Tuesday, June 13, 2006 (Cleveland, OH USA) By Scott A. Joffe: Gladiators Fighting Mixed Martial Arts made it’s return to Cleveland this past weekend with one of it’s biggest and most competitive cards to date. “Fight Nite in the Flats 2,” presented by BetonFighting.com and PKW Live, once again took center stage on a beautiful night riverside in Cleveland’s magnificent Plain Dealer Pavilion considered by many as one of the region’s premier outdoor venues.
The night featured four Gladiators title fights along with a stacked feature and preliminary card which made for an unbelievably competitive fight card. In the evening’s main event Cleveland’s own Dan “The Bull” Bobish once again lived up to his nickname by dispatching 300 lb. plus Eric Knox in just over a minute.
The Bull charged in from the opening horn and immediately looked for the takedown which he was easily able to obtain. Once in familiar territory, Bobishunleashed a ground and pound attack that prompted referee Mark Matheny to stop the bout and declare Bobish the new Gladiators Fighting Super Heavyweight MMA Champion. Bobish will now turn his attentions to his next opponent Eric “Butterbean “Esch who comes to town Saturday, September 9th.
Josh “Heavy” Hendricks stretched his unbeaten streak to seven straight fights as a pro with a first round submission victory over Team GurgelsPatrick Barrentine. After an early exchange Barrentine executed a nearly flawless suplex to take the action to the mat, but quickly found himself in a bad position with Hendricks on top and forcing the action. Hendricks was able to secure an armbar and end the fight nearly two minutes into the first round, earning the title of Gladiators Fighting Heavyweight MMA Champion.
In what was expected to be a very closely contested match-up, Hammer House fighter Rob “The Bullrider” Wince faced Peak Submission’s AllanWeickert for the Gladiators Fighting Light Heavyweight MMA crown. Wince controlled the fight from the outset with a series of early takedowns which seemed to set the tone for the rest of the fight.
Wince stuck to his game plan and seemed prepared to go the full three rounds if needed, while Weickert looked nothing like his usual self and was never able to dictate the tempo as he has in recent match-ups. In the end it was an impressive win for Wince, who now improves to 15-6 overall with the unanimous decision.
In another highly anticipated match-up, Cleveland police officer Jeff Cox entered the caged colosseum for the last time and once again showed why he is one the most respected fighters in the sport.
A great early exchange got the crowd going, but Myers was quickly forced to the ground by a Cox takedown. From there it was all Cox who sunk in the finishing front choke nearly midway through the opening round.
After the fight, an emotional Cox gave Cleveland fight fans a moment to remember with one of the best post fight speeches in Gladiator’s history – while sending a warning to all criminals that he has not retired from his job. Cox finished by dedicating the title and belt to trainer and friend Marcus Marinelli, who is also the founder of the Strong Style Fight Team which went 5-1 on the night.
Prior to the evening’s four title fights, ring announcer and former Kickboxing world champion Duke Roufus addressed the appreciative crowd and introduced VIP guests in attendance, which included UFC stars Stephan Bonnar, Brandon Lee Hinkle, Wes “The Project” Sims along with top ranked ladies fighter Lana Stefanac and Miss 2003 Bikini America Gina Lara.
Team Griffon-Rawls Jason “Dynamite” Dent once again impressed his hometown fans with a memorable performance in a featured Lightweight showdown against Team Next Level’s Luke Spencer.
In a fight that Ohio fans thought was long overdue, the two battled into the third round in what was a very tight and fast paced match-up. Dent and Spencer held nothing back while going toe-to-toe for most of the fight, but Dent was able to capitalize on a late Spencer mistake and sink in the winning triangle choke in round three. Dent, who improved to 18-6 with the win, will now be fighting in October for the Gladiators Fighting Lightweight MMA title.
Donnie Walker, Dent’s teammate and student, looked to make a name for himself by taking out the previously unbeaten Jason “Steeltown” Taylor in a Gladiators Lightweight clash. Both fighters showed a well rounded attack in a back and forth fight, but Walker eventually would capitalize on a Taylormistake late in round two to earn the submission victory. Walker improved to 6-2 and has established himself as a contender in the Gladiators Lightweight MMA division.
Kickboxing champion Ryan “The Lion” Madigan made his Gladiators MMA debut a successful one as he took care of a feisty Clint Zeedyk in a Welterweight clash. Madigan showed early patience after Zeedyk took the kickboxer down in the opening stages of the fight.
After avoiding what appeared to be a tight heel hook, Madigan turned the tables on Zeedyk and at one point even mounted the Gladiators veteran. The second round started with a brief exchange and another Zeedyk takedown, but once again Madigan was able to sweep and gain control after slipping through Zeedyks guard prompting his corner to throw in the towel. An impressive debut against a tough Clint Zeedyk likely assured Madigan a return to the Gladiators Cage this October.
In one of the night’s most entertaining match-ups, Torrance “The Tyrant” Taylor improved to 3-2 with a split decision win over Toby “Tiger Heart” Grear.
Each fighter came out aggressive in the first round with Grear getting the fight’s first takedown, however a rapidly improving Taylor, fought off a vicious Grear assault and managed to get the fight standing where he would look to get things going. An unintentional knee to the head of Grear costTaylor a point in the opening round which would loom large as the fight progressed.
The second and third rounds were both as close as round one, with both fighters showing tremendous heart and a wide array of skills. In a fight that featured nearly everything, the eighteen year old “Tyrant” from Cleveland did enough in the judge’s eyes to squeak out the win, with many fans already talking rematch.
Team Strong Style’s Matt Masterson stayed unbeaten (4-0) with a KO win over MMA veteran Todd Seyler of Boardman, Ohio. A quick left uppercut from Masterson followed by an uncontested forearm to the face of a downed Seyler led to one of the show’s most devastating KO’s. Seyler thankfully would be alright, but would need assistance leaving the ring while Masterson now sets his sights on his next victim.
Tommy “Gun” Ridenbaugh got back on track with an impressive TKO win over the highly touted Casey Leonard who was making his pro debut. Prior to this match-up, Ridenabaugh’s last 4 opponents had combined records of 16-1 with Leonard coming in at 3-1.
Leonard got Ridenbaugh’s attention just seconds into the fight with a right leg high kick that nearly connected, but from that point on it was all Ridenbaughas his right hand stunned Leonard sending him crashing to the canvas. From there it was a series of strikes that prompted referee Mark Matheny to stop the fight.
Vander Fighting Systems Jason “Freebird” Freeman made his long awaited pro debut after an accomplished amatuer MMA and toughman career. His opponent, Thomas Russell, took a different road to the pros after competing in just two amatuer contests, but would show the experience of a five year veteran on this night in Cleveland.
After a Freeman takedown and brief scramble in the opening moments, Russell secured an armbar forcing Freeman to tap with just over a minute gone in the first round. A disappointed Freeman admitted after the fight that he made a mistake in allowing the fight to go to the ground and chalked it up as a learning experience. Russell, on the other hand, is now back on track after losses to UFC veteran Joe Doerksen and KOTC’s Brenan Seguin.
The featured preliminary bout lived up to all of the hype whith the NAAFS’s top two Welterweights battling in an all out war. “Smokin’” Joe Heiland and Josh McBride put on a show that Cleveland fight fans would not soon forget and for nearly three rounds showed fans what amateur MMA is all about.
Heiland took round one while controlling the pace and taking the fight to McBride after avoiding an early takedown attempt. The second round may have gone to McBride who was able to gain position on the ground and control most of the round. The third round saw both fighters lay it on the line in what was a memorable exchange that brought the capacity crowd to its feet. Heiland would finally land the finishing blow, a left hook that would end the night for McBride. Look for both of these fighters to be back in the cage this Saturday, October 7th as part of “Caged Vengeance 2” in Cleveland.
In other preliminary action, Tyler “Superman” Combs won his 3rd fight in his last four attempts over a very game John Myers via arm triangle in the third round. Carl Dean Roff improved to 2-1 with a unanimous decision victory over Marcus “Maximus” Keith while Rob Stroup of Jamestown, New York took care of Cleveland’s Domonic Ciricillo as both fighters made their MMA debuts. The opener saw Dan Spohn improve to 2-0 with a first round submission win over Cleveland’s’ Dave Osborne.
For the official “Fight Nite in the Flats 2” photo gallery, log on to Prokarateweekly.com. The next Gladiators Ohio show, “Caged Vengeance 2” is schedule for Saturday, October 7th at the Cleveland Gray’s Armory. VIP Ticket reservations are now being accepted by calling 330-324-3034.
Gladiators Fighting would like to thank the fighters, fans, special guests, the Ohio State Athletic Commission and our sponsors for all of their support in making this one of our best events ever. “Fight Nite in the Flats 2” was sponsored by Betonfighting.com, McCarthy’s Ale House, PKW Live, The Beach Comber and TikiBar, Tazmanian Freight Systems, The Fan Union, 2XL Sports, SportstalkCleveland.com, Bloody Buddy Fight Gear, XS Energy Drink, MMAvideo.com, Gameness and Warrior Wear. For more information please contact Greg Kalikas at (330) 324-3034.
Fight Nite in the Flats 2 – Quick Results
Featured Pro Bouts
Main Event: Super Heavyweight Title Fight – Dan Bobish over Erik Knox – TKO (ref stoppage) rd1
Heavyweight Title Fight – Josh Hendricks over Patrick Barrentine – Armbar rd1
Light Heavyweight Title Fight – Rob Wince over Allan Weickert – Unanimous Dec
Welterweight Title Fight – Jeff Cox over Chris Myers – Front Choke rd1
155 lbs. – Jason Dent over Luke Spencer – Triangle Choke rd3
155 lbs. – Donnie Walker over Jason Taylor – Triangle Choke rd2
170 lbs. – Ryan Madigan over Clint Zeedyk – TKO (towel thrown) rd2
155 lbs. – Torrance Taylor over Toby Grear – Split Dec
195 lbs. – Matt Masterson over Todd Seyler – KO rd1
155 lbs. – Tommy Ridenbaugh over Casey Leonard – TKO rd1
205 lbs. – Thomas Russell over Jason Freeman – Armbar rd1
170 lbs. – Joe Heiland over Josh McBride – KO rd3
155 lbs. – Tyler Combs over John Myers – Arm Traingle rd3
155 lbs. – Carl Dean Roff over Marcus Keith – Unanimous Dec
170 lbs. – Rob Stroup over Dominic Ciricillo – Rear Naked Choke rd2
205 lbs. – Dan Spohn over Dave Osborne – Rear Naked Choke rd1