Photo’s and Text by Greg Peterson/ Greg’s Photography Inc.
Shutlz is Victorious and Wilson is the Featherweight Champion
It’s been said that Randy Couture is one of the greatest fighters of all time. Saturday night in Portland, Oregon his fans came by the thousands to show their support of him and his incredible career. SportFight 15 was titled “Tribute” and highlighted Randy’s many life accomplishments during a special presentation. As the big screen showed footage from previous fights and many opponents, the fans continually acknowledged that he is their favorite! Randy himself seemed a little shocked by so many different opponents. Matt Lindland presented him with some tokens of appreciation in the ring that included a trip to Mexico. The respect between these teammates is enormous and that’s why they can co-promote a high quality event like SportFight.
As a fighter, when the night has been titled “Tribute” and your fighting in front of Randy Couture, do you bring it? Of course you do and that is just what the fighters did. The first fight of the night placed Grey Manard from Las Vegas, representing Team Couture, against Eugene, Oregon’s Evan D.. Manard pushed the fight with takedowns and strikes, forcing Evan to mostly defend himself through the first two rounds. In the third round Evan landed some knees but according to the judges decision Manard, with Team Couture, won the fight.
Fight number two was a Team Quest win with John Krohn over Xience Training fighter Chris Trammel. Both fighters continued to push the action but the judges awarded Krohn with the unanimous decision.
Former SportFight Champion, Dennis “The Piranha” Davis, demonstrated his refined skills against Dave Padilla from Hawaii. Davis immediately shot for the takedown and started working through the guard of Padilla. Padilla tried to reverse the action, but The Piranha fought back and cinched a guillotine choke in just 27 seconds of the first round.
UFC fighter Jeremy Horn was in the corner for the Elite Performance fighter, Brandon “The Murderer” Melendez from Salt Lake City, Utah. Pat “The Bat” Healy didn’t seem to care about Melendez’s corner power and came out ready to fight. The two fighters exchanged knees and strikes throughout the first round. Healy managed to secure a rear naked choke forcing Melendez to tap-out at 2:56 of round two.
The co-main event faced Team Quest Ryan “The Lion” Shultz against Dave Cochran from Decatur, Illinois. Shultz landed some serious leg kicks and strikes. Cochran responded with some kicks too but Shultz continued to control the fight. Shultz pushed the fight to the corner, did some Randy Couture Ground-n-Pound, and then cinched a very tight rear naked choke, leaving Cochran with no choice but to tap-out at 3:42 of round one. Shultz once again secures a Team Quest Victory!
The most anticipated fight of the night was Loveland vs. Wilson. This main event would end with a new SportFight Featherweight Champion. Both fighters were hungry for the belt and have fought in several previous SportFights. The fans have been talking about this match-up for a long time. Once the action got underway, everyone knew this was the fight of the night. These two exchanged punches, kicks, and takedowns, with Loveland landing a high knee to the head. Wilson continued to work and almost secured an arm bar on Loveland. These two constantly pushed the action with several submission attempts throughout round one. Both fighters continued to fight hard but, round two ended with a rear naked choke at 2:57 and crowned Enoch Wilson as the new Sportfight Featherweight Champion. This Tigard, Oregon OJJ student now has a 11-4 record and a shiny belt to prove he is the Champ. During his interview, Wilson went on to praise Matt Lindland and Randy Couture for giving him this opportunity.
Now with SportFight 15 in the books, what’s next? Saturday June 24, 2006 Lindland & Couture take their production to the Wild Horse Casino in Pendleton, Oregon for SportFight 16 “High Stakes”. Two weeks later they bring it all back home to the Rose Garden Arena for a July 8th Sportfight 17 “Independence”. As always log on to sportfight.tv or gregsphoto.com for complete SportFight results.