by Mike Burgin for MMAWeekly (Photos by Jessica Burgin)
(Matt Anderson and Ryan Jensen)
COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA – Victory Jay once again brought Victory Fighting Championship back to Council Bluffs, Iowa to crown the first VFC Heavyweight Champion in a 4-man tournament, while 2-time defending Middleweight Champion, Ryan Jensen (10-1), put his title on the line.
In the Heavyweight tournament, Matt Andersen (9-6-1), a UFC 9 veteran, made quick work of a physically larger Demetrius “King Kong” Worlds (5-4) with a first round victory by rear naked choke. Andersen would go on to face Dan Severn Michigan Sports Camp protégé, Paul “Big Nasty” Bowers (3-4), who survived being mounted twice in round one by Paul Antoniak (3-2) and advanced to the finals as Antoniak tapped out due to a keylock.
In the Heavyweight tournament finals, Bowers suffered from two inadvertent knees to the groin that Andersen threw initially to Bowers’ thighs while pressed against the fence. After Bowers was allowed a brief moment to regroup, Andersen secured the takedown and worked a solid ground and pound offense from side control before Bowers tapped out to strikes, making Matt Andersen the first ever VFC Heavyweight Champion after a four year layoff from competition
In the evening’s main event, local favorite Ryan Jensen looked to enter another tier of top competition by challenging Curtis Stout (11-12-1), another UFC veteran who has competed against MMA Superstars like Rich Franklin, Anderson Silva and Phil Baroni.
Early in round 1, Stout scored a hard takedown on Jensen, who pulled guard and eventually worked a tight triangle choke on Stout. Jensen was then slammed hard, after Stout had lifted him high above his head in an impressive attempt to break the triangle. Jensen, in true champion fashion, did not relinquish the hold and worked for an armbar while continuing to apply the triangle choke. Stout finally tapped out to the armbar and triangle combination at 3:10 of the first round, making Ryan Jensen the 3-time VFC Middleweight Champion.
Lightweight fighter Ryan Roberts (6-1) was awarded the VFC Heart Of A Warrior award for his knockout victory over Alex Rutter (4-3) earlier in the evening. Roberts, who looks remarkably like Sean Sherk, also secured a shot at Alonzo Martinez, the VFC Lightweight Champion, with his win on Friday.
A top quality production all around, with some very technical fights, extremely hungry athletes, and an impressive rendition of the National Anthem sung by extremely talented, pre-teen vocalist Jessica Wood proved once again why VFC is the Midwest’s premiere mixed martial arts promotion.
Victory Fighting Championship: Inferno
Mid America Center
Council Bluffs, Iowa
May 18, 2007
-Ryan Jensen (11-1) def. Curtis Stout (11-12-1) by Armbar at 3:10, R1
-Matt Andersen (9-6-1) def. Paul Bowers (3-4) by Submission to Strikes at 1:44, R2
-Matt Andersen (9-6-1) def. Demetrius Worlds (5-4) by Rear Naked Choke at 1:06, R1
-Paul Bowers (3-4) def. Paul Antoniak (3-2) by Keylock at 4:39, R1
-Bobby Voelker (12-3) def. Dan Anderson (18-8) by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Ryan Roberts (6-1) def. Alex Rutter (4-3) by KO at 3:22, R1
-Sean Wilson (17-5) def. Deryck Ripley (8-9) by Kneebar at 2:20, R1
-Steve Pilkington (6-4-2) def. John George (6-6) by Triangle Choke at 1:36, R1