Lynnwood, WA, December 8, 2007 - Match-making an mma event is not easy. It's a tricky balance of contracts, managers, bravado, and of course a little luck. It's an even harder equation when the athletes are amateurs; not fighting for big money or endorsements deals, but simply for the love of the sport.
As the new generation of so-called TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) fans and athletes become acclimated to the sport of mixed martial arts it obviously becomes harder and harder to seek out the highest quality competitors for each and every show. Unfortunately, AX Fighting 19 seemed to have a bevy of fighters that appeared ill prepared for pugilistic combat. While the main events had the fans roaring their collective approval, the majority of the undercard fights were greeted to jeers and the occasional inebriated heckle, due to the combatants' lack of activity and overall skill. Generally, fan banter with the ilk of "if I wanted to see hugging, I would buy a hallmark card" is gravely uncalled for. However, as John Maryianski and Jacob Grillo plotted through their nine minute battle it seemed oddly apropos.
After the mid-card lull, Ben Fodor and John Lifendahl energized the audience with an entertaining three round affair. From the outset, Fodor used some good old fashioned wrestling with a solid single leg take down, and a quick transition from side mount into full mount as he began to unload a barrage of punches. It appeared Lifendahl would be overwhelmed, but an inadvertent elbow to the head from Fodor gave Lifendahl the respite he would need to remain in the match. Fodor used the same strategy of dumping Lifendahl with a single leg and working away with punches until the end of the first round. The remaining two rounds saw much of the same as Fodor, who appeared uncomfortable standing in the pocket, would punch from a distance or rush for a single leg, which Lifendahl seemed to have no answer. In the end Lifendahl was able to survive the duration of the bout, but dropped a unanimous decision to the now 6 - 0 Ben Fodor.
In the heavyweight title fight, undefeated Mike Hayes stepped up to challenge Brian Shaw. Hayes came out shredded, fired up, and ready to bang. Shaw, nevertheless, had other ideas as he rapidly looked to tie up the muscular Hayes. As the two jockeyed for position, Shaw dumped Hayes with a fantastic lateral drop, and found himself working in the half guard of the downed Hayes. After working his way back to the standing position, Hayes sprawled well and powered Shaw to his back. As Hayes pounded away with a few hammer first from the side mount he transitioned into a keylock and muscled his way to the submission victory late in the first round. With the win Hayes became the new AX Fighting Heavyweight Champion.
The evenings main event for the 170 lb title need just over 1 minute for Brett Malphrus to submit Mike Jared. Following an initial clinch the fight spilled to the canvas and Malphrus took control as he immediately took Jared's back and sunk in a rear-naked choke to retain the championship belt
Muay Thai Results
JJ Lopez def. Emilio Ditrocchio by TKO at 1:55 of R
John Palmer def. Joe Cannon by arm bar at 2:26 of R
Marco Surver def. Justin Wong by arm bar at 1:28 of R
Joe Hernandez def. Joey Guernsey by TKO ref stoppage from punches at :19 of R
Carlito Fransisco def. Cody Gator by split decision after R
Joel Rydzak def Brandon Thorne by guillotine choke at 2:21 of R
John Maryianski def. Jacob Grillo by unanaimous decision after R
Demico Rogers def. Johnathon Wilson by arm bar at :27 of R
Dustin Blakenship def. Andy Gavagan by guillotine choke at 2:29 of R
Coby Parmentor def. Sam Sicillia by arm bar at :55 of R
Ben Fodor def. John Lifendahl by unanimous decision after R
Mike Hayes def. Brian Shaw by keylock at 2:54 of R
Brett Malphrus def. Mike Jared by rear-naked choke at 1:01 of R1