A decent night of fights was marred at the climax tonight, as the highly anticipated main event ended in controversy and disappointment.
Be sure to check back in later for awards, quotes, pictures, analysis, and the Final Word!
MAIN EVENT: BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT
Jesse 'The Puerto Rican Game Cock' Cruz def. Zach 'Baby Bear' Eastlick
Rd. 2, Disqualification (illegal knee)
The anticipation has reached a fevered pitch as a noisy section of fans chants for Eastlick and the challenger yells at the champ's face during their final instructions.
Eastlick opens by landing a hard leg kick. Cruz slips trying to throw one of his own. He slips again dodging a counter-punch from the challenger. Eastlick throws counters and combinations at air to keep Cruz at bay.The two briefly clinch, and Eastlick misses with a big swing on the break. Cruz connects with a right hand. The two clinch again and Eastlick picks the champ up and, the crowd chanting his name, takes him down with a big slam. Eastlick in side control. Cruz tries to wall walk and escape, but Eastlick takes his back. Cruz eats some blows, then rolls to half guard while still on bottom.
Baby Bear' postures up and tries to strike, but Cruz grabs him and gets his guard back. Eastlick wisely scoots to cage to stack up, but 'Game Cock' sees what's coming and is able to squirm away from the wall. Eastlick works some shoulder punches while Cruz throws some strikes from bottom. Eastlick stands up, stand'n'pound on his mind. Cruz tries an armbar, but it's not even close. A scramble ensues, and both fighters end up on their feet. Cruz uncorks a flying knee and manages to sail OVER his opponent. Both fighters take turns with strong, short combos. Eastlick grabs a leg and secures the takedown to guard. Eastlick, the crowd again chanting his name, stacks up to prevent a submission attempt. Both fighters are throwing short, close punches from guard, but neither is causing much damage. 'Baby Bear' lands a short elbow to the face. With ten seconds in the round Eastlick postures up and swings for the fences. Cruz takes the opportunity to snap on a triangle. Eastlick lifts him for a slam, conjuring images of the past, but wisely lets go to prevent it. Bell.
Eastlick takes the round 10-9 on my very unofficial scorecard.
Cruz tries an inside leg kick, but comes in high and hits his opponent in the junk. The ref stops the fight, letting Eastlick recover. As the fight resumes the fighters slap hands. Cruz lands a left hook. Eastlick responds with a leg kick. Cruz has a head kick blocked. Eastlick stuffs a leg kick and gets the takedown to guard. Cruz tries to escape back to his feet, but Eastlick sucks him back. Referee Al Medina stops the fight as Eastlick complains about Cruz landing blows to the back of his head. The champ gets a point taken away. Medina also elects t stand them up rather than restarting them from their position. He restarts this rapidly dirtying fight. Both fighters missing combos. Cruz lands a spinning backfist, but Eastlick grabs him up and gets another takedown, this time to mount. Eastlick is being held close, but he keeps incrementally damaging Cruz with shoulder jabs and typewriter punches. Cruz looks uncomfortable and scrambles. The champion is getting back to his feet, and Eastlick unleashes a devastating knee that lands flush to Cruz's head. The 'Game Cock' is out cold, but the ref says Eastlick threw it about a second too early, and that it landed while Cruz still has a knee on the ground at the point of impact. Eastlick is disqualified for the very illegal move.
Boos rain down, and the noisy crowd calls the ref's competence into question. The replay looked inconclusive, as the camera did not show the champ's knees at the time of impact. But that is moot, as there is no instant replay rule in the AFC, a fact that many people also took issue with.
You hate to see it end this way. The ending left much to talk about, and it seemed like everyone had a different interpretation and opinion. More on this fight later.
CO-MAIN EVENT: LIGHTWEIGHT
Cody 'Pelligro' Rice def. Josh 'The Rooster' Luther
Rd. 1, Submission (armbar)
Rice comes out in his southpaw stance. Rice tests Luther with some jabs, but eats a low kick. Luther tries a head kick, gbut it's blocked. Luther lands a nice knuckle-bomb and 'Pelligro' clinches for a takedown. Luther fights it off and Rice pushes him against the cage. The two flurry, with Rice landing a few decent blows. Luther goes for a takedown and Rice pulls guard. Rice thinks triangle, then armbar, but Luther fights it off and lands some punches. 'The Rooster' tries to pass and gets caught in the triangle. Luther struggles and pops out, taking mount. He rains blows while Rice complains of an eye gouge. Luther stands, Rice sticks an up kick and stands, catching some hamrockets on the way. The two clinch again and Rice gets a takedown to mount. He lands some punches, but Luther reverses very nicely. But what's this? Rice snatched up Luther's arm on the reversal. He has the armbar and the submission! A good back and forth figh
CATCHWEIGHT 215 LBS
Tommy 'The Pot-Bellied Assassin' Ide def. Alton 'Dreadz' Prince
Rd. 1, Submission (strikes)
Ide shoots in immediately and gets the take down, moving to mount right away. He lands a few hard blows to the body and fights Prince for wrist control. Prince rolls to back, his arms defending his head. With no face to hit, 'The Pot-Bellied Assassin' attacks his opponent's shoulders. Prince is covering up and not trying to escape or do much of anything. Ide, in complete control, but unable to find an opening, begins to showboat, playing a kind of fist patty-cake with Prince's shoulder blades. It's funny and the crowd loves it. Prince finally tries to escape by...attempting a pushup? With Ide still on his back? Seriously? Wow. Naturally, this doesn't come close to working. Ide lands two punches and a hammerfist to the face area and Prince taps out.
Niko The Graceful Greek' Apostolos def. Byron Hutson
Rd. 1, Submission (position)
The two clash quick and clinch. Hutson has both of Apostolos' arms and head. I'm not sure what he's trying to do, but he ends up on bottom. Hutson let- go and twists to guard. Apostolos, sporting a Nettles-level cup, passes guard to a sort of north-south back control, and Hutson stands up. Apostolos, hanging onto his opponent's neck, half threatening a guillotine, and lands several knees as he has his back pushed against the cage. He spins and has his opponent's back to the cage, and after about thirty seconds Hutson pushes away from cage and separates, throwing a wild hook. Hutson goes for guillotine, but when he falls to his back he doesn't pull guard, instead pulling Apostolos into top side control. Hutson knowledge of the finer points of grappling appears to be, at best, theoretical. Hutson hangs onto his opponent head, but Apostolos gets out and starts pounding face. Hutson tries to scramble away, but Apostolos jumps on his back, flattening him immediately. Before he can even throw a single strike, however, Hutson taps out to the scary position. A terrible end to a terrible fight.
CATCHWEIGHT 215 LBS
Chris 'Cupcake' Cuff def. Steven Patrick
Rd. 1, TKO (hammerfists)
Cuff, a Wolfpack fighter giving up five inches to his opponent, uses two kicks to close the distance. He picks Patrick up for a big slam, and frenzies him with hammerfists. Patrick curls up and the ref steps in.
Rayn Mors def. Joseph Devin
Rd. 1, Submission (rear naked choke)
Mors lands big left hook to start things off. Devin, coming in underweight again, chases with straight punches and kicks, but isn't landing much. Mors backpeddling fast, trying to stay out of danger. Devin, six inches taller, is using his length, and appears to have improved his stand-up game. Mors clinches and gets a big takedown and lands a few bombs, but Devin scrambles up, his nose bleeding. Devin on attack again, and landing good punches! The two clinch and fight for the takedown. Mors eventually wins the battle, going straight to back control. He traps Devin's right arm with his legs and gets rear naked choke to work.
Justin Zellweger def. Josh Tyrell
Rd. 1, Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Zellweger lands some punches, closes distance, and goes for a guillotine choke. Tyrell goes for takedown, but Zellbeger pushes him down and clock-walks to back control. Zellweger gets a hook in and works for a rear naked choke. Zellweger has both hooks now, but Tyrell hand fights for survival. Zellweger abandons the choke and tries to soften him up. Zellweger flattens Tyrell out and sinks the choke, getting the tap out.
Naomi 'Misspelled Gibberish' Ottoway def. Lea Kapuina
Rd. 2, KO (punch)
Ottoway walks in with a huge size advantage, outweighing Kapuina 191 to 173 lbs.
Both flurry with the ugliest strikes since strikes began. neither attempts any defense or footwork. The two are pumping their arms non-stop, Kapuina landing more close-fisted slaps. Ottoway lands a few body kicks, then grabs a headlock and muscles through a pretty cool hip toss takedown. She's on top, but lets Kapuina back up. Kapuina starts taking over the fight, with Ottoway taking a lot of damage and looking very tired. She turns her body and backpeddles, but still tries to land some counters. She clinches twice and tries two more takedowns from clinch, but Kapuina pushes away and lands more straight punches all aimed at the face. Neither of these fighters seem to realize that they have a body to aim at too. Ottoway looks dead on her feet, then miraculously, impossibly turns it around. Kapuina might have punched herself out! Ottoway lands straight, clubbing punches up against the cage. Ten seconds to go and Kapuina looks back in it, desperately flinging her fists forward. Ottoway is bleeding from the mouth as she walks back to her corner.
10-9 Kapuina, if I were to score it.
Ottoway is on the attack, throwing body kicks and winging punches while walking forward. Through the law of averages and sheer tenacity, some get threw. Ottoway lands 12-6 hammerfists against the cage. Now Kapuina goes on the attack again! Both women are exhausted, but neither will give up. Ottoway connects with more straight punches to the face. Kapuina tries to give as good as she gets, but Ottoway is landing more. Finally Ottoway finds just the right spot and Kapuina's eyes close, her body falling into Ottoway and falling down, unconscious from either brain damage or exhaustion.
Zach Atkins def. Xavier 'Hands from Hell' Aquino
Rd. 2, TKO (retirement)
Aquino wings two overhand rights and ducks for a takedown, which is stuffed by Atkins. Aquino keeps fighting for it and Atkins pulls guard. Atkins keeps his guard active and reverses Aquino to mount. He fights his hands free while his opponent tries to throw his legs up to escape. Atkins drops bombs while Aquino wiggles to keep him off balance. Atkins must not know or want a submission as Aquino's arms go straight up but are ignored. Aquino takes some brutal thumping hammerfists before escaping out the backdoor. A scramble ensues and Aquino is back on bottom, in half guard, trying a guillotine. He cranks his heart out to no avail, and Atkins pops his head out and lands two punches as bell sounds.
I'd score it 10-9 Atkins if people asked me to, but nobody does, so I'll keep it to myself.
Aquino looks gassed. He lands a series of left jabs and hook, but there's no pop to them. He likely tired out his arms vainly cranking the choke last round. He wades forward and Atkins counters. Aquino, looking exhausted, clinches. Atkins pushes him up against the cage and lands some big knees, one of which knocks out Aquino's mouthguard. In a tremendous display of punchdrunk basassness, Aquino drops to a knee, puts his mouthguard back in while taking punches, and snatches Atkins' legs for the takedown to guard! Atkins steals the momentum back by reversing. The two are fighting for position down against the mat and fence. Atkins clearly grabs the cage, but the ref doesn't say anything. Aquino tries a leg lock. He cranks in for a while, but nothing doing. Atkins sits up into mount and lands huge fists and elbows, pausing in between for dramatic effect.
10-8 to Atkins.
Aquino decides he's had enough and retires between rounds.