On August 15th, I attended Hardrock MMA 12: Night of Champions. It was an excellent show overall and had some great fights on the card.
Here are my picks for the Night Honors:
Fight of the Night: Erik Funkhauser vs. David Gray
This match-up between two tough guys was an impressive display of skills over three rounds. Although I felt Gray won all three rounds (Gray was ultimately awarded a Split Decision win after a scorecard counting error had it as a draw), Funkhauser was clearly a tough opponent. A great effort by both guys.
Knockout of the Night: A.J. Jenkins over Steve Osmun
Jenkins became the Hardrock MMA Amateur Welterweight Champ with his second round KO of Osmun. The shot that put Osmun out was reminiscent of Anthony Johnson's KO win over Tommy Speers as Osmun was unconscious crouched against the cage. A strong finish by Jenkins.
Submission of the Night: Robert Mooney over J. R. Hines
Mooney's kimura win over J. R. Hines was both an exercise in skill and adaptation as Mooney has to modify his position to get the tap after the ever-feisty Hines scrambled to get out of the initial hold. An impressive showing by Mooney against a tough journeyman in Hines.
Honorable Mention: Isaiah Ferguson over Corey Clemons
In the night's lone Under-18 grappling match, Isaiah Ferguson notched an impressive submission victory over Corey Clemons with a gogoplata. As I said in my live blog, had that fight been an MMA match, it would've been my submission of the night. Regardless, Ferguson deserves a nod due to the obvious skill he showed.
Hardrock MMA will be back in action September 12th in Elizabethtown, KY where promoter and women's pro fighter Vanessa Bohleber-Higdon will take on Heather Corder in the first pro women's MMA fight to happen in Kentucky. After the great turnout and night of fights for Hardrock 12, I'm confident the next show is one to look forward to.