A second anaconda attempt by Miller in round two was not successful. Early in round three Miller gets full back mount and RNC on Palaszewski, but losses the position after more than a minute when Palaszewski successfully defends and explodes out of the choke. Palaszewski rallies at the end of round three, but not enough to secure the win.
For bout five, the 170 pounders took the stage. New York favorite and Renzo Gracie team member Delson Heleno(13-5) stepped into the ring to face Midwest Combat’s Brad Blackburn (11-9). During the first two rounds Heleno dictated the pace, initiated several takedowns, and controlled top position during ground exchanges, though he had continued difficulty passing Blackburn’s guard and half guard. Round one was punctuated by Blackburn’s near triangle and a high flying superman punch by Heleno. On our cards, the fight was all Heleno after round two. But, nobody told this to Blackburn. At 1 minute and 50 seconds into round three, after a failed shoot by Heleno, Blackburn unloads a lightning fast overhand right that sends Heleno to the mat. He never got up. Blackburn wins via TKO.
Three Titles Up For Grabs
The first title bout of the evening was for the IFL Light Heavyweight (205lb) title. Vladimir Matyushenko (21-3) of Midwest Combat defended his title against challenger Jamal Patterson (4-2) of Team Renzo Gracie. At fight’s start Patterson was dominating the champ with superior striking, clinch work, and dirty boxing. Before rounds end Patterson had executed several well placed striking combinations, a beautiful kick catch and a near guillotine which nearly stole the title from Matyushenko. By the end of round one it seemed Patterson had Matyushenko’s number. Matyushenko was defending poorly, seemed to lack balance, and never used a single combination…opting for single strikes with little benefit. However, Matyushenko’s corner must have lit a fire under his butt as he came out guns blazing in round two. After a quick exchange, Matyushenko takes Patterson down, landing in his half-guard. It was all over from there. Patterson suffered devastating ground & pound for several minutes, unable to escape Matyushenko’s top control. With 27 seconds left in round two, the referee stops the bout. Matyushenko retains his Title and places another TKO victory on his record.
Next up was the 145lb IFL Title bout. Wagnney Fabiano (10-1) of Team Renzo Gracie defended his title against challenger Shad Lierly (2-2). After a quick feeling out process, 37 seconds into round one, Fabiano lands a strong right hand KO that leaves Lierly unconscious and twitching on the canvas. Game over. Fabiano retains the Title.
One of the most anticipated bouts of the night was Jay Hieron’s (15-4-1) Welterweight Title defense against challenger, Midwest Combat’s Mark Miller (8-3). Hieron, fighting out of Team Tompkins, retained his title in crushing fashion. Right after the bell Hieron takes Miller to the canvas, landing in Miller’s full guard. At 2 minutes and 10 seconds of that same round, Hieron secured the TKO due to referee stoppage. Miller simply had no effective sweeps or an answer for Hieron’s ground & pound. Hieron retains his IFL Welterweight Title.
After the Title bouts, the delayed undercard fights came back to take center stage. These were the next two bouts in the American Top Team vs. Miletich Fighting Systems camp challenge. At this point Miletich camp was up 1-0 after LC Davis’ KO over Rafael Dias.
The ninth bout of the night gave spectators a first-hand view of a well placed kneebar’s devastating effects. For the entire bout, ATT’s Emyr Bussade (170lbs, 11-5) continued to attack the legs of Miletich fighter Jesse Lennox (6-1). Lennox managed to avoid Bussade’s leg attacks during round one. However, at 1 minute and 25 seconds of round two Bussade secured the kneebar he’d been hunting for all night. It was a tight lock and Lennox let us know that it hurt like hell. He screamed bloody murder on the way to tapping out.
In the final bout of the night, ATT’s Carmelo Marrero (7-2-1NC) faced off against Mike Ciesnolevicz (13-3-1NC) of Team Miletich. However, at 1 minute and 37 seconds into round one a cut on Marrero’s scalp ended the fight. The bout was ruled a no contest, leaving the ATT vs. Miletich score at 1-1.
So folks, there you have it. Hope you enjoyed our first Bullshido fight report! Stay tuned we have a few suprises in store from the night as well. They should be up in a day or two!
Steve and Tom
Last edited by sambosteve; 4/05/2008 9:57am at .