This weekend myself and Pinnacle FC hobbled into the Shriner's center beaten down and slightly embarrassed sorta like one of Ted Cruz’s mistresses.
Very unfortunate looking.
Anyway, in my time promoting I have seen “fighters” use loads of similar -aka bullshit- excuses, legit problems, and whatever else to prevent them from actually competing. However this weekend’s debacle was far and away the absolute worst it has ever been. I’m talking Hillary Clinton lying about confidential emails bad.
I’m not going to waste your time talking about people and match ups that didn’t happen and therefore very literally do not matter, but I have to get out this last part. The consistent pulling out of fights and essential ducking of anything that even sounds like a real match up is quickly killing this game and will eventually destroy what we have worked very hard to build over the past few years.
Fortunately for all of us, there are a few very tough, very talented guys who want to do more than validate their Facebook posts by actually showing up to fight although that number is falling monthly.
Fight 1: Phil Pa (1-0) vs. Shawn Rall (2-4) – Bantamweight
Winner: Shawn Rall by Submission (guillotine), 1:48 of Rd 1
Rall looked pretty dangerous in this one which makes me curious about his obviously deceiving record.
Fight 2: Noah Devore (1-0) vs. Ashton Nemdhari (2-1) – Middleweight
Winner: Noah Devore by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Devore is a tough kid and has alot of potential. He holds wins over two very legit amateur isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
Fight 3: Jose Martinez (6-4) vs. Josh Fremd (4-2) – Middleweight
Winner: Josh Fremd by Submission (guillotine), 0:24 of Rd 2
This match up was a banger. Martinez is a crafty, durable guy who gave Fremd some problems early on. I know I’ve said this before but who cares, half of you probably don’t read this shit anyway, Josh Fremd is going places. He’s talented, athletic, aggressive and still learning. Martinez pushed him early and had some very solid moments but Fremd worked through them and snagged the win early into round 2. Fremd is getting better because his match ups are forcing the best out of him.
Fight 4: Anthony Romero (3-1) vs. Fadi Shuman (4-2) – Lightweight
Winner: Anthony Romero by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Fadi Shuman is a great fucking guy. If you ever get the chance to talk to the kid you’ll notice how just generally appreciative the kid is along with one of the most pronounced yinzer accents of all time. The same could be said about Romero as well, except that he’s from Canada so scratch that dahn.
Both of these kids are very talented and tested amateurs and the matchup could have went either way. Romero showed that he is very well versed whether it be standing or on the floor and was able to control enough moments of the fight to garner the nod.
Rob Hanna (7-0) vs. Dom Mazzotta (9-1) – Featherweight Title
Winner: Dom Mazzotta by Submission (rear-naked choke), 3:02 of Rd 3
When a fight is drawn up and negotiated on paper, especially one like Mazzotta/Hanna, you just kinda hope to yourself that it ends up being what you’re expecting. It’s even trickier when the hype surrounding it becomes tangible because we have all learned that hype can totally surpass reality in fighting.
Not this time.
Dom’s gritty, gut check win over Hanna was one of the most hard nosed, prolific wins I have seen in a long, long time. Hanna employed a very practical and viable game plan which forced Dom to dig deep and find an answer. Joey Holt showed us a few years ago that Hanna is not an easy guy to put away and his durability and pressure blasted him forward through the first half of the fight. Mazzotta dug in and created his moments which eventually brought on the end.
The transition between possibly being stifled, maybe even down a round or two and then mentally regrouping and pulling out the win is what elite level champions do when the chips are down. These are the type of experiences that will help Mazzotta in the next phase of his professional career and when he eventually faces another killer similar to himself from another region or country and finds himself in a similar situation, he’ll know that he has been there before and have pulled it out. And in that moment, that experience is more valuable than any check, or belt or community supported facebook post combined.