The Alaska Fighting Championship closed out the season with a huge, 12 fight card tonight, capping it with two title fights. Controversy was not absent, and quick, brutal match-ups ruled the night. Results and recaps follow.
Don't forget to check back in this weekend for awards, analysis, photos, and the Final Word!
HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT
Brian Ryan def. Rod Pucak
Round 1, KO (knee)
Pucak goes on the offensive early, swinging shots hard and fast. This bold and unexpected strategy catches everyone off-guard, including the champion. Ryan counters and manages to evade most of the strikes, but gets caught up in a clinch. They separate after a moment, and 'Short Notice' goes right back on the attack. Pucak eats a few of Ryan's signature body shots, but catches the champion with at least one blow, as Ryan's nose starts to bleed. Ryan sticks and jab in the challenger's face that stops his charge. He sneaks in a few more power body shots that are obviously starting to sap Pucak's energy. Pucak lowers his head for a takedown, but Ryan lands a flying knee as soon as the thought crosses Pucak's mind. Pucak falls into the champ for a desperation takedown attempt, but he's easily shrugged off. The champion is landing huge power shots, one and a time, and Pucak is in serious trouble. It's left! Right! Left! Right! Knee to the jaw, and Pucak is down and out! A vintage Brian Ryan fight.
WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT
'Naptime' Nic Herron-Webb def. 'The Amazing' Joe Murphy
Round 1, TKO (strikes)
Greatland Martial Art's 'Naptime' takes the center of the cage right away. Gracie Barra's Murphy lands an solid inside leg kick on the southpaw champ. Murphy goes for a trip, but Herron-Webb defends it and backs away. Herron-Webb lands few thumping leg kicks of his own. Murphy is trying to use his reach with a pawing jab, but Nic continues landing those leg kicks. Nic lands an uppercut counter and a left cross. Murphy answers right back with a straight right of his own. The fighters are getting a feel for each other, trading punching combinations. Murphy lunges forward with combo that hits air. Nic fakes a leg kick and connects with a punching combo. Murphy just misses with a monster uppercut. 'Naptime' is picking the challenger apart and breaking him down with kicks and punches strung together in glorious concert. Murphy pushes forward for a takedown, but Nic awesomely reverses mid-fall and ends up on top. Murphy looks to his rubber guard and works for an omoplata, but Herron-Webb spins and blocks the move with his body, ending up in half-guard on the other side. Murphy gets guard back and tries to separate an arm. Nic bangs out some short ground'n'pound, but Murphy times it and locks up a triangle. Nic punches and twists out showing a flexibility normally reserved for people who've had ribs removed (really makes you wonder...). As Murphy moves to this hands and knees to stand back up, 'Naptime' takes his back. He starts raining down hammerfists about Murphy's head. Murphy turtles, and Nic is relentless. He continues the onslaught until the referee finally steps in.
Terrence 'Terr-Bear' Mitchell def. Josh Branham
Rd. 1, TKO (strikes)
Former Frontier Vale Tudo product (who's been training with the Wolfpack since his old gym closed) Mitchell tests with a leg kick and jabs. Mitchell catches Gracie Barra's Branham with a sweeping right-hand rocket that knocks him off his feet. Mitchell swarms him while Branham tries to regain position. His hands are nowhere near his face to defend, however, and the referee Pino steps in right away. Branham is up immediately and complains of a possible early stoppage.
Tommy 'The Pot-Bellied Assassin' Ide def. Austin Banks
Rd. 2, DQ (illegal knees)
The fighters feel each other out for a minute, then Ide, fighting out of GMA, shoots in for a takedown. Ide mis-gauges his throw and ends up mounted, but he gets back up, eating shots all the while. Ide never moves away and has hold of a single leg, but can't get the takedown. He lifts Banks into the air, but Banks manages to ride the momentum and get on top. Ide spins to his knees, and Banks lands a very illegal knee to his head while he's still down. Referee Paul Stockler steps in to pause the fight. Banks looks apologetic. Neither fighter is staying in their neutral corner, like they're supposed to, and Ide is getting water. The crowd chants, “Tommy! Tommy!” Ref finally moves both to neutral corners. Ide looks like he will continue. When the action restarts Ide shoots in again, while eating a knee. Ide is fighting hard for a takedown and gets it, but the Stockler immediately stands them up and takes a point from Banks for grabbing the fence. 'the Pot-Bellied Assassin' is not pleased. When the action restarts Ide again gets the quick single leg and passes to side control. Ide is peppering with elbows and hammerfists while working for the crucifix. Banks looks like he will get up, but Ide uses a half-nelson to take his back. Ide goes for a rear naked choke, but his hooks aren't in, and Banks flips him over his head, taking top position. Banks rests for a few seconds before Ide pushes out and gets his hips back. Ide hangs onto a single leg while eating huge and numerous elbows, some of the illegal 12-6 variety, and fists to his back. Stockler warns Banks about the elbows. Ide pushes through to finish the takedown, but Banks stands against the cage, hanging onto Ide's neck. He punches the kidney while Ide punches his thigh until the round ends. A very dirty round. I call the round 9-9, taking the point deduction into account.
Banks comes in with punches, but Ide times them and gets into the clinch again. He pushes Banks against the cage while eating more shots to the back and kidneys. He yanks Banks away and looks like he'll get the single leg, but Banks incredibly stays on his feet and gets his own single-leg takedown. Ide is stacked against the fence, and Banks lands another illegal knee to his head. Stockler has seen enough and disqualifies Banks. Nobody is happy, and boos fill the Sullivan Arena.
Jethro Taylor def. Josh Brown
Round 1, KO (strikes)
The two clash in the center of the cage. Brown lands some good hooks, then is pushed back by some clean shots from Taylor. Brown attempts to grab a Thai clinch, but eats a thunderous right that knocks him down. Two punches on the ground for good measure and the referee stops the fight.
Josh 'The Rooster' Luther def. Drew 'Spider Monkey' Lipton
Round 1, KO (hammerfists)
Lipton starts with a spinning wheel kick, then fakes an off the wall kick. Lipton shoots in and lands a smacking right haymaker, but Luther closes the distance and dirty boxes. They clinch against the cage and Lipton gets the takedown. Luther throws up an armbar and looks like he has it for a second, but but Lipton steps over and out and hammerfists 'The Rooster' in the temple. He's briefly in north-south position, but Luther reverses and gets to side control. Lipton gets his hips back and stands up, but Luther has his neck and lands a knee. Lipton flops on his back in what can only be described as pulling side control. Luther lands some ground'n'pound before Lipton reverses again. Luther puts up another armbar, but Lipton steps over and out again. Luther, from his own back, lands several hammerfists to either the side or possibly the back of the head, depending on who you ask. Lipton goes out cold. The crowd sees the replay and voices its disapproval.
Joe 'Joe Di Joe' Degroff def. Zach 'Snack Pack' Shelly
Round 1, TKO (punches and knees to the body)
Degroff displays his usual unorthodox style. Degroff lands a leg kick to start things off. The two feel each other out, and Degroff lands a cup-check square to Shelley's naughty bits, causing an early pause in the action. When the action restarts Degroff sneaks in a middle finger signal into his feints. GMA's Shelley catches a kick and clinches against the fence, working for the takedown. After struggling for a minute he gets it, taking side control against the cage. Shelley works for a Von Flue choke, but Degroff manages to get back to guard. Shelly passes to half-guard. Degroff uses the cage to start standing up, but Shelley takes his back in the process and falls backward with a rear naked choke. 'Joe di Joe' gives a thumbs up and suddenly spins out, taking side control! Shelley spins and Degroff has his back. Shelley stands up, but the boxer Degroff gets a takedown of his own! Shelley stands again. Degroff has Shelley pinned against the fence, with standing back control, landing right hooks to the kidney, while Shelley looks for a kimura. They separate. Degroff clips Shelley with a clean right hook, and Shelley is rocked. Smelling blood in the water, Degroff keeps the pressure on. 'Snack Pack' tries to close the distance and clinch to recuperate, but the former champ lands an uppercut that sends him to the ground. Shelley turtles up, and Degroff lands knees to the body until the referee steps in.
Josh 'Double Trouble' Hubble def. Tristan 'The Squirminator' Slatts
Rd. 1, Submission (guillotine)
Both fighters come out swinging and Hubble lands three counter rights to Slatts' face. Slatts, who trains with Krazy Kids Fight Klub, responds with ill-intentioned but wild strikes, sneaking a right hand through. They clinch and throw uppercuts. Hubble trips him to the mat and quickly moves to mount. Slatts squirms in his typical style and manages to slip free and get up. However, he leaves his neck out, and Hubble sets the deep guillotine. The tapout comes immediately, bringing an abrupt halt to an all-action fight.
Jason 'Showtime' Coomes def. Shane Hatcher
Round 1, Submission (strikes)
Coomes struts into the cage to the voice of guest cage announcer David Arquette (yes, THAT David Arquette!)
Hatcher feints some strikes to close the distance, but the much larger Coomes defends and lands series of viscous knees. Hatcher goes down and Coomes swarms him with fists and animosity. Hatcher rolls to his stomach and Coomes continues the ground'n'pound attack. Hatcher, very uncomfy, taps out.
CATCHTWEIGHT 195 LBS
Josh Tyrell def. Josh 'The Mosh Pit' Aynes
Round 1, Submission (forearm choke)
Tyrell closes with punches and clinches up for the trip takedown, landing in half-guard. Tyrell lands a hard elbow, and Aynes tries to hold him down. Tyrell puts his forearm on his opponent's throat and pushes. Aynes doesn't know the simple defense, and taps out. Huh, I've never seen that happen before.
Richard Neighbors def. Donovan Mateo
Round 1, Submission (strikes)
Neighbors carries a 15 pound weight advantage into the cage, a huge amount of bulk for the lower weight classes.
Neighbors flurries quickly, punching Mateo back and down with a series of rights to the body. Mateo, a member of Krazy Kids Fight Klub, curls into the fetal position against the cage as Neighbors wails on him. 10 seconds in Mateo is tapping.
CATCHTWEIGHT 160 LBS
Victor 'The Berserk Platypus' Plantier vs. Shay Ragsdale
Round 1, Submission (guillotine)
Ragsdale tests with some jabs, then darts in. 'The Berzerk Platypus' goes for a Thai clinch, but Ragsdale gets underhooks and they fight for the takedown. After a moment Ragsdale gets Plantier to the ground, but he's in guard and Plantier grabs a tight guillotine, and Ragsdale taps out.