By Rob Francis
Gladiator MMA debuted Saturday night, and while they didn’t draw the crowd they were hoping for, the fans in attendance got to see a little bit of everything. The first fight of the evening had Matt Murphy taking on Gary Becker. Murphy was supposed to fight on last weekends kickboxing card, but his opponent dropped off at the last minute. Murphy wasted little time, dropping Becker with a kick at the beginning of the round. Becker quickly regained his feet, but Murphy dropped him again. A couple of hammerfists later and the referee calls the fight. Matt Murphy shows why he is called the “KO Kid” getting the TKO victory in just 20 seconds of the first round.
Matt Murphy “I did what I said I was gonna do.”
The second fight was a flyweight fight between Josh Epps and David Waters. Epps started off fast, pressuring Waters with his striking. Waters got the clinch, and in the scramble took Epps back. Epps ended up on top when the fight went to the ground. Both fighters went for leg locks. Waters was able to get Epps’ back and lock in the rear naked choke at the 1:57 mark of the first round. With the win Waters improves to 2-0.
David Waters “18 hours is a long way. I didn’t come here to lose.”
Lucas Gwaltney faced off against judo and jiu-jitsu blackbelt Chris Manuel. Gwaltney utilized his reach and speed, scoring repeatedly with straight punches and kicks. Manuel secured a takedown in the first, but Gwaltney defended and was able to get the fight back standing. The second round was very similar to the first. Gwaltney landed good body shots, and was able to get the fight back up when Manuel got a take down. An accidental eye poke and a low blow slowed down the third. Once the action continued, Gwaltney was able to keep up the attack. He did a good job in the clinch, scoring with knees and punches. In the end Lucas Gwaltney picked up a unanimous decision 30-27.
The first of the Blackzillians to take the cage, Yuri Villefort, made short work of Doug Jenkins. Villefort was looking to end the fight with every punch. A hard knee to the body dropped Jenkins. A couple of shots to his downed opponent and Villefort gets the tko at 1:40 of the first round.
Chris Beal was supposed to fight Ryan Sutton. When Sutton had to drop from the card Wes Powers stepped up on just a couple hours notice. Powers, who normally fights at 185, just fought last weekend picking up a victory in a kickboxing match. The fighters trade strikes to start off the fight. Beal at 216 pounds wants to use his size to his advantage. Beal gets the fight to the ground, but Powers gets back up. Powers gets a takedown. When he can’t get an armbar, Powers takes Beal’s back. It is all Powers on the ground. He gets the mount, gets a rear naked choke after a scramble, then goes from an arm bar to a triangle. Beal can’t defend the triangle and taps out at 3:30 of the first.
Wes Powers”Give me a shot at 170.”
The co-main event of the evening saw Valdir Araujo taking on Victor Moreno. Both fighters started off slowly. Moreno drops Araujo with a kick but can’t capitalize. Valdir takes the fight to the ground, but Moreno gets back standing. Moreno is starting to find his range striking. Valdir’s eye is busted open. Araujo with a judo throw, but Moreno defends until he can get back up. Araujo pulls guard, but once again Moreno gets the fight back up to their feet. Moreno is controlling the striking. Araujo clinches and ends up on top when they fall to the ground. Araujo gets a kneebar causing Moreno to tap at 4:50 of the first round.
Valdir Araujo “I was ready to get to the second and start fresh. Jiu-jitsu saved me today.”
The main event of the evening saw Marcus Sursa taking on twelve time UFC veteran Thiago Silva. Silva looked crisp with his striking. Silva is landing solid leg kicks. Sursa tried for a takedown, but Silva stops it. Silva lands some big knees out of the clinch. Silva has Sursa’s eye busted open. Silva with a very good first round. Sursa misses with a superman punch and a flying knee to start round two. Thiago is hitting vicious leg kicks. Sursa gets a clinch. Sursa catches Silva with a short elbow on the break. Silva goes down, and Sursa unloads with eight unanswered blows to get the come from behind knockout. Marcus Sursa wins by tko at 2:00 of the second round.
Gladiator president Kenny Nowling announced that with the purchase of the River City Raiders football team, fans will be able to get free tickets to the football games and mma shows. Information will be available at http://indoorraiders.com/
The next Fight Hard MMA amateur show will be at the Family Arena on December 19th.
For more MMA coverage, tune in to FACT: We’re Talking MMA via the Spreaker App every Thursday at 9pm. You can also find us on Facebook.
Photo by Jimmy Range Photography