Written by J. R. Gordon
Originally the fights at the Softball Country Pavilions were scheduled to be held outdoors. However, the threat of rain saw the event taking place inside and fans were out in force to pack the venue. This event was to showcase the semifinal round of the 145 lb. professional Grand Prix tournament. The finalists of the two fights this night will face off in the finals September 12, 2009.
The main event of the evening was a professional bout featuring Chaun Sims facing off against Kenneth Seegrist. Sims used a bodylock to set up an early takedown into half mount. Seegrist rolled to escape and Sims set in back control before looking to end the bout early with an RNC. Seegrist worked his way to his feet with Sims maintaining back control. Sims pulled him Seegrist over backward looking to close off the choke. Seegrist defended the submission and the fighters went back to standing. Sims then got a single leg takedown and from north/south he set in an inverted triangle while also using his GNP to set up a Kimura attempt. Seegrist withstood the striking and escaped the submissions. Sims took mount following a scramble and this time after securing back control he was able to secure the RNC for the Main Event win at 4:16 of round one.
To set the finals for the semifinals of the Grand Prix tournament it was Jesse Henley Vs. Nick Mamalis. Henley opened the bout with good strikes before Mamalis got a scoop slam off of the clinch. During a scramble for position Mamalis set in a guillotine choke and was able to close his guard to get the tapout victory and advance to the finals at 1:00 of round one.
The other semifinal bout featured Brett Roller Vs. Ron Muir. Roller opened with a strong body kick, but Muir was able to trap the kick and get a takedown. Roller scrambled to standing which allowed Muir the opportunity to score another takedown. From the top Muir worked his GNP while Roller worked to set up submissions from the bottom. Muir worked into full mount then took back control off of a scramble for position. From the back Muir set in the fight ending choke at 1:52 of round one in order to take his spot in the finals.
Andy Cohea Vs. Justen Martin for the F2W 170 lb. elimination title. The bout hit the mat early and off of a scramble Martin tried for a guillotine choke , but Cohea was able to escape and work GNP from half mount. Martin scored a sweep and the fighters scrambled to standing. Martin landed a strong knee strike before pushing Cohea to the ground and following with the fight winning GNP to earn the title winning TKO at 1:13 of round one.
Joe Mickells Vs Anthony Werner for the F2W 135 lb. elimination title. Mickells closed the distance with a kick and Werner clinched to set up a takedown. On the ground Mickells displayed an active guard . Mickells was able to escape a guillotine choke attempt from Werner before taking half mount. Werner scored a sweep to set up a rolling guillotine attempt. Mickells again defended the choke and took side control before standing to end the round. Round two saw Mickells get a takedown early in the round. On the mat Mickells set in the fight ending triangle choke to earn the title at :42 of round two.
Jeremy Kimball Vs. Nick Meyer for the F2W 185 lb. elimination title. Kimball trapped a kick early and went for the takedown while Meyer tried to set in a guillotine. Kimball escaped the choke and in the following scramble he set in a guillotine of his own. Meyer defended the choke and stood. From his back Kimball landed a strong up kick and Meyer was knocked to the mat. Kimball scrambled and again looked for a guillotine while pulling guard. Meyer escaped the choke and tried to improve position to end the round. To start round two both fighters were striking with aggression early. Meyer was pushed to the mat following a punch flurry from Kimball and Kimball worked GNP from North/South and side control. Kimball then stood to strike and at the end of a good striking exchange Kimball dropped Meyer and followed with GNP to end the round. The doctor was called in to check an eye injury sustained by Meyer and on the doctor's advice the referee stopped the bout giving Kimball the TKO win and the title at 3:00 of round two.
Mark Mickells Vs. John Graycraft for the F2W 125 lb. elimination title. Each fighter started off with strong striking before Graycraft got the takedown off of the clinch. From his back Mickells set in a triangle choke, rolled to topside position and worked strikes before closing off the choke for the title winning tapout at 1:02 of round one.
Ben Deanda Vs. Valentine Marquez. Marquez trapped a kick early to set up a big scoop slam. On the ground Marquez worked to set up an armbar attempt but Deanda escaped and worked some GNP. Before the round ended the fighters worked to standing and Marquez scored with another scoop slam. Round two saw Marquez scoring with several more takedowns while Deanda was busy on the ground and was able to work back to his feet several times. Round three had Marquez getting yet another takedown, but after Deanda got back to standing he worked for a standing guillotine choke. Marquez used the position to set up yet another slam and work some GNP. The round ended with Deanda working back to standing. When asked to score the fight the judges gave the victory to Marquez by way of unanimous decision.
Jeremy Hastings Vs. Kyle Lemaire. Lemaire was dropped early in round one by a punch from Hastings, but was able to work strikes from inside the guard of Hastings. Round two had several positional reversals and GNP from each fighter before Hastings set in the fight winning triangle choke at 2:33 of round two.
Matt Kauffman Vs. Alonso Garcia in a 170 lb. Muay Thai match. Round one saw Garcia being the aggressor with Kauffman always being able to answer. Round two Again saw Garcia with marked aggression early and landing several strong body kicks to punctuate the action. Round three had Kauffman coming alive and flurrying nearly nonstop for the first part of the round. Garcia was content to counter until the last portion of the round when the fighters stood toe-to-toe with each landing strong to end the bout. The judges were asked for their scores and they saw it as an unanimous decision victory for Alonso Garcia.
JJ Mondragon Vs Nick Macias for the F2W 145 lb. elimination title. Mondragon was very aggressive with his striking early and he landed an body kick that dropped Macias. Mondragon went to the mat for some GNP before letting Macias back to his feet. Macias then initiated a takedown and once it hit the mat Mondragon secured head control to set up a scramble back to standing. On their feet Macias landed an uppercut that saw the tide of the fight turn as Mondragon was knocked to the canvas. Macias followed up with GNP to end round one. Round two had both fighters striking hard early with Macias Staggering Mondragon with a head kick. The fight went to the mat and Macias worked some more GNP. Mondragon recovered and secured a sweep to escape off of the bottom. In the ensuing scramble Macias ended up in the guard of Mondragon before taking full mount. Mondragon escaped the positon and worked back to standing as round two ended. Round three saw Mondragon pressing the action early with striking before taking side control after stuffing a Macias shot. Macias gained full guard and the referee stood the fighters when the action slowed. Mondragon landed a flurry of strikes that dropped Macias and he followed up with GNP as Macias looked for a Kimura as the round ended. When called upon to give their scores the judges saw it as an unanimous decision and title winning victory for JJ Mondragon.
Brice Hogle Vs. Steve Johnson in a 185 lb. Muay Thai bout. Hogle was aggressive early with punch/knee/kick combinations. Hogle then backed out a bit and used his reach advantage to land well to end the round. Round two had back and forth exchanges throughout the round with each landing with accuracy. Round three had Hogle landing strong strikes all round with Johnson always able to answer back. The judges saw the bout as a unanimous decision victory for Brice Hogle.
Troy Mumme Vs. Nick Laney. Off of an early clinch Mumme got a takedown and Laney was active with his guard. The fighters scrambled to standing and Laney got a slam takedown to set up back and forth positional exchanges and submission attempts and escapes from each fighter. Round two saw Laney drop Mumme with a right hook and he followed it with strong GNP. Mumme worked for submissions and there were several more scrambles and submission attempts from each. The round ended with Laney transitioning from a Darce choke into a Peruvian necktie that Mumme was able to defend. Round three began with Mumme getting a bodylock takedown. However, Laney set in a triangle choke off of his back, rolled to topside control and got a tapout victory due to strikes at 1:55 of round three.
Ricky Vasquez Vs. Keith Burns in a 145 lb. Muay Thai bout. Round one had good combinations being executed by each fighter with both mixing their punches and kicks well. Round two saw the aggression continue from both combatants with Vasquez landing punches that seemed to slow Burns near the end of the round. Round three saw Vasquez visibly hurt Burns while working in and out of the clinch while Burns kept himself in the bout with defense. The judges gave the unanimous decision victory to Ricky Vasquez.
"Of the night" moments:
Entrance of the night goes to Anthony Werner for his now infamous Michael Jackson dance routine that seemed to hold special meaning in light of the entertainer recently passing.
Slam(s) of the night go to Valentine Marquez in light of him scoring seven takedowns in his bout with several of them being ring shaking scoop slams.
Chin(s) of the night go to JJ Mondragon and Nick Macias for lasting until the final bell even though each was put to the canvas by strikes of the other.
Submission of the night goes to Chaun Sims for transitioning from North/South with an inverted triangle to GNP to a Kimura attempt to full mount to back control to set up the fight winning RNC.
Fight of the night goes to JJ Mondragon and Nick Macias for back and forth striking where each fighter dropped the other, for each displaying chin of the night, for the technical grappling, for the submission attempts and escapes, for the cardio and work ethic displayed by each and for the class and respect each showed during their post fight interview.
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Best in Health and Training, J.R. Gordon.