GWC's foray into mixed martial arts promotion was a solid effort, especially for their first offering. Anchored by a "US vs. UK" theme, the 11-piece fight card boasted solid talent for such a small and young show, wasted no time in between fights and all but one of the contests were well worth watching on an otherwise vacant weekend for MMA.
With the aid of my cohort Zombie Prophet, find the complete GWC - "The British Invasion: US vs. UK" gifs and results below.
Bobby Lashley defeats Matt Larson by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1
While he might not have lived up to the expectations of some, former Strikeforce heavyweight and pro-wrestling icon Bobby Lashley has developed some skill to go along with his comic-book physique and athleticism. Lashley was all business in taking on Matt Larson in the GWC headliner, closing the gap quickly on the feet and imposing his wrestling prowess with successful results.
Less than a minute in, Lashley connected with Larson from an angle that left his opponent vulnerable, and floored him with a slick foot sweep from the waist-lock position.
Larson tried to angle for a kimura, which was a pretty futile attempt from his loose half guard. After Lashley broke the grip, he scrambled into back control when Larson tried to take a knee, and cinched up a tight rear-naked choke to score the 1st-round submission.
Marcin Lazarz defeats Ricco Rodriguez by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x 2)
In the only entirely forgettable bout of the evening, former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez met Marcin Lazarz at a catch-weight of 215-pounds. Though Ricco was as lean and trim as he's ever been, his lack of a distance weapon on the feet left him with few options. Lazarz hung back and chambered off tight and straight 1-2's every time Rodriguez tried to shrink the gap. The well-timed single leg above was one of Ricco's few successful takedowns, but even in those rare instances Lazarz was able to scramble back to his feet shortly after.
Having no luck landing strikes or getting inside on Lazarz, Ricco fell back on shooting takedowns and pulling guard, still to no avail. Lazarz showed strong defense and good timing on his counter-strikes all night, but didn't necessarily wow the crowd while neutralizing everything Rodriguez threw at him.
Despite being dropped by the UFC after three-straight losses, Team Rough House's Andre Winner still has some sharp boxing. In what most thought would be the most competitive match of the evening, Winner almost flawlessly executed a sprawl-and-brawl strategy to take Drew Fickett out of his element.
After easily staving off Fickett's early takedown attempts, Winner forced him to trade hands and capitalized on his noticeable advantage. Winner uncorked straight 1-2's and a counter left hook from outside, consistently landed a nice retreating uppercut when Fickett was in hot pursuit, and attacked with short knees and an over-the-top elbow after stuffing Fickett's shots.
Winner dominated the match save for the 2nd-round scare above: Winner wheeled out a zinging high kick that whiffed, allowing Fickett the tiny window of opportunity to drastically turn the tables. Fickett ducked the kick, dove into Winner and secured the rear waist cinch, then hopped on his back while finagling a rear-naked choke. Winner stayed patient and got two-on-one wrist control to prevent the choke and survive the round.
TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove started strong on the feet early, but a few heavy counter-combos from Mitchell dissuaded the Hawaiian from charging in fearlessly. Grove switched to a more methodical style of stalking and began to find the mark with quick flurries after breaking the clinch. And that eventually made the difference, as Grove disconnected from a standing tie-up with an uppercut, left hook and right cross medley that ended Mitchell's night.
Former UFC heavyweight and Strongman competitor Oli Thompson bull-dozed Kevin Asplund in a merciless and one-sided beating. Toppling him with a caveman-style takedown early, Thompson stayed in high gear with a brutal succession of short-range punches and elbows, often securing a half-nelson to keep Asplund's head in his cross-hairs. Asplund was wide open for an arm triangle and perhaps even baiting Thompson with it, but Oli opted to stay on top and continue the drubbing until the ref stepped in.
L.C. Davis defeats James Saville by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Dayman Lake defeats Jake Heun by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1
Jack Marshman defeats Wayne Cole by TKO (punches), Round 1