Reality Fighting 9
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Reality Fighting 9 Review
By John Buhl - courtesy of MaxFighting.COM
Monday, August 8, 2005


The Wildwood Convention Center in Wildwood, NJ saw a full night of mixed martial arts (MMA) action Saturday with eleven bouts pitting young, up-and-coming fighters, including several local fan favorites.


It was appropriate that this event was the main attraction to a full, weekend long North American Grappling Association (NAGA) submission grappling tournament, as several of the fights featured strong takedowns and working from the clinch.  Nevertheless, fans were brought to their feet on several occasions, including impressive performances by local favorites Carlos Nieves, Deividas Taurosevicus, and Lionel Cortez, as well as Rich Attonito scoring an upset victory over Lance Everson in the main event.


Attonito defeats Everson (Unanimous Decision)

In the final bout of the evening, Everson put his Reality Fighting light-heavyweight title on the line against Attonito in a three round contest.  At the start of the fight Attonito shot in and clinched Everson, backing him against the ropes.  Lance fired an occasional punch, while Rich scored with inside knees.


While the match appeared even for the first portion of the round, Attonito would control the final two and a half rounds of action to score a unanimous decision victory, with all three judges scoring the fight 30-27 in his favor.  Much of the bout resembled the UFC 44 bout between Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz, except Everson was better able to defend and did not absorb a large amount of ground-and-pound punishment.  Attonito continually frustrated Everson, scoring takedowns throughout the bout and landing scoring blows while in Everson’s guard.  Though action was sparse, the crowd (clearly pro-Attonito) cheered Rich on throughout his match, as he became the new light-heavyweight champion.


Deividas Taurosevicus defeats Binky Jones (Unanimous Decision)

In the first contest of the night, welterweight Taurosevicus showed heavy hands and comfort working on the ground, as all three judges scored both rounds for Deividas (20-18) in this two round battle.  In addition to controlling the stand up action with powerful hooks keeping Jones at bay, Taurosevicus defended takedown, throw and submission attempts by Jones.  Taurosevicus fought off a guillotine by Jones, nearly mounting Jones in the process.  In the second round Deividas quickly turned an armbar by Jones into a triangle choke that Binky struggled to escape from.  That, along with a left hook that dropped Jones to that mat, as well as solid ground-and-pound work, won the fight for Taurosevicus.

Aaron Kling defeats Nick Icenroad (1st round submission by front headlock choke)

Kling, a Lehigh University wrestling product controlled this match from the start.  Icenroad attempted an early lowkick, which Kling quickly countered by shooting in for a takedown.  From there he fired solid punches at Icenroad from the top position, but Kling was unable to keep him on the mat long enough to deliver substantial damage.  But Icenroad would soon be on his back again, as Kling secured a nice double leg takedown, quickly getting in to side control position.  From there Kling secured a front headlock choke, which cut off Icenroad’s air supply and forced him to tap at 2:37 of the first round of the lightweight battle.

Dante Rivera defeats Josh Pupa (1st round submission by guillotine choke)

Pupa started off the light-heavyweight match fast, getting a trip from the clinch and getting into Rivera’s guard.  Dante attempted an armbar, but Pupa countered and got side control, where he delivered a couple of punishing strikes to Rivera.  As both fighters returned to their feet, Rivera again clinched, this time scoring a leg trip of his own that put him in Josh’s half guard.  In an attempt to escape Pupa sat up, allowing Rivera to secure a guillotine.  He quickly pulled Pupa into his own guard and tightened the hold, getting Pupa to tap at the 3:59 mark of round one, just one second before the first four-minute round was due to end.

Mark Ghatto/Pat McCaffrey – Draw

In the fourth fight of the evening most of the lightweight match took place on the ground, with Ghatto getting takedowns and working from the top, and McCaffrey scoring points from the guard.  McCaffrey won the first round despite being taken down by Ghatto early, showing good defense to prevent punishment, and solid attempts at an armbar and triangle, both of which Ghatto just managed to escape.  Round two saw Ghatto avoid any submission attempts, doing a better job of positioning and delivering punches that lacked serious power, but scored points with the judges.  All three judges scored the bout 19-19.


Lionel Cortez defeats Brian Wozniak (1st round submission due to strikes)

In one of the more dominant performances of the night, middleweight Lionel Cortez overwhelmed Brian Wozniak midway through round one, raining down strikes from a full mounted position.  Early the two exchanged shots on their feet, but Wozniak soon shot in and pulled Cortez into is guard.  That move backfired; Wozniak had trouble maintaining good positioning, as Cortez twice gained side control before mounting Wozniak and delivering the finishing blows.  Oddly, Wozniak tapped, and Cortez walked off to his corner to celebrate.  However, the referee, having not seen the tap, did not stop the fight for several seconds.  Luckily, Cortez did not decide to continue his onslaught, and Wozniak did confirm with the referee that he had conceded defeat.


Nick Cottone defeats Travis Thompson (1st round TKO)

While most fights featured grappling, a match up of 145-pounders between Cottone vs. Thompson saw impressive stand-up striking which would prove the deciding factor.  Thompson, another Lehigh wrestling product, was actually taken down by Cottone early, and absorbed a few strikes before returning to his feet.  Thompson fired off a right hand, and Cottone countered with a vicious hook that sent Travis stumbling into the ropes.  Cottone pounced, firing off a lightning fast combination of punches that forced a referee stoppage at 2:47 of the first round.


Carlos Nieves defeats Len Maggio (1st round submission by guillotine choke)

In the fastest match of the evening, welterweight Carlos Nieves started off with a powerful 1-2 punch combination, which led Maggio to attempt a takedown.  Nieves showed a good sprawl, and landed more shots to Maggio’s head before going for a tight guillotine choke from the standing position.  Maggio refused to tap, but appeared to pass out as his body went limp.  The referee quickly stepped in the halt the bout at :39 of the first round, leading to a huge ovation from the crowd.


Jay Coleman defeats Mike Massenzio (2nd round TKO)

Early on in this middleweight match, Massenzio got Coleman to the ground with an effective takedown, and landed some quality punches.  The second half of the round saw Coleman sprawl well, and in keeping the action on the feet Coleman landed a few of his wildly thrown hooks.  Near the end of the round, Massenzio again got Coleman down, and nearly secured a rear-naked-choke, but both fighters almost fell out of the ring.  As the fighters were placed back in the center, the period came to an end.


The first round may have been hard to score for the judges, but Coleman alleviated that problem at the :17 mark of the second round.  Coleman landed a powerful hook to Massenzio’s chin, and Massenzio desperately shot in and grabbed hold of one of Coleman’s legs.  But Coleman continued the onslaught, landing a slew of headshots, forcing a halt to the action to prevent serious damage.


Carmelo Marrero defeats Sherman Pendergarst (Unanimous Decision)

Heavyweights were on display in the final fight before the main event, which saw an interesting dynamic, as what was clearly the most uneventful match of the evening drew the loudest cheers from the audience.  Marrero, obviously a local fan favorite, fought on to loud chants of “MELO!  MELO! MELO!” throughout the two round match.  The bout ended up being a dull Greco-Roman match, with Marrero continually getting underhooks on Pendergarst, pushing him against the ropes, and throwing the occasional body shot or knee.  Pendergarst, outmuscled throughout the match, was unable to go on the offensive, and all three judges ruled for Marrero, 20-18.