Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Combat Challenge 32

Saturday's Freestyle Combat Challenge show took place in downtown Kenosha at the Marina Shores Ballroom. The event was highlighted by a four-man 145lb featherweight tournament, which began the evening featuring fighters from all over the Midwest including Indianapolis, St. Paul, and Fargo. In addition, the card also featured a semi-finals bout of an ongoing 155lb lightweight tournament to decide which fighter is going to get the opportunity to fight in Japan. Also on the card was a main event that featured Wisconsin MMA legend Adrian Serrano.

145lb Featherweight Tournament

In the 145lb tournament Jeremy Ashley of Indianapolis, Indiana showed off his submission prowess with multiple attempts against Zach Schumack. He finished the bout via arm bar in the second round to advance to the finals. In the other semi-final match Dustin “The Beast” Neace, also of Indianapolis, Inidana, wasted no time disposing of Rich Taylor via a guillotine choke quickly in round one, knowing that he need as much energy as possible for his finals match-up against Jeremy Ashley.

Jeremy Ashley and Dustin Neace would both fight again in the final bout of the night. Ashley would attack early but Neace ended up with full mount and began to throw some heavy leather. After getting the fight back to the feet, the fighters showed some standup before Ashley was able to secure his own takedown. Neace immediately sweeps Ashley and gets side control. With only one minute left in the first round Neace was able to quickly get full mount. Ashley would attempt to muscle his way out to avoid the barrage of leather Neace was unloading. The referee finally came in to save Ashley. Neace, the most experienced of the four fighters, wins the tournament by TKO (referee stoppage) from ground and pound with one second left in the round.

16-man 155lb Lightweight Tournament Semi-Final Bout

Matt Morin of Adrian Serrano’s Combat Sports Gym moved one step closer to Japan last night. Freestyle Combat Challenge has had an ongoing 16-man tournament in which the victor gets to fight in Japan through Dave Strasser’s fighter exchange program.

Morin’s opponent Alberto Ramirez of Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy was definitely the fan favorite in this bout and the crowd went crazy when his name was announced. As the fight began, the taller Morin used his Muaythai clinch to throw knees and control the smaller Ramirez. Ramirez responded by getting a takedown and side control. Morin quickly regained half-guard, and then full guard. Morin attempts an arm triangle from the bottom and the two combatants spill out of the ring. As the fighters are brought back in and the fight begins, Morin attempts a heel hook. In a strange turn, Ramirez jumps out of the ring to avoid the heel hook. The referee attempts to start the fight again in the same position (Morin with the heel hook) and Ramirez’ corner complains. The referee in one his controversial and questionable calls of the evening, decides to just start the fighters standing. Morin gets a takedown from the clinch, gets full mount, and cross-faces Ramirez, traps an arm, postures up and goes for the armbar. With the arm extended, Ramirez is forced to tap in round one.

With the victory, Morin now faces the winner of the other 155lb semi-finals bout in February at FCC 33. Morin and the winner will then face each other in the March show at FCC 34. The winner of that bout will be crowned champion and get an all expense paid trip to fight in Japan.

Main Event

The crowd went wild as Wisconsin MMA legend Adrian Serrano was announced during his fight with Josh “The Crowbar” Horsch of Piqua, Ohio. The “Crowbar” didn’t let the crowd phase him as he quickly shot in for a takedown. As Horsch worked from half guard he stayed busy landing body shots, elbows and the Bas Ruten favorite “cross-face”. It was apparent early that one of the combatants was bleeding and as the match continued the blood began to flow more and more, it became obvious it was Serrano’s. This fight was beginning to look like a blood bath as both combatants were covered in blood. Horsch attempted some kimuras on Serrano but the cagey veteran was not about to be caught. Horsch went back to his half guard and finished the round working more elbows, his cross-face, and about a half dozen body shots to finish out the first round.

The doctor entered the ring in between rounds to check on Serrano’s cuts. The doctor decides to let the fight continue and the second round begins. The fighters touch gloves and Horsch immediately goes to his bread and butter move, the single leg takedown into half guard. The second round looked to be a continuation of the first round as Horsch goes back to working his cross-faces, elbows, and body shots from half-guard. Horsch manages to pass the guard this time, but Serrano is able to escape and get the fight back to the feet. Horsch executes a standing guillotine before pulling guard. Serrano quickly taps to the choke. Being the classy fighter that he is, Serrano holds the Horsch’s arm up and gets the crowd to acknowledge the feat of the younger fighter.

Other Highlights

I’d think knockout of the night would have to go to Kevin Kelley of Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy. Kelly who came out sporting a t-shirt with the saying: “Greetings taco lovers”, muscled his much taller opponent Joe Cooper around the ring and to the canvas. As Cooper threw some shots from bottom, Kelley stood up and stomped on the head/face of Cooper immediately ending the fight.

I’d give fight of the night to Shane McDonald vs. Adrian “300” Guitierez. McDonald of Team Ho Down was sizably bigger than his opponent Adrian Guitierez of Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy South. Early on McDonald was out striking and muscling around Guitierez. He also used a Muaythai clinch to his advantage and attempted a guillotine choke. Once on the ground the fight was a back forth battle of reversals. As McDonald attempted an ankle lock, Guitierez turned the tables and quickly mounted MacDonald. Guitierez turned up the heat with relentless strikes to McDonald and the referee was forced to stop the fight. A nice come from behind TKO victory via ground and pound for Guitierez who showed why his nickname is “300”.

All in all it was a great night of fights in a very nice venue. The show didn’t do a good job explaining the fighter exchange program and the significance of some of the bouts, although the bouts themselves were very exciting. The show did a good job bringing together fighters from all over the Midwest including North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. The Vale Tudo rules made for some exciting yet dangerous bouts and the promotion kept a good flow on the show with very few breaks or lulls in action. The only real complaint I had was that the referee made multiple bad calls throughout the night with restarts in the wrong position in the Ashley vs. Schumack and Morin vs. Ramirez bouts when he was visibly confused. I’d like to thank Dave Strasser for having Wisconsin Combat Sports cover the action. The full results are listed below. Expect photos of the event sometime later this week.
Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Combat Challenge 32Marina ShoresKenosha, WI01/12/2008

145lb Featherweight Tournament Bout
Jeremy Ashley – C4 – Indianapolis, IN – (5-4)
Zach Schumack – Fargo, ND – (6-3-1)

Jeremy Ashley wins by Armbar – Round 2

145lb Featherweight Tournament Bout
Rich Taylor – Minnesota Martial Arts Academy – St. Paul, MN – (2-1)
Dustin “The Beast” Neace – Boiler Room – Indianapolis, IN – (15-9-1)

Dustin Neace wins by Guillotine Choke – Round 1

205lb Light Heavyweight Bout
Dustin Keller – Shark Bite – Sullivan, WI – (0-1)
Gary Weir – Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy – Kenosha, WI – (1-0)

Gary Weir wins by Unanimous Decision – Round 3

195lb Catchweight Bout
Joe Cooper – Freaks Of The Industry – De Motte, IN – (1-4)
Kevin Kelley – Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy – South Milwaukee – (4-1-0-2)

Kevin Kelley wins by TKO/KO (Stomps) – Round 1

155lb Lightweight Bout
Shane McDonald – Team Ho Down – Cornersville, IN – (2-2)
Adrian “300” Guitierez – Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy South – Xion, IL – (2-0)

Adrian Gutierrez wins by TKO (Ground and Pound) – Round 1

155lb Lightweight Bout
Matt Morin – Adrian Serrano’s Combat Sports Gym – Milwaukee, WI – (5-2)
Alberto Ramirez – Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy – Kenosha, WI – (0-2)

Matt Morin wins by Arm Bar – Round 1

160lb Catchweight Bout
Steve Corley – Freaks Of The Industry – Lafayette, IN – (0-1)
Scott Wagner (1-2)

Scott Wagner wins by Arm Bar – Round 2 – (0:43)

170lb Welterweight Bout
Ryan Scheeper – Philbricks - Clinton, IA - (0-2)
Fernando “Fists Of Fury” Gomez – Rockford, IL – (2-1)

Fernando Gomez wins by Submission (Strikes) – Round 3

180lb Catchweight Bout
Kenneth Allen – Chicago, IL – (2-23)
Gerald Meerschaert – Racine, WI – (3-2)

Meerschart wins by Triangle Choke – Round 1

185lb Middleweight Bout – Main Event
Josh “The Crowbar” Horsch – Piqua, OH – (4-0)
Adrian Serrano – Adrian Serrano’s Combat Sports Gym – Milwaukee, WI - (55-28-4)

Josh Horsh wins by Guillotine Choke – Round 2

145lb Tournament Championship Bout
Jeremy Ashley – C4 – Indianapolis, IN – (4-4)
Dustin “The Beast” Neace – Boiler Room – Indianapolis, IN – (15-9-1)

Dustin Neace wins by TKO (Ground and Pound) – Round 1 – 4:59

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