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November 15, 2010

Rumble in the Jungle”plex” Full Review.

Thanks to all the great fighters, coaches, and corner men for bringing us an exciting and memorable night of fights.
Let’s get to it…  Amateurs
Due to our late arrival of 7:50pm?  My colleague, Travis “City Boy” Sinclair and I walked into the Jungleplex as Gill Pinhierro was announced as the winner of his match by way of Judges Scorecard 28-29.  Sorry guys and gals but, we completely missed that fight.  On to fight number 2 which Travis and I viewed from what we thought were our great cage side seats. (More on this in a minute).

Fight 2
Tony Collins Vs. Chris Kramer at 155lbs

Rnd 1: Kramer comes on strong with some serious leg kicks.  Tying up moments later and Kramer is pressing Collins into the fence.  Kramer pulls Collins down and ends up on the mat.  With Collins trying to pass guard Kramer gets the break and locks in the Triangle pretty deep.  Collins holds on but loses consciousness in the final seconds of the round.

Kramer (Team Irish) Def. Tony Collins (Dragon Fire MMA) via Triangle Choke

Fight 3
Stephan Langlais Vs. Brendan Flemming at 145lbs

Rnd 1: Both men touch gloves and begin to size each other up.  Flemming’s attacks first with Heavy fists and a solid kick to Langlais’s midsection.  A brief exchange and Flemming is controlling the fight pressing Langlais to the cage and getting the take down.  Thus begins the ground and pound we all like to see.  The round ends with Langlais fighting to sweep Flemming.

Rnd 2: This is going to be a night of kicks.  Both men return from their corners determined to chop each other down and end this fight in short fashion.  Flemming lands a solid head kick and drops Langlais.  Flemming takes side control and Langlais holds onto a weak guillotine severely taxing his arms until the horn sounds.

Rnd 3:  The round starts with Flemming nailing Langlais with a well timed Superman Punch, but both men have little left in the tank and this round slows down dramatically eventually Flemming scores another take down and takes side control.  He mounts briefly and reigns down the ground and pound to secure the round.

Brendan Flemming (SSSF) Def. Stephan Langlais (BKJA) via Unanimous Decision

So back to my comment about thinking that Linda Shields had hooked up with two of the sickest seats in the house.  As Linda walked by I put my hand out to introduce myself and to thank her for allowing us to cover the event.  I know that promoters often are extremely busy people and I wasn’t gonna stop her for more than that, but she took the time to say hello and before I could do much in the way of thanking her she was ushering us off to a Press Only area located twenty feet from the cage and directly behind a corner post.  The view of the projection screen was obstructed by the cage so I apologize in advance for any lack of detail in my recounting of the fights.  And at some point the Press Only seats (nice hard plastic ones) also became the seats of a group of people not Press who liked to call out for “Jaimie” the ring girl in the middle of fights.  The guy behind me was actually using racial slurs and berating every fighter in one form or another.  If a fighter was a little flabby and the opponent was chiseled than comments about his eating habits were screamed through the back of my head and into the cage.  At one point this guy, who I swear could be a voice double for Jerry Seinfeld, screamed out to the Announcer that there are no such things as Black Smurfs which was in reference to the color of this mans skin and the great blue suit he wore.  At no time did security come and quiet these people down or ask them to leave.  Oh and those cage side seats were empty for about 2 hours at which time a staff member and a young girl sat down at them until Linda ushered them away as well.  Glad to see they got as much use out of those as they could.  I might have a better review for you all, but hey that’s my problem isn’t it.

Fight 4:
Orest Kote Vs. Lou Martins at Some weight described as HWT on the official fight card.  Your guess is as good as mine.

Rnd 1: Martin gets the take down early.  He mounts and maintains control until he is able to posture up and reign down some powerful punches.  The ref stops this one.

Lou Martin (Gillette MMA) Def. Orest Kote (Cooper’s MA) via Ref Stoppage due to strikes unanswered 1:41 in 1st rnd

Fight 5:  Is almost between me and Jerry here behind me.  Listen to your girlfriend already and shut up.
Mike Anderson Vs. Dana Lakey at 160lbs

Rnd 1: Both fighters come out looking to end this fight now.  Kicks give way to a flurry of punches by both men and down goes Lakey face first on the mat.

Mike Anderson (Bishops) Def. Dana Lakey via 1st rnd K.O.

Fight 6:
Kyle Hughes Vs. Kevin Barrett at 135lbs

Rnd 1: A clench is formed at the start of the round.  Eventually both men are on the ground, but not sure if it was a slip or an actual take down that brought it there because of the corner post obstructing the view of the action and the projection screen.  Hughes sinks a deep guillotine, but Barrett survives long break free leaving his arm extended for just a moment to long.  Hughes takes the armbar and hangs on while Barrett stands and drops them both to the mat.  It looked to me like the elbow was out and that Barrett might have a chance at getting loose, but as soon as I see this he’s tapping and the fight is over.

Kyle Hughes (JBA) Def. Kevin Barrett (Youngblood MMA) via Armbar Submission aprox. 1:20 in the 1st rnd.  I say approx. because Jerry is calling for his Ring Girl Jaimie at the top of his lungs.  Couldn’t quite hear the announcement clearly.

Fight 7:
Adam Lavasseur Vs. Mike Arruda at 200lbs
Side Note:  Mike Arruda is the winner of “So You Think You Can Fight”,  a CFX original contest.  Neither of these guys has a years worth of training, but they brought us an exciting match.

Rnd 1: Arruda clenches early then pushes off Lavasseur swinging the whole way. Then as if by design the fight becomes a kicking match.  Arruda lands a well placed right jab that staggers Lavasseur and takes him to the ground.  Arruda winds up under Lavasseur and the round ends with Arruda using his guard to control lavasseur.

Rnd 2: Arruda brings on the leg kicks and charges Levasseur pressing him into the fence and swimming to achieve double underhooks.  Arruda gets the takedown and winds up in side control but gets swept.  Again Levasseur is on top position, but he can’t pass the guard.  He drops some decent hammerfists possibly breaking Arruda’s nose at this point.  Arruda breaks him down and keeps him wrapped up until the end of the round.

Rnd 3:  More kicking and a strong showing of lefts from both sides.  Now Arruda’s nose is flowing and quickly the pace changes.  Levasseur manages to sprawl a take down and catch Arruda in a weak guillotine.  He holds on to this long enough to wear out the oxygen starved fighter.  In the closing seconds of the round Arruda forces Levasseur back on his heals and backs away swinging.

Adam Levasseur (Ind.) Def. Mike Arruda (Gillette MMA) via Unanimous Decision

Fight 8:
Shaun Shubert Vs. Corey Pickering at 145lbs

Rnd 1: Pickering leads with a right cross and down goes Shubert flat on his face.  (Sinclair called this the Fight of the Night)

Corey Pickering (SSF) Def. Shaun Shubert (Eclectic MMA) via K.O. due to strikes

Fight 9:
William Figueroa Vs. Paul Nisco at 175lbs

Rnd 1: The fighters circle each other and throw some harmless punches finding each others reach.  Figueroa shoots in and scores a takedown, but a second later is forced to tap. 

Paul Nisco (Tri-Force) Def. William Figueroa (Team Xpolsion) via Guillotine choke :42 sec in the 1st rnd.

Fight 10:
James Hurley Vs. Darby McLaughlin at 190lbs

Rnd 1: Darby and James come out to the center of the cage and get it started.  Darby is swinging hard and manages to clip James, but then they are clinching.  Knees follow and Darby is still looking good.  Again the two fighters are banging and this time Darby lands a Right Cross. James looks stunned but only for a second.  Mostly this is the same for the rest of the round.  Darby exits the round a little winded, but by my count he has the round.

Rnd 2:  Both men look to keep it standing.  Guess the wrestling coach wants to get a reputation as a guy with heavy hand as well as a siko coach at Central High in Springfield.  He is taking some punishment by way of knees and body shots.  James ends up against the fence more than once this round, but the tide has turned slightly in his favor.  There may have been a take down he scored at about the halfway point, but again I had an obstructed view and both men may have just fallen.  Regardless they both got back to their feet as this seemed to be how they wanted to play the game.  Darby exits the round looking pretty flushed and breathing harder, a couple of red marks on his face, but not looking cut up yet.  James sits in his corner as his coaches give their take on the fight to this point.

Rnd 3: Darby comes out one last time to bang, but quickly gasses and James capitalizes on this.  Most of the round is spent pressing into the fence and fighting for under hooks.  James scores another take down and both men get their feet under them. Just as the round is ending Darby is using the clench to keep from taking more damage.

James Hurley (Bishosps) Def. Darby McLaughlin (AFT) via unanimous decision

Congrats to AFT and to Darby.  It isn’t everyday that you see a man of 36 enjoying the prime of his life in the cage.  Your fight was hard fought and you deserve some satisfaction in that.  I am a fan and hope to see you out here for as many fights you can take.

Fight 11:
Matt Gramazio Vs. James Poe at the still undefined HWT category.  It was brought to my attention by a site visitor this morning that Gramazio only weighed in at 215lbs and that Poe had weighed in at 250lbs.  To me it’s of little consequence.  Even big guys lose too so moving right along…

Rnd 1:  Poe meets Gramazio in the center of the cage and seems a bit more reserved than in his previous fight.  Poe and Gramazio look to exchange a few punches and Poe gets rocked.  Gramazio also scores a take down, but is unable to keep Poe down for long.  The men exchange more punches and Poe takes some knees before clenching near the end of the round.

Rnd 2:  Gramazio looks to finish this fight standing and Poe is ready to fight.  Poe takes advantage of his punching power and beats Gramazio into the side of the cage where he shells up until the ref stops the fight.
James Poe (Ind.) Def. Matt Gramazio (FAF Gym) via ref stoppage due to strikes unanswered.

A word to the wise:  when posting on a website, blog, or forum.  Don’t assume that all that you read is all that is going to be said.  I wrote about the fighters I traveled 2 and a half hours to see fight.  I wrote a quick snippet about them before I got into my bed which was around 5:00am after only arriving home at 3:30am leaving the fights immediately which was about 1am.  I’m glad some of you who will read this sat 5 feet from the cage.  This was not my vantage point as stated earlier in this article.  Give us a day to process pictures and notes and then get at me if things still aren’t reading well for you or your fighter.  O.K.?  On to the next fight…Almost halfway done.

Fight 12:
Russ Morris Vs. Evan Scott at 145lbs
Note: I was off speaking with James Poe during this fight and my fellow reporter took the notes.  I hope it’s enough, but it might not be.

Rnd 1: Fighters come out swinging then right into the clench.  Morris attempts a judo sweep but both men fall to the mat.  Scott has a high guard and applies a triangle that ends the match.

Evan Scott (Lauzon MMA) Def. Russ Morris (Mixed Breed) via Triangle Choke

Fight 13:
Carl Kazen Jr. Vs. Adel Lolick at 170lbs

Rnd 1: Lolick gains control right out with combos and flurries.  Lolick shoots in for a take down, but Kazen stuffs it and applies a guillotine.  Lolick eventually slips through and take mount which turns into Kazen to roll and give up his back.  Lolick is fast and sets a deep Rear Naked Choke that finishes Kazen off.

Adel Lolick (NE MMA) Def. Carl Kazen Jr. (Mohen MA) via Rear Naked Choke

Fight 14:
Damen Owens Vs. Frank Storza at 145lbs

Rnd 1: This is a high energy fight.  Both men come flying across the cage at each other shooting for the takedown.  Storza gets the takedown and winds up in side control.  Owens does a great job of moving and creates space by rolling, but to know avail.  Storza maintains his position and begins to drop fists onto Owens face.

Rnd 2: Again we see a battle for dominant clinch position.  Storza lifts Owens off the mat and slams him to the ground.  First taking side control attempting an Americana, but aborts in an effort to mount.  Storza succeeds and applies the Americana once more this time causing Owens to tap.

Frank Storza (SSSF) Def. Damen Owens (Youngblood MMA) via American Submission

Great job to all the Ammy fighters.  It was a pleasure and an honor to watch you as you test yourselves in this sport.  A sport that speaks to the very base of mens souls.  A sport of survival.  May you all have peaceful and memorable holidays this holiday season.  I look forward to writing about you all in the coming year.

On to the Pros…

Fight 1:
Todd Sweeney Vs. Greg Mendes at 145lbs

Rnd 1: Mendes comes out swinging and punishes the midsection of Sweeney.  Mendes pressures Sweeney to the corner and Sweeney is shelled up unable to retaliate. Ref stoppage and a full minute later Sweeney is able to get up from the floor.

Greg Mendes (Snake Pit MMA) Def. Todd Sweeney (Mixed Breed) via ref stoppage strikes unanswered :44 sec in the 1st rnd

Fight 2:
Rob Costa Vs. Robbie Leroux at 135lbs

Rnd 1: Leroux and Costa take it to a clinch early.  Costa scores a takedown, but loses position and winds up defending a Rear Naked Choke.  Successfully defending the choke he and Leroux exchange some punches.  These two can bang hard.  At one point it looked like Costa could have gotten to his feet, but Leroux capitalizes and applies the Rear Naked Choke again.  Costa again manages to free up and gets swept.  With Leroux on top he begins to hammer away at the tired Costa until the ref stops the fight.

Robbie Leroux (Wai Kru) Def. Rob Costa (BJA) via ref stoage due to strikes unanswered.

Fight 3:
Glenn Reaves Vs. Ed Medeiros at 195lbs

Rnd 1: Medeiros lands some punches that instantly daze Reaves.  He follows up with a solid kick to the midsection and moves in fast to strike missing completely as Reaves falls to the ground.  Reaves shells up rather than stand and Medeiros stands over him reigning down devastating blows until the ref stops the fight.

Ed Medeiros (Snake Pit MMA) Def. Glenn Reaves (Ind.) via ref stoppage strikes unanswered

Fight 4:
Josh Raymond Vs. Chris Cole at 135lbs

Rnd 1: Cole attacks the legs of Raymond with solid kicks.  He shoots in and scores a takedown.  Once on the ground he uses elbows and applies the ground and pound until Raymond uses the cage to stand up.  Cole maintains total control though and scores two more takedowns and more heavy punches from the top.  In the closing seconds Raymond manages to get to his feet and apply a deep standing guillotine just as the horn sounds.

Rnd 2: Raymond comes out and immediately tries for a head kick.  He falls and Cole moves in with a right jab and quickly changes levels taking Raymond to the mat with a single leg takedown.  Once again the two rise from the mat and square up.  Cole punishes Raymond's body with knees, and a solid head kick.  Both men still look good. No one is breathing to hard and both seem to look fresh.  Cole and Raymond tie up swimming for that dominant clench position.  Raymond scores a takedown and winds up in Coles guard.  Raymond is throwing punches when the horn sounds.

Rnd 3: Raymond comes out looking to bang, but quickly ends up on the mat.  He tries to catch Cole in a Triangle, but can’t hook his legs deep enough and aborts.  Cole is pressuring from the top and reigning down punches.  Raymond breaks down Cole’s posture and attempts the Triangle once again, but Cole slips away easily and the horn sounds.

Chris Cole (ABD) Def. Josh Raymond (Team Xplosion) via Judges Scorecard, again I couldn’t hear the announcement because Jerry has called his friends over to help him cat call and scream for Jaimie the Ring Girl.  She is fine, but come on guys we’re here to watch the fights not harass the beautiful women.  Besides you’ve got no game you sound like Jerry “Fucking” Seinfeld!! I’m not kidding!!

Fight 5:
Mark Griffin Vs. Ryan Contaldi at 205lbs

Rnd 1: Both men come out gloves held high and ready to strike.  They dance around a little and finally Griffin lands a punch.  Immediately, and I wonder if I’ve ever seen this before, Contaldi turns and walks away kind of squinting and giving the sign for time out.  Huh, could have fooled me I thought the ref could call time but not the fighter.  The ref sees this a second later and looks at Contaldi’s left eye.  Then the ref wants them to work so he re starts the match.   Both men keep it standing for a while and Jerry behind me is screaming his heart out for Griffin to feed Contaldi a Fried Chicken and to punch him in the love handles, and so on.  This is probably the only loud sound in the room at the moment and for the life of me I can’t seem to concentrate on the fight.  I see it happening and can’t write what I’m seeing.  I can’t move to a better spot because Linda has been kind enough to give us these seats.  I look over to see if I am alone with only my fellow site author acting as photographer is still here, while the NEMMA.Net guy, Grant, has gone over and taken a seat at a VIP table that has a better angle, but I don’t feel like getting Linda anymore stressed out by willfully ignoring her attempt at hospitality.  Oh there is a fight going on well OK. I guess you want to know how the round ends.  Contaldi seems to be taking all kinds of punishment inside and outside the cage, but not that it’s all for naught as Griffin has been caught in a guillotine even if it’s a weak one.

Rnd 2: Griffin comes out looking to punish the body of Contaldi once more.  He misses with a head kick and Contaldi jumps at the chance to score a take down.  Now Griffin lies in waiting until Contaldi tries to pass from half guard and in an instant Griffin executes a powerful sweep sending both men a few feet.  A scramble ensues and Griffin winds up in side control.  He administers elbows before mounting to finish the fight with strikes.  Ref stops this one.

Mark Griffin (Bishops) Def. Ryan Contaldi (Bombsquad) via ref stoppage due to strikes unanswered and is awarded the Heavy Weight Title Belt. 

Griffin is a class act.  Before leaving the cage he thanks his opponent and gives him many accolades for being a tough competitor and a hard man to beat.

At this point I couldn’t see the cage because people had swarmed in closer as the final two fights ensued.

I will tell you that Fight 6:
Justin Switzer Vs. Jimmy Collins at 155lbs

ended in 3:23sec of the first round.

Jimmy Collins (LauzonMMA) Def. Justin Swtzer (Team Xplosion) via Rear Naked Choke

And Finally the Main Event.
Fight 7 at approx. 1:00am
Jim Pitner Vs. Steven Stengel at 175lbs
was the most bizarre fight I have ever seen.  Pitner beats Stengel to the punch literally and has him down on the floor against the cage.  Throwing life and limb into every strike. The ref is standing two feet away and all of a sudden Pitner leaps up and runs across the cage.  Everyone including the ref can’t help, but be focused on him.  I look over and as the ref takes a step Stengel literally reaches out and taps the refs leg.  Like hello I’m down here and I’m hurt.  Then the room realizes that Pitner knew he had hurt him and most likely Stengel tapped him first signaling the submission.  I am telling you though that was weird. 

Jim Pitner (USMMA) Def. Steve Stengel (Ind.) via tapout due to strikes.

All in all Travis and I had a good time.  I was able to see two of our fighters and an amazing amount of talent.  The sound guy rocked and the vendors were standard fare.  A few too many t-shirts in my opinion, but hey that’s what sells.  The announcer is aces in my book as he kept his composure while being heckled and looked good doing it.  I gotta get me a big baby blue suit one of these days.  Also access to the fighters immediately after the fights was pretty easy as they set up a spot for them to have their ost fight exam and removal of gloves just outside the locker rooms.  The intermission was entertaining with Chris challenging two kids to a fist eating contest, but then the intermission just kind of went on and on.  I ran into several members of our MMA community and with a little time and patience you’ll see the end result of those conversations.  Thanks to Linda Shields for having us out.  Hopefully we can continue to cover our fighters abroad.  The next CFX show at the Plymouth Jungleplex is on March 12th,2011.  Keep checking back to see updates.
Travis Sinclair was my photographer for the evening and I will create a slide show with his photos in a future post. 

Joe Leonard is a contributing author here on and a student of Team Ravenous at ATA of South Deerfield, MA. Please feel free to leave comments, concerns, criticisms, and suggestions by using the “Comment” Radio Button below.