September 16, 2006

by Ken Pishna (Photo courtesy of April Pishna)
DENVER, COLORADO – Justin Eilers continued his return to form last night with a win over Wade Hamilton. Fighting on the debut show of RMN MMA, it took Eilers a little less than three minutes to put Hamilton away.

Hamilton started off strong, clinching with Eilers and getting him to the ground. But Eilers didn’t take too much of Hamilton’s ground and pound before he reversed and started to pound away to the head and body from a north-south position. Eilers landed several heavy blows to the side of Hamilton’s head before the fighter from Indiana tapped out.

Unfortunately for Eilers, and the show’s promoter, there weren’t a lot of people on hand to see him win. Though no official numbers were reported, the crowd appeared to be less than 1,000 in a venue that holds more than 5,000.

Even with the light crowd, many of the fighters performed as if it were a sold out house. A highlight of the show was a 175-pound, four-man tournament that was won by a fighter who was only competing in his second and third fights ever. Of course, it makes a little more sense when that fighter is a product of the Chute Boxe USA camp.

Anthony Johnson had to take both of his fights to decisions, but was very impressive in each as he won the $3,000 tournament. In the final bout, he went head-to-head with the wrestling skills of veteran fighter Keith Wilson before taking over in the second round. As the second stanza opened, Johnson caught Wilson with a knee to the head that he never seemed to fully recover from.

Calm and composed in the ring and with excellent striking skills, Johnson was atypical of what you would expect of a Chute Boxe fighter. His demeanor is much the same as his more famous Chute Boxe brethren Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Along with teammate Jorge Olivera, Johnson is a fine example of the type of fighter Chute Boxe’s USA branch is producing.

Other highlights on the night included a dominating performance by Kevin English, who executed an impressive side choke on Jose Luis Murillo, as well as a fight of the night performance from Chad Romero and Victor Murillo in an amateur bout.

Justin Eilers def. Wade Hamilton by Submission to Strikes at 2:37, Round 1

Anthony Johnson def. Keith Wilson by Majority Decision, 2 Rounds

Kevin English def. Jose Murillo by Side Choke at 0:48, Round 1
Rocky Ashby def. Joey Welch by Arm Bar at 1:32, Round 1
Chris Sisneros def. Travis Sherman by Arm Triangle Choke at 1:37, Round 1

Keith Wilson def. Jeremy Dimon by Rear Naked Choke at 2:22, Round 1
Anthony Johnson def. Rich Mascowitz by Unanimous Decision, 2 Rounds

Chad Romero def. Victor Murillo by Split Decision, 3 Rounds
Frankie McIvery def. Mike Gonzales by Kimura at 2:43, Round 1
Dan Armintrout def. Roy Elliott by Guillotine Choke at 0:53, Round 1
Hung Than def. Randall Schuckman by Arm Bar at 1:16, Round 1