Badbeat 7: BAMMAUSA comes to Commerce Casino

I’ve been waiting for this. BAMMA USA brings its Badbeat series (this is #7) of live MMA events to the Commerce Casino for a fun night of exciting matches once again! I have been to a few of these and I have to say, I’ve never been disappointed. Without a doubt, BAMMA USA runs some of the best MMA events in the region. The show is efficiently run, with good sightlines and live videostream but most of all, and I can’t overstate the importance of this: well-matched fights. When you see an event thrown by BAMMA USA, you can be sure you’re going to have a great time and see some solid action.

The Fights

Nick Piecuch vs. Chris “Buffalo” Schommer, Light Heavyweights
Schommer working his kicks, punishing the legs of Piecuch.  Schommer is solid, much more defined than Piecuch, and both guys are making their pro MMA debut tonight. Schommer shoots in on Piecuch, taking him down and pounding him with hammerfists.
Winner: Chris Schommer, TKO Strikes, 1:39 of round one

Mike “Mighty Mouse” Hansen vs. Ron Scolesdang, Bantamweights
From the big-ish boys to the little guys, predictably fast action. Hansen shoots in, Scoledang evades, lands several blows to Hansen’s head… it’s over.
Winner: Ron Scolesdang, TKO Strikes, of 26 seconds of round one

This may be an early night…

Tony Stewart vs. Adam Gonzalez, Welterweights
Tony Stewart enters the cage first. You know you’re catching a guy at the beginning of his MMA career when he has just the one tattoo… Adam Gonzalez looks confident, smiling as he walks to the cage. Stewart looks more focused. We’ll see. Gonzalez tries to put Stewart against the cage but Stewart evades, takes him down. Gonzalez escapes, reverses and lands some decent ground and pound from within Stewart’s guard. Stewart makes an attempt to get up and Gonzalez gets mount. Gonzalez gets the choke and it’s over quick.

HOWEVER, Gonzalez gets up after getting the victory and stands over Stewart, taunting him. He’s immediately talked to by the officials and is booed by the crowd when his win is announced. Apparently, Stewart talked a lot of trash at the weigh-ins. No one here knows that, though, and so Gonzalez comes off like a jerk. Rise above, my friend: you’re a pro now.
Winner: Adam Gonzalez, guillotine choke, 1:08 of round one

Bronson Caserez vs. Anthony Frank, Flyweights
I take back my earlier statement: Now we get the little guys!  Frank shoots in and Caserez stuffs his attempt at a takedown, lifts him and dumps him on his head. Framk is active on bottom, pretty fluidly working his hips to get his legs up for a sub but Caserez is defending well. We get treated to a Jon Jones/Vitor Belfort style arm bar that ends the same way, with Caserez able to escape and continue his top game. Round one ends that way. Good round.

Finally, we get to a second round! Both guys seem pretty fresh. They stand for a bit until Caserez gets Frank down and they roll. Frank reverses and gets top position in Caserez’ goard, lands some nice elbows. Caserez ties a guillotine and Frank works his way out. Frank lads a few punches as the round ends.

Round three quickly begins like round two ended, with Frank on top landing punches while Caserez throws up submission attempts. After some good ground fighting, we have a decision. A decision I don’t agree with, but here we are.
Winner: Bronson Casarez, Split Decision

Marvin “The Mad Lion” Madariaga vs. Terrion “Flash” Ware, Bantamweights
So far the action has been good. Both guys seem focused. Madariaga is getting the better of the striking, and looks especially good at counterstriking. Both guys swinging for the fences. These guys are fast! Each guy has caught the other’s kick and made them pay. A very active round one, the best of the night so far… I give this to Madariaga.

Round two. Fast action to start. These guys aren’t looking to take it to the mat. Good striking for both. Low blow by Madariaga breaks the action. Ware recovers quickly. They trade pretty well for the rest of the round. Ware moving forward the whole time though. Tough round to call.

Round three. It couldn’t be more than twenty seconds in before another low blow lands on Ware. Madariaga is warned by the ref. And we wait. Ware just takes a minute and he’s ready for action again. The end of this round is why you should go witness some live MMA: what a display of heart, and striking, from both guys! The room was standing and cheering at the end. A great, close fight!
Winner: Terrion Ware, Split Decision

Mike “Pale Horse” Smith vs. John Hernandez, Light Heavyweights
The “Preliminary Card” finishes with with match up of light heavyweights. Hernandez gets the early takedown and lands sparse ground & pound as Smith is controlling his posture pretty well. Uh oh! Von Flue choke!
Winner: John Hernandez, Choke Submission

Main Card

Joege “The Envy” Valdez vs. Eric Brown, Lightweights
Valdez snapping leg kick on Brown. They clinch, Valdez gets the takedown. Brown reverses. Valdez going for the arm bar, gets slammed but holds on… they roll and Brown escapes. Valdez goes for an ankle lock. The man is active on his back! Valdez reverses and goes for a knee lock. Brown escapes.Brown now attempting an ankle lock. Valdez escapes, gets mount. Now back mount. The inevitable Rear Naked choke. Brown escapes. They’re tangled up, Brown on top but Valdez threatening a triangle/arm bar. Brown escapes again. Very active round. Brown finally lands an elbow only to get caught in a triangle. He survives as the round ends.

Round two. Valdez immediately pulls guard. Gets Brown in a triangle. Brown escapes. Almost immediately gets another triangle. Brown gets out again. Brown keeps going to teh ground with this guy and he keeps getting caught in what have to be frustrating submission attempts. One wonders why he doesn’t just back up and make Valdez stand… but still they battle on the ground. Now Valdez is attempting a Kimura, transitioning into an arm bar. Brown gets out of it and the round ends.

Round three. Valdez shoots, gets top position for the first time in this bout. He squanders it and almost gives up his back. Brown ends up on bottom again and Valdez gets a mounted triangle WHICH BROWN ESCAPES! If I didn’t know better, I would think this was a comedy sketch in which one guy (Brown) keeps falling into submissions and the other guy (Valdez) seems to have technically sound submission, over and over again, and can’t finish. It’s the never-ending ground fight… Valdez gets a Kimura on Brown, which Brown, you guessed it, escapes from… and stands again… wading through Valdez’ upkicks to land a punch or the before the round ends.
Winner: Jorge Valdez, Split Decision
Interestingly, two judges had it overwhelmingly for Valdez, the other judge had it slightly for Brown, because, I’m guessing, it’s hard to lose when you’re on top?


Tom “The Grinder” Gloudeman vs. Chris “The Urban Legend” Culley, 150 lb Catchweight
Gloudeman came out and quickly got Culley against the cage, showed some close-in striking and took Culley down, landing fists and elbows. Culley gets Gloudeman in an arm bar and Gloudeman uses the risky “slam” technique to escape. Twice. Gloudeman ends the round on top, dropping fists and elbows.

Round two. Gloudeman gets the takedown but can’t do anything significant with it. Culley reverses, and throws fists with urgency as he has Gloudeman down against the cage. Unfortunately for Culley, Gloudeman quickly gets top position back, and winds around to get Culley’s back. A long struggle ensues as Culley escapes and ends up on top again and again it is short-lived. Gloudeman’s grappling is good and he works to top position again, Culley fighting to get up but fails and the round ends.

Round three. Culley stalking Gloudeman and throwing punches but Gloudeman shoots and gets him against the cage again. Working for a double, Culley’s got good leg position and works his underhooks to stand Gloudeman up for some quick punches before Gloudeman works for a double again. The ref separates them and Culley lands a couple of good knees as Gloudeman works in again and tries another double-leg. Now working on a trip, Gloudeman lands a few knees inside. This whole time, Culley’s been working to fight off the takedown and has managed to get Gloudeman in a standing choke. They struggle against the cage, the choke is lost and The ref separates them again. Culley lands a knee, a flying knee and a punch, knocks Gloudeman down. Gloudeman on all fours facing the cage gets pummeled by punches as Culley gets the stoppage. The crowd erupts in cheers for the victor!
Winner: Chris Culley, TKO Strikes

Sevak “The Silverback” Magakian vs. Nick “No Limit” Piedmont, Featherweights
OK, hang on: The Silverback? At 145 lbs? I mean, “The Magician” was right there! Just sayin’

Round one: Lots of “feeling out” here in the stand-up. Both guys seem to respect each other. There’s a little action at the end of the round but it’s pretty evenly matched. (Side note: There some guy yelling out instructions in German. Not from cageside. From the back of the room. Loud. “<german> Nein! Nein!”… then I start noticing a few guys yelling out instructions in German. Interesting.)

Round two: Whatever was said between round (some of which, I’m guessing, in German) really got these guys motivated. That, or spending the majority of the first round hopping around the cage got them very comfortable. They are going for it! Lots of punches. Lots of hard punches. Someone’s going down. I’m pretty sure.

Round three: More of the same. Crazy ridiculous striking. Like “Rocky” time here. Punches land, punches miss, they work their way around the cage. Piedmont always pushing Magakian back, Magakian usually making him pay for coming in.

Seriously, this is an incredibly even match. One of the things I really appreciate about BAMMA USA is that they have a knack for great matchmaking and there are usually a few matches per event that are spectacular. This is one of those. The last half of the round had the crowd on their feet, yelling and cheering. It was intense! Both guys hung in there until the fight’s end. They both deserved the applause.

That said, it seemed pretty clear from my vantage point that Nick Piedmont won. He was aggressive, landed the bigger shots, dumped Magakian on his back in the second and third rounds and displayed the kind of cage control judges usually look for. I’ll just tell you now, the crowd boo’d the result.
Winner: No Winner: Draw

Kyle Bolt vs. Mike Jasper, Middleweights
I’ve seen Mike Jasper fight a few times now. He’s a fan favorite and Kyle learned that pretty early on when fans boo’d him at his introduction. Or said “boooolt” I’m not totally sure. But they cheered for Jasper, that I am sure about.

Both guys are well-matched. The first round was an active one. Right away, both were effectively striking and it was a crowd-pleaser. Even when Bolt landed. Hell, especially when Bolt landed! Jasper was bloodied by round’s end and Bolt had him on the ground but it was a close, tough round.

Round two: Again, they come out aggressively. Jasper gets Bolt down, gets his back, lands a hard knee to the liver and ends the fight with hard punches to Bolt’s head from the back.
Winner: Mike Jasper, TKO Strikes

Shad Smith vs. “The Real Deal” Chris Beal, Featherweights
Chris Beal has worked his way to Main Event status by giving fans what they want: a professional and entertaining fight. Shad Smith is a tough guy. How tough? Back-of-the-head-tattoo tough.

Round one: There’s a lot of “feeling out” here. They are both dangerous, and in the few exchanges, they trade pretty evenly. Smith has a bad habit of ducking as he’s coming in and swinging, and Beal has a good habit of noticing what his opponent is doing and adjusting. Beal wins the exchanges later in the round. In the limited action, I believe Beal won the round.

Round two: The good news for Smith is that his corner apparently noticed his bad habit too, and he isn’t doing it now. They start out with some back and forth. Then it’s pretty much just Beal going forth. It didn’t take long for Beal to get top position and start punishing Smith. Smith managed to get up and trade with Beal. He knew he had to land big to steal the round. He wasn’t able to do that, though, as Beal is quick and made him miss often.

Round Three: They trade on their feet. Smith kicks and Beal catches it, sending him flying to land flat on his back. Beal pounces, lands punches. Big punches. Beal is really giving it to Smith. I am genuinely surprised he’s still hanging around. He eventually stifles Beal and the ref stands them up. They end the round standing.

Smith brings an interesting energy to the cage. And when I say interesting, I mean, puzzling. As the ring card girl circled inside the cage with her card up before the fight started, Smith grabbed her under both arms and made a face. To the ring card girl’s credit, she kept her composure and finished her walk. (Talking with her after the event, she confirmed he didn’t say anything to her). Smith is a tough guy, and took a lot of punishment in this fight. He was in the fight almost the entire time and was a game opponent, but in the end wasn’t up to the task. After the fight, while everyone was standing around awaiting the decision, Smith took ‘play swings’ at BAMMA USA staff and was a little rambunctious. He knew he’d lost and maybe the embarrassment led him to act out, but it was odd behavior for sure.
Winner: Chris Beal, Unanimous Decision
*After the fight, Beal said he was sick in his post-fight interview. From outside the cage, you couldn’t tell.

All in all, a great night of fights. BAMMA USA definitely gives fans their money’s worth! If you love MMA, you need to get out to a local promotion and see it live—there’s nothing like it! BAMMA USA’s next badbeat (badbeat 8 of course) is set for January 11, 2013. So if we survive 2012, and you’re near Los Angeles, plan on being there!