by Riley Kerestes
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – The evening began with six undercard bouts featuring notable performances from Curran Martial Arts fighters Cal Ferry, Russ Janca and Mike Stumpf, all of who looked very impressive in victory. Jay Little and Camrann Pacheco also showed well-rounded skills as they picked apart their opponents.
In one of the best fights of the night, Mustafa Hussaini and John Hosman battled back and forth in all three rounds before settling for a majority draw decision. Justin McElfresh was able to secure an armbar for the submission victory over Ron “Killing Fields” Fields to win the XFO 205-pound title. Ultimate Fighter veteran Kerry “Meat Truck” Schall made quick work of Geza Kalman as he choked him unconscious with a guillotine in less than one minute of the first round. Matt “Sunshine” Fiordirosa looked impressive as he defended his XFO 145-pound title against a game Justin Robbins.
In a bizarre fight, UFC veteran Terry Martin defeated Jason Guida with a brutal knockout in the third round. Martin lost two points during the bout, one for repeatedly grabbing the fence and another for throwing an illegal elbow that opened a large gash near Guida’s left eye. Seemingly knowing that having lost two points he could not let the fight go to a decision, Martin came out throwing bombs at the start of the third round. After the fighters exchanged punches, Martin caught Guida cleanly and dropped him to the canvas. Jason’s brother, UFC veteran Clay Guida, then jumped into the cage to help his brother and he and Martin exchanged more than words. Eventually Jason recovered and was visibly upset, likely due to the fact that the cut from an illegal blow changed the outlook of the whole contest.
In another controversial bout, Donnie “Mad Dog” Liles defeated UFC veteran Brian Gassaway after what looked to be an illegal knee to the head of Gassaway. Liles then took his back and secured the rear naked choke for the victory.
Chris McDaniels recovered nicely from an early armbar attempt to brutally knockout Combat Do legend Bob Schirmer.
The Co-Main Event of the evening featured the professional MMA debut of former Chicago Bear Alonzo Spellman against Antoine “Herc” Hayes in a battle of two 300+ pounders. Spellman showed great heart and power, but was unable to finish a very tough Hayes. Hayes effortlessly absorbed a great amount of punishment in the form of knees from the clinch and body shots from Spellman. Both fighters grew tired in the third round and Spellman’s lack of ground skills became evident, as he could not finish a worn out Hayes, despite having the dominant position for most of the fight. In the end, the unanimous decision victory went to Spellman, who could be a very imposing force with more experience in the ring.
The final fight of the night featured UFC and Pride veteran Jeff “Big Frog” Curran against undefeated Unit 2 Fitness fighter Rafael Assuncao. The fight went back and forth in the first round before Rafael caught Curran in the groin with a kick. Curran was in visible pain, but did not take much rest time and battled on. Later in the round, Assuncao landed a huge leg kick as Curran was on his back, violating the rule of not kicking a downed fighter. This caught Curran off guard and the action was stopped briefly as Curran was in noticeable pain from the foul. Those two fouls likely gave Curran the round even though no points were taken.
Round 2 was very close with both fighters working their respective game plan. Assuncao seemed to have the advantage using effective leg kicks and takedowns, but Curran defended well displaying an active guard and good takedown defense.
Round 3 was all Rafael as he dominated both the striking and ground game with successful takedowns and holding the dominant position. Assuncao did lose a point in the third round for excessively grabbing the fence, essentially negating his dominance in the round.
In the end, it was Curran that picked up the split decision, but this was more of a case of Assuncao beating himself with multiple fouls than anything else. Curran showed a lot of respect to Assuncao as he spoke to the crowd after his fight and admitted that even he was not sure that he won. In fairness to The Big Frog, there is no way to tell how the fight would have gone if he had not been hit with multiple fouls, and many fans agreed with the decision as three fouls in a three round fight would usually be enough to warrant a disqualification.
All in all this was a great event that showcased a whopping 18 total fights and featured everything an MMA fan could have hoped for.
Camrann Pacheco def. Jason Wagner – Submission (Strikes) Rd. 1
Sean Najm def. Steve Johnson – Unanimous Decision Rd. 3
Cal Ferry def. Chris Barbeau – Unanimous Decision Rd. 3
Russ Janca def. Jon “The Bomber” Slaten – TKO Rd. 1
Jay “The Tupiolu Terror” Little def. Art Guerrero – KO Rd. 2
Mike Stumpf def. Tony Rook – Submission (RNC) Rd. 1
Mustafa “Moose” Hussaini and John Hosman – Majority Draw Rd. 3
Nate Mohr def. Norm Alexander – TKO (Strikes from Mount) Rd. 2
Ryan Williams def. Kenny “The Hammer” Nyquist – TKO Rd. 1
XFO 205 lb Title Fight: Justin McElfresh def. Ron “Killing Fields” Fields – Submission (Armbar) Rd. 1
Kerry “Meat Truck” Schall def. Geza Kalman – TKO (Guillotine Choke) Rd. 1
Mike “Komodo” Marrello def. Josh Taibl – Submission (RNC) Rd. 1
XFO 145 lb Title Fight: Matt “Sunshine” Fiordirosa def. Justin Robbins – Submission (RNC) Rd. 1
Terry Martin def. Jason Guida – KO Rd. 3
Donnie “Mad Dog” Liles def. Brian Gassaway – Submission (RNC) Rd. 1
Chris “Crazy Man” McDaniels def. Bob Schirmer – KO Rd. 1
Alonzo Spellman def. Antoine “Herc” Hayes – Unanimous Decision Rd. 3
Jeff “Big Frog” Curran def. Rafael Assuncao – Split Decision Rd. 3
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