With Southern California weather, and bumper to bumper traffic, many obstacles were thrown at the promoters of the King Of The Cage show to pull off a successful show. Calm, relaxed, and sporting his usual smile Terry Trebilcock, head of King Of The Cage was confident his show would be a success. A near sellout crowd eventually made it through the gates to fill up the seats to confirm Trebilcocks formula. The same formula the California State Athletic Commission has yet to figure out. Promoting the sport of Mixed Martial Arts in California equals cash paying butts in seats. Pretty simple equation for anyone to understand.
The pay-per-view opener had Thomas Denny taking on Jake Gomez. The fight started with Denny shooting in for a single-leg take down. Gomez tried to fight off the take down by striking Denny in the back of the head with elbow strikes. The referee stepped in and warned Gomez of his illegal actions. Denny shoots in again and this time secures a take down which Gomez scrambles out of and then positions himself into the side mount position. Denny worked himself into a better position where he secured the triangle choke for a victory at 2:15 of the 1st round.
The returning champion Charlie Valencia brought the fight to Bobby Gamboa who was having trouble engaging in the fight. Gamboa known for his great take down defense was taken down several times during this bout. Early in the first round Valencia landed a nice high kick across Bobbys face which got a nice reaction from the crowd. Second round consisted of Valencia controlling the fight. Valencia went for the knockout as he threw a hook which spun himself around giving Gamboa his waist. Gamboa looked like he was going for a back suplex when Valencia with cat like reflexes rolled for kneebar which Gamboa would scramble out of. The fight was clearly being won by Charlie Valencia. Colin Oyama was shouting instructions to his fighter Gamboa who was not able to follow instructions. Again Oyama would yell "get busy!" The third round began with both fighters exchanging. Gamboa was taken down and held against the fence. Valencia did not want to risk his victory. The match was finally over and Gamboa still never got into his game. The decision victory went to Valencia.
In a very contraversial match Dan Severn faced "Scary" Jerry Vrbanovic. It was clear to everyone in attendance that the victory should have gone to Jerry. He controlled the fight from start to finish. Tito Ortiz was in Jerrys corner and created a little buzz for the fight from the crowd in attendance. The fight began with Severn shooting in as accepted and Jerry showing good sprawling skills. Jerry got the mount in the first round and worked him towards the fence and started his pounding game. Severn was stalling to get the fight back on his feet. The two began to exchange where Severn would stumble and fall on his back. Severn looked really bad in this fight. Second round Jerry threw a nice combination which made Severn stumble on his feet again. Severn then would then attempt to keep the fight on the ground and worked a takedown from the clinch. Severn then got Jerrys back. Tito started shouting out instructions to his fighter. Jerry would then scramble to his feet and pressed the fight and secured another takedown of his own. Third round saw Jerry on top of Severn working his ground and pound game through the entire round. The judges saw this fight as a draw. Everyone else saw it in favor of "Scary" Jerry. For a 275 pounder "Scary" Jerry was quite impressive with his skills.
Charles Bennett knocked out Shad Smith in 20 seconds of the first round. Bennett wanted to be a little different and actually climbed the cage in the beginning of the fight to get a reaction from his opponent. Smith didnt know what to do and allowed him to climb back down. The two went into a violent exchange where Bennett knocked out his opponent. Crowd liked Bennett a lot.
The main event of the show had the returning champion Joe Stevenson facing Joe Camacho. Both fighters were hungry for this one. Stevenson had Dan Henderson in his corner. Stevenson like Valencia would be victorious defending their titles. The first round Stevenson worked his ground and pound game fairly well. Camacho would hang on till the bell sounded for the end of the first round. Second round Stevenson went for a takedown and controlled the fight against the fence and continued pounding on Camacho. Stevenson worked him over well with elbows and knees to the side. Stevenson secured the mount where Camacho gave his back up to be later submitted by rear-naked choke at 4:36 of the 2nd round. Joe Stevenson showing why he was champion brought the fight to his challenger.
The preliminaries had some great action to get the fans in a frenzy before they started taping for their pay-per-view show which airs February 29th. Romie Aram, Wander Braga, Brian Pardoe, and referee now turned professional fighter Larry Landless all fought before the start of the main card.
Wander Braga from the R.A.W. team, submitted Jason Cleveland in the start of the 1st round with an arm bar that Cleveland later complained he never tapped from. Wander Braga took Cleveland down from the start, and exposed the fact that the he had no idea what to do on the ground giving him the easy victory.
Randy Velarde (Bad Intentions) got the win from Bryson Vanderford (808 Fight Factory) when he got the referee to stop the match from strikes in 4:53 in the 1st round. Bryson was in a little trouble at the start, getting taken down and put against the cage after an exchange. He showed his will to win however, and when he scrambled his way back on his feet, He threw a left hook that dropped Velarde and changed the direction of the fight in his favor . In the end, Velarde was still too big and strong for Vanderford and held him against the fence and pounding him until the referee stepped in. I dont think this is the last time you will see Bryson Vanderford because even in defeat his natural potential was clearly evident.
Referee turned professional fighter Larry Landless was successful in another one of his professional fights, now sporting a bleached blonde look. He was facing Tony Berg who did not want to defend any of Larrys roundhouse leg kicks, he even taunted him for more. Landless offered him more servings until he went for the takedown and worked to take Bergs back. From there he sunk in the rear-naked choke to get the win.
Tomas Kenny (not to be confused with Thomas Denny who was also fighting on the card) secured a submission victory over Ray Elbe in the 1st round. Kenny got a takedown, worked himself into the side mount position, and eventually sunk in a key lock submission on Elbe who was unable to defend.
In what turned out to be a good battle, Brian Sesma defeated Bryan Pardoe via referee stoppage in the 1st round. When Pardoe was getting pounded from the mounted position, he could not offer any type of answer for Sesmas onslaught. Sesna took control early almost stopping Pardoe when he landed a haymaker that dropped him to the mat, and was eventually able to secure the victory.
Chad Davis (Millenia Jiu-Jitsu) choked out Mike "El Verdugo" Seal unconscious from a triangle choke, at 1:47 of the 2nd round. In what could go down as fight of the night, these two warriors gave the crowd their all. Seal was slamming Davis around in the 1st round, while Davis would work a submission attempt after each slam. At one point Seal was caught in a tight triangle choke but he mustered enough strength to slam his way out danger. From there they would have good exchanges back and forth and it looked like Seal was going to win the match, as he controlled much of the 2nd round until Davis caught him with the triangle submission from his guard. Seal did not tap out however, and would later go unconscious before the ref stepped in to stop the fight for his safety. King Of The Cage should sign up Mike Seal for another match, as the crowd really enjoyed his fighting.
Brian Foster would beat Dustin Arden in 3:19 of the 1st round. Foster got the takedown, and worked himself into the mount position. From there he started throwing down punches, when Arden eventually gave up his back, Foster was able to sink in a rear-naked choke for the victory.
Romie Aram looked very focused in his return against Michael Penalber. In his return you could hardly tell that he was out of the fight game for almost a year. He brought the fight to Penalber over, and over again, in what turned out to be a wrestling clinic. Penalbers corner would yell repeatedly at referee Cecil People to stand up the fight when it would be taken to the ground, and unfortunately I think he may have thought the instructions were coming from the judges table. There was two instances where the fight did not need to be restarted, yet he kept standing them up. At one point Aram had the mount, and was close to getting an arm bar and was in position to drop down some heavy punches. Romie also showed he has some good hands, as he dropped Michael Penalber numerous times to the mat with the overhand right. Aram was in total control and showed he should be back in the UFC, after another tune up match or so.
Other fights which will not be aired on the pay-per-view are...
Richard Solis beat Carlos Garcia via Decision
Matt Stansell beat Logan Layton via TKO 1st round
Omar Luv beat Gus Ambrozic in the 1st round
Dale Breese beat Cesar Moreno via TKO of :35 of 1st round
Manny Tapia drew with Chad Washburn -MMARR-