IFL Battleground 4/9/07

You’re in Wolfpack Country!

MMA master and Olympic silver-medalist Matt “The Law” Lindland is highlighted with his Portland Wolfpack.

The episode opens with the super fight between Lindland and fellow MMA legend, Jeremy Horn.

Matt Lindland dominated this fight from the very beginning. Within seconds of the first round, Lindland had Horn on the ground in a half-guillotine. When the fight went to its feet, both fighters traded a fair amount of punches with more of Lindland’s landing. The round ended with Lindland taking Horn to the ground again and nearly forcing him out of the ropes.

Round two barely began when Jeremy Horn threw a misguided head-kick that was answered by Lindland’s anvil of a right hand that crumpled Horn into a turtle position. Lindland took Horn’s back, landing a couple of punches before the fight was called by the referee, giving Lindland the win by TKO.

The second fight of this episode was a 2006 bout between Wolfpack’s brawler Ryan Shultz and the Tiger Sharks’ Cam Ward. It was apparent through the entire fight that Ward didn’t like being hit. Ward managed to get Shultz to the ground once but Shultz, having a wrestling background, stuffed Ward’s efforts and brought the fight back to its feet. In the second round, Schultz faked a right then threw it, hard, into Ward’s face. Ward hit the ground. He returned to his feet but Schultz was all over him with wild, standing haymakers, forcing Cam back the ground, smothering him in the ropes. Cam returns to his feet, wobbling. The referee called the fight, giving Schultz and the Wolfpack the win.

Tiger Sharks’ Brad Blackburn defeated the Wolfpack’s Chris Wilson in a decision after a slug-fest that could have gone either way.

Matt Horwich is highlighted with some of the quotes that earned him the nickname Suave. “It’s going to be electromagnificent” is definitely one of my personal favorites and so is Horwich. You have to love this guy. Horwich is openly a Christian, carrying his Bible into each fight as a “breastplate of righteousness.” There is something about Horwich that always makes me expect him to say, “Life is like a box of chocolates” at any given moment.

Horwich may be a trip to have a conversation with but the man has mad skills in the ring. His fight with Bristol Marunde showed two strong fighters battling three full rounds to a decision. Horwich had more gas throughout the third round than Marunde, even after failing to secure a rear naked choke. The round ended with both fighters trading knees. When all was said and done, Horwich won the unanimous decision.

With a two to one lead over the Tiger Sharks, former Tiger Shark, Devin Cole went up against current Tiger Shark Alan Goes. Cole made no secret that he and Maurice Smith didn’t get along. Less than a minute into the first round, Cole landed heavy hands, obviously hurting Goes. Just when it looked like Cole had the fight in his pocket with uppercuts and knees to Goes’ head, Cole went for a double-leg take down but was caught in a tight guillotine choke, which ended the fight in Goes’ favor.

The Wolfpack’s Aaron Stark and Tiger Sharks’ Reese Andy fought next. Battleground picked the action up in the third round. Stark gets the then-undefeated Andy down and fully mounted when the ref moved the fight to the center of the ring. Stark picks up on the ground and pound he’d started earlier. Andy gave Stark his back only to receive more punches. The referee stopped the fight two minutes into the third round, giving Stark the TKO. Stark’s win sealed the Wolfpack’s win over the Tiger Sharks, sending Lindland’s team to the finals against Pat Miletich’s Quad City Silverbacks.

Matt Lindland and his Wolfpack reflected on their 2006 loss to the Silverbacks in the IFL finals. While their losses were profoundly disappointing, they all shared the attitude that 2007 was a new opportunity for championship contention.

The second half of this episode started with Matt Lindland giving his thoughts about how weird he thinks Carlos Newton is. Newton didn’t help his case when he said, “He wants my beating heart in his hand and I’m pretty much going to have to give it to him.” Lindland said he felt Carlos Newton was a little too touchy-feely, stating, “I’m opposed to the man-hug.” Already, you know the super fight between these two will be good.

Ryan Schultz was not able to start the 2007 season due to the injury he received when he was knocked out by Silverbacks’ Bart Palazewski in the 2006 finals. In his place was alternate Ian Loveland who fought the Toronto Dragons’ Wagnney Fabiano in Atlanta, GA. Fabiano came out strong, securing an early side choke, forcing Loveland to tap out less than a minute into the first round.

The next fight was between Matt “Suave” Horwich and Brent Beauparlant. As expected, Horwich dominated the first round by forcing the pace of the standing action and staying busy on the ground. The second round started with Beauparlant taking Horwich down but ended up getting caught in a kimura submission, tapping out. Horwich thanked God and Jesus Christ for blessing his take down; he thanked his dad for coming out; and he told Bas Rutten, “Bas, you rock. We’re going to rock and roll this year!” You really have to love that guy.

Devin Cole faced off against Rafael Feijao in the next bout. Cole tended to get caught by a lot of punches and was clearly slowing down at the end of the first round. Cole came out strong in the second round, throwing leg kicks and spinning back fists. However, in the process of trying to take down his opponent, Cole was caught by a solid uppercut that broke his nose. The fight was called, giving Feijao the TKO.

The next fight featured light heavyweights John Krohn of the Wolfpack against Wojtek Kazowski of the Dragons. After three full, action-packed rounds, the win by unanimous decision went to Krohn.

With the score tied at 2 and 2, Wolfpack’s newcomer Mike Dolce, who listed his fighting style as skull-cracking, faced Scorpion’s welterweight, Jim Abrille. Let me start by saying how much I hate Abrille’s hair. Just 19 seconds into the first round, Dolce demonstrated why his fighting style is, indeed, skull-cracking. Dolce misses with a left but follows with a hard right that drops Abrille to the ground. Dolce follows with a shower of right hands until the referee pulls him off. This incredible KO sealed the team win for the Wolfpack.

Other than a lame drum roll for Bas Rutten to give the results of the night’s poll, I still haven’t figured out the purpose for Tiffany Fallon.

The Wolfpack took a moment to show some kids how to defend themselves by teaching them to throw punches and take down their opponents. How cool is that? Later, Matt Lindland explained clinch fighting, also known as dirty boxing.

Carlos Newton, who is really difficult to understand, considers himself a technical fighter with an Eastern philosophy. He compares himself to water with his fluid motions. Matt Lindland did not appear impressed.

The super fight between the two coaches, which took place in Houston, TX, was the final fight of the episode. Scheduled for 5 rounds, Lindland clearly dominated Newton throughout the first round. Even in Newton’s half-guard, Lindland was still able to feed punch after punch to his opponent. Round two opens with an aggressive Lindland throwing a hailstorm of punches, followed by a hard head kick. While Newton can obviously take a punch or ten, Lindland is able to take Newton to the ground. Bloodied from the pounding he took earlier, Newton found himself locked into a guillotine choke, forcing him to tap out.

Matt Lindland, following his impressive win, promised to go up two weight classes and fight the best Heavyweight.

The show ended with a clip of Matt Horwich throwing the hang-loose hand sign, saying, “The faith of a mustard seed can move mountains and I’m excited about it.” This was followed by Lindland saying, “I love this kid.” See, I told you.

As a huge Ken Shamrock and Lion’s Den fan, I’m so excited about next weeks’ episode. Finally, Battleground will feature the war of the Shamrocks when they show the contest between the Lions and the Razorclaws. This fight started the 2007 season. Sadly, when it debuted on FSN, I missed it so I’m really looking forward to next Monday’s episode.

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