PRO MMA (promma.info) was on hand for Gladiator Challenge’s return to the Placer County Fairgrounds with “Gladiator Challenge: Point Blank” in Roseville, California this past Saturday night.
Many northern California MMA fans packed the house to take in ten bouts and were on their feet for the majority of the card.“Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” was the event’s theme song in every sense of the word, a title changed hands, a leg was broken and only one bout went to the cards.
Stu Snyder vs. Robert ‘Grizzly’ Garcia – Light Heavyweight
Robert Garcia set the tone for the evening by finishing Stu Snyder at 2:28 of the first round. Garcia immediately shot in for a take down and Snyder held of ‘Grizzly’ for a few moments but wound up on his back against the cage. Garcia mixed up his strikes well and passed Snyder’s guard. After nearly two minutes of working from nearly ever top position imaginable, referee Larry Landless ended Garcia’s ground and pound attack.
Nick Sperling vs. Joe Baros – Bantamweight
Sperling and Baros both started the first round as if the two had each been shot out of a cannon. Each fighter threw hard right crosses that found their marks. Baros took Sperling down and made his way to mount; however, found himself attempting to get out of several heel hook attempts by Sperling. After a fast paced first the two ran at one another for the start of the second. Once again Baros brought Sperling back to the ground and worked from side control. However, after landing multiple strikes to Sperling body and head, the referee ended the fight at 1:20 in the second round, allowing Baros to take home the TKO victory.
Nick Reale vs. Jonny Goh – Lightweight
The quickest fight of the night occurred after Reale took Goh down to the mat and wound up in a triangle choke. However, Reale showed the Roseville crowd his best Quinton Jackson impression by lifting up Goh several feet off the ground and drove him back down to the mat. While Goh didn’t reach the heights of Ricardo Arona, hit didn’t maintain his barrings after being brought back down to earth. Several punches is all it took for the bout to be stopped at :52 in the first round in favor of Reale.
Chris Sutherland vs. Anthony Keenan – Lightweight
The lightweight class continued to look like the light heavyweight division in regards to the ground shaking slams that were going down at the Placer County Fair Grounds. Sutherland hoisted Keenan nearly five feet in the air and a thunderous slam brought the fans to their feet. Keenan could not control Sutherland’s posture and that would prove to be his downfall. Five shots from a guard that could not remain closed was all it took for Sutherland to finish Keenan at the 1:36 mark of the first round.
Javier Vargas vs. Giovanni Encarnacion – Bantamweight
The lone decision on the card was no snoozer as Vargas and Encarnacion never let up at any point during this exciting Bantamweight contest. Encarnacion slammed Vargas down to the mat and worked from mount for most of the first round and Vargas attempted heel hooks and a rear naked choke in the second. Knowing that both did enough to warrant splitting the first two rounds, winning the third would be crucial. Again, Encarnacion worked his way to mount after the two men went to the floor and that is where the round would end. After a few moments to tabulate the scores, all three cards read 29-28 for Vargas. The crowd voiced their displeasure for the decision and Encarnacion dropped to his knees in disbelief.
Wes Swofford vs. Justin Gore – Middleweight
A few nice exchanges on the feet as well as in the clinch led to a very scary turn of events. Gore broke his leg after Swofford checked a right low kick. Despite suffering from a broken limb, Gore shot in and forced Swofford up against the fence. Landless informed the combatants that the fight was over; however, the two men continued to jockey for position against the cage. Gore sat up against the cage while being attended to by ring side physician and on scene paramedics. There was never a single look of agony on Gore’s face during the entire ordeal and hoped onto the gurney under his own power to the sound of cheers from the crowd. The official call was Wes Swofford TKO win by broken leg at 1:05 of round one.
Larry Mays vs. Chris Wood – Heavyweight
The first heavyweight bout of the night puzzled many of the fans in attendance for several reasons. Wood tipped the scales at a hefty 265 pounds; however, Mays was billed at 195 pounds. Unusual due to the fact that the heavyweight requirement tends to be 206-265 pounds. Mays, despite being clearly out sized, pushed the much larger Wood up against the fence. Mays landed in side control after securing the take down and proceeded to throw a handful of punches. While Mays position appeared to be solid, his offense did not seem to be doing much damage. Suddenly the bout was stopped due to tap out at 2:21 seconds in the first round in favor of Mays. Wood’s poor conditioning seemed to be the reason for the tap.
Robert Hunsperger vs. Derrick Burnsed – Welterweight
Both Hunsperger and Burnsed traded slams in the first round of the lone welterweight bout on the card. Hunsperger spent the majority of the first locked in a tight Burnsed guillotine. However, in the second, Hunsperger shot in and slammed Burnsed to the mat but practically fell into a triangle choke and the fight was stopped at the 0:16 mark.
Chad Shepherd vs. Mike Bravo – Lightweight
Bravo had the hometown crowd behind him and pushed the pace for the entire fight. He was the superior athlete and mixed martial artist. After slipping out of triangle attempt and landing shots inside Shepherd’s guard for the majority of the first round, Bravo decided to change his game plan after the opening stanza. The Roseville native took the center of the cage and landed a hard right that ended the fight almost immediately after the bell rang to open the second.
Steve Walston (Champion) vs. Rick Randolph – Gladiator Challenge Heavyweight Title
Randolph shocked the crowd by overpowering the stronger Walston and sent the fight to the floor early in the first round of their five round title fight. Despite being able to get back to his feet, Walston allowed Randolph to get his back and once again the fight hit the ground. The challenger flattened the champion onto his belly and landed repeated shots to the side of the head before Landless stepped in. Randolph, at 3:20 of the round one, became the new Gladiator Challenge Heavyweight Champion.
Gladiator Challenge: Point Blank Complete Results
- Rick Randolph def. Steve Walston by Tap Out due to strikes Rd. 1 – 3:20
- Mike Bravo def. Chad Shepherd by Knock Out Rd. 2
- Derrick Burnsed def. Robert Hunsperger by Triangle Choke Rd. 2 – 0:16
- Larry Mays def. Chris Wood by Tap Out Rd. 1 – 2:21
- Justin Gore def. Wes Swofford by TKO (broken leg) Rd. 1 – 1:05
- Javier Vargas def. Giovanni Encarnacion by Unanimous Decision Rd. 3 – 5:00
- Chris Sutherland def. Anthony Keenan by TKO Rd. 1 – 1:36
- Nick Reale def. Jonny Goh by TKO Rd. 1 – 0:52
- Joe Baros def. Nick Sperling by TKO Rd. 2 – 1:30
- Robert Garcia def. Stu Snyder by TKO Rd. 1 – 2:28