Sunday, March 30, 2008

Freestyle Combat Challenge 34: Dave Strasser Triumphant in MMA Return

Freestyle Combat Challenge 34 would mark the return of Dave Strasser to MMA after a two-year hiatus from competition. Special guest Kiuma Kunioku, a former King of Pancrase from Tokyo, Japan would also make the long trip from the Land of the Rising Sun to fight in the Wisconsin show. Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy would have a successful night going (5-0) in the evening. The Freaks of the Industry fight team based out of Indiana would not however, dropping all four of the fights they were involved in.

Fight of the Night

The night started out with Racine resident and Freestyle Academy fighter Gerald Meerschaert taking on Alex Carter of Chicago, Illinois in a 165lb catchweight bout. Meerschaert is coming off his unanimous decision win over welterweight Caleb Krull last month and was looking to extend his win streak to three victories. Meerschaert was overlooked by the ranking committee despite defeating their number three choice for welterweights.

In the fight with Alex Carter last night, Meerschaert had trouble in the first round defending the constant barrage of takedowns from Carter. Meerschaert did finish the first round strong with hammer fists and a big knee to end the round, but it may not have been enough to steal the round back.

Carter may have blown his wad with takedowns in the first round and looked tired to open the second. Meerschaert opened with a big left head kick but missed the mark. Meerschaert rushed in and threw a left jab to the chin and attempted a throw. Both fighters exchanged punches and Carter went for a single leg takedown but Meerschaert sprawled against the ropes. Carter then switched to a double leg and dumped Meerschaert to the floor and ended up in full guard. Meerschaert attempted and arm bar but was unsuccessful. He then gave Carter an upkick from the bottom to the face. Carter then jumped right into a triangle choke and both fighters were under the ropes. Referee Warren Kekahbah pulled up the ropes and Carter tapped out from the triangle choke. Good job by the referee to not break the action.

Meerschaert improves his record to (5-2) with the win and Alex Carter falls to (4-22) according to Sherdog.

Submission of the Night

Evan Martinez of Racine, Wisconsin took on Damian Chamberlain of Freaks of the Industry. Martinez started out the bout with a nice left kick to the body of Chamberlein. He then got himself into trouble in the round and took at least four big knees to the face opening up a cut above his left eye before pulling guard. After a failed arm bar on Chamberlein’s right arm, Martinez transistioned nicely to the opposite arm to tap Chamberlain after weathering a big storm from what looked like a much larger opponent.

Martinez increases his MMA record to (1-2) and Chamberlain falls to (0-2) with the first round arm bar.

Jordan Jackola of Zion, Illinois trains at both Freestyle Academy North and South. He took on Chad Leroy of Freaks of the Industry in a three round battle. Both fighters had their moments in the fight and Jackola was superior in the stand-up realm but Chad Leroy had a better ground game getting many takedowns and using a control game. In the third round, Jackola would force Leroy to tap by applying a guillotine choke.

Knock Out of the Night

In a heavyweight bout, 290lb Gabe Garcia of Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy took on 250lb Dave Oliver of Freaks of the Industry. Gabe Garcia put on a display of pure dominance from start to finish pounding away on Oliver. Once Oliver turtled up the ref stopped in to call a halt to the action. Gabe Garcia defeats Dave Oliver via TKO referee stoppage due to strikes. Garcia improves his record to (3-4) while Oliver falls to (0-2).

Ryan Scheeper of the Philbrick’s Gym in Clinton, Iowa improved his record to (1-4) with an arm bar victory over Chicago’s Ken Allen in the final seconds of the first round. Ken Allen’s record falls to a laughable (1-27).

Javi “The Lowrider” Vega of Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy in Kenosha was a fan favorite. Vega showed off some good takedowns and ground skills and got the back of his opponent. He won the first round easily but was deducted a point for illegal strikes to the back of the head. Late in the first round, an inexperienced Wolfren continued to go for a guillotine choke despite not having half or full guard. In the second round, Vega again got the back and again Vega continued to fire shots to the back of the head of Travis. With less than a minute remaining Travis finally reverses with a takedown and falls right into a triangle choke. Vega improves his record to (2-2).

Main Events

Kiuma Kunioku, a former King of Pancrase from Japan traveled all the way from Tokyo, Japan to fight on the show. Kiuma Kunioku sports a (31-22-9) record according to Sherdog and has fought in K-1 Hero’s, Pancrase, and Deep. All three are major organizations in Japan. Kunioku’s fought a who’s who list of opposition including Bas Ruten, Nate Marquardt, Yuki Kondo, Sean Sherk, Evan Tanner, Frank Shamrock, and many other big names. Four of those names are former UFC champions.

In his bout last night, Kunioku fought against Dave “Dr.” Love in a 155lb lightweight bout. Love was a game opponent and while Kunioku had the better footwork, Love actually landed the better strikes. It was on a kick from Love that Kunioku was able to capitalize on a takedown and bring the fight into his world. He was not able to get beyond Love’s guard before the round ended. In the second round, the fighters traded kicks but Kunioku was able to again get the fight to the ground. Love used some rubber guard tactics to keep Kunioku from posturing up. Kunioku backed Love up to the corner, let him up and smashed his face in with a knee, at which point Love immediately jumped out of the ropes to avoid punishment. Kunioku wins by TKO in round two.

In the final bout of the night, Dave Strasser made a triumphant return quickly dismantling Steve Connelly with a slam from mount proving that he hasn’t lost a step. In his post-fight speech, he also announced that on April 12th he is having a grand opening at his newest gym, Freestyle Combat Academy South in Waukegan, Illinois. The last time Strasser had seen action was April of 2006 when he traveled to England to fight Paul Daley at Cage Rage 16. Strasser will again return to action on May 3rd in Racine, Wisconsin.

Full results:

Freestyle Combat Challenge 34
Marina Shores
Kenosha, WI

Gerald Meerschaert – Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy – Racine, WI
Alex Carter – Chicago, IL

Gerald Meerschaert defeats Alex Carter via Triangle Choke – RD 2

Alex Carter (4-22)
Gerald Meerschaert (5-2)

Evan Martinez – Freestyle Academy – Racine, WI
Damian Chamberlain – Freaks of the Industry – Resler, IN

Evan Martinez defeats Damien Chamberlein via Arm Bar – RD 1

Evan Martinez (1-2)
Damien Chamberelein (0-2)

Jordan Jackola – Freestyle Academy – Zion, IL
Chad Leroy – Freaks of the Industry – Lemiac, IN

Jordan Jackola defeats Chad Leroy via Guillotine Choke – RD 3

Jordan Jackola (1-0)
Chad Leroy (0-2)

Gabe Garcia – Freestyle Academy
Dave Oliver – Freaks of the Industry

Gabe Garcia defeats Dave Oliver via RD 1 – TKO (Stoppage Due to Strikes)

Gabe Garcia (3-4)
Dave Oliver (0-2)

Ryan Scheeper – Philbrick’s Gym – Clinton, IA
Ken Allen – Chicago, IL

Ryan Scheeper defeats Ken Allen via Arm Bar – RD 1

Ryan Scheeper (1-4)
Ken Allen (1-27)

Javi Vega
Travis Wolfren – Freaks of the Industry

Javi Vega defeats Travis Wolfren via Triangle Choke – RD 2

Javi Vega (2-2)
Travis Wolfren (0-1)

Kiuma Kunioku – Tokyo, Japan
Dave Love – Animal House – Indianapolis, IN

Kiuma Kunioku defeats Dave Love – TKO (Knees) – RD 2

Kiuma Kunioku (32-22-9)
Dave Love (8-8-1)
Dave Strasser – Freestyle Academy – Kenosha, WI
Steve Corley – Freaks of the Industry – Lafayette, IN

Dave Strasser defeats Steve Corley – Verbal Submission (Injury) – RD 1

Dave Strasser (25-8-4)
Steve Conelly (6-6)

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