Hard Knocks Fighting Championship 40 Review
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Courtesy of GORDON ANDERSON, Calgary Sun
Clay Davidson knows how to take a punch, but he took far too many on this night.
American Rodney Wallace defeated Davidson by unanimous decision to win the main event during Hard Knocks 40 from the Century Casino in Calgary Friday night.
Wallace was dominating from start to finish. He started early with the fists and elbows and didn’t let up. A dominating performance from start to finish.
“(Davidson) was tough,” Wallace said. “Coming in here I knew he was a gamer. I knew he wouldn’t lay down for me. He’s tough, I’m tough. It was a good fight.”
The fight started with plenty of flash when Wallace went at his opponent off the opening bell. The Charlotte, N.C., native drilled his opponent with a stunning right that landed below the left eye of Davidson and sent him to the floor.
“I though I had (the win) when I hit him with (the right),” Wallace said. “He weathered the storm. A lesser man would have given up, but he hung in there.”
For the next four minutes of the opening round, Wallace was on top of Davidson and continued to land elbows and fists to the face of his bleeding challenger, who had a deep cut below his swollen eye.
The second was more of the same as Davidson spent the majority of the round on his back taking fists and elbows from Wallace.
At one point during the second, someone in the crowd yelled ‘boring’ because Davidson could do nothing but lie on his back and absorb tons of punishment.
The closest Davidson came to winning was a rear-choke hold he applied with over a minute left in the final round, but Wallace worked his way out of it. That was the Penticton, B.C., residents only response on a night he had no answers for the tough Wallace.
Wallace was clearly the more seasoned of the two with more victories (22) that Davidson has fights (17).
Wallace has also fought in the UFC.
Prior to this fight, his last battle was a loss to Kelly Anundson at Bellator 121 back in June.
Wallace improves to 22-9-1 and Davidson falls to 9-8.
The loudest fight of the night proved to be the quickest one.
Calgary native Zac Chalmers defeated Trenton Rowell just 22 seconds into the first round with a standing guillotine at Hard Knocks 40 at the Century Casino in Calgary.
Chalmers has a huge following, to say the least.
With Back in Black by AC/DC blasting through the speakers, a low ceiling for great acoustics, an entourage of at least five guys all dressed in blue jeans and red t-shirts, he entered the ring and didn’t get a chance to work up a sweat.
The two met at the middle of the ring, Rowell thrust his head in for a takedown, but Chalmers slapped a hold on the fighter from Iron Fist MMA , and it was just a question of when.
While standing up, Rowell, slowly, went to dream-land in Chalmers’ arms.
“I want to thank my friends and all those who came out to the fight,” the fighter from Smash Combat said to his huge-and-throaty followers post-fight.
The fight was originally a no-go on Thursday due to an undisclosed medical issue with Chalmers, but he managed to, somehow, pass the pre-fight medical on Friday night.
“(The fight) was cancelled and I went to the hospital,” Chalmers said.
“It was a bit of a battle , the docs made the decision (for my) safety. It was frustrating, (but) I did what I had to do to get back in there.
“I stayed up all night and passed the test. Proved I was ready to go.”
Definitely a great story for his first win as a professional fighter.
In the second women’s fight of the night, Katie Howard and Kara Kirsh fought to a majority draw.
Prior to the start of the fight, Howard paced back and forth in her corner while staring down her opponent.
It was a classic intimidation tactic from the fighter from Girls Gym in Portland.
It didn’t work.
The crucial point of the fight happened in the third round when Howard was deducted a point for a knee to the head because Kirsh had three points of contact on the ground.
In the end, that appeared to be the difference between winning and the draw it ended up being.
“That was the difference in the fight,” said Hard Knocks owner Ari Taub.
Lindsay Garbatt defeated Stephanie Essensa by unanimous decision in the first pro fight of the main card.
The two women put on the best fight of the night up to that point.
The match had all the elements of two combatants really going for it, as there was straight-up boxing, with grappling and submission attempts by both sides.
“Both of these girls are world-class fighters,” Taub said.
“That was an excellent performance by both of them. – back and forth, standing, on the ground, the crowd loved it.”
Taub went on to say he wouldn’t doubt it if both of them ended up in the UFC.
That might not sound as far-fetched as it sounds, considering current UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was fighting under the Hard Knocks brand in 2011.
Garbatt has made the switch to MMA, but prior to that, she was the WIBA super featherweight champion of the world in 2013.
Earlier this year, she was also a contender for the WBA international featherweight title.