WAR MMA 1 took place earlier tonight and it was a mixed bag of action featuring a massive 12 fight live streaming card. The card carried former UFC, Bellator, and Strikeforce fighers, as well as a number of Stockton's own prospects. While many of the fights were reasonably exciting the hope that removing elbows and adding a ring would provide for a more high-action, fast-paced experience was largely a non-starter, with seven fights going to decision.
The night did see a few interesting (and one frightening) moments, including an unusual submission, a post fight medical scare, and a TKO largely due to an unwillingness to engage. Check out all the action in .gif form thanks to Zombie Prophet.
The night's main event saw rising journeyman Justin Baesman derail Daniel Robert's hopes for a quick jump back to the UFC. Roberts started incredibly strong, catching a kick and attempting to ground and pound his way to a quick finish. When that failed he tried for several submission attempts. The fast paced action left him largely drained the rest of the way, and a competative but inactive performance resulted in the split decision loss. For Baesman it was his 4th straight win, it was Roberts' first loss since leaving the UFC.
In the nights most frightening result, Caleb Mitchell gutted his way through a tough unanimous decision loss to Evan Esguerra. Mitchell was incredibly game, and often gave as good as he got, but while he made it to the end of the third, he immediately collapsed onto his stool where he remained until the decision was read. Upon attempting to leave the ring he appeared to be having trouble moving and was immediately rushed to an awaiting ambulance. No word yet as to what may have caused his post fight collapse or what his current condition may be.
Undefeated prospect Mike Persons suffered the first loss of his professional career to Clayton McKinney tonight. Persons fought hard, but was largely outclassed by the more powerful and polished McKinney to a decision loss.
in a fight that was reported, then reported cancelled, and suddenly back on D.J. Linderman took on Mike Hayes in a rematch of their CWFC title fight. Like the first time Linderman walked away the winner and also much like the first time it was entirely unmemorable.
Cody Gibson def. Darin Cooley via TKO (
Punches and Knee Flop) at 3:46 of Round 3
While Gibson gets the officially recorded TKO for his victory over Cooley, the reality is that an eye injury (potentially resulting from a punch) suffered late in the fight took the wind out of Cooley's sails. The ref didn't call time for an eye poke, and I'm not entirely sure there was one, but the damage resulted in Cooley falling to his back everytime the two fighters exchanged. After a point deduction for timidity, the referee watched several more falls before calling the fight altogether.
Roy Boughton def. Mike Martinez via Submission (toe hold)
Former Bellator fighter and Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu prospect Roy Boughton returned to the win column with a slick omoplata sweep to toe hold submission. Then he hit a few nice cartwheels and the better part of a back flip. If you've seen the .gif you've seen the fight.
Dominic Clark def. Chris Quitiquit via TKO (doctor stoppage) at 0:37 of Round 2
For the second time tonight an entertaining back and forth fight was stopped controversially on doctors orders. Quitiquit surprised early with some powerful counter striking, but Clark was beginning to pour it on with his sharper technique when the fight was stopped due to cut on Quitiquit's left cheek.
Marcel Fortuna def. C.J. Marsh via Submission (baseball choke) at 2:40 of Round 2
What's a baseball choke, I have no idea, but Fortuna looked good slapping it on in a dominant win over C.J. Marsh. As far as I can tell the submission involves trapping the opponents neck between your two forearms and squeezing them together. Looks painful.
Anthony Tatum def. Joey Cabezas via Split Decision
Sometimes enthusiasm can be a bad thing. That may have been the case when Cabezas dropped Tatum right at the end of round 1. He was plenty fired up, but that energy would largely go to wast as he was controlled in the later rounds.
Adrian Arona def. Beau Hamilton via TKO (doctors stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 2
This was the first questionable doctors decision of the night. In a fight that Hamilton was losing but looked to be gaining momentum, the doctor went to examine a cut on his left eyelid at the end of the second round. The cut didn't appear to be bleeding, but the doctor pulled it open to check it's severity, and decided to call the fight. I realize that eye cuts can be very dangerous, but I can't see any good reason to open a cut to check it.
Here you can see some of Hamilton's surprisingly slick counter-striking and defense.
Mike Ortega def. Jordan Powell via Split Decision
Derek Brown def. Aziz Rashid via Unanimous Decision
Derek Brown got all he could handle in the striking department from Aziz Rashid, but took a closer-than-it-looked-on-paper unanimous decision. Rashid came close to finishing the fight on a couple of occasions, but couldn't sustain his power striking offense.