So, this thread has sat silent for quite a long time. I made a big mistake - I decided to write up all the other companies' matches. I was planning to make the detail level variable on whether or not ALPHA-1 scouts would be interested in the event and the match, but still it took way too much time, writing drive and interest. So I am presenting those reports now (some of them unfortunately quite rushed), but I think I will give them up unless some really interesting stuff happens, and will instead concentrate on ALPHA-1.
WEFF 4 6.02.1998
February and MMArch according to ALPHA-1 Scouts
- Womens' MMA is not represented in ALPHA-1, so only a short recap
Tammy Westnera (5-2) scored a minor upset by bringing the #11 Women’s Bantamweight Gina Dixon (4-1) to her first defeat.
Jujitsu specialist Grace Hughes (2-0) beat Kelly Andrews (1-1) by decision without scoring any punch.
In an entertaining clash of the (relative) giants, the 5’11 Chelsea Lawson (2-0) dominated the 6’1 Temperance McCoy (1-1) with her striking.
Another minor upset, Alyson Arroway (3-0) defeated the #24 Women’s Featherweight, submission specialist Sandy Oliver (3-1), in a split decision match.
Less of an upset and more of a disappointment, Vicki Summers (6-0), who entered the contest as #16 P4P and #6 Bantaweight, failed to land a single strike and only managed a takedown against Lisa Labone (3-1) – and still won by a split decision.
The main event was a WEFF Lightweight title match between “The Black Widow” Michelle Addams (7-1), considered by Blurcat to be #6 female fighter in the world and the best Women’s Bantamweight, and Karen “The Demon” Curtis (6-0), ranked at #12 P4P and #5 among the Bantamweights. The match was quick but exciting, as after a minute and a half of Addams dominating Curtis scored a takedown, followed by a skilful mount and a barrage of punches that ended up giving Curtis a TKO, match & KO of the night, and of course the WEFF Lightweight title.
Overall a decent show with 206 people in attendance.
Saturday February 7th, 1998 was a busy day for world’s MMA, as it featured both PANKRATION 34: Red Alert and FLB 7: King of Kings.
FLB 7: King of Kings
Sergio do Vale opened the night with a decision win over fellow boxer Marcelo Boccoli.
Charles Stiles put his black belt in BJJ to good use and got Procopio Golias into a rear naked choke.
Arthur Franco dominated the brawler Denilson da Cunha, not letting him score a single hit while showering him with punches and finishing with an Americana.
To nobody’s surprise, Paulo Roberto Bezerra managed to destroy Chico Feijo, after a feint set up a barrage of punches that ended up with a TKO.
In co-main event two great Heavyweights clashed – Gladstone Lopes, a great kickboxer rated #20 in the world, and Murilo Satinho, a man whose well-rounded wrestling and striking along with great cardio and agility mark him as a future star. Both of those men were of interest to ALPHA-1 scouting team. Satinho took the fight to the ground early and managed some powerful elbows from half guard, even cutting Lopes’ face, and using the pain and confusion to advance to side control. From there, however, the kickboxer managed to defend himself intelligently from elbow strikes until the end of the round. In the second round, a clinch into ropes into takedown again put Lopes on the ground, and an attempt to escape the mount ended up with him giving up his back. A rear naked choke was defended, however, and the round ended. The third round was quite an upset, however, as Lopes, no doubt trying to save his chances in this match, put Satinho down with some big right hands and managed to get side control, from which his strikes proved too much for “Grande Urso” – a TKO was awarded to Lopes after a fantastic, action-filled bout.
The main event couldn’t really be expected to top the previous fight… but it ended up equalling it. It was a Muay Thai duel for the FLB Light Heavyweight title between Affonso Villar and Elgar. “The Legend Killer” Elgar has 11 years and 10’’ of reach more than “The Cyborg”, yet Villar was the clear favourite (and another target for the ALPHA-1 scouts) due to his unbelievable stand-up and well-rounded skill. It seemed that Villar decided to show that he’s no less impressive than the two previous fighters, putting Elgar on the ground with right hands, mounting him and elbowing to his heart’s content. Despite getting cut, Elgar after the first shock managed a solid defence due to his superior experience. An escape attempt ended up with Villar at Elgar’s back, however, and the Cyborg got both hooks in and went for submission. Despite not getting it, Villar won that round easily. Elgar went for clinches in round 2, only to get countered out of this option. The third round, however, started with a huge head kick by Elgar 5 seconds in, followed by stomps and soccer kicks that proved insufficient to put out The Cyborg. Elgar went for side control, but Villar’s proficient defence ended up with the referee standing them back up after 2 minutes and the rest of the round was uneventful. Round 4, after 3 minutes of circling and probing, got Elgar a knock down punch, but he lost in the scramble while coming to secure a ground position and Villar ended up on top, getting a chance to rest up and throw punches. The final round saw Villar open up with huge rights and a body kick, but from then on the striking was much more even (and very exciting), until Villar’s right again put Elgar on the ground. Elgar’s experience didn’t help this time, as after the cut reopened he was unable to defend himself and Villar finally won by TKO, finishing a tremendously good match that put both competitors on ALPHA-1’s shortlist and gave Villar another defence of the title.
The show was a fantastic critical success and one of the best co-main – main duos in MMA history (if not THE best one). The fact that the event was not televised and only 243 people saw it live is a transgression against the very soul of our sport.
PANKRATION 34: Red Alert
– an Openweight event, which explains some bizzare things you could see there.
After a very dull match between two Super Heavyweights, the 4 time World Toughguy Heavyweight Champion “Bomber” Beau Butte (4-0) put out Jim Titzgibbons (41-14), which is a poor start of the veteran’s 11th year in the world of MMA.
440lbs giant Pehlwani wrestler Kamal Singh (7-0) unsurprisingly crushed the 2 times lighter veteran Tony Ayoub (33-20-4), by taking him down and applying a rear naked choke.
Another match of similar weight disadvantage had a different finish, as the veteran hybrid fighter Ron Jackson (43-7-1) put the ex-pro wrestler Kyle Peto (3-1) into a guillotine from the bottom and got the submission.
In a squash with only half the weight difference of the previous bouts, Saladin (49-4-2-3 NC) took Dino Maldini (24-5-1) to the ground relatively early and got a rear naked choke to win a fast and exciting, for PANKRATION standards, match.
Hannibal (14-0-1), a monster of nearly 600 pounds, defeated the twice lighter Zeus (3-1) in a match that was much more exciting than you’d expect, with Hannibal’s takedown and armbar attempt being reversed with the help of several good punches by Zeus, only for him to be put back on his back after an identical series of events. The resulting arm triangle was enough to get Hannibal the win.
In another quick and exciting match, Jonah Carson (8-0), a monstrous pit fighter classified as #4 Super Heavyweight in the world, bested Biff Ingham (7-1) who held #11 in the same ranking by getting a quick takedown, mount & armbar.
Finally, #3 SHW Sander Schiller (10-0-1) retained the PANKRATION Openweight title against #9 SHW Jesse James Johnson (43-5-3) with yet another submission, after Johnson’s twelfth (!) attempt at submission backfired with Schiller reversing due to not getting hooked properly and getting a rear naked choke.
The event was a great commercial success, with only 633 people in attendance but over 7000 people buying the Pay-Per-View!
BCF: Spyrou vs. Rush 9.02.98
– ALPHA-1 scouts didn’t make it there so we only have very short write-ups
Tucker Plumm (14-7) def. Ram Phookan (8-4) in round 2, after turning a knock down into a sweep and great ground£ for the TKO.
Garry McSweegan (21-7) def. Michael Bannon (8-4) at the start of round 2, by knocking him down and pummelling until TKO.
George Astaire (10-4) got Jeremy Sproule (3-2) into an arm triangle and made him tap mere 17 seconds before round 2 ended.
In a result that surprised absolutely no one, Harry Milne (42-7) quickly took Howard Pursglove (10-6) to ground and snared him in an Americana for the win.
In a match that saw the betting line on Seth O’Breen (13-0) exceed -1000, he went for 3 relatively uneventful rounds before applying the winning armbar on Dominick Oppenheimer (3-1). His winning streak means that ALPHA-1 scouts will have to make it to Great Britain next time.
Mills Mullally (15-4) def. David Webb (14-4) by unanimous decision in quite a poor match.
Davis Spyrou (19-4) def. Andrew Rush (13-7) for the BCF Middleweight title in a reportedly exciting kickboxing match that ended with a powerful left cross to the KO.
In a local Southeast Asian event, the scouts have singled out Moon Shin-Wook (3-0-1), a Heavyweight black belt in a Korean martial art called GongKwon Yusul, as one to watch.
KDM FC 4: Sukarno vs. Atep 11.02.1998
In a great match full of action and with an energetic finish, Bantamweight ground-and-pounder Tatsuaki Arato (10-1-1) crushed Minh Dang (5-2) by sprawling out of his takedown attempt, putting him into a turtle position and destroying him with punches. At least one ALPHA-1 scout started lobbying for the company to consider a Bantamweight division.
In another exciting (though very much one-sided) bout Sayoko Ebisawa (4-0) dominated Ayame Kondo (4-2) (who didn’t manage to score a single clean punch) and won the judges’ unanimous decision. The fact that such a talented fighter has to go to continental Asia to compete due to lack of Japanese Women’s MMA was not lost on ALPHA-1 management.
In a less exciting but still hard-won match, Chan Wan Wah (7-0) defended his streak against Takahiro Nakamura (22-6) in yet another match that ALPHA-1 has minimal interest in due to the weight of the competitors.
Taufik Wijaya (45-16-1), a veteran student of Kyokushin karate, put Hokusai Araki (2-1) away in an unorthodox manner, when after scoring a second knockdown of the match in the second round he decided to go for an armbar instead of the ground striking he tried in the previous round. Whether the “Snake Man” has more depth and breadth to his skill than anyone thought, or Araki is just real bad at this/hit very hard, the fact remains that Wijaya has won with a submission. At 35, he is a borderline case for the ALPHA-1 scouting team.
Teeratep Nutnum (7-5))’s recent illness might have been a factor, as in under a minute Yuji Latu (7-3) managed to strike him, take him down, pass through his guard, get his back and submit him via a rear naked choke. Latu’s record nor performance are yet impressive enough, but with smooth fights like this, who knows? He’s only 26, he’s got time to impress.
The final match was probably the reason why everybody in attendance bought their ticket. “Fury Awoken” Sukarno (23-1), the 23-year-old phenom whose Tarung Derajat skill and sheer ferociousness made him the most exciting fighter in the world (as well as Blurcat’s #2 Lightweight and #9 PfP) facing his fellow Indonesian, Atep (9-0), an elusive Kung Fu student who’s already at #18 in the World Lightweight ranking and who many feel will rise much, much higher. The KDMFC Lightweight title was a cherry on top of this MMA goodness. Atep handily won the first minute or two with great counterattacks that culminated in him putting Sukarno down with a lightning quick left. His stomping and kicking wasn’t enough, however, and an attempt to get a dominant ground position resulted in a scramble that ended up with the nimble Sukarno on top in side control. Some huge knees from that position made Atep vulnerable and the Fury Awoken got behind his back, trying to choke him. The first attempt was defended against, however, and any future ones cut short by the bell. No wonder why Atep took most of the second round circling around, avoiding close range fighting and looking for counters. Sukarno pressed for a fight in the pocket and managed a great flurry of strikes – but then Atep found another left counter, and this time he knocked the Beast out cold! This great finish to a truly fantastic match won him not only the KDMFC Lightweight title, but also the admiration of 255 people watching, including the ALPHA-1 scouts.
GAMMA 22: Regueiro vs. Humphreys 14.02.1998
In a battle of veterans Jim Carpenter def. Peter Bracewell by submission
In a great match that shouldn’t have been in the prelims, Marlon John destroyed Bryan van den Hauwe by putting him down and pummelling on him two rounds in a row until a TKO happened
Tank Manu’a def. Frank Sheddy by unanimous decision
“Hollywood” Ricky Heath and Derek “Smash Mouth” South clashed in some high octane Light Heavyweight action. The first round was all exciting stand & bang, with Heath unable to find space for his trademark head kick and South unable to capitalise on his two big rights that got Hollywood staggered for a moment. The second round saw South get another great combination, but also saw him lose in a slugout that ended up with a great body punch and followup rights putting him down. Heath’s ground and pound was stopped, however, by South pulling him into side control – and apparently deciding that the momentum is over, Hollywood stood up and invited his opponent to join him. This decision backfired as South avoided another big barrage and answered in kind, putting Heath down with big rights and mounting him. A flurry of elbows and punches managed to cut Heath, but not finish him. In the third round, more big shots were traded and a powerful body hook by Heath knocked South down. Heath got caught in guard, however, and the following ground struggle was quite uneventful, resulting in a quiet finish to an otherwise great match and giving South a split decision win.
In a less interesting match with only nine standing strikes hitting in 3 rounds, taekwondo maestro Bobby Brubaker managed to keep submission specialist David Allen from getting him into a hold, despite some of the fight taking place on the ground.
Next match saw Petey Mack, a #9 Middleweight in the world and one of the new batch of well-rounded mix martial artists, take up Dexter Darling, a ground-and-pounder of unprecedented calibre and #3 Middleweight according to Blurcat, in a match bound to have implications on GAMMA Middleweight contendership. After some mindgames and feints Darling managed to get Mack on the ground two minutes into the match, defended a submission attempt and got to side control in one fluid motion, from where it took him less than a minute of pounding to get the referee to declare a TKO. A fast and spectacular match that got Darling on ALPHA-1 shortlist.
The co-main was a match between men less recognized, but perhaps with even more potential than the previous one – wrestler and sambo student Lawrence Herringbone fought former US Army hand-to-hand specialist Junior Patinkin. Herringbone’s sambo training clearly paid off, as he managed to outwrestle Patinkin, get him against the cage wall, take him down, mount him and destroy him with his punches for the TKO all in one round.
Finally, in a GAMMA Welterweight title match, the best Welterweight in the world and the second best fighter in MMA according to Blurcat, “Spanish Silk” Julio Regueiro, faced “The Show Stopper” Jack Humphreys, a big-mouthed wrestler. The trash talker showed he could fight too, putting Regueiro down from a sprawl, but backing off and not risking facing the enemy’s BJJ ground game. The next minutes of the match were back-and-forth wrestling competition on ground and at the cage wall, until Regueiro managed to leverage a kimura attempt into side control and proceeded to win with an armbar mere seconds seconds before round 2 ended (4:59 on the official timer!).
Overall the card was a success, with 4.300 people watching at the venue and almost 164k PPV buys. The depth of GAMMA talent is both frightening and alluring.
XCC: Vaughan vs. Fox 16.02.1998
– not much weight division overlap so not much to write about
Duane Weatherly destroyed Braxton Pryce, hitting him against the cage until he got a TKO.
Dominic Ash defeated James Busfield on points in a decently interesting slugfest.
In a moderately surprising turn of events, Melvin Custard turned Jackson Gray’s takedown-heavy gameplan against him, as he chocked Gray with a triangle with armbar from the bottom of the guard.
In a not-in-the-slightiest-surprising turn of events (nearly -1000 betting line) Azor Portela Nunes destroyed Jimmy Schott, getting a Muay Thai clinch and kneeing his opponent into oblivion in the last seconds of the first round.
In the co-main event finesse lost against power, as the English pit fighter Bobby Graham caught Isaac Sanford, a kickboxer considered his superior, with a series of rights that put him down for some pounding and a TKO.
A Women’s Main Event is of not much interest to ALPHA-1, but it has to be said that Sarah Vaughan is a truly terrifying champion, getting Helen Fox down, mounted and Americana’d into submission without the poor girl scoring even a single hit.
Overall a great event with a meagre attendance – only 219 people showed up.
SIGMA: Bohlin vs. Khan 19.02.1998
– another event that ALPHA-1 Scouts missed due to Europe flights being too costly, apparently.
“The Butcher” Shane Gilchrist def. Gavriil Sviridov by TKO.
Snorri Gunnarsson def. Alvaro Negredo by Rear Naked Choke.
In a very poor decision-ending match not worthy of Mantas Andreyev’s legendary legacy, he still managed to defeat Daniil Skala.
Mugur Boc, “The Crusher”, defeated Stanislaw Lipnicki in another poor decision finish, although the Moldovian wrestler did look skilled.
Templeton Crumb absolutely dominated Bjarne Bjerre, but, if Internet recaps are to be believed, he did it only with his amateur boxing skill and power, so nobody knows whether he actually gained any kind of ground game since his debut.
In another one-sided match Lefter Oktay aka The Beast destroyed Murray Darby to a TKO in 12 punches and 73 seconds. ALPHA-1 scouting team insists on getting an opportunity to watch him the next time he’s fighting, he may be a hot prospect, only 24 years old and already 13-0.
In a Featherweight title match young Manish Khan defeated Lars Bohlin by TKO, winning the title in a small upset.
Overall the event was apparently more popular with the fans than with the press, but what matters is the 500 people in the audience and 8360 PPV buys.