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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Mixed martial arts makes its debut in Israel this afternoon, as Israel Fighting Championships presents "Genesis" from the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv. We will be bringing a live report of the event as it airs on internet pay-per-view at GoFightLive.TV. The card features a triple main event with Sergey "Siberian" Shemetov vs. Jeff "The Snowman" Monson, Daniel "The Gladiator" Tabera vs. Ricco "Suave" Rodriguez and Roy "Popeye" Neeman vs. Frank "Twinkle Toes" Trigg. Also on the card are notable names in Daniel Gracie, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Hermes Franca and Shonie Carter. The event is only $9.99 if you'd like to catch the show live or via replay, otherwise follow along with us here this afternoon.
The event got off to an early start, so we're catching up on the action as Ido Pariente defeated Joshua Hewlett by armbar. Also, late replacement Roy Peretz upset Fabrice Riconneau with a first-round triangle choke according to BloodyElbow.com's Chris Nelson.
They've got Lenne Hardt, longtime voice of PRIDE and DREAM, doing the ring announcing for this card. Having some video issues to start, so we'll pick up commentary as soon as possible.
-Vitaly Krbrsky defeated Serob Minasyan by decision in a three round fight. There was some good back and forth striking and a little bit of ground game thrown in there from what I was able to see after the video came back in clear. Came in halfway through the fight. Was a bit sloppy and a really bad reffing job at the end of the fight. Krbrsky after the bout shouted "3-0! We've got fighters, guys!" The first three fights have all been won by Israeli competitors. Renzo Gracie joins on commentary as Ariel Abergel and Thiago Meller is up next.
ARIEL ABERGEL VS. THIAGO MELLER
- Meller pulled off a quick armbar submission after going for a guillotine choke. Very impressive and very quick. Nice armbar, and the fight took just 35 seconds.
VITALY SHEMETOV VS. ALEXANDRO CECONI
- After some good punches by Vitaly on the feet, Ceconi tried to grab for a guillotine before going for a leg. Shemetov got out but Ceconi took his back and went for the choke after grabbing a body triangle. Shemetov's in trouble. He rolled back to his knees but Ceconi started landing hard punches. Shemetov finally got out somehow and made it to his feet. Vitaly missed a spin kick and Ceconi drove in and took him to the ground. He immediately moved to mount and postured up to land punches. Shemetov bucked him off but gave up his back again. Ceconi grabbed an arm and went for a triangle as Shemetov was throwing bombs. Ceconi reacted as if Shemetov tapped but Shemetov looked at the ref like he hadn't tapped. But the fight was called. The replay looked like Shemetov tapped. It was the Fedor "one tap." Another nice submission on this card.
SHONIE CARTER VS. JEREMY KNAFO
- Both were content to stand for much of the first round, and each landed some good shots. Knafo was getting the better of the exchanges throughout, however. Carter tried to shoot late but got stuffed and ate a few knees as they got back to their feet. Knafo sealed the round with another late flurry.
- Carter dropped Knafo early in the second round with a left hook. Knafo tried to recover on the ground as Carter tried to pass and follow up on the knockdown. Knafo tried to grab for a leg lock but Carter got out into half guard. Knafo got it back into his guard. Carter pushed him to the cage and threw down a few punches. Carter got in a few nice punches and then Knafo tried to roll to grab an armbar. Carter continued avoiding Knafo's attempts while landing short punches and keeping top control. He rode it out until the end of the round and Carter evened things up heading into the third.
- Carter again hurt Knafo a minute into the third round and got in some good shots against the cage, but Knafo fought back and landed some good punches on Carter himself. They traded knees with three minutes left. Knafo landed a big flurry and Carter's mouthpiece went flying for a second time in the round. They traded inside leg kicks. Carter tried to employ the side-kick-to-spinning-back-fist combo a few times to no avail. Knafo landed a few inside leg kicks. Carter landed a hook and missed on a wild, winging punch. Knafo landed some hard shots near the end of the round and probably won the fight. Scorecards come in and Knafo is indeed the winner of the fight, and he and Carter have a respectful heart to heart after. Very nice showing of sportsmanship in that one and then an odd moment as Knafo lifted Carter in the air.
After the fight, Shonie gave a heartfelt speech, laced with a "f*** CNN" comment for good measure, in which he said the fans may have seen his retirement fight there today. Love him or hate him, Shonie Carter's an entertaining man. And the crowd gave him a standing ovation during the speech.
DANIEL GRACIE VS. MARTIN WOJCIK
- Gracie making his return to MMA in this fight after a lengthy absence from competition. Gracie showed some surprisingly adept striking up against the cage in a nice flurry and then actually took the Judo black belt down with a Judo throw of his own. Very nice. Gracie quickly worked to Wojcik's back and went for the rear naked choke and Wojcik was forced to tap. A Gracie by submission in the first round - who would've guessed that outcome?
RAMEAU THIERRY SOKOUDJOU VS. VALDAS POCEVICIUS
- Really bad start to the fight that draws boos from the crowd as they are just standing and circling. The referee actually talks to them because neither fighter moves forward in the first minute. Sokoudjou finally started to walk Pecevicius down but no strike was thrown in the first two minutes. The crowd was getting on their case and Sokoudjou finally landed a leg kick. He slipped on a jumping kick and Pocevicius tried to engage. Sokoudjou grabbed a body lock and tripped Pocevicius up and got into half guard against the cage. He landed a couple of hard elbows from the top. Pocevicius tried to work his way up but Sokoudjou kept him down. He tried to go for an arm, then briefly got to mount but Pocevicius got up to his feet and went for a single leg takedown against the cage. Sokoudjou tried to rip his arm out for a kimura. Sokoudjou got another trip and then took Pocevicius' back standing. Sokoudjou landed a series of huge knees against the cage and got Pocevicius down again. He landed a few shots on the ground as the round ended and he won the first round. If history repeats itself again and Sokoudjou gasses and loses in the second round it will be a sad sight.
- Another terribly slow start to the second round as they both circle for another minute with neither engaging. Sokoudjou landed a couple of hard leg kicks and got in some hard knees against the cage as he closed the distance for the clinch. He got in another trip takedown right into Pocevicius' guard. He stood and passed to side control but Pocevicius scrambled and got to his feet. They go back to circling, much to the ire of the fans. Pocevicius slipped as he threw a knee and Sokoudjou dropped down with a right and got into half guard. Sokoudjou dropped a few short forearm shots to the face. More slow work on the ground and the ref stood them up with seconds remaining in the round. Sokoudjou up 2-0.
- Ok, this is getting ridiculous. Another minute long run of inactivity to start the third round, and the only strike thrown in the first two minutes was a missed leg kick. One of the commentators unbelievably said he didn't know why people were booing this and tried to defend the two fighters for doing nothing in there. This is not even a fight here. Sokoudjou finally lands a leg kick halfway through the round. He lands one more for good measure and they circle around some more. Pocevicius tried to shoot in but got stuffed and he backed out quickly. Pocevicius threw two punches that were nowhere close to landing. Sokoudjou with another leg kick. This is absolutely ridiculous and the crowd started booing heavily again. Sokoudjou finally engaged with a few strikes at the end of the round after both literally stood in place for 20 seconds. Sokoudjou technically won the first two rounds and thus the fight, but nobody won here. That was ridiculous.
The announcers trying too hard to defend an awful fight, and one of them is even impressed with Sokoudjou's cardio. It's easy for your cardio to hold up when neither of you are doing anything at all. The crowd continued heavily booing Sokoudjou and he didn't answer any questions after.
MOISHE KaITZ VS. HERMES FRANCA
- Kaitz shot in early for a takedown and got it. He grabbed for a leg lock and Franca stood up. Kaitz tried to land an up kick but didn't land. He continued to work for a leg and Franca spun out of it. Franca tried to pass but Kaitz got him into guard. Kaitz went for a triangle, turned it into a near omoplata and then let it go and grabbed for a leglock. Nice little sequence. He then wound up on top and postured up. He dropped down and got into half guard. Kaitz nearly got Franca's back but he was up too high and Franca stood up with Kaitz on his back. Kaitz tagged him with a couple of up kicks and he dropped down into the half guard. Franca tried to pass but Kaitz kept him in check. The round ended with Franca in Kaitz's guard, but Kaitz took the round.
- Kaitz landed a couple of good kicks and strikes early before taking Franca down with a single leg. Franca got to his feet but Kaitz followed him with strikes to the cage and controlled him in the clinch. He got a trip takedown and tried to take Franca's back, but he was too high. He tried to grab for a leg but Franca got out and up to his feet. They clinched and Kaitz got in a two punch combo. Franca tried to get a trip but Kaitz countered with a throw of his own. He stood up and looked to pass. Franca gave up his back but Kaitz got too high once again and Franca spun around and got into Kaitz's guard. Franca passed to half guard with just under a minute left. He's not doing much on the ground, though. Franca kept busy with short strikes and rode out the round to the bell. He ended on top again, but I think he probably lost the round again.
- Franca came in quick and landed a couple of early leg kicks. He landed a knee as Kaitz shot in but Kaitz grabbed a body lock and pressed him to the cage. They traded knees in the clinch. Franca finally got separation and got loose. He tried to engage and ate a couple of hard punches. He then came back forward and landed a nice uppercut and a couple of punches against the cage before Kaitz pulled guard. Franca got to half guard and tried to posture up to do damage. Franca got in a nice forearm to the face as Kaitz tried to keep him tied up. Franca passed to side control. He tried to pass to mount but Kaitz held him off, so Franca stood up and made Kaitz get up. Kaitz again tried to pull guard on a shot and Franca got to mount immediately. Franca landed a few hard elbows. Kaitz tried to hold onto him and time is running out for Franca. He may need to finish depending on how the second round was scored. Kaitz just continues to hold onto him and Franca got frustrated. He landed some more punches as the round ended and it's going to come down to how the judges scored the second round with Franca on top for a significant portion of the round.
Kaitz wins the decision, but no judges scorecards are read, so I'm not sure what the scores were.
FRANK TRIGG VS. ROY NEEMAN
- Trigg blocked a punch and landed a leg kick. Neeman got in a couple of leg kicks of his own. Trigg pressed in with a combination and hurt Neeman. He chased him across the cage and Neeman pushed him off with a straight kick. They traded leg kicks. Trigg landed a two punch combo again. He got in a knee in close and went back on the attack. Neeman tried to take him down but got stuffed. Trigg dropped him with a punch and went on the attack. Neeman got to his feet but Trigg pressed him to the cage and dropped him with another combination. He started picking some shots on the ground against the cage and landed a few hard shots and the ref stepped in and stopped the fight. Neeman took some hard shots there at the end, and it was a good performance from Trigg with the first round TKO. Neeman really didn't look ready to fight someone like Trigg there.
SERGEI SHEMETOV VS. JEFF MONSON
- Shemetov landed a couple of hard leg kicks right off the bat, but got taken down on the second one. Monson got right into side control. Monson lands some hard shots and throws a series of vicious knees to Shemetov's ribs in side control. Ouch. More knees to the body. Monson moves to north-south and then back to side control. More knees to the body. Shemetov smiles as he's getting hit by the knees. More knees to the body from Monson again. Monson continues to hold side control. He threw some hard punches to the face and then moved to elbows. Monson goes for an Americana and forces the tap. Dominant performance from Monson. Monson said after the fight he's moving to the light heavyweight division. He was only 220 lbs. for this fight, and he could do some damage there for sure.
RICCO RODRIGUEZ VS. DANIEL TABERA
- Tabera lands a leg kick early as he circled around the outside. Rodriguez missed a couple of high kicks. He tried to walk Tabera down but ate another leg kick. Tabera missed a spinning back fist but continued to circle around. He's a lot faster than Rodriguez, who weighed in ten pounds overweight yesterday. Rodriguez shot in, picked Tabera up and got him to the ground. Tabera got to his feet and Rodriguez took his back standing. He picked him up and slammed him down again. Tabera tried to grab a leg for a knee bar. Rodriguez landed some hard shots, rolled Tabera over and got right into the full mount. Tabera got it back to half guard. Rodriguez landed a few short forearms. Tabera got Rodriguez into his full guard and Rodriguez pushed him to the cage. Rodriguez landed some hard shots as the round came to an end.
- Rodriguez went back to stalking as the second round began. Tabera hit him with a couple of low leg kicks and circling. Rodriguez got a hold of him and landed a couple of knees before turning around in the clinch. He landed a few more knees as he tried to gain position in the clinch. Rodriguez grabbed for a single leg. Tabera tried to grab a guillotine choke and Rodriguez lifted him up and slammed him. Rodriguez went for a choke of his own and Tabera reversed him and wound up on top. Rodriguez rolled to his knees and Tabera grabbed for a headlock. Rodriguez got back to his feet. Both are really tired here already. Rodriguez pulled off a nice trip takedown and got Tabera to the cage. Rodriguez stayed busy with short punches and forearms against the cage. Tabera is blocking a bunch of the shots, but Rodriguez ends the round on top and is up 2-0 into the third.
- Rodriguez comes forward to start the third and tries to close the distance as Tabera pulls a Kalib Starnes and does a little light jogging around the cage. Rodriguez closed the distance, landed a head kick, a few punches and then got a takedown. He passed to side control and landed a few elbows. Rodriguez continues landing elbows and forearms from side control. Tabera then escaped and got to his feet. Rodriguez landed a right and a good knee in the Thai clinch. Rodriguez ducked under a big right and took Tabera down again. Rodriguez landed some more forearms. Rodriguez is just playing the smother game here and is staying just active enough to not be stood up. He knows he's got this won. Tabera sat up and tried to grab for a guillotine with 30 seconds left but Rodriguez wasn't in any trouble. He popped out and Tabera reversed him as the fight ended. His trainer came over and lifted him up in the air like he won the fight or something and he raised his arms with his trainer smiling. Weird reaction to have there in a fight he clearly lost.
Rodriguez took the fight by decision, no scorecards read once again. That is Rodriguez's tenth straight win since July of 2009. Rodriguez called out Jeff Monson after the fight for a rubber match at 205 lbs.
Well, this was an entertaining afternoon of fights, with the exception of two rounds in the Sokoudjou fight and a sloppy main event, but there was plenty that made it worth $9.99. If you missed the fights live, you can catch the replay at GoFightLive.TV beginning on Wednesday. Make sure to join us later this week for live coverage of WEC 52 on Versus on Thursday, and tape delayed coverage of UFC 122 on Spike TV. Also, join us tonight at BlogTalkRadio.com/MMATorch for the MMATorch Livecast Tuesday Conversation. We're live from 9-10:30 PM ET every Tuesday night!
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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