For the first time in recent memory the city of Nanaimo was home to a MMA event, and the Frank Crane arena played host to The Beast Dan Severns rematch with Ulysses Castro and possibly the first female MMA bout in Canadian history. With one Kickboxing bout, one boxing bout, and 7 Mixed Martial Arts bouts on the card...
For the first time in recent memory the city of Nanaimo was home to a MMA event, and the Frank Crane arena played host to The Beast Dan Severns rematch with Ulysses Castro and possibly the first female MMA bout in Canadian history. With one Kickboxing bout, one boxing bout, and 7 Mixed Martial Arts bouts on the card, the sold out 3500 seat arena played host to an entertaining event with plenty of action, with only one disappointment on the night. The lethargic main event that saw Dan The Beast Severn get stopped by Ulysses Castro was less then spectacular, and the unimpressive main event put a dent in an otherwise successful show. Save the main event, Stan Peterecs well organized show went off without a hitch and the sold out arena sproved that the fan base is there for MMA to take the next step in Canada.
In the main event Dan The Beast Severn looked to be well past his prime and showed less then he ever has, in an un-entertaining slow paced fight that saw its only action in the final stanza. In the first round Severn circled out of the range of Castros boxing skills eating the occasional leg kick but never even attempting to push the fight in any meaningful manner, seemingly content to ride out the three round fight with clinching and holding. Much of the first was spent in the clinch with nothing happening until the ref mercifully stepped in and restarted the action from the center of the ring. For the most part, the fight followed the same plodding pattern with Castro stalking and attempting to find the range for his fists and Severn backing and circling out of harms way. In between rounds the crowd chanted for action and voiced their displeasure with Severn blurting out comments such as Get the Beast some Oxygen!. The only substantial action of the fight took place in the third round when Castro picked up the pace catching up to Severn with punishing blows to the face that dropped him to the mat, finally sensing his opportunity to capitalize, Castro would not let up. He claimed the mount position and rained body blows and elbows onto Severn that took their toll on the aging warrior until he finally verbally submitted as he rolled over and pointed to his back. It appeared that Severn injured his back sometime in the exchange and was unable to continue. Castro was able to stop Severn after taking a rather uninteresting decision over The Beast last year, and becomes only the second non submission victor over Severn in his storied 70 plus fight career. Castro wins via injury TKO at 2:45 or round three.
In the semi main event home town fighter John The Natural Alessio took on Brandon Olson of Montana in a fight that looked more like a grappling match then an MMA bout. In what seemed to be the playing of some mind games, Olson came out to the ring sporting a Jason Black/Team Miletich t shirt when he came out to the ring. Alessios three losses in his last 13 fights have come at the hands of Miletich members Pat Miletich, Jason Black at UCC 12, and Joe Doerkson. Wanting nothing to do with the standup of Alessio, Olson shot for the takedown right off the bell taking Alessio to the mat quickly, right to a short lived half mount. A failed submission attempt by The Natural left Alessio open, and Olson was able to get to side control and eventually take Alessios back. Olsons advantage would be short lived however and Alessio eventually spun into the guard of Olson, and from their controlled the bout on the ground until he eventually finished the fight with an armbar. Alessio wins via Submission armbar at 3:00 of round one.
Shannon The Cannon Ritch extended his winning streak to 3 defeating Chris Mountain of Mayhem Peak by heelhook early in the first round. To the amusement of the crowd Ritch came out the to the ring dressed up like Uncle Sam complete with the big American flag top hat, and leaped onto every corner playing to the crowd before the bout started. When it came time to step into the ring however, The Cannon was impressive and composed. Peak landed a nice punch followed by a knee, but Ritch wisely took the fight the ground with a takedown and fell into Peaks guard. Soon afterwards Ritch leaned back to go for the heelhook, for a moment it appeared the Peak might get out as he got up onto his feet, but Ritch was willful and sunk the heelhook forcing Peak to tap out. Peak was helped out of the ring and hobbled his way out of the dressing room after the fight. It is unclear at this point how long he will be out of commission for, but a brief conversation afterward confirmed that they may indeed rematch in the near future. Ritch also revealed that he will be going to Korea to fight in the Ultra event having signed a new contract to fight in the new Korean event. Shannon The Cannon Ritch wins via Heelhook submission at 0:37 of the first round.
In what could have been the first female MMA bout in the history of Canada, ground specialist Ginelle Marquez out of Dennis Hallmans Victory Athletics took on Victoria kickboxing wiz Keri Crothers. Crothers, who is a seasoned kickboxer, was unable to keep the fight on the feet long enough to land the telling blow and Marquez used her more seasoned ground game to take the fight to the mat. As usual, Crothers was aggressive from bell to bell, but was unable to keep the fight off the ground when it mattered the most, and it eventually cost her. Marquez was able to mount on several occasions after getting the takedown, but was more interested in the submission then the ground and pound, and it eventually paid off. She worked for an armbar that Crothers was able to sneak out of, but after remounting, she applied a Keylock that eventually finished Crothers. Marquez who was previously 0-5-1 in MMA bouts gets her first win and Crothers falls to 0-2 after losing her first MMA fight by disqualification in the WEC. Ginelle Marquez wins via submission at 1:12 of the second round.
In what many people felt was the fight of the Night Baz Cunningham took on Ben Greer in a back and forth affair that was the most entertaining of the card. Cunningham quickly found out that he would not be able to compete with the young Vancouver product on the feet and took the fight to the ground and worked the submissions and ground attack for much of the fight. Greer who is still a teenager, was extremely impressive with a standup arsenal that seemed to surprise Cunningham. Greer showed some of his well rounded game picking up Cunningham and slamming him to the mat in the second, and at one point taking his back, but Cunningham was just a little too experienced for the young standup phenom and finished the fight in the third round by rear naked choke. In defeat Greer was the most promising fighter of the night showing fighting skills that were beyond his years and given time, could be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Both Cunningham and Greer put on a show for the fans as Cunningham wins via rear naked choke at 2:10 of round 3.
KOTC veteran and Millenia product Randy Velarde was able to use a methodical ground and pound attack to stifle the stand up assault of Jody Ingalls and win after Ingalls was unable to answer the bell for the third round due to what appeared to be a knee injury. ingalls was doing well from the feet stunning Velarde at one point with a hard punch to the face but was unable to capatalize. Velarde now has a three fight winning streak and has won 5 of his last 6 fights with the only loss in that span to UFC veteran Shonie Carter, and only this fight going past the first round. Velarde wins via Doctor Stoppage due to Injury at the end of Round 2.
Local boy Mike Jorgenson got his first taste of MMA action in over a year against Millenia product Donaven Vrem who was fighting in his first MMA fight at the tender age of 40. From the Outset Vrem impressed with a well rounded composed game taking the fight down to the mat when he needed to and grounding and pounding his way through three strong rounds. He was solid from the feet as well, but it would be the mat where he found the finishing maneuver, eventually getting to side control and submitting Jorgenson with a modified Kimura. Vrems is impressive in his first fight and in the words of John Alessio proves, it is never too later to start.
One boxing bout and one kickboxing bout rounded out the card. -MMARR-