Impact FC 2: Ken Shamrock vs. Pedro Rizzo Live Coverage

Welcome to Inside Fights’ Live Coverage of the televised action from Impact FC 2, with the upstart Australian promotion putting together a star-studded card headlined by the clash of former UFC heavyweight champions Ken Shamrock and Pedro Rizzo. We’ll also see the return of Paul Daley after his disgraced exit from the UFC and veterans such as Dennis Kang and Murilo Rua. The full card is as follows:

Ken Shamrock (212) vs. Pedro Rizzo (244)
Paul Daley (171) vs. Daniel Acacio (171)
Brad Morris (253) vs. Soa Palelei (289)
Paulo Filho (186) vs. Denis Kang (185)
Murilo Rua (186) vs. Jeremy May (186)
Murilo Bustamante (185) vs. Jesse Taylor (185)
Peter Graham (252) vs. Jim York (256)
Glover Teixeira (206) vs. Marko Peselj (205)
Richie Vaculik (144) vs. Glenn Taylor Smith (143)
Shane Nix (169) vs. Manuel Rodriguez (170)

Sadly we’re denied the always entertaining spectactle of Bob Sapp fighting, with The Beast left in Bulgaria still waiting for his plane ticket but this should still be a fun night of fights.

Murilo Bustamante (185) vs. Jesse Taylor (185)

Round One

Man, Australia finally hosts an independent, internationally broadcast MMA show and Michael Schiavello doesn’t get to commentate? That’s just wrong! Jesse Taylor is a former contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 6 while Bustamante is the a former UFC Middleweight Champion. Funny moment with the ring announcer forgetting the name of the referee.

Opening minutes of the round spent with the two fighters both struggling for the takedown, with Bustamante briefly getting Taylor down. Taylor gets back up and is eventually able to get Bustamante down, but the latter has the grappling to not onlyfrustrate Taylor but threaten him. Bustamante almost gets an armbar first from the bottom and then from top position but Taylor is able to roll through and regain top position. Bustamante then goes for a heel hook but Taylor is able to escape, although Bustamante is now on top. Bustamante goes for a rear naked choke but Taylor is able to escape and ends the round in Bustamante’s guard.  That was Bustamante’s round, although he was often on the back he was the busier and had Taylor in several dicey positions. Bustamante 10-9

Round 2

Taylor takes Bustamante down and dominates the opening minutes of the round with his ground and pound, landing several punches to the side of Bustamante’s head. The fight eventually stalls on the ground and John McCarthy orders the stand up. Bustamante tries to get up but then falls back down. He eventually verbally quits complaining of loss of equilibrium. Taylor gets the victory in rather anti-climatic fashion but the fight was fine whilst it was ongoing.

As expected they show the fight between Josh Barnett and Geronimo dos Santos that headlined last week’s Brisbane debut show. Barnett wins quickly via TKO after trapping Dos Santos on the ground. Nothing fight.

Murilo Rua (186) vs. Jeremy May (186)

Round One

Murilo Rua is the elder brother of the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and for what’s it worth is a former EliteXC Middleweight Champion. May falls after going for a jumping high kick  amid a rather aggressive if sloppy start for the American that has Rua backpedalling. They exchange high kicks, with Rua mixing in some punches to the body. May knocks Rua down with a big left hand although he doesn’t seem sure what to do with Rua on the ground, wasting time looking for an armbarRua looks disorientated and May is hunting him down, trying to lock on the rear naked choke to finish the fight. Rua responds with a takedown and starts to take control of the fight, landing some good punches from the top. May gets back to his feet but Rua slams him back down. Rua goes for an armbar and May only just squeezes out. The fight ends when Rua pulls guard on May and clamps down a tight guillotine choke to end the fight at 4:02. Surreal interview with May afterwards who reveals that he has been struggling with diarrhea since arriving in Australia.

Paulo Filho (186) vs. Denis Kang (185)

Round One

This was meant to be the Pride Welterweight GP Final but Filho had to retire from the tournament due to injury. If any fight is to add quality to Impact FC’s unique charm its this one, although that’s unlikely based on a tedious first round. Filho shoots for a takedown but gets knocked on his ass by a quick right hand from Kang, and the rest of the round is undynamic ground work. Kang spends four minutes trying to work his ground and pound whilst in Filho’s guard, but Filho’s defense was good enough to limit the damage inflicted. Kang tries to go for an arm triangle as Filho’s guard loosens but Kang can’t quite get his leg free to get the leverage to fully apply the choke. The crowd starts to boo as the round ends. Kang’s round 10-9.

Round Two

More of the same sadly, with the round dominated by substandard grappling. Filho takes Kang down in the opening minute and seems content to sit in Kang’s half-guard, only starting to land any notable offense when the stand-up is threatened. The newfound sense of urgency does him some good as he’s able to move to the mount and land several good punches and elbows, although overal his ground striking is still strangely lethargic. Kang eventually uses the cage to sweep Filho and spends the next 90seconds aimlessly throwing punches from within the guard. That wasn’t a round where much happened to be honest, but Filho was on top for longer so he probably takes the round to level the scores at 19-19.

Round Three

Filho takes Kang down and again we are watching one guy punch the other guy while in the half guard. Kang sweeps and gets Filho’s back, but Filho is able to escape into side control. Both fighters are breathing heavy. Filho lands some heavy elbow, Kang gives up his back and Filho goes for the rear naked choke/body triangle. Kang spins out and lands some good short punches. They briefly go back to the feet, but Kang shoots for the takedown. Filho stuffs the takedown and spins round to take Kang’s back, Kang almost counters with a heel hook. Filho blocks this attempt but Kang then goes for a kimura, however Filho escapes. Kang gets Filho’s arm again, looking for the armbar but eventually gives it up. Filho then goes for the arm triangle choke but there isn’t enough time to apply. Wow…that round was actually a lot of fun. Why didn’t get three rounds of that? No idea how you score that round, it was very even. But Kang probably controlled more of the round so I give him the fight 29-28.

The official decision is 29-28 Filho, 30-27 Kang, and one judge giving it 29-29, so its a split decision draw. Which probably is the correct call to be honest. Disappointing fight although it did come to life in the final round.

They show the tapped fight between Carlos Newton and Brian Ebersole from last weekend, with Ebersole winning by unanimous decision in a fun if sloppy fight.

Brad Morris (253) vs. Soa Palelei (289)

Round One

I would like to go on record that I have a bad feeling about this. Please let this be short. Incidentally, Palelei was originally meant to fight Bob Sapp. We start with Morris pushing Palelei up against the cage looking for an early takedown. Palelei is more than able to stuff the takedown and is landing some short right hands. Palelei tries to spin out but Morris is again able to push him up against the cage and goes for another takedown. Palelei escapes and now he pushes Morris against the cage, controlling Morris in a front facelock. Palelei is having some success throwing some hard knees to the had which visibily hurt Morris. Palelei is able to take Morris down, and eventually gets to side-control. He quickly goes for an armbar and Morris taps at 4:22.

Paul Daley (171) vs. Daniel Acacio (171)

Round One

In the preview Paul Daley pretty much nailed this, he’s either going to knock Daniel Acacio out or he’s going to be taken down to the ground. If Daley can avoid getting trapped on the ground he almost certainly wins, if he can’t keep it standing then he almost certainly loses. Daley starts with throwing several leg-kicks, with Acacio catching one and trying to take Daley down. Daley is able to sprawl but is trapped in the clinch, with Acacio still trying for the takedown. Daley is throwing knees to the mid-section and elbows to the head in attempt to create the space for a seperation of the clinch. Daley gets the knockdown with a big knee to the mid-section and Acacio is in trouble. Daley is seeking to finish the fight but Acacio is able to frustrate him long enough for McCarthy to call a stand-up. Daley hunts a disorientated Acacio but Acacio is able to get the takedown. Daley shows sloppy grappling with his guard not properly closed but he is able to get back to his feet with the assistance of the cage. Fight is disrupted by tape off Acacio’s glove coming loose in the closing seconds. Certainly Daley’s round 10-9.

Round Two

Daley is throwing a lot of leg kicks and knees to the mid-section, which has the obvious drawback of leaving him open to a takedown. Acacio catches Daley whilst he’s trying to deliver a knee, but Daley ends up on top. Daley almost gets caught with a heel hook but is able to escape. Daley works his ground and pound and almost gets caught again with a leg lock. After two warnings Daley gets the message and stands up, refusing to engage on the ground. Acacio waits until instructed to stand up. Acacio knocks Daley down after catching the leg kick, and tries to work his ground and pound. Daley tries to apply a triangle choke from the bottom but its a very sloppy attempt. Another fun round, with Acacio doing enough to take it and level the scores going into the final round 19-19.

Round Three

Paul Daley starts the round very aggressively, focusing on his punches rather than the leg kicks and knees that he had favored in the opening rounds. Daley knocks Acacio down with a big left hook, right cross combination and lands some big elbows from within the guard. Acacio is cut open and verbally quits at 1:55. Fun fight, although Daley showed the usual frailties on the ground.

Ken Shamrock (212) vs. Pedro Rizzo (244)

Round One

Ken Shamrock gets a superstar reaction from the live crowd. Rizzo has a two inch height advantage, a nine inch reach advantage and is more than thirty pounds heavier than Shamrock. Shamrock throws a right-hand to start, follows up with an attempted high kick that is countered with a push-punch from Rizzo that puts Shamrock on his ass. Rizzo is using his reach advantage to connect with some good boxing combinations, Shamrock having to eat the punches to get into range. Rizzo throwing some leg kicks to chip away at the wrestling base of Shamrock. Shamrock is the aggressor but Rizzo looks the more comfortable. Rizzo really working the leg kicks, Shamrock just can’t check them. Shamrock is circling away from the leg-kicks but by doing that is moving towards Rizzo’s right hand. Rizzo puts real venom into a leg-kick and inevitably Shamrock’s leg buckles. A couple of punches from Rizzo to the hunched over Shamrock and the erstwhile ‘world’s most dangerous man’ has to verbally quit at 3:35 of the first round.

That was the final live fight of the evening and so concludes our live coverage of Impact FC 2: Shamrock vs. Rizzo. While the fights may have lacked the quality that we’ve come to expect from the UFC or Strikeforce, it was as entertaining a three hour show as you can put on at the independent level today.

Stay tuned to Inside Fights for all the latest news from the world of mixed martial arts.

Follow Will Cooling on twitter at twitter.com/willcooling

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