Results and photos from APFC: MMA Unleashed 2 on Saturday, March 9, 2013. All photos taken by Herb Staten and Scales Off Media. Click a pic below to start a fullscreen gallery.
The Starks/Cimmarusti title fight was under review, but the decision will stand as a win for Starks. The fight was scored 30-27 for Cimmarusti and 30-27, 29-28 for Starks.
Christine Sarricola vs Breea Gilbert
Gilbert wins TKO in 3rd round with a flurry of punches
Khuseyn Kurbanov vs Jose Torres
Torres wins Rear Naked choke in 2nd round
Stephan Ivanoff vs Angelo Rivera
Rivera wins rear naked choke 1:57 in 2nd round
Nick Flemm vs Emilis Jaskevicius
Jackevicius wins in decision and retains the title
Kyle Starks vs Nick Cimmarusti
Cimmarusti put on a great exhibit of his Jiu Jitsu skills, Starks was able to defend and get the
Sergio Lopez def. Max Perez via split decision
Ray Bunker def. Gerald Mills, tap at :40 of round 1
Josh Toton def. Andy Mateiko, TKO-strikes, 1:07 round 1
Manny Vasquez def. John King, TKO-strikes, 1:00 round 1
Carlos Hernandez Jr.def. Koy Decker, Tap-RNC, round 1
Aaron Robertson def. Gregory Page, TKO-strikes, 1:23 round 1
Armando Caldaron def. John Massey, TK), 2:18 round 1
John Huggins def. Dakota Stanton via split decision
Steve Matthews def. Dan Almario, TKO
John Marino def. Scott Brantner, TKO, 1:23 round 1
Don Simpson def. Antonio Cummings, TAP-RNC :35 round 1
Mike De LaVega def. Gabriel Nava, TKO 1:38 in round 1
by Matt Lo Cascio
It isn’t easy trying to rehab injuries, stay in fighting shape, own a gym, teach classes and coach pro and amateur fighters.
“I need a vacation,” Jeff Curran joked.
Curran has a lot on his plate these days, and that’s just how he likes it. There’s no slowing down for the 35-year-old, and he says he is finally healthy enough to get back in the cage. He will likely make his return, and flyweight debut, on May 18 for the XFO.
Curran couldn’t reveal his opponent, but he did tell us that the fighter had agreed to fight him on an earlier date, so he hopes to have an announcement soon. Curran was scheduled to fight Tachi Palace vet Dustin Ortiz at last year’s XFO Outdoor War but had to withdraw due to hand injuries. Ortiz has since signed with the RFA, so Curran will have a different opponent.
Meanwhile, Curran is getting four other Team Curran fighters ready for big fights, not to mention a number of fighters for XFO 47 on March 29.
One of those fighters is Bart Palaszewski, who will fight Cole Miller at the TUF 17 Finale on April 13. Palaszewski left the team for a spell, but he is back under the Team Curran banner.
“Bart is 100% with Team Curran,” Curran said. “We worked out some things that were long overdue and he is refocused with the team more than ever. I think Bart vs. Cole is an awesome match-up. Bart is hard to submit and a dangerous knockout fighter. Not to mention he has a solid submission game himself being a BJJ black belt under me.”
About a week before that fight is the Bellator featherweight championship match, where cousin Pat Curran will defend his title against Shahbulat Shamhalaev, who replaces the injured Daniel Straus. The training camp was thrown a curveball when Straus had to withdraw from the bout. Pat Curran’s first career knockout came against Straus back at XFO 29, but Jeff isn’t concerned about the change.
“I think it holds a different challenge than Straus, but it falls into our advantage and gives us a very good vision of a game-plan. Pat is ready to fight anyone they send us.”
Felice Herrig will fight Heather Clark in Tampa at Bellator 94, and Joey Diehl recently signed to fight Eric Moell on April 19 for the XFC on AXStv.
“We’re excited about Diehl’s fight. He was a replacement and gets a chance to prove he is who we all know he can be. March 28 – May 18 is action-packed busy with fights for Team Curran,” Curran said.
That much-needed vacation? It will have to wait.
by Matt Lo Cascio
Will Brooks ran his record to a perfect 9-0 and advanced to the semifinals of the Bellator lightweight tournament Thursday night after dominating Ricardo Tirloni for three rounds. It was a runaway win for Brooks, taking the victory via unanimous decision, scored 30-27 on all three judges’ cards.
Brooks was emotional in his post-fight interview with analyst Jimmy Smith. When asked how important it was to win in front of adoptive dad Michael Jakolat after dedicating the fight to the memory of his adoptive mom, Brooks choked up and needed some time to gather himself before answering.
“I don’t know what to say right now. I’m just happy to be here. I’m just happy to get an opportunity. I’ve been working my butt off for all this. Everybody’s just been sacrificing a lot for me to do what I do and I’m just glad I can come out here and make them proud,” Brooks said.
Brooks had his way with Tirloni in every aspect of the fight. He was clearly the more effective striker and used his stellar wrestling to repeatedly take Tirloni down. Brooks tempted fate and entered Tirloni’s guard on several occasions, but he was able to maintain top position and do damage to the BJJ specialist.
Tirloni was able to apply some holds that seemed to be airtight, but Brooks was able to escape. He survived guillotine and triangle attempts, as well as a nasty knee that landed below the belt.
After Brooks took Tirloni to the ground with a power double-leg to start round two, a scramble ensued and Tirloni threw a knee that caught Brooks right on the cup. Brooks recovered and continued to dominate the fight.
The performance solidifies Brooks as one of the top prospects in MMA. He went 6-0 to begin his career here in Chicago, with all six fights ending in a TKO or submission win.
Last August, Brooks ventured out of state for the first time and fought ‘The Ultimate fighter’ vet Drew Dober. Brooks went to the judges’ scorecards for the first time in his career and earned a unanimous decision victory over Dober.
Brooks popped into the national spotlight after his New Year’s Eve win at DREAM 18 over Satoru Kitaoka. He stopped Kitaoka — a veteran of over 50 pro fights — in the second round.
“Remember the name Will Brooks!”, said Mauro Ranallo, who called the action for that fight.
“I will not forget that name, that guy put on a clinic here on how to defeat a leg-lock monster,” added analyst Stephen Quadros.
Brooks moves on to the semifinal round of the lightweight tournament and will face Saad Awad, who needed just :31 to knock out Guillaume DeLorenzi in his opening round match.
by Matt Lo Cascio
Chicago cop Mike Russow was back fighting in his hometown Saturday night, as the UFC on Fox 6 invaded the United Center. Russow walked in to “Simple Kind of Man”, and entered the cage behind a thunderous roar from his many fans.
Russow had opponent Shawn Jordan in trouble early in the first round. Russow moved Jordan up against the cage and then landed a series of rights that left Jordan a bit wobbly and bloodied. Russow took a break from the barrage and gathered some breath while holding Jordan up against the cage.
With 2:30 left in the round, Russow unleashed another barrage of punches that stunned Jordan led to a takedown.
Jordan escaped, but with blood trickling down his face. Russow attempted a single-leg takedown but couldn’t complete it. Jordan landed some short, solid elbows at the end of the round, but Russow clearly won it.
Jordan seemed to have a better feel for Russow in the beginning of round 2, but then an eye poke to Russow halted the action.
Jordan found his range and began landing hard shots to Russow’s face, then easily took him down. Russow gave up his back to Jordan, but Russow escaped with about three minutes left in the round. He got Jordan in a clinch and the United Center crowd called for knees. Russow obliged, landing two knees behind a loud roar.
But Jordan was able to turn the tables on Russow, get him to the ground and take his back. There would be no escape for Russow this time, as he was clearly hurt from the powerful lefts and rights that Jordan was landing. Herb Dean stepped in to end it at 3:48 of round 2.
“I thought I had it,” Russow said. “I’m disappointed but it’s MMA. You have to finish when you get your guy hurt.”
Jordan acknowledged that Russow had him in big trouble in the opening round.
“How badly was I hurt in the first round? What? There was two rounds in that fight? Well, I was shook up pretty bad,” Jordan confessed. “That first round wasn’t fun at all.”
Russow drops to 15-3 in his pro career, including a second straight defeat. He suffered a first-round TKO loss to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 147 last June.
Steven Winston vs. Justin Caviness at Fight Card: Devastation 2012
by Matt Lo Cascio
Pat Curran picked apart Patricio Pitbull over five rounds on Thursday night to successfully retain his Bellator featherweight title via split decision. Two judges scored it 48-47 for Curran (18-4), who was making the first defense of the title he took from Joe Warren in Indiana last year.
Curran started a bit slow against the challenger, but his pace and accuracy improved with each round. He used the first round like a radar, gathering information about his opponent and formulating a plan.
“He wont be baited. Pat Curran content to counterpunch so far,” said analyst Jimmy Smith. Smith gave the first round to Pitbull due to the Brazilian being the busier fighter.
The action picked up in round two with Curran getting the better of the exchanges. Curran landed a knee and Pitbull waved him on. Curran then landed a loud head kick on the side of Pitbull’s face, but Pitbull just smiled.
Still, the blows were connecting and Pitbull’s face was starting to swell and show damage. Blood started to drip from his nose with about 1:30 left in the second round, a round that was clearly won by the champion.
The third round was a bit of a stalemate with neither fighter doing much damage nor commanding the cage. Smith scored that round for Pitbull.
While Curran may have lost the third round, he was certainly the fresher fighter entering the championship rounds. It was the second time in Curran’s career going past the third round, having gone all five rounds in his lightweight championship bout with Eddie Alvarez in 2011. This was Pitbull’s first time past three rounds.
A Curran right hand stunned Pitbull with four minutes left in the fourth, and that seemed to ignite the champion. “I think that gave him some guts, he’s turning it on a little bit,” Smith said.
Turn it on he did. Curran increased his output and accurately battered the challenger, Pitbull’s face showing the damage. Pitbull was bleeding under the eyes and from his nose, and the swelling was disfiguring. Curran clearly had taken control of the bout, with Pitbull not only damaged but also showing signs of fatigue. Curran’s energy did not wane at all during the fight, and if anything it increased after he landed the right hand that changed the momentum of the bout.
Curran continued to land combos to both the body and head of Pitbull in the final round. Pitbull mounted a last-ditch effort near the end of the round, but Curran defended well and was never hurt.
Curran didn’t have too much to say in a post-fight interview with Smith. “I hope you guys enjoyed it — on to the next,” Curran said.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney wrapped the belt around Curran’s waist then offered some high praise for his champion. “Spectacular performance, you’re one of the greatest featherweights on the face of the earth.”
Former WWE star Ivelisse Velez has signed with Fight Card Entertainment and will make her MMA debut at Fightcard 48 on March 1, according to a press release and video posted by the promotion.
Velez ventured into MMA when she was living in Chicago in 2010, training with Franco Lozano and Team 110, who were the FCE Team Challenge champions in 2011.
“I was totally hooked. Don’t get me wrong, wrestling is an intense & brutal training regiment, but in there with Coach Franco & Team 110, it’s a whole another world,” Velez said.
Velez wrestled under the name Sofia Cortez as a contestant on the WWE reality show ‘Tough Enough’. She signed with the pro wrestling promotion in November, 2011, but MMA stayed with her. “I would always have (Muay Thai) mitts with me or first chance I get to hit the bag, I was there. On nights of wrestling events, I’d warm up hitting mitts sometimes,” Velez said.
Velez was released from her WWE contract near the end of 2012. The time seemed right to move into MMA, and Fight Card seemed like a natural fit. “I’ve always respected Brian and Fight Card Entertainment. When I was living in Chicago, I went to their shows, went backstage and never pressured into anything or asked for anything. In the wrestling industry and I’m sure in the MMA industry, the talent is always treated like a piece of meat. I didn’t get that from them.”
Here’s a video Fight Card produced for Velez’s debut on March 1. For tickets and card information, visit FightCard.net.
by Matt Lo Cascio
Midwest Training Center’s Will Brooks had little trouble on the biggest stage of his career when he fought Satoru Kitaoka at Dream 18 in Japan on New Year’s Eve.
Brooks controlled the fight from the opening bell, exuding calm and showing a poise usually reserved for much more experienced fighters.
Kitaoka, a veteran of over 50 fights, tried to work his vaunted ground game, but Brooks was able to escape submission attempts and ended up in top position after each one.
Brooks showed how well-rounded he is in the first round as caution morphed to confidence after he fought off a few of Kitaoka’s holds. He landed a massive suplex that got a roar from the crowd, as well as one from play by play man Mauro Ranallo.
When Kitaoka held onto a single leg looking to take Brooks down, Brooks threw a knee to his head with his free leg, showing his athleticism and creativity. He also connected with a head kick that dropped Kitaoka before the first round was over. Brooks clearly won the round.
Brooks turned it up a notch for round two, starting the round by landing another head kick and a power slam. He continued to work ground and pound, and fought off sub attempts with some nasty heel strikes to Kitaoka’s face from the 50/50 position.
With about 1:30 left in round two, Brooks moved to top position and started dropping right hands on Kitaoka, most of them connecting. Kitaoka started to bleed and Brooks took his back, landing power strikes with both hands. “Kitaoka looks ready to go,” commented analyst Stephen Quadros. And indeed he was.
After numerous unanswered strikes, the ref waved it off at 3:46 of round two, with Brooks receiving the win via TKO. He remains undefeated at 8-0.
“Remember the name Will Brooks!”, said Ranallo.
“I will not forget that name, that guy put on a clinic here on how to defeat a leg-lock monster,” added Quadros.
It was a huge moment for Brooks, defeating a crafty, veteran fighter that has beaten some big names in MMA.
Here is the fight in its entirety.
I spent the past week trying to decipher and breakdown the fight in my head. How the judges could have possibly come to the decision that they did. Also why they came to the decision they came to and I have no answers. For those that don’t know, I lost a split decision, and I replay the fight enough in my head from where I was standing to know that he had me in no danger at all. I know I controlled the fight and landed more strikes, prevented takedowns, literally kept him on the defensive the majority of the fight, and it ended with me having him in a submission. Again I don’t understand it but, it’s the incompetence of the judges and the fact that they’re not trained well enough to do their job that makes me irritated more than anything. I’m not a judge but I know enough about the judging criteria to know I should have won.
At the same time, I feel that there is stuff that I did miss and more that I could have done. After seeing some pictures I was in dominant positions, but instead of going for the “A” move I went for the “B” or “C” move. Now that it’s a week past I have been thinking I want a rematch but at the same time, I don’t count on it happening. Everyone seems content with it so why can’t I be? Had the people in the situation been in my shoes I know it would be a different story. I’ve talked to his coach I know his coach is up for it but the fighter and the promotion isn’t (I guess). Not going to make assumptions just going by the landscape of what’s being shown to me! In the end again I am grateful for the opportunity I was presented with and glad I was able to get in the cage and have fun running this track meet with strikes.
Thanks to my team DK MMA, my coach Dan Alstott and Gene Calderon for all the work and time we put in together to get ready for the fight. Fight Card Entertainment, Nilo Soto and Brian Angelo, and all the awesome people behind the scenes that made it all come together. Jaco Clothing for sponsoring me and for all the great stuff they have done for me. F3 Nutrition for their awesome supplements. Amanda for helping me thru my weight cut and diet, and keeping my head on straight. And finally Chicagosmma.com for letting me invade their website with my awesomeness! Love you guys!
Chuck Giles is a local amateur that fights at 125 lbs. His next bout will take place on December 20 for Fight Card Entertainment at Joe’s on Weed. Here’s the last edition of his fighter diary before his bout.
This is the part of the whole getting fight ready thing I hate the most, the weight cut. I have 5 days left to get to 125 pounds I’m usually at 135-138 around this time. It’s also around this time that going to the grocery store is the worst experience (you have to pass all the good stuff to get to the healthy stuff). I am thankful to have Amanda in my corner when it comes to weight cutting. She has broken down everything I can eat to where I can feel full and not put on any extra weight. The diet is basically 1,000 to 1,400 calories a day and consists of 3 meals that coincide with the workouts I do at the gym. I haven’t stepped in a sauna or had any problems with weight thanks to the things Amanda has done for me. Amanda’s one of the best things to happen to me and she’s also very beautiful! (And I’m not just saying that because she told me to!)
I finish up my last workout today with Gene Calderon and I’ve had my last hard sparring session (that was fun). From this point on it’s drilling and conditioning for the weight cut. I am truly thankful to be able to work with Gene and Dan, these past weeks I have felt like a completely different Martial Artist. Working with Dan and Gene has felt like sitting at a table and watching them put a puzzle together except the puzzle was me (laughing). It’s like whatever combos or things I’ve worked on with Gene, I take it to Dan and he works right off it. From Dan yelling out Kiltichko, Ali, while working stand up and Gracie or his own style of techniques on the ground, to Gene saying Pacquiao, and Mayweather and making me throw what seems like 500 punches, knees, and kicks in one session, I am truly blessed.
There are many reasons I have to keep going, many reasons to feel motivated, many things that inspire me, but there’s one thing that haunts me. There’s a dream I had about 7 months ago where I was in a fight in the cage. I couldn’t see the face of the person I was fighting, but his body and movements were clearly there. We are going and he knocks me clean out, like birds chirping and stars spinning (laughing). When I came to he was on top of the cage flexing and screaming and there were doctors and everything standing above me. I knew how I felt when I woke up and it’s been a consistent thing in my head that keeps me driving harder. Even in the gym I see this dream. After watching UFC Road to the Octagon, I downloaded the last 1:30 of the show, where Benson Henderson is talking. Listening to this gives me a little push, it’s to the point where I have it memorized.
This is the last blog before the fight. I am so excited for this fight. I honestly feel like I am more ready now than I was for my last fight. I have been given the gift of knowledge and learned a little more about not only different skills, but a little bit more about myself. I am extremely thank for all the people that have helped me, from my DK MMA family to Gene Calderon to Amanda, you guys have been great for me and in turn my job is to be great for you all! Also thank you Fight Card for keeping faith in me that I would eventually get it right (Laughing) – Nilo and Brian you guys are awesome. I am going to go away and finish prep for this fight and thank you all for reading. See you all on Dec 20th if your coming to the Fight Card event at Joe’s on Weed Street, and if not read my next blog Dec 21st or 22nd! Thank you all for your support and reading.