Review by Joe Pawlus – Photos by Thomas Michael Rozdzynski

By Joseph Pawlus

Photos courtesy of Thomas Michael
Rozdzynski / ThruMyEye.com


Report by Joseph Pawlus


Ind. – The Hammond Civic Center once again served as the proving grounds
for some of the best mixed martial arts fighters from the Midwest. The
seventeenth installment of the Total Fight Challenge, Rising Stars hosted 13
bouts from both the amateur and professional divisions.


featherweight title bout featured an incredible battle between two warriors
making their way up the MMA food chain. Seasoned veteran Charles Wilson faced
off against the swiftly rising Uflacker Academy prodigy Yusup Saadulaev.


tested the waters with his trademark axe kicks, but had a hard time finding a
home for his strikes. Saadulaev continued to move around, avoiding any damage
from his lanky opponent’s often lethal kicks. Saadulaev eventually took his
shot and brought Wilson to the mat. To his credit, Wilson aptly defended
numerous submission attempts, but Saadulaev maintained control with a
combination of knee on stomach technique and side control.


second round was once again all Saadulaev, as he fired a continuous string of
submission attempts at Wilson.


the third round, Saadulaev once again achieved the takedown, but Wilson was
able to reverse it and take Saadulaev’s back. For nearly two-and-a-half
minutes, Wilson controlled his opponent and continued to work for a rear naked
choke. It appeared that he was going to finish the fight via choke, but
Saadulaev escaped with 30 seconds left and got back to his feet.


dominated the fourth and fifth rounds, but was unable to finish Wilson.
Saadulaev went home with the belt by way of unanimous decision and became the
new Total Fight Challenge featherweight champion.


Colon’s Lloyd Carter held his ground against one of the original Total Fight
Challenge warrior’s, Wade Choate. Choate has been fighting in the Total Fight
Challenge since the very first event. Carter and Choate had no intention of
going to the ground as the bout quickly became a kickboxing contest. The entire
first round was an even exchange of kicks and punches and was too close to


second round was essentially the same as the first until Carter caught Choate
with a solid right cross. Choate tumbled backwards, Carter followed him to the
mat with strikes, and the referee called an end to the contest by way of TKO.


fight earning the honorable mention came from the heavyweight amateur division
as Torres Martial Arts Academy’s Bill Johnson stepped up from light heavyweight
to heavyweight to battle against Calvin Cleveland (6-2). Johnson controlled the
entire fight from beginning to end. After landing a few punches, followed by a
handful of crisp knees, Johnson tore Cleveland to the ground and used side
control to impose his will. From side control Johnson stepped over his opponent
and forced his opponent to tap due to armbar early in the first round.


next Total Fight Challenge will take place on Friday, Nov. 20 at the Hammond
Civic Center. Check www.totalfightchallenge.com
to get updates and check out some of the promotion’s archived footage.


Pro Bouts:

Saadulaev def. Charles Wilson by Unanimous Decision, R5

Ray def. Brandon Samal by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 0:46, R1

Reardanz def. Kris Boyden by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:02, R1

Novacheck def. Curtis Bailey by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:18, R1

Elkins def. Bryan Neville by TKO at 1:27, R1

Carter def. Wade Choate by TKO at 0:25, R2

Keanan def. Brandon Strong by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:00, R1

Carpenter def. Tim Hemmingway by Submission (Kimura) at 0:50, R1

Golden def. Chris Johnson by Submission (Kimura) at 1:53, R1



Johnson def. Calvin Cleveland by Submission (Armbar) at 1:17, R1

Camacho def. Dan Johnson by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 0:48, R1

Husarik def. Thomas Rowley by Submission (Armbar) at 1:50, R2

Blankenship def. Alfonso Bray by TKO at 2:10, R1