BloodyElbow.com is here at ringside for the IFL World Grand Prix and the show is about to begin. The ref is in the ring and we're getting the standard "can you feeeeel it?!" hype.
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Results will be up as they happen.
First fight up will be:
Brent Beauparlant vs. Benji Radach
Round 1: Radach with a nice right hand to start things out and a really nice flying knee. A 1-2 combo rocks Brent and Benji continues to pour it on with crisp combinations. The fight is a one sided stand-up war but it's a great bout to get the crowd into it. A beautiful left hook ends the night of Beauparlant. Radach looked fantastic. Benji Radach with the KO win in 2:21 of round 1.
Bart Palaszewski vs. Chris Horodecki
Round 1: Bart looking to establish a jab early on and is able to land a sharp counter left hand early. High kick attempt from Chris is blocked but he continues to throw a steady attack of leg and body kicks. Thea early counterpunching from Bart has Chris switching to more lateral movement and he starts to look a little bit better than in the early part of the round. Chris drops him briefly with a right hand. Round ends with the fighters exchanging a combination. After a shaky early part of the round I'd give it to Horodecki. Once he was able to establish some movement he worked the leg kicks to set up his punching. Round 2: Combos from both to start the round and Bart sees an opening and gets a takedown. Some decent GnP as Chris looks to better his guard. Bart passes to side control and Chris stands up into a flurry of knees before the fighters separate. More punching combos exchanged as Chris starts to move and establish the leg kicks again. A right from Bart hurts Chris but he doesn't keep a lot of pressure on and Horodecki is able to recover somewhat starting to land combinations of his own again. The round ends and Bart has tied things up on my card at a round a piece. Round 3: Bart is coming forward more but a big right from Chris leads to a clinch against the ropes.Takedown from Bart is rolled through and Chris is on top. Bart is able to get it back to the feet in a matter of seconds. In the last 1:45 someone is going to steal the fight. Chris is picking his spots as the round winds down. The round ends and I have to give it and the fight to Horodecki based on crisper combinations throughout (a lot of 1-2-leg kick). But I do seem to be in the minority here in the press section. Regardless, just a great fight. Judges Cards: 29-28 CH, 29-28 BP, 29-28 CH - Chris Horodecki wins by split decision. The crowd isn't thrilled with the decision but it's a midwestern crowd pulling for the midwestern boy.
Alex Schoenauer vs. Vladimir Matyushenko for the IFL Light Heavyweight Title
Round 1: Vlad with some jabs as Alex looks to establish the center of the ring. First shot from Vlad is a single leg and he is able to get the takedown. Random standup from the ref as they were in the ropes. Should have just been relocated to the center. Great double leg by Vlad takes it right back to the mat and he lands in side control but Alex is able to work to half guard. Vlad works to control the arm before resorting to some solid GnP. Alex gets full guard but it doesn't stop Vlady from throwing more solid punches from the top. Typical workman like round from Matyushenko and Schoenauer is showing a nice mouse below his right eye. Round 2: Nice combination by Alex but he can't stop the takedowns of Vlad who again is sitting in Schoenauer's guard. Alex rolls into a leglock attempt but Vlad slips out and ends up back in top position. A standup again as there was about 15 seconds of inactivity. Leg kicks from Alex look like they're hurting Vlad but again its a double leg and Alex is on his back. The round ends with more of the standard Vlad GnP. My scorecard sits at 20-18 for Matyushenko. Round 3: Vlad with a front kick and yet another takedown. Completely random standup from the ref who seems to be reacting to any boo from the crowd. Vlady says "too bad" and gets another takedown. Another standup for no reason and another takedown attempt but this time the ropes allow Alex to establish position for an armbar attempt which Vlad works through back to top position. Kneebar attempt transitioned to side control for Alex who imediately goes to knee on belly which Vlad pushes through and back to the feet they go. The round comes to a rather uneventful end and Vladimir Matyushenko appears to have wrapped up a 30-27 win. Judges Cards: 29-27, 29-28, 29-28 all for Vladimir who wins the IFL Light Heavyweight Title by Unanimous Decision. Odd scores there as I can't see any way that Alex won a single round, but the right man gets the win.
Donnie Liles vs. Jay Hieron
Round 1: Liles backs Jay into a corner and they exchange strikes before Hieron reverses a Liles takedown attempt to get top control from inside the guard. Very effective GnP from Jay and they work back to their feet. Liles is sporting a bloody nose. Hieron with a good takedown into half guard. Liles with a sweep to establish top position and again they work back to standing. The round ends with Hieron clinching and landing some body shots with Liles pushed in the corner. Closer round than I made it out to be but still a 10-9 round for Hieron. Round 2: Jay catches the leg on a low kick and turns it into a solid takedown, landing in Donnie's guard. Hieron is working on the GnP but isn't landing many effective shots at this point. Jay throws the legs and partially takes Donnie's back before Liles is able to roll back and establish full guard. The ref stands the fighters up with :30 left. Jay fends off a takedown attempt and again ends up with partial back control. Not a lot of damage done by either fighter that round but Hieron controled it. 20-18 Jay Hieron at this point on my card. Round 3: Liles lands a right an Hieron stumbles into the ropes, bouncing back across the ring the other direction. Right away Hieron works for another takedown which he secures. More GnP work from Jay as the clock winds down to the two minute mark. A stand-up for lack of action and Liles shoots a combo with nothing of significance landing. The fighters exchange a few low kicks. The round ends and Jay Hieron should get the nod on the judges cards. Judges Cards: 30-27, 30-27, 30-28 all for Jay Hieron who continues on to the finals. A good response to the decision by the crowd but a good chunk of that comes from Randy Couture being in Hieron's corner.
John Gunderson vs. Wagnney Fabiano
Round 1: Feeling out period to start the round as both men paw with punches. Gunderson sits down on a few including a solid leg kick. A lot of missed strikes before Wagnney shoots for a takedown which John is able to initially avoid. Fabiano continues to hold the body lock and is eventually able to get the takedown into side control. John gets half guard and they stand up. Wagnney catches him with a guillotine choke attempt and it looked like John might go out but he was able to eventually pop his head out and they got back to standing to end the round. 10-9 for Fabiano on the takedown and choke attempt. Round 2: John with some decent striking to start the round; throwing some nice punch combinations. Fabiano works hard for a takedown but Gunderson is able to fend it off initially but Fabiano drops down out of a body lock ending up in top position. Guillotine choke is practically jumped into by Gunderson as he tries to get back to his feet and he taps. Wagnney Fabiano wins by submission - Guillotine Choke 1:53 Round 2. Wagnney Fabiano advances to the finals to face Chris Horodecki.
Gideon Ray vs. Delson Heleno
Round 1: A really solid low blow on a kick attempt by Heleno. Ray looks really hurt. The low blow was seriously loud. A break to recover and the fight is restarted. Takedown by Heleno and he is able to pass to side control. Heleno is looking for an armbar and establishes a full mount. Armbar is locked in and Ray has no choice but to tap. Hard to say how much was taken out of Ray by the low blow, but Heleno advances to face Jay Hieron in the finals at 170. Delson Heleno wins by Submission - Armbar 1:57 of round 1.
Shane Ott vs. Antoine Jaoude
Round 1: Ott with a quick takedown. Working from half guard before standing up and landing a couple punches, allowing Jaoude to get back to full guard. Antoine stands but Ott has his back and takes him back down. Jaoude is able to get it back to standing and in the process of the takedown attempt Ott appeared to be grimmacing. They fall through the ropes and get back in the ring before Jaoude is able to get a takedown. Easy pass to side control and Jaoude jumps to the other side securing an arm triangle, the ref stops the fight as it appears that Ott was about to go out completely. Antoine Jaoude wins by TKO - Arm Triangle 3:29 of round 1.
Bryan Vetell vs. Roy Nelson
Round 1: Body lock early on and Nelson gets a takedown and quickly establishes mount. Vetell is able to get half guard. The ref stands the fighters up for inactivity and each fighter lands a solid punch. Body lock in the corner and Nelso hits a low blow. The ref separates them and Vetell is laughing as he holds his...well...his junk. The fight is restarted and they end up in a body lock again as the crowd chants "cheeseburger" at Nelson...or more specifically at his gut. Takedown by Nelson but he isn't able to get anything done before the round ends. 10-9 round for Nelson on the takedowns. Round 2: Attendance is annouced at 4,107 between rounds. The majority of the early part of the round is spent in a body lock again, this time with Vetell the initiator. Again Vetell charges in for a body lock and Nelson pushes him into the corner. Nelson works some body shots but the fighters are restarted in the center. Vetell charges forward with some punches and knees before again they end up in a body lock against the ropes. The crowd is very down on this fight and I sort of see where they're coming from. The round ends with each fighter throwing a few punches. Vetell takes the round for the only real combo of the round. 19-19 on my card. Round 3: Nice right hand off the bell by Vetell and Nelson gets a quick takedown. Big shots from inside guard by Nelson and the ref starts to take a look...and steps in ending the fight. Nelson basically had to stand up and walk away and tell the ref to stop it before he called it off. Roy Nelson wins via TKO at 1:01 of the third round.
Brian Foster vs. Matt Horwich is up next as the last fight of the evening.
Round 1: Horwich uses stikes to get inside where he gets a bldy lock forcing Fosters head into position for some knees. Foster eats a bunch more knees while landing a couple punches of his own. Takedown by Horwich into the mount where he does a little work before Foster works back to half guard. Foster gives up his back but is able to stand up and land a few shots on Horwich. Takedown by foster and Horwich locks in a triangle, blood is streaming out of Fosters head. Horwich switches to an armbar and Foster is able to fight out of it for about 30 seconds before Matt locks it up and the fight is over. There was no tapout so it was either verbal or the ref decided to stop it once he saw the joint lock out. Matt Horwich wins via Submission - Armbar at 4:59 of round 1. It was a verbal submission and Foster only needed to survive for 1 more second but his arm was in danger so no fault there.
Good event for the IFL and the finals are set up to be quite solid. More thoughts on the event throughout the week here at BloodyElbow.com.