What a beautiful fight night on the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Center is packed with fans and fighters, and I can’t wait to take in a stacked card for Pure FC 9! 26 total matches consisting of a mix of professional, amateur and Pankration bouts. This event was extremely well run; the production value and fluidity of the event went off like a well-oiled machine.
In looking at the card of competitors ahead of time, I couldn’t help but notice a many of the athletes had a very strong wrestling background. This isn’t always the case, but tonight it was certainly worth pointing out.
My coverage this evening started out on a 170lb bout between Peter Kulibert out of Fluid Jiu-Jitsu (0-1) vs. Peter Murphy of Pura Vida BJJ & MMA (0-0) making his amateur debut. If you blinked for this one you probably missed it Kulibert got off to a fast start and after a quick knockdown finished the contest with strikes at just 22 seconds of the 1st round evening up his record at 1-1.
Next up at 165lb saw Mike Lock Zero to 100 Fitness vs. Jason Alvarez 1-0 from Pura Vida BJJ & MMA. The fight starts with a quick takedown by Alvarez, and he almost moves to full mount immediately. Alavarez is in good position and advances to full mount. He has steady control as Lock rolls to give up his back and eats two big knees to the side. Alvarez sinks in a tight rear naked choke and but Lock fights through it and makes it out of the first round.
The 2nd round begins with the fighters eyeing each other up before Alvarez unloads a good head kick and follows with a right cross. This round ends with a takedown slam for Alvarez as we move to the final round. The 3rd round sees both fighters jockeying for position and working the jab. About halfway through the fight goes back to the ground and Alvarez moves to mount, but a nice move by Lock has him change positions to north-south momentarily. This match ends on the ground and a unanimous decision victory for Eddie Alvarez.
The 1st woman’s bout of the night featured Crystalynn Ortiz (0-1) fighting for The Farm vs. Krista Bowens (0-1) from Pura Vida BJJ & MMA. These two start the 140lb match throwing combinations. Both ladies are game with Crystalynn seeming to be the quicker of the two. After a few exchanges, the contest moves up against the cage. In the 2nd round Ortiz lands some solid combinations and has Bowens bleeding heavily, but Bowens continues to push forward and controls the action against the cage. Bowens appears to be the stronger of the fighters and works some dirty boxing against the cage throughout the fight. This one is a close contest, but the judges see it for Bowens in a split decision.
Back to back action for the women fights as Taylor Lamonska (2-1) from Unified Martial Arts takes on Carla Edwards making her amateur debut at 135lbs. The cage door closes, and Taylor comes out swinging, but Carla recovers quickly and takes the action to the cage. On the break, Taylor lands a shot to the midsection, answered with a quick hook by Carla. Carla continues to eat shots to the midsection and turns away from her opponent giving up her back, and a solid guillotine defended nicely by Carla.
Round 2 sees both women throwing kicks and then Carla throws an excellent tip kick creating space but doesn’t follow-up on the opportunity. Taylor’s movement is relentless in her pursuit of Edwards who is visibly tired with her hands momentarily on her side. Round 3 starts with both fighters looking to land shots. Taylor has landed some big shots, but Carla is game and lands a big superman punch on the center of the ring. This one ends with both fighters on their feet after a well-fought battle. Taylor takes the “W” by unanimous decision.
Eimar Hernandez (1-0) Pettis Martial Arts vs. Tyus White (2-0) Pura Vida BJJ & MMA is the next match at 135lbs. The match starts, and Tyus finds himself in Eimar’s guard. Solid guard play from Eimar as he looks for an armbar and Tyus chooses to slam him as the two separate with mutual hooks as they part. Eimar’s striking looks crisp and its starting to show on Tyus’s face. This round ends on the ground. Round 2 sees another amazing takedown by Tyus. His low ankle single leg is unstoppable, and he dumps Eimar to the ground. Eimar goes for a triangle and gets slammed out of it and transitions right into a tight armbar. Tyus is able to push his opponent away with his foot, and the round ends with Eimer eating hammer fists against the cage as Eimar goes for another submission.
The 3rd round starts with both fighters exchanging strikes and Tyus looking for the ankle pick. A caught head kick takes this to the ground and finishes with Tyus in Eimar’s guard fighting for position. The split decision win goes to Tyus White.
Rob Van Wormer (2-0) Fearless MMA vs. Nick Klein (2-0) these 185lb fighters start out throwing kicks and immediately Wormers back starts to show just how well Klein landed. This one is close to going to the ground via a takedown by Wormer, but Klein punishes him with hammer fists for his efforts. The action stops as Klein eats a knee to the groin area. The action begins again, and they move to round 2 with Van Wormers back really showing the effects of some great body kicks.
Round 2 has both combatants fighting for position, and halfway through Klein is finally taken down. They work back and forth, and Klein gets the better of the action sinking in a rear naked choke. Rob fights though and finds himself mounted. Round 3 sees continued punishment to the body of Van Wormer. The fight eventually goes to the ground, and Klein controls the pace and action through the end for the unanimous decision victory!
This next fight at 185lbs had all of the makings of a great fight if you look only at the action that took place during the course of the fight itself. Unfortunately what should have been a great debut for Jordan Newman (0-0) Roufusport MMA in a solid performance was marred but what took place after the fight against Josh Moody (4-1) Pura Vida BJJ & MMA. It’s clear there is no love lost between these two when the cage doors close. The action starts with Newman swinging and a big overhand right. Newman catches a single and drops Moody hard to the ground and postures up. Newman’s strengths and wrestling pedigree are on display early as he moves into side control and drops some hammer fists. The action is stood up, and after a slam by Newman, he finds himself in Moody’s guard. A clear shot to the back of Moody’s head has him dazed, and Newman pays for it with a 1 point deduction for the clear violation.
Round 2 starts with a quick talk to Newman from the ref. Moody lands a couple of good kicks and Newman misses with a superman punch and eats a tip kick by Moody. Newman secures a single leg dump and advances to half guard and the fights jockey for position as Moody works for butterfly guard but backs out to attempt an armbar. Josh continues to deliver shots in Moody’s guard. They keep moving for position, and although Jordan continues to drop shots, Moody is game and tries to finish round 2 with a kimura.
Round 3 starts with a quick uppercut by Newman and Moody is switching stances here. Moody eats an overhand right and then a shot to the gut, and that sets up a wicked spinning back fist that ends the fight. This one is over in the 3rd a TKO victory for Newman. Unfortunately, this impressive performance ends with Newman taunting and yelling obscenities at his downed opponent. It appears that video shows Moody being spit on while he is down. Video confirms this, but it’s not certain if it’s the yelling with a mouthguard in or a premeditated spit. Frankly, it doesn’t matter…this should have never ended this way. The corners aren’t happy with the way this one finished, and neither is the crowd.
The next match features the first title fight of the evening at 125 lbs. Featuring Cristians San Martin (4-0) Victory Martial Arts vs. Saul Stevens (5-4) Pura Vida BJJ & MMA. This one starts with the two feeling each other out with low kicks and feints. Lots of sizing each other up for the first few minutes. Saul makes good use of a Thai plum clinch to land a few good knees to end round one against the cage.
Round 2 starts with San Martin trying to figure out Saul’s range. As they engage, San Martin continues to find himself in the Thai plum and eat some more knees for his efforts. With a minute left in round 2, Saul is in excellent control as most of the action finishes against the cage with an inside leg trip to cap it off.
Round 3 begins in the center, and Saul eats a head kick but shakes it off and pushes forward. Both guys again find the action against the cage where they spend most of the round here until Saul scores again with an inside leg trip for a takedown. Saul has a large group in the crowd cheering on his efforts as his the fight ends. Your championship winner by unanimous decision is Saul Stevens!
The second title fight of the night takes place at 155lbs featuring Andrew Kauzlaric (3-0) Roufusport MMA vs. Bobby Oldenburg (4-1) Fearless MMA. The cage door closes, and the ref invites the fighters to engage, and they do so trading kicks and eventually work their way towards the cage to fight for position. Some inside dirty boxing sees an opening and Kauzlaric doesn’t think twice about sinking in the guillotine choke to end the contest at just over 1 minute into the fight. This action also brings a close to the amateur action portion of the evening as we look forward to the 8 pro bouts coming up after a quick intermission.
To kick off the pro fights, we have Bryan Bautista making his pro debut at 135lbs vs. Feroz Khan (0-1) Midwest Training Center. The action starts with a quick exchange as Khan takes it to the ground where Bautista slaps on a wicked armbar forcing a tap at 11 seconds into the opening round. What an incredibly technical submission finish for Batista!
The next fight takes place at 185lbs with Dante Schiro making his pro debut out of Chosen Few vs. “hippie” Mike Adams also making his pro debut representing Red Schafer MMA. This fight starts with Schiro quickly advancing as he lands a good strike and seems to stun Adams. The action going to the ground and Schiro continues to land shots while Adams works for a kneebar, they continue to work for a position until Schiro’s elbows finally open a submission opportunity at 2:17 of the 1st round via guillotine choke.
Next up also making his pro debut is James Conrad Clark Roufusport MMA vs. James Cowan (1-2) Pura Vida BJJ & MMA. The actions starts with both fighters fighting their range, and the action makes its way to the side of the cage where Clark looks for a guillotine, but Cowan gets out quickly. Cowan responds with 4 straight body shot, and Clark answers with a shot and the action goes to the ground, Cowan isn’t interested in the ground game and stands the action up and gives Clark an uppercut. Clark goes for another shot, and Cowan rewards him with some sharp elbow. The action goes back to the feet, and Cowan fires away with another body shot, but Clark seemingly unfazed advances.
Round 2 Is very similar to the first stanza with both fighters fighting for position until Clark gets in deep on a single leg that would have been a takedown had Cowan not landed a hard elbow. The round is close to ending with more punishment from Cowan, and then Clark gets the action to the floor and goes for a quick arm-bar attempt Cowan gets the action back to the feet, and Clark secures a takedown with 10 seconds left. Cowan has shown amazing takedown defense so far.
Round 3 starts with a big show of respect from these two competitors as they briefly hug in the center. Clark throws a high kick and moves the action to the cage and attempts a standing guillotine, but Cowan somehow finds his way out. They drop to the ground and Clark transitions from one submission attempt to the next in a beautiful flowing display of Jiu-Jitsu. The action finally goes back to standing and Cowan’s corner is imploring him to keep the fight there. Both fighters are working hard trading shots, and Clark gets the fight back to the ground where Clark works for position against the fence. They are finishing the fight against the cage with Clark going all in trying to finish knowing he needs a submission to win the contest. This one ends in a unanimous decision victory for James Cowan. What a great fight and a great show of respect by these two warriors. This fight definitely changed the tone of the night as both fighters showed great respect for each other in victory and defeat. Fight of the night for sure in my opinion!
Another pro debut in this next contest at 205lbs features Alex “easy” Polizzi Chosen Few vs. Jaquis Williams (7-8) Disorderly Conduct MMA (Michigan). Polizzi immediately throws a kick and eats a jab, Polizzi gets a single leg and picks up Williams and walks around the cage holding him in the air finally putting Williams against the cage in the air where he is slammed to the ground. Polizzi gets into great control and nails Williams with thundering body shots. Polizzi secures position and just follows Williams around and throws an elbow to the head before settling into position for a rear naked choke and ends the fight in the first period. Very impressive debut for Polizzi!
The next pro bout takes place at 170lbs between Darren Gibbs (1-3) Detroit Ground Zero MMA vs. Nelly Thompson-Aniakudo making his pro debut for Pura Vida BJJ & MMA. The basic stats on these two looks pretty even as they start to trade shots in the middle with nothing connecting solidly. The fight goes to the fence where they fight for position. Good pressure from Nelly against the fence as Gibbs eats some solid knees. Gibb’s side and thighs are showing Nelly’s activity with knee strikes. An accidentally cup shot stops the action momentarily. They engage again, and Nelly works legs kicks, and the action moves back to the cage, and that’s where the 1st round ends.
Gibbs opens round 2 with a low kick and sidekick. Nelly throws a spinning kick and lands a HUGE uppercut to drop Gibbs and follows him to the ground to punish him with elbows. Nelly moves to side control and controls the position against the cage. Nelly dominates with short shots and elbows from the top while in Gibbs’ guard. The fighters stand back up with a minute to go, and Nelly responds to a couple of body shots with a good overhand right. Another substantial overhand right by Nelly drops Gibbs again, and it only makes it to the 3rd frame because time expires.
The final round starts out with the fighters touching it up, and then they start to circle. Nelly smack Gibbs across the face with a good head kick and then slams Gibbs to the ground. Gibbs has proven to be extraordinarily resilient, but it’s all Nelly as he is in control on top. Nelly lets Gibbs get an arm from the bottom, and Gibbs is working for a kimura. Nelly finally gets out of that position and finds himself in full control on top. The action makes it back to the feet as Gibbs uses the cage to a standing position. One big knee from Nelly with under a minute to go. The final 10 seconds end in the middle of cage and a solid win for Nelly Thompson-Aniakudo in his pro debut.
Ode “the Jamaican sensation” Osbourne (4-2) Pura Vida BJJ MMA vs. Aurtan Daley (5-7) Daleysport MMA is next up at 135lbs. Ode walks through an initial kick from Daley and waits for an opening and returns a flying knee. Ode throws a couple of solid kicks, and Daley catches one and slams Ode hard. Alert and ready Ode gets Daley in his guard. They move up the cage and Ode gets an armbar on Daley and gets slammed for his efforts, but transitions beautifully to a triangle choke for the finish with a little over a minute left in the 1st round.
Next up is a heavyweight bout with a 265lb limit with matches Calyn Hull (4-0) Perfect Moves Martial Arts vs. Jordan Seufzer (2-2) Buck Dynasty MMA. The cage door closes, and this one is a mismatch from the start. The much bigger and stronger Hull puts a knee on Seufzer, and the action moves to the cage where Hull easily picks up Seufzer and drops him to the cage. Seufzer has Hull in his guard and continues to work body head, body head and finishes the combinations with an elbow. Both men working from position and Hull stands up and jumps into side control with an elbow and gets Seufzer to give up his back and ultimately his neck and succumbs to Hulls’ rear naked choke in the 1st round.
The final match and main event of the night takes place at 180lbs between Jonas Flok (8-3) Pura Vida BJJ & MMA vs. Chris Blevins (4-2) Team Hyten – Performex BJJ. Round one starts with Blevins throwing a kick which Flok catches and takes Blevins to the ground and starts to crush the ribs of Blevins from side control. Jonas traps Blevins right arm and continues to use elbows to attack while in control on top. Blevins is having in a bunch of trouble as Flok moves into full mount and Blevins quickly gives up his back. Blevins is bleeding badly above his eye due to the elbows and some dirty boxing. The onslaught becomes too much for the ref to watch as Flok ends the night with a TKO victory!
Overall Pure FC 9 is a great success and showcased 5 amateur fighters making their pro debut for Wisconsin MMA. I’m looking forward to the next installment of Pure FC. Meantime look for my exclusive interview with Nelly Thompson-Aniakudo!