by Mike Burgin (Photo by Jessica Burgin)
In front of a crowd of 1,500-plus fans, Victory Fighting Championships once again invaded Council Bluffs, Iowa, momentarily expanding away from the constraints of Casino Ballrooms. Three title fights were on the line at the Mid America Center, marking the first time a Midwest based Mixed Martial Arts event was held in an actual stadium arena.
Excitement kicked into overdrive when former Omaha area native, Alonzo Martinez, took on Sean Huffman of Miletich Fighting Systems. Both fighters stood and briefly traded punches early in round 1 before Martinez tried defending a takedown, which resulted in his thumb being dislocated. Action was briefly stopped, and many believed that the fight was to end due to the injury. To everyone’s surprise, Martinez called for the ringside doctor, who came to Martinez’s aid by popping his thumb back into place. Afterwards, in true warrior fashion and to many gawking fans, Martinez motioned that he was okay and the fight proceeded. Eventually, Martinez was able to secure a rear naked choke on Huffman who quickly tapped out at 4:48 of round 1, giving Alonzo Martinez the victory.
During the Middleweight Title fight, Ryan Jensen (5-1), of Mid American Martial Arts Academy, took on Danny Anderson (12-6) of the Des Moines Extreme Fight Team. Anderson established early on that his game plan was to take the fight to the ground. Jensen, in Anderson’s guard was able to create distance and land big shots to Anderson’s face, and was named the new VFC Middleweight Champion at 1:16 of Round 2 after a ref stoppage due to strikes.
VFC’s Welterweight title matched Jake Short (9-6), of the Murder City Fight Team, against Meskwaki Warrior, Mark Bear (11-3). Bear was able to weather two Jake Short suplexes early in round 1 and landed a brutal knee to Short’s nose. With the blood spicket that was once Jake Short’s nose turned on full blast, he was somehow able to withstand the punishment in round 1. Bear, extraordinarily poised and stoic, continue his onslaught in round 2 and ultimately gained the VFC Welterweight title via tapout to a triangle choke at 2:18 of round 2.
In the Main Event, local favorite and current VFC Lightweight Champion, Justin James (22-4) of Fit 4 Life Gym & Rodrigo Vahei Jiu-Jitsu, battled with Jason Ireland (13-5-1) from the Tap Or Snap Submission Fight Team. James seemed to control the match in both rounds 1 and 2 as the aggressor in the match; however, both fighters would generally end up in the clinch and resting against the fence.
In round 3, the fight showed more ground skills from both fighters, as James smoothly transitioned from guard to armbars and Ireland was able to escape on two occasions. Ireland appeared to be in control, taking James down and keeping him on his back for a majority of round 3, and the fight was briefly stopped when Ireland landed an axe kick to James’ mid-section, which was ruled illegal.
In round 4, Ireland turned up the heat and took James down early on and gained side mount. Ireland threw some punches to James’ face, prompting James to give Ireland his back. Ireland took advantage and sunk in the guillotine choke, forcing James to tap out at 1:48 of round 4 and making Jason Ireland the new VFC Lightweight champion.
Matt Williams (1-2) def. Mike Adams (1-3) – 3:10 of Round 2 – Tapout to triangle choke
Jake Ellenburger (3-0) def. Deryck Ripley (2-4) – 1:41 of Round 1 – Tapout due to strikes
Darin Brudigan (5-4) def. Mike Van Meer (5-4) – 3:30 of Round 1 – Tapout to triangle choke
Chris Mickle (6-2) def. Sean Wilson (6-2) – 3:15 of Round 1 – Tapout to rear naked choke
Aaron Bradford (1-0) def. Justin Kretzer (0-3) – 3:55 of Round 1 – KO
Alonzo Martinez (4-5) def. Sean Huffman (5-5) – 4:48 of Round 1 – Tapout to rear naked choke
Ryan Jensen (6-1) def. Danny Anderson (12-7) – 1:16 of Round 2 – TKO Ref stoppage
Mark Bear (12-3) def. Jake Short (9-7) – 2:18 of Round 2 – Tapout to triangle choke
Jason Ireland (14-5-1) def. Justin James (22-5) – 1:48 of Round 4 – Tapout to guillotine choke