by Matt Hill – MMAWeekly.com
DULUTH, GEORGIA – After a successful showing earlier this year, the International Fight League traveled down to The Arena at Gwinnett Center for another team match up event. 5,057 fans came out on this Friday evening in Duluth to show their support for the IFL and they were treated to a number of interesting fights.
ROBBIE LAWLER vs. EDUARDO PAMPLONA
This fight began with a Lawler high kick from which he slips and falls to his back. Pamplona then attempts to secure a front choke but Lawler escape and throws a flying knee to Pamplona’s head. The two men remained deadlocked on the feet for the remainder of round 1.
Round two opens with both men exchanging punches in a neutral corner. Almost two minutes into the round, Pamplona secured a takedown and rained down a few decent punches before Lawler reversed him and regained his feet. The men exchanged blows for the remainder of the round, but Lawler had the clear upper hand near the end of this round.
Round three began with Lawler and Pamplona throwing simultaneous leg kicks, neither of which landed. Shortly thereafter, Lawler caught Pamplona with a very nice combination that clearly rocked Pamplona. Lawler jumped in to finish the fight and threw a few more blows before the referee jumped in to stop the fight. There was some controversy on the stoppage, but cooler heads prevailed in the end. Lawler wins this fight by TKO.
TORONTO DRAGONS vs. PORTLAND WOLFPACK
In the opener, the Dragon’s Waggney Fabiano caught IFL first-timer Ian Loveland in an arm triangle from which Loveland submitted at 59 seconds into the first round. No doubt a disappointing start for the Wolfpack. (DRAGONS 1, WOLFPACK 0)
The second fight of the night was between Wojtek Kaszowski John Krohn. Much of this round was spent in a clinch on the feet, but as the round progressed, Krohn’s wrestling superiority seemed to take over and he got a couple of nice takedowns before the round ended.
Shortly into the second round, Wojtek caught Krohn with an inadvertent knee to the groin and the action was temporarily halted. When the action resumed, Kaszowski landed a couple of good strikes, but soon the fight was back on the ground. Krohn controlled the ground game and even took Kaszowski’s back at one point, but the round ended with both men fighting for a dominant position.
The third round began with both men exchanging strikes on the feet. The majority of the second and third minutes were fought on the feet with both men searching for an opening. Krohn finally brought the fight to the ground with a foot sweep and the fight remained there until the final bell. Krohn by Unanimous Decision (30-27)
(DRAGONS 1, WOLFPACK 1)
The third fight of the night was between Wolfpack fighter Matt ‘Suave’ Horwich and Dragon fighter Brent Beauparlant. This fight began with a great standup exchange before going to the ground a couple minutes into the first round. Horwich clearly controlled the action throughout the entire first round and was definitely up (10-9) on the judges’ scorecards.
The second round began with a quick exchange and then a quick takedown for Horwich from which he landed in full guard. Horwich immediately went for a Kimura and secured it to get the tap at the 28-second mark of round 2. (DRAGONS 1, WOLFPACK 2)
The next fight of the night was between Wolfpack welterweight Mike Dolce and Dragon fighter Jim Abrille. Dolce and Abrille circled for about 10 seconds before Dolce landed a huge right hand that floored his opponent. Dolce dove in for the kill to finish his opponent at 19 seconds of the first round. (DRAGONS 1, WOLFPACK 3)
The final fight of this team competition is between the Wolfpack’s Devin Cole and the Dragon’s Rafael Feijao.
The first round began with two huge men throwing heavy leather. Cole shot in for a couple takedowns, but most of the round was spent on the feet with the slight edge so far going to Feijao.
Round 2 began with a flurry of punches thrown by Feijao before one of them caught Cole’s nose and noticeably dislocated it. The referee jumped in to stop the fight but Cole continued fighting and didn’t appear seriously injured. The fight was stopped very prematurely because of an apparent dislocated nose. I wasn’t aware that a dislocated nose was grounds for stopping the fight, but that is how this one ended. Cole was still fighting for the takedown when the fight was stopped. Referee stoppage at 0:26 of Round 2.
Team final: (WOLFPACK 3, DRAGONS 2)
FIGHT OF THE NIGHT ($1,000 each) – Matt Horwich/Brent Beauparlant
SUBMISSION OF THE NIGHT AND FASTEST FINISH OF THE NIGHT ($1,000 & XBOX 360) – Mike Dolce
SUBMISSION OF THE NIGHT ($1,000) – Wagnney Fabiano
CHICAGO RED BEARS vs. NEW YORK PITBULLS
The first fight of this team match up was between Erik Owings of the Pitbulls and Peter Kaljevic of the Red Bears.
This fight started out full speed ahead right out of the gate, with the Pitbull’s Erik Owings securing a takedown and then a nice straight armbar. The armbar looked deep, but Peter didn’t tap to the amazement of the 5,000-plus whom where in attendance. Peter escaped from the armbar, but was clearly dominated throughout the first round. Easily a (10-9) round for Owings.
The second round started with a little hesitation by both men to commit, before Owings scored a big slam and he landed in side control. Erik then moved into full mount where he threw a few hammer fists. Owings then opened up with a barrage of punches and Peter gave his back. Erik continued to throw punches from Kaljevic’s back, but Peter is a tough character. Owings returned to full mount and rained close to 30 punches down on his opponent before Kaljevic rolled over and gave Owings his back. Owings took this opportunity and secured the rear naked choke for the tapout. Owings wins the fight at the 3:03 mark of round 2. (PITBULLS 1, RED BEARS 0)
The second fight of this team competition was between the Pitbulls’ Delson Heleno and the Red Bears’ Mark Miller.
In the opening seconds, Miller attempted a standing guillotine, but was taken down by the very athletic Delson Heleno. The fight now hits a bit of a stalemate from the ground, though Heleno does succeed in landing a couple of nice right hands from the top. Heleno passes to side control and then passed into full mount where he rained down many nice strikes. Heleno threw the first superman punch from the mount that I’ve ever seen and it landed pretty squarely. Heleno definitely scores a 10-9 round, possibly a 10-8.
Round two begins with a tie up on the feet and an eventual takedown by Heleno. Heleno quickly passed to side control and then soon got full mount. Heleno stood up in the mount and rained down a few big blows before falling back into Miller’s guard. Heleno regained mount and rained down a plethora of punches. Miller showed incredible resilience and eventually regained his feet, only to be taken down again and thoroughly brutalized by Heleno.
Round three begins with a nice flurry of punches by Miller while Delson fought for a takedown. Delson finally got a good position and secured a perfect slam on Miller. Miller remains dominant in full mount and continually rains down punches but the fight is briefly paused because of an apparent illegal elbow. Renzo is shouting instructions at Deleno in Portuguese now. The fight has been slow in action ever since the brief recess. Heleno resumed scoring from the mount until the final bell rang. Miller showed incredible toughness in this fight, but the incredibly talented athlete Delson Heleno simply out classed him. After the final bell rang, Heleno back flipped across the entire ring in jubilant celebration. (Unanimous decision 30-27 for Heleno)
(PITBULLS 2, RED BEARS 0)
The third fight was between middleweights Dante Rivera and Chris Albandia.
Both men felt each other out until Leopoldo took the fight to the ground. Shortly after the fight hit the ground, Fabio secured a front choke and Albandia tapped the mat in defeat.
Fabio Leopold secured the third win for the Pitbulls and the score is now
(PITBULLS 3, RED BEARS 0)
The light heavyweights are the next to fight and Rivera and Kennedy look ready to bang. The first round starts off with the men trading punches until Kennedy secured the takedown and gained side control. Kennedy secured the mount where he threw some punches and remained in control throughout the remainder of the round. (10-9) Round for Kennedy.
Round two begins with a quick exchange followed by a huge trip slam for Kennedy. Kennedy postured up and took full mount but went between full mount and knee on belly position for the remainder of the fight throwing heavy leather in both positions, until Rivera eventually tapped out due to strikes at 2:29 of Round 2.
(PITBULLS 3, RED BEARS 1)
In the final fight of this team match up, Chicago Red Bears’ Mo Fowzi takes on Bryan Vetell of the Pitbulls.
This fight began with Fowzi sprinting across the ring and refusing to touch gloves with Vetell. Fowzi instead shook his head and attempted a kick to the face of Vetell. This did little more than anger Vetell and he slammed Fowzi to the ground, which prompted the beginning of the end for Mo. As soon as Vetell hit the ground he secured a picture perfect key lock on Fowzi at 45 seconds of the first round. Vetell jumped up after his victory and started screaming profanity in the direction of Fowzi, which prompted a few tense moments with both teams in the ring before cooler heads finally prevailed. In the post fight press conference, Vetell apologized for overreacting at the end of his fight. He was just angry that he stuck his hand out to touch gloves with his opponent, but Fozi tried to kick him in the head for it.
(PITBULLS 4, RED BEARS 1)
FIGHT OF THE NIGHT ($1,000 each) – Delson Heleno/Mark Miller
FASTEST FINISH OF THE NIGHT (XBOX 360) – Bryan Vetell
SUBMISSION OF THE NIGHT ($1,000) – Erik Owings
INTERNATIONAL FIGHT LEAGUE FULL RESULTS
February 23, 2007
The Arena at Gwinnett Center
PORTLAND WOLFPACK – 3
TORONTO DRAGONS – 2
Rafael Feijao (Dragons) def. Devin Cole (Wolfpack) by Referee Stoppage at 0: 26 in Round 2
John Krohn (Wolfpack) def. Wojtek Kaszowski (Dragons) by Unanimous Decision (30-27)
Matt Horwich (Wolfpack) def. Brent Beauparlant (Dragons) by Kimura tapout at 0:28 in Round 2
Mike Dolce (Wolfpack) def. Jim Abrille (Dragons) by KO at 0:19 of the 1st round
Wagnney Fabiano (Dragons) def. Ian Loveland (Wolfpack) by tapout at 0:59, Round 1
PITBULLS – 4
RED BEARS – 1
Bryan Vetell (Pitbulls) def. Mo Fowzi (Red Bears) by Kimura at 0:45, Round 1
Tim Kennedy (Red Bears) def. Dante Rivera (Pitbulls) by strikes at 2:29 of Round 2
Fabio Leopoldo (Pitbulls) def. Chris Albandia (Red Bears) via submission at 1:48 of Round 1
Delson Heleno (Pitbulls) def. Mark Miller (Red Bears) by Unanimous Decision (30-27)
Erik Owens def. Peter Kaljevic by submission (RNC) at the 3:03 mark of Round 2