September 25, 2006

by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com (Photo courtesy of IFL/April Pishna)
MOLINE, ILLINOIS — 6,212 fans filed in to The Mark in Moline, Illinois Saturday night to see their hometown Silverbacks led by local hero Pat Miletich take on the New York Pitbulls coached by Renzo Gracie. The crowd witnessed their Silverbacks squeak out a 3-2 team victory, Pat Miletich’s return to mixed martial arts competition in a losing effort against Gracie, and the Carlos Newton led Toronto Dragons defeat Frank Shamrock’s San Jose Razorclaws 3-2 in their IFL team debuts.

It had been more than four years since “The Croatian Sensation” Pat Miletich competed in mixed martial arts when he climbed between the ropes to take on Renzo Gracie Saturday night. The local crowd went ape as the Silverbacks coach made his entrance to the ring. Three minutes and thirty-seven seconds later it was Renzo who was hoisted on the shoulders of his team as they celebrated his guillotine choke victory with chants, “Renzo…Gracie.”

The bout began with both fighters feeling each other out, exchanging jabs for the first two minutes. As they clinched, Renzo pulled guard and slapped on a guillotine while Miletich remained standing. “I didn’t think he thought he had anything,” Pat told MMAWeekly following the fight. Renzo did have something. As Miletich pressed him against the ropes, Gracie sunk in the choke and it was only a matter of time before Miletich was forced to tap out.

Asked if he’d fight again, Miletich said, “I’m done.” But the mixed martial arts legend considered it a personal victory to be able to return to combat after suffering a serious neck injury four years ago despite the outcome. His future in MMA will be as a coach and trainer.

The team action began with a very competitive match up between lightweights Bart Palaszewski and Marcio Feitosa. The first round could have gone either way as Feitosa secured a couple of takedowns, but wasn’t able to do much from there as the referee stood the fighters up twice. Round two was all Feitosa. He was able to get Palaszewski to the ground and work some ground and pound. Round three Bart dropped Feitosa with a right hand and followed up with big shots while standing over Feitosa, nearly finishing him. In the end, Bart Palaszewski put the Silverbacks on the scoreboard 1-0 with a split decision victory (29-28, 30-28, 29-28).

Rory Markham put the Silverbacks up 2-0 in his welterweight bout against Marcelo Dos Santos, winning by TKO in the first round after dropping Marcelo with a right hand and finishing him with ground and pound.

With the Silverbacks up 2-0, the Gracie led Pitbulls had their backs against the wall. Fabio Leopoldo got the first win of the night for the Pitbulls with a knee bar submission win over Ryan McGivern in round two. Fabio was in trouble in the first round when Ryan staggered him with a punch and eventually mounted Leopoldo. In the second round, both fighters came out throwing heavy leather before Fabio pulled guard and finished McGivern with the knee bar.

With the team tally of 2-1 for the Silverbacks, Andre Gusmao and Mike Ciesnolevicz made their way to the ring. It was a must win for the Pitbulls and Andre stepped up to the challenge. The first round saw Gusmao attempt two guillotine chokes unsuccessfully, leaving Mike in his guard peppering him with punches. As round two began, Gusmao flurried on his opponent, stunning him. After getting the fight to the ground, Gusmao finished Ciesnolevicz with heavy punches forcing the referee to stop the action at 1:01 of the second round.

The teams were tied at 2-2 going into the final bout between heavyweights Ben Rothwell and Bryan Vetell. Vetell was game, rushing Rothwell and clinching early in round one, but a Rothwell right hand ended the fight at 3:17 of round one. Vetell was out cold, and the defending IFL team champion Silverbacks defeat the New York Pitbulls 3-2 and advanced toward another team title.

Both teams made their IFL debut Saturday night. Josh Odom of the Razorclaws took on MMA newcomer Rob Di Censo in lightweight action. In the first round, Odom landed several good leg kicks and kicks to the body. He opened the second round with a spinning back kick to the body of Di Censo. Later in the round a point was taken from Odom for grabbing the ropes. With the scoring in question after a point deduction, Odom wasted no time in round three, taking over the fight. He dropped Di Censo with a punch and finished the fight by TKO at 1:47 of the final round. The Razorclaws won their IFL debut fight.

The Dragons would tie up the team competition at 1-1 in the second match up as Claude Patrick defeated Ray Steinbeiss by guillotine choke. Patrick controlled the fight. He mounted Ray and was working some ground and pound when he applied the chokehold that would end the fight.

With the teams tied at 1-1, Joe Doerksen took on Brian Foster to break the tie. Foster landed right hand after right hand hurting Doerksen in the first round. Joe was in trouble early, but weathered the storm to come out and finish the fight in the second round by rear naked choke.

Now the Dragons were up 2-1 over the Razorclaws. Raphael Davis and Brent Beauparlant put on a slugfest in the first round with Davis pushing the pace. Both fighters’ mouthpieces were on the canvas at one point in the opening round as each fighter took big shots. Beauparlant took over the fight in the second round as fatigue sat in on Davis. Brent suplexed Davis in the closing moments of round two. In the final round Brent dropped Davis with a right hand and mounted him. Both fighters were close to being finished a couple of times during the fight, but it was Brent Beauparlant who came away with a unanimous decision. It was a war!

The Dragons had won the team match up, but there was still the heavyweight fight to go between Razorclaws Travis Wiuff and Dragons Wojtek Kaszowski. Wiuff controlled the entire first round, taking Kaszowski to the mat and working from side control. As the round ended, Travis was working for a Kimura. In the second round, Wiuff sent Kaszowski to the canvas with a straight right hand and worked ground and pound from Kaszowski’s guard the rest of the round. The third round was much like the first two with Wiuff in control. Wiuff won by unanimous decision, but the Dragons defeated the Razorclaws 3-2.

The event kicked off with two preliminary/alternate bouts. Pitbulls middleweight Delson Heleno defeated Silverbacks Ben Uker by TKO at 3:14 of round one after landing a knee followed by some well-placed punches forcing the referee to stop the action.

In the second preliminary bout, Jeff Quinlin of the Razorclaws took on the Dragons’ Dennis Hallman. Hallman came out and immediately looked to get the fight to the ground. The first two rounds, Hallman controlled much of the action working for submissions. Quinlan came on in the third, hurting Hallman with strikes, but it too little too late as the judges rendered a majority decision for Dennis Hallman.

World Team Championship
September 23, 2006
The Mark of Quad Cities
Moline, Illinois

Renzo Gracie defeated Pat Miletich by Guillotine Choke at 3:37, Round 1.


Bart Palaszewski defeated Marcio Feitosa by split decision (29-28, 30-28, 29-28).

Rory Markham defeated Marcelo Dos Santos by TKO (strikes) at 3:58. Round 2.

Fabio Leopoldo defeated Ryan McGivern by Knee Bar at 2:49, Round 2.

Andre Gusmao defeated Mike Ciesnolevicz by TKO at 1:01, Round 2.

Ben Rothwell defeated Bryan Vetell by KO at 3:17, Round 1.

Delson Heleno defeated Ben Uker by TKO at 3:14. Round 1.


Josh Odom defeated Rob Di Censo by TKO at 1:47, Round 3.

Claude Patrick defeated Ray Steinbeiss by Guillotine Choke at 3:12, Round 1.

Joe Doerksen defeated Brian Foster by Rear Naked Choke at 3:40, Round 2.

Brent Beauparlant defeated Raphael Davis by unanimous decision.

Travis Wiuff defeated Wojtek Kaszowski by unanimous decision.

Dennis Hallman defeated Jeff Quinlan by majority decision (29-27, 29-29, 29-28)