Gracie rolled and Alvarez impressed again as the Bodog event took place in Vancouver
Royce. Renzo. Rickson. The Gracie family does not suffer from a lack of people whose name begins with R. Neither do they suffer from a lack of success in the world of mixed martial arts as most of them have won a championship belt at one time. Now, as some of them slide into Retirement, everyone is wondering who will carry the name of the Gracie family into the future of mixed martial arts. Their answer: Roger Gracie, the 2006 world champion of Brazilian jiu jitsu and 2005 World champion of submission wrestling.
Of course, becoming a mixed martial arts champ isnt as easy these days at it once was, where trophies and belts were just a tackle and a choke away. The sport has evolved and the athletes have improved. Would Roger be able to put the Gracies back on top? Such was the question on the minds of four thousand mixed martial arts fans who packed into the PNE Agrodome for BodogFIGHT, the brainchild of millionaire Calvin Ayre.
For the first fight of the night, Russias Martun Malhosyan took on the USAs Mike Patt. In the first round, Malhosyan was able to rock Patt early with a left hook. Patt recovered and landed a high kick, followed by some knees. Malhosyan scored with a takedown at the end of the first round and Patt nearly locked on a kimura as the round closed. In the second round, Malhosyan continued to look for the takedown while Patt landed leg kicks. The Russian was able to land a few takedowns in third round but each time, Patt would move into a submission. After three rounds of sporadic striking, the judges awarded Patt the split decision.
Erik Oganov from the Russian team faced Keith Wisnewski in the second match. The taller American seemed to have trouble finding his range and timing and ate looping punches and leg kicks in the first round. Then, as the round closed, Wisnewski landed a punch that dropped Oganav. Wisnewski followed with some decent ground and pound as the horn sounded. The second round was more of a clinch game, with Oganav looking for the takedown and kneeing the legs while the American worked the body with hard punches. At the end of the round, Oganav reversed a takedown and landed on top, going for a footlock that looked tight as the round ended. The third round was more of the same, with Oganav landing looping hooks, and kneeing from the clinch. With one minute left in the fight, the Russian scored with a nice toss and landed on top of Wisnewski, eho defended well and reversed the position, mounting Oganav with twenty seconds left, Oganav turned his back for a moment as Wisnewski looked for a choke, but switched back to striking when Oganav rolled back into the mount. With each round arguably saving a fighter by the bell, the refs gave the split decision to Oganav, scoring the fight 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.
Vladamir Zenin stepped into the ring for the Russian team to face Nick Agallar in the third fight of the night. As in the first fight, each fighter seemed tentative to exchange, and the crowed shouted jeers at the start of the first round. Zenin held his hands low and away from his head as Agaller looked to land leg kicks. Zenin scored a takedown with a minute left but the American would have none of it and stood up quickly. Moments after this, Zenin landed a devastating punch and followed with powerful ground and pound to win by KO with 34 seconds remaining in the first round.
Ansar Chalangov entered the ring to face fellow UFC veteran Nick the Goat Thompson. Chalangov got the takedown from the clinch but Thompson was able to escape through the ropes. Back on the feet, Ansar clinched once more and scored another takedown. The Goat got to his knees and looked to reverse the position, but Chalangov switched to a ankle lock. Thompson escaped and ended up mounted on the Russian. The Russian was able to escape but only after taking many shots to the ribs. The Goat nearly secured a standing kimura and again, Ansar escaped but found himself on the bottom taking shots. Thompson went for a banana splits submission that looked tight, but once more Ansar escaped and went for a foot lock that, again, the Goat was able to escape and use to attain the mount. From here, the American landed punches that forced Chalangov to turn his back, from where Thompson secured the RNC to get the tap as the horn sounded to end the first round.
In the womens match. Rookie Russian fighter Julia Berezikova faced American MMA veteran Tara LaRosa. LaRosa was able to put the Russian fighter in many dangerous positions in the first round but could not put her away, despite being mounted and having her back twice. LaRosa scored a takedown to open the second round and took the mount, after working her head free of a guillotine. Again, she took the back of the Russian who sought to escape by putting the American in a headlock. This proved to be a fatal mistake and LaRosa moved into an arm bar to end the fight at 1:28 in the second round.
Aleksi the Samurai Oleinink took on UFC veteran Chael Sonnen in the next fight. Sonnen got the early takedown and passed to side control. After eating some strong shots, the Russian regained half guard and eventually got to his knees. Sonnen put him down again and punched effectively from the guard. the Samurai searched in vain for a submission from the guard, and ate punches throughout the first round twice finding himself caught in the punching crucifix popularized by Matt Hughes.
The Russian found himself on his back again early in round two, throwing a looping shot at Sonnen and sitting to his guard as the American shot in. From here, Oleninik looked for a squeezing neck crank and a triangle once more; both to no avail. After a ref stand up, Sonnen landed a huge knee that put the Russian on his back. Oleinink looked to sweep, but got to his knees instead. Sonnen put him down once more as the second round ended. The Russian showed no takedown defense whatsoever, and gave up the takedown again in the third round, throwing a weak front kick that Sonnen easily smothered. As the crowd howled for action, Sonnen continued to whack away at Oleinink, landing a big punch at 1:50 left in the round. The ref stood them up at this point and the Russian again gave Sonnen a Christmas present with another weak kick-to-takedown that shouldve come with a bowtie on it. The ref stood them up again with moments left in the round and at this point the Russian finally decided to try sprawling. Sonnen responded by lifting Oleinink and slamming him as the third and final round of the fight ended. The result was no surprise and Sonnen walked away with an easy 30-27 decision.
Heavyweight Sergei Kaznovski from the Red Devil team faced AFC heavyweight champ Mario Rinaldi, representing team USA. Rinaldi clinched immediately and lifted his opponent off the mat to score the takedown. Passing the half guard, Rinaldi put the Hughes crucifix to work and looked to end the fight with an Americana keylock. The Russian powered out of it twice, but Rinaldi moved to mount and then took the Russians back after landing some heavy punches. Dismounting, Rinaldi put the straight arm lock to work, switching to keylock when the Russian would bend his arm. The Russian tried to knee his opponent to escape and referee Jason Darrah deducted a point. At the end of the first round, Rinaldi was ahead by a healthy margin. The Russian landed a huge knee to open the second round that opened a large cut on Rinaldis face. Bleeding heavily, Rinaldi scored another takedown which Kaznovski was able to counter, getting to his feet and throwing good strikes. Rinaldi got another takedown and the ref called the doctor to check the cut. The doctor cleared Rinaldi and the fight continued, with the ref restarting the fighters on the ground, much to the displeasure of the crowd. Passing the guard, Rinaldi moved to a high mount and fired down punches. The Russian got another gift from the ref in the form of a stand-up. Despite this, Rinaldi took Kaznovski down again to end the second round. The Russian opened the third round with a kick to the head of Rinaldi, who secured the clinch and the takedown moments later. Rinaldi mounted Kaznovski again, but seemed too tired to mount an offense effective enough to end the fight. Eventually, time ticked down and the third round ended. To the surprise of no one, Rinaldi was awarded the victory by unanimous decision.
Andrei Semenov stepped into the ring to fight for the Red Devil team against Team USA fighter Trevor Prangley. Semenov defended the early takedown with wild punches. Prangley landed a knee to the head and Semenov pressed the South African wrestler into the corner. Prangley landed another knee and Semenov backed away to look for more punches. Striking his way back into the clinch, Semenov looked for the takedown but the sprawl of Prangley was too much. Landing leg kicks, Prangley scored a takedown of his own and finished the first round inside Semenovs guard, striking well. Semenov landed some good punches to open the second round, and again went for the takedown. Stuck in the corner, Prangley countered well and landed hard knees to the stomach of the Russian fighter. After a restart, Semenov landed hard punches, but Prangley got the takedown again and settled into the guard. The second round ended with Prangley on top once more, striking effectively to the body and face of Semenov.
The Russian came into the third round striking like a hellcat and was able to defend Prangleys takedown attempts until midway through the round. Stuck in the corner, Semenov looked for the kimura while Prangley chopped away at his ribs. After a referee stand-up, Prangley punched his way into the clinch once more and, again, Semenov tried to take Prangley down. Again, the ref restarted them striking and each fighter threw bombs. With thirty seconds left in the third round, Prangley took Semenovs back and went for an armlock, which the Russian managed to defend. After three rounds of action, the referees awarded the win by unanimous decision to Trevor Prangley.
At three-hundred pounds, Brazilian giant Antonio Junior Silva presented a heavy challenge for Big Eric Pele who came in weighing seven pounds more than his opponent. After a momentary feeling out period, Silva landed a huge leg kick and followed up with a flurry of punches that had Pele fleeing and falling out of the ring. The ref restarted the fight standing and more of the same transpired, with Silva landing heavy shots in combination. A moment later, the tables turned as Pele landed a heavy shot that dropped the Brazilian. Following up with heavy punches to his opponent from inside the half guard, Pele forced the ref to stop the fight and declare a TKO victory for the big man from Las Vegas; who seemed totally outgunned moments before.
For the second super fight of the night, 274lb Ron Waterman welcomed a 220lb Roger Gracie to his mixed martial arts debut. To open the fight, Waterman pressed his much smaller opponent into the corner and scored a takedown. Gracie went to an armlock which Waterman slammed his way out of. With MMA champ Matt Lindland in his corner, Waterman seemed to be getting the advice he needed to avoid a submission. But then, in a flash, Gracie applied another arm lock and forced the tap from his much, much larger opponent.
Aaron Riley seemed to have the experience advantage coming into his fight with Eddie Alvarez, who appeared to have an athletic edge, coming into the ring undefeated and riding a ton of hype. Alvarez showed amazing striking right from the opening bell, and kept the fight standing with incredible takedown defence. Riley ate a variety of hard, fast punches and the referee stopped the fight just over a minute into the first round.
For the final fight of the night, Ron Faircloth took on local fighter Todd Gouwenberg. It became quickly apparent that Faircloth had no business being in the ring with the Langley favourite, who dominated the striking and brushed off the UFC veterans takedown attempts. Using heavy leg kicks and straight punches, Gouwenberg took Faircloth apart, eventually landing a straight right for the first round KO win at 1:34.
In the preliminary bout of the evening Rob Valek made quick work of Dave Pogson taking him down to the mat and mounting and pounding him out early in rd 1