Gateway Fighting Series 1 - Recap
In his first time at the plate, rookie promoter Jared Daniels-Block hit a home run.
Gateway Fighting Series debuted on Friday bringing action back to the Heart of St. Charles Banquet Center. Gone were the familiar tables that surrounded the cage at the "Heart", as the promoter opted for circular seating which seemed to open up the room. The crowd turned up in big numbers for 11 exciting fights where blood, sweat, and urine were shed.
In the main event, two long, lanky strikers traded kicks, but when the dust settled in the second it was Jamese Taylor standing with his arm raised.
Taylor faced Dirk Jones out of Watson Martial Arts in a special modified rules K1 match that allowed for a 5 second clench.
The match started fairly even with Jones landing a big front kick that put Taylor off balance, but no real damage was inflicted. While the scorecards weren't needed, it was Jones who most likely took the lead after round one.
In the second Taylor stumbled Jones with a big head kick that put him down to one knee. Taylor waited, and picked his shot and again connected with the kick to the head which forced Jones to take a seat in the corner where he would not answer the 10-count awarding Taylor the victory.
Nick Pipitone and John Madaus had the crowd engaged when both fights came out firing combinations in the night's other special rules K1 match.
Madaus controlled the center in the first and seemed to land more strikes. Madaus worked a 1-2 leg kick combination throughout and seemed to be finding a home for his kicks.
In the second Pipitone went on the offensive and began slowing Madaus down with vicious leg kicks that seemed to have Madaus in trouble.
Powered by a large group of supports Madaus turned things around and began working the body. He would absorb more kicks in the process, but the body shots landed more often and cleaner and thus won him the round. Madaus wins 29-28 winning the first and third rounds in a very even fight.
Jennifer Higgins got the best of Lorrie Thorpe winning by decision.
In MMA action, Dan Busch wasted little time and effort against Zachary Burcham. Burcham got kneed in the face in a scramble and verbally submitted midway through the first round.
MCS's Timothy Jackson defeated "Too Cocky" Keith Gorden by unanimous decision. Jackson's wrestling was the difference maker in this one. Early in the first Jackson hit a beautiful double-overhook slam to the tone of this match-up. Jackson was visible tired in the second and third round often resting both hands on his knees which confused Gorden who wasn't able to capitalize.
Montrel James edged out Daniel Jefferson in the nights only other MMA bout. James won a split decision in a very close match that could have went either way. James' ground game continues to improve and helped him avoid Jefferson's submissions. Jefferson nearly ended the fight in the second with a guillotine against the cage, but James survived and later would be declared the victor.
In K1 action, 41-year old Jayson Pohlmann dug deep for a gutsy performance against James Cowan. In the end it wasn't enough as Cowan had Pohlmann in serious danger in the third which helped sway the judges in his favor. Cowan picked up a unanimous decision.
Donnie Greenlee edged out Kody Willyard in a exciting bout between two 200lb+ strikers. Willyward was throwing the overhand right early and often and connected with many, but Greenlee proved a durable chin and out maneuvered Willyard who seemed to be a step or two slower with his footwork.
Chris Peterson Jr defeated Joey Gianino by TKO in the second when Giannino was not able to continue. This was an exciting fight between two straw-weight fighters with a ton of heart.
Jamey Kroesen and Kasey Wade mixed it up in what could easily be considered the fight of the night. Kroesen out of Arnold BJJ and under the guidance of Joseph Mueller used his thunderous kicks to inflict damage to the body of Kasey Wade.
Wade looked to make the fight a brawl and pressured Kroesen into the cage through out the first three rounds. Kroesen eventually used some fancy footwork to spin off the cage and nearly KO'd Wade late in the third. When the fight went to the scorecard it was Kreosen with the nod from the judges.
Kicking things off was a fast paced match-up between Orel Dahan from River City Warriors taking on Watson' Martial Art's Jimmy Timmerberg. Timmerberg came out throwing a high volume of strikes and seemed to fade late in the second which made things interesting. Dahan rallied, but it was not enough as Timmerberg took home the decision victory.
Daniels-Block takes his next swing on April 1st as Gateway Fighting Series returns.
Photos courtesy of Bob Barton Photography