Shooto, Warrior Spirit Evolution

Shooto: Warrior Spirit Evolution Novemeber 14, 2003 Las Vegas, Nevada

Back to Las Vegas for OntheMat, and as any visitor to Vegas will tell you, sometimes fortune will smile upon you and sometimes you just crap out. Tuff-N-Uff, producers of their very first Shooto show at the Orleans Hotel could certainly tell you about the best laid plans of mice and men, as they saw the last second cancellation of not one, but two of their headlining bouts. First, Marvin Eastman`s original opponent could not fight, so they found a worthy replacement in Frank Mir, who was to participate in a kickboxing sparring match with Eastman. This was quickly nixed by the UFC however. Then, minutes prior to what would have been the first sanctioned women`s MMA bout in Nevada, Jamie Lyn fell down the escalator dislocating her shoulder and was screaming in pain, forcing the doctors to scrap her bout with Erica Montoya. Still, with a great venue, two 12 foot screens unfurled and the voice of MMA Bruce Buffer on the mic, the show must go on and so it did, thus we began the night`s action. Brenda Lopez split decision over Rachel Duangsima The first bout of the night was a kickboxing match between Brenda Lopez and Rachel Duangsima. Good action as both women not only pounded away at each other with a lot of heart, but showed excellent defense and ring savvy. Lopez takes a split decision that could have gone either way. Alberto Torres decision over Eric Osario The second of the two kickboxing demonstrations, this was a bit more one sided as local favorite Torress gets the decision over Osario Rick Davis KO`s Nick Ertl by spinning backfist 26 seconds Round 2 This fight was a war. Las Vegas Combat Club`s Rick Davis and Nick Ertl from Cesar Gracie charged right at each other and threw leather, threw each other and provided non stop action in the first round. On their feet or on the mat, Davis and Ertl pounded each other and threw with the conviction to do damage. The first round had Ertl up and in the second round the two looked to pick up right where they left off. Davis must have noticed Ertle`s hand dropping, because he committed to a spectacular spinning back fist that found the target and sent an already unconscious Ertle crashing backwards to the mat. Afterwards an elated Davis talked about his day job -as a third grade teacher! Sam Morgan defeats Aaron Riley armbar from the guard 2`41 Round 1 The HooknShoot and UFC veteran Aaron Riley came in a huge favorite against the unknown Sam Morgan, but someone forgot to tell Morgan that and he charged across the ring and proceeded to slug it out with the granite jawed Riley. Riley went for the takedown and got side control, then proceeded to look for an armbar. Morgan escaped however and the match went back to the feet. The match went quickly back to the mat however, with Riley in Morgan`s guard. Morgan proceeded to calmly tie up Riley`s hands to defend the punches, then slapped on a text book armbar from the guard. Riley attempted to stand to defend, but this allowed Morgan to extend his arm even further, forcing Riley to tap out. Morgan was very emotional after the victory, and thanked those back home who believed in him. John Fitch over Shonie Carter tap out from exhaustion at 41 seconds into Round 3. Upsets seemed to be the rule of the night, as Shonie "Mr. International" Carter was well known to the crowd for his stellar performances in the King of the Cage and the UFC, but few people had heard of or gave John Fitch much of a chance. Shonie has alternately been crafty and spectacular in his long martial arts career. John Fitch on the other hand was the former captain of the Perdue wrestling team and currently trains and teaches at AKA. For the first two rounds Shonie could not seem to get any kind of offense going, as Fitch was able to use his superior wrestling skills to take Shonie to the mat at will and establish superior position, mounting an effective ground and pound attack. Shonie was slippery however and forced reversals several times during the match. By the third round Carter had clearly taken more damage in the bout however looked game when Fitch scored yet another takedown early in the bout. Shonie rolled over and promptly tapped out, then proceeded to vomit in the ring. Fitch impressed by the audience greatly with the bout, but was characteristically modest about his victory, asserting he still has some time to improve to where he truly feels he`s world class. Javier Vazquez over Robert Emerson Split Decision. This bout marked Javier`s first MMA bout in about nine months since losing a decision (and severly injuring his knee) to fellow OTM favorite Alberto Crane in a war. Prior to this match Javier competed at the World Grappling Games under 160 advanced division and looked sharp. Robert Emerson came cornered by Marco Ruas and looked more than ready to spoil Javi`s return and claim his own piece of the spotlight. The first round saw each fight moving very cautiously. Javier went for a few of his patented takedowns but was stuffed nicely each time by Emerson, and Javi finally resorted to pulling guard. Emerson for his part of the offense caught Javi with a knee that seemed to wobble him for a split second, but other than that there was not much action in the first round. The second round saw Javi get one nice takedown but not much other action, as Emerson defended well but backed away most of the round, and again not much action. In the third round Javi seemed to get finally get going quickly getting a takedown and side control to the mount. Javi went for an armbar but Emerson would have none of it and the fight went back to the feet. The fight went back to the feet and finished there. The judges made a split decision for Javi, which was a bit surprising, as a case could be made that Emerson possibly won the first round, but the next two (especially the third) belonged to Javi. Despite the initial setbacks and bad luck, Tuff-n-Uff Productions delivered a good show with top-notch production values and (more importantly) excellent in -ring action. While the two matches were missed, everyone went away feeling as they got their entertainment for the night. With a better run of luck we can`t wait to see what Tuff-n-Uff is able to produce for us all.

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