Combat 5 : Maximum Power
UK Sunday 16th March The fifth in the series of Ultimate
Combat promotions didnt have any big names like Dan Severn on the bill this
time around, but it had plenty of action with only one of the fifteen bouts ending
in a decision. Sadly, the hotly anticipated rematch between Sol Gilbert and Lars
Besand had to be postponed after Gilbert tore his shoulder during sparring, but
the two men came into the ring and promised to deliver the rematch at a future
show. The fight card was an international one, featuring Team Shoot Espana, and
warriors from the United States and Denmark taking on the best the UK has to offer.
One Welterweight Bout
Barber vs. Dave Waters
first two men out of the gate were Neil Barber, a member of the Manchester-based
Team Ground and Pound, and Dave Waters, an experienced cage fighter. Waters came
out swinging at the bell, and Barber responded with a thigh kick. From the clinch,
Waters slammed Barber to the ground, holding the top position. From his back Barber
attempted an arm-bar, but Waters worked out of it and landed a punch to his opponents
face. Waters followed this with a slam when Barber tried to catch him with a triangle
choke. Waters kept on the pressure, rabbit-punching, while Barber continued trying
to find a submission. Tied up on the ground in a stalemate situation, the pair
were separated by the referee and brought back to their feet in the centre of
the ring. Waters immediately went for the takedown, and back on the ground Barber
attempted his triangle, before he managed to flip Waters, who finding himself
on the bottom for the first time in the bout, went looking for an ankle lock as
the bell rang for the end of the first round.
second bell saw Waters come out throwing leather again, before the fighters returned
to the canvas, where the referee had to separate them. From the break they went
straight back to the clinch, then the ground, before being separated again from
a stalemate. Waters, who still had plenty of energy, then worked his ground and
pound, forcing Barber to cover up as best he could. With Barber clearly tired
and unable to offer any resistance, the referee called a halt to save the Mancunian
from further punishment.
Two Lightweight Bout
Howe vs. Steven Milward
second fight of the night started with a flurry of blows from both men, before
Howe took Milward to the floor. Milward was already bleeding, but scored with
elbows and punches. Howe tried to roll out of trouble, but Milward found a rear
choke and sunk it in tight, forcing Howe to tap out after 1 minute 28 seconds
of the first round.
Three Middleweight Bout
Mitchell vs. John Nicholson
entering the ring Nicholson, a two time veteran from Grapple and Strike, looked
the more muscular fighter, but Mitchell, the second Team Ground and Pound fighter
of the evening, was considerably taller and had the reach advantage. There seemed
to be some bad blood between these two. When Nicholson crossed the ring and offered
his opponent a handshake before the bout, Mitchell refused, drawing a chorus of
boos from the audience. Forced to shake hands by the referee, Nicholson slapped
Mitchells hand and turned his back, so tensions were running high before
the first punch had been thrown. From the bell, Nicholson charged out of his corner
throwing punches with bad intentions, and mixing it up with low kicks to the thighs.
Mitchell clinched and worked his under-hooks through Nicholsons arms, prompting
Nicholson to start working his knees on the inside. Up against the ropes Mitchell
tripped him and attempted a triangle on the ground with Nicholson on top in the
half-mount. Evading the triangle attempt, Nicholson tried to commence ground-and-pounding,
but the fighters were on the very lip of the ring and the ref broke them apart
to prevent them falling out. Back on their feet, Nicholson led with another roundhouse
kick to the thigh and a big right hand before Mitchell clinched and tripped him
to the canvas. With Nicholson in his guard, Mitchell attempted another triangle
at the bell.
Nicholson rested on his stool, but Mitchell preferred to stand, so it was apparent
who was feeling freshest when the bell sounded to summon the combatants back into
action. The second round began following the same pattern as the first. Nicholson
swung a low roundhouse kick, before Mitchell closed the gap and took him down,
finally landing on top. From the top Mitchell took an elbow in the face before
throwing a flurry of his own that helped put him in position for an arm bar. Nicholson
tapped out, and Team Ground and Pound had their first victory of the evening.
The Team is barely a year old and they show real promise in their determination
and technique, but a little good sportsmanship wouldnt go amiss.
Four Lightweight Bout
Sugden vs. Aaron Chatfield
one was almost over before it started. Both men were making their debuts as MMA
professionals, and apparently all the excitement had left Brian Sugden primed
and ready to explode. The bell hadnt stopped ringing before he tore across
the ring and lashed out at his opponent with a furious tirade of punches. He seized
Chatfield who was trying to clinch and slammed him to the canvas. The slam may
have been what knocked Chatfield out, but Sugden was so pumped up he threw a handful
of shots before he realised his opponent was unconscious. Sugden was already backing
off when the referee called a halt. Oxygen was administered to the fallen fighter,
and happily Aaron was soon back on his feet, which was clearly a relief to his
victorious opponent. The ring announcer called the stoppage at 28 seconds of the
first round, marking a wild and lightning fast pro debut for Brian Sugden.
Five Light-Heavyweight European Bout
Gonzalez (Spain) vs. Tom Blackledge (England)
was first of the Spanish fighters on the card tonight, and he came with some impressive
credentials, being a veteran of the M-1 Russia competition and Spanish Vale Tudo
Champion. He cut an imposing figure in the ring, with heavily muscled arms and
shoulders. His opponent Tom Blackledge has his fair share of past victories to
his credit, with the fastest knockout in Grapple and Strike history timed
at three (yes, three) seconds.
the outset, Blackledge opened up the exchange of martial musings with a jumping
front kick that didnt land clean on Gonzalez, but stopped the Spaniard closing
the gap. Blackledge shot in and took Gonzalez down, but was unable to maintain
control, allowing Gonzalez to escape to his feet. The Spaniard then began his
own assault, launching a fearsome ground and pound that encouraged the Englishman
to get back to his feet. Gonzalez threw some heavy leather and Blackledge responded
with a high roundhouse that landed on his opponents shoulder. Gonzalez took
the opportunity to push Blackledge into a corner, where the English warrior demonstrated
some fast footwork in swapping places with the rampaging Spaniard. Blackledge
punched and threw another high kick, but they landed on his targets arms
and gloves. Moving out of the corner swinging at Blackledges chin, the Spaniard
was caught in a headlock and thrown to the ground, where Blackledge landed on
the bottom. He attempted a triangle, but Gonzalez muscled out of it and threw
shots from the half-mount, but was unable to work past Blackledges guard.
Gonzalez regained his feet and scored a kick to the head of his prone opponent
that clearly shook Blackledge up badly. The bell rang with Blackledge on his back
and Gonzalez looking for a way to dive in without getting caught in the guard.
rounds Blackledge was sucking gas in his corner, trying to find his second wind.
Alas, there was no respite and the bell sounded calling him back to the fray.
Clearly tired and unwilling to trade shots, Blackledge immediately shot for a
single leg, but Gonzalez, who looked fresh despite the pace of the opening foray,
drove Blackledge on to his back. The English scrapper managed to hold Gonzalez
in his guard and the pair were separated by the referee, forcing the tired British
pugilist back to his feet. Blackledge threw two high roundhouse kicks at the advancing
Gonzalez, but they landed on the shoulder, and Blackledge tumbled into his corner
as Gonzalez drove relentlessly forwards. With the Spaniard on top throwing down
punishment, and an exhausted Blackledge unable to defend himself, the referee
stopped the contest just as the towel was about to come in from the English corner.
It was am impressive performance by both men and an auspicious start for the Spanish
Lightweight International Superfight
Davis (USA) vs. Pat Carr (England)
martial cross-cultural exchange was between American Brian Davis, who trains with
the Ze Marcello Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, and the very popular British fighter
Pat Carr, the Ultimate Combat 4 European Superfight Champion. When the action
began, Davis took Carr down to the canvas, gaining the top position and trying
to score with shots to Carrs head. Pat defended and started working his
way out, leading Davis to switch to an attempted leg lock. Carr, demonstrating
technical virtuosity and tremendous speed, switched around and applied a rear
choke. The American succeeded in escaping the choke and landed a shot to Carrs
face before attempting a choke of his own. With Carr on his back, Davis squeezed
the front choke in hard, but Carr, despite turning bright red, broke his grip
and held Davis in his guard before the referee broke them apart a short while
later due to a lack of action. Upright, Carr threw a roundhouse as Davis closed
the gap for a takedown that saw the British fighter land in the half-mount. Pat
threw a flurry of shots and as Davis worked for the reversal, Carr switched to
an arm-bar. There was no escaping this one, and Davis tapped out as Carr cranked
on his elbow.
less than a round, this was an outstanding match, with both fighters displaying
speed, technique and heart. Carr was so delighted with his victory that he performed
a headstand in the middle of the ring. Hes an extremely slick competitor,
able to switch direction and tactics in a heartbeat, and hopefully well
see a lot more of him in the future.
Seven Welterweight Bout
Rogerson vs. Matt Thorpe
Thorpe, a member of Team Coliseum from Cheshire, squared off with Daniel Rogerson,
the third fighter from Team Ground and Pound to grace the ring this evening. Thorpe
got the proceedings underway with a high kick that was answered with a flurry
of punches from the Manchester fighter, who forced his way inside and introduced
Thorpe to the canvas. Thorpe was looking for a submission, and worked his legs
in for a triangle choke, to which Rogerson responded by picking up his opponent
and slamming him to the floor. Attempting a second slam, Rogerson allowed Thorpe
to flip him over and down, but the fighter kept his wits about him and landed
in position to snap on an arm-bar. Thorpe tapped out, and the Manchester posse
had another notch in their collective belt.
Eight Middleweight European Bout
Navarro (Spain) vs. Sandy Geddes (Scotland)
was time for the Spanish contingent to grace the squared ring once more in the
hugely muscled form of Antonio Navarro, whose previous credits include holding
the Spanish Kickboxing Championship belt. Apparently Navarro must have had some
trouble coming through Her Majestys Customs, who apparently had confiscated
his neck, because his head seemed directly connected to his massive shoulders.
Facing him in the blue corner was Sandy Geddes, a member of the Paratroop Regiment
of Scottish extraction. Geddes looked slightly taller than his Spanish dancing
partner, but Navarro looked the more powerful. From the opening bell Geddes made
use of his own kickboxing experience, throwing a high roundhouse at the advancing
Navarro. The two men clinched, and Geddes kept working, scoring with a punch to
the Spaniards head. Navarro then relocated matters to the canvas, where
Geddes tried an unsuccessful guillotine choke, not an easy technique to attempt
on someone with no neck. Navarro threw some hurtful shots from his position on
top, then sprawled to catch the Paratrooper in an upper four-direction pin. Navarro
proceeded to crush his opponent into the floor of the ring, smothering him, forcing
Geddes to tap. So far it had been a very felicitous night for the scrappers from
Team Shoot Espana. But the night wasnt over yet.
Nine Heavyweight European Bout
Nielsen (Denmark) vs. Ryan Robinson (England)
for the big men to leave their mark. Pauli Nielsen, from Denmark, is the training
partner of Lars Besand, the Danish heavyweight Shootfighting Champion. Ryan Robinson
had fought the month before in "Cage Rage 2" in London where he had
defeated Lance King. True to form, Robinson began the bout launching a front kick
at Nielsens breadbasket, before the two men clinched. Ryan forced the action
to the ground, where the Dane attempted an arm-bar. As Ryan rolled out of the
arm-bar, he caught a foot in the face from Nielsen, which, unfortunately for the
Danish fighter, only seemed to enrage the British warrior. A furious Robinson
grabbed Nielsen in a headlock and hurled him to the ground, where he quickly secured
a rear choke. Nielsen tapped out and a pumped up Robinson was clearly delighted.
Trophy in hand he hollered, "I love winning!" above the applause of
Ten Lightweight Bout
McLaughlin vs. Lee Bowers
into the spotlight were Cambridge fighter Dave McLaughlin, a veteran of Ultimate
Combat and the Russian Cage Fighting Champion. Facing him was Lee Bowers, a three
time Grapple and Strike combatant, who had the benefit of having Pat Carr in his
corner on this occasion. Bowers opening gambit was a high kick to the head, which
McLaughlin took on the arm. When Bowers repeated the trick, McLaughlin rushed
in for a takedown. On the ground the action flowed with alacrity, as Bowers tried
for a guillotine, McLaughlin attempted an ankle lock, and then having both failed
in their submission attempts, the two fighters traded blows as they switched positions.
McLaughlin, finding it to be his turn on top, made good use of his position to
crank on a key-lock. Bowers tried to muscle out of it, but the lock was on tight,
and he had to tap as McLaughlin notched up the pressure.
Eleven Middleweight European Superfight
Garcia (Spain) vs. Paul Ramsdale (England)
Garcia, from Team Shoot Espana, came in to the ring with an extremely impressive
résumé, that includes an MMA record of 12-2, and the Brazilian Grappling
Championship title. His antagonist tonight was the Millennium Brawl British Title
Holder Paul Ramsdale. When the bell called the fighters out of their corners,
Ramsdale emerged as the aggressor, hurling punches before shooting in to take
Garcia down. Before the Spaniard had a chance to apply any kind of submission,
Ramsdale picked him back up only to slam him down hard. Pouring on the pressure,
Paul then unloaded leather, before Garcia escaped to his feet and found Ramsdales
back. Showing excellent defence, Ramsdale resisted a rear choke, and turned around,
finding himself in Garcias guard. The Spanish brawler looked like he had
a good chance of securing a triangle choke, but the ever-defiant Ramsdale dug
short punches in to his opponents ribs. Just as it looked as though Ramsdale
would escape the triangle, Garcia switched to a textbook demonstration of an arm-bar,
and Ramsdale suddenly found himself tapping out. An excellent outing for both
competitors, with Garcia showing grace under pressure and quick wits in switching
to the arm-bar from the triangle.
Twelve Ultimate Combat British Title Fight Welterweight
Webb vs. Paul Jenkins
Paul "Hands of Stone" Jenkins is one of the busiest fighters on the
UK circuit. A British and Welsh Kickboxing Champion, Jenkins obviously likes to
keep himself occupied, he must be a disciple of the old boxing adage "Rest
Makes Rust". There was no rust in evidence tonight when Jenkins took on David
Webb, from Tokon Submission, for the British Title. In the first round, both men
displayed their kickboxing training, trading kicks from the bell. Jenkins threw
a low roundhouse, which Webb answered with a high roundhouse, but neither landed
clean. Jenkins threw a second low kick before letting his hands fly, encouraging
Webb to clinch. Jenkins caught Webb with a trip and they went down, where the
Welshman threw a series of punches before Webb managed to restrain him in the
guard. After a short stalemate on the floor, the referee stepped in to separate
the pair, and on their feet they traded blows before grappling. Displaying his
strength, Webb drove Jenkins in to a neutral corner where he held him against
the ring post. Jenkins tried another trip, and Webb was having none of it, keeping
Jenkins trapped in the corner. In response, Jenkins used his free right hand to
work on Webbs ribs, and began climbing the ropes looking for leverage. The
referee stepped in and broke the two men apart, but they immediately clinched
again and Webb returned Jenkins to the neutral corner. Unable to break the clinch,
Jenkins started stomping on Webbs feet, which sufficiently unsettled the
fighter for Jenkins to grab a leg and take Webb down. The Englishman reversed
Jenkins and they regained their feet. Jenkins scored with a low roundhouse to
the outer thigh just before the bell for the end of the first round.
second began with Webb giving Jenkins a taste of his own medicine, landing a low
roundhouse. Jenkins shot for a leg, but got caught in a potential guillotine.
He managed to drive Webb to the canvas, breaking the hold and finally getting
the opportunity to unleash a fearsome ground and pound. This is Jenkins
bread and butter, and he let his hands go, scoring repeatedly to Webbs face
and head. As the leather rained down the referee stepped in to save the defenceless
Webb from absorbing further damage.
finally has a British MMA title to show for all his hard work, and was clearly
delighted with the win. The Welsh warrior is a tough and determined fighter and
acquitted himself with panache on this occasion.
Thirteen Lightweight Bout
Haluk vs. John Waite
Haluk was the last member of Team Ground and Pound to enter the ring at Ultimate
Combat 5. Opposing him was John Waite from Team Warriors in Portsmouth, a two-time
Ultimate Combat veteran. Haluk was the aggressor from the get-go, throwing fast,
hard punches at Waite, catching him in the face and driving his man against the
ropes. Waite tried to take Haluk down, then scored with a high kick that slowed
Haluk long enough for Waite to take him to the canvas. The Manchester fighter
tried on a triangle for size, but Waite responded, landing punches to Haluks
ribs in the process. As Waite tried to regain his feet, Haluk kept his legs locked
around his opponents neck, and rolled Waite on his back, trapping him between
his legs. Haluk then had free rein to land punches on the head and face of the
prone Waite, until the referee decided Waite had absorbed sufficient battering
to warrant calling a halt. "Ground and pound, thats what Im talking
about!" said a very pumped up Haluk, whose victory took the final total for
the Manchester team to 3-1 for the night.
Fourteen Light-Heavyweight International Superfight
Vazquez (Spain) vs. Pierre Guillet (USA)
was definitely the fight of the night. International Pankration Champion Ruben
Vazquez, from Team Shoot Espana, looked like he only needed to be painted green
to double for the Incredible Hulk. Undefeated in MMA, Vazquez looked extremely
powerful coming in to the ring, with a barrel chest and huge shoulders and arms.
His opponent was the taller and slightly thinner American Pierre Guillet, who
is with the US Airforce, stationed near Cambridge. Guillet came to the ring with
an MMA record of 8-1-1, which includes two Ultimate Combat Superfight Champion
From the offing,
Vazquez rampaged across the ring, where he was met by a high roundhouse from the
American. Vazquez shot in for a double leg takedown, but Guillet sprawled. A second
takedown succeeded for the Spaniard and on the ground he tried to unload several
huge right hand haymakers on to Guillet, who defended well in the guard. Guillet
pushed Vazquez off and found his feet again. Vazquez shot in for another double
leg takedown, but this time Guillet sprawled and secured his underhooks, forcing
Vazquez to stay on his feet. The Spaniard drove Guillet into a neutral corner,
but Guillet scored repeatedly with his knees to the solar plexus and stomach,
even landing one knee strike to his opponents chin, which rattled Vazquez.
The referee separated the two fighters and moved them away from the ropes. Guillet
threw a high roundhouse and Vazquez dumped him on his back for his trouble. The
American worked punches in to his opponents ribs, before Vazquez tried a
choke. Guillet responded with an attempted arm lock, and the two fighters were
tangled on the floor when the bell rang for the end of round one.
sat on his stool between rounds, while Vazquez stayed on his feet, but coming
out for the second go-round, the American seemed to have more gas in the tank.
Guillet landed a low thigh kick on the advancing Spaniard, before sprawling to
resist another take down attempt. Guillet scored with short punches in the clinch
before Vazquez grabbed him in a bear hug and threw him down. Fighting out of the
guard, Guillet landed several shots to Vazquez face and tried out a triangle
choke. All the while the Spanish warrior was trying to find Guillets chin
with his big right hand. The Spaniard backed away from a moment, trying to regain
his breath, before moving back in again, swinging away with a vengeance. Guillet
tied him up and tried a triangle, then an ankle lock. Vazquez continued to swing
his right arm like a baseball bat, but Guillet defended brilliantly, constantly
tying him up in the guard and landing short punches, and the Spaniard was breathing
hard. The crowd was roaring encouragement and members of Guillets entourage
led a chant of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" to spur their fighter on. After a third
triangle failed by Guillet, the fighters stood back up and clinched. Guillet scored
with a knee in the kisser, and Vazquez was clearly suffering. Now it was Guillets
turn to take Vazquez down, holding him in the guard where he foiled every attempt
by Vazquez to ground and pound. The round ended with Vazquez trying desperately
to find Guillet with his right hand haymakers at the bell.
staggered back to his corner, where his trainer obviously decided his man was
spent. The towel went in before the bell rang for the overtime round and that
was the end of Vazquez unbeaten record. Guillet received a huge round of
applause, which was richly deserved. He fought with guts, skill and outstanding
ringmanship, keeping his head under tremendous pressure. Hopefully Guillet will
be back for Ultimate Combat 6 in June, if he isnt called up to active duty
in the Gulf first.
Fifteen Ultimate Combat British Title Fight - Lightweight
Chen vs. Paul Sutherland
of the fighters competing for Lightweight honours were Ultimate Combat regulars.
Mark Chen from Harrow took on Paul Sutherland from the Rough House Gym in Gloucester.
Sutherland looked like he was in top shape coming out for the opening bell. He
threw a high roundhouse, allowing Chen to shoot in for a takedown and an attempt
to secure a key lock. Chen brought Sutherland into his guard, but was unable to
stop two solid punches finding their mark from his opponent. Sutherland attempted
to break free of the guard, but Chen wasnt about to let his man escape and
as the two rolled across the canvas they rolled out under the bottom rope. They
were saved by the officials ringside table and were separated by the referee
to prevent them falling completely out of the ring. Back on their feet, Chen took
Sutherland back to the ground, but Sutherland was getting the best of the action
on the floor, scoring another punch and venturing an arm-bar. Chen replied with
a guillotine choke, pulling it on tight. Sutherland was able to get his feet planted
and the referee broke them apart when neither man was able to continue working.
Chen threw a pair of high kicks on his feet, but left himself off-balance for
a takedown, where Sutherland threw short hard shots into Chens ribs on the
ground. The bell drew the curtain on the first round, which Sutherland had taken
with his more effective groundwork.
second round set up the pattern for the rest of the fight. The combatants invariably
went to the ground, where Chen was unable to control Sutherland in the half-guard.
For his part, Sutherland wore Chen down with numerous small shots to his face
and body. Separated by the referee for inactivity, Sutherland immediately shot
back in and took Chen down again, landing in his guard, where he continued pecking
away at him with short punches. The referee broke them apart again, and the pattern
was replayed Sutherland took Chen down, and continued to methodically apply
a ground and pound. The second round belonged to Sutherland, who was the only
fighter to score with his offensive skills.
the break between the second and third rounds, Mark Chen looked drained. Ignoring
his corner-mens frantic appeals to stand back and punch, Chen opened the
third with another high kick. True to form, Sutherland shot in underneath the
kick for a single leg takedown, and found himself in the familiar territory of
Chens guard. Chen appeared unable to mount any kind of offence, and it was
up to Sutherland to carry the action and he stuck to his ground and pound. By
this point Chens face was becoming increasingly marked up and it was all
he could do to keep his much fresher opponent in the guard.
two-minute overtime round failed to deviate from the established form, with more
ground and pound from Sutherland, who could see the title at the end of the tunnel.
At the close of the final round, Sutherland earned the unanimous decision and
the Ultimate Combat British Lightweight belt. The three judges scored the fight
36/40, 36/40 and 37/40 for Paul, whose face looked completely untouched and he
was beaming with happiness as promoter Dale Adams strapped the Championship Belt
around his waist.
the evening came to a close. The fans went home happy, after an evening of furious
action in the ring. It was certainly an easy night for the three judges, who were
only called upon to deliver one single decision. Paul Jenkins realised his British
Title ambitions, and Pierre Guillet and Ruben Vazquez fought a masterful scrap.
Roll on Ultimate Combat 6! Report by David West
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