Dec 13th, 2003,The Roseland theatre in Portland, Oregon hasplayed host to many an artist. Covering its walls are pictures of some of the greatest names in rock and roll history. The list of singers and musical groups whove graced its floors rival that of the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco, but on this night, there wasnt a twangy guitar in sight.
Dec 13th, 2003,The Roseland theatre in Portland, Oregon hasplayed host to many an artist. Covering its walls are pictures of some of the greatest names in rock and roll history. The list of singers and musical groups whove graced its floors rival that of the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco, but on this night, there wasnt a twangy guitar in sight. What graced its floors were heads and hemoglobin, all courtesy of the FCFF. Promoted by IFC veteran Chael Sonnen, and refereed by former WEC lightweight champion and Shooto veteran Anthony Hamlett, the FCFF (Full Contact Fighting Federation) is emerging as the premiere MMA show in the Pacific Northwest. The tenth installment of the Rumble at the Roseland saw knockouts, submissions, and none of the thirteen fights go to the judges cards. The event satisfied those who love the intricacies and subtle techniques of the sport, as well as the ones who just want to see dudes get knocked the hell out. With big screen intros, elaborate lighting, and the octagonal cage known as The Slammer, the FCFF is only going to get bigger. With a stacked card sporting two title fights and a superfight, the Rumble at the Roseland X did not disappoint.
The night started with Bruce The Bam Bam Buel verbally submitting to the very tough Ocean Baker at 1:15 of the second round.
After a brief exchange, Chris Wilson knocked out Elder Pyatt with a well timed and maliciously thrown uppercut just :10 seconds into their match.
Pedro Castaneda was able to catch the veteran David Banuet of San Diego, Ca in a triangle choke at :46 of the first round.
Bout #4 was between Jesse Hamm and Jose Orozo. Orozo, fighting out of Team Quest, came out throwing bombs. Hamm repeatedly turned his back to avoid the strikes, at one point doing a full 360. This technique forced him to fight off several standing choke attempts by Orozo. Orozo took the fight to the ground and landed some effective strikes from the guard. With his fighter bloodied and absorbing punishment, Hamms corner threw in the towel. The only problem was that in the time it took the ivory cloth to arch its way into the cage (which seemed like an eternity), Hamm looked to have Orozo in a quasi-guillotine choke. Although the choke was by no means sunk in, Hamm was out of harms way, at least for the time being. It was then that the towel landed at the feet of referee Anthony Hamlett, who, while visually surprised by it, fulfilled his duty and stopped the fight. Hamm himself could not believe it and looked at his corner in confusion. The crowd vocalized its displeasure as Hamlett picked up said towel, and promptly threw it back to the corner. Cheers replaced the profanity as Hamlett waved it off and restarted the fight, but Orozo picked up right where he had left off, again taking down his opponent and making Hamm himself tapout with a barrage of punches from the mount at 3:07 of the first round.
*On a side note, any corner man who is planning on throwing in the towel would be well advised to have the expressed, written permission of Anthony Hamlett.
Next up was Universal Fighterss heavyweight star Josh Bennett ( not to be confused with former UFC Heavyweight champion, Josh Barnett) against Ryan Big Chief Newton of the Desert Dogs Fight Team based in Bend, Oregon. Both fighters have had ring experience in the past, and move extremely well for heavyweights. The fight opened with Newton landing hard shots to Bennetts face, causing some heavy bleeding. After clinching to avoid further damage, Bennett attempted a greco-throw that resulted in Newton in his half guard. Some nice grounding and pounding ensued before referee Hamlett called a break for the doctors to look at the extent of Bennetts injuries, and for the gloved, disinfectant wielding cage hands to wipe the crimson from the canvas. Bennett used the time to gain his composure, while the Big Chief wore a smile of confidence. As the fight resumed, Newton threw a high kick, which Bennett caught and used to take the fight to the ground. Once safe from the strikes that had bloodied him earlier, Bennett was able to employ his jujuitsu skills to achieve the full mount, where he forced the Big Chief to tap from strikes at 2:10 of the first round. Bennett showed tremendous mettle in surviving some vicious blows and taking the fight where he needed to in order to win, an impressive display of heart and skill by Bennett.
Coming all the way from Hilo, Hawaii, Cameron Cuarisma was armbarred just :36 seconds into his fight with Portlands own Jared Freeman.
Next up was Greshams Ryan Pope taking on last minute replacement Earl Matthews of Long View, Washington. Pope got the takedown early, landing in side control. It was then shades of Marco Ruas vs. Remco Pardoel in UFC 7 as Matthews tapped as soon as Pope achieved full mount :51 seconds into the match.
In a light-heavyweight match, Team Quest fighter Matt The Maniac Horwich took on four time all-American wrestler Kyacey Uscola from Idaho. Uscola has earned a reputation in the FCFF for ending fights quickly, with neither of his two fights going past the first minute. The start of the fight saw Uscola unloading a flurry of hockey style punches on the somewhat timid Horwich, who did a nice job of covering up and avoiding the knockout shot. A takedown by Uscola found him in Horwichs guard. After standing up to avoid a triangle/armbar attempt, Uscola dropped a knee to the face of his downed opponent, a move outlawed in the FCFF. After the point deduction and subsequent stand up, Uscola again threw some heavy leather, and again Horwich effectively protected himself. Uscola brought the fight to the ground a second time via a head and arm throw and laid in side control, where Horwich tried to land some strikes from the bottom. Horwich tried to take Uscolas back, but the wrestler would have none of it, turning and winding up in guard. Once there, Horwich slapped on an armbar that Uscola valiantly tried to fight out of, but persistence and skill on the part of Horwich proved to be enough to force the tapout at 2:50 of the first round.
Shawn Cahill of Everett, Washington ended his fight with Mel Locke 4:04 into the second round by triangle choke.
Apparently Chael Sonnen, who was scheduled to fight in last weekends canceled Shut up and Fight show, was a little upset about not getting his fight. He proceeded to take out his frustrations on Greg The Nut Curnut who made the trip down from Quincy, Washington to take on the FCFFs promoter. Sonnen landed a good solid inside lowkick before using his double-leg takedown and getting side control. Sonnen quickly mounted, and rained down solid punches until referee Hamlett stopped the fight.
Delon The Won Williams again showed his knockout power by sending the very tough Jim Pope to the canvas with a wicked overhand right less than a minute into their superfight. Delon got a nice shiny belt, and added another K.O to his growing win column.
FCFF heavyweight champion Josh Bring the Pain Haynes retained his belt when he handily defeated Team Quest fighter and former kickboxer, Dave Hagen. Haynes went right after Hagen, and his takedown attempt would not be denied. Once on the mat, the champion mounted, and forced the tapout :37 seconds into the fight. Haynes has owned the belt for over a year, and many thought the champs time had come. But once again, Haynes has proved the critics wrong, and his family and training partners right. Haynes is a true champion and is looking to take the next step in his fighting career, possibly vacating his title to pursue opportunities in bigger shows. Keep an eye out for him.
The main event was for the lightweight title belt. Chad Nelson of Eugene, Oregon had it, and Jon Gunderson of Medford wanted it. There had been some bad blood between the two by way of post victory interviews, and it was now time for the two to settle their differences in The Slammer. Both men are savvy on their feet, and were not afraid to stand and throw. After some good exchanges standing, Gunderson had a guillotine that looked fairly tight. The champion remained calm and eventually worked his way out. The two exchanged knees in the clinch, until Nelson took it to the ground and landed some good strikes from the guard. The action wasnt enough for Referee Hamlett who stood the two up soon after. The fighters again mixed it up on their feet until Nelson caught Gunderson flush on the chin with lightening quick over hand right, sending the contender down. With no action from Hamlett, Nelson kept throwing and landing, until it was finally stopped at 2:42 of the first round. Nelson retained his belt and showed hes the strongest lightweight in the FCFF.
In attendance was UFC light-heavyweight champion, Randy The Natural Couture. The near by Gresham resident had the entire crown on their feet with chants of RAN-DY! RAN-DY! threatening to rupture eardrums as far south as Ashland. The soft spoken champion thanked the crowd for their support and encouraged them to continue to promote the sport of MMA. The next event is scheduled for January 24th. Dubbed, East vs. West, ten of the toughest fighter on the east coast will be making the trek to Portland to take on the best that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. After the showings from the fighters last night, choosing only ten may prove to be a task in itself.
(For more information on the FCFF visit www.thefcff.com)