by Joe Pawlus for MMAWeekly.com (Photo by Thomas Michael Rozdzynski)

By Joe Pawlus


HAMMOND, Ind. – The legendary Chicagoland Total Fight
Challenge hosted a night of amateur MMA action Friday night, but it was hard to
tell they weren’t pros. TFC loaded the card with skilled warriors and not a can
among them.


Torres Martial Arts’ up-and-coming light heavyweight Bill
Johnson had to wait until the last minute to find out who he would be fighting
as Joe Gotiya had to find a third last minute replacement. As it turned out,
Modern Martial Arts’ Brando, a huge light heavyweight, showed up to fill the
bill and battle for the amateur belt.


During the first minute, the two opponents engaged in
exploratory circling until Johnson threw a head kick and slipped to the mat.
Brando moved in to strike, but Johnson was already back on his feet. For the
remainder of the round, Johnson played a game of cat and mouse with Brando,
never really gaining his rhythm until the end of the first round. With about a
minute left to go in round one, Johnson engaged with an upper body clinch and
tossed Brando to the ground. With the remaining seconds, Johnson controlled
from the topside position and laid down some leather.


At the beginning of round two, Johnson wasted no time
engaging with strikes, managed to secure a clinch position, and as he brought
Brandon to the mat he was able to secure an armbar. This is the second armbar
victory for Johnson in his last two fights, and the technique was almost


Fight of the night came right out of the box as John Degan
and Alex Markovic let it all hang out. Degan and Markovic spent most of the
fight exchanging brutal strikes and fighting for position in the clinch.
Markovic managed to absorb an incredible amount of punishment, but Degan eventually
mauled his way to a unanimous victory after three rounds.


Malik Elliot earned submission of the night after
brutalizing Efrain Vasquez for a full round. To his credit, Vasquez did
everything he could to avoid being pounded into paste as Elliot put eight years
of wrestling experience to work. Elliot dominated the entire first round, but
Vasquez displayed giant stones as he survived to see round two.


Elliot once again pressed the action from the bell and
slammed Vasquez to the mat. He caught his opponent in a vicious side controlled
kimura at fifty-nine seconds of round two.


Honorable mentions go to the entire card, but standout
performances were handed in by Jeremy Turner, Byron Traylor, Alex Alvarez, Leo
Husarik, and Jeremy Sikorski.


Although it was an entire amateur event, all of the mixed
martial artists demonstrated just how far the sport has evolved.



Total Fight Challenge XVIII – Results:


Light Heavyweight
Amateur Title:

–Bill Johnson def.
Brando by Submission (Armbar) at 0:49, R2


-Guillermo Serement def.
Bobby Reardanz by Split Decision, R3

-Jeremy Turner def.
Byron Traylor by Unanimous Decision, R3

-Malik Elliot def.
Efrain Vasquez by Submission (Kimura) at 0:59, R2

-Mike Cieo def. Ray Bohm
by TKO at 1:27, R1

-Curtis Bailey def. Pete
Barrera by KO (Knee) at 2:38, R1

-Vaughn Camacho def.
Josh Johnson by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 1:08, R1

-Jake Narcy def. KC
Irvin by Submission (Armbar) at 0:39, R1

-Rich Molina def. Tom
Klest at TKO at 1:50, R2

-Alex Alvarez def. Chyle
Vance by TKO at 2:32, R2

-Leo Husarik def. Jeremy
Sikorski by TKO at 1:30, R2

-Dan Aguirre def. Donald
Paskiewicz by TKO at 1:06, R1

-John Degan def. Alex
Markovic by Unanimous Decision, R3