by Ryan Bennett – MMAWeekly.com
POST FIGHT VIDEOS UP ON MMAWEEKLY TV
Jake Shields squeaked out a win in the tournament, while Charuto Verissimo and Frank Trigg both hinted to retirement on Friday Night.
Many questioned whether Jake Shields defeated Yushin Okami in the semifinal round, but no one will question Shields heart. Shields battled for six tough rounds in 30 minutes time to win the first ever Rumble on the Rock Title.
Shields battled Japan’s Yushin Okami in the first semifinal bout on Friday night and it was a very close bout. Shields had an extremely difficult time taking Okami down in the first round. Shields went for single and double leg takedown’s but each time he would takedown Okami, the Japanese fighter would stand back up.
It was a very close battle in the first two rounds, Okami definitely won the third and final round, but the judges scored a unanimous decision for Shields. The crowd voiced their displeasure after the fight’s decision was announced. (For the record, MMAWeekly scored it 29-28 for Okami.) All three judges scored it 29-28 for Shields.
So while there was some question about the semifinal bout, there would be no question about Shields performance in the final.
Shields battled young up and comer Carlos Condit for the ROTR Championship. Condit continued his amazing streak of upsets by taking out Frank Trigg with an armbar in Round 1 in the semifinal round. Condit showed why he is the future of the sport by using his well-rounded style of strikes and submissions.
In the final Condit nailed Shields with vicious elbows that split open Shields. Shields was bleeding at the top of his forehead as well as above the left side of his ear. Shields though would dig down deep and use his superior wrestling to takedown the young Condit and work his ground n pound to perfection, pulling out the decision against the young 21 year old.
Shields wins the first ever Rumble on the Rock Championship and gains a lot of respect in the fight game. “Now maybe everyone will respect my game . . . “, Shields told MMAWeekly.com after the fight. “I’ve worked hard for years and I hope in now finally pays off.” Shields was paid 30,000 dollars for winning the tournament in addition to his world championship belt.
In other fights on the card it was Charuto Verissimo announcing his retirement after he lost to Kuniyoshi Hironaka in the fight of the night. Verissimo used some amazing jiu-jitsu moves in the first round to put Hironaka on the defensive early. Hironaka though then came back in the second round and landed some wicked ground n pound shots to get the victory. Verissimo then announced his retirement after the fight, telling MMAWeekly’s Ryan Bennett, “I love all my fans and you have seen me fight my last fight.” Hironaka is ready for the UFC as he has now taken out Verissimo, Nick Diaz and Ryan Schultz as he improves to 10-2 in MMA.
Frank Trigg also hinted the same thing after his loss to Carlos Condit as you can watch his video interview with Bennett on MMAWeekly TV. Trigg took down Condit with ease the first minute of the fight, but Condit came back and locked on an armbar in the first round to pull off the upset. So we may have seen the end of Verissimo and Trigg on the same night from Hawaii.
Cabbage Correrira saw Kazuhiro Hamanaka come into Hawaii and use his amazing grappling to takedown and control Cabbage for two rounds. Hamanaka then locked in a Kimura in Round 1 that Cabbage barely escaped from, but Cabbage would not be able to get out of it in Round 2. Hamanaka at just 217 pounds, submitted Cabbage at 265 pounds in Round 2 by Kimura.
Ray Cooper showed why he has been one of the most exciting fighters in Hawaii for the past decade as he knocked out Koji Yoshida with a vicious combination. The left and right hooks would knockout the Japanese fighter in spectacular fashion.
Speaking of knockouts, the most brutal KO of the night was Hawaiian fighter Scott Junk, taking out Lee Segak as the Japanese fighter was carried out on a stetcher. Junk landed mighty elbows that made everyone cringe at ringside. The bigger, stronger, Junk took down Segak and then pounded vicious elbows, as Segak’s head was trapped against the mat as the elbows immediately knocked out Segak. Segak ate two more elbows for good measure before referee Larry Landless could call the end of the fight. A medical team carried Segak out on a strecher as Junk improves to 2-1 in MMA with the win.
The twin brothers’ combination of Brandon and Brenton Wolf was very successful this weekend as both brothers showed great stand up in finishing Josh McDonald and Shimpei Sotoyama. Brandon hurt the Olympic wrestling hopeful McDonald with great strikes as McDonald could not continue after Round 1, while Brenton provided the fans with a spectacular knockout using a great combination that knocked out Sotoyama cold.
Butterbean defeated Aaron Aguilera in one of the most bizarre but entertaining freak shows you will ever see. Aguilera, a professional wrestler, tried to land a drop kick in the middle of the fight. Aguilera, was very game but could not deal with the power of the Bean as Butterbean landed a right hand to knock down Aguilera in Round 2, then Bean pounced on Aguilera and landed a choke for the win. Phil Baroni said on the pay per view broadcast he wasn’t sure if it was the choke, or the 400 pounds on Aguilera’s back that submitted the former WWE wrestler.
In the first fight of the evening it was Steve Byrnes outclassing Matt Knaub by submission. Byrnes took the fight to Knaub and controlled him by pulling out a leglock for the win. A crowd of close to 6,000 fans were in attendance to watch Rumble on the Rock 9.