(This article is the first in my series of articles I originally posted on FightTicker.com that I'm not posting here due to FightTicker's closing. There will be a lot of these coming over the next few days.)
I'm here at Turfway Park just a few minutes out from the start of ICF: Sacrifice. Tonight's card, headlined by a pro match-up between Luke Zachrich and Jonathan Hines, also features an amateur super heavyweight title match-up, amateur bantamweight and amateur featherweight title matches as well.
Various vendors are here as usual, including Fight For Life USA, Cock Diesel, School of Fight, and Fight Durty. Cincinnati based band The Host entertained the audience with a brief set before the show started.
The crowd is still filing in as the show gets ready to start. I'll be back when the action starts.
Scott Roberts vs. Jeremy Myers (140)
Myers (4-0) fights out of Walker MMA. Roberts, sporting a Fight For Life USA shirt, fights out of Team Nemesis.
Myers opens up the action with a body kick that catches Roberts on the arm. Roberts fires off one of his own, but misses. Myers lands another hard body kick and Roberts answers but falls back slightly. Myers jumps on the opening and fires off a high body kick that stuns Roberst and takes him down. Myers jumps on Roberts and starts landing hammer fists and other head shots until Roberts taps.
Jeremy Myers wins via tapout (strikes) at :27 of the first round.
Brandon Sober vs. Trey Taylor (159)
Sober fights out of Walker MMA. Taylor fights out of On Point Athletics.
Taylor comes in with an overhand right that misses, but he shoots and takes Sober down. Taylor immediately transitions to Sober's back but Sober manages to get the dominant position standing and takes Taylor down, narrowly missing a guillotine. Sober stays on top and starts landing hard head and body shots. Taylor spins out but Sober takes the dominant position, working inside Taylor's half-guard. Taylor takes the top position but Sober works in a guillotine attempt. Taylor gets his head out and spins around, taking Sober's back. Taylor is working for the body triangle but Sober defends. Sober lands a couple body shots while the two jockey for dominant position. Taylor manages to work his way up but Sober executes a whizzer, takes Taylor down an starts landing head shots. Taylor gets out and the two stand. Sober lands a hard left hook and Taylor recovers and tries a suplex but Sober grabs the cage. He's warned by the referee and when he lets go, Taylor lands the suplex. The two trade a few shots on the ground as time expires.
An extremely close round - Taylor managed to get out of some dangerous positions and worked hard for some submissions but I think Sober landed many more punches and seemed to have a slight edge on the ground.
PreView sees it 10-9 Sober.
Taylor comes in with a hard right hook and Sober answers with a short left of his own but Taylor manages to get Sober to the ground. Taylor is on top in side control and is landing hard elbows to Sober's leg and body shots. Sober lands more body shots while Taylor tries to get out from the bottom. Sober lands some more hard shots and takes Taylor's back, sinking in the rear naked choke and Taylor quickly taps.
Brandon Sober wins via tapout (RNC) (no time specified).
Brandon Damastus vs. Dave Heidorn (174)
Damastus (1-0) fights out of On Point Athletics. Heidorn (2-1) fights on Team Xtreme out of Cincy MMA and Fitness.
Heidorn opens with a short lef thook. Damastus answers with one of his own and shoots in but can't get Heidorn down. Damastus lands a knee to the body and Heidorn answers with a short left. Damastus lands a hard two punch combo but Heidorn, whose nose is bleeding, scores a double-leg takedown. Damastus is working for an armbar from the bottom, but Heidorn transitions and takes Damastus's back. Heidorn hooks his legs inside Damastus's and lands some shots to the side of Damastus's head trying to sink in a rear naked choke. Damastus rolls over but then over again as Heidorn lands more unanswered shots to his head. Heidorn continues to land multiple unanswered shots to the side of Damastus's head. Damastus tries to shake him off but Heidorn sinks in a body triangle and lands more shots as the round expires.
Damastus was tough hanging on as long as he did and not succumbing to the strikes, but there's no question who won that round.
PreView sees it 10-9 Heidorn.
Heidorn opens the action with a leg kick and Damastus lands a two punch combo. The two trade headshots and Damastus comes in with a jumping knee/punch combo but Heidorn answers with a head shot of his own. Heidorn lands another left hook and Damastus misses with a leg kick. Heidorn lands a leg kick followed by a body kick. Damastus lands a couple hard rights and a three punch combo. Heidorn backs away but comes back in with a leg kick and a left hook. Heidorn misses with a body kick and Damastus lands a short left. Damastus lands another hard shot and Heidorn shoots in but Damastus lands on top. Heidorn pulls guard but lets go and Damastus stands as the round expires.
A much closer round this time - both landed hard shots but I think Damastus had the edge in this one with more precise striking.
PreView sees it 10-9 Damastus.
Both fighters are bleeding from the nose now. Heidorn lands a leg kick to start and Damastus answers with a head kick attempt but Heidorn lands a two punch combo, shoots in and takes Damastus down. Damastus tries to pull guard but Heidorn passes and ends up in side control. Heidorn tries to work his knee over Damastus to get mount but Damastus sweeps him and lands in the top position. Heidorn reverses and lands in full mount and starts ground and pound. Heidorn takes Damastus's back and works for an armlock and then a rear naked choke. Heidorn lands some hard shots to the side of Damastus's head. Damastus slips out from under Heidorn and comes in for some ground and pound of his own. He takes the top position but Heidorn briefly slips out. Damastus lands a couple more shorts hots to end the round.
A very close round and Damastus's rally at the end is going to make it hard for the judges to make the decision. However, due to Heidorn's control up until the end, I think he pulled out this very close round. A definite FightTicker.com Fight of the Night candidate.
PreView sees it 10-9 Heidorn.
Dave Heidorn wins via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Kyle Griffith vs. Justin Hunt (159)
Griffith represents Death is Certain. Hunt, sporting a Fight For Life USA shirt, fights out of Team Nemesis.
Griffith throws a body kick but Hunt lands a hard right. Griffith lands a head shot but Hunt scores a big takedown and works for a guillotine while Griffith tries to land body shots. Griffith gets his head out and lands more body shots and Hunt tries to get his legs up for an armbar but Griffith puts his knee on Hunt's chest to defend. Griffith lands more body shots from the top and stands inside Hunt's guard. Hunt gets one of Griffith's arms in an armbar attempt but Griffiths pulls out and takes Hunt's back, landing body shots. Hunts still has control of one of Griffith's arms but Griffith hooks his legs inside of Hunt's and tries to get an arm in for the rear naked choke but Hunt manages to defend as the round expires.
PreView sees it 10-9 Griffith.
Hunt lands a hard right hook to start the round and jumps on Griffith when he staggers. Hunt works on an armbar from the bottom but Griffiths stands in side Hunt's guard and lands a couple head shots. Griffith transitions to side control then full mount. Hunt spins but Griffith takes his back and flattens Hunt out on the bottom. Griffith lands head shots from the top position and sinks in a rear naked choke, ending the fight as Greg Franklin rushes in to stop it.
Kyle Griffith wins via referee stoppage (rear naked choke) at 1:49 in Round 2
Doug Balinger vs. John Hays (147)
Balinger, sporting a Fight For Life USA shirt, fights out of Team Nemesis. "Hacksaw" John Hays, cornered by ICF pro bantamweight Jeremy Pender, fights out of Domination MMA.
Hays throws out a jab to open the round. Balinger lands a pair of leg kicks and shoots in but Hays defends the takedown. Hays works for a standing guillotine and Balinger lands a knee. Balinger spins down and gets out of guillotine attempt but Hays takes Balinger's back and lands some hard shots to Balinger's head and body. Balinger gets Hays off his back and takes top position, inside Hays's guard. Hays works for a choke from the bottom, and when Balinger raises up tries to sink in a triangle. Balinger pulls out and sinks in an armbar right as the round expires, but not quickly enough.
A close round - I think Hays had more control throughout the round than Balinger. Both landed quality shots and did some decent groundwork, but I think Hays edged the round.
PreView sees it 10-9 Hays.
Hays opens with a spinning backfist attempt that just misses and he attempts to take Balinger's back, standing, but Balinger spins as the two go down and pulls guard with Hays in the top position. Balinger gets his legs up for a triangle choke, but Hays defends, preventing him from getting it fully locked in. Hays lands some shorts head shots from the top and Balinger transitions to an armlock attempt but Hays is still in the top position and he manages to pull his arm out and gets full mount. He lands some hard head shots and Balinger rolls and Hays takes his back. Hays lands more head shots and flattens Balinger out, sinking in the rear naked choke causing Balinger to quickly tap.
"Hacksaw" John Hays wins via tapout (RNC) at 2:59 in Round 2
Thomas Brownfield vs. Joel Miller (174)
Brownfield represents Death is Certain. Miller fights out of Fusion MMA.
Brownfield misses with two head kicks to start. Miller takes him down but Brownfield gets in side control and starts dropping short forearms and knees to the body. Miller locks Brownfield in his half-guard and Brownfield lands a few more short shots to the head. Brownfield briefly stands but goes back down to land more shots. Miller reverses and lands in the top position and lands a couple shots but Brownfield picks him up with a double-leg takedown and takes it back to the ground. Brownfield lands more shots to the head from side control and he has miller trapped against the cage. Miller lands a knee to the body and one last short head shot to end the first round.
PreView sees it 10-9 Brownfield.
Miller opens with a body kick and the two clinch up. Miller lands three knees and Brownfield tries to take him down but Miller defends before going down and trying to lock in a triangle. He secures his left foot behind his right knee and pulls Brownfield's head down quickly bringing the tap.
Joel Miller wins via tapout (triangle choke) at :36 of Round 2
Matt Tinchor vs. Kevin Cantley (135)
This match is for the vacant ICF Amateur Bantamweight Championship. (The belt was vacated when the former champ, ICF exclusive fighter Jeremy Pender, turned pro.)
Tinchor (5-3) fights out of Walker MMA. Cantley (3-1) fights on Team Xtreme out of Cincy MMA and Fitness
The two trade body kicks in the opening seconds. Tinchor grazes Cantley with a leg kick and Cantley lands a short left. They trade hard lefts and body kicks and Canltey lands a two-punch combo. Cantley lands a body kick and misses with a Superman punch and the two trade body kicks again. Tinchor lands a right hook and Cantley lands a body kick again. Cantley lands a left hook and Tinchor a short right. Cantley comes in with a body kick followed by a straight right that misses. Cantley goes for a head kick but Tinchor checks it. Cantley lands a two punch combo that stuns Tinchor and follows up with another hard two punch combo. Cantley comes in with tbody kick right combo again and pushes Tinchor back and follows it up with a hard right upper cut that stuns Tinchor. He lands a three punch combo followed by a jumping knee and Tinchor ties him up against the cage. Tinchor lands a knee to Cantley's leg, followed by three more to end the round.
PreView sees it 10-9 Cantley.
Cantley opens with a straight left. Cantley lands a leg kick, but Tinchor catches it and takes Cantley down. Tinchor, inside Cantley's guard, pushes Cantley against the cage. Cantley has Tinchor's head and one of his arms tied up. Tinchor lands a shot from the top followed by more. Cantley has Tinchor tied up and the ref warns them to stay active. Tinchor lands a couple more shots from the top, then stands and Cantley lands some upkicks which Tinchor answers with some hard kicks to Cantley's legs. Cantley tries to stand but Tinchor pulls him back down and sinks in the guillotine, causing Cantley to tap.
Matt Tinchor wins via tapout (guillotine) at 2:17 of Round 2, becoming the new ICF Amateur Bantamweight Champ.
Mark Crawn vs. Jason Cocagne (189)
Crawn, wearing custom Fight For Life USA shirt and shorts, fights out of Team JG and is cornered by Jorge Gurgel, George Oiler and Taylor Ruscin. Cocagne, fighting out of Team Vision, is escorted out by ICF Exclusive fighter Victor O'Donnell and fellow MMA fighters Dustin Winterhalt and Jim Davis.
Touch of the gloves and we're off. Cocagne lands a leg kick to start. He follows it up with a two punch combo and Crawn ties him and lands two knees to the body which Cocagne answers with one of his own. Crawn lands two more knees and Cocagne lands a short head shot. Crawn takes the action to the ground working from the top position. He lands shots from the top and tries to ties up Cocagne in a guillotine from the top position. Crawn crouches, with Cocagne still seated, and sinks in the guillotine to quickly cause the tap.
Mark Crawns wins via tapout (guillotine) at 1:16 of Round 1.
Ben McQuary vs. Matt Egner (147)
This fight is for the vacant ICF Amateur Featherweight Championships.
McQuary (4-0) fights out of Fusion MMA. Egner (4-2) fights on Team Xtreme out of Cincy MMA and Fitness.
Both throw out some jabs to start, both out of range. Egner lands a right, then ties McQuary up in a standing guillotine. McQuary takes him down and works from side control, landing aknee to the body. Egner still has McQuary's head tied up. McQuary gets full mount and pulls his head out and lands two punches from the top. McQuary lands a body shot and Egner lands a hammer fist from the bottom. McQuary works for a kimura from the top, and lands two body shots before letting Egner's arm go. Egner lands a head shot from the bottom and McQuary is warned for kneeing Egner in the back. Egner lands more shots from the bottom and McQuary takes the mount position again and starts raining down shots. Egner tries to land a head shot from the bottom and McQuary sinks in an armbar just seconds before the horn sounds - but it's not quick enough to cause Egner to tap.
PreView sees it 10-9 McQuary
Egner lands a leg kick followed by a right hook. McQuary lands a leg kick and Egner answers with one of his own. McQuary pushes Egner against the cage going for a single leg takedown but Egner defends and lands a couple head shots. McQuary lands a knee to Egner's leg and eventually works Egner to the ground. From side control, McQuary tries to get a knee on Egner's stomach but Egner spins and pulls guard. McQuary lands a couple short shots from the top and stands, inside Egner's guard. McQuary lands a couple body shots and the two are warned to stay busy, then stood up. McQuary lands a right hook to end the round.
PreView sees it 10-9 McQuary.
Egner opens with a leg kick and McQuary lands a short right hook. Egner lands another leg kick and the two trade punches, Egner getting the better of the exchange. McQuary scores a big double-leg takedown and gets full mount. He starts landing shots from the top but Egner pulls him down to stop the punches. McQuary lands more shots to the head and Egner lands one from the bottom. McQuary stands but goes back down landing two more head shots. McQuary transitions to the full mount again and goes for an arm triangle but Egner defends and McQuary lets go. Egner lands a shot from the bottom but McQuary works ground and pound from the top position. Egner tries to shake him off but McQuary still has full mount. McQuary grabs Egner's arm and quickly transitions to an armbar but Egner manages to defend until the horn sounds.
PreView sees it 10-9 McQuary.
McQuary opens with a straight rigth and Egner lands a leg kick. McQuary pushes Egner against the cage and Egner lands a knee to the body. Egner lands a let kick followed by a three punch combo and another leg kick, then another. McQuary shoots in but Egner stuffs it and stands. Egner lands another right hook and McQuary answers with a leg kick. McQuary misses with a right hook and Egner lands a left hook. Egner misses with a straight right and McQuary takes him down. McQuary is trying to get out of half-guard into full mount and Egner lands a couple short shots from the bottom. Egner has McQuary tied up from the bottom, preventing him from doing any real damage. The ref stands them up. Egner lands an outside leg kick and a straight right. He lands a body kick and McQuary shoots in and Egner stuffs it and lands head shots from the north-south position as the round ends.
PreView sees it 10-9 Egner.
Egner opens the round with a leg kick, then two more. They trade punches and Egner lands more leg kicks. McQuary shoots and Egner stuffs it and they stand. Egner lands a straight right followed by a left and McQuary shoots in unsuccessfully. McQuary tries to take Egner down but EGner takes his back and lands head shots from the top, and gets an arm under McQuary's chin, trying to get the rear naked choke. Egner lands more head shots from the top trying to soften McQuary up. McQuary reaches his arms back behind him and around Egner's head and Egner lands more shots to McQuary's face. Egner lands more shots to McQuary's face as the round ends.
PreView sees it 10-9 Egner.
A great effort by Egner in the last couple of rounds, but I don't know if it was enough to negate what McQuary did in the first three.
Ben McQuary wins via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 48-47, 49-46) to take the vacant ICF amateur Featherweight title.
Yancy Martin vs. Tyler Johnson (170)
This fight is for the vacant ICF Amateur Welterweight Championship.
Martin fights out of Walker MMA. Johnson fights out of Team Vision.
Martin lands a leg kick to open the round and the two trade knees before Martin takes Johnson down. Johnson works for an armbar but Martin pulls out and the two trade knees and go back to the ground. Johnson pulls guard but Martin lands some hard shots from the top. Johnson sweeps Martin and pushes him against the cage trying to take Martin's back. Johnson gets Martin's back and lands punches to the side of Martin's head. Johnson pulls Martin back and locks in the rear naked choke quickly ending the fight.
Tyler Johnson wins via tapout (RNC) at 2:10 of Round 1, becoming the ICF Amateur Welterweight Champ.
There's a brief break in the action as Marcus Finch and Taylor Ruscin step in the cage to announce that Ruscin will be challenging for Finch's Middlweight title at the next ICF show at US Bank Arena on August 22nd.
Bill Fuller vs. Jim Davis (Super Heavyweight)
Fuller represents Death is Certain. Davis, the defending Super Heavyweight Champ, fights out of Team Vision.
Davis opens with a big left hook and follows it up with another. Fuller tries to tie Davis up but Davis pushes him off and lands a barrage of hard punches, flooring Fuller and causing the ref to rush in stopping the fight.
Jim Davis wins via TKO (strikes) at :17 of Round 1 and retains his ICF Super Heavyweight Title
There's a brief break in the action as Fight For Life USA co-founder Brent Thompson steps in to make an announcement of the Fight For Life USA Fight of the Night Award, given to Dave Heidorn and Brandon Dumastas.
Jonathan Hines vs. Luke Zachrich (185)
Hines fights out of Extreme Force Martial Arts. Zachrich fights out of JG MMA Academy and Son of Siam.
Hines opens with a leg kick and misses with a kick to the body. Zachrich reaches out with a left that falls out of range and is simultaneously hit with an unintentional groin shot. The action is briefly halted to give Zachrich time to recover, and Hines is given a warning. Zachrich lands a leg kick and Hines lands one of his own. Hines misses with a couple short hooks. Hines lands a leg kick and a hard left hook. He shoots in on Zachrich and ties him up against the cage but Zachrich reverses position and takes Hines down. Zachrich briefly transitions to side control, landing head shots from the top. Hines ties up one of Zachrich's legs, but Zachrich works one of Hines's arms out and twists it behind his back for the kimura from the half-guard, causing Hines to quickly tap.
Luke Zachrich wins via tapout (kimura) in Round 1.
Lot of good fights tonight. I'll be back in the news few days with my post-event commentary and FightTicker.com "of the night" awards.