9.21.2009

Hardrock MMA 7: Jealousy is Earned Night Honors (May 24, 2009)


Last night, I attended my first show put on by the HardRock MMA promotion, HardRock MMA 7: Jealousy is Earned. It was a huge fight card, 18 MMA fights and two grappling matches. Only a few fights went past the first round, and all of the fights had a pretty intense pace, so it was definitely an entertaining show. I'll be posting some event pics and post-event commentary in the coming days, but I wanted to go ahead and highlight a few of the fighters who I decided walked away with the FightTicker.com "Of the Night" Honors.

Fight of the Night: Phil White over T.J. Barber

Although this fight for the vacant HardRock MMA Featherweight Title only made through one and a half of the five scheduled rounds, both fighters were extremely impressive in that time. Barber pushed the pace for most of the fight, and both guys showed major intensity, good striking and good submission attempts and defense. The armbar that saw White ultimately win the fight was impressive as White was able to capitalize on the submission from his side, an odd position for the armbar. I think the excitement these two guys gave the crowd easily set the stage for a rematch.

There were no true KO's on the night, so I've decided to name two Submission of the Night winners as both were impressive.

Submission of the Night 1 Matthew Carbaugh

Carbaugh's armbar win over Drew Weaver just 30 seconds into the first round was an excellent showing of position control and technique. In what initially started as a traditional armbar from the side, Carbaugh was able to roll Weaver over to end up with a belly-down armbar. It was a quick and efficient move by Carbaugh and although the initial armbar was a dominant effort, Carbaugh was able to better secure his position for the win.

Submission of the Night 2: Jon Rigdon

Rigdon's submission impressed me both because of the speed with which he applied it and due to the fact that he had just escaped a pair of submissions himself - first a guillotine, then an inverted triangle. Rigdon locked the triangle in and it briefly looked like Ballinger might be okay because he was still trying to land body shots, but Rigdon quickly secured his position and nailed the triangle, forcing the tap.

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This was the first HardRock MMA show I attended, and I had a great time. It was one of the smaller shows that I've been to, but there were a lot of entertaining fights and the crowd really got into the show - I'll be addressing this more in my post-fight commentary, but at no point did I hear the crowd "boo". Too many times at events these days as soon as the fighters go the ground or get locked up against the cage, people are booing or yelling for the referee to stand it up. Not here - I definitely appreciated the fact that the crowd wanted to give things a chance to play out, and they were rewarded for it with some great finishes and solid match-ups.

-PreView

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