XFC 17: "Apocalypse" took place last night (Fri., April 13, 2012) showcasing an entertaining night of mixed martial arts (MMA) action for the fans in attendance at the Oman Arena in Jackson, Tennessee.
The main event saw a thrilling lightweight war between Eric Reynolds and Luciano Dos Santos that included plenty of violent, precision striking. It was neck-and-neck up until the third round, when Reynolds was able to use his length and boxing advantage to win the final frame and, ultimately, the unanimous decision victory.
In the co-main event, former XFC Featherweight Champion Jarrod Card looked to get things back on track in his contest versus Marlon Moraes. Unfortunately, it was not to be for Card, who found himself buried under a barrage of kicks and punches from Moraes, from the opening bell, right up until the referee finally stepped in and called a stop to the action.
Moraes looked very impressive in his complete dismantling of a fighter who was once one of the sport's up and coming phenoms.
Nick Newell has taken the MMA world by storm this past year. If you've not yet witnessed Newell and don't know what he's about, he's an undefeated fighter out of Springfield, Mass., who, up until last night, had finished all six fighters he'd faced, and done so in the the first round each time.
But that's not even the most incredible thing about him. The crazy thing is that Newell is doing all this with one and a half arms. That's right, due to a birth defect, Newell was born with one arm that essentially ends at the elbow.
At XFC 17, Newell faced his biggest challenge to date in Chris Coggins, a fighter who came into the bout at 5-1.
In the first round, Newell was able to land an early takedown and work his top game effectively, taking the round easily. Things flip flopped drastically in the second, though, when Coggins was able to get Newell in some very bad spots, notably taking his back and nearly choking him out several times.
Unfortunately for Coggins, Newell is not the kind of guy who says "Uncle." Last night was no different.
After surviving a very one-sided second round onslaught, Newell was able to come back, win the third round with his grappling, and take the decision victory, all to the delight of fans in attendance.
If it wasn't the most impressive show of heart I've ever seen, it was pretty close.
The ladies took center stage with a strawweight (115 pounds) slugfest between Felice Herrig and Patricia Vidonic.
Herrig came into the fight as the big favorite and although she was unable to get the finish, she certainly showed why she was picked ahead of time to win the contest.
After an ugly first round that was largely spent up against the fence grappling for position, Herrig got rolling in the second, continually scoring takedowns and using her ground and pound to rough Vidonic up.
The rest of the fight saw more of the same, as Herrig's newly asserted ground dominance proved to be the key in her earning the decision win.
Before Johnny Davis' fight with Charles Blanchard, he made the comment that his goal was to make it an "ugly fight." He accomplished his mission (and then some), but I'm not sure it served him well.
Every time the two fighters clinched up, Davis took the worst of it. Every time the action hit the canvas, Davis ended up eating an elbow or having to scramble to get out of trouble.
Davis simply looked a step behind for the duration of the fight, which was aptly summarized by HDNet's Michael Schiavello when he stated, "You could hear a tumbleweed roll through here."
In the end, Blanchard did enough to earn himself the unanimous decision victory.
The second bout of the main card featured lightweight match up between Jason Wood and Ronnie Rogers. It was a bit of an odd bout, as Rogers seemed to be daring Wood to submit him with the way he was going about his business.
He continually dove headfirst into chokes, left arms exposed, and was essentially fortunate that he was not tapped out sooner than he was.
Finally, Wood was given a gift, as Rogers, once again, dove headfirst into a guillotine with Wood on his back. Wood, who almost looked surprised at how available the choke was, applied the pressure, leaned back and waited for Rogers to tap.
In the opening fight of the main card, middleweights Joel Cooper and Amaechi Oselukwue got things started with a fight that needed all three rounds and a judges decision in order to tie up the loose ends.
The first round was all Oselukwue, who looked like he was trying to use every move in his arsenal, en route to landing a finishing strike on the feet.
In the second frame, Cooper began to make some headway when, midway through the round, he was able to catch Oselukwue's kicks, score the takedown and work his ground game.
It was obvious that Cooper's grappling and jiu-jitsu were more well-polished than that of his opponent. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to really ever give him a clear-cut lead, it just helped him manage to offset Oselukwue's athleticism and size advantage.
The fight continued to be close, all the way up to the end, when all three of the judges gave Cooper the nod in the decision.
Oselukwue has a lot of potential, but he'll need to refine his skill set and get some more cage time if he really wants to make an impact in this sport on the next level.
XFC 17 RESULTS:
155 lbs.: Eric Reynolds def. Luciano Dos Santos via unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Marlon Moraes def. Jarrod Card via KO at 0:48 of round one
(Catchweight) 152 lbs.: Nick Newell def. Chris Coggins via unanimous decision
115 lbs.: Felice Herrig def. Patricia Vidonic via unanimous decision
175 lbs.: Charles Blanchard def. Johnny Davis via unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Jason Wood def. Ronnie Rogers via submission (guillotine) at 2:15 of round two
185 lbs.: Joel Cooper def. Amaechi Oselukwue via unanimous decision
205 lbs.: Teddy Holder def. Bobby Carter by submission (armbar) at 3:27 of round one
(catchweight) 187 lbs.: Bradley Stafford def. Tommy Roberts by unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Steven Durr def. Michael Manley by unanimous decision