Posted on | January 21, 2008 | No Comments
PLYMOUTH, MA FIGHT CARD PROVIDES CROWD-THRILLING ACTION
By: Rich Bergeron
Reality Fighting brought another spectacular show to a packed Memorial Hall in Plymouth, MA on Saturday, January 19th. Twelve phenomenal fights went down in the octagon ring, with some really quick finishes and a few marathon bouts that went the distance. For the second time in a row at Memorial Hall, the first fight of the night provided a stunning finish.
Disc Jockey Jay Witter faced Mark Greenwood in his professional debut, and despite a rough start he was able to claim bragging rights and sip from a celebratory beer when the bout was over. Greenwood was the better technical fighter in the first round. Witter came out slugging wildly and couldn’t connect with much early. Greenwood secured a quick headlock and released it moments later. He followed up with a knee to the chest and initiated a tight grappling war that ended with Witter being slammed to the ground. Once there, Witter guarded very well and only suffered some rib shots before the ref stood both fighters up. Witter went on the attack, missing a few head shots before going right to the body of Greenwood. The round ended with both fighters exhausted and Greenwood in obvious pain.
Witter’s second round performance was much better. He landed some early hooks and knees, with one knee connecting with Greenwood’s midsection and prompting a five-minute break in the action. Before Greenwood could even get warmed up again, Witter connected with a solid right hook that dropped Greenwood instantly. He lay motionless for a long time while the ringside doctor and EMTs tended to him. He finally had to be carried out on a stretcher, though he was conscious and talking by that point.
Middleweights Billy Flynn and Jay Fortier fought next, with Fortier trying to catch Flynn by surprise with a spinning kick in the opening seconds. The kick missed by a wide margin, but Fortier’s follow up right hand landed flush. Fortier tried another kick only to watch as Flynn caught his foot and tossed him backward. Fortier flipped out of a would-be takedown and managed to get his own takedown moments later. His advantage was fleeting, though, and both fighters ended up back on their feet. Once there, something came over both fighters. They stood toe to toe and slugged it out like madmen, trading wild head shots and following each other around the whole ring. The crowd roared with excitement as Flynn took hit after hit only to keep charging as if fueled more by each punch that landed. Flynn bulled forward and connected with a picture-perfect combination of blows that dropped Fortier to the canvas where a few more solid punches to the head forced the referee to tackle Flynn to stop the contest. Flynn seemed intent on hitting Fortier a few more times, but the referee finally managed to pull him off.
Tony Williams and Kyle Smith came into the ring next, and if the previous fight didn’t end early enough, they somehow managed to finish their own fight much quicker. Some early slugging came to an instant crescendo when Smith connected with a spectacular left hook. Williams folded and slumped to the canvas as the ref rushed in for yet another tackle. Smith waded in to do more damage only to be pulled off his opponent while Williams tried to recover and tripped trying to stand up.
Fans were finally treated to a fight that went deep into the third round next when “Wild” Bill Jones went up against Matt “The Mangler” Bessette. True to his nickname, Jones began by trying to land some wild head shots. He almost wound up on his back in the process, but he managed to turn things around and take Bessette down himself. Bessette tried to work in a triangle choke, but Jones didn’t let him have it. Jones did eventually give up his arm, but Bessette couldn’t complete the arm bar no matter how hard he tried. He escaped back to his feet where both fighters tried to kick each other at the same time. A moment later Bessette landed a leg kick, and then Jones followed up with a kick to the stomach. Jones connected with a knee before taking Bessette down yet again. Bessette went back to his bread and butter arm bar, but again he couldn’t finish it. Jones muscled out by picking Bessette up and slamming him a couple times before the round came to a close.
Both fighters traded some head shots early in the second round only to end up right back on the ground again where Bessette went back to his arm bar once more. Despite sinking it deeper this time, Jones got out of it and back to his feet again. Jones was the early aggressor in round three, but Bessette came right back with head shots of his own, landing a few solid ones. Jones faltered during a trip attempt and got pounded when he tried to push Bessette backward. Jones landed a 1-2 and a quick knee before the fighters tumbled to the canvas again. Bessette went for a rear-naked choke, but he was a bit too eager and didn’t wait until he was completely behind Jones. His opponent simply turned out of the hold and wound up in the top position. Bessette went for his trademark move once again only to have Jones rip his arm out just moments before the bell. The decision went to Jones.
A back-and-forth battle between Jon Bermudez and Fernando Perez came next. Perez tried to unleash some early fireworks with a big shot to the head of Bermudez that gave the ref Déjà vu from the second fight. Bermudez weathered the blow and didn’t wither one bit, but the ref pulled Perez back for a moment and looked at Bermudez as if in shock. Instead of a stoppage it was more of an extended break. Perez took Bermudez down the hard way with some grappling only to let him back up. Bermudez took a kick to the stomach before trying for a takedown and getting stuffed. Perez nearly slipped in a rear naked choke, but Bermudez was too slippery.
Perez began the second round with a takedown, but Bermudez worked for a triangle choke and reversed position eventually. He rained down a couple bombs from the top and managed to connect with a few hooks in a final flurry of punches before the bell.
Bermudez kept up the momentum in the third round after some early exchanges of punches and leg kicks. Perez failed to trip his opponent and paid for it. Bermudez unleashed a barrage of wild hooks that gave the ref every reason to stop the fight for real, and the KO for Bermudez secured him the comeback performance of the night.
Tim Pinney had to pull of some of his own magic against Chaz Ackles in the next fight. Ackles took advantage of his strength early on and wailed on Pinney with some big head shots. Pinney landed a leg kick and tumbled to the ground with Ackles on top and dropping a succession of relentless rib shots on Pinney. Both fighters then struggled to grab each other’s heel, but it would be Pinney who would secure the best hold. Ackles yelped in pain as Pinney twisted his heel enough to do damage. Ackles tapped out and wound up wincing with every step as he walked out of the ring.
The Flyweight Title was on the line in the next fight as Tom Giove took on 41-year-old Shawn Pacheco. Giove couldn’t muster much against his older foe. He could only land a few uppercuts and hooks to the body before the chiseled Pacheco took him to the mat after pummeling him with a leg kick, a 1-2 combo, uppercuts, a right hook, and a knee or two for good measure. Pacheco worked an arm triangle once he had Giove on the ground, and when that didn’t work he worked in the rear naked choke to finish the fight early. Giove had no other option but to tap out.
Corey Peterson and Anthony Leate put on the night’s best fight with the Lightweight title belt up for grabs. Peterson waded in early with leg kicks while Leate connected with a 1-2. Peterson responded in kind before Leate landed an uppercut and secured a takedown. Peterson threw some shots from the bottom before being let up by Leate. Between Guillotine attempts by Leate, both fighters traded some excellent shots right up to the bell.
Peterson managed an early takedown in round two. Leate reversed positions and made it back to his feet. Letting his hands fly, Leate connected with some well-placed shots before going for another Guillotine. Peterson wound up with top position and grappled with Leate until the close of the round. A welt under Peterson’s eye betrayed his poor performance earlier in the round, and both men looked completely exhausted going into the third.
The third started with another toe-to-toe battle with both men throwing bombs at each other to start the round. Peterson’s strength was gone, though. His punches didn’t have anywhere near the power that Leate’s still had. Leate finally managed to take Peterson down with the Guillotine. Soon both were back on their feet again, though. Peterson opened a cut on Leate’s eye and brought him back down to the ground where he secured an arm bar. Leate escaped and started throwing 1-2s while Peterson responded with uppercuts and a 1-2 combo of his own, but there was just no power left in Peterson’s punches. He managed a few weak hooks before Leate took him down and rained down the final flurry of hooks to end the bout by KO. Promoter Kipp Kollar, thrilled with the performance, called the battle “one of the best MMA fights in Massachusetts history.”
Rigo Dominicci and Rob McNeil fought a rematch next for the “Last Man Standing” Title. McNeil bested Dominicci the last time out with a last-second slam in the third round that sealed the deal.
This time both fighters came out with pawing shots until McNeil took Dominicci down with a trip. McNeil connected with a couple shots and worked his way into a rear-naked choke hold. Dominicci kept his chin tucked tight and didn’t allow McNeil to finish the submission. McNeil let his opponent slip out and wriggled his way into top position. Eventually Dominicci escaped back to his feet. He missed with a head kick and then landed two leg kicks before the round ended.
Dominicci was much more active in the second round. Both fighters traded early knees, and then Dominicci went on the offensive. He landed an uppercut, a head kick, and a leg kick. McNeil seemed to be waiting for the perfect moment, but instead of his approach giving way to an opening to land his best shot, Dominicci took advantage of the lull in the action. He rushed in with a running tackle and bulldozed McNeil into one of the corner pads. He landed a left hook before McNeil squirmed out and got back to his feet. McNeil landed a looping left hand and a leg kick before unloading some wild flurries to end the round.
Both fighters were more tentative this time out in the final round, knowing one mistake could turn the tide. McNeil began with a sloppy flurry without landing much. Dominicci connected with an uppercut, a knee, and a right hand before both fighters kicked each other in the ankle. Dominicci missed a head kick, and McNeil bulled in with a roundhouse left. He missed a takedown attempt and connected with a roundhouse right, and Dominicci weathered the final frame without taking much damage and managing to stay busier than his opponent. He took the decision this time and reclaimed the belt.
Light Heavyweights Cody Marandola and Greg Rebello came next and fought a close contest with little fireworks. Rebello connected early with a well-placed left hook that might have dropped any other opponent. Marandola weathered one more left hook before getting in a few of his own. He worked some inside knees and uppercuts to the ribs as the match became a grappling contest. Both fighters traded some more knees before Rebello slammed Marandola to the ground and maintained the top position for the rest of the round. Neither fighter was able to score any major blows from the ground.
Marandola picked up the first takedown in round two, and he managed to fire off a few head and rib shots before inactivity led to the ref putting them both back on their feet. Recognizing he was losing his momentum, Rebello went for an immediate takedown and fell into a Guillotine hold. He popped out of the hold only to heave Marandola end up on top again. Rebello pulled off his own reversal and maintained top position up to the bell once again. Marandola did connect with some shots from the bottom, but Rebello finished the round with some great hammer fists finding their target.
Rebello picked up the first takedown in a lackluster round three where it became clear that the last takedown might win it. He landed a few shots from the top while Marandola snuck in his own bottom punches. The ref stood both fighters up again, and Rebello landed another solid left before getting taken down by Marandola. Not waiting for them to roll around again until the bell, the referee wisely stood both fighters up with less than thirty seconds to go. Marandola landed a knee, but Rebello knew it would take more than that to win. He made it official with a final takedown with just ten seconds left on the clock. Marandola seemed upset with the final verdict and asked Rebello for a rematch in April. Rebello didn’t make any promises, but he did give Marandola props for being a great fighter who’s used to fighting at a much higher weight.
Fan favorite Eric Foley defended the Heavyweight Title in the final fight of the night against Jason Dolloff. Foley completely dominated each round, embarrassing Dolloff right off the bat by taking him down and unleashing punches to the head and stomach. Dolloff couldn’t manage any defense in any round of the fight, spending most of the match covering up. Only his big heart kept him going into the third round. Foley finally managed to lay the punishment on thick enough for Dolloff to tap out.
Despite one unruly hooligan in the crowd having to be escorted out by four Plymouth police officers, the night was a tremendous success. Fans were treated to some intense action, and the fighters put out their best efforts in front of a capacity crowd. Reality Fighting will be back in Plymouth on Saturday, April 12 for NIGHTMARE. Fans should purchase tickets as early as they can, because the venue sells out regularly. Go to www.realityfighting.tv to find out more.
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