Rumble On The Rock 7
-Quick background on Rumble on the Rock then. ROTR is Hawaii’s other large MMA promotion along with Superbrawl/Icon, and the Penn family, namely BJ’s brother Jay Dee, runs it. Unlike Icon they have their fights in a UFC-style Octagon and (probably due to Penn’s UFC links I think) the whole show has a UFC-feel to it. I’m pretty sure the rules are identical to UFC’s too. They’ve had some pretty major shows in the past, with fights like Penn vs. Gomi, Silva vs. Okami, and so on, and this was one of their more talent-filled cards, main evented by the grudge rematch between Tank Abbott and Cabbage Correira.
-Your ring announcer is UFC’s Bruce Buffer, and we begin with a Pride-style fighter introduction with all of the participants coming out onto the stage. Weird to see fighters who are about to fight each other standing next to one another, too. You’d have thought they’d head to opposite sides of the stage, or somethingâ€¦.
-Your hosts are Stephen Quadros and the late Ryan Bennett.
Kickboxing Rules: Jay Carter vs Josh Versola
We’re beginning with a kickboxing match between two Hawaii natives, and I’d be seriously wrong not to mention that Versola has possibly the worst entrance theme in MMA history, some blokes crooning â€œJossshhhuuaa!â€ over a light guitar. Seriously. Carter has the reach advantage, and that’s all I know of both guys. Not sure of the round times or amount of rounds, either, sorry.
They begin with a fast exchange, and it’s Carter who lands first, stunning Versola with a combination of knees and punches. Versola manages to back off and recover, and things settle down for a moment, before Carter catches him with a big right high kick, and a right hand that puts Versola on the mat. Referee administers the standing eight count, but he can’t make it, and it’s all over.
Quick and to the point, nice finish for Carter.
Middleweight Fight: Thales Leites vs Adam Roland
This was pretty early in Leites’ career â€“ he was only 3-0 at this point but I believe he was already regarded as a pretty strong prospect, training out of the Nova Uniao camp with BJ Penn and Vitor Ribeiro, et al. Roland is apparently a wrestler â€“ don’t know much more about him really.
Roland blocks a kick and grabs a clinch to begin, but Leites quickly reverses him and gets a nice trip takedown, directly into full mount. Roland looks in trouble already as Leites has a solid base from the top, and sure enough he quickly gets a textbook armbar for the tapout.
Leites looked really good there in the brief 40-something seconds he had, and dispatched of his opponent in very short time. Every time I see him I’m more and more impressed, and he’s definitely got a great future ahead of him in UFC I think.
Light-Heavyweight Fight: Allan Goes vs Chris West
BJJ legend Goes was making a comeback after more than two years away from the sport, and he looks pretty pumped up to be back to say the least. Like with Leites’ opponent, I’m not sure about any details on West and they don’t really give that much of a background on the guy.
Round 1 begins, and Goes clinches right away, and then turns and drops for a kneebar. West’s in trouble instantly, and he tries to grab the fence to avoid the hold, but Goes quickly pulls him down away from it, and straightens out the leg for the tapout.
Another quick and easy win for the Brazilian fighter on this card, then. Really slick submission though and it’s one of the few times I can recall seeing the drop-for-kneebar move actually work successfully inside the cage. Good way to return for Goes.
Welterweight Fight: Vitor â€˜Shaolin’ Ribeiro vs Tetsuji Kato
Lightweight standout Shaolin’s apparently moved up to 170lbs for this one. Man does this card have a lot of Nova Uniao fighters on it or what? I guess it’s a Penn promotion though so that makes sense. And I’m certainly not complaining about it! Kato seems like a pretty solid opponent for Shaolin too, with wins over people like Thomas Denny and Bryan Gassaway, and his only losses to the likes of Anderson Silva, Hayato Sakurai, and Jutaro Nakao. He’s mainly a Shooto veteran according to his record.
They press to the clinch to open, and Shaolin quickly gets the takedown to guard. He stands to drop a left hand, but Kato uses the opportunity to scramble back to his feet. Shaolin takes him down again though, and this time successfully drops the left hand, before taking an upkick on his way back into the guard. Shaolin begins to work him over with some short, heavy elbows, and then works into half-guard, where he tries for a kimura, but Kato blocks it well. Shaolin then goes back to the striking, and lands some BRUTAL LEFT FOREARMS from inside the guard, just marking Kato’s face up badly. He passes into half-guard, and continues with the onslaught, as Kato seemingly has no way of escaping, and it’s more elbows and punches for him for the remainder of the round. He looks in bad shape as he heads back to his corner.
Second round, and they press the action standing, with Kato landing a good left hand, and sprawling well to avoid a takedown. Kato lands a combination, but gets too open and Shaolin gets the takedown, immediately going to work with the left elbows again. Kato ends up with a nasty gash on his forehead, and they stop things momentarily to clean that up, before restarting inside the guard. Elbows and punches continue to land from Shaolin, before he works to half-guard and then into full mount. Kato looks in trouble, as Shaolin lands punches while looking for an armbar, and then an arm triangle choke, but Kato manages to ride it out and survive to the end of the round. Can’t see this one going the distance at all.
Kato looks to strike to open the third, but then surprisingly clinches and manages to take Shaolin down. Shaolin reverses basically as soon as they hit the mat, and ends up in top position in guard again. Man, Kato can’t buy a break here. Shaolin passes the guard and almost takes his back, but Kato rolls again and gets half-guard. More punches land, before Shaolin takes full mount. Kato scrambles into half-guard, but it’s already too late, as Shaolin’s locked in his DEADLY arm triangle choke, and passes out to the side to force the tapout.
Really impressive showing for Shaolin who whitewashed a larger opponent from start to finish, and it was only a matter of time before he ended up stopping Kato. The level of damage he did with his elbows inside the guard was astonishing, too, and really makes you wonder what kind of force he could’ve been had UFC been able to sign him.
Middleweight Fight: Renato Verissimo vs Yuichi Nakanishi
Despite two tough losses to Matt Hughes and Frank Trigg prior to this one, Verissimo â€“ BJ Penn’s jiu-jitsu coach â€“ was still very highly ranked at this point, thanks to a one-sided win over Carlos Newton, and primarily his performance in the afore-mentioned Hughes fight, which a few people thought he deserved the decision in. Nakanishi, his opponent here, is a Pancrase veteran with a so-so record, so on paper this looked an easy one for â€˜Charuto’.
Round 1, and Nakanishi looks to establish a jab, but Charuto catches him with a big right hook and goes for a takedown. Nakanishi defends well, so Charuto breaks off with a right hand. They exchange some good combinations, and then Charuto gets the takedown to guard, only for Nakanishi to reverse back to his feet quickly. They continue to exchange, and then Nakanishi catches him with a hard combo and rocks him! Charuto looks wobbly, and he manages to clinch, but they quickly break off and go into another great exchange, with both men landing heavy shots. Back into the clinch, but this time as they break, Charuto lands a hard right and follows with a takedown, landing some elbows that cut the back of Nakanishi’s head as the round ends.
Charuto lands a right and shoots in to open the 2nd, and Nakanishi sprawls, but Charuto keeps driving forward and gets a slam down to guard. He works elbows and punches from above, and the cut on Nakanishi’s head begins to bleed quite badly, so the ref steps in for the doctor to check it out. They restart in the same position, and Charuto continues his offense and ends up slicing Nakanishi badly on the forehead. That begins to bleed badly as well, and this time the doctor ends up stopping the fight.
Pretty good fight there, as Nakanishi turned out to be a better opponent than I was expecting, and actually had Charuto in trouble at one point in the first round. Once Charuto got the fight to the ground though, the Japanese looked in deep water, and sure enough it was only a matter of time before he finished things. Post-fight Verissimo mentions possibly going up to 205lbs after winning at Middleweight, but Bennett sounds horrified and I’m sure he was only joking anyway.
Heavyweight Fight: Ricco Rodriguez vs Scott Junk
Junk’s a huge guy, well over 300lbs, while Ricco hadn’t quite ballooned horribly just yet at this point, coming in at around 260lbs and looking like he did against Nogueira and Rizzo.
Ricco opens with an attempted flying knee, but Junk catches it and gets a takedown to guard. He works the body, and then forces himself into half-guard, before standing back up. They press and Ricco lands a knee, and narrowly avoids a big right hand. He lands another knee to the gut, and clinches, but Junk breaks off. Ricco lands a low kick, but Junk catches him with a solid right hand into the clinch, and muscles him into the fence. Ricco works to break off, and then narrowly misses a high kick, before lunging for a takedown and ending up pulling guard. He misses on an armbar attempt, but then reverses into top position in Junk’s guard, and lands some punches to end the round.
Into the 2nd, and Junk opens with a side kick to the body and a right hand, sending Ricco back into the fence, but as he closes in Ricco gets a standing guillotine and pulls guard, and Junk passes out before he can tap to end the fight.
Ricco looked pretty good here â€“ Junk was clearly outmatched, but provided somewhat of a challenge simply due to his size, and give him his due, Ricco passed the challenge with flying colours. I just wish he’d get back into really good shape and make another run at the top fighters now â€“ he’s still only in his early thirties, and could definitely make some noise if he could get himself back into his 2002-period shape.
Heavyweight Fight: Kimo Leopoldo vs Marcus Royster
Tito Ortiz joins us on commentary for this one; this was during his exile from the UFC and he mentions a potential partnership with the Maloof brothers and breaking into California. Kimo looks pretty chubby here to say the least. Royster is the owner of one of the worst nicknames in MMA history â€“ â€˜Beyond Normal’ â€“ but I guess it’s fitting as he’s a Bob Sapp clone, 6’8â€ and well over 300lbs.
Royster opens with a one-two, and Kimo shoots for the takedown, but Royster actually shows a good sprawl to avoid. Kimo hooks onto a leg and keeps trying, and then Royster makes the mistake of trying a guillotine, so Kimo manages to trip him down and mounts him right away. Royster holds on as the crowd begin a big â€œKIMO!â€ chant, he is from Hawaii after all. Royster surprisingly manages to reverse and stand back up, and when Kimo shoots, Royster again shows a good sprawl. Kimo keeps working though, and gets a single leg, but then the ref calls time for a headbutt. Announcers think it’s an accidental one as they hit the mat on the takedown, but replays show Kimo rearing back and landing a legit headbutt, so the ref takes a point off him. They restart, and Royster tries the guillotine again, but Kimo flips right over and ends up on top, where he works free from the guillotine and applies a simple forearm choke for the tapout.
Fun enough freak show match that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Pride. Royster seemed to have some athletic ability which was surprising for a guy of his size, but he clearly didn’t have the skill Kimo did and that showed in the end. No idea why Kimo would headbutt him like that though.
Heavyweight Fight: Tank Abbott vs Wesley â€˜Cabbage’ Correira
This was somewhat of a grudge match following the fracas they had after their UFC fight was stopped for a cut on Tank’s forehead, but since that fight Cabbage had gone way downhill, losing three of his following four fights and ended up getting himself into hot water by fighting during a NSAC suspension period. Tank apparently took this fight on short notice (does he take all of his fights on short notice?) so the announcers, and Tito, are assuming a copy of their first match, which saw the iron-jawed Cabbage shrug off Tank’s offence and land the more telling blows.
Round 1 begins, and Cabbage lands a couple of jabs and a body kick. Tank throws a combo, and then they exchange some big, wild swings, that have Tank completely gassed already, less than a minute in. No sooner have the announcers pointed that out though, when Tank lands a MONSTROUS RIGHT HAND to the jaw of Cabbage, that sends him crashing to the mat! Tank follows with another right and it’s over, and boy, Cabbage looks to be seriously hurt from that shot.
Post-fight Tank dedicates the fight to his mother, who recently passed away. Lasted barely over a minute, but wow, what a shot from Tank. Cabbage’s jaw was one of the more legendary in MMA too, as he sustained some horrifying punishment from the likes of Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski without being legit KOd, so to see him go down after one shot was really shocking. Just goes to show you the power of Tank’s punches I guess. Stunning way to end the show.
Announcers wrap things up with Tito, and then we’re done.
The Inside Pulse
: You never really know what to expect in terms of production, DVD quality, etc when you pick up a show from a smaller promotion, even if you already know the fight results. Rumble on the Rock was a nice surprise from that perspective, as the production was pretty strong, the DVD quality was great, and the announcing was good too. As for the fights, they were mainly squashes, but they were all fun squashes for the most part and most of the fighters involved (Leites, Shaolin, Charuto, Ricco) are ones I like to watch anyway so that was pretty cool. A solid enough event and I’d certainly be interested in checking out other Rumble on the Rock shows, too. Thumbs up for this one.
UFC: Ultimate Japan, Ultimate Brazil, 68, 69, 70, 71 and 72.
WEC: 10 and 11.
WFA: 1, 2 and 3.
Strike Force: Shamrock vs. Gracie.
Gladiator Challenge: Summer Slam.
King of the Cage: 23, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36, 42, 48, 52, and 58.
Best of Shooto 2003 vols. 1 & 2.
Until next time,
Tags: Mixed Martial Arts