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By: Brad Walker, MMATorch Columnist
XFC 17: APOCALYPSE
APRIL 13, 2012
LIVE FROM JACKSON, TENN.
We start out with a nice opening video about the two main fights on the card, personally I am looking forward to seeing the one-armed fighter Nick Newell remind us how his handicap does not stop him in the ring. Michael Schiavello and Pat Miletich run us down the fights, with their predictions and we prepare for the first bout after some back and forth banter between the two about the under fights on the card.
Fight Number One: Joel Cooper (1-0) Vs Amaechi Oselukwue (3-5)
Middleweight fight, AO is 4 years older, everything else is virtually identical.
Round 1: Gary Copeland is our referee and we are under way. AO starts with a leg kick that was checked, and pushes back, attempts an unsuccessful high kick. Superman punch from AO misses and they clinch against the cage, Cooper has shown no offense thus far. AO works some knees in the clinch; Cooper is stuck against the cage pretty good. A trip by AO sends both fighters flying and they rebound back to their feet and AO gets a couple great knees in to Cooper's midsection. The clinch war continues against the cage, Cooper again doing nothing to remove himself from the position he's in. Copeland breaks them up and AO lands a great front kick to the gut, now they trade some jabs and AO attempts a wild spinning back kick then clinches Cooper back against the cage again. AO connects to Coopers family jewels with a knee, and Copeland calls time – ouch! Cooper is ready to go, and we're back to fighting. AO throws some more wild not a chance in hell kicks – and Cooper continues to avoid them, finally landing a good jab. Back to the never ending clinch and on the exit AO lands a great right. Attempted take down but they both land on their knees and return to their feet, AO hits cooper with a HUGE knee to the head but Cooper recovers and we are at the end of the first round.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Oselukwue (AO)
Round 2: Both fighters start the second round tentatively, feigning a lot of shots and then AO lands a HUGE head kick on Cooper who doesn't even seem dazed from it. He lands a superman punch and Cooper dodges a flying knee, catches it and takes Oselukwue down. He works AO against the cage, but he is not doing much to control his posture. AO moves and Cooper immediately jumps up and takes his back, he's trying to sink the choke in, he's almost got it, AO is fighting for his livelihood right now, Cooper gives up on the choke and releases one of his hooks and Oselukwue gets back to his feet – what a display of grappling! AO immediatly pushes Cooper against the cage and gets the thai clinch, but is unable to do anything with it. Cooper is either gassed or insane walking with his hands below his waist. Oselukwue's speed has slowed considerably and Cooper is just offering no offense back to AO's strikes. Cooper gets caught in the twig and berries again, but Copeland doesn't feel it was a legitimate groin strike and tells Cooper he only has a few seconds, and warns AO to watch the groin or he'll lose a point next time. We're back to fighting, and Cooper is just backpedaling until he lands a great right straight, to which AO responds with a wild flying knee off the mark. AO tries some ridiculous kick that I don't know the name of and falls flat on his back – so Cooper jumps into his guard and winds up taking his back. Cooper lands a few strikes before AO rolls into his guard – not a great round for either fighter.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Cooper (19-19)
Round 3: This round basically decides the fight at this point. Cooper is back pedaling again, and AO is moving forward with small quick strikes. Great leg kick by AO and Cooper misses on an uppercut. A lot of back and forth missed strikes so far in this round. Spinning back fist by AO misses, and they continue to trade zero-power strikes, both men are definitely low on energy. AO slips moving in for a strike and catches a thumb to the eye. Another clinch and AO pushes Cooper against the cage before being taken down by Cooper who lands in side control. He stands up to attempt a heal hook and loses position, as AO attempted to stand, Cooper rolled up and took his back. Cooper has one hook in, but AO looks as he may be able to roll in to his guard. Small strikes from the back now by Cooper, Oselukwue looks entirely too tired to get out of this spot. AO tries to power out and Cooper rolls him back over. AO manages to sweep to half guard, and Cooper sweeps him right back to take control from AO's guard. Nothing doing on the ground, Cooper is just barely maintaining control as time winds down here in the third. AO rolls him over to the mount and takes Coopers back, WOW! Cooper immediately sweeps AO back to his guard; this is an incredible display from both men of wrestling skill. The final bell rings – what a finish!
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Cooper (29-28 Cooper)
Joel Cooper wins via Unanimous decision 29-28 x3
-The end of round three was the only real excitement in this whole fight, two undeveloped fighters going to war isn't that entertaining.
Fight Number Two: Ronnie Rogers (10-7) Vs Jason Wood (5-1)
Lightweights - Wood hasn't fought since 2010, whereas Rogers won a fight against Rich Clementi in February. Height and weight are similar with a 2 inch reach advantage for Wood.
Round 1: Copeland is against our referee, and we're under way. Wood tries for an inside leg kick before avoiding two strikes from Rogers. Wood gets the takedown and hops into half guard. Rogers gets back to his feet and Wood is now taken down by Rogers. Rogers scrambles to half guard, but wood locks in a guillotine. It's in tight, Rogers is attempting to move out, but his head is turning bright red, he scrambles out at the last minute. Good elbows on the top from Rogers, Wood continues to attempt submissions but thus far has been unsuccessful. Wood gets a head scissor but Rogers powers out and lands a few strikes. Wood gets back to his feet and takes down Rogers who in turn gets him in a guillotine. Wood pops his head out and lands a few small strikes from the guard. Wood is bleeding from some of the punishment Rogers has dealt out from the bottom. Wood jumps into side control and shifts to north-south. He is landing flurries of punches, now he has Rogers back who is trying to shake him off as Wood locks in an arm bar, and the bell rings.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Wood
Round 2: Wood has a very visible cut on his lip as we begin round 2. Wood shoots but Rogers sprawls and pins Wood against the cage and lands some big shots. Wood attempts a superman punch and goes for a takedown only to be taken down himself. Rogers is pounding wood pretty well on the ground, Wood is attempting to escape but has been pinned down by Rogers. He's trying to get an arm right now but is just getting absolutely pounded. Wood locks in another guillotine and Rogers is attempting to get out any way he can, and Rogers tapped!
Winner by Submission (Guillotine) at 2:13 of round number two: Jason Wood.
-It was a good grappling match with some very great ground and pound.
Fight Number Three: Charles Blanchard (9-2) Vs Johnny Davis (13-6)
Catchweight - 175 – Davis is 5 years older, with a 2.5 inch reach advantage, and was also a last minute replacement.
Round 1: Our referee is David Ferguson. Davis lands a nice leg kick, and Blanchard ties him up against the cage. Short uppercuts from both men in the clinch, repeatedly – they sound painful. Davis goes for the single but gives up. Great overhand right by Blanchard, but Davis clinches, great knees to the ribs by Blanchard. Davis is getting lit up my short knees and uppercuts, Blanchard takes him down and gets his back, and both hooks are in. Blanchard has great position control, and is working for the choke. Davis is trying valiantly to break free and finally does, and the bell rings.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Blanchard
Round 2: Davis comes out with a couple of nice leg kicks before being clinched up against the cage by Blanchard. Both men look significantly tired, but are managing to stay active. Davis is feigning more shots than he is throwing, and Blanchard takes a good 2 punch combo before Davis pushes him up against the cage. Blanchard turns it around and has grabbed Davis's leg; Davis pulls it loose and finds himself pinned to the cage again. I've seen more active fights during naptime at a kindergarten class. The never ending clinch continues, finally Blanchard breaks it. Davis throws a couple light jabs that don't land. More leg kicks from Davis, Blanchard seems unsure of what to do next. They exchange jabs, and Blanchard begins to back away to collect his thoughts, and again they find themselves clinching against the cage before Blanchard breaks free. Davis lands a nice elbow and the bell rings to end the round.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Davis – I would score it 0-0 if I could.
Round 3: Blanchard immediately tries for a single that goes nowhere. Davis tries a high kick and lands on his ass before jumping back up. Blanchard corners Davis and throws a night jab before stuffing a takedown and landing some short right hands. Davis works back to his feet taking shots, he's bleeding pretty good now from under his right eye. These short lefts have now opened up Davis's nose as well – he's bleeding like a stuck pig – Blanchard has him pinned down and is pounding him with those short shots. They break and Davis' is covered in blood, Blanchard pins him right back up against the cage, nothing doing from Davis. Blanchard exits with a nice elbow, and keeps landing solid combos pushing Davis back constantly. Davis's eye is swelling shut – fast – and Blanchard just keeps attacking and keeping Davis against the cage. There's no way out for Davis, Blanchard is landing and controlling at will, they break one final time and Blanchard lands a final couple of shots as does Davis, but the bell rings.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Blanchard (29-28)
Charles Blanchard wins by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
This was not an exciting fight by any means, it failed to even keep my interest.
Fight Number Four: Patricia Vidonic (5-2) Vs Felice Herrig (5-4)
Women's division, flyweight – Herrig is a teammate of mine, and this fight has had all the hype that Rousey vs Tate did – except on HDNet and not Showtime. A lot of dislike and trash talk between these two, should make for one hell of a fight, I've seen Felice training, and she is definitely ready. Herrig has a small reach advantage, and is 5 years younger.
Round One: Copeland is our ref again. The stare down was epic, no glove touch – there is hatred in this cage! Vidonic takes the center Herrig strikes fast and precise, Vidonic responds. They clinch and Herrig gets her against the cage. Vidonic takes advantage and pushes Felice against the cage. Double under hooks for Herrig, small strikes from both ladies while their tied up. Good right hand from Patricia, Herrig is trying to fight out of the clinch but Vidonic tried for a double, Herrig moves outside and takes control. Copeland breaks them up. Herrig is working her strikes, keeping distance, but Vidonic clinches her back up, and Herrig is in control. Herrig avoids repeated takedowns, and Vidonic isn't dedicating to them very well. It's a nonstop positional battle; Copeland should've broken this up again. Herrig tries a takedown and gets it into Vidonic's half guard. Small strikes from both and Vidonic regains guard and sweeps to mount, Herrig sweeps back - but the bell rings.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Herrig
Round Two: Both women come out striking; Herrig drives Vidonic into the cage. Vidonic is bleeding from the nose now; Herrig seems to be working for an unsuccessful takedown. Herrig gets another takedown into half guard and works some short strikes. Vidonic has great control of Herrigs posture, and Felice attempts a pass into side control and succeeds. She's placing elbows to the side of Vidonics head. Vidonic is attempting an arm bar but Herrig pulls free and stands up. Vidonic thai clinches and lands a couple knees. Herrig lands some straight punches that hurt Vidonic, who shoots for a double. Herrig takes her down again, small shots on the ground here. Vidonic closes her guard, and Herrig is working to get out of it, while Vidonic looks for a triangle choke. The bell rings.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Herrig
Round Three: Felice opens the round with a flurry and is absolutely lighting Vidonic up before Patricia tries for a double leg. Vidonic tries for a whizzer but does not succeed. Herrig is again controlling position and throwing some short knees to the leg. Vidonic turns them around and lands an elbow before being pushed back against the cage. They break and Felice lands a nice right down the middle and Vidonic clinches, only to be taken down again by Herrig, who achieves mount. Vidonic is throwing the legs up trying to get out, so Herrig goes out and wants to bang again, Herrig catches a kick and drives Vidonic to the mat yet again. Herrig is throwing repeated elbows to the body and controlling Vidonic flat out. Vidonic is trying everything to get back up but is absolutely unable to do so. Herrig flattens her out again, but falls back into her guard. Herrig stands back up, and they clinch against the cage. Herrig scores yet another takedown on Vidonic, as the bell rings she stands up and celebrates as Vidonic walks solemnly back to her corner.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Herrig
Felice Herrig wins by Unanimous decision (30-27 x2 – 29-28)
It didn't live up to the hype, but Herrig's wrestling looked on a whole new level and she dominated her opponent in this fight.
Fight Number Five: Chris Coggins (5-1) vs Nick Newell (6-0)
Lightweight bout – for those unfamiliar with Newell, he only has one arm, and he is an extremely exciting fighter to watch. Newell has a 3 inch reach advantage, and is 4 years older. Everything else is virtually identical.
Round 1: Copeland again is our ref, and Coggins starts with good leg kicks, and then Newell gets caught in the groin by a knee. We're back on, and more leg kicks from Coggins. Newell clinches and pushes him against the cage. Newell drops for a single leg and gets him down. Coggins goes into rubber guard and Newell powers out. Some good ground and pound here from Newell, and he drops back and goes for the heel hook, it's in tight, Coggins is fighting, but this is deep, this is crazy and Coggins gets out. Back to the rubber guard, Newell powers out of an arm bar attempt, and lands some good punches. Coggins attempts another arm bar but Newell moves out and lands a powerful elbow. Newell is connecting with some great shots here on the ground, and has dominated this round thus far. More ground and pound as the round comes to a close, Coggins locks in an arm bar and Newell survives to the bell.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Newell
Round 2: Coggins takes the center of the cage and takes down Newell. He tries to jump into mount but gets north south and spins into the guard. A good elbow lands with some hammer fists behind it. Newell is taking some big shots here, Coggins is letting loose with these strikes, Coggins takes Newell's back, and gets both hooks in. Coggins tries to flatten him out but Newell fights to his feet and is trying to shake him off. He falls back to the ground, and Coggins is striking him fast and hard. Newell is barely staying alive here, Coggins locks in the choke, Newell's is deep deep trouble, but the choke is broken, WOW! Coggins has cut Newell's forehead open something awful. Now he's moving for the choke again, Newell stands up with Coggins on his back; Coggins is going for the choke again! He locks in the choke again, Newell is still holding him up, Coggins pills him back to the mat, Newell is fighting still but the choke is deep, and he survives again, this is insanity! Coggins going for the choke yet again, Newell is bloodies and tired, and he's barely making it at this point, what a round of survival for the one armed Newell, holiness!
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Coggins
Round 3: Newell lands some good strikes to start the round, Coggins looks gassed. Newell sinks in a guillotine choke, and takes down Coggins – this is insane! Coggins is out, but Newell has control on the ground. Newell spins to take his back; Coggins manages his way back to the guard. Newell is working some good ground and pound, posturing up to strike as well. The ground work continues for Newell, Coggins is unable to do anything at this point. Copeland stands them back up finally. They trade punches; Newell takes him down again with the single leg. Newell is working some elbows on the ground, taking some elbows from Coggins as well. The bell rings!
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Newell
Winner by Majority decision Nick Newell (29-28 – 28-28 – 29-28)
-The second round and both men surviving moments where they should have been submitted was absolutely crazy, this is one of the best fights I've seen from the smaller organizations out there, Newell was in deep trouble a couple of times, as was Coggins, but wow, what an amazing fight. Newell also commented that he believes he broke his jaw in the fight.
Fight Number Six: Marlon Moraes (7-4-1) Vs Jarrod Card (12-5-1)
Bantamweight fight – Card is 9 years older, with a 3.5 inch reach advantage, the rest is pretty even.
Round One: David Ferguson is our referee. They touch gloves and were on. Moraes lands a quick flurry, Card is in trouble. He's rocked, and Moraes keeps pouring it on. He tags him again! Moraes is a ball of fire, and he is lighting Jarrod Card up! Moraes lands a solid left hand and Card is out cold! Its over!
Winner by knockout at: 47 of round 1: Marlon Moraes
-Moraes' striking was absolutely phenomenal, and worth the watch.
Fight Number Seven: Luciano Dos Santos (9-5) vs Eric Reynolds (14-5)
Lightweight fight – Age is similar, height is to Reynolds by 4 inches, and everything else is identical.
Round One: Copeland once again is the referee. The fighters touch gloves and prepare for war. Inside leg kick from Reynolds who follows it up with a straight right. They exchange small strikes and kicks; Dos Santos takes the middle and is constantly walking down Reynolds. A takedown is stuffed and Dos Santos lands a high knee. Reynolds is keeping Dos Santos on the outside with good jabs and straights, good front kick by Reynolds. Dos Santos is throwing but not connecting so much. Reynolds gets hit with a knee in the thai clinch, but manages to escape. A shot to Reynolds groin by Dos Santos and Copeland calls time. It must be a part of their rules to have a groin shot in every fight. They come back out; Dos Santos with a leg kick, Reynolds seems tentative now, perhaps on behalf of his crotch. Reynolds is working a solid counter punching game, and Dos Santos is now backing up. Small exchanges, Dos Santos moving forward again, Reynolds lands a solid uppercut and catches a kick. Overhand right from Reynolds lands but Dos Santos looks un fazed. Reynolds attempts a flying heel hook; Dos Santos winds up on top and lands an elbow as the bell rings.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Dos Santos, but it could really go either way.
Round Two: Both men seem content to exchange on the feet, and Dos Santos is like a machine constantly moving forward. Reynolds swings wildly missing huge haymakers. Good knee to the body by Dos Santos, Reynolds responds with a good straight and body shot. Reynolds lands a couple good shots and backs up Dos Santos, Reynolds gets the take down. Reynolds is bleeding from his left eye, but working some decent ground and pound, but he stands up. Dos Santos gets the thai clinch and lands some great knees and elbows. Reynolds is throwing some quick punches but they aren't finding his opponent. Reynolds shoots for a single leg but Dos Santos braces against the cage. Great inside elbow from Dos Santos, great shots to the head are being exchanged here. Dos Santos drops Reynolds, and he works some great ground and pound from half guard. Big left hands from the top by Dos Santos, and now elbows, Reynolds is absorbing a lot of punishment right here. Dos Santos stands up and Reynolds follows. It ends after a thai clinch flurry from Dos Santos.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Dos Santos
Round Three: Both men exchange small shots, Reynolds looks much worse for wear. Dos Santos seems to have lost most of his energy as well. More trading of jabs, if this was a UFC fight they'd be booed out of the building. Reynolds lands a 2 punch combo, and chases Dos Santos to the cage, who in turn lands an elbow. Reynolds is trying to stay in the pocket and strike but Dos Santos keeps making him pay. Very slow round thus far, Dos Santos is breathing through his mouth and Reynolds is just not doing much with the openings he is getting. Dos Santos stuffs a takedown; Reynolds goes for a flying knee that does not connect. Dos Santos closes the distance and lands a solid elbow – jab combo. He is unleashing whatever he has left on Reynolds, punches, kicks, elbows everything. Reynolds circles away, but Dos Santos pursues still. Spinning heel kick from Dos Santos, Reynolds drops down, 10 seconds left, and they both fire what they have left.
Brad's Scorecard: 10-9 Dos Santos
Eric Reynolds wins by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Any other fight should have been the main even except this one, it was truly awful. While I'm at it, I don't see the remotest way to score this fight as the judges did, I had it 30-27 for Dos Santos, the only round Reynolds looked like he could have taken was the first. Truly a bad decision.
Overall it was a decent card, Newell shined brightly, as did Felice Herrig. Moraes looked like an absolute beast with his quick knockout, so I'll be back next time with some coverage of HDNet in the future!
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