After two entertaining shows in Illinois, the Extreme Challenge held it's first show in Iowa City. The first ever MMA event in Iowa City was held a couple miles south of campus in the parking lot of a sponsor. Held underneath a circus like tent that was needed to shelter the crowd from the rain that fell for two days, some had to walk through puddles to get to their seats, and everyone had to sprint through sporadic, heavy rain just to reach the portable johns.
Strawn sinks the choke
After two entertaining shows in Illinois, the Extreme Challenge held its first show in Iowa City. The first ever MMA event in Iowa City was held a couple miles south of campus in the parking lot of a sponsor. Held underneath a circus like tent that was needed to shelter the crowd from the rain that fell for two days, some had to walk through puddles to get to their seats, and everyone had to sprint through sporadic, heavy rain just to reach the portable johns. Despite the weather, however, the anticipation of a great night of fights kept everyones attention focused on the fighting rather than the elements. By the end of the night, all in attendance would witness the continued rise of one of MMAs top welterweights, the return of one of U of Is wrestlers, and an eye opening fight featuring an up and comer.
The main event featured Jason Black versus Marcel Perigord. Black, the current TKO Welterweight Champion, trains with Miletich Fighting Systems and is considered to be one of the top Welterweights in the world. Marcel Perigord, from Ft. Hood, Texas, was a fighter with a Tae Kwon Do background and just a years worth of MMA training under his belt. On paper the fight looked to be a lopsided mismatch, the Internet buzz, however, was that Perigold would be a tough opponent for Black.
The bell rang and the two met in the center of the ring and Black quickly took the fight to the ground. Perigord defended the best he could, but Black was patient, biding his time until an opportunity presented itself. Black worked Perigord on the ground very well, keeping his head in close to Pergords chest and threw some knees from the various mounted positions. Black eventually rolled on top of Perigord into a North-South position and was able to cinch in a 69 choke and Perigord was forced to tap out. Black gets the easy win in just over a minute at 1:08 of the First Round.
The Feature fight of the night introduced the professional debut of former Iowa Hawkeye wrestler Ben Uker. He was to face Dan Anderson, a three time, undefeated veteran of the Victory Fighting Championships. As anticipated, Uker was introduced and the crowd went crazy, in Iowa City the football players get a lot of press through their career, but more often than not, are forgotten when they leave. (Unless they go on to lucrative NFL careers) The Iowa wrestlers however, with their rich tradition of success are perceived at another level where they are always held in high regard. Not as predictable was the contingent of Dan Anderson fans that had followed him from his hometown of Des Moines. Though they didnt match the number of Uker fans, they were equal in their outpouring of emotion for their fighter.
The fight started and Uker immediately worked for the takedown. Uker gained side control and started to display some of his strong wrestling skills but Anderson did a good job defending Ukers attempts at forcing him into the cage wall. Uker was eventually able to gain side control and worked to get some knees into Andersons body. The fighters were eventually stood up and exchanged punches on their feet, Uker worked his way in, and threw some knees into Andersons head which Anderson was able to deflect to some degree. Each fighter took turns trying to bully the other into the fence and gain some kind of advantage. Uker lowered himself and attempted to press Andersons knees together and pull them out from under him. It would not work out for Uker however and while attempting the takedown, Uker left himself open for Anderson to slip in an arm. The choke wasnt in deep right away and Uker held on for some time, but couldnt hold on long enough for a stand up. Uker tapped at 3:47 of round 1. Disappointment was in the cards for Uker who was rumored to be as strong on the mat as Team Extreme member Matt Hughes.
Like every fight card, there is always a "fight of the night". The fight between John Strawn and Nate Mohr would win this designation at Extreme Challenge 53. The bell rang and Strawn charged his opponent but Mohr had a punch waiting for just for him. The shot jolted Strawn down to both knees, but didnt hurt him enough to stop him. Strawn was able to bide his senses, spun, and jumped back up to his feet. From there, they exchanged attacks standing up, but Strawn took the fight to the ground where he simply dominated. He tried to finish the fight from full mount, but never hit with more than a couple clean shots. Strawn then tried to finish with submission attempts, but Mohr matched each attempt with an equal measure of defense. It was becoming increasingly obvious that it Strawn kept the fight on the ground, he would eventually be able to finish his opponent. Mohr however, was able to survive the first round. The second round was the beginning of the end for Mohr and after a short exchange on their feet, Strawn again took the fight back to the ground. Strawn continued to dominate and was too much for Mohr to handle. He got position on Mohrs back and at 2:28 of round 2 won by rear naked choke. The incredible part about this fight is that just 20 minutes before the fight, Nate Mohr was just a spectator. Like so many of the other people there, he was just enjoying a good night of fights. Duty called when Strawns original opponent dropped out and Mohr was asked to take his place. In the true spirit of a fighter, he took the fight on 20 minutes notice.
In undercard action, Brian Stichter took on Jeff Lindsay in a submission grappling match. The fight was Stichters second of the night and Lindsay was looking to make short work of him. Lindsay displayed superior wrestling skills and forced Stichter to tap.
Rodney Webb defeated Aaron Griffith in Griffiths second fight of the night. In the 1st minute of round two, Webb secured a rear choke.
KO of the night goes to Brian Stichter in his first fight. He faced Zach Cornwell of Iowa City who was facing an up hill battle before the bell even rang. This was because no MMA competitor in recent memory was able to win a fight with black leotards on. When the fight started, Stichter feinted high and kicked low. Cornwell ducked right into the kick and was TKOed in the first 6 seconds, black leotards and all.
Aaron Griffith won his first fight of the night against Bryan "Hardcore" Robinson. Griffith was all over Robinson from the start. At 1:47 of round 1, Robinson tapped from Griffiths strikes.
On the whole, it was a real good night of fights. More impressive was the size of the crowd considering the weather conditions. Pouring rain and blowing winds made it cold. And with two fighters fighting twice it seems like there may have been problems getting the fights booked. But, nobody in the crowd expressed any dismay and best of all, despite a hour long drive, I still made it home in time to watch "Sugar Shane" beat the "Golden Boy".-MMARR-
Next Extreme Challenge is Oct.11 back in St. Charles, IL.
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