by Ken Pishna – ACF
For the first time in two years, Mark Kerr returns to MMA to face Wes Sims.
DENVER, COLORADO –Friday, February 24 at the Denver Coliseum, American Championship Fighting (ACF) held their inaugural event, entitled Genesis, before a crowd estimated to be just under 5,000, which would
make it the most highly attended mixed martial arts event in the state’s history.
Denver-based fighter John “The Annihilator” Cronk
surprised many by defeating former Olympian and Team Quest fighter Heath Sims for the ACF Welterweight World Championship.
Early in the evening, ACF CEO Rico Vecc brought Wes Sims into the Ocho to announce the signing of “The Project” to face Mark Kerr for the ACF’s first heavyweight title bout, which is slated to take place on May 6th in Denver.
In the main event at Genesis, Heath Sims, highly ranked in Japan’s Pancrase organization, looked to stand just long enough to clinch and go for the takedown, which he eventually did. On the ground, Sims briefly held side-control, but Cronk was able to scramble and get the
fight back up to standing. Once there, Sims again looked for the takedown, but on the way in Cronk cinched on a guillotine choke that caused Sims to submit 2:46 into the first round.
With the win, Cronk becomes the first ever ACF belt holder winning the welterweight championship. He also improved his record, winning five of his past six bouts.
Matt Horwich, also of Team Quest, made his return to the Centennial State having fought last year on Sport Fight’s first foray into Colorado and on local promotion Kick Down. He stepped into the Ocho with Hammer House fighter Rob Wince. Looking to keep the fight standing, Wince staggered Horwich early and appeared to be the more
powerful of the two. But Horwich kept his composure and scored with a head kick before pulling Wince into his guard and smoothly locking on an arm bar to finish the fight.
Both known for their strong backgrounds in kickboxing, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Cruz “The Saint” Chacon are both very popular in Colorado. It was Chacon that took control early, getting Cerrone to the ground
and working to ground and pound him from various positions throughout the first round. In the second, Chacon again got the takedown and was positioned to continue his ground and pound assault, but Cerrone managed to catch him in transition with a triangle choke. Chacon attempted to break the hold by picking up and slamming Cerrone, but the
choke was secure, giving Cerrone the win.
Chilo Gonzalez continued to resurrect his career with an impressive performance against Shawn Freese of Austin, Texas. Fighting out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Gonzalez got taken down early, but reversed position, attained the mount and started punching Freese. In the
process he opened up a deep, fight-ending cut over Freese’s eye.
The fight between Samy Say and Hans Marrero went to the mat almost immediately. Following a brief scramble for position, Marrero locked out an arm bar little more than one minute into the round.
Steve Schneider, originally slated to fight Ray Elbe, instead stepped into the Ocho with Nathan Osterkamp. Schneider wasted no time taking Osterkamp down before securing the victory with a guillotine choke.
The professional portion of the show opened up with a battle for a $50,000 contract with the ACF virtually guaranteeing the winner the opportunity to become a full-time professional fighter.
Noah Thomas started off strong taking down Grant Hartwig, but lost position when he attempted an arm bar. From his back, Thomas then worked his way to a triangle choke. Attempting to break the choke, Hartwig picked up Thomas, carried him a few feet and then slammed him
to the mat. Thomas didn’t relent, keeping the choke intact and causing Hartwig to tap, earning the $50,000 contract.
The night also featured three amateur bouts. Just before the professional portion of the card started, fighting out of the Kongo Do Dojo in Colorado Springs, Tanner Noble went into the second round with LA Boxing’s Sisto Tapia before finishing him from the mount by a TKO
stoppage from strikes.
Sean Claffey and James Valimont fought back and forth for two rounds. Valimont consistently enforcing hard-fought takedowns and Claffey consistently punishing him with strikes as he did so. After the second round, the ringside doctor, Ered Nash, recommended the fight be stopped
due to deep cuts over both of Valimont’s eyes. Claffey was awarded the victory by TKO.
In the night’s opening bout, Nick Setrakian took Jason Harris down early with a big slam. He then worked his way past Harris’ guard and dropped down a barrage of punishing punches and elbows until the referee stopped the fight.
AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHTING
Friday, February 24
Main Event: Welterweight Title Bout
John Cronk def. Heath Sims by Guillotine Choke, 2:46 of Round 1
Matt Horwich def. Rob Wince by Arm Bar, 1:46 of Round 1
Donald Cerrone def. Cruz Chacon by Triangle Choke, Round 2
Chilo Gonzalez def. Shawn Freese by TKO, 0:47 of Round 1
Hans Marrero def. Samy Say by Arm Bar, 1:05 of Round 1
Steve Schneider def. Nathan Osterkamp by Guillotine Choke, 0:38 of
Noah Thomas def. Grant Hartwig by Triangle Choke, 1:23 of Round 1
Tanner Noble def. Sistio Tapia by TKO, 1:17 of Round 2
Sean Claffey def. James Valimont by TKO, 5:00 of Round 2
Nick Setrakian def. Jason Harris by TKO, 2:00 of Round 1
About American Championship Fighting
American Championship Fighting (ACF) is a premier mixed martial arts
promotion. Under the ownership of Rico Vecc Promotions, the ACF
provides a combination of the preeminent mixed martial arts fighters in
the world in a highly entertaining atmosphere. For more information go
to www. theacf.net. Rico Vecc Promotions, the owner of the ACF, is
operated by successful entrepreneur and ACF CEO Rico Vecc. A self-made
millionaire, Vecc built his fortune in real estate investing and has
committed to helping others through his National Wealth Institute
(www.NationalWealthInstitute.com) and his book “How to Become a
Millionaire in Your Jeans and a T-Shirt Through Real Estate.”