by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com (Photos by Patrick James)
MOLINE, ILL. – The IFL returned to Moline, Ill., home to the defending champion Quad City Silverbacks. 5,308 fans were in attendance to watch a solid night of fights. The Silverbacks kept their playoff dream alive with a much needed team victory over Ken Shamrock’s Lions. In addition, Maurice Smith’s Tiger Sharks moved back into the title chase with a win over Igor Zinoviev’s Red Bears.
TIGER SHARKS VS. RED BEARS
Shad Lierley vs. Mike Correy
In the opening bout, the Tiger Shark’s Mike Correy took on the Red Bears’ Shad Lierley. In what ended up being the fight of the night, the two lightweights entertained fans with a very competitive match, highlighted by some quick scrambles and good exchanges. After three rounds, Shad Lierley earned a split decision.
The Tiger Sharks take an early lead, 1-0.
Brad Blackburn vs. Mark Miller
Welterweight Mark Miller earned a controversial split decision over Brad Blackburn. The Tiger Shark fighter dropped Miller early on and threw punches from Miller’s half guard for the remainder of the round. A good exchange started the second before Blackburn secured a takedown. Blackburn clearly controlled the round and attained full mount at one point. Miller came out strong in the third, landing some nice hooks. The Red Bear fighter stunned Blackburn with a right hook half way through the round and finished in dominant position. I scored the fight as a unanimous decision for Blackburn, two rounds to one.
The Red Bears tie it up, 1-1.
Bristol Marunde vs. John Kading
MMA newcomer John Kading was a late replacement for Chris Albandia and took the fight on only two days’ notice. Kading stunned Marunde early with his scrappy style. Overcoming his frustration, Marunde dropped Kading with a right hook and followed with strikes on the ground, forcing referee to stop the fight.
The Tiger Sharks take the lead, 2-1.
Allan Goes vs. Homer Moore
Pride veteran Allan Goes dropped down to light heavyweight to face the debuting Homer Moore. Moore stunned Goes early on with a right hook while Allan was content to answer with leg kicks. In the second round, Goes’ low kicks began to take their toll on his opponent. After a hard right low kick, Moore immediately dropped to the mat and Goes instinctively followed with a flurry of strikes. Unable to intelligently defend himself, the referee stopped the bout. Moore eventually made it back up to his feet with the assistance of teammates. With the win, the Tiger Sharks secured the team victory and kept their playoff dreams alive.
The Tiger Sharks win, 3-1.
Reese Andy vs. Adam Maciejewski
Tiger Shark heavyweight Reese Andy methodically dominated Adam Maciejewski en route to a rear naked choke victory. Andy took the Polish fighter down early and controlled the majority of the round. In the second, Maciejewski was unable to stop Andy’s takedowns and eventually gave up his back.
Tiger Sharks finish, 4-1.
SILVERBACKS VS. LIONS
Rory Markham vs. Pat Healy
In one of the most exciting fights of the evening, Silverbacks welterweight Rory Markham came from behind with a third round knockout over UFC veteran Pat Healy in dramatic fashion. Healy dropped Markham early on with a straight right punch. Markham survived the consequent strikes, but clearly lost the first round. In the second, Healy was able to take Markham down and control the round until the Silverbacks fighter scrambled back to his feet. Markham managed to land some nice combinations before being taken down again. An energized Markham started the third round confidently as Healy started to show signs of fatigue. Markham landed a beautiful three-punch combination that sent his opponent to the mat and marked the end of a great comeback.
The Silverbacks take the lead, 1-0.
Ryan McGivern vs. Dan Molina
Ryan McGivern dominated Dan Molina en route to a unanimous decision victory. Molina didn’t have an answer for McGivern’s constant pressure and found himself on the receiving end of many exchanges. After three rounds, it was apparent who won the fight.
The Silverbacks go up, 2-0.
Sam Hoger vs. Vernon White
Former Ultimate Fighter contestant Sam Hoger filled in for injured Silverback Mike Ciesnolevicz to face sturdy veteran Vernon “Tiger” White. The Lion’s Den fighter caught Hoger’s leg early on and took the fight to the ground. After a period of inactivity, the fight was stood back up and the remainder of the round was relatively uneventful. “The Alaskan Assassin” started the second round with two sloppy high kicks. The two clinched in the corner and Hoger secured a standing guillotine, but White eventually broke free. They clinched again and the fight was reset in the middle of ring. White performed a beautiful roll, taking control of Hoger’s back, then sunk in a rear naked choke forcing Hoger to tap out.
Silverbacks still up 2-1.
Ben Rothwell vs. Roy Nelson
Sporting a portly belly, Roy “Big Country” Nelson took the fight to Ben Rothwell in a sloppy, albeit entertaining, slugfest. Rothwell teed off on Nelson early on, landing many combinations. The two continued to exchange as some rowdy fans urged Rothwell with a chant to “Get the gut!” By the end of the fight, both fighters were fatigued. After three rounds, Rothwell earned a split decision. At the post-fight press conference, a disgusted Rothwell expressed his disappointment in his performance.
The Silverbacks win, 3-1.
Bart Palaszewski vs. John Gunderson
In one of the most anticipated fights of the evening, fan favorite Bart Palazewski won a controversial split decision over John Gunderson. The Oregon native went for a takedown early while Palaszewski countered with a guillotine choke. Unable to secure a deep choke due to poor positioning, Palaszewski was forced to give up the hold and spent the remainder of the round on his back. In the second, Gunderson landed a couple of spinning side kicks early on. Palaszewski displayed better takedown defense in this round and countered by nearly securing an anaconda choke. The last round was all Gunderson as he was able to take Bart down twice and attempted a key lock from half guard. Gunderson clearly won the round. At the post-fight press conference, Palaszewski also expressed disappointed in his performance.
The Silverbacks finish, 4-1.
Jeff Curran vs. Kevin English
In the superfight of the evening, Jeff “Big Frog” Curran defeated Kevin English. Shortly into the first round, fans chanted “Let’s go Big Frog” as the fighters circled each other. Curran dropped English with a left hook and continued to control the fight on the ground. The first round ended with Curran nearly securing an armbar. English seemed reluctant to exchange in the second round, recognizing Curran’s ground prowess. After closing the gap, Curran was able to secure a guillotine choke, forcing English to tap.