Arlington, TX, Jan. 10th, 2009 – Backalley Promotions out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas has reentered the world of mixed martial arts. They had previously held one event prior to January 10th back in 2002 under Pancrase rules. While that event might not have struck a cord with the local mixed martial arts fans in north Texas, Saturday’s show is definitely going to generate a rippling effect of excitement.
Backalley Promotions owner Mike Bussey has a 20,000 sq ft training facility dubbed simply “The Gym” that also includes a 600 seat auditorium to use to his advantage. Mr. Bussey, along with his sons Chris and Thomas brought some of their professional wrestling experience to the mixed martial arts event on January 10th.
While some feel that we should seperate our sport and sports entertainment, the Xtreme Knockouts 2 event proved that with the right leadership, the sport of mixed martial arts and the showmanship of professional wrestling can be fused into an entertaining product.
Danny ” Little Voodoo” Payne -vs- Seth Clifton
After sizing each other up for all of two seconds, Clifton lands a beautiful left high kick to Payne’s head. Clifton then followed up with a flurry as Payne hit the mat. Payne tried to tap out due to strikes, but it’s too late. The ref stopped the fight and awards the fight to Clifton.
Clifton via TKO (ref stoppage) at 11 seconds into round 1
Nick Bailey -vs- Chris “Lionheart” Jones
Just like the previous fight, the action starts very quickly. After the initial exchange Jones takes Bailey down and moves effortlessly into the full mount. Just as Jones gets his opponent trapped against the cage and starts his ground and pound assault, the rep stands them back up. The two quickly exchange again, this time with Jones throwing a nice front kick and Bailey with punches trying to use his reach advantage. Jones slips a punch and throws Bailey to the ground with a Matt Hughes like slam. Jones seemlessly moves to full mount again, but this time he is able to finish Bailey off with a brutal serious of strikes on the ground. Jones celebrates his victory by proposing to his fiance while he is still in the cage. Don’t worry folks, she said yes. Well, she said yes after telling Chris that “he is fucking crazy”, but she said yes. Our congrats go out to Chris and the future Mrs. Jones.
Jones via TKO at 1:46 into round 1
“3rd Coast Mauler” Jimmy Guzman -vs- Nick Blanton
R1– So far this has been an action packed night and these two guys didn’t disappoint either. These guys come out faster than the two previous fights which is saying something following an 11 second knockout. Right from the start this looks like a traditional bar room brawl with fists flying and the combatants rolling on the mat. Once they are back to their feet Blanton scores another takedown and has Guzman trapped in the corner of the cage. (Side note: The cage was not round or octagonal for this event as many fans have seen in the past. This cage was square, which would seem to advantage the stronger or bigger fighter. That being said you can’t complain when there’s some good fights going on.) Guzman rolls and tries to push through Blanton for a double leg takedown, but Blanton locked on what appeared to be a very deep guillotine and dropped to the ground to try and finish the fight. He’s able to hold the choke for what seems like 45 seconds, but Guzman was able to pull his head out and land some strikes before taking Blanton’s back and trying for a rear naked choke as round 1 come to an end.
R2– Round 2 begins with instant action again. Blanton comes out throwing kicks and Guzman punching. Guzman was then able to get a pro wrestling style side head lock on Blanton and then use it to score the takedown. Blanton sweeps and ends up on top of Guzman. Another sweep, this time it’s Guzman on top who unleashes a good ground and pound attack. Blanton tries to escape and Guzman transitions to an armbar attempt. Blanton fights through the armbar attempt and ends up in Guzman’s guard. Guzman locks in a triangle choke then is able to roll to a mounted triangle as Blanton tried to escape. To Blanton’s credit he is able to fight through taking some vicious punches while in the mounted triangle and survives the round.
R3– Blanton and Guzman come out and touch gloves. Blanton throws a kick at the same time they are touching gloves, which drew massive boos from the crowd. (I overhear a boxing commission rep tell Blanton’s corner about a possible suspension.) Guzman takes Blanton down and moves to take his back. Blanton reverses and gets back to his feet, but Guzman immediately takes him down again. Guzman takes his back effortlessly again and tries to apply a rear naked choke. Unable to sink the choke in, Guzman unleashes more brutal punches as Blanton turtles up and rides out the round. The “cheap shot” aside, this has the potential of being one of the best fights of the night.
Guzman via unanimous decision (30 -27)
The event then took an unexpected turn for the crowd as we were told that this would be a “Special Submission Match” with one five minute round. The winner would be the first to make his opponent tap out. Now while submission leagues might not be new, the addition of this “specialty” match and another “special takedown match” to come up later in the event is definately a unique touch to the fight cards in this area. And while this shouts of professional wrestling flair, I was intrigued by these matches this evening.
Sam Walding -vs- Alex Ross
(appologies to Sam if his last name is incorrect. There was no listing on the program and Walding is what I believe I heard the announcer say.) Ross comes out and scores a nice leg trip and tries to take Sam’s back, but both end up back on their feet. Ross quickly scores another nice takedown and Sam gets back to his feet with ease. After a brief scramble for position, Sam scores a takedown of his own. Ross moves to side mount on the sweep before letting Sam back up. Sam shoots for a double leg and Ross stuffs the attempt and falls into Sam’s half guard. Sam sweeps, but Ross is able to put Walding back into guard. Ross moves quicly and locks in an armbar, but releases it as Sam picks him up in a similar fashion to Rampage Jackson did to Ricardo Arona (without the slam of course). Sam ends up back in Ross’ guard and moves him to one of the corners of the cage. Ross again goes for a triangle choke, but Sam denies that attempt and is able to take Ross’ back. Ross almost immediately rolls and ends up in Sam’s guard. Ross locks in a tight guillotine choke as time expires. The announcer comes into the cage and lets the crowd know that since there was no submission that the match would be scored on points. No official count of points was given.
Sam Walding wins on points
This next fight has us back to mma rules and gets the nod as the fight with the most fan reaction.
Chris White -vs- Moises Diaz
R1– The crowd definately has a favorite fighter in this match and, with appologies to Chris, it’s not you. As soon as Chris White is announced, the boos began to echo through the arena as it seems that Diaz has the support of most of the crowd. This is not to last long though as some of Diaz’s actions in the cage swayed all but Diaz’s family and friends over to the side of Dallas policeman Chris White. As Diaz hits the cage and bounds around to warm up his legs, White sticks his hand out to Diaz who ignores him. I personally know that this is most likely just gamesmanship, but the crowd showed it’s displeasure to the lack of respect. There is a great scramble to begin the fight. White puts his ground game to work after scoring two quick takedowns. After only a few well placed punches and elbows, Diaz’s face is bloodied. Diaz rolls to avoid taking any more abuse, but White was able to sink in his hooks and land some more blows to Diaz’s head. Diaz continues to roll back and forth between being in White’s mount or having White on his back and eventually turtles up to avoid the strikes. White flattens Diaz out and looks to sink in the rear naked choke. Diaz does a good job at controlling White’s hands and keeping him from locking on the choke. White again begins to rain down more punches as the round ends. (Diaz’s left eye is starting to swell badly and his cheek has a nasty cut on it. Diaz’s corner does a great job of getting the cut to stop bleeding in time for round 2.)
R2– White begins round two by landing a good kick to the body. Diaz looks to counter with a flurry of punches but ends up on the receiving end of a huge takedown right in front of our cageside seats. White moves to side control, but Diaz is able to roll out and drive through White’s legs for a double leg takedown. White tries for an armbar, but Diaz is able to power out of it and move to side control. White regains guard while Diaz looks to move him into his corner to be able to hear his cornerman’s advice. The crowd erupts into the cheer of “Moses, Moses, Moses!” Diaz gets swept with 10 seconds remaining and white starts in with a good flurry of punches as time expires on round 2.
R3– The two come out throwing leather. White lands a good knee and a kick. Diaz comes back with a solid flying knee to White’s body. White, however, was able to score a takedown off of the flying knee by Diaz. White works hard to land some shots to his opponent’s head, and finally postures up at the advice of his cornerman screaming across the cage and starts punching. Diaz is able to gain control of White’s head and pull him back down. White passes to side control and looks to lock in a kimura. White then transitions to full mount and despite Diaz bucking to get him offbalance White lands some serious shots to the head. White is able to isolate Diaz’s right arm by pulling it across his body with his own right hand and reaching his left hand under Diaz’s head and securing Diaz’s wrist. (If you can’t picture what this would look like, take your right hand and reach across your body and grab your left shoulder and look in a mirror. That’s pretty much what it looked like.) While having his arm trapped Diaz was hit in the face a few more times as time ran out on round 3. At the end of the fight, White tried to help Diaz to his feet and shake his hand, but Diaz wanted no part of it. This again drew the ire of the crowd as they started to boo.
White via unanimous decision (30 – 27)
sidenote to Moses Diaz
(I’m not one to pass judgement on anyone, and I know that if given the chance to go back and shake his opponent’s hand at the end of the match, I’m sure Moses would do so. That being said, I do have a small bit of advice to Mr. Diaz. Moses, before competing at an event, have a talk with your friends and family that are going to attend the event. Tell them that trying to come up to the cageside seats and getting into arguments or yelling at you draws a lot of negative attention of the other promoters in the building. I know that the young lady that came up to see how bad you were cut was only wanting to check on you and she had your best intentions in mind, arguing with the ushers and security of the event and showing no reguard to the fans that paid for those seats didn’t do you any favors. And to your friend who did the same, but only to come up and get your attention as the next round was starting to let you know that they had your back. Just let them know that their actions drew some bad attention your way from the other promoters and the media that were all seated in that area. I would hate to see you get banned from other promotions due to their actions, as I would like to see you fight again. Although the decision didn’t go your way, you put on a hell of a fight.)
During the intermission XKO presented Scott Morris (UFC 2) with the XKO Extreme MMA Pioneer Award.
“The Saint” Brandon Crick -vs- Derek Campos
R1– After a brief feeling out process, Campos lands an overhand right to get the action started. Crick follows up with a few nice leg kicks. Campos responds with a leg kick of his own and follows up with a couple punches to the face of his opponent. Campos follows up that flurry with another nice leg kick and a big kick to Crick’s body. Crick slips, and shoots for a takedown as he’s getting back up. Campos sprawls and transitions to Crick’s back. Derek lets him up and immediately blasts him in the face with a big right. Crick throw’s a body kick as time expired on round 1. Campos gets up showing little signs os fatigue, but Crick is breathing heavy and his stomack is welted up pretty bad after the body kicks from Campos earlier in the fight.
R2– Crick comes out quickly in round two with a solid leg kick that is followed by a wild exchange of blows from both fighters. Campos lands a big blow that knocks Crick to the ground. Crick grabbed one of his opponent’s legs , but Campos is able to spin out. Crick turtles up as Campos locks in a rear naked choke from the side of Crick as he’s turtled. Crick taps out.
Campos via rear naked choke at 35 seconds or round 2 ( Keep an eye on Campos. This Guy Mezger student is going to be a force to be reckoned with.)
This next brief intermission brings us to the second specialty match of the night. It is a “takedown match” that resembled an amateur wrestling match that lasted for one 5 minute round. This match was scored on points. What is interesting to note is this match features a judo practitioner against a wrestler that one person sitting near us said was an Olympic alternate. I was not able to find record of this person for my report, although it is worth mentioning that these two gentlemen were not in the program or match listing that we received, so again spelling could be an issue and the reason that I could not find his information to verify for this article. Appologies to both fighters if your names are spelled wrong or last names are wrong all together.
Landry Amboree (judo) -vs- Bo Holdman
The fighters come out slowly and look for opening to grab their opponents for leverage. The crowd erupts into laughter as a spectator yells ” You gotta let them hands go son!” Landry attempts a leg sweep, but accidentally catches Bo in the groin. Bo is given time to recover and once he does so, he goes right back to his amateur wrestling expirience and scores point after point against the judoka.
Bo wins with a final score of 6-1
Douglas Frey -vs- “Murderous” Mike Rodriguez
Frey comes out and throws a slow body kick. He follows up by taking Rodriguez down and begins to throw elbows. Rodriguez is game, throwing shots from the bottom, but is unable to get any power on his shots from that position. Rodriguez tries for a guillotine but eats a few moer punches instead. Another nice elbow by Frey is followed by a Rodriguez attempt to scramble to his feet. Frey is able to keep control and gain full mount. Frey unleashes what is possibly the best ground and pound attack of the night and the ref steps in and stops the fight. As Rodriguez gets up blood comes gushing out of his nose and mouth. This was definately the bloodies match of the night.
Frey via TKO at 1:44 of round 1
Liam McCarty -vs- Brandon “Boombox” McDowell
The main event of the evening saw McDowell (a veteran of 70 professional fights) take on McCarty (a veteran of HD Net fights) in a rematch of a fight the two had back in March 2007. McDowell’s entrance video had him admitting that even though he won the fight, he wouldn’t use it as a gameplan for this one because both fighters have grown in their respective skills since then.
R1 – McCarty opens the match with a loud leg kick. McDowell wasn’t fazed and took his opponent to the mat. McDowell then locks on a neck crank from side control that one fan behind us said reminded him of the typical head lock used in professional wrestling. McCarty is able to sweep McDowell, but was unable to remove his head from his opponent’s grip. McCarty passes McDowell’s guard into the full mount. McDowell rolls and tries to get out from under his opponent, but McCarty takes his back. McDowell rolls again, but McCarty was able to adapt and end back up in full mount and then to McDowell’s back again. Liam moves to his opponent’s side and McDowell again rolls onto his back. McCarty tries to move back into the mount, but Brandon was able to scramble back to his feet. McCarty controls his opponent against the cage, but McDowell is able to score a takedown. While moving for a better position McDowell gets caught in a triangle choke that he was unable to get out of. McCarty avenges his earlier loss to McDowell in an exciting fight.
McCarty via tapout due to triangle choke at 3:24 of round 1
XKO will be holding their next event on March 14th, 2009 at PCW arena in Arlington, Texas. More information about XKO, PCW, and the Gym can be found at www.xtremeknockout.com.
Once again, our thanks go out to the Bussey family for allowing us the opportunity to cover their fights and good luck to them in the future. North Texans have another quality promotion to expirience live mixed martial arts at.
By: Billy “24/7″ MacDonald