Bullshido Fight Report: RFL - Proving Ground
Revolution Fight League Proving Ground - Louisville, KY - July 26, 2008
This was the second RFL event that I have attended (see previous report here. I admit that I was curious if their production would be as solid as the last one I attended. I have to say this one was even better. They seem to have grasped the fact that for the time being they will have smaller crowds. This event took place at the Broadbent arena which seats a little over 6,000. The RFL dropped a curtain to cut the venue's size in half. Because of this there wasn't really a bad seat in the house. The cage, as usual, was terrific. It is every bit the quality of events like the WEC. The event itself ran very smoothly without any problems between fights. There was a DJ to keep music playing at all times between fights. There were also dancers for entertainment during intermissions. The production value keeps getting better. In fact the only downside I can see to the entire event was that the crowd was not as knowledgeable as the previous event. There were often screams of "Stand them up" when the top man was in half-guard, cross-side or even mounted position. The crowd seemed to struggle a bit at understanding the ground aspect of MMA. This is, of course, not the fault of the RFL. So, really, there is nothing negative I can say about the promotion itself. Now, moving on to the action...
The first four bouts of the evening were amateur fights, and for those of you who aren't familiar with Kentucky amateur rules here's a little informtion. In the state of Kentucky amateur fights have only a couple of major differences with pro fights:
1) No elbows
2) 3, 3 Minute Rounds
Fight 1: TJ Ball vs. Jason Hatfield - Am. MMA, 205lbs
The fighters come out and touch gloves. Hatfield fires an immediate leg kick. Ball quickly clinches and pushes the action to the fence where he forces a takedown. Ball lands in Hatfield's half-guard. He fights to pass but winds up giving up full guard. Ball tries some ground and pound to little effect. Hatfield pushes him off and they try to stand. Ball puts him down quickly and lands in cross-side. From here Ball lands some vicous ground and pound forcing the ref to stop the fight.
The winner was: TJ Ball by TKO at 2:30 in Rd 1
Fight 2: Steve Muldrow vs. Tim Cook - Am. MMA, 155 lbs
The fighters come out and touch gloves. The beginning of the round is a feeling out process as both fighters try to get the measure of their opponent. Cook fires a couple of leg kicks. Muldrow counters with some punches and leg kicks of his own. He follows that up by scooping Cook up and slamming him down hard landing in his guard. Cook lands a few strikes from the bottom and tries a kimura. Muldrow passes to cross-side and escapes the kimura. Cook manages to regain half-guard then he escapes and stands. Muldrow scores another quick takedown, but Cook comes up to his knees. Muldrow grabs a single leg and eats a few punches before putting him on his back landing in Cook's half-guard. Muldrow stands up trying to pass. Cook throws some upkicks, but doesn't manage to really connect. Muldrow finishes the round coming back down into Cook's guard.
My Pick for the Round: Muldrow 10-9
The second round begins with both fighters trading some quick punches. Cook tries a takedown but fails. He winds up on his back with Muldrow in his guard. Muldrow works to pass. Cook tries another kimura but loses it. Muldrow lands some good body shots while in guard. Cook pushes him off and stands. Muldrow takes him back down and lands in mount. He flattens Cook out and tries for a mounted guillotine. Cook rolls Muldrow over and quickly slides into mount. Cook spends a significant amount of time in this position raining down some vicious ground and pound. The ref looks like he's on the verge of stopping the fight, but Muldrow rolls over and gives up his back. Cook tries a choke, but gives it up quickly in favor of more ground and pound. He then tries to secure an armbar, but he's up to high on Muldrow's back. Muldrow manages to roll out into Cook's guard just before the bell.
My Pick for the Round: Cook 10-9
The third round starts and both fighters come out throwing punches and kicks probably knowing that this round will decided the fight. Both fighters land some good shots before Muldrow clinches. Cook looks like he's about to fall so he pulls guard. He immediately tries for another kimura, but Muldrow escapes it and stands. Cook throws some punches that miss. He follows that with a flying knee, but Muldrow catches him in mid-air and puts him down hard, landing in guard. Cook tries yet another kimura, but Muldrow has none of it as he escapes and lays in some solid ground and pound. Cook manages to escape and stand up. Muldrow lands a really good left hook, and both fighters trade till the bell.
My Pick for the Round: Muldrow 10-9
My Overall Pick: Muldrow 29-28
Winner: Steve Muldrow by Majority Decision (scores: 29-28, 29-28, 29-29)
Fight 3: Josh Recktenwald vs. Rob Smith - RFL Amateur 145 lb Title Fight
This fight was for the vacant RFL Amateur 145 lb title. After touching gloves both fighters circle. Recktenwald tries to measure with a jab. Smith shoots in, but just manages to clinch against the cage. He then forces the takedown and lands in cross-side against the fence where he grabs a side headlock. Recktenwald manages to stand up while still in the headlock. He then uses that opportunity to jump on Smith's back. Smith backs up to the fence pinning Recktenwald against it. Recktenwald spends a while working for a rear naked choke from this position. After working for a while he starts to punch Smith to the side of the head to soften him up. This does the trick, and Recktenwald locks in the choke with Smith still standing, but he still forces the tap at 2:55.
Winner: Josh Recktenwald by Rear Naked Choke - round 1
Fight 4: Brandon Pinkston vs. Josh Clark - Am. MMA, 185 lbs.
The fighters come out and Clark lands some colid combinations that include a really solid uppercut. He continues to jab and circle to maintain distance. Pinkston tries to close the distance and comes forward with some sloppy but powerful punches. He manages to connect several times. Clark is forced to step away and circle quickly, but he manages to recover. Pinkston connects with some more solid punches before clinching against the fence. From here he manages a takedown, landing in cross-side. Clark is quick to recover his guard, but Pinkston manages to pass to half-guard where he works some ground and pound. Pinkston stands and tries to throw punches down on to Clark. Clark tries to lock in a heel hook from here, but Pinkston defends well and keeps up the ground and pound before taking mount. He lands a few more shots from here before the round ends.
My Pick for the Round: Pinkston 10-9
Clark comes out and lands a solid body punch and follows that with some good leg kicks. Pinkston manages to catch one of these kicks, though, and puts Clark down. Pinkston tries to work inside Clark's guard, but has trouble as Clark has a very active guard and is working for submissions. Pinkston tries some ground and pound, but clark stays active, working for triangles and omoplatas. Eventually the ref stands them up. Clark lands another solid body punch, but Pinkston counters witha good combination. Clark fires back with a good 1-2 and some body shots that visibly hurt Pinkston. Clark keeps it up with a good knee and then drops Pinkston with a hard leg kick. Pinkston is hurt and it only takes a few more strikes before he taps.
Winner: Josh Clark by submission due to strikes - round 2
This marked the end of the amateur fights for the evening. The professional bouts are all governed by the unified ruleset that everyone knows.
Fight 5: Stu Hassler vs. Erik Florez - Pro MMA, 155 lbs
It should be noted that Florez came in overweight at 159 lbs. After touching gloves Florez comes in and fires off a 1-2 and shoots for the takedown but fails. Hassler counters with a leg kick. Florez grabs a double leg and takes Hassler down. Florez immediately takes mount. Hassler rolls over, giving up his back. He manages to escape and a scramble ensues. Florez winds up on top in Hassler's guard. Florez works some ground and pound while Hassler climbs his guard. Hassler works some strikes from the bottom and tries to set up an armbar. Florez escapes and works to pass. He manages to get cross-side and then takes Hassler's back. After locking in a body triangle, it's only a matter of time before Florez manages to sink in a rear naked choke and force the tap.
Winner: Erik Florez by Rear Naked Choke - round 1
Fight 6: Bryan Goldsby vs. Matt Troyer - Pro MMA, 135 lbs
After touching gloves, both fighters spend some time circling and measuring. Goldsby tries a high kick, but Troyer covers up. Troyer then fires back with some good punches and forces the takedown. Goldsby gets back up quickly. He comes forward connecting on a series of good hooks before taking Troyer down and landing in his guard. Troyer tries and armbar, but Goldsby escapes. Goldsby tries several times to pass, but Troyer has a good defensive guard. Eventually Goldsby just stands up. The two trade punches then clinch against the fence. Goldsby scores a takedown, but the ref stands them up quickly (perhaps a little too quickly). Troyer lands a solid cross and Goldsby counters with a leg kick. Troyer tries a takedown but fails and eats some punches for his effort. He falls, but Goldsby lets him get up. Goldsby lands some good leg kicks. Troyer tries to clinch, but he is visibly tired. After he fails to get a single leg he falls on his back with Goldsby in his guard. The ref stands them up for inactivity pretty quickly. Goldsby lands a good 1-2 and the two clinch to end the round.
My Pick for the Round: Goldsby10-9
The second round starts with Troyer trying to connect, but Goldsy is elusive coming back with good leg and high kicks. He follows that with a clinch and good knees to the body. Troyer misses on some more punches and an elbow. Goldsby takes him down and lands in Troyer's guard. Troyer stays active and lands some strikes from the bottom. The two break loose and stand where they trade some good punches. Goldsby scores another takedown, but doesn't manage to do anything effective before the ref stands them up again. The two circle and then start swinging to end it. Goldsby lands a good front kick to the body, and Troyer looks extremely winded. Goldsby lands some huge combinations that shake up Troyer. Goldsby clinches and lands some solid knees and then more punches. Troyer is doing everything he can to get away and stay standing, but he is really hurt. The ref steps in and stops the fight with both fighters on their feet, but even Troyer acknowledges that it's a good stoppage.
Winner: Bryan Goldsby by TKO - round 2
Fight 7: Robert Thompson vs. Courtney Ray - Pro MMA, 170 lbs
The two touch gloves and circle. Ray lands a good leg kick and high kick. Thompson backtracks and Ray chases him all the way to the fence. As the hit the fence Thompson throws a monster right hook that connects flush with Rays chin knocking him out instantly.
Winner: Robert Thompson by KO - round 1
Fight 8: Dave Mewborn vs. Heath Davis - Pro MMA, 185 lbs
The two fighters touch gloves and circle. Mewborn comes in immediately and clinches forcing the action to the cage. He throws some solid knees from this position. It's a struggle as both fighters try to control the clinch, but Mewborn seems to be the stronger fighter from here. Eventually Mewborn scores the takedown landing in Davis' half-guard. Davis tries for a guillotine but Mewborn escapes. Davis regains his guard only to have Mewborn pass to half-guard again. From here Mewborn secures a farside overhook and works elbows to the head. After working elbows and body punches Mewborn gets the mount. Davis recovers his half-guard quickly, but Mewborn is able to work around and take his back. Mewborn never lets go and eventually sinks in the rear naked choke forcing a tap.
Winner: Dave Mewborn by Rear Naked Choke - round 1
Fight 9: Dustin Neace vs. Brian Geraghty - Pro MMA, 145 lbs
This fight was to decide the number one contender for the RFL's 145 lb title. This fight featured TUF season 5 competitor Brian Geraghty. Neace didn't seem affected by this fact though and came after it in this fight. The fight began with both fighters circling. Neace tried a few punches, but Geraghty kept his distance and avoided the striking. Neace tried a sloppy shot, but gets put on his back where Geraghty quickly passes to half-guard. Geraghty works slowly and methodically while keeping control of Neace. He manages to pass to cross-side. He eventually tries a guillotine but Neace escapes and manages to stand. Neace clinches and takes Geraghty down where they land in Geraghty's guard. Geraghty shows a really active guard with strong butterfly as well. He works for and armbar and some sweeps. He also shows good cage work as he spins off. Geraghty stays active with a solid open guard while Neace tries some ineffective ground and pound. Geraghty climbs up and locks in a triangle. The last couple minutes fo the round are spent with Neace in the triangle but managing to keep enough space to keep from tapping. Just before the the bell Geraghty tries a sweep, but is unsuccessful.
My Pick for the Round: Geraghty 10-9
Neace comes out and throws some punches and once again tries a sloppy shot. Geraghty sprawls and winds up in Neace's guard. Neace holds on for a bit, but Geraghty passes and takes his back with a lightning fast transition to a body lock and choke attempt. After getting a little too high Geraghty tries an armbar, Neace rolls him off and takes the top position inside Geraghty's guard against the fence. Neace lands some good elbows from here and Geraghty looks a little slower from the bottom. Neace continues to land good elbows and solid ground and pound in general. He's really controlling the fight now. Geraghty tries a sweep from butterfly, but fails. He does, however, become more active in his guard now. Neace lands some more solid ground and pound to end the round.
My Pick for the Round: Neace 10-9
Both fighters come out with overhands that miss. Geraghty is measuring and throws a 1-2 that misses. Neace is missing on jabs as well. Both fighters are looking sloppy on their punches. Neace shoots, but Geraghty sprawls and passes to mount. Neace manages to roll him and winds up in Geraghty's guard, but Geraghty immediately locks in a triangle. Neace goes unconscious without a tap. Geraghty wins and gets a shot at Stephen Ledbetter's RFL 145 lb title.
Winner: Brian Geraghty by KO due to Triangle - round 3
Main Event and Title Fight: Alex Andrade (Challenger) vs. John Troyer (Champion) - Pro MMA 185 lbs
The fight begins very slowly as each fighter circles and tries to find his range without committing to much. Finally Troyer blasts Andrade with a 3 punch combination that has Andrade moving back. Andrade looks very timid early in the fight. Troyer keeps throwing combinations. He connects with another 3 punch, misses a 1-2 and lands another good 3 punch then lands a solid right hook. Andrade is visibly shaken and moving away. He throws some weak leg kicks to try and fend off the champion. Troyer has none of it and comes in with another 3 punch combo. After this combo, Andrade's had enough of the standup game and shoots a takedown. He puts troyer against the fence and lands in guard. After an uneventful stint here Andrade stands up and pull on Troyer's leg, perhaps trying to set up a pass. Troyer uses the opportunity to stand up and lands a good punch/kick combination. Andrade clinches with Troyer against the fence. Troyer spins out and gains control of the clinch. Andrade gets a double leg and lands in Troyer's guard. Troyer tries to climb to a high guard, but Andrade passes to half-guard. From here Andrade falls back into a straight ankle lock attempt. Troyer rolls up and defends well until the bell.
My Pick for the Round: Troyer 10-9
Andrade wants nothing to do with the standup. He fires a 1-2 to set up and immediate shot at a double. Andrade takes Troyer down landing in his guard. Unfortunately this is the position that most of the remainder of the fight will be in with little to no pass attempts by Andrade and little to know submission or escape attempts by Troyer. Andrade lands some ok ground and pound from here, but Troyer does a good job of avoiding punishment. Andrade manages to step in the half-guard briefly, but loses it as Troyer pushes off and regains guard. Troyer reaches over for a kimura but never really comes close. From here Andrade does some serious lay and pray with very little action. For some reason the ref lets this go on for a long time without standing them up. Towards the end of the round Andrade tries a straight ankle lock that fails and tries to switch to a kneebar, but Troyer holds on until the bell.
My Pick for the Round: Andrade 10-9
This round starts with Troyer missing one combination, connecting with a 1-2, missing with most of a blast, and connecting on another 1-2 before Andrade takes him down again. Most of the round is spent here in a general lay and pray. Andrade is showing ineffective ground and pound with no attempts to pass while Troyer is doing very little to escape or submit. Not once does the ref give any indication of standing this fight up. Fans from the farthest back seats up to the cage are screaming for a stand up and booing as there is no action what-so-ever. With most of the round gone Troyer manages to stand up, but is immediately taken down again. He tries another weak attempt at a kimura but gives up half-guard instead where Andrade lands a little ground and pound before the bell.
My Pick for the Round: Andrade 10-9
This round begins much like the second. Andrade comes out with a combination followed by a double leg. Troyer's takedown defense isn't solid enough to stop it. Once again the majority of the round is spent with Andrade laying on top of troyer with ineffective ground and pound. The crowd continues to boo and scream for a standup. Even with troyers guard wide open Andrade refuses to attempt to pass. Eventually Andrade stands up and tries to kick the legs, but never attempts to pass. After an inexcusable amount of time in this position the ref stands them up. Andrade immedately takes Troyer down again, employing his lay and pray. Troyer does manage to land an elbow from his back that cuts Andrade, but that is the most action this round sees. Finally just before the end of the round the ref stands them up for inactivity.
My Pick for the Round: Andrade 10-9
This round begins again with Andrade firing a 1-2 then moving to clinch where he scores a takedown. Troyer locks in some overhooks to control Andrade. Andrade breaks free, but does nothing with it. It appears the ref finally understands what's happening and stands the fighters up much more quickly. Andrade tries another 1-2 to a shot combo, but Troyer blocks it this time and fires back connecting solidly with a combination of his own. After eating some good shots, Andrade clinches against the fence and takes Troyer down. Troyer seems to have new life and climbs right back up against the fence. Andrade takes him down again with more ineffective ground and pound. The ref stands up the action again. Andrade shoots, but Troyer sprawls on him and goes on the attack again landing several good punch combinations. At the end of the round Andrade gets one more takedown.
My Pick for the Round: Troyer 10-9
My Overall Pick: Andrade 48-47
Winner and new RFL 185 champion: Alex Andrade by Unanimous Decision (scores: 48-47, 49-46, 49-46)
Fight 11: Nate Jolly vs. Merritt Warren - Pro MMA, 155 lbs
After touching gloves Warren lands a solid leg kick. He follows that with some missed punch combinations and superman punches. He does have Jolly backing up though. Jolly fires back and connects on a solid overhand that drops Merritt. After landing a few punches on his downed opponent Jolly forces a tap.
Winner: Nate Jolly by Submission Due to Strikes - round 1
Post Fight Thoughts
Once again the RFL put on a really good show. Minus one unexciting fight the whole card was great. I would strongly recommend that any person able to attend an RFL event should definitely check it out. You won't be sorry. The ticket prices are very reasonable, and the seating is always good. You won't find a better production for the money.
I would also like to thank the RFL and Mammoth Sports and Entertainment for providing me with the press passes that allowed me to cover the action of this fight so well.
EVENT PHOTO'S COMING SOON!!
Last edited by Wolf; 7/27/2008 4:07pm at .