This Saturday Ultimate Warrior Challenge puts on their Man ‘O’ War card from the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. The card includes a bantamweight title fight between Mike Easton and Chase Beebe. Also on the card is Ultimate Fighter 8 competitor Antwain Britt against former IFL title challenger Jamal Patterson. PRO MMA (promma.info) will be on hand to cover this event live.
UWC Bantamweight Title Fight: Mike Easton vs. Chase Beebe
So far in his career, Mike Easton has amassed a 5-1 record. His only loss came when he caught a kick on the elbow and broke his arm against Reynaldo Duarte. Recently he has come down to his natural weight of 135 lbs after spending much of his career at featherweight. So far his only brush with national fame came as a cast member on BET’s Iron Ring.
Known mostly for his muay thai and nasty knees from the clinch, Easton can also throw some submissions off his back. He is a brown belt under the legendary Lloyd Irvin – the same exact belt status as UFC fighter Brandon Vera.
For this fight, Easton has been focusing on his conditioning, by training with former US Olympic judo team member Rhadi Ferguson, who also happens to be Kimbo Slice’s cousin.
Despite dropping his last two fights in the WEC, the future is still bright for the 22 year old former WEC bantamweight champion. Chase Beebe won the title against Eddie Wineland after Zuffa purchased the promotion. He went on to defend the belt against Rani Yayha. This fight got Beebe recognized as a next level prospect, since he was surprisingly successful at avoiding Yayha world class submission game.
In his next title fight, he was submitted by current champion Miguel Torres. After that defeat, Beebe once against came up short against Will Riberio. This will be his first fight since being let go by the WEC.
Recently the four time high school state wrestling champion has moved from the Hellhouse camp to Matt Hughes’ Hit Squad. Beebe has also recently been announced as a participant in Dream’s featherweight tournament.
Chase Beebe’s wrestling pedigree will be the difference in this fight. In Mike Easton’s last fight, he continually let the much smaller John Dodson get deep position on single legs. With his wrestling skill Beebe will be able to take this fight to the ground whenever he wants. Easton may have an above average submission game, but Beebe has shown an ability to defend well on the ground. Look for Chase Beebe to dominate the fight from the top position and bring home the UWC bantamweight championship.
Co Main Event Antwain Britt vs. Jamal Patterson
Antwain Britt may have been one of the best prospect on the Ultimate Fighter season 8, but he was eliminated after winning his opening round match due to injury. His stroke of bad luck has not seemed to discourage the Virginia Beach based fighter. Since the show, Britt is 3-0 including a technical knock out of IFL and Elite XC veteran Wayne Cole.
Since starting his career off as a super heavyweight, Britt has trimmed down to light heavyweight, and has looked more and more impressive each time out. In his last UWC performance he dominated late replacement fighter Terry Cohens and finished the main event fight in the first round.
The team concept of the IFL allowed Renzo Gracie to give some of his top students a shot at big time MMA. Although he had already been awarded his bjj black belt, Jamal Patterson had never had a professional MMA bout when he debuted in the IFL.
Patterson’s lack of experience did not seem to hinder him as he submitted Team Quest’s Matt Horwich in the very first round. Up until this point all of Patterson’s fight have been in the IFL, and he went 4-2 with the promotion. His only losses came against Reese Andy and IFL light heavyweight champion Vladimir Matyushenko. Now, with the IFL done, he looks to continue his MMA career with a new promotion.
Jamal Patterson will have an advantage on the ground, but so far in his career he has not shown an impressive ability to take the fight there. Antwain Britt should be able to keep this fight standing, and impose his will on the feet. This fight will be very close and competitive – praise should be given to the promoters for putting on a quality match up.
The UWC’s First Female Fight Felice Herrig vs. Iman Achhal
Although she has never fought MMA professionally, Felice Herrig has an extensive kickboxing background. She was a cast member on Oxygen’s Fight Girls and won her finale fight in Thailand. After the show she joined the St. Louis Enforcers of Chuck Norris’ World Combat League. Her overall record in kickboxing is 18-2-1. In order to train for her MMA debut, Herrig has been training at Illinois’ Hit Squad. Felice Herrig is sponsored by Cat Fight MMA, one of the primary sponsors of PRO MMA (promma.info).
Also making her pro debut, Iman Achhal trains out of Capital Jiu Jitsu in Sterling, Virginia. As an amateur she amassed a 4-0-1 record fighting in CageFest, Operation Octagon and the Barbarian Fight Club promotions.
Her Moroccan mother fled her home country to avoid an arranged marriage, and was homeless until finding a job as a firefighter. Achhal has referred to her MMA career as her American dream.
It is always difficult to analyze a fight between two fighters without any pro fights. However, in this fight, Felice Herrig clearly has the edge. She has much more experience in the fight game considering her extensive kickboxing background, and she also has best training. Nothing against Capital Jiu Jitsu, but it is not yet up to the level of Matt Hughes and Robbie Lawler’s Hit Squad.
John Dodson vs. Jose Villarisco
Despite fighting up a weight, John Dodson gave Mike Easton everything he could handle in his last fight. Many spectators in the patriot center actually thought that Dodson had won the fight at the last UWC event.
Due to many promotions not having a flyweight division, Dodson has spent most of his career fighting up. Even though he has always been the smaller fighter the two time New Mexico state champion wrestler has still earned a 6-4 record.
With more and more promotions adding a flyweight division, Dodson might be able to use this fight to jump into the big show. He has already been featured on the Tapout show, and he proved he could hang with the best at 125 lbs when he made his professional debut against world ranked Yasuhiro Urushitani.
If there was a blueprint for how to prepare a prospect for their MMA debut it would be what Lloyd Irvin had done with Jose Villarisco. So far in his fighting career, Villarisco has been a three time national muay thair champion, and he has also competed in NAGA and Grappler’s Quest.
That means that even though he has not fought professional MMA before, he is still well versed in both the stand up and grappling aspect of the game. Many of the trainers within Lloyd Irvin’s camp are very high on Villarisco, and so far they have done a great job of honing their student.
Jose Villarisco is ready for his professional MMA debut. Normally fighters will debut against those with similar records and experience levels. John Dodson is a veteran of ten fights, and he has fought all over the world. Villarisco may have a bright future in the sport, but right now Dodson has a serious advantage. Look for Dodson to use his unorthodox footwork to keep Villarisco off balance on the feet and bring home an exciting decision.
UWC Preview Video
Marcus Foran vs. Richie Hightower
In his last fight with Chris Reedy, Marcus Foran jumped for a guillotine choke. Reedy did everything he could to fight it, but it was so tight, that after it was finished Reedy fell to the ground gasping for air.
Marcus Foran is the number one ranked UWC middleweight, and with a win here, might fight next for a belt. The former national prep wrestling champion recently moved from Fit NHB to Greg Jackson’s camp so he could work with some of the world’s top fighters.
Richie Hightower was one of the competitor on the sixth season of the Ultimate Fighter. He won his first fight against Blake Bowman, and then lost to George Sotiropoulos by submission.
Since the show, the “dirty samurai” has gone 0-2 including a loss to Troy Mandaloniz in his UFC debut. The losses have motivated Hightower’s training at Genesis MMA in Arizona, and he hopes to improve on his 7-3 record this weekend.
Marcus Foran has been basically dominant in his last two fights. With the move from Fit NHB to Greg Jackson’s camp he should only continue to get better. Hightower has shown a weakness in his submission game before, so look for Foran to finish this fight with a submission hold.