by Brian Oswald for MMAWeekly.com
AMARILLO, Texas – The Panhandle of West Texas played host Saturday night to Shark Fights 6 from the Civic Center Coliseum.
In a special treat for fans, legendary MMA fighter and commentator Bas Rutten was in attendance, calling the action for the pay-per-view event alongside veteran broadcaster Ron Kruck. During the main card Rutten and Kruck were joined by WEC featherweight Champion Mike Brown, who was at the event to corner for one of his fighters.
In the main event, Don “The Predator” Frye’s infamous mustache didn’t hold up as Dave “Pee Wee” Herman was able to gain favorable position on the UFC legend and reign down elbows from the standing position before the referee stepped in. The fight was stopped at one minute of the first round.
The stand-up action appeared even when Frye decided to go for a takedown. He got a hold of one of Herman’s leg, but was unable to drive the fight to the ground. Despite that, Frye held on to the leg and Herman used the opportunity to begin reigning down elbows, leading to what could be argued an early stoppage.
Herman looked impressive in limited action and hopes to take another fight while he waits on the Bellator heavyweight tournament to start. Herman, who received permission from Bellator to take this fight, will again seek permission, most likely looking to take a fight over in Japan.
Even in defeat, the crowd chanted for Frye. He could certainly take another fight with Shark Fights if he wanted, or also seek a fight over in Japan where he is wildly popular.
In the co-main event, Nissen Osterneck and Gerald “Hurricane” Harris stepped into the cage to crown the organization’s first middleweight champion. Harris wasted little time, knocking out Osterneck with a blistering left jab that left his opponent unconscious on the canvas for nearly a minute.
Harris, who competed on season seven of The Ultimate Fighter, may have earned another look from the UFC after notching his seventh straight win since being a contestant on the reality show. For those that remember, Harris lost to Amir Sadolloh, the fighter who would go on to be crowned champion.
If the UFC doesn’t call, Strikeforce is the obvious next option. In the meantime, Shark Fights can hope Harris stays around long enough to defend his belt.
For Osterneck, the brutal knockout will certainly prevent him from fighting for one of the big two organizations for the foreseeable future, which would have been a likely option with a win.
In a light heavyweight scrap, local favorite Marcus “Money” Sursa came out a man on fire. His intensity paid dividends as he overwhelmed his opponent Isaac Villanueva from start to finish. An early takedown eventually led to a guillotine and Villanueva was forced to tap at 2:06 of the first round.
With the win, Sursa ran his record to 3-0 under the Shark Fights banner and was guaranteed a title fight in his post-fight interview. Shark Fights will begin its search for a worthy opponent and look to crown their first light heavyweight champion on an upcoming event.
Sursa, with his hair died green, is certainly one of the more lively fighters in the sport. If his skill level can keep pace with his personality, he looks to have a bright future with Shark Fights.
In a welterweight title fight, Anthony “T.J.” Waldburger defended his belt against MMA veteran Pat “Bam Bam” Healy in a fight that went to the judges’ scorecards.
The champion and the veteran engaged in a back-and-forth affair with most of the action on the ground. The crowd showed great appreciation for what was a compelling grappling match with some giving a standing ovation when the final bell sounded.
Waldburger went for submission attempt after submission attempt, several of which looked like they would end the fight. But Healy, one of the most seasoned welterweights in the sport, was scrappy throughout and survived what felt like a record number of attempts.
For Waldburger, it was his first title defense. Getting the win over a seasoned fighter like Healy is no small feet. It will be interesting to see who Shark Fights can bring in to test the young champion.
It didn’t take Ran Weathers long to dispose of WEC fighter Phil Cardella. Weathers rocked Cardella 30 seconds into the fight, flooring his opponent. He followed Cardella to the canvas, but Cardella was done before he hit the ground. The referee was forced to stop the fight at 36 seconds of the first round.
The loss for Cardella was undoubtedly a disappointing setback, possibly eliminating him from a future fight with the WEC. For Weathers he can possibly use the momentum to secure a lightweight title fight. The promotion does not currently have a champion in the 155-pound division.
Also of note on the evening was a special guest appearance by Tapout crew members Punkass and Skyscrape, along with WEC fighters Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Leonard “Badboy” Garcia. A moment of silence was offered to the legendary Charles “Mask” Lewis who helped pioneer the sport for all.
Overall, fans were treated to an entertaining night of fights, punctuated by several devastating knockouts and a five round title fight that showed MMA fans can appreciate a competitive ground fight.