First off, this place was packed. A respective journalist pointed out to me, that it wasn't just packed full of MMA fans. The place was full of sports fans from Maine and a few areas surrounding. Bruins shirts, sox hats..man..this looked like any big New England sporting event!
The cage was set up in the middle of the, well, large gymnasium as it turned out to be. Bleachers were set up like a Celtics game, and just like at the Celtics, there were fans in every inch of the arena. The cage had lights hovering just a few feet away from it, very different from other local promotions. They had some cool lighting effects going on as well, which lit up the cage - yellow, green, blue, red, purple.
Parking was great. We parked for free at the near-by hospital parking garage. The walk from the garage to the Expo Center was about a block..very short walk. Why didn't we park at the expo? The lot was full! I told you it was packed! The GFL team was very hospitible in helping the media and others set up. Venue owners were extatic about their locations. One vendor mentioned, "When I walked in they said, 'Here's your table, You'll be here.' and all I thought was this is perfect."
The venues were classics, and some new. The classics like Get Punched, Suckerpunch Athletics, and PVL Brand were selling stuff like hot-cakes. Looking out into the crowd made me believe they may has well made everything "Sponsored by Suckerpunch Athletics." A sea of S.P.A. shirts proved that Maine goes hard by backing up the statement "Talk Shit Get Hit!" PVL brand sponsored the cage, and their logo was seen everywhere. Matt from Get Punched said he had a great night of sales. When venders talk like that, you know the event was good.
As the starting fighters were announced, the first thing we were reminded of, visually, was Maine's ruling on shin guards. All fighters wore the same red shin pads to respect Main Athletic Commission law.
The lights dimmed, everyone turned to view the center stage.
The fights that we admired the most, even though they were all great; were Cecil Haney vs Tom Balzano, Jill Valenzuela vs Sarah McLeod, Trevor Kell vs Ted Washburn, and Shaun Durfee vs John Johnston. Cecil Tom was quite the battle. Jill vs. Sarah got the crowd going, and the two girls went at it HARD for the win. Trevor vs. Ted was another great battle. Shaun vs. John was a battle that showed heart from both fighters. John injured his ankle before the fight even started, when he walked into the cage; yet he still pulled out a victory.
All the fights were great. There were a few quick wins, but most were hard grinds to pull out the "W."
I don't know who got a bigger reaction from the crowd..Josh Watson in his fight against Carlos Lovato, or Marcus Davis in his fight against Travis Coyle! Josh's fan base was, no lie, HUGE. There were shirts with his face on it everywhere. As soon as he entered the room the cheers started and didn't stop. At the end of his fight, he lifted his shirt to show his "207" (Maine's Area Code) tattoo, and thanked his fans.
When Marcus came out, the crowd acted like a huge star was in the room - for good reason, there was! Marcus is a no-joke UFC veteran, who is still as hungry as ever! Everyone rushed to his walk-out area to get a glipse of their favorite fighter, from their state. After his fight, he took pictures with fans who waited eagerly by his departure area.
Tonight was spectacular. Honestly, it was refreshing to see an MMA event pulled out so seemlessly as a "sporting event," and the reaction from the crowd was nothing but positive. There is no doubt in my mind that not a single person left there disappointed. Even the losing fighters had to be proud to be part of such a great collaberation of fans, brands, teams, heart, guts, and glory.
GFL 13 "Heavy Hitters" was a heavy-blow (in a good way) to local MMA, as the event successfully made all involved ecstatic, and ready for more! The next GFL event is rumored to be in January, but we'll keep you all posted!
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Want to get an early look at the fight descriptions?
(Some names aren't accessible yet and will be marked as colors):
RED vs. BLUE
RED is totally dominating this round on the ground. Landing punch after punch on blue. Punching, elbowing, grinding it out on Blue. Keeping his hips low, he continues to control the round as it is nearly through. Punch, punch, end round one.
Blue tries for a kick, he seems beat up already. Red takes a few sloppy munches, and then lands a straight right dropping blue to the ground. Postured up, he lands a few more blows. This doesn't look good for Blue. Red then lays on Blue in side control, landing a stomach shot. Blue seems tired and can't hip thrust out. Red seems very comfortable on top, and is in no rush to change positions. He looks like he is going for a crucifix. He does, and lands a great deal of punches to blues face. The ref stops the fight.
RED by GNP Round 2 (2:00)
Ken Kersch (RED) vs Caleb Costello (BLUE)
Round starts with a quick dance haulted by a good Caleb takedown. The fighters are in north south position, as Ken tries to escape. Caleb lands some nice punches on Ken. Ken traps both Calebs arms trying out different hip escapes. Caleb seems in great control, he is now in side control . Ken tries to reverse it, quick scramble, and Caleb is back in side control. North South position again, with Caleb trying a north south choke on Ken. The round fades, as does Caleb's arm strength.
Touch gloves, a few teeps, knee feint, and Ken presses Caleb against the cage. He tries for a guillotine but Caleb flips and they roll into Ken on top. With Ken on top, things are looking much better for him in this round. Then, Caleb slaps on an arbar. Ken answers by dropping some heavy punches on calebs face, resulting in Ken being in half guard, on top, still in control. This round is the opposite of round one! Ken tries a few body shots, and stays heavy on Caleb. The fight is at a stand-still, with Ken still on top. 10 second sound, and Ken stands up and lands a few more decent punches to Caleb below.
Kick by Ken, superman punch. Caleb lands a good cross, and now they are clinched. Ken hits caleb with a knee and tries for another guillotine. Another soft knee doesn't change Caleb's mind about holding in and waiting until Ken gasses out. The grip fades, and they are back in clinch with a wizzer. Ken single-legs Caleb, and is in half guard. He lands a few punches down on Caleb. One, Two, Three big punches. "Punch that !@#$%" says a fan behind me, "Beat the !@#$ out of him." He tries for another guillotine..man he loves these things! Caleb goes for an arbar again, and is nearly on the top of his head as Ken holds him up. Round ends.
Ken Kersch by Unanimous.
(Blue) vs (Red)
This fight is pretty even, we got back and forth against the cage. punches from both fighters, this my friends, is a close battle. As you may be able to tell, someone came up and started talking to me during this round, but pretty even firstround.
Round two looks like Roc-em-sock-em robots. Red presses blue up against the cage, . Not too much action going on, well, there is a lot of action but it is short hits from both fighters that don't seem to be doing buch damage. They are kind of caught up in the clinch. The ref seperates them and makes them start fromt he middle again. More rock-em-sock-em, and now they are pressed up aginst the cage again. Blue slams red down, and now is in Red's full guard.Some light punches and grinding elbows from Blue, and round ends.
Blue takes red down into the cage. Blue trying to advance . Red stands up brining blue up with him. Now, Blue has red against the cage. They turn the clinch around. Blue takes red down and now is in Reds full guard. These two seem to stifle each other out. Blue is overing over red's back, landing some punches to the side of the head. These punches either are light or Red's head can stifle the shock pretty well!
|||||||||||||||||||Break (10 minutes)|||||||||||||||||||
Shaun Head vs Scott Lavoie
Big takedown from Scott. Ground and pound. Goes for armbar.
Winner. Scott (23seconds by armbar.)
Cecil Haney (Red) vs Tom Balzano (Blue)
Nice early takedown by Tom. Cecil does a good job of controllin Tom's posture. Looks like Cecil is trying to get in a good position to strap on a triangle or armbar..Tom won't have it. Cecil's guard is high on Tom's back . Decent slam by Tom. Cecil tries for the armbar, but winds up with Tom on his back shooting some knees onto the turtled Cecil. Tom is laying down some punches as Cecil holds onto Tom's leg. He (Cecil) may be trying for a knee bar.
Tom takes Cecil down right away. Cecil tries for an arbar. Tom slams tom to try to get him to let go of it. Slams him again. Slams him a third time. Scramble, Tom still on top. North-south position with Cecil turtled. Tom is on top in half guard. High halfguard with his armpuit over Cecil's chin. Tom hits him in the face a few times. Tom is still in tom's half guard. North-south again. Tom is now in Cecil's full guard. Cecil has a high guard again. Tom postures up to break the guard, it works. Both fighters are kinda stuck until round end.
Tom tries for a spinning backfist, mises, and Cecil takes him down. Tom winds up on top with Cecil going for yet another armbar. Tom tries slamming him to get rid of it again, it works. Cecil has Tom in high guard. Tom has Cecil's turtled back from the side. Tom is puting his weight on Cecil. They stand up. Tom tries to take down Cecil and Cecil slaps a gulliotine choke on. It doesn't seem to bother Tom. Tom winds up on top again in half guard.
Tom Balzano (Blue) Split Decision
Buck Pineau (Red) vs Paul Sokolowski (Blue)
Great strikes from both sides. Buck rocks Paul with a straight right, and then takes him down. He winds up in full mount, and they scramble to north south. Buck takes Paul down again, only this time he winds up underneath, as Paul works in his full guard. Now Paul is on Buck's back, scramble, Buck is now in Paul's guard. Paul slaps a triangle on Buck. Then Buck postures. Paul switches it to an armbar, and Buck drops him on his head. Buck ends up in full mount.
Buck takes Paul down, and lands some quick punches from full mount. He then tries for a darce choke, and it slips out. Buck covers Paul's mouth, lays down some punches. He's still in full mount. Paul tries to posture, Buck takes his back, then chokes him out.
Buck (Red) by Rear naked.
GFL'S first female bout.
Maria Rios (Red) vs Heather Lambert (Blue)
The girls come out with fists flying, Maria pushes Heather against the cage. Big slam by Maria. Heather is struggling as Maria has her in side control. Maria mounts Heather, scramble, north south. Now Maria has Heather's back. Working the choke, flattens Heather out...punches from the side. Still working the choke. Lays it in good..then Lets go. Heather turns around, punches from the bottom. Maria answeres with a hailstorm from the top, tries for the choke again, round ends.
Maria kicks, Heather takes her down. It's now Heathers's turn to try to work something from inside Maria's guard. Maria slaps on a triangle, loose, tries to get it in tighter. The fighters roll up (Maria is now sitting on Heather's neck), Maria still has the triangle on, with Heather getting the worst of it. Punches, quick stoppage by the referree, good stoppage too..Maria was hammering away!
Stoppage due to strikes. Maria Rios won.
How do you feel. "Awesome" she says as the crowd laughs. She wants to fight for GFL again bad.
Jill Valenzuela vs Sarah McLeod
Not gonna lie. Sarah's entrance was sexy. Girls should always wear the under armor
Jill pushes Sarah against the cage. Sarah tries to keep her posture. Lands a few punches on Jill. They fall, and Sarah lands a few more punches. Jill sweeps her over, and is now on top in Sarah's guard. Jill is trying to choke Sarah out, but Sarah's not having it. A few love taps from Jill, as she sits high on Sarah, sneaking into full mount. They scramble, and Jill's flexibility keeps her on top. Sarah reverses it, and reigns down the punches, but leaves her left arm open for an armbar. Jill takes advantage and tries to put the armbar on tight. Now Jill is sitting on Sarah's head. Movements by Sarah put Jill at side control, round ends.
Sarah looks pumped for round two. Jill meets her in the middle, tap. Quite a few punches by Sarah leaves Jill a little shook up. Jill pushes Sarah against the cage, throws a knee, and takes her down. Jill winds up on top, and then Sarah comes up to meet her standing. Knee by Sarah into Jill's stomach. Another knee. Sarah wants to keep this a stand up battle. Jill tries to take her down, and Sarah wins up on top. Then Jill single-legs and lands in Sarah's guard. Sarah tries hitting Jill's back with two right heels. Jill returns by kneeing her in the butt. Sarah has a HIGH guard on Jill, reverses the position, and now Sarah is on top. Jill slaps on the armbar GOOD, but Sarah still won't give in. She seems not too worried about the armbar as she traps Jill's head in her legs and punches her with her free arm. Man this Sarah girl looks for any opening to punch!
Jill looks more eager this round. On fire, she throws Sarah to the ground. The crowd cheers with excitement. Jill tries to shake herself out of Sarah's half guard, and it's working little by little. She's still working to sneak out of half guard. Jill throws a few punches then tries for a darce choke. She has it on her good, but again, Sarah doesn't care. She punches Jill in the ribs. Jill is giving this choke her all, trying to finish Sarah. The choke appears to be working for a moment, and then Jill gives it up. She gets back in Sarah's half-guard, and tries a few elbows. She then had Sarah in full mount for one second, but a scramble leaves her in side control. She sneaks onto full "fat-boy" mount again, with Sarah on her side, as the round comes to a close.
Sarah is joking around with her corner, doing some shadow boxing. Then her corner man lifts her hand into the air as the crowd lets out another cheer. This fight was definitely a crowd favorite. The judges are taking a bit longer to decide on their winner.
Unanimous - Jill won. (We think Sarah should have won the decision)
Daniel Meuse vs Joel Adams
These two go at it wrestling like crazy. Daniel pins Joel against the cage, and then takes him down with a single. He sneaks into halfguard, then tries to get his back. Joel is now on top, trying his hand at some GNP. Daniel sneaks in an arm-bar which leaves Joel on the ground for a while.
Winner by armbar @ 2:13 rnd 1, Daniel (Red)
Trevor Kell vs Ted Washburn (Blue)
Ted comes out with his Boston garb, and a song by dropkick murphy's.
Trevor has a HUGE crowed here as he got a big cheer during his entrance.
Ted lands a good kick, they trade punches. Trevor looks like he wants to load a knockout punch, while Ted dances around the ring looking for some kicks and jabs. He uses the jab feint to load his kick. Another kick makes me think this guy is going to lay out a lot of them. You could hear that one echo. Trevor throws a few punches that again look loaded. He wants the knockout, while Ted is going for the muay thai clinic. Trevor tries to catch another one of Ted's kicks, didn't work too well. Trevor tries the crane technique aka anderson silva knockout kick, aka front kick. Ted hits Trevor with another two kicks, round ends.
Ted goes for another kick and trevor won't have it this time. He catches it and tries to take Ted down. They stand back up, and ted starts swinging with the kicks again - misses two, but his quick recovery keeps him in the game. Trevor lands a good haymaker, and then they're back at it like normal again. Trevor seems a bit distant as he swings some punches that don't land. I think Ted's kicks have gotten Trevor a little scared. The crowed boos as he swings another punch that misses. (Not a "this fight sucks" boo though, they seem on their toes, wanting to see a little more of trevors punches land.) Ted has landed a few less kicks, but he may be weary of Trevors takedown. The round ends with Trevor swinging for the fences, a HUGE haymaker, but, misses by a mile.
Ted lands a few punches, Trevor lands a headkick, and then rocks Ted with a punch that takes them both to the ground. Trevor ends up on the bottom, and they both decide to stand. Trevor tries another front kick to the chin, but misses. He's still trying for the slugger K.O. - Trevor is definitely not out to beat Ted up, he's out to finish him. He's stalking Ted now, as Ted nervously moves around trying to create space. Trevor catches Ted's foot, and Ted does a in-air spin that releases Trevor's grip on him. They take it to the ground, and at first it looks like Trevor will be the domineant position, but he ends up on the bottom, with Ted in his guard. The round ends with Ted punching Trevor in the left ribs, while trevor has a hold on ted's right arm, lookng to get a kimura.
Spit Decision: Winner Trevor (We think Ted should have won the decision)
Elias Leland (Red) vs Ray Wood (Blue)
Elias takes Ray and shoves him against the cage. Quick scramble leaves Elias on Ray's hips, trying to take him down. Ray ends up on Elias' back, while Elias turtles. Ray throws some tough punches. The match is pretty even, both fighters taking their shots. Ray takes Elias down and lands on his back, but as Elias turtles, Ray decides to stand up. They scramble a bit, and Ray throws a good left kick. Elias tried to hip toss Ray, but failed, and Ray landed on top. Ray is now in Elias' guard as the round ends.
Some good striking trades, Ray picks Elias up and slams him. Ray is now in side control, but decides to stand up. He throws a good kick, punch, then takes Elias down again. Elias tries for the armbar, Ray wont have it, and slips into side control. He stands up again, but buckles right away holding his crotch. Seems there was an Elias upkick that hit him in the junk. He gets his breather, and they start again. Both men trade some punches, Ray lands a kick, Elias lands a punch, and then Ray takes Elias down again. Elias is using rubberguard defense, then lets it go. Ray is trying for some bodyshots, but Elias' guard is pretty good. Ray gets Elias' back, they stand, then go down again, now Ray is on Elias' back again. He tries to sink his hooks in, but they stand up. Ray throws a great kick and some punches..round ends.
Elias comes out swinging. Quick scramble, they go down for a second, then pop right back up. Ray now has Elias' back and takes him down softly. Ray tries to throw some punches. They stand, Elias tries to take Ray down, but Ray takes Elias down. Same old story with Ray on Elias' back, then lets him stand. RAy lands a left kick while Elias is standing, they go on the ground, Ray takes Elias' back full mount, and then lands some punches to his head. They move a bit and blue ends up on top. Ray armbars Elias, and then quickly runs around and hypes up the crowd, jumping on the cage.
Winner round 3 by armbar Ray Wood (blue)
This was Ray's 2nd great fight for GFL
Ernesto Ornelas (RED) vs Steve Desjardins (Blue)
Steve takes Ernesto down, Ernasto brings it back up to their feet, and slaps on a guillotine that DROPS Steve to the cage floor after he taps.
Winner round one 39 seconds Ernesto by Guillotine.
Eloy Kaminski (RED) vs Nate Ainsworth Vermont
Eloy takes Nate down and controls from side control. They are at a stand-still for a few moments, and then Eloy starts trying to work from on top. He tries for full mount, and Nate tries to hip out of it. Eloy tries for the armbar. Eloy takes Nate's back and then tries for the rear naked choke. He gets a body triangle on Nate, and they sit there as Eloy tries to flatten out Nate. They scramble around a bit, but Eloy remains on mount. Eloy tries for darce, and jumps into side control to seal it. He has it on TIGHT, but Nate is hanging in there. The more time goes by, the harder Eloy squeezes. Finally Nate taps.
Winner round one Eloy by Darce
Josh Watson (RED) vs Carlos Lovato
The crowd goes nuts for Josh Watson, who has a huge fan-base here. His family and friends are wearing T-shirts with his face on it, bright green, and they are pumped for his fight.
Josh starts out with a kick and a few jabs. He lands some good shots on Carlos, who seems shook up until he drops Josh to the ground. Carlos is now on top. Josh slaps on an armbar and Carlos answers with a slam. Carlos is now in side control, Josh flips out and they both stand. Punch, kick, punch, kick, Carlos stumbles, Josh lands a big punch knocking Carlos to the ground.
Winner Josh by K.O.
Ryan Sanders vs Vincent Silvestre
Ryan hits Vincent with a few punches, Vincent takes Ryan down. Ryan lands a few "12:00-6:00" elbows to the top/back of Vincent's head, which causes the ref to take off one point. The elbows made Vincent's head bleed. They are in an awkward clinch from the sitting position, and now Vincent has Ryan against the cage. They are stale for a while, trading bodyshots, but nothing big happening. Vincent starts landing some heavy body shots which seem to bother Ryan, but not too much. They stand, now Ryan lands a big knee on Vincent. Vincent tries for the single leg. Ryan tries another knee. They fall to the ground with Vincent on top.
Ryan lands some more elbows, similar to the one that got him DQ'ed, the ref warns him again. Vincent has Ryan pinned against the cage, Ryan seems frustrated that Vincent isn't doing anything, but hesitates before throwing another elbow, because the ref is right over his shoulder. Vincent lands a few more body shots. They stand and vincent tries with a guillotine. Ryan slams him down just as soon as (or slightly after) the bell rings.
They trade some great punches. Ryan drops vincent to the ground. The ref almost stops the fight. Ryan is in Vincents guard raining down some fists. Ryan lands a great elbow, and now Vincent reverses the position. He is now on top, hugging Ryan's hips. Looks a lot like the "press against the cage" deal in round one. The ref stands up the fight. Ryan lands a huge head kick, then Vincent drops. Ryan lands a few more punches but Vincent recovers and gets Ryan into his guard. Vincent looks tired on the bottom, but definitely has heart..or just a really good chin! Ryan tries some "ground and pound." They get stood up (Ryan walked away to get it stood up). Ryan lands a good knee to Vincent's chin. Great left hook, then knee, but he slips and now Vincent is on top in Ryans guard.
Great punches from both guys. Ryan tackles Vincent. Now he is on top, in Vincent's guard. Man these two make for a dangerous stand-up, but both fighters keep taking it to the ground when their opponent starts to light them up with punches. Ryan goes for the guillotine from side control, and gets it. It looked like Vincents head was going to pop off right before he tapped!
Winner by gullotine Ryan.
Shaun Durfee vs John Johnston
Before the fight even started, John Johnston from Team Sit got a little too jump happy and rolled his ankle. He limped around for 30 seconds and then touched his ankle like something was wrong. He then put on a brave face as the fighters names were announced, and met Shaun in the middle.
Shaun rushed towards John and John hit him with a nice knee. It looks like Shaun's game plan is to wrestle John to the ground. Not happening yet though. John turns Shaun against the cage, and then they reverse and Shaun does the same. John lands a great headkick, and then Shaun takes him to the ground..getting full mount right away. Now he has his back, and is trying to get a good arm in for the choke. John turns around, and they exchange punches. Shaun is still in full mount. The crowd chants, "Durfee, Durfee, Durfee," and Shaun responds with a ton of elbows to John's face. He keeps the elbows coming, the crowd chants again. John is trying to hold Shaun's posture down, as he wraps his arms around him. Shaun then moves to side control, and back to mount EASLIY. John definitely isn't thinkning about his jiu jitsu right now. He didn't block Durfee's mount at all. The crowd chants again, and Durfee sits on mount. John lands a straight right from the bottom, which dropps Durfee on his head for a moment. Durfee recovers quick enough for the referee not to stop the fight.
Durfee tries to take John down, John lands a nice knee. Durfee hits him with some sluggers. John teeps Durfee which drops him. He puts on a muay thai clinic as Durfee falls yet again. John lets durfee back up. John hits durfee with a right, drops him one last time.
Winner round two John Johnston.
We were told after the fight that John may have broken his ankle when he entered the cage before the fight.
Marcus Davis vs Travis Coyle
Both fighters are patient. They dance around for a bit, waiting until the other makes a move. You can tell both their game plans are to make the other make the first move. Travis shoots for the takedown, and Marcus Davis stuffs it, and ends up on top. He quickly moves to side control, chokes Travis out via darce.
Winner round one Marcus Davis.
Registered Fighter is commonly welcomed by local MMA promotions to be the only live video event coverage. This event is no different, as we will be giving the MMA fans who can't make it to the event the opportunity to hear the live action of GFL Presents "Heavy Hitters!"
Tune in to the live show come event time. We will be starting coverage around 6:00pm EST, today - Friday, September 23rd.
"SEE" you there!
Date/Time: TODAY, September 23, 2011 7:00 PM
Location: 239 Park Ave
This aint just hype folks..check out the card:
(2-0) Academy of Mixed Martial Arts Shaun Durfee vs John Johnston Team Sityodtong (1-0)
(2-1) Bangor, Maine Ryan Sanders vs Vincent Silvestre (1-2)
(6-3) Nevada Josh Watson vs Carlos Lovato Massachusetts (2-0)
(19-8) Miletich Martial Arts Marcus Davis vs Travis Coyle South Dakota (9-5)
(1-1) Eloy Kaminski vs Nate Ainsworth Vermont (0-2)
(0-0) Maine Elias Leland vs Ray Wood Young's MMA (2-0)
(0-0) Maine Maria Rios vs Heather Lambert Team Kaze (4-0)
(2-2) Academy of Mixed Martial Arts Cecil Haney vs Tom Balzano Maine (1-0)
(0-0) Maine Daniel Meuse vs Joel Adams Maine (0-0)
(1-0) Maine Trevor Kell vs Ted Washburn West Side MMA (0-1)
(0-3) Real Deal MMA Ken Kersch vs Caleb Costello Maine (0-0)
(1-0) Ernesto Ornelas vs Steve Desjardins Team Irish (1-1)
(0-0) Maine Shaun Head vs Scott Lavoie Maine (0-0)
(1-0) Florida Jill Valenzuela vs Sarah McLeod Nebraska (3-3-1)
(2-0) Maine Jonathan Lemke vs Zach Labbay Maine (0-0)
(0-1) New Hampshire Rick Garland vs Nolan Brown Maine (0-0)
(0-0) Maine Buck Pineau vs Paul Sokolowski Vermont (0-0)
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We will be reporting LIVE from this event! See you there!