by Matt Hill – MMAWeekly.com
‘The Fight Professor’ Stephen Quadros joined MMAWeekly’s SoundOff Radio to discuss the IFL and to break down the recent match up between the Portland Wolfpack and the Los Angeles Anacondas, as well as the two super fights held that night: Daniel Gracie vs. Allan Goes and Mark Kerr vs. Mike Whitehead.
Of this past IFL show, Quadros said, “It was stacked within what the IFL is doing. The matches were extremely tight. In every production meeting we always said, ‘Well how do these matches line up?’ and I said ‘this is real competitive’…it’s hard to really pick with a hundred percent accuracy what the flow of these was going to be.”
One of the super fights held on November 2nd was between former UFC Tournament Champion Mark Kerr and former TUF 2 star, Mike Whitehead.
Kerr has had a noticeable absence from fighting for a number of years, and Whitehead has been blazing through heavyweight opponents since his appearance on TUF. Both casual fans and MMA experts alike wondered what Kerr’s return would look like. Would it be similar to Bas Rutten’s successful comeback, or would it be more like Pat Miletich’s disappointment in his return to competition? The jury was hung.
It was clear that the latter would ultimately be Kerr’s fate. He was out hustled by a younger, quicker Whitehead. Only 2:40 into the first round Whitehead secured the TKO stoppage over Kerr.
‘The Fight Professor’ Stephen Quadros, said, “They came to the center and the quickness was obvious for Whitehead. Whitehead was just a better kickboxer, he was faster…Kerr would try and go forward and Whitehead would just steer right out of the way. Kerr really didn’t land anything effectively and Whitehead just picked him apart.”
It was an unfortunate return for Kerr who was formerly such a dominant force in the heavyweight division. With this loss it seems unlikely that Kerr would attempt another comeback into competitive fighting. Maybe the IFL has a coaching job that he could take a shot at. Who knows, maybe there could even be a Ken Shamrock/Mark Kerr match up in the future? (Even though Shamrock is adamant that he is done fighting.)
The second super fight held that night was between Allan Goes and Daniel Gracie. Many fans expected this fight to be a spectacular display of ground skills, but that turned out not to be the case. Goes riddled Gracie with crisp punches and eventually got the TKO stoppage at the 1:03 mark in Round 2.
Quadros said, “It was all about the jab for Allan Goes. Allan Goes was busting up Daniel Gracie. Who would of thought that two Jiu-Jitsu guys would get in there and kickbox?”
Quadros continued, “Allan Goes is always looking for that right chemistry of a fight trainer and he’s got that with Maurice Smith. It’s kind of like this odd couple, this Brazilian guy with this smack-talking American who’s a kickboxer…those guys together have really brought Allan out of the strictly Jiu-Jitsu mode and turned him into a true MMA fighter. That was the difference going into the fight with Daniel Gracie.”
Even though Gracie was beaten down by Allan’s superior striking skills, Quadros was impressed with Gracie’s heart.
“I expected Daniel – after he got caught with a couple of shots – to shoot and try to pick a single leg or a double leg or get a body-lock or something, but …He went down with the ship, and to me that was admirable because that showed a lot of courage of the heart. But it was just Allan’s night and he got the victory,” Quadros said.
Moving on to the main card, the first fight Quadros broke down was the one between the Anaconda’s Chris Horodecki and the Wolfpack’s Ryan Schultz. Both of these two men like to strike, and according to Quadros, “On paper, it looked like this was going to be a shootout at the OK Corral.”
In the end, Horodecki picked Schultz apart and walked away with a TKO victory at the 0:24 mark of Round 2. Many people, including Quadros, expect to see some great things from Horodecki.
“This kid [Horodecki] is a prodigy…he looks like he is 12, he fights like a miniature ‘CroCop’ or something…you know, he’s got combinations, he’s got kicks and he’s got angles,” said Quadros.
In a fight that many considered could very well be the fight of the night, Matt Horwich defeated Mike Pyle by submission.
Quadros said, “Matt Horwich is one of those types of guys, that, behind that blank stare and that Mr. Rogers meets Syd Barrett Pink Floyd dialogue, this guy has got the will of iron. You can’t break this guy mentally…impossible. He’s got as strong a mind as Don Frye, but in a different way.”
Quadros continued, “Matt did get Mike’s back one, two, three, or four times, and I think it was the fifth time he locked it in and choked him out. I’m going what? I couldn’t believe that Matt Horwich submitted Mike Pyle with a rear naked choke. That was a big surprise.”
In other action, Aaron Stark of the Wolfpack battled TUF 1 veteran Alex Schoenauer in what turned out to be a rather controversial fight. In the last few seconds of the 1st Round it appeared that Stark might have tapped due to a Schoenauer submission, which prompted the referee to stop the bout momentarily. The fight continued on to the 2nd round, though, and Alex ultimately lost by guillotine choke.
Stephen Quadros said, “At the end of Round 1, Stark had been controlling the action…Alex fell back and went for a heel hook – there was like less than 10 seconds left. He transitioned into what looked like one of his signature moves – it’s a Bas Rutten move – it’s a figure four toe-hold where you just literally grab the top of the instep and push down. Aaron screamed, and he went to like slap or push his knee or something…and the referee jumped in and stopped the match. They resumed it, there was a little bit of ground and pound and playing around afterwards, but then the round was over.”
Quadros continued, “Aaron did not hit his knee three times for a tap, but he did scream.”
Unfortunately for Schoenauer and the Anacondas, that controversial loss was one that helped tip the scales in favor of the Wolfpack who eventually won the competition 3-2.
Krysztof Soszynski and Devin Cole also squared off that night in a fight that displayed Soszynski’s growth as a fighter as of late.
Quadros said, “Talk about growth. Yeah, this kid, Krysztof Soszynski, he’s really coming up, and if I were a heavyweight I’d be concerned because it’s all about his attitude and the fact that he refuses to accept any limitations; mental or physical.”
Quadros continued, “He’s come along in leaps and bounds, and Bas has done a phenomenal job with him. I know that he’s really taken well to the Jiu-Jitsu training. They’re [the Anacondas] getting some really good training, and it’s obvious that Krysztof is a really great student of the game. Case in point was, I thought Krysztof needed to keep this fight standing because he’d been working his strikes and he’d done a pretty good job against Ben Rothwell in his very first IFL fight before actually losing.”
“Then they got into that 2nd round, and Krysztof was on the bottom, and I said I think on the broadcast that Devin had lost to Allan Goes, but that Krysztof wasn’t quite to the level that Allan was at on submissions, and I didn’t think that he had the flexibility,” Quadros said.
Then, “About two seconds later, he’s got him in an armbar and about three seconds after that Devin’s tapping out and I’m going, ‘Oh!’ This guy is going to be a force,” Quadros said.
The Wolfpack’s Chris Wilson and the Anaconda’s Jay Hieron put on a welterweight show that was awarded ‘fight of the night’ by the IFL brass. This fight was back and forth throughout, with Wilson getting the unanimous decision nod in the end.
As expected, this match up between the Portland Wolfpack and the Los Angeles Anacondas was a very competitive one. Fans can expect to see more of the Wolfpack when they take on the Silverbacks for the IFL 2006 World Team Championships on December 29th.
To see what ‘The Fight Professor’ Stephen Quadros had to say about the match ups between the ‘Dragons’ vs. the ‘Silverbacks,’ watch for part two of this article coming soon.