Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Combat Challenge had a distinct international feel to it that featured Japanese MMA fighters Kiuma Kunioku and Daiki “DJ Taiki” Hata as well as Brazil’s MMA Barbie, Carina Damm. Team USA went (0-3) for the evening, but it didn’t matter as it was a spectacular evening of fights. Jonathan “Blue” Chasse won the lightweight tournament and a contract to fight in Japan later this year.
Knock out of the night
The first fight of the evening pitted Freestyle Academy’s Bobby Glavin of Racine and Team Hodown’s John Lemon of Indiana against one another. Glavin (1-0) wasted no time and the fight was over before it even got started. A monster left hook sent Lemon (0-0) crashing to canvas like a sack of potatoes 11 seconds into the bout. That KO was a sign of things to come in the evening.
Andy Holm of Kenosha fights for the Freestyle Academy in Wisconsin and weighed in at 150lbs, which was surprising since he stood a whopping 6’1”. Holm did battle with Ryan Anderson who also fights for the Freestyle Academy, but Anderson trains out of the new Freestyle Academy gym in Waukegan.
In the first round, Glavin showed some heavy punches and knees in the clinch before scoring a takedown. Holm managed to threaten with a triangle choke, rolling into mount, but Anderson survived the final thirty seconds and kept his hopes alive.
In the third round, Andy Holm got side control and threw knees until Ryan Anderson reversed him. Back on the bottom, Holm used his long legs to go for yet another triangle similar to the first round; he then rolled Anderson until he had full mount and unloaded ground and pound punches. With one minute remaining in the round Anderson tried to hold on and survive because he was unable to escape the triangle of Holm. Holm then unleashed seven to eight elbows until referee Warren Kekabah stopped the bout.
Welterweight Gerald Meerschaert of the Freestyle Academy wasn’t in the ring to put on a show, he was looking to get in, take care of business, and get out. It only took him 40 seconds to submit Ryan Scheeper of Clinton, Iowa with a triangle choke. Meerschaert extended his win streak to four straight wins in as many months and his record is now (6-2) since going (2-2) in 2007.
In a heavyweight bout, Kevin Kelley does what he does best; knock out guys who think they have what it takes to fight in MMA. Anthony Heider who was making his debut never threw a single punch in the 14 seconds the fight lasted before he was knocked out. Kelley’s record is now at (6-1) with 2 no contests.
Eugene “the Crippler” Crisler of Third Heaven Martial Arts faced off against the south paw, Marco Daniels of the Freestyle Academy in Kenosha. Daniels started the bout with a standing guillotine but it wasn’t enough to make the Jiu-Jitsu fighter Crisler tap. Crisler pulled his own guillotine attempt on Daniels before finishing his opponent with an arm bar at 2:30 in the first round. Crisler’s MMA record increases to (7-6) while Marco Daniels loses his fourth straight bout to drop to (1-5). Eugene Crisler won the Wisconsin Combat Sports Submission of the Year with a Gogoplata over Bill Flinn at Madtown Throwdown 13 in October of 2007.
Fight of the Night
Matt Morin and Jonathan “Blue” Chasse fought in the finals of the lightweight tournament to decide what fighter would earn a contract to fight in Japan later in the year. The fight started out with Chasse throwing a combo of punches that I believe broke Morin’s nose followed by a right body kick. Morin quickly took Chasse down. It then became apparent that Morin was losing a lot of blood from his nose as he worked a cross face from guard. He continued with some ground and pound from the top and the fight was beginning to look like a blood bath. A stand up ensued and Chasse attempted a takedown, which was stuffed. Morin did a Judo throw and ended up back on top of Chasse. Chasse looked for a kneebar from the bottom but Morin was having nothing of it. Morin was then in side control and gave Chasse knees to the head. Morin then got the back of Chasse and peppered him with shots to the side of the head. Morin sunk in a deep rear naked choke with one-minute left in the round and it didn’t appear that “Blue” was going to survive the round. With thirty seconds left in the round “Blue” was still fighting to stay alive. Morin loosened it up with about ten seconds left in the first he peppered Chasse with shots to the head.
In round two, Chasse got a takedown and ended up in Morin’s guard. Morin looked for a Kimura before they were pulled back into the center. Morin attempted another Kimura but was not successful. Chasse then began to drop some elbows from Morin’s guard. The referee stood them up and Morin threw out a jab. Chasse came in with bad intentions but didn’t connect. He followed up with a right body kick and Morin punched him for his efforts and gave him a right leg kick. Morin had his hands very low and appeared to be getting very tired. The fighters clinched and Morin gives Chasse some knees. Morin ate a very big punch and followed up with a takedown. Chasse ended up on top throwing some big shots. Morin looked to be trying to get his wits back and he attempted to roll into a knee bar and Chasse attempted a stomp and ended up back in Morin’s guard. Morin went for a second knee bar and it looks likes it is very deep. He didn’t give it up and Chasse ended up in side control. He easily took full mount and Morin looked to be in trouble. Chasse was grounding and pounding and Morin tries to umpa out. With one minute left in the round Morin rolls over, it doesn’t look like he wanted to be in there anymore. He covers up and stops defending. With thirty seconds remaining Chasse sunk in a rear naked choke and Morin was forced to tap.
Chasse vs. Morin was an absolute non-stop war that could have been over many times. Both fighters showed great heart and it was hands down the best fight I’ve witnessed in Wisconsin this year. Morin falls to (5-4) and Chasse increases his record to (6-1). His only loss was in the opening round of the tournament, he filled in as a replacement due to injury in February to earn a spot back in the tourney.
Daiki “DJ Taiki” Hata of Japan defeated David Love by tapout in the third round after throwing a kick to the body. The two engaged in a stand up battle that could have won fight of the night easily if not for the Chasse vs. Morin battle earlier. The two gave and took a ton of punishment from several dozens leg and body kicks.
Submission of the night
Kiuma Kunioku of Japan attempted a flying knee halfway across the ring to start out his fight against Neutral Ground’s Jay Ellis. After a brief clinch, Ellis was able to get a single leg takedown. Kunioku attempted an arm triangle from the bottom but was unsuccessful. Ellis threw some ground and pound and Kunioku got an arm bar but Ellis escaped. Ellis was throwing strikes on the ground giving all Kunioku he could handle and Kunioku rolls over and subs Ellis with a toe hold at 1:47 in the first round.
In the final international bout of the evening, Carina Damm (8-3) of Brazil knocked out newcomer Lashonda Knox (0-0) with a big knee to the face. The bout lasted only 11 seconds. After the win Damm did a Capoeira celebration in the ring.
The main event consisted of hometown hero Nick Agallar fighting at the high school where he was once a standout wrestler. The fight itself was disappointing. Agallar fought Shane MacDonald of Team Hodown. The fight started out with each fighter throwing kicks. Agallar then used a combination to set up a takedown, but on the ground MacDonald was hit with an unintentional groin shot and was not able to continue. The fight was a victory by TKO (Injury) for Agallar. It perhaps should have been ruled a no contest.
Despite the main event being lackluster and Carina Damm fighting a girl who had no business fighting, the event featured some great fights in Morin vs. Chasse, Andy Holm vs. Ryan Anderson, and Dave Love vs. Daiki Hata. It was very difficult to choose the fight of the night, knock out of the night, and submission of the night as there was many good choices to choose from.
Dave Strasser's Freestyle Combat Challenge 35
Racine Case High School Gymnasium
155lb – Lightweight Bout
Nick Agallar – Freestyle Academy – Racine, WI
Shane McDonald – Team Hodown – Cornersville, IN
Nick Agallar defeats Shane McDonald – TKO (Injury) – RD 1
130lb Catchweight Bout
Carina Damm – Alliance BJJ – Brazil
Lashonda Knox – Independent – Milwaukee, WI
Carina Damm defeats Lashonda Knox – KO – Knee to the face – RD 1 – (0:11)
155 lb Lightweight Bout
Kiuma Kunioku – Freelance – Japan
Jay Ellis – Neutral Ground BJJ – Milwaukee, WI
Kiuma Kunioku defeats Jay Ellis – Toe Hold – RD 1 – (1:47)
145lb Featherweight Bout
David “Dr.” Love – Mario Roberto
Daiki “DJ Taiki” Hata – Japan
Daiki “DJ Taiki” Hata defeats David Love – Tapout – Kick – RD 3
155lb Lightweight Bout
Jonathan "Blue" Chasse – Freestyle Academy – Kenosha, WI
Matt Morin Serrano’s Combat Gym – Milwaukee, WI
Jonathan "Blue" Chasse defeats Matt Morin – Rear Naked Choke – RD 2 – (4:37)
Eugene “The Crippler” Crisler – Third Heaven Martial Arts
Marco Daniels – Freestyle Combat Academy – Kenosha, WI
Eugene “The Crippler” Crisler defeats Marco Daniels – Armbar – RD 1 – (2:30)
Andy Heider – Independent
Kevin Kelley – Freestyle Combat Academy – South Milwaukee
Kevin Kelley defeats Andy Heider – KO – RD 1 – (0:14)
170lb – Welterweight Bout
Gerald Meerschaert – Freestyle Combat Academy – Kenosha, WI
Ryan Scheeper – Philbrick’s Gym – Clinton, IA
Gerald Meerschaert defeats Ryan Scheeper – Arm Bar – RD 1 – (0:40)
Andy Holm – Freestyle Academy North – Kenosha, WI
Ryan Anderson – Freestyle Academy South – Waukegan, IL
Andy Holm defeats Ryan Anderson – TKO (Strikes from mount) – RD 3 – (2:30)
155lb Lightweight Bout
Bobby Galvin – Freestyle Academy – Racine, WI
John Lemon – Team Hodown – Cornersville, IN
Bobby Galvin defeats John Lemon – KO – RD 1 – (0:11)
Fight of the night: Jonathan Chasse vs. Matt Morin
Knock out of the night: Bobby Galvin – Left hook KO
Submission of the night: Kiuma Kunioku – Toe Hold
This article was originally published on Wisconsin Combat Sports on 05-05-08.