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By Rich Hansen, MMA Torch Columnist
MAY 18, 2012
LIVE FROM LAKE CHARLES, LA
FIGHT ONE: MARK HOLATA VS. ABE WAGNER
- The winner of this fight will earn an entry to season seven’s heavyweight tournament. Wagner is two inches taller, and has a three inch reach advantage. Wagner’s claim to fame is a 32 second KO of Tim Sylvia.
ROUND ONE: The referee is Jordan Bass. Holata presses Wagner into the cage and gets a quick takedown, winding up inside a closed guard. Wagner is looking to set up an armbar from the bottom with a very high guard. Holata responds by pressing tight and throwing a hammerfist. Wagner still has solid wrist control. Bass implores the fighters to work. Holata gets his arm free and dives back for a leg lock. Wagner responds with one of his own. Dueling heel hooks! The crowd is dead quiet. So quiet that I could hear the word, “Tap,” and nothing else. Holata let go of his heel hook, and the fight is over? Yep. Wagner submitted verbally. The crowd had no idea. Wagner is limping, so there you go. That was the most surreal finish of the year, as not one fan made one decibel of sound.
WINNER: Mark Holata by submission (heel hook) at 2:24 of round one.
STAR RATING: (**) First round submissions are always nice, but that was just so weird. One second we have weak looking dueling heel hooks, and the next second Holata let his go. The crowd had no clue. Regardless, well done by Holata to tap the taller fighter with a heel hook.
FIGHT TWO: MEGUMI FUJII vs. JESSICA AGUILAR
- I missed the tale of the tape, sorry. I know, I know, unforgivable, right? The referee is Jason Herzog.
ROUND ONE: Fujii shoots for a takedown one minute in. Aguilar is in position to use the cage to walk back up to her feet, and she gets there. Standing clinch against the cage. Knees to the gut from Fujii. They separate, and back to the middle of the cage. Very tentative start for both fighters. Fujii misses with a left high kick. She’s starting to initiate a few exchanges, even though not much is coming of it. Fujii shoots, but gets stuffed. 90 seconds left in a very tentative round. Nice right hand by Aguilar. Fujii throws a head kick, but Aguilar catches it and takes her down. Gets to half guard and is throwing some ground and pound. Fujii is on the bottom getting hit, and she grabs an arm. It’s pretty tight. Aguilar is in trouble, and she managed to pull out. Well done by Aguilar to escape that. But since the armbar was the only significant offense… 10-9 Fujii
ROUND TWO: Fujii has a cut under her eye. Fujii throwing and missing with icks. A couple of nice flurries of punches, which Aguilar of which got the better. Fujii was forced to shoot, but that went nowhere. Back to the middle. Fujii with another front kick, blocked. Aguilar gets through with a couple right hands. Fujii misses another kick. Fujii is initiating, but Aguilar’s counters are landing much more often. Two minutes in. Fujii misses with a straight left to the body. Fujii coming forward, but Aguilar is peppering her and getting away. Fujii’s cut is starting ot swell up. Left head kick by Fujii, very little impact. Fujii’s getting off first, but doing nothing. Aguilar gets through with a solid 1-2, with the left hook landing heavily. Fujii’s picking it up now trying to make something happen late. 10-9 Aguilar. 19-19
ROUND THREE: Jimmy Smith gave round one to Aguilar, so he has it 20-18. Once minute in, nothing happening. Fujii missing on front kicks, Aguilar not countering heavily. This fight is really bad. Fujii with a nice combination, two kicks and a couple punches, with the left hook landing solidly, but she has zero power in those punches. Fujii shoots, but Aguilar gets low and stuffs it. Fujii is trying hard to complete the takedown and does in fact get it. That was all will on Fujii’s part. She’s in half-guard near the cage. Nice little right by Fujii. Big right hand, and another. Fujii postures up and is standing in a closed guard now. Aguilar is throwing from the bottom when the opportunities arise. Nice little knee by Fujii. Fujii dives for an armbar, doesn’t get it, but manages to get back to top. Fujii is in closed guard against the cage. Fujii stacking Aguilar up now, and dives back in. Rubber guard. Fujii backs off and throws a solid right. Back to half-guard. Aguilar hasn’t been in real trouble here, but she’s been controlled by Fujii. 10-9 Fujii, 29-28 Fujii I would have no problem with 29-28 either way. I would have no problem with never seeing this fight again.
WINNER: Jessica Aguilar by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (*-) This was just an awful fight. Awful. Worst fight of the year.
FIGHT THREE: KARL AMOUSSOU VS. DAVID RICKELS
- Jason Herzog is back, refereeing two fights in a row. He aint got nothing on Al Wichgers, though.
ROUND ONE: Amoussou took a shot to the groin early and got his cup knocked loose. Herzog told Amoussou’s corner that his cup strap is broken, so I think this show won’t end on time. Because, you know, Bellator’s pacing is exceptional. Herzog is telling Amoussou’s corner to “go to the back and please try to find a cup.” OK, we’re looking at a long delay here.
We're 15 seconds in, by the way. During this intermission, here are some quotes from Jason Herzog: Can we have something to cover him? How about the banner? How bout the girl's robe?
We're back. Same cup, no strap. This won't end well. Amoussou comes out flying. He's having a ball out there. Big knee. Elbow from the clinch and a trip takedown by Amoussou. Full guard. Rickels punching from the bottom. Ear slap from the bottom. So cool. Nice sweep by Rickels, but Amoussou rolls through to get back on top. Nice. Short hammerfist by Amoussou. Herzog is calling for action. Pathetic. They've been in this position for 10 seconds. And he stands them up. Awful. Both guys throw jumping knees, Rickels slipped. Amoussou lets him up. they're slugging it out, and Amoussou with a great judo throw, and is in side control. the bursts of action in this fight are great. Amoussou dives back in with a nice right. Back to full guard. Amoussou got poked in the eye, but Herzog missed it, 2 minutes after a bad standup and Jimmy smith calling Herog one of the best refs in the game. Rickels stopped, he knew, but Herzog was too busy telling the fighters to fight, while they were fighting. Awful refereeing in this round. Oh, and Amoussou is still in guard, and both guys are still active enough to avoid a standup from Herb Dean's evil twin. Four huge punches from Amoussou, and a couple elbows. Amoussou dives for a heel hook late. that's how the round ends. 10-9 Amoussou
ROUND TWO: Rickels clinches, but gets thrown once again, and Amoussou is on top. You might not want to clinch with the judo black belt, ya know? Ear slaps by Rickels. Bravo! And another standup, but that was borderline acceptable. Amoussou with a jumping knee. Head kick by Rickels. Nice left hand from Amoussou. And an uppercut. Amoussou with a nice combination that backs Rickels into the fence. Amoussou’s holding the clinch against the cage and working knees to the body. Rickels with a short uppercut. Right to the body by Rickels, and Amoussou backs out. Amoussou is breathing heavy now, as he is wont to do after the first round. Rickels lands cleanly with a nice combo. Bog flurry by Rickels, that made Amoussou smile and retreat. Double leg by Amoussou, but Rickels has an omaplata. Amoussou pops his arm out and he’s in guard. Good round. Nice rights from the bottom by Rickels. Rickels has the armbar. Amoussou tries to slam out of it, but fails. Rickels crossed his feet and lost the armbar. 10-9 Rickels, 19-19
ROUND THREE: Amoussou ate another kick to the pills. That’s two. Two kicks, I mean. Well, he has two pills too, but I just meant kicks. Expect Amoussou to take the full five minutes. Amoussou is being wise and taking a lot of time here. We’re back. Jimmy smith gave both rounds to Amoussou, for what it’s worth. Rickels gets Amoussou down, almost gets his leg caught, but spis out and into guard. Rickels goes body body head. Then five rights to the body. Hammerfist to the chest. Rickels continues to work the body. Against a guy with gas tank issues, that’s wise. Herzog is imploring both fighters who are working to, you know, work. He needs to be on bottom once. Amoussou tightens up the guard. Everytime Rickeks postures up he eats a soft left from Amoussou on the bottom. Rickels isn’t trying to pass, he’s just posturing up and throwing from guard. 90 seconds left. Rickels stands up and gets upkicked. Rickels with a leg kick and dives back in. Amoussou with a kick to Rickels’ head while Rickels was in guard. That’s illegal, and he got warned. Amoussou’s left eye is a mess. Double hammerfist by Rickels. SAKU! And another one, to the ears. Five more Sakuraba’s in a row as the fight ends. 10-9 Rickels. 29-28 Rickels As long as the judges score it 29-28 for either fighter, I’m down with it.
WINNER: Karl Amoussou by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (**) It had its moments. Karl Amoussou might have to wait until Bellator 73 to fight Baker, because that mouse under his right eye is going to keep him out for a while. If he beats Baker, Askren’s going to be a safe bet up to -1000.
FIGHT FOUR: MAIQUEL FALCAO VS. ANDREAS SPANG
- I totally missed the tale of the tape and stuff, but I made myself a new gin cocktail. Mmmmmm.
ROUND ONE: Jason Herzog is the referee again. Don’t go to the ground, fellas. Spang misses a wild overhand right by about 2 feet. Big knee by Falcao, but Spang counters with a hard right hook. Falcao backs into the cage, staggered. Clinching. Falcao reverses position and presses Spang into the fence. 2 knees to the thigh from Falcao. I keep typing Falco #ChildOfThe80s. That’s right, I hashtag in articles now. Falcao has #Underhooks. Stalemate against the fence now. Falcao slowly improves position and gets Spang’s back. He’s throwing left ot the head from behing. Back elbow by Spang, but gets taken down. Falcao working to get his bck. More back elbows from Spang, but they’re not connecting solidly. Nice left hand from Falcao. He’s got the back, Spang is turtled. Spang is trying to get to his feet, but eats fists whenever he tries to get up. Spang gets up briefly, but Falco throws him back down, and keeps the body lock from behind. Spang back up. Spang is keeping his hand on the ground. Smart. Spang moves down to one knee, and eats a big right knee to the head. That’s a foul. The doctor is checking on Spang now. Herzog is deducting a point, but he sounds reluctant about it, almost apologetic when telling Falcao. Herzog asks Spang what position he wants for the restart, and it will be standing. Restart from corners. Big mistake by Falcao. Leg kick by Spang. Alcao didn’t like that. Spang clinches and gets Spang to the cage. Spang has his head, thinking guillotine, but a great sweep by Falcao and he’s out. Falcao gets Spang into the fence again. Both guys swinging as the bell rings, but Spang is too slow to connect frequently. 9-9 I smell draw. YAY!!!!!
ROUND TWO: Spang comes up short on a lead head kick. Nice right by Falcao. Takedown from Falcao. Side control. Sorry no, half guard. I know, I know, you were worried it was side control. I’m a horrible person. Spang trying his hardest to explode out, but Falcao has his weight across Spang’s chest. Spang rolls to hands and knees. Falcao is hammerfisting, and they are really close to the back of the head. Falcao has his back, but no hooks as of yet. Falcao’s being very careful to pick his shots well and accurately. Body body by Falcao. Spang tried to get up, but Falcao heavied him back down. Heavied? Is that a word? It is now, I guess. I’m very wordly. Oh, and Falcao still has his back. Back elbow by Spang, and Falcao responds with a really big right. Spang crawls across the canvas to the cage, hoping to use the cage to get back up. Spang keeping one hand on the mat, but gets dragged back down. Falcao’s hitting the back of the head occasionally, but not getting warned because Spang does keep moving his head. Falcao got a little wild and got back to his feet. Clinch against the cage, and Falcao throws him down. Spang to his hands and knees, anf Falcao’s on Spang’s back again. 10-9 Falcao, 19-18 Falcao was dominant, but never really hurt Spang.
ROUND THREE: Smart fight by Falcao. As soon as he felt Spang’s power early, he took the fight down. And yes, he’s on top right now having kjust taken Spang down. Working to get his back, and he’s got it. Nice right hand to the ear by Falcao. And body. And a knee to the ribs. Falcao is throwing really hard rights to the head of Spang. And a big knee to the tailbone. I am definitely not made out to be a fighter. If I sit on a hard chair my tailbone hurts. Cpang’s working to his feet, and eating short rights to the face. Spang has Falcao of fhis back now, and goes for a guillotine. He drops down, and Falcao flips out. Nice defense. As both fighters get back up, Falcao presses Spang into the cage and lands a big knee. Cpang is on hands and knees, and Falcao is throwing more left hands and knees. He’s being careful with the knees, because he can’t afford to lose another point. Back to back knees to the thigh by Falcao. This is grueling. Falcao dragging Spang back down. Spang grabbed the cage, but got taken down anyhow. Herzog missed yet another call. Falcao’s throwing more knees to the body to the turtled Spang. Spang gets back up and psins. Falcao gave him his neck, and Spang went for another guillotine. He has it, but his hands aren’t clasped, and Falcao wriggles out. Back to standing with 30 seconds left. Falcao is backing away, wisely. Falcao eats a body kick and gets a takedown. And to full mount. The fight ends with Falcao on top in half guard. 10-9 Falcao, 29-27
WINNER: Andreas Spang by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
- Just kidding. Falcao dominated.
STAR RATING: (*+) Another bad fight. The biggest lie in MMA is that Falcao is this raving lunatic killer, and that his fights are nothing but raging fury and violence. He’s a boring fighter. Effective, but boring. Don’t buy the hype. He’s very effective, I’m not selling him short. Just saying, he is not a walking homicide waiting to happen.
Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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