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 November Pain at Albert's - A Review by the Prez.

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PostSubject: November Pain at Albert's - A Review by the Prez.   Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:38 pm

This will be on the main page soon enough, but I wanted the MMA folks to have a first look....

‘November Pain’ at Albert’s Belleville
Jireh Cycles Fight Series
Man Up MMA
Dave Patek

Over the past weekend, SEF correspondent Mike Garret asked me if I would be interested in attending an MMA amateur show at some place called Albert’s in Belleville, IL. I thought about it for a second, and told him a resounding ‘absolutely’…after all, how often does one get to see sanctioned river-brawling in a less than swanky location on the East Side?
Our host – The Boxing Gym’s Barry Clifton led us to our table, and immediately, I was surprised at how strikingly appropriate the venue seemed for a fight event. Unlike most conference-type facilities, Albert’s ballroom actually had the feel of a real fight venue…unlike some places that replicate the Georgia-Southern AWA ‘rasslin match houses (See Stratford Inn).
While the event was not sold out, there was a significant and enthusiastic crowd on hand to witness what would be one of the most professionally run, competitive fight cards I have ever seen in the tri-state area.
After several very strong opening bouts, the 5th match of the evening was certainly worthy of the admission price. It featured Muy Thai student James Walsh and striker Aaron Summers. Summers came out swinging with murderous intent while Walsh evaded numerous strikes en route to a counter kick that shook the foundations of the facility. The shot landed flush on the liver of Summers, who immediately began favoring his right side as the footprint turned into a purple, throbbing mountain covering most of his rib meat. Summers stayed aggressive though, and hung in while Walsh repeatedly landed flush kicks to both sides of his head. After three thrilling rounds, Walsh walked away with the ‘W” and the respect of anyone watching.
Thinking that I probably witnessed the best fight of the evening, I took a restroom break…and as I was out in the hall, I noticed a rush of energy coming for the fighters’ dressing room. Upon entering the ballroom again, Garrett looked over at me and expressed his interest in the ‘fan favorite’ that was approaching the fight cage – his name is Yohance Flager, a polished Ju Jitzu expert whose ovation rivaled no one. Of course, my interest was piqued – as I had just seen his opponent (Sean Malshonball) in the hallway slapping himself about the face and chest in preparation for his impending battle. Almost immediately, pandemonium ensued inside the cage, as both lightening quick fighters struggled for initial control. Surprisingly, Malshonball was the first to achieve a partial mount and immediately tried to lock a rear choke into place as Flager struggled to reverse the hold…which he did. What ensued was an ebb-and-flow of two very skilled mat experts trying to conquer the other. Ultimately, Flager won out by shifting a side mount into a rear-naked choke that forced Malshonball to reluctantly tap. Afterward, Flager visited our table and touted his opponent’s speed and skill…and humbly muttered ‘my Ju Jitzu is just too good’. He’s right, it was.
A major upset occurred when an over confident Rashard Lovelace faced off against a determined Jim Poretta. Lovelace basically had his way with Poretta for the first round, landing explosive right hands as Poretta backed up without his guard. A critical error came in the third as Lovelace, feeling an easy decision win began taunting his dominance. Poretta slammed a defense-free Lovelace into the south portion of the cage, and immediately locked Rashard into a Guillotine choke…with which, he held on as if Lovelace had personally insulted him. Having the options available of tapping or being strangled, Lovelace chose to tap…and an obviously stunned Poretta climbed the cage in a moment of excitement – knowing that he was a recipient of a careless gift from his opponent. For Lovelace, it was a lesson in self-control…
In the 200 pound category, Len Severs took on an overwhelmed and overmatched Robert Jones. Within seconds, Severs had Jones on the ground – smothered and covered with punches. With a full mount locked in, Severs unleashed a fist-rain onto the head/face of Jones. When the ref finally stopped the assault, Jones lay on the ground complaining that Severs was hitting him in the back of the head…honestly the fight was over before the blows even landed. Later on, I noticed the EMT’s and paramedics tending to Jones, who was having difficulty walking in the dressing room.
In what was a much-anticipated bout, 235 lb. Maurice Greene (The Boxing Gym) took on the 275 lb. Rex Whetsel in what could only be described as an unfortunate mismatch. As the ball rang, the aggressive Greene landed a huge right foot to the rib cage of Whetsel – staggering him and reminding him of his weak conditioning. By the end of the first round, both of Whetsel’s eyes were nearly swollen shut. In the second, Greene used several leg kicks to weaken the defenses of Whetsel and eventually take him down. While sitting on Rex’s unprotected spine, Greene hammered 25 unanswered punches to the mohawked head and face of Whetsel, prompting the referee to stop the action. Greene is another fan favorite who appears to be on the road to success as a professional if he desires it.
The climax of the evening took place when 2007 SuperFight Champion James Marino took on the game Jim Sperry. On this night, Sperry looked like the champion, however. As Sperry lunged and landed jabs and crosses – Marino never seemed to get his punches off. He lazily offered several kicks which had little impact on the determined Sperry. After one of Marino’s failed strike attempts, Sperry grabbed his left arm and brought him to the ground. After a moment of struggling, Sperry locked in an impenetrable arm bar on Marino, who’s only response was to shriek in pain and tap the mat for mercy.
The evening certainly lived up to its billing as “November Pain” – and the crew of SEF left satisfied. For being an amateur show, the atmosphere was extremely professional. Man Up MMA offered a very diverse card of entertaining and competitive fights that will no doubt be an event to attend in the future. If you are interested in attending a show, or finding out more about Man Up MMA, visit them on the web at:

www.myspace.com/manupmma

Special thanks to Barry Clifton of The Boxing Gym and kick boxer Kevin Bozada, who provided some very interesting insight throughout the evening.

The Boxing Gym - Arnold
130 Richardson Crossing
Arnold, MO 63010
636.467.7000
www.myspace.com/theboxinggymarnold
Owner Barry Clifton
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PostSubject: Re: November Pain at Albert's - A Review by the Prez.   Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:03 pm

Hey bud it sounds like one hell of a night of fights, its also good to see some of your poetry again. Haha
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