Retro-Review: WFA 2: Lords Of Mayhem

WFA 2: Lords Of Mayhem

Las Vegas, Nevada

-We begin with an unnamed rapper belting out a version of Pharaohe Monche’s ‘Simon Says’, which is a cool song no matter what.

-Your hosts are Dave Bontempo and Maurice Smith, and Bontempo’s still as dumb as ever.

Light-Heavyweight Fight: Marvin Eastman vs Tom Sauer

Sauer apparently took this fight on one day’s notice, as he was coming through the area while training for a triathlon. That’s insane, although I suspect if he was training for a triathlon his cardio won’t be too bad at least. Eastman was looking to rebuild from his loss to Rich Franklin at the previous WFA show I guess, although that was like eight months back. No clue why there was such a huge gap between shows, actually.

Eastman opens with a big takedown to side mount, but Sauer quickly flips him and spins in an attempt to take Eastman’s back. He looks for a rear naked choke, but doesn’t have his hooks in, so he spins for an armbar instead, but Eastman escapes into Sauer’s guard. He works with punches and passes to side mount, where he knees the body. Sauer scrambles, so Eastman stands, and after the ref brings Sauer up he promptly drops to his back to attempt a crab kick of some kind. Sauer comes back up, and Eastman looks for a slam, but Sauer avoids it, only to be taken down anyway. Eastman passes to side mount and then traps the arm, and begins to drop some elbows onto Sauer’s head. He tries a keylock, and Sauer avoids, but Eastman uses this to take full mount. Curiously though, he chooses to stand and allow Sauer up, before taking him back down on the bell.

2nd round, and both men look to strike, before Eastman changes it up and gets a takedown to side mount. Sauer manages to get to full guard, but Eastman suddenly lands a trio of brutal elbow strikes, opening up a nasty cut on Sauer’s head. Eastman stands, but before the action can continue the ref steps in to check Sauer’s cut, and the doctor calls a halt to the contest there.

Sauer started off quite brightly for a guy who’d taken the fight on a day’s notice, but Eastman quickly took over and dominated most of the fight, and while a cut stoppage is always a bit of an anticlimax, he still put on a decent performance.

Lightweight Fight: Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro vs Joe Hurley

Shaolin had arguably been the most impressive fighter on the inaugural WFA card, elbowing Charlie Kohler en route to a stoppage, and his opponent here, the Lion’s Den’s Joe Hurley, was seen as another step up for the Brazilian. Indeed, Hurley has Ken Shamrock himself in his corner.

Round 1 and Shaolin gets a takedown immediately, but Hurley quickly gets half-guard. He moves into full guard, but Shaolin opens up with the elbow strikes and then moves Hurley towards the fence for good measure. He passes into half-guard, and looks to set up an arm triangle right away, before taking full mount. Hurley manages to scramble back to half-guard, but takes a couple of elbows as he does so. Shaolin goes for the arm triangle again, but as he tries to move out to the side to finish it, Hurley scrambles to his feet. Shaolin wastes no time in taking him back down though, and gets into side mount. He continues to control the Lion’s Den fighter, still looking to set up the arm triangle as the round ends.

Hurley comes out looking to stand and strike, but Shaolin’s having none of that and ducks a right hand with a swift shot, getting the takedown to side mount. He stands up and drops a couple of left hands from above, before heading back down into the half-guard to look for the arm triangle. This time he locks it firmly on, and passes to the opposite side, and before Hurley has a chance to tap, he passes out and the ref stops things.

Another hugely impressive showing by Shaolin. I think the most overlooked part of his game, actually, is his wrestling skill. For a guy who’s primarily a BJJer he has an incredibly fast shot, and I can’t recall off the top of my head someone who was able to avoid his takedown while actually putting together offense themselves (note, I haven’t seen his loss to Kawajiri). Hurley certainly wasn’t capable of that, and suffered the same fate as most of Shaolin’s opponents – the ARM TRIANGLE OF CERTAIN DOOM.

-Frank Shamrock, acting as a roving reporter, is joined by a guy called Jeff Bowler who is apparently the producer of some show called Thunderbox. Never heard of it personally. Anyhow, he says that to get big MMA needs to work on the personalities, and mentions possibly doing a reality show with WFA in the future. Somewhat prophetic given what happened with UFC and their reality show I guess.

Welterweight Fight: Tiki Ghosn vs Kit Cope

This was Cope’s first foray back into MMA for three years, after a debut loss in 1999. Announcers mention that noted kickboxer Tiki might want to stand with the Muay Thai virtuoso, but it’d probably be in his better interests to go to ground as Cope’s ground game is likely not as developed as his standing one.

Tiki comes out aggressively, and they exchange kicks before Tiki clinches and looks right away for the takedown. Cope does quite well in using the fence to block the takedown, and they exchange some knees, but after a while Tiki works a single leg down to Cope’s guard. Tiki lands some short punches and elbows, and then opens up with a flurry, causing Cope to scramble from the bottom and actually look for a takedown of his own. They come back up into a clinch, but Tiki gets a takedown again, and ends up in half-guard, but soon passes to full mount, where he lands a series of punches to end the round.

Round 2 begins with both men exchanging and landing some really nasty-looking leg kicks, but soon enough Tiki closes in and gets a takedown to guard. He continues to chop away with strikes, and then passes to side mount, where he lands some knees to the body. Full mount soon follows and Tiki opens up with some more punches, but gets too high in the mount and Cope manages to buck him off and lands a body kick as he comes to his feet. Tiki quickly gets the takedown again though, and then mounts once more, landing a vicious flurry of punches and elbows that only ends when the bell signifies the end of the round.

Cope can barely get to his feet on the bell though, and the referee asks him if he wants out, before stopping things there. Good call I think as Kit looked out of it and would’ve only taken more of a beating in the third. Tiki looked pretty impressive here, albeit against a very limited opponent. Still, I give him respect for not going with his pride and standing with a dangerous kickboxer like Cope, so good for him.

-Frank Shamrock is now joined by Lola Corwin, who starred on another show that I can’t remember for the life of me called Temptation Island. Pretty hot, though. She goes on about doing some sort of commercial and wrestling her brother. Man, and people rip on UFC for showing B-list celebs? Ha.

Heavyweight Fight: Aaron Brink vs Valentijn Overeem

Brink is also known as ‘Dick Delaware’…in his other career as a porn star. So I guess he feels right at home in this promotion then, with all the pole dancers and what-not. Overeem’s announced as having the nickname of ‘The Python’, which is cool. He’s a guy with a really confusing record, in that he’s got wins over people like Randy Couture, Ian Freeman and Babalu Sobral, but he’s also got a lot of peculiar losses too. Just seems to be really inconsistent I guess.

Round 1 begins and Brink stuns him right away with an overhand right, and follows with a takedown to Overeem’s guard. Overeem reverses to his feet quickly though, and works for a takedown, getting it down to Brink’s guard. Overeem works from the top with a few shots as Brink holds him, before Brink kicks him away and gets to his feet. Overeem lands with a heavy combo, but Brink fires right back and they VIOLENTLY TRADE, before Brink takes over, and drops Overeem with a BRUTAL COMBO for the KO!

Wow, Brink looked much better than I’ve ever seen him look before there; I guess he DID feel at home in the WFA. But seriously, I believe he’d trained full-time with Tito Ortiz for this fight, which would explain his impressive showing I think. Short and exciting throwdown.

-Joe Rogan now joins Shamrock and basically says nothing of note outside of showing a ton of love for MMA. Which is unsurprising.

Heavyweight Fight: Kimo Leopoldo vs Tim Lajcik

Both UFC veterans here; Kimo from the really early days and Lajcik from the ‘dark ages’. This was actually Kimo’s first fight in over four years, his last being the loss to Tsuyoshi Kosaka back at UFC 16. Both guys look in decent shape here, with Kimo being much leaner than in his last fight I would say.

Kimo charges right out of the gate and shoots for a takedown, but Lajcik sprawls back and tries a takedown of his own, elevating Kimo and getting a big slam to guard. Kimo reverses to his feet and goes for a takedown again, but once more Lajcik sprawls and ends up in top position. Lajcik looks to pass, and they scramble to their feet and break off, but then suddenly the referee steps in, pointing wildly at Lajcik’s foot.

One close-up look reveals that Lajcik’s big toe is either broken or dislocated; possibly both actually, as visually it’s one of the most sickening injuries I’ve ever seen in MMA. Seriously, I’ve broken my toes numerous times, it’s not a bad injury by any means, especially in a sport like MMA, but visually this is HORRIBLE; Lajcik’s toe looks like it’s almost hanging off. Doctors decide they can’t fix it and stop the fight there, and Lajcik is not a happy man, flipping out at Kimo momentarily even. No other choice there though, just a horrifying injury in visual terms. Unfortunate ending to what looked like it might’ve been a decent fight.

-Frank is now joined by a guy called Lorenzo Neil, who plays for the Cincinnati Bengals. Neil says the sport’s for real, and then talks about his days as an NCAA wrestler.

-We get a long time-out now, I’m thinking because of how early the last few fights ended, and a breakdancing group performs in the cage while the club music thumps away. I’m sure this was great for the crowd, but did they really need to leave this whole segment on the DVD?

Middleweight Fight: Frank Trigg vs Jason Medina

Whew, finally back to the action. This is a Middleweight fight rather than Trigg’s usual Welterweight, and I’m thinking it’s because as the announcers explain, Medina’s taking the fight on just a day’s notice and probably couldn’t make the weight. He has Shonie Carter in his corner, interestingly enough.

They begin, and Trigg presses forward to open, before securing a takedown to side mount. He goes into north/south for a moment, but then heads back to side mount and gets a front facelock as Medina tries to escape. They come back up, and Trigg lands a knee, before avoiding what looks like an armdrag attempt and follows with a nice combination. Medina looks in a bit of trouble, and Trigg closes in with punches and then lands some nasty knees inside the clinch. More knees land from close distance before Trigg gets a takedown. Medina tries to reverse, but Trigg stops it with a front facelock and then ends up on top in half-guard, where he rains down some HEAVY ELBOWS, and Medina taps out there.

Another good performance by Trigg, but it was clear from the start that Medina was heavily overmatched; probably both from taking the fight so late, and also just being a level below Trigg anyway. Still, Trigg dispatched of him nicely, so credit where credit’s due.

-Shamrock joins us again, this time alongside a guy called Shingo Ishiama, who works for Fuji TV. He talks about US MMA and says it needs to be promoted better. I’m not trying to sound racist here, but honestly you can barely understand a word this guy is saying, as he’s talking in the sort of accent someone would put on to sound really, REALLY stereotypically Japanese. Possibly the worst interview this side of Chuck Liddell’s on the Dallas TV show actually.

WFA Middleweight Title: Jermaine Andre vs Joey Villasenor

Not sure why Villasenor was picked to fight for the vacant title as he hadn’t fought on the opening show, but eh, no big deal. Villasenor actually is a guy that I didn’t figure was around this far back, in fact he’s been fighting since 1999. He was on a four-fight win streak here, for the record. Andre was coming off his win over Ronald Jhun at the first WFA show, the fight with the possibly debated stoppage.

Round 1 opens, and Villasenor comes out and tries a HUGE flying knee, clipping Andre, but Jermaine isn’t hurt and quickly grabs Villasenor, lifting him for a BIG SLAM. As soon as they land though Villasenor begins to tap out right away, and as Andre looks to fall back for a leglock the ref steps in.

Villasenor looks in a lot of pain, and the replay shows that as Andre lifted him for the slam, his left leg got caught under his body and the ankle just folded up and probably broke. It’s actually not as visibly sick an injury as Lajcik’s, as the actual breakage is obscured by the fighter’s bodies, but man, Joey is in AGONY and that’s got to be another of the worst injuries I can recall seeing in MMA. Just a really bad break (no pun intended) for Villasenor and a shitty way to end the fight as it hadn’t even had a chance to really get going. Still, Andre is the new champion.

-And the show ends right after that.

The Inside Pulse
: WFA 2 is a pretty solid show that ended up being spoiled by a couple of freak injuries in two of the bigger match-ups. There’s no boring fights on this card like on the first WFA show, and pretty much everything outside of the two injury-hit fights ends decisively and usually in an exciting manner. Eastman, Shaolin, Brink and Trigg especially looked impressive here, and you can see that the promotion was much closer this time to putting together a really good MMA show than they were on their first attempt. Not quite on the level of a UFC show, but this was much better than say, a KOTC show and without the injuries it definitely could’ve been really good. Mildly recommended.

Coming Soon….

UFC: 69, 70, 71 and 72.
WEC: 10 and 11.
WFA: 3.
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,

Scott Newman: