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Sportfight: Battleground Report

    Sun, 2004-10-03 22:12 — Thomra Oxendine

    SportFight
    Reno Nevada
    September 23, 2004

    Sportfight's "The BATTLEGROUND" was in Reno Thursday Sept 23rd if you missed it don't miss their next event "Fright Night" October 23 at Mt Hood Community College in the Dome Oregon. The main event for their next event is Ed Herman "“ Team Quest vs. Joe Dirkson "“ Team Extreme (a highly regarded fighter and team). "Sportfight is a mixed martial arts organization" "“ "the Ultimate Evolution in One on One Combat" created by Randy Couture and Matt Lindland both great fighters with a fighters point of view. I see great things for this organization; 1) the name recognition of its founders 2) the Pacific North West has such a large reserve of talented fighters to draw from and 3) the veteran matchmaker Alexander Oxendine from Rumble On The Rock. Their event in Reno got Mr. Oxendine his first exposure to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, a very established and stringent body. Having this exposure to their Commission means future fights in Nevada should smoother with less surprises. One of the things that sets this organization apart from the others and may make it more palatable to the masses is their use of a ring as opposed to the Octagon. The ring is something the older school of fighters, officials and fight commissions are used to seeing and doesn't have the back alley flavor of the Octagon. Sportfight has a TV show coming out in roughly January. This show will cover fighters, the obvious aspect of fighting, training, nutrition and some of the less well-known areas of the fight game. Sportfight is looking to nail down the Pacific Northwest and own that piece of real estate before it starts heading east. There is a tentative event scheduled for Reno, NV in December 3rd and I wouldn't be surprised to see Sportfight move future events to CA "quicker than you might think" due to new legislature that makes MMA legal. As we all know the Pacific is a Mecca for MMA and with all its fighters stretching from San Louis Obispo to Seattle there are sure to be some epic events put on in the future by Sportfight. This last event was no exception; no decisions all knock outs or tapouts. The event was AWESOME and it was shocking to hear that they had only 3 weeks to get the fight card ready. MMA will surely feel the impact of Sportfight's double leg on its future.
    Sportfight's "The BATTLEGROUND" was in Reno Thursday Sept 23rd if you missed it don't miss their next event "Fright Night" October 23 at Mt Hood Community College in the Dome Oregon. The main event for their next event is Ed Herman "“ Team Quest vs. Joe Dirkson "“ Team Extreme (a highly regarded fighter and team). "Sportfight is a mixed martial arts organization" "“ "the Ultimate Evolution in One on One Combat" created by Randy Couture and Matt Lindland both great fighters with a fighters point of view. I see great things for this organization; 1) the name recognition of its founders 2) the Pacific North West has such a large reserve of talented fighters to draw from and 3) the veteran matchmaker Alexander Oxendine from Rumble On The Rock. Their event in Reno got Mr. Oxendine his first exposure to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, a very established and stringent body. Having this exposure to their Commission means future fights in Nevada should smoother with less surprises. One of the things that sets this organization apart from the others and may make it more palatable to the masses is their use of a ring as opposed to the Octagon. The ring is something the older school of fighters, officials and fight commissions are used to seeing and doesn't have the back alley flavor of the Octagon. Sportfight has a TV show coming out in roughly January. This show will cover fighters, the obvious aspect of fighting, training, nutrition and some of the less well-known areas of the fight game. Sportfight is looking to nail down the Pacific Northwest and own that piece of real estate before it starts heading east. There is a tentative event scheduled for Reno, NV in December 3rd and I wouldn't be surprised to see Sportfight move future events to CA "quicker than you might think" due to new legislature that makes MMA legal. As we all know the Pacific is a Mecca for MMA and with all its fighters stretching from San Louis Obispo to Seattle there are sure to be some epic events put on in the future by Sportfight. This last event was no exception; no decisions all knock outs or tapouts. The event was AWESOME and it was shocking to hear that they had only 3 weeks to get the fight card ready. MMA will surely feel the impact of Sportfight's double leg on its future.

    The ride up was great; I got to hang out with my buddies from On The Mat who I haven't seen for a while. We talked women, war stories, politics, and of course fight predictions. When we finally got to Reno, checked in, and got our fight passes, we went right down to the Reno Hilton outdoor amphitheatre to watch the event.

    The first was fight was in the lightweight division. Brandon "Big Dawg" Shuey vs. Antonio Danuelos. The first round started with a leg kick which was checked and then Antonio threw a hard right to the chin. Brandon was rocked back to the ropes and hit with another left, right combo. Danuelos quickly took down Brandon and mounted him. A quick flurry of punches and the ref stopped the fight. Knock out 22 seconds in the first round.

    The second fight was in the Light Heavyweight Division. Billy Milesvs. Matt Horwich, The first round started with a feeling out of each other and Billy throwing a leg kick. Matt closed distance and clinched. They both threw knees and ended up in the corner where Matt got the dominant body lock. Surprisingly when then went down Billy ended up on top in Horwich's half guard which quickly became full guard. After a few punches Billy got out of the full guard by standing up because Matt was working a high guard and looking for a triangle or arm bar. Standing Billy threw some nice upper cuts with some leg kicks which ended in a corner clinch with some knees where Matt again got the dominant body lock and after the take down Billy miraculously ended in on top in Horwich's full high guard again which he used to stop Billy from getting some of his punches and elbows off while throwing some elbows from his back. Clearly Matt needs to work on his takedowns from the dominant body lock position. Billy then created some space for a quick flurry then fell back into Matt's high guard until the ref stood them back up again with a little more than one minute left in the first round. Billy threw a nice combo of hands while Horwich threw a weak leg kick. Clearly we were watching a striker vs. a grappler. In the corner they clinched again and Matt came in low so Billy tried a Guillotine but had an arm so he could not finish. Horwich heel stomped Billy and got his head out from there they both went to fighting for the body lock and swimming the arms with a few knees for good measure. End round one.

    Round two starts with Billy throwing a nice leg kick and some hands but looking gassed. Again Matt shot in closed the distance; got the dominant body lock which somehow he actually got it to work for him this time and ended up on top of Billy. From the full mount he sat up high and rained blows while Billy tried to sit up and grab Matt around the waist to protect himself. This tact didn't work so Billy rolled over and gave his back. With the hooks sunk and fully sprawled out Billy didn't have much of a chance of getting back up. Matt won by rear naked choke in: 59 seconds in the second round.

    Third fight of the night was Adam Torres vs. Tony Sanza. An exchange of hands at the beginning of the first ended up in a clinch against the ropes with both swimming arms trying to get a body lock on the other. Tony threw a few knees, they danced a bit looking for another body lock then they separated and threw some leather. Both fighters repeat the clinching and knees. Torres slipped and was allowed the freedom to stand without Tony trying to keep him down. Once up the fighters let the hands go; Adam with some haymakers not really connecting while Tony was threw a nice right down the pipe followed by a nice body shot. Down low Torres threw a straight kick which Tony followed by a solid Thai kick to the left thigh of Adam; had that kick been thrown with consistency and combinations after, it would have been to Sanza's benefit. They go upstairs again with an exchange of hands, a clinch and a body lock ending in an attempted slam by Tony that was poorly executed and ended with Adam on top in the half guard trying to pound Tony. Torres was able to sweep Tony and get side control for a few blows then they both stood up for another exchange with the hands followed by another hard right kick to the thigh of Adam. A few more punches from both fighters, Adam wild and Tony clean and tight, until the strange clinch. They both threw a few knees before ending up with each fighter hooking the back of their opponent's neck with a right hand and trading left upper cuts or body shots while occasionally trying to block the knees. It was an exciting waltz of carnage around the ring and into the ropes. The end of the first round was punctuated with a flurry from Adam Torres to the chin of Sanza.

    As the 2nd round got under way they circled each other, threw a few punches and then Adam was thrown-slipped to the ground where Tony got his back. After Sanza sunk the hooks he started working for a rear naked choke; which he got one minute into the second round.

    4th fight Jeremy Freitag vs. Santino Greano
    At the beginning of the round Jeremy threw a leg kick followed by a hard right, which dropped Santino. Jeremy instantly mounted his opponent and finished the fight in a ruthless manner, a flurry of punches. Leaving Santino out cold with his arms outstretched like Tank Abbots first knock out in his debut fight in the UFC. An impressive knock out :15 seconds 1st round

    5th Fight Mike Seal vs. Dennis Hallman
    Seal is a striker and did what a striker naturally does; strike. He threw one punch; Hallman ducked under and got the double leg. Hallman instantly cut the corner dropping Seal on his back no big surprise. Seal is a tough fighter but should have worked more ground or at least take down prevention; because as we all know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound (no pun intended) of cure. Hallman ended up in Seal's half guard at least he wasn't fully mounted not that it would have mattered much as Seals admittedly neglected training on the ground. Seals half guard quickly transitioned to Hallman getting his back, sinking the hooks and sleeping Seal with a rear naked :51seconds 1st round.

    6th Fight Brodie Farber vs. Sean Sherk
    After some exciting fights we were drawing nearer to the main event. There was only one more fight left after this. This second to last first round started with Sherk getting the take down after a quick exchange of hands. Sean found himself to top of Brodie in side control. Farber's defense from here was either too good for Sherk to try to work for better position or he wanted to finish him from some other position. Sean quickly went to the 69 position on top throwing strikes to the body. Sherk quickly got a North South Guillotine choke to end the fight with a tapout.

    7th fight Jeremy Horn vs. Chael Sonnen
    This is what we were all waiting for the main event. Here were two fighters with a grudge (no hate just something to prove) from a previous fight where Horn emerged victorious. Both of these men have a real good fight game and are with out a doubt well-rounded fighters. What makes this fight even more interesting is that in the last fight Chael took the first fight on a weeks notice while this fight found Horn with only a week's notice; obviously these men are warriors always ready to do battle. As the bell rang summoning these gladiators to fight we all expected something special and we were not disappointed. They started out with the standard feeling out and circling. Sonnen threw leg kick then shot in to take down Horn; who started working a high guard while Chael went to work dishing out a wrestlers bread and butter, ground n pound. Horn immediately grabbed Sonnen's arms for double underhooks while Chael started grinding his forehead against Horn's chin. Even in this exchange both fighters found time to rest a bit. They transitioned to Sonnen into Horns half guard but Horn kept Sonnen in tight not letting him get any space. Chael pushed Horn up against rope and then he came in with a nice right to head. Horn was working high guard looking for an arm bar to triangle then switched to uma plata. The Ref moved them from against rope towards center of ring but kept them in same position (good rule Thank You Sportfight for keeping things as close to a real fight as possible). At the center of the ring Horn went back to playing his guard with an overhook on Chael's left arm. Sonnen threw left and Horn came back with some wicked elbows from his back in the half guard. Horn transitioned went to open guard with his feet on Chael's hips looking for an armbar then a triangle. Sonnene broke the triangle by standing up and then dropping back down into Horns to butterfly guard. Horn again grabbed one arm for an and almost got a sweep. In the half guard after the sweep attempt Chael rained elbows while Horn brought him back to closed guard high. A flurry of hands by Sonnen caused Horn to open his guard and throw some elbows from his back again. Horn rested with the overhooks until the ref stood them up. Chael threw a front kick. Horn threw a round kick and Sonnen gets a wrestlers double leg for a takedown. Horn ends up in butterfly guard with an underhook to closed guard and keeping Chael's posture down. Horn opened his guard again replayed a scene from earlier in the round; Schulte throwing a left and Horn coming back with an elbow. End 1st round.

    2nd round
    Horn threw hands Chael gets double leg into ropes. The Ref then moved the fighters from ropes towards center again. Horn resting with overhooks with in Chael in his half guard. The fight ended shortly after with Horn getting a Guillotine choke to win. Horn was gracious enough to offer Chael another rematch. If we are lucky we can watch these two warriors fight again.

    As the event finished I sat impressed at the professional quality of its production, the ability of its fighters, the sponsor's and how good every fight was. We hung around after everyone left went to the backstage area and saw the postproduction. The after parties we went to are a blur because as we all know fighters live by the same rule most of us weekend warriors and couch ref's have "train hard, fight hard, party hard". We partied hard and left Reno no better than we found it.
    The ride up was great; I got to hang out with my buddies from On The Mat who I haven't seen for a while. We talked women, war stories, politics, and of course fight predictions. When we finally got to Reno, checked in, and got our fight passes, we went right down to the Reno Hilton outdoor amphitheatre to watch the event.

    The first was fight was in the lightweight division. Brandon "Big Dawg" Shuey vs. Antonio Danuelos. The first round started with a leg kick which was checked and then Antonio threw a hard right to the chin. Brandon was rocked back to the ropes and hit with another left, right combo. Danuelos quickly took down Brandon and mounted him. A quick flurry of punches and the ref stopped the fight. Knock out 22 seconds in the first round.

    The second fight was in the Light Heavyweight Division. Billy Milesvs. Matt Horwich, The first round started with a feeling out of each other and Billy throwing a leg kick. Matt closed distance and clinched. They both threw knees and ended up in the corner where Matt got the dominant body lock. Surprisingly when then went down Billy ended up on top in Horwich's half guard which quickly became full guard. After a few punches Billy got out of the full guard by standing up because Matt was working a high guard and looking for a triangle or arm bar. Standing Billy threw some nice upper cuts with some leg kicks which ended in a corner clinch with some knees where Matt again got the dominant body lock and after the take down Billy miraculously ended in on top in Horwich's full high guard again which he used to stop Billy from getting some of his punches and elbows off while throwing some elbows from his back. Clearly Matt needs to work on his takedowns from the dominant body lock position. Billy then created some space for a quick flurry then fell back into Matt's high guard until the ref stood them back up again with a little more than one minute left in the first round. Billy threw a nice combo of hands while Horwich threw a weak leg kick. Clearly we were watching a striker vs. a grappler. In the corner they clinched again and Matt came in low so Billy tried a Guillotine but had an arm so he could not finish. Horwich heel stomped Billy and got his head out from there they both went to fighting for the body lock and swimming the arms with a few knees for good measure. End round one.

    Round two starts with Billy throwing a nice leg kick and some hands but looking gassed. Again Matt shot in closed the distance; got the dominant body lock which somehow he actually got it to work for him this time and ended up on top of Billy. From the full mount he sat up high and rained blows while Billy tried to sit up and grab Matt around the waist to protect himself. This tact didn't work so Billy rolled over and gave his back. With the hooks sunk and fully sprawled out Billy didn't have much of a chance of getting back up. Matt won by rear naked choke in: 59 seconds in the second round.

    Third fight of the night was Adam Torres vs. Tony Sanza. An exchange of hands at the beginning of the first ended up in a clinch against the ropes with both swimming arms trying to get a body lock on the other. Tony threw a few knees, they danced a bit looking for another body lock then they separated and threw some leather. Both fighters repeat the clinching and knees. Torres slipped and was allowed the freedom to stand without Tony trying to keep him down. Once up the fighters let the hands go; Adam with some haymakers not really connecting while Tony was threw a nice right down the pipe followed by a nice body shot. Down low Torres threw a straight kick which Tony followed by a solid Thai kick to the left thigh of Adam; had that kick been thrown with consistency and combinations after, it would have been to Sanza's benefit. They go upstairs again with an exchange of hands, a clinch and a body lock ending in an attempted slam by Tony that was poorly executed and ended with Adam on top in the half guard trying to pound Tony. Torres was able to sweep Tony and get side control for a few blows then they both stood up for another exchange with the hands followed by another hard right kick to the thigh of Adam. A few more punches from both fighters, Adam wild and Tony clean and tight, until the strange clinch. They both threw a few knees before ending up with each fighter hooking the back of their opponent's neck with a right hand and trading left upper cuts or body shots while occasionally trying to block the knees. It was an exciting waltz of carnage around the ring and into the ropes. The end of the first round was punctuated with a flurry from Adam Torres to the chin of Sanza.

    As the 2nd round got under way they circled each other, threw a few punches and then Adam was thrown-slipped to the ground where Tony got his back. After Sanza sunk the hooks he started working for a rear naked choke; which he got one minute into the second round.

    4th fight Jeremy Freitag vs. Santino Greano
    At the beginning of the round Jeremy threw a leg kick followed by a hard right, which dropped Santino. Jeremy instantly mounted his opponent and finished the fight in a ruthless manner, a flurry of punches. Leaving Santino out cold with his arms outstretched like Tank Abbots first knock out in his debut fight in the UFC. An impressive knock out :15 seconds 1st round

    5th Fight Mike Seal vs. Dennis Hallman
    Seal is a striker and did what a striker naturally does; strike. He threw one punch; Hallman ducked under and got the double leg. Hallman instantly cut the corner dropping Seal on his back no big surprise. Seal is a tough fighter but should have worked more ground or at least take down prevention; because as we all know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound (no pun intended) of cure. Hallman ended up in Seal's half guard at least he wasn't fully mounted not that it would have mattered much as Seals admittedly neglected training on the ground. Seals half guard quickly transitioned to Hallman getting his back, sinking the hooks and sleeping Seal with a rear naked :51seconds 1st round.

    6th Fight Brodie Farber vs. Sean Sherk
    After some exciting fights we were drawing nearer to the main event. There was only one more fight left after this. This second to last first round started with Sherk getting the take down after a quick exchange of hands. Sean found himself to top of Brodie in side control. Farber's defense from here was either too good for Sherk to try to work for better position or he wanted to finish him from some other position. Sean quickly went to the 69 position on top throwing strikes to the body. Sherk quickly got a North South Guillotine choke to end the fight with a tapout.

    7th fight Jeremy Horn vs. Chael Sonnen
    This is what we were all waiting for the main event. Here were two fighters with a grudge (no hate just something to prove) from a previous fight where Horn emerged victorious. Both of these men have a real good fight game and are with out a doubt well-rounded fighters. What makes this fight even more interesting is that in the last fight Chael took the first fight on a weeks notice while this fight found Horn with only a week's notice; obviously these men are warriors always ready to do battle. As the bell rang summoning these gladiators to fight we all expected something special and we were not disappointed. They started out with the standard feeling out and circling. Sonnen threw leg kick then shot in to take down Horn; who started working a high guard while Chael went to work dishing out a wrestlers bread and butter, ground n pound. Horn immediately grabbed Sonnen's arms for double underhooks while Chael started grinding his forehead against Horn's chin. Even in this exchange both fighters found time to rest a bit. They transitioned to Sonnen into Horns half guard but Horn kept Sonnen in tight not letting him get any space. Chael pushed Horn up against rope and then he came in with a nice right to head. Horn was working high guard looking for an arm bar to triangle then switched to uma plata. The Ref moved them from against rope towards center of ring but kept them in same position (good rule Thank You Sportfight for keeping things as close to a real fight as possible). At the center of the ring Horn went back to playing his guard with an overhook on Chael's left arm. Sonnen threw left and Horn came back with some wicked elbows from his back in the half guard. Horn transitioned went to open guard with his feet on Chael's hips looking for an armbar then a triangle. Sonnene broke the triangle by standing up and then dropping back down into Horns to butterfly guard. Horn again grabbed one arm for an and almost got a sweep. In the half guard after the sweep attempt Chael rained elbows while Horn brought him back to closed guard high. A flurry of hands by Sonnen caused Horn to open his guard and throw some elbows from his back again. Horn rested with the overhooks until the ref stood them up. Chael threw a front kick. Horn threw a round kick and Sonnen gets a wrestlers double leg for a takedown. Horn ends up in butterfly guard with an underhook to closed guard and keeping Chael's posture down. Horn opened his guard again replayed a scene from earlier in the round; Schulte throwing a left and Horn coming back with an elbow. End 1st round.

    2nd round
    Horn threw hands Chael gets double leg into ropes. The Ref then moved the fighters from ropes towards center again. Horn resting with overhooks with in Chael in his half guard. The fight ended shortly after with Horn getting a Guillotine choke to win. Horn was gracious enough to offer Chael another rematch. If we are lucky we can watch these two warriors fight again.

    As the event finished I sat impressed at the professional quality of its production, the ability of its fighters, the sponsor's and how good every fight was. We hung around after everyone left went to the backstage area and saw the postproduction. The after parties we went to are a blur because as we all know fighters live by the same rule most of us weekend warriors and couch ref's have "train hard, fight hard, party hard". We partied hard and left Reno no better than we found it.

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