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10/14/09 1:49 AM
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Member Since: 4/21/09
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A friend sent a review of last weekend's "MMA Unleashed 1" held in Modbury, Adelaide, SA (Sat Oct 10).

Great to see the SA BJJ guys represented!


"After a late start from the usual pre-fight night hiccups the night was a great success, and felt like a good sized show, despite only having 7 fights on the card.

The first fight was Jay Crescenzi of Universal Freestyle vs Joe Romeo of Sunrise. It was a close bout, but Joe Romeo's clinch control and straight knees to the body tipped the judges decision in his direction.

Second was Cameron Matthew of the Young Lions vs Christian Sinclair of Sunrise. Nerves showed in the opening round with some fairly scrappy exchanges. In the second round Cameron landed a few nice jumping knee strikes, but with little effect. Overal it was too close to call ending in a draw. In my eyes it looked like Cameron had a slight advantage, but that's just from my side of the ring. It was definitely a close call.

Third was a female bout between Kristina Koutsouridis from Rykers vs Tonya Mitcheel of Sunrise (yes, 3 fighters in a row, must have been hell in the changeroom!). The first round was all Kristina, with Tonya starting slowly, but it was a complete switch in the second round, obviously some good advice from the corner had Tonya come out firing hard. The last round was too close for me to call, the judges going the way of Tonya Mitcheel. Despite the loss, Kristina was later judged as the fighter of the night in a crowd participation vote.

Next was a short demo from SA BJJ. The boys showed a huge range of technique in just 4 minutes, getting the crowd fired up for the MMA bouts to come.

The Chief Official and referee then got up to give an explanation of the rules for the modified MMA. I was expecting a bit of backlash from the crowd, as the advertising wasn't really clear on what sort of rules were going to be used, but everyone seemed quite happy with what they were told. Basically this first rule set is equivalent to the 'C' class MMA, which is the San Shou rules, with grappling only on the ground. Head guards and shin guards are still used, which must be a bit awkward, and 6oz or heavier grappling gloves. The plan is to then hopefully get 'B' class rules within 6 months, which would then allow for body strikes on the ground.

The first MMA bout was Dan Olbrycht of Dynamix MMA vs Damien Caleja of Ringworks International. It didn't take long for the fighters to take the bou to the ground, which is what we wanted to see. Dan gave up an arm early and at looked like he'd be forced to tap quickly, but he's obviously got freaky flexibility as he held on and managed to stand up and slam his opponent making him let go of the arm bar. After starting from standing again, the arm was once again taken and this time the ref was forced to step in to stop the fight (the arm had an ugly bend in it, but Dan didn't seem too worried about it).

The second of the MMA bouts was Richard Blake of UMASAI vs Barrett Kennett from Five Rings (Qld). I struggle to remember much fo the pariculars of this fight, I was distracted by the crowd yelling abuse to the Queensland contender... The bout finished once again with an arm bar, Richard Blake forced to tap out (much to the crowd's apparent disgust).

The final of the MMA bouts, and the second last fight of the night featured Dylan Jay Opitz of SA BJJ vs Ben Mortimor of Five Rings (Qld). Dylan attacked with some spectacular rolling takedowns and sweeps, which appeared to put Ben off of his game a little, but each time they got to a grapple Ben had the upper hand, attempting numerous arm locks to try to submit his opponent. Dylan refused to tap to some clearly painful submission attempts, but the damage was done, unable to come out for round three due to damage done in the round before.

The MMA component of the night worked really well, I was surprised that each ended through submission so quickly. With this finally taking place it has hopefully helped pave the way for future growth here, I'll certainly be putting on some MMA fights on the next Dragon Breath Promotions show.

The final fight was a title fight between Benjamin Sandejas of the Bulldog Gym (NSW), vs Scott Hughes of Sunrise. In the opening roung Scott landed a nasty elbow into the top of Benjamin's brow, which immeditately started spouting blood. The fight had to be stopped a number of times to try to stop the flow of blood, and it looked like the Doctor was close to calling off the contest. However, Benjamin recovered his composure quickly and didn't seem overly affected by the blood loss, and regained his confidence and started counter attacking. It looked like Scott expended a lot of energy trying for one shot finishes targetting the wound, and started looking a little gassed in the middle round. In the later rounds the fight was really close, I would have hated to have been judging this contest (i was having a hard enough time keeping up with the stoppages on the timers). The fight ended up a split decision going the way of the NSW contender, which the crowd was clearly unhappy about. But from where i was sitting I had to agree with the decision. The blood looked bad (myself and every other official got sprayed with a good amount of blood), but the fighter came back really strong and showed a lot of heart. If the fighters were less experienced I think the fight would have been stopped, but I think the right decision was made in the end to allow the fight to go on, and make it a great contest.

Overall the night was good. The only downer for me was the yobbishness of the crowd, booing and yelling abuse at all the interstate competitors isn't cool, and that tarnished the night a bit for me ( I was also abused a lot on my way out for the final fight decision, even tho I was just time keeper!).

Here's hoping that It won't be long before we can take the next step with the MMA rules, and start getting a good mixed fight scene going on!

Was also good to catch up with Ozbudo peoples, Ash and the Millenia crew and Julian."

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