The evening's main event featured a 140-pound Flyweight championship bout with the champion, Dave Velasquez defending against relative newcomer Jose Lopez. The high-energy Velasquez controlled the first round with low kicks and takedowns, although never seemed to put the heat on Lopez.
The evenings main event featured a 140-pound Flyweight championship bout with the champion, Dave Velasquez defending against relative newcomer Jose Lopez. The high-energy Velasquez controlled the first round with low kicks and takedowns, although never seemed to put the heat on Lopez.
In round 2, Lopez enjoyed his best moment, when he countered a kick attempt by Velasquez and landed a solid cross that temporarily dazed the champ. While Velasquez tried to get his bearing, Lopez followed up with some more aggressiveness, but was unable to capitalize and seize the moment. By the end of the round, Velasquez had regained control with his superior ring generalship.
Round 3 transpired in much the same fashion as the first with Velasquez mixing effective kicks with takedowns to take the steam out of the inexperienced Lopez. After three rounds of somewhat uneventful action, Velasquez retained his belt by unanimous decision.
JAMES FANSHIER VS. GARY GRATE
Much of the first round was spent with the well-muscled Grate, a representative of the Charles Gracie Academy, attempting to take down a reluctant Fanshier. For his part, Fanshier effectively parried these attempts, but certainly didnt win any fans with his tactics. Ironically though, late in the round, Fanshier landed a big right hand that dropped Grate and brought the fight to the ground, where Grate wanted to be. Once here, Grate recovered nicely and applied a serious triangle choke attack that appeared to be the end for Fanshier. However, before Grate could finish him off, the bell sounded to end the round.
Round 2 proceeded in a similar fashion with Fanshier desperately avoiding the takedown. Grate was able to open a cut over Fanshiers ear, but it was not serious enough to halt the action. The two began to trade a bit more frequently when Fanshier again rocked Grate and put him down. Once more though, Grate recovered and nearly executed an armbar submission, before Fanshier escaped. With Grate on the ground and Fanshier standing, Fanshier attempted a Sakuraba-like stomp attack, and landed on Grates throat, which immediately caused the ref to deduct a point for this illegal tactic. This point would later prove costly as Grate was awarded a decision victory after two rounds.
AHMED HEMPSTEAD VS. SAMMY SLEEZER
In a good match-up that featured fighters both coming off impressive wins in GC9, Sammy Sleezer and Ahmed Hempstead met in a bout that would undoubtedly push the winner closer to a shot at a belt. Sleezer had a raucous crowd behind him and put on an impressive show against a tough Hempstead. Clearly, Hempstead hoped to keep this one standing, as he fashions himself a Kung-Fu stylist, but surprisingly, Sleezer seemed to be the more-polished striker, using deceptively effective boxing skills to his best advantage. However, Sleezer clearly wanted to bring the fight down to the mat and used nice takedowns to get it there. Perhaps recognizing that his ground skills were no match for Sleezer, Hempstead employed an extremely defensive ground tactic of clutching his opponent and stalling as long as possible in the hopes of forcing a stand-up. It mattered little though, as the well-rounded Sleezer dominated all aspects of the match. Late in round two though, Hempstead was able to catch Sleezer in a tight guillotine choke that was probably his best chance for victory. Unfortunately for him though, Sleezer eventually worked to freedom and went on to clearly earn a decision victory, which thrilled the partial crowd.
SCOTT SMITH VS. LEVI THORNBRUE
With crowd support rivaling that of Sleezer, Smith came to fight and make sure his enthusiastic fans did not go home disappointed. Early on, the two fighters went to the fence and Thornbrue scored with some nice knee shots to Smiths midsection. Smith fought back and landed a vicious uppercut that got Thornbrues attention, before the fight went to the ground. Once there, Smith turned up the pressure, landing strikes from the half-guard and systematically moving into a full mount. At this point, Thorbrue found himself unable to stop the aggressive Smith, forcing an end to the contest at 2:20 of round 1.
MANNY SANTOS VS. JERMAIN TAHER-WATTS
Ever the showman, Taher-Watts entered the arena clad in his traditional Shaolin garb with a matching false white beard and eyelashes. Once the bout started, the show continued for Taher-Watts who landed a solid straight kick to Santos chest that drove him back to the fence, and then continued to play to the crowd with his footwork and unusual ring antics. Still Santos fought competitively on his feet and defended well on the ground each time Taher-Watts would take him down. The aggressive Taher-Watts did enough to take the first round, but his showboating seemed to drain much of the energy in his tank.
In the second round, Taher-Watts was visibly gassed and his activity level dropped drasticallly. Early in the round, he was content to bounce around and avoid the few shots Santos tried to throw his way. After Taher-Watts enjoyed a short surge and landed a strong high-kick to Santos head, Santos seemed unwilling to press his luck and let it all hang out, when the round was there to be won. Instead, he fought tentatively and unsurprisingly came out on the short end of a decision. Taher-Watts looks to be an extremely talented fighter, but needs to focus his efforts more on fighting than dancing if he hopes to take his game to the next level.
DAVE FOX VS. NATE RUSSAK
In a customary Gladiator Challenge Heavyweight slugfest, event veterans Fox and Russak mixed it up. Wasting little time with a feeling out period, the two went right at it with Fox getting the better of the exchange and forcing Russak to the fence. Then, after landing a powerful uppercut and dropping Russak, Fox followed up with an onslaught of blows, which forced the official to stop the punishment.
BRANDON BLEDSOE VS. MAC DANZIG
Quite simply, Bledsoe was in over his head here against Danzig who represented the RAW fighting team. The lanky Bledsoe opened with a high kick and shot in for the takedown, but Danzig sprawled and then tried for the guillotine. Dropping to the ground, Danzig was able to lock in his guard position and tighten the submission, rendering Bledsoe unconscious in merely :56 seconds.
BRIAN SLEEMAN VS. JORGE LOPEZ
The always-exciting Sleeman returned with a match against the rugged Lopez. Going to the ground quickly, it didnt take long for Sleeman to get Lopezs back, then roll into an armbar attempt. However, Lopez defended well and end up in Sleemans guard where he surprised the popular veteran with a number of powerful strikes. After having some initial striking success, Lopez tried to stand and pass the guard. At this point, Sleeman, turned the tables by grabbing Lopezs ankles and pulling them for a takedown himself, which allowed him to gain a mounted position. From here, Sleeman tried for the Keylock, but ended up with Lopezs back again instead. This time though, there would be no escape for Lopez who tapped at the 3:03 mark. A short, tough fight, but just another nights work for the workmanlike Sleeman, who rarely fails to please his appreciative fans.
PETE WERVE VS. RICHARD POWERS
The two competitors came out swinging in this one, until Werve took the fight down to the mat where he had the upper hand. On the ground, Powers appeared to be out of his element and after absorbing some damage knees to the midsection from Werve, tapped to what appeared to be a sidechoke.
CORY REEVES VS. NICK SHADWICK
In a short, sweet affair, Cory Reeves proved to be a prospect to look out for as he wasted little time or effort in dismantling Nick Shadwick. After some jostling that led to the initial takedown, Reeves methodically took control on the ground and gained Shadwicks back for a rear naked choke submission in only 1:05 seconds.
ALBERT HILL VS. GEORGE ADKINS
This undercard war proved to be one of the most entertaining of the night in a seesaw affair that saw each competitor have his moments. Hill looked to have the superior strength and stand-up skills while Adkins favored an attack based on submissions. Early on, Adkins scored the first takedown and locked in a triangle choke, but Hill used his strength to lift Adkins and slam his way to freedom. Shortly thereafter, Adkins made an attempt at an armbar, but did not have his hips up high enough to exert the needed pressure. All the while, Hill kept up a steady pace of strikes that were doing enough damage to slow his opponent down and keep him honest.
In round two, Hill seemed to be gaining strength and landing more blows standing and on the ground, but Adkins never deterred from his pursuit of submission attempts. Nonetheless, Hill seemed to be in control and on his way to a decision win. However, with time running short, Adkins was able to trap Hill in a final triangle choke attempt. Hill gamely battled to resist the submission, but ultimately succumbed at 3:31 of the round. Its these kinds of match-ups that make for a great night of action.
RUSSEL GIMINSKI VS. VINCENT SALAZAR
From the outset, Salazar wanted to take this one to the ground and Giminski did all he could to prevent it. However, Salazar eventually succeeded with a takedown and gained the mount. Giminski was able to escape to Salazars guard, but almost immediately found himself caught in a deep armbar. With little choice, Giminski gamely attempted to lift Salazar and slam him on his head to no avail and tapped at 2:54 of the opening round.
NOAH SCHNABEL VS. JORI TATE
This bout was the shortest of the evening and provided one of the scarier moments. Tate shot in immediately following the bell in an attempted takedown, but quickly found himself caught in a guillotine choke. Instinctively, Tate attempted to roll out, but only ended up trapped more tightly and was choked unconscious at :13 of the round. At this point, officials rushed into the ring to examine the prone Tate, who appeared to be fine after a few tense minutes.
ROSS CLIFTON VS. JOHN SARNO
With over 800 lbs of girth between the two competitors in this bout, it was obvious it was not going to be a battle between technicians. Instead a predictable toe-to-toe brawl developed. Unfortunately for Sarno, it was Clifton who landed all of the bombs. Just about each of his blows found the mark on the inexperienced Sarnos chin, forcing the referee to intervene only fifteen seconds into the match.
DAVE VELASQUEZ VS. JOSE LOPEZ: VELASQUEZ BY 3R DECISION
JAMES FANSHIER VS. GARY GRATE: GRATE BY 2R DECISION
AHMED HEMPSTEAD VS. SAMMY SLEEZER: SLEEZER BY 2R DECISION
SCOTT SMITH VS. LEVI THORNBRUE: SMITH BY TKO AT 2:20 OF R1
MANNY SANTOS VS. JERMAIN TAHER-WATTS: TAHER-WATTS BY 2R DECISION
DAVE FOX VS. NATE RUSSAK: FOX BY TKO AT :53 OF R1
BRANDON BLEDSOE VS. MAC DANZIG: DANZIG BY GUOLLOTINE CHOKE AT :56 OF R1
BRIAN SLEEMAN VS. JORGE LOPEZ: SLEEMAN BY REAR NAKED CHOKE AT 3:03 OF R1
PETE WERVE VS. RICHARD POWERS: WERVE BY SIDECHOKE AT 1:27 OF R1
CORY REEVES VS. NICK SHADWICK: REEVES BY REAR NAKED CHOKE AT 1:09 OF R1
SOST INFANTE VS. MIKE OHAGAN: INFANTE BY TKO AT 2:23 OF R1
ALBERT HILL VS. GEORGE ADKINS: ADKINS BY TRIANGLE CHOKE AT 3:31 OF R2
RUSSEL GIMINSKI VS. VINCENT SALAZAR: SALAZAR BY ARMBAR AT 2:54 OF R1
NOAH SCHNABEL VS. JORI TATE: SCHNABEL BY GUOLLOTINE CHOKE AT :13 OF R1
ROSS CLIFTON VS. JOHN SARNO: CLIFTON BY TKO AT :15 OF R1