The biggest show in the history of the KOTC was decimated by injuries In what turned out to be an injury fest as much as an MMA card. The KOTC did good job of doing what they could to fill out a card that was rapidly filling the local hospices with injury riddled fighters that would not be able to compete in the KOTC on this day. In fact almost every fight was in some way, involved in some sort of injury to a fighter. The unfortunate events inevitably took its toll on the Card. What was left was a lesser card that, though no fault of their own, was high on action but more or less middle of the pack in terms of bang for the PPV buck. I had the opportunity to tune in and watch the King of the cage on the Live Pay per view broadcast and what I saw was a mixed bag with some mismatches and one of the finest showings of heart and determination that I have ever seen in a MMA bout, or any type of bout for that matter.
In the first bracket of the Heavyweight Tournament that would decide the bearer of the vacated KOTC heavyweight belt, Bobby Hoffman was able to take the victory In the second of his first fight in the first round due to an injury tap-out. Sotello fell on his elbow on a outside trip takedown attempt by Hoffman and injured his shoulder looking like he dislocated it in the fall and was unable to continue. Hoffman looked a little rusty in the opening moments of the fight but settled in nicely considering it was his first fight in 2 years, due to his incarceration.
Seth Petruzelli was victorious against Bryan Hawkins in his bout despite taking the fight on short notice after Paul Buentellos injury forced him to withdraw. Petruzelli dominated with leg kicks early and after a failed trip takedown attempt by Hawkins, Petruzelli landed in the mount position and dropped down punches that Hawkins could not defend. Peruzelli wins via K.O in the first round.
Joey Villasenor was able to take the victory over the Lions den fighter Tony The Bull Galindo spending much of the first round in the half guard of Galindo grounding and pounding till the bell sounded to close the round. After the round was over Galindo was unable to continue to an injury on his arm and Villasenor was declared the winner.
Shonie Carter was able to take the win over Fernando Vesconcelos after Vesconcelos was unable to continue after two rounds. Vesconsalos controlled the first round from front to back getting mound at one point to dominate Carter and put him on the defensive for the duration of the first stanza, cutting him above his right eye. The second round was a different story and Carter was able to assert his will more in the second winning the second round with control and some ground and pound action. After the second round was over in what was considered by most to be a two round fight, Vasconcelos did not answer the bell for the third round. Shonie Carter wins.
Jimmy Abriz did what he came to do and grounded and pounded (A rumored injured) Jonathan Ivey and eventually gets the 69 choke from the north south position to take the Heavyweight Belt home with him again.
Javier Vazquez showed the heart of few in the sport, fighting through an injury to his knee in the opening moments of the first round and stood on his heart grinding his way through a fight he was doomed to lose. The injury at the outset looked to come on the heels of a tangled takedown attempt, and for the rest of the fight Vazquez could not put any weight on the leg that looked to be in very bad shape. It was a surprise to many that he was able to continue the round, and the fact that he finished the fight showed off his world class skills and the heart of few in the world of MMA. In the second round and many times during the fight Crane looked like he had a couple close Guillotine attempts but Vazquez was able to avert them all and take the fight to the distance despite being in obvious discomfort and pain. In a very close fight Crane was able to take the belt from Vazquez on the strength of a split decision that had some shaking their heads.
To kick off the events three under-card bouts and the alternate bout for the heavyweight tournament took place before the pay per view portion of the event would go on live broadcast around North America. Thomas Shulte was able to Armbar Frank Marquez in the second round after grounding and pounding marquez for the entirety of the first round and looking gassed to start the second round. But the hometown favorite was able to find a way to win and hand Marquez his second straight Armbar loss in New Mexico at the KOTC in a row.
Keith Jardin was in control for the duration of his bout against Allan Sullivan, spending much of the fight on Sullivans back. Despite the long periods of time in a favorable position he was unable to put him away despite many a rear naked Choke opportunity. In the end Jardin was too much however, and after taking his opponents back again he decided to ground an pound the sides of his head instead of going for the choke another time. This time he was successful in stopping the fight as the ref stepped in to stop halt the contest.
Jason Godsey was able to quickly dispatch of his opponent with what looked to be a rear naked choke to Chris Guillen from the back side mount position and not the traditional rear mount in the alternate bout for the Heavyweight Tournament of the evening.
Diego Sanchez was able to make Short work of Jake Short, in another preliminary on the evening, grounding and pounding his way to victory.
A look back
Injury was the word of this day, and the unlucky word had its stamp all over this card. The misfortune started early and often, to start it off Forrest Griffen gets injured forcing him to drop out of the event, then it is John Alessio who is unable to compete against Shonie Carter in their anticipated bout due to a hand injury suffered by Alessio in his bout with Jason Black in the UCC. Paul Buentello is the next to land by the wayside with a serious Kidney stone problem that steals his chance at the limelight, mix in an injury to Javier Vazquez only a few moments into the first round of his fight against Alberto Crane, an injury to Tony Galindo that stopped him from continuing in his fight, an injury to Seth Petruzelli that forced him to back out and give way to Jason Godsey, an injury Sam Sotello that forced him to tap due to injury, toss in a rumored injury to Jonathan Ivey before his bout with Jimmy Ambriz and you have a recipe for a disaster. The injuries certainly took a bite out of the card and the overall appeal of the show, but all things considered, I dont believe there was much the KOTC could have done. This was not exactly the event that I was hoping for, but certainly understandable considering the lengthy string of bad luck that had hindered the card from the outset. Bobby Hoffman is back, easily dispatching of the two opponents that were in his path and it looks like he will be back to defend the belt at future KOTC events. He did not get to showcase any skills that we havent seen before but he certainly hasnt lost his gusto as he sliced through the competition quite easily after having fallen into an easier path to the belt due to injuries. An Impressive "debut" none the less, for a man that has not competed in MMA for almost One and a half years. Hoffman reclaims the belt that was last held by himself before it was stripped off him for his trouble with the law. We will see if Hoffman will be able to translate his Physical talents to success inside and outside the cage. On the whole KOTC Invasion featured a lot of mind numbing action mixed in with a show of heart by Javier Vazquez that could have put the rest of the fighters in the world to shame.
For MMAringreport this was "The Sushiboy" Arnold Lim
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