|Every promoters worst nightmare is the thought of a big crowd and not enough quality fights to entertain the crowd. For multiple reasons, this is exactly what Monte Cox faced just three days before ICE 19 on Jan. 21. Fighters representing fight clubs out of Detroit and Pennsylvania were unable to make the show,
Every promoters worst nightmare is the thought of a big crowd and not enough quality fights to entertain the crowd. For multiple reasons, this is exactly what Monte Cox faced just three days before ICE 19 on Jan. 21. Fighters representing fight clubs out of Detroit and Pennsylvania were unable to make the show, thus forcing Cox to dig deep into his back pocket, contacting numerous local clubs looking for fighters to fill the depleted card. 9 out of 10 times this would equate to a disaster, but surprisingly, Cox was able to piece together one of the more entertaining ICE fight cards, and lucky for him, this ended up being the biggest crowd in ICE history. Just how did he do it? Cox let me in on a little promoter secret. Always enter into each intermission with your best fights. This keeps the crowd talking about the fights. If you enter an intermission with a crap fight, thats all people will remember. Words of wisdom from arguably one of the best fight promoters in the business. What fights did Mr. Cox put together on three days notice? Read my review to find out
Thomas Baber vs. Eric Lovelace
Baber, fighting out of Lexington, KY and 4 Seasons, hoped to have a more successful return to the Hexagon taking on Eric The Inferno Lovelace. The Miamisburg, OH native looked to take the legs out of Baber, repeatedly throwing and landing leg kicks. Barber absorbed the kicks and eventually got the takedown on Lovelace. From there, Barbers wrestling took over as he was able to mount Lovelace and after handing three to four unanswered punches, Lovelace had no answer and tapped early into round 1.
Steve Tyrell vs. Scott Zink
Part time Metropolis bouncer, part time MMA fighter, Scott Zink looked to improve on his 1-1 record by taking on another Cincinnati fighter in Steve Tyrell. Both fighters traded punches from the get go, each landing solid blows. Deciding not to stand and trade any longer, Zink snuck in the takedown and quickly maneuvered into the mount. Tyrell, now with a bleeding nose, tried to avoid the punches and rolled to his stomach to avoid any further damage. Zink saw his opportunity and sunk in the rear naked choke and forced Tyrell to tap at the 2:24 mark of round 1.
Rich Belanich vs. Mike Swank
A candidate for fight of the night goes out to the 3rd fight of the evening between Cleveland fighter Rich Wolfhound Belanich against Dayton, OH fighter Mike Old School Swank. Swank, coming in at 45 years of age, looked nothing like his age as he was more than willing to trade with the much younger Belanich. Swank did eventually look for the takedown and when he did, found himself in a very awkward spot, basically upside down, almost in an inverted reverse triangle. With not enough action, regular ICE referee Rich Franklin stood the fighters up and round 1 ended with Swank getting another takedown, but was unable to take any real advantage of the situation.
Round 2 had Swank controlling the entire round by getting the initial takedown and working himself into the side position. From there, Swank basically held onto a head lock and pounded away at Belanich, who was unable to escape. With no stall in the action, Referee Franklin was unable to stand the fighters up and the round ended almost how it began with Swank holding Belanich in a headlock.
In a very close fight, round 3 was going to be crucial in determining who was going to walk away the winner. Both fighters looked to end it with a flurry of punches, but just when you thought that the one punch was coming, Swank looked to have slipped and Belanich looked to take his back. almost sinking in a rear naked choke, Swank made one last valiant effort, stood up, and fell over trying to shake Belanich off. The force of the slam erupted the crowd as Old School was able to escape the hold. The round came to an end with Swank working from the side mount with Belanich continuously working for the rear raked choke. In was a very close fight, Belanich was able to squeeze the slightest of margins and escaped with a judges decision over the local favorite.
Anthony Pulling vs. Reno Dahli
Team GriffenRawl product Anthony AJ Pulling took on the much shorter Reno Dahli in the 4th fight of the night. The Metropolis bouncer Dahli had the backing of the local crowd as he entered wearing a Tim Sylvia type kilt. Unfortunately, the height advantage was too much as Pulling was able to take down the smaller fighter. Pulling quickly worked to the back of Dahli and after landing a few shots to the back of Dahlis head, he locked in a rear naked choke forcing the distraught Dahli to tap quickly in round 1.
Dustin Winterholt vs. Gerald Pierson
ICE veteran Gerald Pierson returned to the ICE cage to take on tough Fort Thomas, KY fighter Dustin Boss man Winterholt. Pierson seemed to have a difficult time defending the shots of Winterholt and found himself fighting off of his back for much of rounds one and two. Winterholt successfully worked his ground and pound, not allowing Pierson the opportunity to get off of his back much. But as the fight entered round 3, it seemed Pierson had figured out Winterholts game plan and with Winterholt tiring, the fight became much more interesting.
Round 3 began with Winterholt attempting his shot, but Pierson was ready this time. Being unsuccessful, Winterholt found himself on all fours with Pierson throwing punches, hoping to land the big shot. The crowd watched in anticipation, thinking the end was near, but each punch seemed to miss by just inches. Escaping any real damage, Winterholt was able to take Pierson down, but unable to inflict any further damage. In the end, Winterholts wrestling ability was able to secure the unanimous decision victory.
Jimmy Flanders vs. Ben Parks
Thundercat Ben Parks took on Jimmy Flanders, who was making his MMA debut, in the 6th fight of the evening. Flanders, who is deaf, opened the fight strongly, landing a solid one, two combination that visibly stunned Parks. Flanders followed up with a few more shots, but Parks was able to absorb the damage and returned with a few shots of his own. Flanders, who looked visibly tired, began to be on the receiving end of some rights by Parks and ate a fight ending kick to the stomach. Unable to take any more punishment, Flanders verbally submitted and Parks was awarded the victory and improving his record to 2-1.
JP Wilson vs. Steven Banks
The ICE main event had a true David vs. Goliath story line that no one could have ever predicted. 310 lb. Meat Truck Inc. fighter Steven Banks, looked to take another step upwards in the ICE Heavyweight Division, battled JP The Giant Killer Wilson from Dayton, OH. Wilson needed every bit of his nickname as he easily gave up 5 inches to the much taller and bigger Banks. Round 1 had Wilson being the aggressor and taking the fight straight to Banks. Wilson even landed a solid shot that stunned Banks midway through the fight. Unfortunately, neither fighter was able to gain any real advantage with Banks looking the worse for wear, walking back to his corner with a bloody nose.
Round 2 started with another solid right by Wilson, but gave up the takedown to Banks. Banks worked some ground and pound and eventually worked to the back of Wilson and almost sunk in a rear naked choke. Wilson fought off the choke and both fighters were eventually stood up by Franklin. As they the fight resumed, Wilson bull rushed Banks, pushing him up against the cage as the round came to an end.
The crowd erupted as round 3 began, showing appreciation for both fighters that were giving it their all. Both fighters, now bleeding pretty badly, looked to take it to the other, but as each were throwing punches, Banks snuck in and got the takedown on Wilson. Banks works into the full mount and began to land some punches from the top. To avoid further damage, Wilson flipped to his back but still ate some good shots before referee Franklin stood them up. From there, both fighters were visibly exhausted and bloody, and the fight came to an end. The crowd awaited intently for the decision as Papa Schanke read aloud and announced that Banks had been awarded the narrow split decision victory.