NFA: Fighting the Stigma - Recap
The ever-improving Tyler Madding and the pressure-washer style of Irfan Mulabitinovic were among the highlights of Saturday's Nemesis Fighting Alliance: Fighting the Stigma, amateur mixed martial arts action in Arnold, MO.
The lone event of the year for the NFA was well attended with promoter Beejay Smith donating proceeds of every one of the over 600 tickets sold the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
"Great night," Smith said. "This is why I have one event a year. I have one event and it's extremely legit. If I could do more, I would, but I'm not going to put on a show for the sake of putting on a show. If I can't guarantee it's going to be a show like this, it's not worth doing."
Shortly before bell time, event staff had to add more chairs ad the Arnold Eagles Club swelled to capacity, and the crowd was not disappointed.
"We had to bring in three different rows, and add more chairs in the back." Smith said. "It was pretty insane in here. Fights were awesome, one decision, it wasn't like one-hit knockouts, it was second rounders. I'm going to have to go back and watch them to see what my favorite was. Erik Newman and Steven Coleman did not disappoint. Jesus Garcia and "Wildman" (Butler) was an awesome fight. Jesus Garcia and Jonathan Bradberry put on an awesome show for two big guys"
In the main event, the young Madding, a welterweight out of the Academy of Courage, attacked the body of Peter Paplanus with vigor from the opening bell. Madding mixed in punches, knees and kicks to the body to slow Paplanus to a halt. Paplanus changed the tides just for a second with a nice trip but Madding was back to his feet, searching for a standing choke. Paplanu grinded into Madding but once separation occurred, Madding landed two kicks, a knee, and then some nice straight punches to finish the fight at 2:30 in the first round.
Irfan Mulabitinovic, out of Absolute MMA, overwhelmed Rodney Cotten in the featherweight co-main event.
Mulabitinovic came out ready to go and eventually took the fight to the ground, where he stayed heavy on top. Once back to their feet, Mulabitinovic landed repeated punches while Cotten was stuck with his back to the cage. Mulabitinovic eventually got a Thai clinch and landed several knees to the body. Mulabitinovic scored a trip for a takedown and ended the round in dominate position.
The second round saw Mulabitinovic lead off with some quick kicks and the pair snared up in the clinch. Mulabitinovic got another takedown and stayed heavy on top. Cotten's only spark of offense came late in the round with an arm bar attempt but Mulabitinovic was simply too heavy on top for him to finish. Mulabitinovic continued his strategy in the third round and cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
Say what you will about super-heavyweight bouts, but Joe Jennings and Jonathan Bradberry skewed this writer's opinion about them. The 321-pound Jennings and 397-pound Bradberry stood toe-to-toe for all three rounds with Bradberry getting the unanimous decision win. The two traded short punches within the clinch early on with Jennings absorbing the brunt of the punishment. Bradberry's hand speed was the difference over the course of the next two rounds as the Modern Combat Systems' fighter repeatedly landed punches.
In the night's only K1 action, Steven Coleman poured it on thick and heavy against Erik Newman. In the first round, Coleman's right hand consistently landed. In the second, a short right by Coleman put Newman down and Coleman followed with two sturdy kicks, including a heavy one to the body. Coleman continued to pour it on while Newman was stationary against the fence. As Newman tired, Coleman went in for the finish getting it at the 1:22 mark in the second via TKO by doctor's stoppage when Newman emptied the contents of his stomach onto the canvas.
Bryan Greer gave the talented Alex Macias some trouble in the first round of their featherweight match-up. But in the second, Macias landed two leg kicks before going up high and finishing things early in the round with a big head kick knockout.
In the first round, Greer scored an early takedown but Macias' ground game nullified any progress and the fighters were stood up. Greer landed a heavy right hand towards the end of the round and Macias shot in for a nice takedown.
Kevin Mueller was determined in getting a second round finish of Derrick Davis.
In the first round, Mueller reversed position after getting taken down, ended up in mount and landed some heavy shots. Davis spun out from underneath and ended up on top. Mueller tried a triangle that just wouldn't take. Davis was able to land a couple of punches while in the submission attempt before the end of the first round.
Davis slipped on a kick attempt to start the second round and Mueller swarmed in, but was patient. Mueller eventually transitioned to mount and got the stop at the 2:33 mark of the round.
Six hundred-and-thirty pounds of fighter was in the cage as super-heavyweights Josh Davison and Nick Darnell met before intermission. Darnell pushed Davison to the fence and eventually to the floor. From side control, Darnell thumped away before getting the stop at the 50-second mark due to a tap from strikes.
Cody Naucke and Brandon Aubuchon put together 67 seconds worth of wall-to-wall, berserker action. The two welterweights threw hard and heavy from the jump. Naucke was tenacious in searching for Aubuchon's neck. After a wild exchange, Naucke landed a solid kick that spun Aubuchon. Naucke lept onto his back and got the rear naked choke finish at the 1:07 mark.
Jesus Garcia and TraVon Butler gave the crowd plenty.
In the first round, both had nice exchanges early. Butler, out of Modern Combat Systems, pressed Garcia against the fence where the two jockeyed for position. Once separated, the pair traded wild exchanges with both landing big, heavy shots. Butler ended the round with a solid left and a heavy knee while Garcia's back was to the fence.
In the second round, Butler got an early takedown but Garcia bulled his way back to his feet. Butler, while working a single leg, pushed Garcia to the fence and landed a knee to the body. The rest of round stalemated there.
In the third round, both swung for the fences. Butler dragged Garcia to the ground and landed some nice damage. Butler made his way to mount. Garcia, while exhausted, defended well. Butler broke through for a smattering of ground and pound before getting the head and arm submission while in Garcia's guard at the 2:53 mark of the final round.
Calvin Williams, out of Modern Combat Systems, got a second-round finish victory over Dustin Moore. Moore scored a takedown in the first and quickly went to mount. Williams bucked his way back on top and ended up in mount. Williams took the back, sank in a body triangle and did some nice damage while there. Moore scored another takedown to start the second, Williams got back to the feet and eventually got the TKO.
Dan Baker made a nice MMA debut against a very capable Miles McLemore. After a wild start, Baker scored a takedown. McLemore worked well off his back but Baker eventually rained down enough punches to get the TKO stop at 2:10 in the first
To kick start the night, heavyweights Chad Brown and Sam Stevenor went back and forth. Brown came out with a flurry eventually getting a takedown and transitioning to mount. Stevenor bucked and reversed position, ending up on top where he round out the round. Stevenor put on the pressure from the start of the second round, forced Brown to the fence and eventually to the floor where he got the TKO finish 40 seconds into the round.