While the fighting world looks ahead to Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions teaming with Affliction in 2009, boxing's most infamous promoter will quietly make his first foray into MMA tonight with Vengeance FC's debut show in Concord, NC. The card, organized by Don King Productions, is available to stream free of charge online at DonKingTV.com and boasts a main event featuring former UFC and PRIDE heavyweights Mark Kerr and Jeff Monson. The undercard is also loaded with some interesting names, including Carmelo Marrero, TUF7 alum Cale Yarbrough, and local hero John Savage squaring off against Gracie black belt Marcos "Conan" Silveira, a late replacement for mentor Carlson Gracie who makes just his second MMA appearance since 2002 after serving time for his involvement with an ecstasy smuggling ring.
Jeff Monson def. Mark Kerr via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:15 of Round 1
Rodney Wallace def. Ovince St. Preux via Decision (Unanimous)
Mackens Semerzier def. Ryan Lamareaux via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:04 of Round 3
Matt Covan def. Jeremiah Brandon Brown via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:58 of Round 2
Robbie Huston def. Andy Curtiss via TKO (Punches) at 0:41 of Round 1
Brian Keller def. Jason Wiggins via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 0:48 of Round 1
Joel Wyatt def. Chris Herring via Submission (Strikes) at 1:40 of Round 1
Sylvian Bynum def. Jeff Bricker via Decision (Unanimous)
Mike Turner def. James Nathan Davis via Submission (Guillotine Choke) 0:57 of Round 1
Ryan Bedini def. Hallie "Snake" Hair via TKO (Leg Injury) at 0:28 of Round 1
Nick Blake def. Patrick Needham via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:53 of Round 1
- Cale Yarbrough was absent from his match with Andy Curtiss; no reason was given.
- Marrero vs. Denis Gomes was either not streamed or scrapped from the card. If anyone knows what became of that, or the Conan Silveira/John Savage match, comment away.
- Kerr was in terrible shape and tapped immediately once Monson took his back and sunk in the choke. It's time for the Smashing Machine to hang 'em up.
- All in all, a pretty lousy first card for he of the electrified hair - the stream was busted, the announcers atrocious and the fights short but unexciting for the most part. One positive: the local crowd seemed to be into it. (It doesn't hurt that NC hosts the Bud Cup every year and the fans were accustomed to ground fighting.) I'm sure King doesn't really care one way or the other - he was ringside for the Shane Mosley/Ricardo Mayorga fight at the time.
Updates from commenter cherubimzion who was in attendance:
Apparently Yarbrough backed out, not sure of the reasoning.
Merrero was not present, Gomez fought Stark (last name) from team quest, but was not streamed as the event ran past time and Monson’s fight was moved up to air.
Savage did not fight as Silveira was rushed to the hospital, reportedly due to kidney stones from my guys that fought.
The sound was a bit borked all night, and as for the stream I can’t comment as I was there all night. All in all, in a return for MMA to NC I would have to say there were definitely some good fights, and some washes (what do you expect from a half and half amateur and pro card). I personally thought it was a good event, and that seemed to be concensus from the crowd around the arena.