Coming Live from the San Jose Arena
Attendence is 10, 374
Waiting backstage for the fights to begin. Check back at about 6:30 for the first fight!
Sean Bassett vs. Chris Amarante ?
Arena is about a third full right now as the first fight is announced. Sean Bassett is the local fighter, and gets a big reaction from the crowd. Crowd even goes as far as to boo Chris Amarante. Don't be surprised, don't forget that this is the arena that booed the Canadian National Anthem a few weeks ago.
The fighters come out swinging to start off, in the ensuing scramble Amarante takes the back standing. It goes to the ground, and Armante tries a quick armbar from the mount....Bassett escapes and back to the feet...for a moment anyway, Armante goes for a guilotine, Bassett slams to escape and the crowd goes wild! Armante throws up an armbar attempt from the guard, Bassett pulls out. Armante shoots and Bassett has a front head lock. Armante escapes, rolls Bassett to his back, Armante rolls back on top! Armante with another armbar attempt, looks like third time is the charm and Bassett is forced to tap out to the armbar in 4'43 seconds!
Clint Coronel vs. Juan Miranda
Juan Miranda is announced from San Mateo (just a few minutes north of San Jose), but no reaction from the crowd. Interesting. He has Brandon Vera in his corner. Actually he is from San Diego and City Boxing. Maybe I'm hearing things. Clint Coronel is from San Jose, and the crowd cheers once again. Crowd is booing Juan Miranda now. Tough crowd. Juan Miranda is making his MMA debut and the crowd goes crazy. The referee on the match is Cecil Peoples.
The match starts off with a bang (literally) as Juan is delivering some crisp low kicks and Clint is swinging for the fences. This looks like it's going to be a standup battle as the two clinch and look to trade blows before Juan winds up in Clint's guard. Juan comes up and tries a guillotine, but Clint escapes and comes back on top as the round ends. This seems like it went quickly, but these are only three minute rounds? Yeah, according to the sheet I have, this bout and the next are three minute rounds, the rest will be five.
Round 2 starts off with more exchanges on the feet. Clint is looking to punch and Juan is kicking. It goes to the ground and Clint gets north south on Juan. Clint pulls off the choke for the tapout victory. Head and arm choke from the top for clarification at 1:43 in the second round.
Bill Duvall vs. Luke Stewart
If I seem a little biased on this one, Luke Stewart is a friend and training partner. Around the academy he's known as "the next one", in the line of truly gifted grapplers who have been through Ralph Gracies in the lines of Dave Camarillo, BJ Penn, and Cameron Earle). Will he live up to the hype? Crowd applauds the hometown boy again in Luke, scattered boos for Bill Duvall as the arena is a little less than half way full now.
They just announced this was five minute rounds, but the bout sheet says three minute rounds. Fighters touch gloves as the round begins. Luke comes out aggressively swinging, initiates the tie up. Luke gets a big takedown and passes guard to the mount quickly. Luke spins around from the armbar and Duvall taps out! Official time was 1:50 of the first round,
Scott Graham vs. Jared Hamman
This is a light heavyweight bout. I don't really know too much about these fighters. Once again, the crowd boos Jared and cheers Scott (hometown boy). Notice a pattern here?
Jared charges across the ring and takes down Scott right into a guillotine. Jared pops his head out quickly. Scramble and spins to the back of Jared! Scott is looking for the choke but only has one hook in. Scott pounds a little bit and Jared spins back into the guard. It goes up again, and Jared manages to take down Scott to sidemount. Jared looks busy on top switching sides, but Scott recovers full guard. Jared passes and gets to side control, looking to tie up Scotts arms. Jared almost gets full mount, Scott rolls to his stomach and almost pulls off a single leg sweep, but Jared regains control and full mount as time expires in round one.
Round 2 begins. The fighters exchange blows, Scott looks like he catches Jared on the chin and Jared shoots in for the takedown. Jared quickly gets full mount, Scott escapes to the feet, but Jared answers with a big slam to put it back on the canvas. Jared in side control now, then spins to full mount. Jared pounds away as the referee stops the action. Crowd is booing, Scott doesn't look hurt but wasn't doing anything other than covering up and absorbing damage. Official time 1:36 of round 2.
Tommy Tuggle vs Daniel Puder
I'm going to go out on a limb and say the crowd will cheer Puder like crazy and boo Tuggle. I read somewhere that Kurt Angle has expressed some interest in MMA, could be to get a shot at Daniel Puder (for those of you that don't remember Puder won the WWE Tough Enough Contract and gained a bit of noteriety for putting Angle in a submission.
More and more people are filling the arena. It will be a large crow, but judging from how the blocked out certain upper sections this will not be as large as the last show.
Intermission, perhaps time for the official show to start. Also getting my first beer of the evening, so this might get a little sloppy.
Oleg Taktarov is entering the cage now in fighting gear. You read that correctly. I haven't even gotten my beer yet. It's part of a movie called FightGame, Oleg and his opponent don't even have gloves on. They are throwing some crazy blows in the cage right now. Crowd is booing, until Oleg's opponent picks him up and drives him into the cage. Oleg is throwing some crazy kicks. I was just wondering the other day what Oleg was up to. The match goes to the ground and Oleg grabs a leg and goes for a straight knee bar. I've got some funny Oleg stories if time permits. Crowd didn't seem that into the whole thing.
Tommy Tuggle vs Daniel Puder
Okay, they've now announced this bout. I'm going to sit tight and not get ahold of myself. The Arena is filling out nicely right now. Not sure if it is a sellout, but there's enough people in here to make any promoter happy.
No reaction for Tuggle, but Puder gets his own pyrotechnic display. Crowd is loud for Puder.
Puder charges across the ring and throws a front kick which is promptly caught by Tuggle, who dumps Puder down. To Puder's guard, and Puder climbs up for an armlock, Tuggle tries to roll out but is forced to tap. Puder wins in 28 seconds of round one.
Mike Seal vs Eugene Jackson
I chatted a bit with Eugene Jackson before the fights started, and talked about how he's been working with Joao Pierini for jiujitsu in this match. Joao went as far as to predict a victory by Eugene by choke. I remember years ago Eugene Jackson came into the academy. Rally nice guy, really strong, and he has a devestating guillotine choke at the time. Unfortunately, he was going in against Vanderlai Silva, whom he had never heard of, in a match in Brazil no less. If I were to tell you what makes Eugene tough, I'd say it's because he lists his hometown as E.P.A. (East Palo Alto). Dude, if you don't know, I ain't going to tell you! Eugene comes out with rappers and fireworks. Although Joao may be looking for a submission, I'm going to go out on a limb and say this matchup was made with a knock out in mind.
Fighters touch gloves to start up. Fighters swing and Seal looks wobbly, he charges forward straight into Eugene's guillotine. Seal escapes and fires off shots from Eugene's guard. Seal lands some bombs, then gets up and tries a few more before diving back into Eugene's guard. Eugene is against the fence, trying a one armed guillotine, but the match goes back to the feet. Now Eugene drives forward for a takedown, and lands in Seal's half guard. Seal scrambles and comes on top, Eugene is forced to turtle and looks a little dangerous but the fight goes back to the feet. Both fighters swinging for the fences, Eugene lands some big blows, but Seal comes back with some thunderous knees. Both men going for big blows and the crowd is going crazy. The two high five in the center and circle around again. Time expires in round one with both fighters looking for the KO. Crowd is loud and the Arena is full.
Round 2 begins with Seal kicking and Eugene punching. Seal presses forward, looks like either fighter wants to set up the bomb right now. Seal swings hard and stumbles, but recovers nicely as the fighters circle each other. Seal now switching up with leg kicks while every punch Eugene fires is to the head. On the tie up Eugene keeps swinging and Seal almost goes down, but backs off and regroups. Seal brings his hands down for a bit, before throwing a kick, Eugene catches and gets the takedown. Eugene passes to mounts and throws bombs, Seal is out as the referee jumps in. I believe the official time was 2:52 in round 2.
Josh Thomson vs. Harris Sarmiento
Before this bout begins with a tribute to Ryan Bennett. This will be a loss the MMA community will feel for a long time, but more than that my heart goes out to his family. A moment of silence and the ten count, followed by load cheers from the crowd. San Jose can be classy when it wants to be.
Sarimento actually gets a smattering of applause coming down to the cage. There are a lot Hawaiians in the area (I have some funny stories about that if time permits). Josh is clearly the favorite of the crowd however, and goes crazy hearing his name announced.
Round begins. Looks like ths two are throwing short jabs and kicks feeling each other out. After an exchange Sarmiento manages to get Josh down and he jumps into Josh guard to exchange blows. Bout comes up for a second, and Josh tries a guillotine, But Sarimento defends and brings it back down. It goes back to the feet however, and after a brief exchange Josh shoots in for the takedown! Josh now in side control, but Sarimento gets a half butterfly guard. Fighters seperate and it goes back to the feet. So much for the feeling out period as the fighters are looking for knockout blows now. Sarimento charges and gets the takedown, but Thomson gets to his feet quickly. Fighters are tied up against the cage now, jockeying for position as time expires.
Crowd goes crazy for the ring girl. Why haven't we seen her before?
Fighters touch gloves o begin round 2. Josh tries a big front kick which misses and they tie up. Josh drop down for a leg submission, but Sarimento defends. Back up, now Josh jumps into a guillotine. In Josh's guard for awhile, but Sarimento's head pops out. Josh stands back up and the fighters circle. Sarimento agressiively swinging, charges forward and the fighters tie up. Josh looking to knee the thigh, Sarimento responds with foot stomps. Crowd is restless, but the fighters break. Josh gets the takedown right away, and to Sarimento's guard now. Josh gets to half guard with thirty seconds to go. Josh looks for a big punch, misses, and Sarimento comes up looking for a leg as time expires. DEad even fight by my count going into round 3.
Round 3 and the fighters are cautious again. After changing some light blows Sarimento shoots in for the tie up. Crowd is quick to boo and the fighters seperate. Tie up again and Josh gets the takedown, passes to mount. Sarimento turns to his stomach and Josh takes the back with hooks. Josh now looking for his opening with half the round gone. Sarimento defends well, gets to half guard but Josh secures the head and arm As Josh transitions to mount with the choke sunk in Sarimento taps out. Good match. Waiting for the official time.
Duane Ludwig vs. Tyson Griffin
Duane Ludwig should be familiar to you as a veteran of UFC and K1 and a very dangerous kickboxer. Tyson Griffen is a very dangerous ground and pound style fighter out of Dave Terrell's Nor Cal Fighting Alliance. He's 6-0 one of those wins coming from a very dangerous Uriah Faber (who will be cornering James Irvin later on) Tyson comes in first, and gets the fireworks and the crowds approval.
Fighters are circling each other very cautiously, as if they know each others strengths and weaknesses. Too slow for the crowd which begins to boo. Tyson shoots and gets the takedown quickly. Into Duane's guard where Tyson presses Duane against the fence and looks to throw punches. Duane works a high guard and defends himself well however. As Duane looks to climb his guard, Tyson nearly passes. Ludwig recovers but Tyson continues to pound away. Tyson gets to side control and continues to pound until the referee stops the match at 3:57 of round one.
Bobby Southworth vs James Irvin
Well, the rest of the world may hate him, but Bobby is the hometown hero here. I have to point out that when I started BJJ 10 years ago at the academy it was Bobby that really took care of me when I first started and I definitely owe a lot to the guy. James Irvin is from Sacramento and another NorCal standout. This should be a great match.
James Irvin is getting some applause. Bobby gets loud cheers, but plenty of boos as well. Oh well, love him or hate him, at least you know him.
Just got word, attendence is 10, 374. Still a good crowd here.
Fighters tie up, and fall out the open door! Irvin is hurt and can't get up! Fight may be over here! Shocking! James is still down, Bobby goes to check up on him, this fight is obviously over. Just hope James is okay. On the view screen we can see James has a nasty gash on his leg. Bout was just 17 seconds into the first round, and called a no contest.
Gilbert Melendez vs Clay Guida
These two have similar styles in a way, of takedowns and ground and pound. If you've been following the grappling circuit (and if you're here on OTM, you have), you'll know Gilbert has an excellent grappling game as well. Crowd is clearly into Gilbert, not so appreciative of the champ Clay. I'm tempted to call this the battle of the mop tops. I've only downed one beer so far, I swear. Guida has his fans here, as I see an Italian flag in the audience with Clay's name on it. This is the lone championship bout on the card, and is scheduled for five rounds. Either way it goes, I have a hard time seeing it go that far. Interest, Gilbert is announced as representing Jake Shields fight team.
Cecil Peoples is your referee. The fight begins and the crowd is already on their feet cheering. The two circle each other and Clay shoots for the takedown first. Gilbert sprawls and after an exchange gets the takedown. Clay back up, and shoots for the takedown again. Gilbert avoids, and Clay nearly takes the back, before Gilbert dumps him over. Back to the feet, Clay has a single leg but Gilbert defending well and we have a war going on here folks. THe two trade, Gilbert lands a nice upper cut. Clay gets the takedown, Gilbert gets up and takes Clay down! Clay tries a guillotine, Gilbert escapes and pushes Clay into the fence. Gilbert looking to ground and pound now, Clay gets back to his feet. Clay with a front head lock as Gilbert drives forward, gets the takedown and into Clay's guard. Back up, fighters exchange punches as time expires for the first round.
Round two and the fighters circle. Clay drives in for a takedown, Gilbert sprawls and Clay takes Gilbert's back. Clay has hooks and looks to choke, but Gilbert brings him around front and slams him hard! To Clay's guard now, Gilbert looking to ground and pound. Clay looking for an out, Gilbert briefly spins to north south, but comes up. Fighters standing, Gilbert throwing some nice punches, Clay shoots for the takedown but Gilbert winds up on top. Fight goes back up to the feet, more nice shots by Gilbert, Clay shoots but Gilbert sprawls nicely. After a tie up they are both to the feet feeling each other out. Both are still bouncing around like it was the start of the match! Clay misses with a round house kick and Gilbert lands a nice uppercut! Gilbert stalking with punches, Clay looks for the takedown. To the fence the fighters go with Gilbert pressing forward. Clay spins out and they are to the center of the cage as round 2 ends.
Round 3. Gilbert is more confident with his punches and is landing some blows to Clay. Clay looks to shoot, but Gilbert defends, looks like he is gaining confidence on his feet. Now Gilbert shoots in, but Clay shrugs him off once, Gilbert punches and takes Clay down to the guard. Clay trying a triangle choke, Gilbert blasts out of it quickly. Fight is restarted by Cecil peoples to the feet. Not sure i agree with that as Gilbert was bust. Gilbert landing some big shots that snap Clay's head back, but Clay seems unfazed. Clay tries for a takedown as Gilbert looks for a whizzer, Clay circles to the back. Clay delivers some big knees but the fighters seperate. Gilbert misses with some shots, but Clay shoots, Gilbert sprawls, but clay looks for the back again. Gilbert escapes and fires off some shots as the fighters seperate. Gilbert nearly lands a big uppercut. Clay shoots hard and misses, Gilbert looks to punch but time expires.
Round four and the crowd is on their feet again. Gilbert throwing some haymakers but Clay seems out of danger for the most part. Thw two are exchanging, Gilbert seems to be getting the better but Clay responds with a spinning back fist which misses. The fighters can still keep up this pace is amazing. Clay is much more tentative with his punches, Gilberts are connecting more often but not seeming to stop Clay. Pace has slowed finally and Clay is actually trying some kicks. Clay gets a takedown but Gilbert almost instantly gets to the feet. Some more stand up exchanges as the pace has slowed greatly. Clay shoots and is on his hands and knees, but Gilbert lets him back up. Clay shoots and Gilbert defends, but Clay manievers to the back again. Nothing happens as the fighters seperate and the round ends.
5th and final round, the crowd is going wild. Fighters still look fresh. Clay more agressive right now, moving forward more. Clay gets the takedown, Gilbert gets up but nearly gives up his back. Crowd is more interested in a fight in the crowd right now. Meanwhile Clay shoots and Gilbert sprawls, they are sort of stalemated ont heir knees now, but the bout comes back up to the feet. Gilbert picking his shots, Clay shoots again. Again Gilbert gets up but gives his back in the process, Clay is hanging on delivering knees. Gilbert grabs a leg, then manages to scoop Clay up for a takedown and big slam. To Clay's guard, briefly, and the fight is back to the feet again. Exchange again and Clay shoots, Gilbert defending but Clay may have over comitted and almost rolls off. Back to the feet, but Clay is hanging on for a takedown. Gilbert drives forward and gets the takedown, but Clay drives forward and put him down. Match ends and we go to the judges. Great bout, but by virtue of the superior boxing by Gilbert I think he will get the nod.
Gilbert Melendez wins by split decision and takes the lightweight title.
Cung Le vs Brian Warren
As if there was any doubt, I have to reiterate that Cung Le is the most popular Martial Artist in the Bay Area (at least the South Bay). The mere mention of his name and Vietmanese flags are flying from everywhere. The places goes absolutely crazy when Cung Le actually makes his appearance.
Warren charges forward looking to tie Cung Le up, Cung Le avoids, but the gets his own takedown and lands in Warren's half guard. Warren pulls full guard, but the bout is restarted. A little smack talk then Cung Le tries a head kick before the fighters tie up again. Back to their feet, Cung Le has a nice sequence of kicks and punches and Warren looks to tie up again. Some nice exchanges, Cung Le showing some nice standup, but is also bleeding from the nose now. Warren pressing forward, Cung Le responds with punches, Warren trash talks, Cung Le comes forward with nice punches, wobbles Warren, Warren is trouble, Cung Le scores the knock out.
Phil Baroni and Frank Shamrock are in the cage together right now. They are talking, but I can't hear what they said. They had some words in the past tho, maybe setting up a match? I have no idea......
Vitor Belfort vs Alistair Overeem
This should be a hell of a main event. The crowd is clearly in favor of Belfort here. Interesting that I can't recall the last match either man has had in a cage (I'm not entirely sure if Overeem has even fought in a cage before) so this adds some spice to the rematch. Big question is which Belfort shows up, Overeem looked tough in his loss against Fabrico Werdum. I think on the bookie sheets Belfort is the underdog, but I believe anyone could take this match. Overeem comes out to "America, Fuck Yeah" from Team America, which means I'm rooting for him on principle. Belfort gets the pyro and the majority of the crowd reaction.
Round one begins, the fighters circle each other. Overeem jumps in and Belfort catches him with a left jab that I could hear from here. Doesn't faze Overeem and they circle again. Fighters tie up and Vitor gets a big slam, landing right in side control. Overeem manages to turtle, but Belfort takes the back with hooks. Overeem escapes, but Belfort takes mount. Overeem escapes, Vitor comes up, and back down to Overeem's guard. Belfort is not using the fence, again maybe some cage rust here. Overeem is tying up Belfort and the crowd is restless. The referee stands them back up. Belfort shoots in, but then drops back into guard when Overeem sprawls, now Overeem is in Vitor's guard looking to punch. Belfort defending as Overeem lands chopping blows and axe handle over hands. Vitor ties Overeem up further and the round expires.
Round 2 Overeem comes out agressively and nearly lands an elbow, but Vitor catches a leg and takes him down. Vitor stands up and Overeem is forced to defend from his back. Fighters get to their feet. Tie up and Belfort complains of an illegal groin strike. Belfort shakes it off and the fight restarts, Overeem takes down Vitor, to Vitor's guard. Vitor ties up Overeem as Overeem tries short shots and the crowd gets restless again. Fighters are stood up again. They immediately tie up and Overeem gets the takedown again. Overeem in Belfort's guard, not much action here and the fight is restarted again. After a promise of some standup it goes right back to the ground and Vitor's guard. Vitor manages to sweep and we come to Overeem's guard. Overeem is tying Belfort up tho, while delivering short shots of his own as time expires in round 2.
Third and final round. Fighters touch gloves. Overeem misses with a big high kick, then shoots in, pushing Belfort against the fence. fighters seperate, Belfort lands a shot that knocks the sweat from Overeem, Overeem shoots in and rocks Belfort with an inside right elbow followed by a knee. Down to Belfort's guard and the match is quickly restarted standing. Almost instantly Overeem takes Belfort down to the guard. Overeem laying close to Belfort, ocassionally popping up to strike before the match is restarted. Overeem delivers a series of knees, Belfort shoots in then flops to guard. Overeem looks to strike and Belfort fires off some shots from the bottom, but not much. Fight is restarted on their feet again. Overeem ties up, Belfort falls into guard. Crowd is booing and leaving now. Belfort manages to come on top, has Overeem against the fence in Overeem's guard, but time expires to a chorus of boos.
I think Overeem won the bout, but we'll see what the judges say.
Unanimous dec. for Overeem. Frank Shamrock interviews and asks who Overeem would like to fight next and he answers Tito Ortiz!
Great night of bouts. Catch you all at the after parties.