AFC 114 Review
Order Event – http://www.gfl.tv/event/Fight/MMA/AFC-114/2796
Courtesy of theravenpost.com
Highlighting the event was one of the best fights to ever go down for the venerated local promotion, a non-stop war of attrition between Jennifer ‘The Gypsy’ Johnston and Denali ‘Red’ Barnett. Usually such spectacles are reserved for the earlier books of the Bible, and the women’s lightweight contest brought the whole stadium to its feet at its conclusion.
While close competition was the story for most of the evening, the main event bucked the trend, as Nick ‘The Natural’ Novelli captured the vacant featherweight title with a one-sided drubbing of last-minute replacement Cody ‘The Wolverine’ Williams.
FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT
Nick ‘The Natural’ Novelli def. Cody ‘The Wolverine’ Williams Rd. 2, Submission (Von Flue choke)
Gracie Barra trained Novelli throws a punch right off the perfunctory hand slap and immediately secures a head and arm takedown. He bunches Martial Art Alaska product Williams against the fence and moves to mount, hitting him with short elbows and generally enforcing his will. Williams, who stepped up to this title fight with less than 48 hours notice, attempts to climb the cage and escape, but he’s not close enough and remains mounted. Novelli moves to side control and starts setting up a head and arm choke. ‘The Wolverine’ is pretty much helpless through the fight so far. Novelli has isolated the far arm of Williams and cranks a nasty americana, but Williams thrashes and wiggles and stays alive. ‘The Natural’ returns to mount and softens Williams up with body shots. Novelli postures up and lands a big punch, then works short elbows. Novelli is basically landing whatever he wants from mount, and the ref is hovering. Williams needs to hang on for another minute. He bucks twice against the cage, but only pushes himself towards the center. Novelli is still on top, transitioning to side control, then north-south. Novelli looks for arm locks and chokes, but Williams sees the attempts coming with just enough time to save himself. With ten seconds left Novelli postures up and rains hell until the bell rings. 10-8 Novelli, if I were to score it.
Novelli misses with a head kick to start things off this round. He lowers his target and lands a few kicks to the body and legs. Novelli looks low then comes up high, slapping Williams on the cheek with a head kick. Novelli uses strikes to set up a takedown attempt. Williams snatches his head and looks to crank a guillotine choke, but Novelli clears his legs to the far side and locks in a textbook Von Flue choke, garnering the quick tap.
Your new featherweight champion is Nick The Natural Novelli!
Mike ‘The Cannon’ Fannon def. Jeff ‘Sandman’ Sanderson Rd. 3, Decision (unanimous)
Sanderson, fighting out of Martial Art Alaska, bounces just outside Fannon’s range, drawing out a few left hand punches that miss. Sanderson grazes Fannon’s lead leg with a kick, then gets pushed back with a right hand blast. As Garage Crew rep Fannon moves in Sanderson ducks low and grabs for his hips, but Fannon sprawls out and stays on his feet. Sanderson pushes him agains the fence and clinches. They trade knees to the body and short body hooks as Sanderson fights for the takedown. Sandman eventually elevates Fannon’s leg and pulls him from the cage, gently setting him on his back with total control. Sanderson goes to work from Fannon’s full guard, peppering him with light ground and pound. The Cannon tries to use the cage to stand back up and does so, but Sanderson keeps his hands around his waist and trips him down to the center of the cage. Fannon has ahold of his neck in a tight guillotine, but Sanderson is able to extricate a leg and pull his head out. From half-guard Fannon tries to isolate an arm for a Kimura, but Sanderson consolidates his limbs and peppers Fannon’s body. Fannon regains full guard and avoids most of the punches Sanderson throws, even managing to challenge with some damage of his own from the bottom. At the end of the round Sanderson drops back for a heel hook, but the bell rings before he can latch it up. 10-9 Sanderson on my totally unimportant scorecard.
Fannon counters a kick with a solid right hand. As Fannon walks Sanderson into the fence, Sandman ducks down and secures a clinch. The Cannon is back on defense. As he separates Sanderson nails him with a series of uppercuts. Fannon’s left eye is starting to swell. Fannon sticks a jab to the body. Fannon hits a step-in left hook, but Sanderson again works inside and pushes Fannon into the fence, looking for the takedown. Sanderson hugs a leg and lifts, but Fannon hops on the other one and stays standing. As they separate, Fannon hits a good knee to the noggin. Fannon moves in and slaps Sanderson with a powerful left hook, right uppercut combo, but Sanderson fires back with a right cross of his own. They clinch and Sanderson pokes Fannon with uppercuts to the body. Fannon take the center of the cage and walks Sanderson around, picking him apart with solid technical boxing. Sanderson darts in and eats a nasty uppercut. Sanderson is starting to look flustered, shooting his takedown from further away and eating more and more of Fannon’s cannonballs. With less than a minute to go he hits Fannon with a sharp two punch combo that has the former heavyweight moving backward. Sanderson pushes him against the cage and looks for the takedown again. He tries to muscle him to the mat, but Fannon stays standing as the round ends. 10-9 Fannon, if I were one for scoring these sorts of things.
Fannon’s eye is swollen badly, and Sanderson is spitting blood on the canvas. It’s anybody’s fight. Sanderson opens the final stanze by pushing Fannon back with his dependable one-two combo, but absorbs Fannon’s blistering hook in reply. Fannon lands a glancing right hand. Sanderson shoots from a mile away and Fannon easily sprawls. Fannon is breaking Sanderson down, landing at will, moving away from this opponent’s counterblows and shots, and hitting him again as he pleases. It looks in the bag for Fannon, when he lets himself get too close to Sanderson. Sanderson wraps his arms around Fannon and sucks him to the ground, securing side control! Sanderson isolates an arm and cranks for an american, but Fannon finds him off balance and sweeps to the top! Sanderson immediately looks to latch up a triangle choke, but Fannon is able to push through it and turn up his ground’n’pound attack. 90 seconds left and Fannon lets Sanderson back up. Back on their feet Fannon just misses with a head kick. They clinch and trade uppercuts. Sanderson slips a jab from Fannon and wobbles him with a right hand rocket. Fannon smiles and nods. Sanderson pushes in looks for his single leg takedown, but Fannon fights it off. 15 seconds left and the ref separates them. They clinch in the center of the cage and trade hooks and knees until the bell sounds. Very competitive fight. That round went 10-9 for Fannon on my very unofficial scorecard.
The judges turn in a unanimous decision (28-9, 28-29, 28-29) in favor of Mike ‘The Cannon’ Fannon.
Jennifer ‘The Gypsy’ Johnston def. Denali ‘Red’ Barnett
Rd. 3, TKO (strikes and exhaustion)
The fighters feel each other out with slick combos from distance. Martial Art Alaska’s Barnett uses good footwork to successfully walk Johnston, representing Anchorage Brazilian Jui Jitsu, against the cage and land some good punches, but Johnston snatches a double collar die and lands solid knees to the body. They separate, and the scene repeats. When they separate again The Gypsy snaps a right hand straight into Barnett’s sandwich hole. Johnston looks more and more comfortable, landing some big single blows and causing Red’s nose to trickle blood. They clinch against the fence and trade dirty boxing. Johnston holds Barnett against the fence for most of the time, but as they separate Barnett connects with some powerful short blows of her own an takes the advantage. Back in the center of the cage Barnett rocks Johnston with a straight right. Johnston clinches against the cage and looks for a hip toss, but Barnett fights it off and pushes against her face, getting enough space to unzip more crackly punches into her opponet’s face. Johnston tries to yank her to the ground, but Barnett shucks it off and punishes Johnston more as she back-pedals. Johnston finally hits the throw she’s been looking for, landing in guard, but it’s late in the round and there’s not much time to do any work. It’s a crazy-close round, but I’d score it 10-9 for Barnett.
Barnett counters a kick from Johnston with a overhand right, but Johnston detonates a grenade of a haymaker right on her temple! Johnston grabs the thai clinch again and rockets a series of knees into her breadbasket, but Barnett creates separation and pummels Johnston with rights and lefts. The two stand toe-to-toe, trading punches with abandon! It’s beautiful! They clinch against the fence and Johnston carefully adjusts her grip, but can’t find one she likes and abandons it. Again, Barnett punishes her on the break. They tie up again, and Johnston works the body with short hooks and again tries to trip her to the ground, but Barnett stays on her feet and dishes out more facial reconstruction. Barnett lands a short elbow in close. Back to the thai clinch as The Gypsy works her knees and body shots, trying to find the trip. It’s not there. It’s nonstop, back and forth action, blow for blow, back and forth. Johnston has Barnett clinched in her corner, Barnett’s back to the fence, but this time elects to assault her opponent’s leg with hammerfists until the round ends. 10-10 this round. Amazing fight.
Both fighters are beaten, bloody, and bruised, but neither will bow. Red counters an opening kick from Johnston with a well-timed counter right. Johnston clinches and attacks the leg with hammerfists again. They separate and slug it out in the pocket! Both fighters take as much damage as they dish out! Johnston grabs the thai clinch and shucks Barnett to the floor. She looks for a guillotine, but Barnett digs deep and gets back to her feet. They resume teeing off on each other. Barnett moves forward, pushing The Gypsy’s back, but loses her balance and falls to her knees. Could be she’s fading. Barnett rolls to her back and Johnston polishes her off with two hammerfists, but she’s already out, reportedly choking on her own blood. Easily the fight of the year.
Al ‘The Coke Man’ Matvao def. Hipa ‘Samoan Redneck’ Fouvale Rd. 2, Submission (strikes)
Matvao, fighting out of Gracie Barra, swings and misses with a long hook. The fighters feel each other out. Hipa launches a flying knee, but misses the mark. Hipa closes the distance and plunks in a good right hook. They flurry and Hipa slaps in a kick as Matvao moves away. Hipa keeps the pressure up with another flying knee which partially lands, but Matvao maintains his composure, catches Hipa in midair, and slams him down. The Coke Man’ lays trapped in full guard as Hipa hangs on and cranks a guillotine choke. After a while Matvao breaks free and explodes to his feet, unleashing an onslaught of devastating stand’n’pound. Unfortunately, one punch flies errantly into Hipa’s groin, and the referee stops the action as Hipa recovers. Back on their feet, 30 seconds left and the two clash kicks and Matvao falls down, clutching his cup. The crowd seem to appreciate the irony. Matvao takes his time to recover as well, making this possibly the longest first round in history. Once they restart nothing really happens in the last 30 seconds except Matvao missing with a jab. Hard to call the round, what with all the nut shots. I’ll say it’s 10-10.
Matvao slaps in a leg kick, then whiffs badly as Hipa dodges a long haymaker. They flurry, each attempting to dodge and counter. Hipa flies across the cage with a flying knee that’s easily dodged. Matvao is starting to find a home for a gritty leg kick-jab-cross combo, but soon Hipa catches on and counters him with a thudding right. The Coke Man clinches up and Hipa jumps guard, looking for a guillotine choke that isn’t there. Matvao has his opponent squished up against the cage, in his own corner. However, neither fighter is showing much aggression. The crowd voices its displeasure as both fighters pose, not trapped, but still practically stock still. Finally Matvao attacks with stand’n’pound, and Hipa taps quickly.
Kerby ‘Kerbstomp’ Coman def. Daniel ‘Twiggins’ Wiggins Rd. 3, Decision (unanimous)
Coman darts right in and plasters his taller foe with a blistering 1-2 combo. He takes Hard Knocks University product Wiggins to the ground and looks in control, but Wiggins recovers and sweeps from bottom, landing on top in full guard. Wiggins, who holds a five inch height advantage, stands and dodges some up kicks, and tries to pass. As Coman rolls back to his hips ‘Twiggins’ attempts to take his back. A weird roll and scramble follow, with Wiggins on bottom trying to find an unorthodox reverse triangle. Coman bides his time and escapes back to guard, on top, and scores with light ground’n’pound. Wiggins tries to lock up a triangle choke, but locks his feet on the wrong side and Coman pops his head out. Coman takes the back with 20 seconds left, but with ten remaining Wiggins slips out the back door and takes back control himself! They handfight until the bell rings. I’d score it 10-9 in favor of Coman, personally.
Coman starts the round the same way he started the last round, landing a 1-2-takedown combination. Coman is very nicely setting up his takedowns with strikes. Wiggins locks up triangle on the correct side this time, but Coman turns Wiggins on his side and breaks the hold. Wiggins gets back to his feet, but is immediately dumped again. Kerbstomp works from the full guard, smacking Wiggins with ground’n’pound. Coman pushes down on the leg and steps to half-guard. Wiggins attempts a sweep, but Coman rides him out and stays on top. Coman’s arm is trapped on the wrong side of Wiggins head, which is the only thing saving Wiggins from a world of hurt. They return to their feet, clinched, and trade leg kicks, then tumble back to the floor. With ten seconds left Coman holds Wiggins against the the cage in side control, but his head is held down and he can’t inflict any more damage. 10-9 for Coman, if anybody asked me (nobody did).
This sloppy but dynamic grappling match continues. Coman grabs a kick from wiggins and uses the leg to yank wiggins to the mat again. Coman looks to work ground’n’pound from Wiggins’ closed grard, while Wiggins makes small hip movement and tries to look for a submission. Wiggins’ defense is breaking down, and Coman is landing a lot more offense. Against the cage Coman takes Wiggins’ back no hooks and looks for a side naked choke. Wiggins resists and stays alive. Coman lands a big time blow from under Wiggins’ armpit. Wiggins is stunned and Coman turns on the juice, looking to finish the fight with 30 seconds left to go. However, he gets careless and nails his opponent in the back of the head. The ref calls time out, warns Coman, and allows Wiggins five minutes to recover. Wiggins takes full advantage of the break. He’s got 24 seconds to win this fight. Coman blasts the aggressive Wiggins four times across the jaw and takes him down directly to mount, where Wiggins holds him tightly until the bell rings. 10-9 Coman The judges turn in a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-28) in favor of Kerby ‘Kerbstomp’ Coman.
CATCHWEIGHT 195 LBS
Tae ‘Kwon Do’ Yoon def. James Savage Rd. 1, Submission (strikes)
Garage Crew’s Yoon yells to psych himself up before the fight starts. Yoon looking light on his feet as he backpedals from the hard punching Savage, switches stances back and forth, and fires a wicked side kick to the gut. Savage drops and Yoon pounces with punches. Yoon slips over his back and scrambles wildly as Savage tries to improve his position. During the scramble Yoon kicks Savage in the head while both fighters are still on the ground. The referee warns Yoon and gives Savage a moment to recover. When they reengage Yoon lands a killer lead leg round house square to Savage’s liver. Savage drops and Yoon again pounces with punches. Savage tries to roll away, but he’s quickly trapped, absorbing massive punishment. He taps to to the strikes. Another very impressive performance from a debut fighter.
CATCHWEIGHT, 165 LBS
Javier ‘The Angel of Death’ Rivera def. Toren Bryant Rd. 1, Submission (scarf choke)
They meet in the center and fire simultaneous jabs. Rivera’s punch looks like it was more effective, as Bryant puts his head in Rivera’s chest and pushes in for the takedown attempt. Rivera quickly latches up a standing guillotine, but Bryant hoists him up and slams him hard, landing in side control. Rivera hangs onto the neck, though, and deftly slips his feet back under Bryant, regaining his guard and continuing the choke. Bryant puts his forearm on Rivera’s face and postures up, slamming down over and over until Rivera lets the choke go. His respite isn’t long, however, as Rivera quickly transitions to the top and locks in a fight ending scarf choke. A very impressive debut for ‘The Angel of Death’.
Jake ‘Lights Out’ Landers def. Joey ‘The Juggernaut’ Martin Rd. 2, Submission (rear naked choke)
Landers, repping Martial Art Alaska, takes the center of the cage. Martin pushes him to the outside with punches, but eats a good body kick. Martin is showing a lot of aggression, lunging at Landers with a power overhand rights, but misses more than he hits and keeps absorbing body kicks. Martin pushes inside and takes Landers down to a sitting position against the cage. Landers stays active with hammerfists and Martin can’t improve his position. He lets Landers back up and quickly sucks him back in for a trip takedown, landing in Landers’ guard. Martin is trying to set up an arm triangle, but remains trapped in Landers’ guard. With 20 seconds left Landers isolates an arm and attempts a kimura, but Martin twists his arm out of it. As the bell sounds Landers looks to be setting up an armbar. Martin looks exhausted as he makes his way to the corner. Despite hitting two takedowns and maintaining top control, I’ve got to score that round 10-9 to Landers, the more active and damaging fighter.
Landers goes body-head-push, then swipes in a kick to the liver for good measure. Landers feints and bobs, but misses on a head kick way over Martin’s head. He goes to work, hacking away at Martin’s lead leg. Martin is game, but looks outclassed in this fight. Martin closes the distance and looks for another takedown, but gets reversed and winds up mounted. Landers transitions to back control and sinks the rear naked choke.