For the first time in a long time I am going to actually be covering this fight in real time, so we will have to see how this goes.
Immediately I am met with two hindrances, first: I am ring side.
While I think it is pretty awesome anytime a hunyuck like me gets to sit cageside, the Minnesota Boxing Commission seems to have a problem with my drinking a PBR Tall Boy six inches from the cage wall.
Having just chugged the icy goodness of a brew created by men far smarter than myself I am feeling good. Ready to go. Crap, here come the beer sweats.
I have been told by promoter Jeremy Bjornberg that the fights this time around will feature not only no fighter interviews (which is nice, but I will miss hearing from Corwin) and no 15-minute intermissions. Thank f***ing God, because there are 14 fights on the card.
We are in the big room at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis today and this could turn out to be a great night.
I’m a little drunk.
Nick Reece (1-1) vs John Melina (1-2)
Round 1: Melina lands first but all Reece wants is the slamming double-leg take down that he drives into and gets. Melina holds a headlock from bottom cross-sides and is able to hip away and get a sweep. He still won’t let go of the headlock, even inside of Reece’s guard and is spending a lot of energy going for the tap that isn’t coming.
The two finally stand and Melina leaves himself open for another Matt Hughes-esque divebomb of a double. The round ends with Melina once again holding a headlock from bottom cross.
Round 2: It sounds like Melina lands an opening nut-shot kick, but Reece only wants the double and gets it. Melina turns to guard and tries a sweep, but fails with the bump sweep and gets his back taken. Reece gets his hooks, tries for the choke and ends up pounding out the victory.
WINNER: Nick Reece at 1:18 of Round 2 via TKO.
Nick Palmer (0-2) vs. Jason Lande (0-0)
Round 1: No play-by-play needed here, Lande is outmatched on his feet and is eating a lot of jabs from Palmer. (Hint: Palmer has a right hand that never fully formed and wears a special glove because of it…so, um, maybe avoid the jab). Lande finally uses his wrestling and gets the double, but Palmer gets half-guard and works back to his feet to deliver more strikes.
Lande gets another double and as the two turn Lande falls back (for some reason) for an attempted guillotine, only to miss and have Palmer throw more strikes. The round ends with Lande getting one more double.
Round 2: Reece gets a few strikes early and the two trade leg kicks before Palmer tries a teep kick to the head that Lande catches and drags into a takedown. This time he isn’t going to give up his opportunity. He is throwing everything he’s go into his shots to the body and head of Palmer. The ref finally shows mercy and calls off the fight. Palmer is slow to rise and is holding his ribs.
WINNER: Jason Lande at 1:32 of the 2nd via TKO
Buzzed note: Learn to box, dude.
Marcus Young (0-1) vs. Ehsan Karam (1-0)
Round 1: Hmm…will Karam, a Warrior’s Cove product, try and take this fight to the ground? …yup. He closes the distances, hooks Young’s leg from the clinch and takes the fight to the mat. Karam stays patient and when Young bucks to try and get up, Karam snakes his arm under Young’s chin, repositions and forces the tap.
WINNER: Ehsan Karam at 1:12 of the 1st Round via Rear Naked Choke
Mikey Wavereck (3-2-1) vs Peter Riojas (2-0)
Round 1: Riojas attempts two huge spinning roundhouse kicks to the head of Wavereck, both miss and the second opens Riojas up for Wavereck’s takedown. Riojas pulls guard and stays tight, but keeps his hips mobile, working for a triangle. Wavereck defends well. Riojas manages a sweep, but Wavereck (in a surprise to this writer) works his own triangle without missing a beat. He gets his legs locked and Riojas is only saved by the bell.
Round 2: Wavereck seems awkward on his feet and unsure about what he wants to do, so he goes for a takedown from about ten feet away and still gets it. Riojas turns it and ends up in top guard trying to keep Wavereck pushed against the cage, but once again Wavereck stays active, sets up his triangle and locks it in when Riojas fails to posture away. The tap doesn’t take long.
WINNER: Mikey Wavereck at 1:31 of the 2nd Round via Triangle Choke
D Rice (0-2) vs. Jake Grisel (0-0)
Rice is a karate guy and is sponsored by Big Jugs Magazine…no, seriously, that’s what the announcer said. Which is awesome!
Round 1: Rice has some weird kicks and holds his hands just above his waist. The much shorter Grisel is just waiting for this chance and when Rice slips, Grisel drives in. Rice holds a headlock but has no idea what he is doing. He tries to get up and Grisel slips to his back.
Suddenly the fight is over. Really. Grisel had what can best be described as an “arm-in” rear naked choke. I have to hear how this is announced.
WINNER: Jake Grisel at 2:51 of the 1st Round via Shoulder Lock
Oh, um… no it wasn’t. Sissy.
Jeffery Brummett (0-0) vs. Corwin Nichols (2-0)
I’ve been waiting for this fight. I love watching Corwin fight. The only problem is I’m too far away to hear the profanity from his cheering section.
Round 1: The jailhouse inked and heavily muscled Brummett creates no version of intimidation for Nichols who bullies him to the ground. Brummett is flat on his back and Nichols works to pass half guard. He passes to mount with little stopping him. The fight remains here for about two minutes with Brummett not having much in the way of anything.
Then, when the 10 second warning sounds Nichols postures and unleashes a vicious flurry until the round ends. Nichols walks back to his corner and Brummett tries to get to his knees but falls back down. He looks less suited to drive at this point than I do.
WINNER: Corwin Nichols at 5:00 of the 1st Round via TKO
Zaur Jalil (2-1) vs. Randal Rasmussen (1-1)
Round 1: The two are feeling each other out before locking into a clinch. Rasmussen gets double underhooks, but Jalil gets the takedown and lands in top half-guard. The fight stays inactive until late in the round when Jalil is able to posture up and land some shots that bloody Rasumssen’s nose.
Round 2: Jalil is throwing early but with little power. Rasmussen dives and gets the double. Jalil gets his butterfly hooks and sweeps to mount, then to scarf hold/high judo (go figure from Wolf Pack). Jalil only wants the arm and gets the leg assisted Americana.
WINNER: Zaur Jalil at 2:20 of the 2nd Round via Scarf Hold Americana
Dustin Wieland (2-2) vs. Codie Kahler (4-3)
Round 1: Weiland lands the first shot down the pipe that staggers Kahler and then moves in for the control and takedown. They stand and it is Kahler that gets the slamming takedown. Again the two stand and Kahler drives forward for a single. Wieland fights for the guillotine and the action hits the mat. Kahler wastes little time in posturing up and raining down on Weiland, who can only cover and wait for the ref to wave off the fight.
WINNER: Codie Kahler at 1:36 of the 1st Round via TKO
Tipsy Note: I’ve had to get sneaky with this ringside business, but the fights are flying by and I’m loving having to act like a middle-schooler again sneaking my booze.
Jake Erickson (5-2) vs. Tom Lytle (1-1)
Round 1: Lytle opens with a big kick that Erickson ducks and counters with a take down. Lytle gets guard and works for his triangle, but the actions wanes and the fight is stood up. Erickson dives forward for another shot and eats a hard shin to the face. Again, Lytle works for his triangle and gets it circled up. Erickson thinks it is a good idea to slam his way out of it.
Lytle holds the circle, repositions and forces the tap.
WINNER: Tom Lytle at 1:31 of the 1st Round via Triangle Choke
Brandon Pease (1-1) vs. Dave Owens (0-0)
Round 1: Owens (The Get Sum Owner and guy worth waaaay more money than me) looks nervous before the start but comes out with a vengeance and, you know what, sorry, I blinked and missed the whole fight…
That’s not true, I was looking at my half-empty flask. I’m sorry. I don’t know why I tried to lie. I love you all very much.
WINNER: Dave Owens at :16 of the 1st
Round by TKO
Brett Murphy (5-0) vs. Eddie Castillo (0-0)
Round 1: The night’s only heavyweight fight opens with a lot of jabbing, which Murphy gets the better of. Castillo is wabbled early and bloody soon after. Castillo’s belly is shaking like a bowl full of jelly and his face is starting to look like ground beef. Castillo keeps his head moving, but it just isn’t enough. Murphy stays light on his feet as they clinch and Castillo lands a kneed to the family jewels.
When action starts again, it’s more of the same. Castillo clinches and tries a takedown but Murphy reverses it and works a little top cross sides. As Castillo stands, Murphy tries a standing RNC but gets pushed to the ground. The round ends on its feet with Murphy the clear round winner with a dominant jab/cross.
Round 2: It’s more of the same to open the round. Castillo has a few slapping leg kicks and Murphy is winning with his jab. Unfortunately the excitement of the fight deteriorates as Murphy is content with throwing no more than two-punch combinations. At most. That’s pretty much the entire five minutes.
Round 3: (see above plus some leg kicks from Murphy)
WINNER: Brett Murphy via Unanimous Decision (30-27 on all three cards)
Drunk Talk: Murphy looks spry at the end as he dances around and shows of some footwork. Yeah, it’s easy to have a lot of energy at the end when you refuse to throw more than two punches at a time, even when your opponent falls down.
This could have been Fight of the Night, but then again, Murphy could have dominated and finished.
Bill Friday (7-2) vs. Lloyd McKinney (6-2)
Round 1: McKinney moves in for the takedown and Friday locks in about as deep of a guillotine as you will see, but somehow McKinney survives. Friday throws up his legs for an armbar attempt and misses. McKinney passes and takes Friday’s back, but is unable to get the RNC and they stand.
From the clinch McKinney goes for another takedown and Friday goes for another guillotine. Against, McKinney avoids the submission and sweeps to mount, going for his own guillotine, but can’t finish and transitions to an arm triangle. Friday answers the phone and defends. Friday works back to his feet as the round ends.
Round 2: McKinney goes in for another takedown and Friday proves me wrong by showing that he can sink and even deeper guillotine. It looks sick. Marcelo Garcia sick. And McKinney goes to sleep.
WINNER: Bill Friday at :26 of the 2nd Round via Guillotine
Fight of the Night AND Submission of the Night. McKinney showed some excellent BJJ and sweeps and Friday never lost his cool. A great way to follow up what could have been a much better prior fight.
Ryan Braun (12-10) vs. Paul Bradley (16-4)
Round 1: Braun shows some moxy and comes out looking for his own takedown. Bradley shakes him off and decides that he wants the fight to go against the cage, where he holds it for a while until Braun can finally shake out of it. Braun lands a beautiful right cross that clears Bradley’s cobwebs and we see some life from the UFC-veteran. Bradley bulldozes a takedown and passes to mount.
Bradley wants the Americana and fights to get it. Braun turns over to avoid and gets flattened out. It is only by the Grace of the Maker of Bushmills (he is my God) that Braun survives the round.
Round 2: Bradley gets the takedown quickly and starts where the last round ended. Bradley once again wants that Americana from mount, but Braun isn’t going for it. Bradley postures up and drops a few punches to get Braun to turn to his side. Bradley locks in the arm triangle. Braun taps quickly.
WINNER: Paul Bradley at 2:11 of the 2nd Round via Arm Triangle
Damion Hill (5-0) vs. Kenneth Glenn (4-0)
Round 1: Glenn drives in quick and gets one of Hill’s legs looking for the takedown. He is driving him backwards when all of the sudden Glenn collapses to the ground.
With a leg in the air, getting pushed away, against the fence, Hill landed a right hand that put out Glenn’s lights. He followed up with a couple more punches that were completely unnecessary. Glenn is O-U-T!
WINNER: Damion Hill at :15 of the 1st Round via KO
Knockout of the Night. All due respect to Owens for his performance, in all fairness, Hill did is a second faster and it wasn’t the ref intervening. Holy s***!
You know what, it was a great night of fights. The pace was fast. The action was great. I’m pretty drunk. Life is good.
Well, not good, just not a s***y as it is when I’m sober.