I'm here in Shepherdsville KY waiting for Hardrock MMA 12: Night of Champions to get underway. Hosting yet another massive fight card, fans will get a chance to see pros, ams, and underage grappling matches.
I'll be back with the start of the action, set to get started at 8 PM.
Brent Boone vs. Bryant Barnhill
Boone fights out of Team Josh Ball. I missed Barnill's affiliation Both men are making their amateur debut.
Barnhill shoots in but Boone stuffs it. Barnill lands a leg kick and misses with an overhand right. He shoots, but isn't able to get Boone all the way down and Boone transitions to briefly take his back before Barnill shakes him off, but Boone gets in a guillotine when the two hit the ground. Barnhill stays busy landing body shots. The ref stands them, but I think it's premature. Boone was still working for the guillotine and Barnhill was still landing body shots. The two stand, and Barnhill lands a hard right, and takes advantage of the opening by jumping guard on Boone and sinking in a guillotine for the win.
Bryant Barnhill wins via submission (guillotine) at 2:18 of Round 1.
Jon "Special Ed" Heiser vs. Rob Smith
Heiser fights out of Bushido Fight Team. Smith represents Team Iron Man fighting out of Core Combat.
After a touch of the gloves, Smith immediately throws a right hook that finds it's mark. They clinch up and Smith gets Heiser against the cage. Heiser reverses and Smith reverses again to take the dominant position standing. After much struggling, Smith finally gets an advantage and hip tosses Heiser, landing in side control. Smith works Heiser's arm behind his back and quickly cranks it for the kimura for the win.
Robert Smith wins via submission (kimura) at 1:30 of Round 1.
Jason Clack vs. Jeremy Philpot
Clack represents Team No Mercy. Philpot represents Team Middlesboro.
Philpot opens with a leg kick and Clack tries to move in but Philpot picks him up and slams him. Clack has Philpot's neck tied up in a guillotine but Philpot still manages to mount Clack and pull his head out. Clack rolls but Philpot takes his back and sinks in the rear naked choke for the quick tap.
Jeremy Philpot wins via submission (RNC) at 1:15 of Round 1.
Chris Walker vs. Justin O'Neal (HMMA 135 Title)
Walker fights out of Xtreme Me Gyms. O'Neal fights out of Louisville MMA. This fights is for the vacant HMMA 135 Ammy title.
Both guys fire off quick lefts that miss. O'Neal shoots in but backs off. Walker misses with a leg kick and both fighters miss with head shots. O'Neal lands a hard left that briefly stuns Walker, but O'Neal is unable to capitalize. Walker shotos in but O'Neal stuffs it and lands two knees to the body before they separate. Walker misses with a high kick and O'Neal rushes in with a hard right hook that lands. O'Neal misses with a big left hook and tries to jump on Walker but Walker takes him dowwn. O'Neal initially pulls guard then transitions to a triangle, then armbar, then back to a triangle attempt that he sinks in for the win.
Justin O'Neal wins via submission (triangle) at 2:15 of Round 1 ,to become the HMMA Bantamweight (AM) Champion.
Brandon DeWitt vs. Chris Minks
DeWitt fights out of Team No Mercy. Minks represents Spencer County Martial Arts.
Minks opens with a leg kick, but DeWitt answers with a hard right that floors Minks. DeWitt rushes in to lands a few more shots before the ref gets in to stop him.
Brandon DeWitt wins via KO at :07 of Round 1.
Michael Gay vs. Mike "the Crazy Cajun" Fleineken
Gay fights out of Slaughterhouse MMA. Fleineken fights out of Louisville MMA.
Fleineken looks for the one-two combo to open but Gay shoots in and works him across the ring. Fleineken defends the takedown and Gay tries to jump guard but misses and Fleineken starts landing multiple unanswered shots to the head and body before scoring a rear naked choke standing, while Gay was stuck in a crouched position.
Mike Fleineken wins via submission (RNC) at :48 of Round 1.
Erik Funkhauser vs. "Dirty" David Gray
Funkhauser fights out of Bushido Fight Team. Gray fights out of Etown Beatdown.
Gray lands a light jab to start and left hook. Funkhouser rocks him with a hard right hook and then lands multiple more shots as the two fall. Gray tries to pull an armbar from the bottom but Funkhausser steps out of it. Gray manages to take the top position on the ground landing shots to the side of Funkhauser's head as he has one of Funkhauser's arms trapped between his legs. Gray lands a few more shots from the top, but Funkhauser eventually gets his arm free and takse top position inside Gray's guard. Gray throws his legs up for a triangle but can't sink it in before the round expires.
Funkhauser landed some good shots in the beginning but Gray controlled most of the rest of the round, so I think he'll pull it out on the scorecards.
Furby sees it 10-9 Gray.
Gray lands a couple light hooks to start and Funkhauser misses with a huge overhand right. Gray lands a hard leg kick and then misses with a high kick. Gray lands another leg kick, then another, then another which Funkhauser answers with an overhand right. They clinch up and Gray lands a knee to the body. They separate and Gray shoots in but Funkhauser gets the better of the takedown. Gray is going for some submissions from the bottom, trying to lock in the triangle. Funkhauser manages to get out of it and stand and then the ref pauses him to let Gray stand as well. Gray lands another leg kick, then shoots again and takes Funkhauser down, working for submissions from the bottom as the round expires.
Again, Funkhauser landed a couple good shots, but Gray should've managed enough control overall to win the round.
Furby sees it 10-9 Gray.
Gray opens with another leg kick, then scores a head kick. Funkhauser still has some fight left in him, landing an overhand right, then multiple right hooks and hard body shots. Gray manages to sneak in a knee to the head, and then shoots in but Funkhauser manages to reverse and then basically powerbombs Gray, bringing the crowd to their feet. Funkhauswer has the top position on the ground, and they stay there until the ref stands them up when it slows. Funkhauswer works a couple more hard rights in once the two stand and Gray lands another leg kick, then another head kick, followed by another high kick. Funkhauser keeps going forward though and lands some more hard rights to the head and body as the round expires.
A tougher round to score that time, but I still think Gray won it based on overall shots landed and control.
Furby sees it 10-9 Gray.
In perhaps the most ridiculous decision I've seen in a long time, the fight is scored a draw (no scores announced). The crowd seems to feel the way I do, expressing it with lots of "boo"s. (Furby's NOTE: After the Parker/Spaulding fight, it was announced that the scorecards were re-examined and Gray in fact won the fight via split decision.)
Michael "PK" Parker vs. Deon Spaulding (HMMA Heavyweight Title)
Parker represents Team Campbellsville. Spaulding represents Team Animal.
Spaulding tests the range with jabs, but none connect. He shoots in but Parker stuffs it, and they're broken up as the action stops. Spaulding misses with a right and then Parker misses with a left. Spaulding shoots but Parker stuffs it again and the ref breaks them up as the action stalls. Both miss with body shots and Parker misses with a left. Spaulding fakes a jab and shoots in again but Parker stuffs it again forcing Spaulding to the ground. Parker spins around and takes Spaulding's back and Spualding rolls and takes the top position in side control as the round ends.
Really a hard one to call, neither fighter landed too many shots. I think Parker likely won that one due to his solid defense and landing a few more shots than Spaudling.
Furby sees it 10-9 Parker.
Spaulding lands an overhand right to start but Parker steps in and lands some head and body shots before Spaulding shoots in and Parker stuffs it. They're separated as the action stalls. Parker scores with a jab and misses with an uppercut, but then lands a short left. Parker lands a jab and two short uppercuts and Spaulding misses with a kick. Spaudling shoots in and Parker stuffs it and lands a few short head shots as Spaulding has him pressed against the cage. Both men score short head shots as they separate and then Parker lands a series of lefts and short rights before Spaulding shoots in and finally scores a takedown. Spaulding lands some short body shots from side control as the round ends.
A more competitive round that time, but ultimately I think Parker will come out ahead on the scorecards thanks to his more precise striking and overall defense.
Furby sees it 10-9 Parker.
Spaulding connects on an overhand right and then misses with a second. The action is stopped briefly as Parker loses his mouthpiece. Spaulding lands another hard overhand right as Parker tries to close the distance. Parker scores a takedown but Spaulding looks for the guillotine. Parker gets his head out and starts to land body shots and short head shots, but then is able to posture up and land more head shots before the action slows and the ref stands them up. Spaulding briefly taunts Parker by wagging his head and the two trade more hard shots as the round expires.
Again, not a round that saw a lot of shots landed but it should've been a good enough performance by Parker for him to come out on top.
Furby sees it 10-9 Parker.
Spaudling lands a hard overhand right to start, then another and Parker rushes in to clinch up but Spaulding manages to toss Parker and lands some shots from the top before the ref suddenly rushes in to stop the action. It appears that Parker verbally submitted.
Deon Spaulding wins via submission (verbal) at :41 of Round 4, to become the HMMA Heavyweight (AM) champ.
Corey Clemons vs. Isaiah Ferguson (Under 18 Grappling)
Clemons trains with Team No Mercy. Ferguson trains with Team Cruz.
There were no submissions in the first round, so it went to a "sudden death" round where first submission won. Ferguson won with a gogoplata - had this been an MMA fight, that would've been my Submission of the Night, no question.
Mike Thomas vs. Brandon Howard
Thomas, making his debut, trains out of Louisville MMA. I didn't hear an affiliation for Howard.
(Furby's Note: Sorry there isn't as much detail on this fight - I had to stand to watch the fight due to the crowd being on its feet.)
I believeThomas won round one. After surviving some initial submission scares, Thomas took control with a big slam and some great ground and pound for the last couple minutes of the round, where it appeared the ref was ready to step in to stop the fight but ultimately didn't.
Furby sees it 10-9 Thomas.
Howard again initially took control of the round, stifling attempts by Thomas to take control or gain an edge. Howard effectively controlled Thomas both standing and on the ground, holding onto a guillotine attempt for a while. Thomas eventually got out of the guillotine and got control of Howard with a crucifix which he then transitioned to full mount as the round expired. It was a nice late rally by Thomas but I think Howard still won the round as a whole.
Furby sees it 10-9 Howard.
Thomas immediately shot in but Howard defended well as was able to defend well with a standing guillotine attempt. Thomas scored a takedown after escaping and was able to quickly transition to the full mount to land some more ground and pound that ultimately caused the ref to step in and stop the fight.
Mike Thomas wins via TKO (strikes) at 1:44 of Round 3.
RJ Miller vs. Matt "Floppy" Haltheus
Miller fights out of Highlander MMA. Haltheus fights out of Derby City MMA.
Haltheus lands a short jab to start and moves in to take Miller down, but Miller quickly takes top position and starts landing shots from the top. Miller works from side control and then the north-south position, then a guillotine. Haltheus gets his head out and then moves to side control, but Miller holds him down preventing him from posturing up. When Miller briefly lets go, Haltheus takes advantage and lands shots from the top. Miller looks for a heel hook but Haltheus is able to get out of it and take side control again, then pushing Miller's legs out of the way to take his back. Miller rolls and Haltheus takes full mount, landing some head and body shots to end the round.
Although Miller had a couple good submission attempts, I think Haltheus's overall control of the round and more strikes landed should have easily won him the round.
Furby sees it 10-9 Haltheus.
Haltheus comes out swinging again and moves to take Miller down but Miller locks him up in a guillotine, but Haltheus manages to get his head out and starts more ground and pound while Miller tries to better his position. Haltheus takes Miller's back, but Miller rolls and Halteus lands some shots from inside Miller's guard before transitioning to side control, but then Miller is able to briefly get back to guard, but Haltheus passes and lands more shots from the top. Haltheus works for a keylock and Miller ultimately submits.
Matt Haltheus wins via submission (keylock) at 2:39 of Round 2.
Tony Thomas vs. Chad Sermon
Thomas, making his debut, fights out of Louisville MMA. Sermon, also making his debut, fights out of Team No Mercy.
Thomas immediately shoots in and scores a big slam, landing in side control, but Sermon is holding him down preventing him from posturing up. Thomas lands some head shots as the two stand and Sermon answers with a couple of his own before Thomas spins and sweeps him, taking him down again. Thomas works more ground and pound until Sermon rolls and Thomas takes his back to sink in the rear naked choke and get the quick tap.
Tony Thomas wins via submission (RNC) at 1:24 of Round 1
Jeff King vs. TJ Barber
King fights out of Team Animal. Barber fights out of Etown Beatdown. Two tough featherweights here - this one should be a banger.
Barber misses with a front kick to start. King lands a head shot and Barber looks for a hip toss but can't complete it. Barber gets King down, but Barber's head is tied up. Barber gets his head out, takes full mount and King rolls and Barber quickly takes his back working for the rear naked choke. King gets out and Barber goes for a triangle but King muscles his way out and both briefly go for simultaneous heel hooks. Both let go and Barber takes the top position, aldning some body shots. It appears that one of King's initial shots cut Barber on his face. Barber takes King's back again and rolls him over, going for the rear naked, getting the quick tap and winning the fight.
TJ Barber wins via submission (RNC) at 2:12 of Round 1.
Justin Gamble vs. Chris Biddle (HMMA 185 Title)
Gamble, the challenger, fights out of Team Animal. Biddle, the Champ, fights out of Etown Beatdown.
Biddle throws a jab and a right that fall short, but finds the mark with a leg kick. Biddle misses with a big left hook but lands another leg kick. Gamble lands a body kick but Biddle shrugs his off and lands some head shots before taking the action to the ground. Biddle works from half-guard, trying to land some shots but Gamble is defending well from the bottom. Biddle takes full mount and quickly sinks in an arm triangle choke, moving to the side to cinch it tighter. Biddle squeezes very hard very quick and Gamble passes out before the ref can even move in to stop it. (Biddle immediately let go, though and the doctor quickly came in the cage to check on Gamble. Gamble quickly comes to and is able to stand and easily move around on his own power.)
Chris Biddle wins via submission (arm triangle choke) at 1:52 of Round 1.
Marcus Mayes vs. Chad Deener (HMMA 205 Title)
Mayes, the challenger, fights out of Derby City MMA. Deener, the champ, wearing custom Fight Ribbon gear, fights out of Etown Beatdown.
Deener quickly looks for an overhand right that misses, and moves in for a takedown but Mayes defends and reverses, putting Deener against the cage. Deener lands a solid knee to the body, followed by another and Mayes lands a short left uppercut. Still locked against the cage, Deener tries to get mayes down but Mayes continues to defends. Deener lands a good body shot and Mayes lands a couple knees tot eh body. Deener lands a short right hook and misses with an uppercut as the two split and Mayes works knees to Deener's legs while trying to control one of Deener's wrists. Teh two trade more knees to the body and then short head shots. It's a struggle to see who is going to get the takedown first and Mayes gets Deener down and Deener tries for a guillotine from the bottom as the round ends.
A tough round to call. Mayes defended the takedown well, and it will be a toss-up whether the takedown at the end won Mayes the round or the submission attempt won Deener the round. I give a slight edge to Deener.
Furby sees it 10-9 Deener.
Mayes lands a leg kick followed by a short right hook as Deener tries to close the distance. Deener lands a short right hook to Mayes's head and Mayes works in some short body shots as Deener has him pressed against the cage. It's already another battle to see who is going to score the takedown and the ref separates them as the action slows. Deener rushes in with a three punch combo but Mayes quickly clinches up and lands two knees to Deener's legs. It's a struggle for position again and the ref separates them. Deener lands a hard head shot followed by another and Mayes lands a solid knee to the body. Mayes gets Deener down and quickly gets full mount, raining down shots from the top as the round ends.
That last rally by Mayes as well as his better striking this round should see him win that one on the scorecards.
Furby sees it 10-9 Mayes.
Mayes opens with some better shots this round and gets Deener down but Deener back to his feet looking to score a takedown of his own. Mayes lands some short shots to Deener's head as Deener is working for the takedown and sneaks a knee to Deener's head in as well. The two trade knees to the body and lock up again, with Mayes landing more knees to the body. Mayes gets Deener in a classic muay thai clinch and lands a perfectly timed knee to the head taking Deener down hard, and the ref doesn't hesitate stepping in stop the action.
Marcus Mayes wins via TKO (knee) in Round 3 (no time announced) to become the new HMMA 205 Champ.
AJ Jenkins vs. Steve Osmun (HMMA 170 Title)
Jenkins, the challenger, trains out of Louisville MMA. Osmun, the Champ, trains out of Etown Beatdown.
Both fighters testing the distance early. There's a lot of out of distance shots thrown and the two finally have an exchange, both landing a couple shots before Jenkins pushes Osmun against the fence. Osmun reverses and Jenkins reverses Osmun as the two trade knees to the body. Jenkins drops lower for a single-leg takedown but Osmun defends. Jenkins lands some body shots and the two continue to struggle for position as the round ends.
Not many shots landed in that round, but Jenkins's aggression should win him the round.
Furby sees it 10-9 Jenkins.
Jenkins lands a couple head shots to start and the two trade, with Jenkins getting the better of the exchange. Osmun sneaks in a good leg kick and the two continue to exchange. Jenkins lands a hard left hook that takes Osmun out and Jenkins moves in to land a couple more head shots to seal the deal, but Osmun is already unconscious. (The doctors quickly move in to check on Osmun and he is able to rise under his own power.)
AJ Jenkins wins via KO in Round 1 (no time announced) to become the new HMMA 170 champ.
JR "The Dragon" Hines vs. Robert Mooney (PRO)
Hines, wearing custom Fight Ribbon gear, trains out of Extreme Force Martial Arts. Mooney trains out of Etown Beatdown.
Hines opens with a leg kick followed by a superman punch. Hines moves in for the takedown but Mooney defends and the two trade shots, pressed against the cage. Mooney scores with a body shot and Hines misses with a right hook. Mooney goes for the single leg takedown, which Hines initially defends but Mooney is able to complete it and lands in side control, working shots to the body before going for a kimura. Mooney continues to crank the kimura and Hines rolls over the top of Mooney but Mooney is able to keep cranking to score the tap.
Robert Mooney wins via submission (kimura) at 1:47 of Round 1.
Jason Carrier vs. Adam "The Igg" Schroer (PRO)
Carrier represents Slaughterhouse MMA. Schroer, making his pro debut, trains out of Etown Beatdown.
Carrier misses with a left hook and Schroer rushes in and scores with a right but eats a kick to the body in the process. Schroer moves for a head kick but doesn't finish, then barely misses with a superman punch. Carrier lands a leg kick and Schroer answers with a hard left and Carrier lands a right hook. Carrier lands another leg kick and Schroer misses with a body kick and then another superman punch, but he locks up with Carrier against the cage. Carrier spins off the cage and lands a knee to the body. Schroer lands a short body kick and a right to the body. Schroer lands a hard right hook that floors Carrier. Schroer pauses for a minute because he thinks Carrier is out, but then quickly jumps on him when he realizes he's not, working some hard ground and pound that bloodies Carrier's nose, before Carrier rolls and Schroer takes his back and sinks in a rear naked choke.
Adam Schroer wins via submission (RNC) in Round 1 (no time announced).
Overall, a great event. What looked to be a 1000+ crowd really got into the fights and a number of local pro fighters could be seen checking out the fights including Chad Corvin and Ron Sparks. The show even saw some improvements in production with the addition of some pre-fight hype videos with some of the pro fighters.
Check back in the coming days for my Night Awards and post-show commentary and some pics from the event.