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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2011 U.S. Sumo National Championships Event Review

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USA Sumo hosted another successful sumo event as the annual U.S. Sumo National Championships delivered world-class competition from the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The all-day event provided the packed crowd with a special treat as the top American sumo wrestlers all descended on Sin City to compete for a chance to be the nation’s best.  The U.S. Sumo National Championships along with the U.S. Sumo Open were two of the centerpieces to a martial arts weekend extravaganza that was expected to draw 20,000 people.  

The tournament was highlighted by the Masters Divisions featuring athletes from California, Tennessee, Georgia and Texas with one man in particular stealing the spotlight.

Robert Daniel won the Men’s Masters Middleweight AND the Men’s Masters Openweight Tournaments.  Daniel, hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, bulled through his fellow middleweights and won that division with some top notch throws.  Daniel was just too strong for the competitors in his own weight class.  But it was when Daniel won the Openweight Tournament that the crowd began to realize what a special athlete they had in their presence.  Daniel used superior technique and had the better conditioning and was able to pull the upset in winning a division that is routinely won by heavyweights.  Hopefully with these performances in Las Vegas, Daniel will get some exposure on the international level and compete against the world’s best as he proved that he was America’s top sumo, in the Master’s Division.  

In other division breakdowns, Art Morrow won the Men’s Masters Lightweight Division by using a methodical game plan and grinding out wins over his opponents.  Kelly Gneiting was the winner in the Men’s Masters Heavyweight Division and showed that along with possessing enormous strength, he has great cardio for a heavyweight.  

Don’t miss this hard hitting event as the top American sumo athletes compete at the 2011 U.S. Sumo National Championships.  If this event is any indication, and it is, then America has become a force to be reckoned with on the international stage of sumo wrestling.  Watch all of the competitive matches at GFL.tv exclusively on GFLOnDemand.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Death Match Tournament (DMT) - Ignition Event Review

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Death Match Tournament (DMT) - Ignition brought down the house at the Casa Del Mexico in Los Angeles, California with a hardcore, violent and brutal display of action inside the squared circle.  With “The Franchise” Shane Douglas doing color commentary, this event was a wild ride down memory lane and also a look forward at the future of hardcore wrestling as DMT set itself apart from its hardcore counterparts.  The wrestlers performed many high risk stunts and took a great amount of punishment to the delight of the vocal and highly charged crowd.  Nobody does hardcore wrestling like the Death Match Tournament! 

In the main event, Balls Mahoney defeated Necro Butcher with a body slam after a culmination of a bloody gore fest that can only be described as measured brutality.  The match had all the pieces of what you would come to expect from the ECW veteran Mahoney and the Independent maniac, Butcher.  When these two deranged individuals get into the ring there is only one thing that can happen, VIOLENCE.   There were blunt objects, sharp objects, barbed wire, chairs, and blood… lots of blood.   Before all was said and done, Mahoney was cut deep on the forehead and arm, but it was Necro Butcher who wore a crimson mask for most of the battle.   The ECW Original showed that he was still too hardcore and after the final bell got a rousing round of applause from the rabid crowd.

In the co-main event, Mad Man Pondo defeated Mosh Pit Mike in a Light Tubes Match.  Mad Man Pondo with light tubes in his grip is like Van Gogh with a paint brush, pure artistry.  The creativity of aggression was something to behold, as Mad Man delivered shot after shot on Mosh Pit’s head and body.  But to his credit, Mosh Pit Mike gave almost as good as he got, bloodying up Pondo’s head and cutting him so deep that he had a piece of glass stuck in his head throughout the whole match.  With broken glass everywhere, so much in fact that many fans left their glass riddled seats for cover, it was a vicious headshot from a STOP sign that ended Mosh Pit Mike’s night.

In other action, Carnage battled Youth Suicide in a 4-Corner Barbwire Board with 10,000 Thumbtacks Match.  Corporal Robinson took on B.C. Killer in a Tai Pai Psychopathic Death Match, while Amanda fought Mickie Knuckles in a Rat Traps Match.  All this and even MORE!

DMT has cornered the market on over the top, extreme pro wrestling.  Witness all the bloodshed and carnage in this unique pay-per-view where only the violent survive.  Order Death Match Tournament – Ignition exclusively on the GFL Combat Sports Network at GFL.tv.

11th Annual U.S. Sumo Open Event Review

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The U.S. Sumo Open decided to pull out all of the stops this year as it hosted the 11th annual U.S. Sumo Open from the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The all-day extravaganza delivered to a packed crowd with 60 international athletes from 13 countries participating in the tournament including three past and current World Sumo Champions and over 24 National Sumo Champions.  The U.S. Sumo Open was the centerpiece to a martial arts weekend that was expected to draw 20,000 people.  

The tournament crowned four men’s champions and three women’s champions.  With a total of seven championships on the line, the 2011 U.S. Sumo Open was a hit.  

In the main event, Sumo legend and 3X World Champion, Byambajav “Byamba” Ulambayar (6’1”, 340 lb) from Mongolia won the Men’s Heavyweight and Men’s Openweight divisions.  Ulambayar had no peer in the tourney and showed his dominance by winning two titles in one day.  Byamba won his fifth U.S. Sumo Open in as many tries proving that he is the alpha dog in this sport of giants.  

The women’s divisions were highlighted by Sylwia Krzemien (5’8”, 345lb), from Poland who was the winner in the Women’s Heavyweight and Women’s Openweight divisions.  Much like her male counterpart, Byamba, she was a dominant force and the displayed a combination of power and balance to thwart all competitors.  

Other champions included Boldsukh Adyakhuu from Mongolia in the Men’s Lightweight Division,  Kena Heffernan (6’0”, 253 lb) from the USA in the Men’s Middleweight Division, and Munguntuva Bantuu in the Women’s Middleweight Division.  

Don’t miss this international event as the U.S. Sumo Open 2011 is on display.  You won’t find sumo like this anywhere in the world besides Japan.   Watch all of the matches at GFL.tv exclusively on GFLOnDemand.

X Series - Crossroads Event Review

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X Series presented a jam-packed night of fights as Crossroads played to an enthusiastic crowd at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.   The 15-bout card was highlighted by four title matches and two Grand Prix Finals bouts.  

In the main event, Scott Holtzman (5-0) defeated Charlie Alexander (3-2) via rear naked choke in Round 1.  Holtzman got off to a quick start and once the action hit the mat, Holtzman transitioned to the mount. After a quick scramble, Holtzman moved to Alexander’s back and sunk in the submission for the tapout win.  In victory, Holtzman now becomes the X Series/XFC 155 lb Grand Prix Champion and also wins the vacant Tennessee State Championship.  A quick night in the cage paid huge dividends as Holtzman brings home two titles in only one round of work.  For Alexander, he has nothing to hang his head about.  He made it all the way to the finals of the Grand Prix and will no doubt be back stronger than ever.

In the co-main event, for the X Series and ISKA Southeastern Regional 135 lb Championships, Len Cook (10-1) defeated Matt Coakley (10-5) to win the titles via unanimous decision in a fight that really could have gone either way.  In the end, it was Cook’s cardio that prevailed as he stayed busier even though Coakley controlled a good portion of the fight on the ground.  Expect big things from both of these competitors in the future.

The night also featured more titles up for grabs, including the X Series 205 lb Championship with Dustin Long versus Jeremy Thurman, the Rising Fight League 145 lb Championship between Adam Townsend and Chase Wender and the X Series and XFC 145 lb Grand Prix Final pitting Chris Hall against Billy Mullins. 
Along with the title fights, Crossroads presented two #1 Contender’s matches, one in the 145 lb division with Chris Wolff versus Adam Hyde and one in the 265 lb division with Dustin Dyer versus Isaac Fine.  

X Series Fighting Championship has a great circuit and is a promotion to take special note of.  They take the time to grow talent and put them in a series of compelling matches that work towards an ultimate goal -- a championship fight.  To see this exciting card and some of the top prospects in the Southeast, order Crossroads presented by X Series Fighting Championship exclusively on GFL.tv.  Order Now!

Monday, June 27, 2011

International Wrestling League (IWL) - Mad Man Takes Over Mexico! Event Preview

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Wrestling fans from around the globe are in for a treat as International Wrestling League (IWL) presents The Mad Man Takes Over Mexico!, on July 3 exclusively on iPPV at GFL.tv.  The GFL Combat Sports Network is proud to debut its first LIVE international pro wrestling event directly from Deportivo Tlalli de Tlanepantla in Mexico City, Mexico. 

The main event features Hardcore Icon and International Superstar, Mad Man Pondo making his debut in Mexico in a hardcore, ultra-violent trios match.  Mad Man Pondo teams with Zumbido and Fantasma de la Opera against former WWE and ECW star Super Crazy, Angel o Demonio and Tony Rivera.  How will Pondo’s brutal style mesh with the lucha libre style?  Will Mad Man Pondo be able to slow down the athleticism, agility and high flying of Super Crazy and his companions with his hardcore tactics, or will he be a fish out of water?  One thing is for certain, look for Mad Man Pondo to dole out some punishment -- win, lose, or draw.   

In other action, Heddi “The French Submission Machine” Karoui will be facing Zumbi “The Brazilian Capoeira Master” in an International Shoot match.  This match will be contested under Brazilian Vale Tudo rules, which are NO RULES!  Look for Karoui to get the match to the ground and work for submission after submission, while Zumbi will look to use his feet, knees, elbows and fists to land a devastating knockout. 

The IWL Internet Title will also be at stake in a three-way dance when champion Micke Segura defends his belt against challengers Low Rider and Pesadilla.  Every man will be for himself and it will be a true test to determine the caliber of champion Segura is in what is sure to be a great wrestling match between these fast paced luchadores.   

In still more action, Eterno, Freelance and Tribal battle Veneno, Cerebro Negro and Cyborg. And La Pareja Toxica (Epidemia and Heavy Boy) wrestle Quimico Jr. and Centinela.

What are you still doing?  Order this international pay-per-view NOW, exclusively through GFL.tv and watch as Mad Man Pondo invades Mexico with his hardcore style.  Witness the death defying acrobatics of Super Crazy and all the wrestlers on this exciting card, as IWL presents The Mad Man Takes Over Mexico!    

ROH - Best in the World 2011 Event Review



ROH – Best in the World 2011 lived up to the hype and delivered what many are already calling the Match of the Year between Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards for the ROH World Title.  The night also saw the excellent ROH tag team division on display as the World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) took on The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli), The All Night Express (Rhett Titus and Kenning King) and Jay and Mark Briscoe for the ROH World Tag Team Championship.  As usual, ROH also gave the fans an undercard with action-packed wrestling, and high-energy drama.  

In the main event, after a hard-hitting, knock-down-drag-out match, Davey Richards defeated Eddie Edwards to capture the ROH World Championship.  In a contest that lasted over 35 minutes, and told an intense story inside of the squared circle, you couldn’t help but get hypnotized by the suburb execution of wrestling moves including several near falls and near submissions that had the crowd in the Manhattan Center - Hammerstein Ballroom and at home watching via iPPV on the edge of their seats.  For Edwards, who won the title three months ago in an upset, this match reinforced why he was such a great champion and elevated the belt during his title run.  What was to be Richards last time challenging for the ROH Title turned out to be the start of his first reign as World Champion and places him as the cornerstone for ROH moving forward.

In the co-main event, the World’s Greatest Tag Team defended their ROH World Titles against an onslaught of aforementioned challengers.  In a match that lasted 40 minutes, Benjamin and Haas proved that the name of their tag team is no gimmick; these two grapplers ARE the world’s greatest tag team.  After the winning pinfall, the Briscoes attacked the WGTT with steel chairs which is sure to spark up a new rivalry between the consummate professionals and the violent hooligans. 

In other action, El Generico won the ROH TV Title as he defeated Christopher Daniels after a fast-paced wrestling clinic that saw El Generico go hold for hold with the great Daniels.  

Best in the World 2011, was ROH’s greatest show in some time, which is saying a lot.  The main event is the finest pro wrestling match you are going to see all year and maybe for the next couple of years.  ROH has all of the pieces in place to continue to push the evolution of pro wrestling forward.  Don’t miss this Match of the Year and Card of the Year!  Order the pay-per-view now, only on GFL.tv!

Poster coming soon!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) - Uncensored Rumble IV Event Review

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Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) presented another action packed event with Uncensored Rumble IV and proved once again why they are the #1 women's pro wrestling organization in the United States.    The 3+ hour event had the crowd on its feet throughout the show and displayed the kind of in-ring action and cutting edge promos that WSU is famous for.

In the main event and in a bit of a shocker, Lexxus of the Boston Shore overcame unbelievable odds to win the Uncensored Rumble and become the number one contender for the WSU World Championship.  Lexxus outlasted competitors like Serena Deeb, Jessicka Havoc and a host of other battle-tested women in her improbable victory.  Lexxus was the first person in the ring to start the rumble, and when it was all over, she was the last women standing.   Lexxus already holds 1/2 of the WSU World Tag Team Championship and now is in a position to add more hardware to her collection and capture the world title at WSU's next pay-per-view.  But who will she be facing in the title fight?

In the WSU World Title fight, Mercedes Martinez defended her title for the 44th time in a 30-month title reign and for the 44th time she was successful as she defeated Brittney Savage.  The match looked like it would end with Savage being crowned the winner, and new WSU Champion, when Savage hit her patented Ace Crusher.  Martinez was able to lift her leg up and hang her foot on the bottom rope, requiring the ref to break the action, but the "striped shirt" missed the call.  Luckily the call was reversed by the senior referee and the match was restarted.  Savage went for the Ace Crusher one time too many as Martinez countered and landed the Fisherman Buster for the pinfall to retain the WSU World Championship. For Martinez, it was another gritty performance and proved why she is in a league of her own. 

There was plenty more action on this stacked card, including Sassy Stephi defending her WSU Spirit Championship, the Boston Shore (Amber and Lexxus) defending their WSU World Tag Team Championship, along with a barn burner of a match between Serena Deeb versus Nikki Roxx.  See the WSU debut of Jillian Hall, the eight-person tag team match, Alicia versus Jessicka Havok with Uncensored Rules, and the drama and emotion exemplified in the Retirement Match with Cindy Rogers versus Allison Danger. 

WSU - Uncensored Rumble IV had several exciting matches from top to bottom, highlighted by a great world title match and an awesome Uncensored Rumble playing to a packed crowd for 3+ hours.  The only way to see this loaded card is to order it now on GFLOnDemand, exclusively at GFL.tv.  Order now!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quest For Glory Fighting Championships - The Beginning Event Review

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Quest For Glory Fighting Championships presented its debut event to a pumped crowd at the Croatian Cultural Center in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada aptly dubbed The Beginning.  The 6-bout card saw finishes in every fight with 3 titles on the line!  

In the main event, Oliver Vajda (3-0) defeated Ronald Diaz (0-1) via armbar to win the 145 lb title.  The featherweights set a fast pace with both men going for strikes and submission attempts throughout the fight.  But it was Vajda who gained ideal position on the ground and secured the armbar for the victory and the championship.

In the co-main event Brandon Shorter (2-1) defeated Ryan Christopher (2-1) via KO in Round 4 to win the 155 lb title.  A slugfest from the beginning, both men threw everything but the kitchen sink at one another with Shorter connecting in the fourth round to stop Christopher in impressive fashion.  Both men poured their hearts out in this battle and have a bright future in the sport.

In the other title fight of the evening, Chris Anderson (2-0) beat Sean Pallan (1-1) by armbar in Round 2 to claim the 170 lb championship.  Anderson was very slick on the mat using a series of transitions to set up the fight ending submission.  Pallan was the more experienced of the two in the standup game as he has some Muay Thai fights to his resume, so Anderson stuck to a smart game plan and finished the fight on the ground. 

Quest For Glory Fighting Championships had a strong showing for its inaugural card, The Beginning, and looks to be an up and coming promotion that showcases talented fighters and gives MMA fans an exciting night of fights.  The only way to watch this explosive card is to order it on video on demand only at GFL.tv!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

AFC 6 - Conviction Event Review

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Armageddon Fighting Championships returned with AFC 6 – Conviction in front of a vocal crowd at the Bear Mountain Arena in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  The thrilling card had 5 of 9 fights end before the final bell highlighted by a fun, explosive main event that saw two UFC veterans battle for a title.

In the headlining fight, John Salter (7-3) defeated Kalib Starnes (12-6-1) in Round 2 via TKO for the AFC Middleweight Championship.  Salter won the exchanges on the feet by staying busy and always keeping a fist in Starnes’ face.  The strikes did little damage to Starnes, but it gave Salter the range he needed to land a takedown.  From there, Salter dictated the pace on the mat and landed a few strikes while Starnes was content to work for full guard and stay on the bottom.  Salter then moved to the mount and began to throw unanswered punches until the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight.    For Salter, this was a great win against an experienced veteran fighter and it gives the AFC Middleweight Title some real meaning and importance when the caliber of fighters who compete for it are of this world-class stature as both men were multi-time UFC vets.

In the co-main event, the 205 lb division was on display as Jiu-Jitsu specialist Robert Drysdale (3-0) defeated Mike Nickels (8-5) in Round 1 via guillotine choke.  Drysdale immediately went for a takedown landing it and moving to a dominant position.  Seconds later the fight was over with Nickels tapping out.  This was an impressive victory for the undefeated Drysdale as he stepped up in competition in fighting someone like Nickels.  

AFC 6 - Conviction had several exciting fights, highlighted by a title fight in the 185 lb division, playing to a packed crowd and once again confirmed why the promotion is one of the premier organizations in Canada.  The only way to see this loaded 9-bout card is to order it now on GFLOnDemand, exclusively at GFL.tv.  Order now!

Absolute Action MMA - AAMMA XV Event Review

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Northern Kentucky’s #1 MMA promotion returned to action as Absolute Action MMA presented Absolute Action MMA XV at the Midwest Sports Complex in Florence, Kentucky. This super-card had 14 exciting bouts with 4 TITLE FIGHTS that ran the gamut for exciting finishes with 11 fights ending in KO, TKO or submission.  Some of the South’s top professional and amateur fighters were on display as the Bluegrass State’s leading MMA organization gave the fans an entertaining night of fights.  

In the main event, Billy “Mojo” Horne (6-2) defeated Amaechi Oselukwue (2-2) via rear naked choke in Round 1 in a 185 lb contest.   Horne was a fan-favorite and gave the crowd their money’s worth.  After some clinch work against the cage, Horne got a leg sweep for the takedown.  After a quick scramble, “Mojo” took the back of Oselukwue.  From there the home-town hero Horne grabbed a choke and got the tapout victory.

In the co-main event James Morton (6-1) defeated Brittany Skelton (3-3) via unanimous decision to win the Absolute Action Lightweight Championship.  It was a back and forth display of striking, grappling and wrestling, but in the end Morton’s cardio and strength allowed him to control Skelton on the ground and set the pace round after round and for his trouble was crowned new champion after five rounds.  

In other action, heavyweight Josh Franklin, middleweight Jessie Stover and bantamweight Eric Moell were all successful in their championship bouts.  Franklin, Stover and Moell all stopped their opponents and put the other fighters on notice in their respective divisions that the Absolute Action MMA Champions will go for the finish every time.

The only way to watch this thrilling 14-bout card is to order it exclusively through the GFL Combat Sports Network at GFL.tv.  Be sure to catch all of the action on GFLOnDemand as Absolute Action presents Absolute Action MMA XV.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hard Knock Fighting Championship - School of Hard Knocks 12 Event Review

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Western Canada’s top MMA promotion returned as Hard Knocks Fighting Championship presented School of Hard Knocks 12, to the Century Casino in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  The action packed 11-bout card featured a combo event with both professional and amateur MMA fighters from some of the top prospects in Canada.  The event gave the audience everything they were looking for as the aggressive styles the fighters brought to the cage made for a night that saw 9 of 11 bouts ending before the final bell.

In the main event, Matt Krayco (1-0) defeated Lee Palichuk (0-2) via Kimura lock in Round 1 in a 170 lb contest.  Krayco immediately went for a takedown and went to work.  Krayco landed a few punches inside the guard then transitioned to side mount where he isolated the left arm of Palichek and locked on the submission while using his legs to secure Palichek’s neck making it impossible for escape.

In the co-main event, Olympian and American judoka Ronda Rousey (2-0) defeated Charmaine “Not So Sweet” Tweet (0-1) via armbar in Round 1.  Rousey was able to use her superior grappling to get the kickboxer Tweet to the ground after a beautiful throw seconds into the fight, and from there transitioned to mount and after a few punches, the fight ending submission.  For Rousey, the sky is the limit and with her Olympic background in judo she will be able to dominate most opponents on the mat.  Let’s hope she competes on the national scene sooner than later.  For Tweet, this was a tough debut matchup, but she was a game opponent and her striking is above most competitors she will ever face.  

In other action, Jeff Larkin (2-0), Elias Theodorou (1-0) and Scott MacDonald (1-0) were all victorious in their bouts and showed that the undercard also had its moments of fireworks and high-octane action.

Don’t miss this electrifying event as some of the top up and coming prospects compete in front of a packed house at the Century Casino in Calgary.   Watch all of the fights at GFL.tv as Hard Knock Fighting Championship presents School of Hard Knocks 12 exclusively on GFLOnDemand.

Blackeye Promotions IV Event Review

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Blackeye Promotions returned and delivered another night of explosive fights with Blackeye Promotions IV in Asheville, North Carolina.  The event was highlighted by two title fights and a women's fight that featured Olympian versus Olympian.

In the main event, for the 185 lb title Danny “Bad Boy” Babcock (7-4) defeated late replacement Hamit Aktas (0-1) by unanimous decision.  For Babcock, it was a solid victory against an unknown fighter making his professional debut.  In defeat, Aktas still showed he was a game fighter and fought all five rounds with a will to win, but Babcock used his experience and cardio to push the pace and win the exchanges both in standup and  in the grappling.  Both men look to be solid prospects.  

In the co-main event, Olympic Silver Medalist in freestyle wrestling Sara McMann (2-0) defeated Olympic Bronze Medalist in weightlifting Julie Malenfant (0-2) in Round 1 via TKO.  McMann landed a takedown seconds into the fight and then moved to mount and delivered a barrage of unanswered punches for the victory.  For McMann, her strong wrestling base is going to be too much for most of her opponents to handle and she showed in this fight that she’s added a strong ground and pound aspect to her overall game.  Expect more great things from McMann. 

In other action, for the amateur 145 lb title, Daniel St. Juste (2-1) handed Zach Sharpe (3-1) his first loss via TKO due to a shoulder injury in Round 1.  For St. Juste, who came into the fight a slight underdog this win validates him in the featherweight division and will put other 145ers on notice.  For Sharpe, after his shoulder injury heals up, he will be as good as ever.  Look for a possible rematch down the line between these two gladiators.  

Blackeye Promotions IV is the finest card to date for the North Carolina organization.    Having two Olympians on one card is something not many promoters have ever done.  Watch exciting fighters from around the Mid-Atlantic and Southern region fill out the card with high-octane fights along with two title fights.  The only way to watch this exciting 8-bout card is to order it exclusively through the GFL Combat Sports Network at GFL.tv.

Ring of Combat XXXVI Event Review

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The enthusiastic crowd inside the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey saw another jam-packed night of fights as Ring of Combat XXXVI delivered a 15-bout card featuring two titles bouts, exciting finishes and a wide range of technical skills displayed inside of the cage.  

In the main event, Pete “Drago” Sell (9-5) captured the ROC Welterweight Title with a victory over Elijah Harshbarger (6-3) via reverse triangle and armbar in Round 2 in what was a very exciting back and forth main event.  Harshbarger gained the upper hand in the first round by using his superior wrestling to control the action and put Sell on the mat almost at will.  But in the second round, the UFC veteran, Sell managed to gain top position after both men hit the canvas.  From there he secured a tight and seldom used reverse triangle that kept Harshbarger from escaping.  Sell then isolated the right arm of Harshbarger and locked on a straight armbar getting the tapout victory and becoming the new Ring of Combat Welterweight Champion. 

In the co-main event, Aljamain Sterling (3-0) defeated Claudio Ledesma (4-2) via split decision to capture the ROC Bantamweight Championship.  Both men were so evenly matched that it made it a tough decision for the judges.  Neither fighter was any worse for the wear after the fight, but Sterling showed more cage control through the 15-minute fast-paced contest and worked a few better positions which gave him the nod in the eyes of two out of three judges.  Both the new champion Sterling and Ledesma, are still very young in the sport and it would come as no surprise to see both men fighting for more titles in the future.  This was a good battle of up and coming fighters in the 135 lb division who are forces to be reckoned with on the East Coast.  

Be sure to catch all of the fireworks on this stacked card and watch the top East Coast MMA fighters do what they do best and battle in the cage as Ring of Combat presents Ring of Combat XXXVI exclusively at GFL.tv and only on GFLOnDemand.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ultimate Reno Combat 25 Undisputed Event Review

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Northern Nevada's premier cage fighting event returned as Ultimate Reno Combat 25 presented Undisputed to a raucous crowd at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada.

In the main event, Tay Stratford (9-1) defended her Ultimate Reno Combat Women’s 145 lb Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Autumn Richardson (3-3).  One of the top amateurs in the country, Stratford had the advantage in the standup and on the ground.  When Stratford wanted the fight to go to the ground she was able to land takedown after takedown and control the action on the mat.  When she wanted to bang on the feet, she won the exchanges in that aspect.  Richardson, to her credit, never backed down and was in the fight for all five rounds.  Stratford would have finished most other women but Richardson was there to compete and she did. Stratford is the #1 ranked women’s amateur fighter in Nevada and looks to be turning professional in the near future. 

In co-main event, Brandon Morris (4-2) defeated Sasha Montgomery (3-1) in a welterweight contest. This is Morris’ third win in a row and he did so by executing a smart game plan.  Morris was effective in keeping the fight standing for the majority of the bout. Montgomery could not get the fight to the ground as much as he would have liked, making his Gracie Jiu-Jitsu less effective. 

See all of the KOs and submissions of these up and coming fighters that fought their hearts out at this event.  Watch the champions of tomorrow compete today! Don't miss this loaded event with 13 bouts as Northern Nevada's own Ultimate Reno Combat 25 presents Undisputed on June 10 exclusively on GFLOnDemand!

CFFC - Beach Brawl Event Review

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Cage Fury Fighting Championship returned to Atlantic City, New Jersey as it presented CFFC 9 – Beach Brawl at the Resorts Hotel and Casino.  The exciting card had 5 of 7 fights end with submissions and the crowd got to witness some first-rate fighter performances, from the Renzo Gracie Academy in particular, that is sure to grab the attention of national promoters and have them competing around the world in no time.

In the main event, Renzo Gracie prospect John Cholish (7-1) defeated Jameel Massouh (26-9) for the vacant CFFC Lightweight Championship via guillotine choke in Round 2.  Cholish put the lightweight division on notice that he is a champion that likes to finish fights, with his last 6 wins all ending before the final bell.  Both Cholish and Massouh came out aggressive with an exciting round one, but it was the slick Cholish who secured the fight ending choke for the tapout victory in what was a great contest to crown the new CFFC champion.

In the co-main event, Bellator and Strikeforce vet Igor Gracie (4-2) defeated Quinton McCottrell (4-7) by guillotine choke in Round 1.  Gracie proved his grappling stripes by getting the contest to the ground where he had the advantage and wrapping up the fight-ending submission.

CFFC 9 – Beach Brawl had several exciting finishes playing to a packed crowd and once again confirmed why the promotion is one of the premier organizations in the Northeast.  The only way to see this exciting 7-bout card loaded with some of the top East Coast prospects is to order it now on GFLOnDemand.  Order now!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fight Night Entertainment - Round XV - Armed Forces Event Preview

Fight Night Entertainment

Fight Night Entertainment presents Round XV - Armed Forces July 9 at the Meydenbauer Convention Center in beautiful Bellevue, Washington.  The event is a mixture of MMA fights and live music that will have the MMA fans in the Northwest rocking and rolling with the action in the cage and on the stage.  The festivities start with the fighter weigh-ins at SKY Ultra Lounge on July 8 at 7pm followed by the fights a day later on July 9.  Doing live commentary cage-side will be former UFC Lightweight Champion, and Washington native, Jens “Lil Evil” Pulver.  

In the main event, UFC, TUF alum and Strikeforce vet Len “The Liger” Bentley (9-4) fighting out of Victory Athletics battles UFC veteran Rob Yundt (8-4) who last competed with the Alaska Fighting Championships.  The main event is a pay-per-view worthy matchup that showcases two of the best middleweight fighters in the North Pacific region.  Bentley will have the hometown crowd at his back and will send the fans home happy if he can dispatch Yundt.  Yundt, who is coming down from Alaska, has already picked up one victory in 2011 and looks to make Bentley number two in as many fights.  Both fighters have a full arsenal in their tool box but look for this fight to be a slugfest with fireworks going off from the opening bell. 

In the co-main event, Chanti Johnson (7-2) from White Buffalo Warriors fights Tyson Nam (8-4) of Team Quest in a fight that would headline most cards.  Johnson is on a 3-fight win streak, all wins coming via stoppage, and will look to push the pace and use his cardio to gain the advantage over Nam.  Nam is coming off of a tough decision and has his back against the wall and will be ready to pour it on Johnson if he sees an opening.  This fight could be the springboard for either man to jump to the national level and both athletes will be looking to win in decisive fashion.  

Along with the MMA fights, there will also be a live music performance by Seattle Group, Island Trybe.  Make sure to get to the convention center early and stay late to see both attractions.  After the show wraps up there will also be a post-fight party at The Parlor in Bellevue.

Don’t miss this exciting card that includes UFC vets and a live performance by the band Island Trybe!  Watch the future world champions of MMA compete today on this stacked card as Fight Night Entertainment presents Round XV - Armed Forces on July 9, streaming live on pay-per-view exclusively at GFL.tv!

Asylum Fight League - Asylum Fight League XXXV Event Preview

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Asylum Fight League is back with its latest installment Asylum Fight League XXXV on June 18 at the First Energy Park in Lakewood, New Jersey.   The FREE 18-bout amateur card has some of the top prospects on the East Coast competing and they will be fighting tooth and nail to climb up the MMA ladder.    

In the main event, Michael Oettinger (3-0) tests Tajuddin Abdul-Hakim (7-3) in what is sure to be a high octane slugfest.  Abdul-Hakim is a former Light Heavyweight Asylum Champion and is looking to get the belt back, with the first step being a win over Oettinger.  The undefeated Oettinger will be making his debut with Asylum Fight League and wants to show Abdul-Hakim that he is nobody’s stepping stone.  Oettinger is a wizard on the ground and will look to put the veteran Abdul-Hakim on the mat and secure a submission.  But Abdul-Hakim who has fought in five consecutive title fights leading up to this match is battle-tested and seen and done almost everything there is to see or do in the cage.  He will look to push the pace and use his experience to wear down the upstart Oettinger and finish him in the later rounds.

In other action, Greg Quarantello (4-1) battles Steve Tyrrell (2-4) in a contender’s match that could have future title ramifications down the line.  All of Quarantello’s victories have come via KO or submission and he looks to do the same against Tyrrell.  Tyrrell has won 2 of his last 3 fights and comes into the match with a newfound confidence.  Both men have similar experience and this battle should come down to who wants it more.  Quarantello is the more disciplined fighter and Tyrrell likes to play a high risk – high reward game that could make for a fight of the night between these two tough competitors.

Fight fans, there’s no excuse to miss this event!  Watch the champions of tomorrow compete today as Asylum Fight League XXXV emanates LIVE and FREE on June 18 from Lakewood, New Jersey, only on GFL.tv.

Ultimate Cage Fighting - Caged Hope IV Event Preview

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Ultimate Cage Fighting presents Caged Hope IV on June 18 at the Wayside West in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  This is a special night of action as UCF has teamed up with Relay for Life to raise awareness and fight against cancer.  

Featured fights of the night include Brett Smith (1-1) versus Pat Reck (4-5).  Smith won his last fight and his only loss was because of an injury suffered in the fight resulting in a stoppage by the referee.  Smith is very new to MMA as both of his previous fights have been in 2011 and this will be his third in a little over six months.  It shows that Smith is a quick learner and a resilient athlete to be this active in such a demanding sport.  Smith will look to make it 2 in a row against his opponent Reck.  For Reck, all 4 or his wins have come via KO or submission.  Reck’s wild style always creates for interesting and exciting matches as only 2 of his 9 total fights have ever made it out of the first round.  Expect fireworks from these two gladiators.

Another bout that is sure to gain attention is a matchup of debuting fighters Shane Henney and Alex Bonwick.   Both men come into the cage with an air of mystery surrounding them and the fight will probably come down to whoever can improvise on the spot the best.  Both Henney and Bonwick are well prepared for this fight but only one will implement his game plan to victory on June 18.  

Be sure to order Caged Hope IV on June 18 presented by Ultimate Cage Fighting in partnership with Relay for Life on GFL.tv.  These groups are putting together this show with a greater purpose than just exciting fights and it is up to MMA fans from around the world to show them the support they deserve for this honorable cause.  Help fight cancer, order Caged Hope IV.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Absolute Action MMA - AAMMA XV Event Preview

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Northern Kentucky’s #1 MMA promotion returns June 18 as Absolute Action MMA presents Absolute Action MMA XV at the Midwest Sports Complex in Florence, Kentucky. This is a super-card with 19 bouts scheduled for the night.  Both professional and amateur MMA will be on display as the Bluegrass State’s leading MMA organization presents another stacked event.  

In the main event, heavyweights Joshua “Tank” Franklin (5-10-1) and Aaron Webb (6-2) will battle for the AAMMA Amateur Heavyweight Championship.  It is a rematch from AAMMA 13 where Webb won by rear naked choke in Round 1.  Franklin is looking to avenge that loss and there’s no better time to do that than on June 18, with the heavyweight title on the line. All 6 of Webb’s victories have come via submission or KO, so Franklin will have his hands full once again.  But the “Tank” is ready to break through a wall if he has to.  Franklin can quiet all of his critics with a win here over Webb and climb to the top of the Absolute Action MMA mountain all in one night.  For Webb, it is an opportunity to cement himself as “The Man” in the heavyweight division.

In other pro action, veteran Mojo Horne (5-2) faces Amaechi Oselukwue (2-1) in a middleweight battle.  Oselukwue is coming off of a big win at Bellator 38 and looks to continue his hot streak against Horne.  For Mojo, he is looking to turn heads himself and show that he is ready for the national scene.  A win over Oselukwue will do that.  

In other action, Bill Underwood (1-1) fights Justin Higdon (2-0) in another middleweight barnburner.  Underwood picked up his first professional win at AAMMA 13 in under 30 seconds with a guillotine choke.  The undefeated Higdon is a punching machine on the ground, winning both of his fights due to tapout from strikes.  Both men are comfortable fighting on the ground, but one is a grappler while the other prefers ground and pound.  Tune in to find out who will set the pace and push the action in this evenly matched contest.

You won’t find more BANG for your buck than this card.  Be sure to catch all of the action LIVE on June 18, as Absolute Action presents Absolute Action MMA XV exclusively at GFL.tv.

Hard Knock Fighting Championship - School of Hard Knocks 12 Event Preview

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Western Canada’s top MMA promotion is back as Hard Knocks Fighting Championship brings School of Hard Knocks 12, to the Century Casino in Calgary, Alberta, Canada June 17.  The action packed 15-bout card is a combo event with both professional and amateur MMA fighters stepping in to the cage to do battle.  

In the main event, Josh Griffin makes his professional debut against undefeated Sam Osman (1-0-1) in a tough middleweight battle.  Both fighters have extensive experience at the amateur level and are using it as a springboard to elevate their careers by turning professional. Griffin might have to calm his butterflies in the early going as not only is this his professional debut, but he is also in the main event.  Osman’s last fight was an overwhelming success as he won via TKO in Round 1 at School of Hard Knocks 9 back in November.  Griffin fights out of PMA Karate while Osman trains out of Scott Schilling MMA.  Their different approaches to the fight game will make for an interesting matchup and have the sparks flying from the opening bell. 

In the co-main event Charmaine “Not So Sweet” Tweet (0-0) battles Rhonda Rousey (1-0) in a bout at the 150 lb weight limit.  Although sporting tons of amateur experience, the kickboxing Tweet will be fighting in the co-main event spot on her MMA debut as a professional.  That is a lot to ask of anybody, but Tweet will be up to the challenge.  For the Californian, Rousey, she is coming off of a spectacular submission victory (armbar) in her debut that took only 25 seconds.   Rousey will look to take the kickboxing Tweet down to the ground quickly and look to catch a submission.  This could be the classic matchup of a striker versus grappler with both women looking to get the fight in their comfort zone and then executing a series of strikes or submission attempts in hopes of making it a quick night at the expense of their opponent. 
Along with 6 pro bouts, HKFC is also a proving ground for amateur fighters ready to earn their stripes. The 9-bout amateur series will separate the contenders from the pretenders and build to the future for HKFC and Canadian MMA.

Don’t miss this electrifying event featuring Western Canada’s finest MMA athletes competing in front of a packed house at the Century Casino in Calgary.   Watch all of the fights LIVE on June 17 as Hard Knock Fighting Championship presents School of Hard Knocks 12 on pay-per-view only at GFL.tv!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

AMMAFL - MMA FIGHT NIGHT II Event Review

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American MMA Fight League presented MMA FIGHT NIGHT II, at the Newtown Athletic Club in Newtown, Pennsylvania to a rowdy and vocal group of MMA fans. AMMAFL's event was loaded to the max with a 10-bout card featuring a mixture of rising prospects and polished veterans. 6 matches ended with a variety of submissions and every fight was action packed, highlighted by the main and co-main events.

In the main event, George “Lights Out” Sheppard (12-5) defeated Justin Haskins (7-7) in Round 2 via tapout from strikes.  Sheppard was able to handle the clinch-work of the Division I wrestler, Haskin’s, in Round 1.  The two men grappled on their feet in the middle of the cage for the majority of the round in what was a close first round.  In Round 2, Sheppard landed two hard rights that sent Haskins down to the canvas.  From there, “Lights Out” threw over a dozen unanswered punches, and Haskins tapped out due to strikes. 

In the co-main event, Sean “The Destroyer” Loeffler (23-5) defeated “The Iron Bull” John Doyle (9-17) via rear naked choke in Round 1.  Doyle landed a big takedown in the early seconds of the fight after some wild striking by Loeffler.  The 205 lb fighters where fluid on the ground as there were several scrambles that changed key positions, as both fighters kept looking for an advantage on the mat.  Near the end of Round 1, Loeffler gained mount position and then secured the back of Doyle and sunk in the choke for the tapout victory.

East Coast MMA is in the house! Be sure to catch all of the action on video on demand as Pennsylvania’s premier MMA organization, the American MMA Fight League, presents MMA FIGHT NIGHT II exclusively at GFL.tv.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hard Work Pays Off For CFFC Matchmaker Arias Garcia

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“I learned everything by experience.”

The life of a MMA matchmaker is by and large a thankless job.  While fans cheer or boo the athletes in the cage or ask the promoter/figurehead of a promotion for free tickets or an autograph the matchmaker goes largely unnoticed.  But it is the matchmaker that is the kingmaker, the puppeteer who is pulling the strings off camera and away from the bright lights.  He is the one who is assembling the card and making sure the fighters are licensed and medically cleared to participate.  Along with a good marketing and branding strategy, no single person is more responsible for the success or failure of a promotion than the matchmaker.  For Arias Garcia, the matchmaker of Cage Fury Fighting Championship (CFFC), the opportunity to put together fights comes after a long time of paying dues.

“In 1993 my dad rented UFC 1 and I’ve been a fan ever since.  Several years ago, I started writing for the Courier Post a newspaper in New Jersey.  I was an editor in the sports section and surrounded by a lot of old school guys who thought that boxing was the premier combat sport.  Pretty much everyone felt that MMA was a bunch of human cockfights and barbaric,” explained Garcia. 

“Every week I would ask them [bosses] if I could write a story on MMA and after being told ‘no’ a bunch of times, they finally let me do it.  I wrote the story on a high school buddy of mine, Nick Catone, the 135-pounder.  I received a lot of good reviews and compliments about it.  After that, they let me cover more MMA in New Jersey and my first show was Euphoria – Russia VS USA.   That’s where I met my mentors Miguel Iturrate and Shu Hirata.  Miguel took me under his wing after that first show and I worked with him for MFC and then Bodog.”  

As fighters will tell you there are a lot of days that are less than glamorous in this sport and for people that run the operations of a show, it is no different.  Nobody starts out on top.  “At first I was the gopher guy.  I would take fighters to go get their medicals done, drive fighters here and there.  Then I became a writer for Miguel’s website, ADCC News.  That led to more opportunities in writing, I wrote for MMA Weekly, Inside Fighting and finally I got the gig with Sherdog,” said Garcia.  

“Through all of that, I’ve stayed in the loop with MMA in New Jersey and CFFC president Rob Haydak wanted me to be part of the company.  But for me, I felt like I had paid my dues and didn’t want to do what I had already done.  I explained to him that I had been to almost every MMA show in New Jersey for the last couple years and that I was familiar with all of the guys.”  Garcia talked with the CFFC executives about his experience and credentials and explained what he could bring to the resurrected organization.  He was given the role of CFFC matchmaker, his first matchmaking job, and it’s been a position in which Garcia has thrived in.  

For Garcia, the role as CFFC matchmaker has been a nice addition to his other professional gig.  “I’m a child abuse investigator and have been one for the last seven years.  I love my job.  I love helping out families and helping out children.  I just got my Master’s degree in Social Work from Rutgers University.  I don’t know if I could ever quit my full-time job because I have a passion for helping children.  I have a pretty flexible schedule that allows me to do what I have to do for CFFC.  I can make the phone calls and send the texts and get things done during the day, so it’s a great situation.”

CFFC 9 – Beach Brawl, broadcast exclusively on Internet pay-per-view through the GFL Combat Sports Network at GFL.tv, will be the promotion’s fourth event that Garcia has served as matchmaker (all in 2011) and this could be the best show yet.  The Tri-State area has always been a hotbed for mixed martial arts and the main event at Beach Brawl is a pay-per-view worthy fight.  

“The fight that excites me the most is our lightweight title fight between John Cholish and Jameel Massouh.  John is a highly regarded prospect and a lot of people are saying he’s one or two fights away from the UFC.  He’s coming off of a Strikeforce victory where he won by knee bar.  When we had the opportunity to get him we jumped at it.  When we signed him we didn’t want to give him an easy fight.  We wanted to find the toughest guy we could get,” replied Garcia.  

After Cholish’s first opponent, ROC Lightweight Champion Milkhail Malyutin, dropped out of the fight due to injuries, Garcia went to work to find a formidable opponent and one that would do honor to the position on the card as main event as well as fighting in a CFFC title fight.  He found WEC and Bellator veteran fighter Jameel “The Real Deal” Massouh who sports a record of 22-8.  “We’re honored that John took the replacement on such short notice and that Jameel stepped up too.  We’re excited about the matchup and think it’s going to be a great fight, a great main event.”  

For a matchmaker, finding late replacements is only part of the job.  You have to get those fighters licensed to fight, and in a state as well regulated as New Jersey that is no small task.  Led by Nick Lembo, Counsel for the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board  (NJSACB), New Jersey paved the way for MMA regulation back in 2001 and adopted a set of rules that later became known and accepted as the Unified Rules of MMA.  “Nick Lembo and his group are for fighter safety.  You need more than blood work and a physical to be licensed in New Jersey.  In New Jersey, you need blood work, physical, EKG, eye test and MRI.  As a matchmaker you have to rely on dependable managers and dependable fighters to follow through and get all of this stuff done,” explained Garcia.  

 “My goal is to make CFFC the best show in New Jersey and the best show on the East Coast.  I want to make each show that I matchmake a better show than the last one.  I just want to put on as many good fights as I can with CFFC and I think we are well on our way to doing that.  I want to help CFFC grow; they have treated me great and have been really good to my family.  This is where I want to be.”  

With the rebirth of CFFC along with such shows as Ring of Combat (ROC), New Jersey and New York fight fans have quality MMA organizations in their neck of the woods that run monthly events and are leading the way for the next generations of UFC superstars.  These shows are the lifeblood of the sport and need to be and stay successful for the sport to continue to grow.  A sentiment Garcia agrees with.  “Keep supporting the sport and your local shows.  Without the local events, guys don’t get to go to the UFC.  Look at Frankie Edgar.  He was fighting on the local shows out here in New Jersey and now he’s the UFC Lightweight Champion.”

Rumble in the Cage - RITC 43 Event Review

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Canada's longest running mixed martial arts promotion, Rumble in the Cage, presented RITC 43 at the Taber Ice Arena in Taber, Alberta, Canada to a packed crowd of wild fans in another great show in a long line of fun events.

The jam-packed card featured 10 fights at both the professional and amateur levels with all 10 fights ending before the final bell! In the main event, Peter Neufeld (4-2) knocked out Trevor Wright (5-4) in Round 1 of a striking free-for-all. Both fighters came out throwing punches in bunches, but it was Neufeld who controlled the distance with his lead hand and ended the fight with the same right hand. Wright went down after a single punch connected cleanly and the referee was quick to step in. In what was a flash knockout, the fight was over with Wright protesting the decision after the fact. The Canadian crowd voiced their opinion with a mixture of cheers and boos, but in MMA these stoppages are common even though not always crowd pleasing. If the fans demand it, Neufeld VS Wright 2 could be a fight down the line that will provide the same fireworks from the opening bell.

In the co-main event Spencer Rohovie (10-6) notched his 10th victory when he submitted the young Jordan Knippleberg by rear naked choke in Round 1 in a wild fight. The match featured a great display of grappling as both men were trying to land submission after submission. With a back and forth hold for hold battle that utilized a series of submission moves, Rohovie finally caught Knippleberg in the choke after transitioning from mount to controlling the back and got the tapout victory.

In other action, Tim Tamaki, Luke Spicer and John Ganshorn all picked up first round victories in impressive fashion.

Don't miss this latest event as Rumble in the Cage, Western Canada's most prolific MMA organization, presents RITC 43 exclusively on GFL.tv. You won't find another card with more exciting finishes than this event as 100% of the fights ended with a KO or submission. Order it now on video on demand!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Absolute Action MMA - AAMMA 14 Event Review

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Kentucky's #1 MMA promotion, Absolute Action MMA, presented another terrific card with Absolute Action MMA 14 at Rupp Arena at the Heritage Hall in Lexington, KY. The card had 15 total fights with 12 finishes.  The night of exciting fights was tapped off by an thrilling main event.  In the night’s final bout, Zachary “The Zack Grasshopper” Sanders (2-1) defeated Doug Ballinger (11-9) via guillotine choke in Round 1.  Sanders showed why he is a force to be reckoned with in Absolute Action MMA as he defeated a veteran fighter in Ballinger who is a tough competitor in his own right.

In the co-main event, Ewa Johnson (4-1) beat Sarah Cook (2-3) via armbar in Round 2 to win the women's 145 lb amateur AAMMA title. Johnson who made her return to the cage after a year-long layoff picked up right where she left off by scoring another victory, this time for the championship. After a close back and forth first round, Johnson isolated Cook’s arm on the ground and executed a perfect armbar submission for the tapout.

In other action, Ryan Debelak (4-1) defeated Troy Blevins, Jr. (5-4) via decision.  The fight was a back and forth battle of attrition that Debelak was able to win. For Debela, a formidable striker, with all of his previous wins coming by strikes, it showed that there is more to his game than just the standup as he was able to grind out a decision win against the game Blevins, Jr.

With 12 out of 15 fights ending by KO or submission this is an explosive card that will whet the appetite of any MMA fan.  Be sure to catch all of the action from this exciting card as Absolute Action presents Absolute Action MMA 14 exclusively on video on demand at GFL.tv.

Hard Knock Fighting Championship - School of Hard Knocks - Medicine Hat Event Review

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Hard Knocks Fighting Championship - School of Hard Knocks - Medicine Hat, played to a packed crowd at the Cypress Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Western Canada has a rich history in the combat sports and HKFC gave the fans of this Rocky Mountains area another entertaining night of fights with a highly charged card that saw 6 of 8 fights end via stoppage.

In the main event, it was a clash of featherweights as Marc Savoie (1-1) defeated Chad Anheliger (0-2) via armbar submission in Round 1. Savoie was hurt seconds into the fight by big left hand from Anheliger and it looked like it would be a short night. After a face paced scramble, Savoie was able to take down Anheliger. Savoie worked top position and side mount to land some strikes, but after another quick scramble, Anheliger landed inside of Savoie's guard and after a couple transitions Savoie isolated the right arm of Anheliger and leveraged the armbar for the tapout victory. According to Savoie, who also dabbles in sky diving, this match had all the adrenaline of 10 jumps.

In the co-main event, lightweight Julius Huhs (1-0) defeated Jesse Seeberg (1-5) by TKO less than a minute into Round 1. A former American-football player in Germany, Huhs, wasted no time in his debut fight. The bigger Huhs got a takedown seconds into the match, moved to mount and rained down more than a dozen unanswered punches knocking Seeberg out before the referee could step in. For Seeberg, who is a boxer, he never got the opportunity to display his skillset as Huhs took the fight to the ground immediately. For Huhs, this was a nice beginning to what looks like a promising career in MMA.

School of Hard Knocks - Medicine Hat is one of the finest cards to date from HKFC. Exciting fighters from around Western Canada filled out the card which showcased both professional and amateur rising prospects competing inside of the cage. The only way to watch this exciting 8-bout card is to order it exclusively on GFL.tv. Order now!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gruesome MMA 4 Event Preview

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Gruesome MMA presents Gruesome MMA 4 on June 11 at Belfry High School in Pikeville, Kentucky.  Gruesome MMA is the proving ground for up and coming MMA fighters in the region which encompasses several states.  This 17-bout mega card features a main event with UFC veteran and former WEC World Lightweight Champion, Jamie Varner (17-6-1).  

Varner faces contender Jeremy Carper (3-3) in a headline bout that is sure to gain national attention.  Once regarded as one of the best 155 lb fighters in the world, Varner is coming off of a first round victory at XFO 39 in May and looks to keep his momentum moving forward.  For Varner, he only has one thing in mind and that’s getting back to the UFC.  Standing in his way is Jeremy Carper.  For Carper, this fight could be a career changing event if he is able to pull off the huge upset.  Carper’s 3 wins have all been stoppages, either submission or TKO so he has the skill set to pull off the surprise victory.  For Carper he is going to have to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the former world champion and maybe, just maybe, shock the world.  No matter how this fight ends, one thing is for certain, get your popcorn and your drinks before the fight starts, because this will be a barnburner!

In the co-main event, Cornelius Godfrey (1-0) takes on the debuting Kevin Miles (0-0).  Both fighters have extensive amateur records, Godfrey (12-2) and Miles (4-1) so don’t let the records fool you.  This professional bout will be hotly contested and anything can and probably will happen.  Godfrey is coming off of a first round submission win in his first pro fight and, as an amateur fighter, held championships with two organizations.  Miles, known for his slick submissions, steps up his game and will go hold for hold with Godfrey on the mat.  Expect a grappling clinic from these two. 

The undercard is highlighted by a title fight in the heavyweight amateur division as undefeated Matt Baccus (7-0) fights Josh Walker (4-2).  Baccus, already a champion in another organization, looks to add to his collection of belts with a win over Walker.  Walker is coming off of a first round victory at Gruesome MMA 3 and will look to pick up where he left off.  Both heavyweights are agile big men and this is sure to be one of the fights of the night.

Don’t miss this electrifying event featuring some of the top athletes from around the Southern region as Gruesome MMA 4 brings down the house.  Catch all of the fights LIVE on June 11, exclusively on pay-per-view and only at GFL.tv!

Ultimate Reno Combat 25 Undisputed Event Preview

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Northern Nevada’s premier cage fighting event returns as Ultimate Reno Combat 25 presents Undisputed LIVE on June 10 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada.  

The 13-fight attraction is headlined by a bantamweight title fight in the women’s division.  In the main event, Tay Stratford (8-1) of Reno Academy of Combat battles Autumn Richardson (3-2) from Team Quest.  Stratford has torn through Nevada’s fight scene and it’s fitting that with so much on the line, a tough, game competitor like Richardson, who comes from one of the greatest camps in the world, steps into the cage to fight for the belt in this evenly matched championship bout.  Stratford, who also holds a championship with the Las Vegas-based Tuff-N-Uff fight promotion, has had finishes in 6 of her 8 wins and looks to add another title to her collection.  Richardson also has experience in championship fights, but came up a little short in her last bout.  Nothing can erase that loss faster than a victory on June 10 against Stratford with an Ultimate Reno Combat title belt at stake.  Both women will look to push the pace and impose their will in what should be a fun, exciting fight for the fans.

The co-main event features Sasha Montgomery (3-0) versus Brandon Morris (3-2) in a welterweight contest.  The undefeated Montgomery has fought all three times for Ultimate Reno Combat so his familiarity with the organization will be key when he steps into the cage and looks to utilize his Gracie-learned submission game to get Morris to tapout.  Morris is coming off of a two-fight win streak of his own and is the more battle tested of the two competitors and will look to rough up Montgomery and use his cage experience to take Montgomery into deep water and eventually overwhelm him and finish the fight.

Watch the champions of tomorrow compete today!  Don’t miss this loaded event with 13 bouts as Northern Nevada’s Ultimate Reno Combat 25 presents Unidsputed on June 10 exclusively on GFL.tv.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

For Elijah Harshbarger Olympic Aspirations Turn to MMA Gold














“People ask me how long I’ve been doing MMA and actually it wasn’t even called MMA when I started; it was called NHB, vale tudo, or shootfighting.  It’s just something I’ve done my whole life.” 

For Elijah Harshbarger, a lifetime competing and training in the combative sports has paid dividends even when it seemed like no one was watching.  The reigning Ring of Combat Welterweight Champion, Harshbarger, defends his title on June 17 at  Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat XXXVI in the main event against UFC veteran and TUF alum Pete “Drago” Sell (8-5).  

Almost 14 years since his first fight, Harshbarger approaches fighting now much the same way he always has done. “I grapple, box and wrestle a lot.  I do a lot of conditioning.  My cardio is insane.  The one thing you can control in a fight is cardio.  I know Pete will come in great shape, and I’m in great shape so it will come down to who wants it more.  I don’t vary my game plan too much from fight to fight.  I look at it like I’m better than you.  You have to change up what you do to fight me.  I do what I do.  If it’s wrestling night I wrestle, if it’s grappling I grapple and so on.”  

Sell is coming off of a two-year absence from the sport, but Harshbarger hasn’t made an issue of it in his preparation for the fight.  “I don’t think the layoff will play much of a factor.  Pete’s still a world-class fighter.  He had an injury that’s why he took the time off.  Some people think it’s bad to take time off because of ring rust, and other people think it’s good to take time off because it lets injuries heal up.  I don’t really factor that in one way or another.  I’m sure he’ll be in great shape and is banging hard in the gym knocking that ring rust off, if there is any.”

Having started wrestling in second grade the competitive Harshbarger elevated his overall game when he got to junior high.  “I met Lloyd Irvin and I hooked up with him and continued to wrestle and trained Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, Muay Thai, and boxing. I made my mixed martial arts debut when I was 15 years old.”  After that first fight, which Harshbarger won via first round submission, he put his MMA career on hold and refocused his sights on his childhood dream, making the Olympic Wrestling Team.  

“I got away from the fighting for a bit but continued to grapple and focused on my wrestling for the next couple of years.  I continued to work with Lloyd and had Olympic dreams of wrestling so that was what I pursued.  After high school, I continued wrestling on the national level in both freestyle and Greco.  I won a bunch of awards but then realized that my Olympic aspirations were not going to materialize,” Harshbarger said.  Harshbarger buckled down once again this time returning to the no-holds-barred attraction of the 1990s which had made considerable changes and progress in regulation, marketing and promotion and was quickly becoming a popular sport with all of the bells and whistles of any major league franchise. 

Among some of the newer technological advances the sport is embracing is using the Internet to broadcasting events, which will be the case for his next fight on June 17 exclusively at GFL.tv.  Harshbarger is keen on the direction of MMA and believes the visibility created by the streaming capabilities of a company like GFL is a positive addition to the ever-growing evolution of the sport.  “I think anything that brings more fans to the sport is a good thing.  Internet pay-per-views allow more fighters to be seen and that hopefully helps them in their future fights and sponsorships by having had more exposure.”

A resident of Woodbridge, Virginia, Harshbarger is at the forefront of Mid-Atlantic MMA and carrying the flag for his home state.  “The MMA scene in Virginia is very underrated.  There are not a lot of big shows around here which is kind of tough, because a show like the UFC or Strikeforce likes to pull fighters from the hometown area.  A lot of those opportunities are not out here for us.  When we fight, we usually have to travel.  We fight in everybody else’s backyard.  We fight tough guys all the time.  That’s part of the reason we are underrated and over looked.”  In a sport that is more friendly to fighters’ records than say boxing, there are still some incorrect perceptions from fans and promoters alike based solely on records, which don’t always tell the story.

“We don’t have inflated records of 10-0 like some guys from other places.  A lot of those records are padded by fighting guys at a local bar who are nobodies.  It’s harder to get on some of the bigger shows, because promoters don’t want to pay a guy like me who’s 6-2 to fly in.  But I fight tough world-class guys every time.  If you look at my record you will see that. I fought Ben Saunders, I whipped James Brasco who is a world grappling champion and Abu Dhabi finalist.  I have the credentials. You look at my record and you will see quality fighters who I’ve come up against,” said Harshbarger.

An elementary school teacher by day in Fairfax County and the owner of Gold Medal Grappling, a Lloyd Irvin affiliate school, Harshbarger has achieved many of his goals and managed to carve out a solid base of operations for himself.  “My goal is to make a living doing what I love, which is to fight and train and be around the game and that’s what I’m doing.    I’m fighting, running a gym, coaching other talented fighters that are going places; I coach Kris McCray, who got on The Ultimate Fighter and made it to the finals.  I feel I have already made a career out of this and that’s what I wanted to do.”

Harshbarger continued, “I like to come hard at people and try to break their will.  If you’re dealing with world-class fighters that are in shape they are going to break down mentally way before their bodies do.  If a guy is in great shape and only fighting for 15 minutes then to have a game plan to wear him down doesn’t really work because 15 minutes is nothing.  But if I go hard at somebody from the opening bell I can break their spirit.  I’m fighting a tough guy and hopefully the right people are watching.  My game plan for this fight is to whip Pete Sell so bad that his cornerman, Matt Serra, gets mad enough that he calls up UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and wants to fight me.  That’s my game plan [laughs].”

Poster coming soon!