AFO was back Friday night at the Sheraton Braintree for another edition of Pete DiLorenzo’s MMA promotion. Talking to Pete before the fights, he was pumped up for his card which had a main event of undefeated local talent Ken Stone taking on New Jersey native Jason McLean at 145 pounds. Apparently it’s been tough finding opponents for Ken, but McLean looked to be a worthy challenger, coming in with a 3-1 record and an all-American division 1 wrestling background. In addition to the main event, the card had a solid roster with a mix of weight classes, pro fights, amateur bouts, and a women’s match.
As 8:00 and the first fight approached, a good crowd of people started packing into the room. A nice new cage helped fill everything up: this thing was beefy in size compared to some of the other ones on the local scene. There was a slight delay as workers were still getting the padding on the fence columns right at the last minute, and then the crowd let out an appreciative roar when the lights finally dimmed at 8:15 to signal the beginning of the event.
ED LOWELL vs GREG CUCINO (Amateur 3×3 Middleweight)
Blue: Lowell (LA Boxing) – 186 pounds out of Attleboro, MA
Red: Cucino – 180 pounds out of Providence, RI
Round 1: The size disparity before the bell is notable. Lowell is huge and looks to be about 6’5″. Cucino wastes no time moving right in. Cucino throws and lands a nice body shot but Lowell towers over him, absorbs it, steps to the right and throws a straight right that lands flush on the chin. It was a huge shot and Cucino is completely out on the canvas.
Official time was :08 into round 1, Ed Lowell wins by KO. Props to Cucino for trying to take it right to the much bigger Lowell. The weight difference looked to be far more than 6 pounds and it would be great to see him give it a go cutting down to welterweight. As for Ed Lowell, everyone at 185 needs to keep an eye on this guy to see how he follows up on this great performance.
DARREN HAZELTINE vs THAI NGUYEN (Amateur 3×3 Lightweight)
Blue: Hazeltine (LA Boxing) – 155 pounds out of North Attleboro, MA
Red: Nguyen (South Shore) – 156 pounds out of Rockland, MA
Round 1: They start by exchanging some power shots. Nguyen goes for the takedown and gets it, landing in Hazeltine’s half-guard. Nguyen passes to full mount and throws down some good strikes. Hazeltine turns to the side to try and escape but Nguyen is quick to take his back and try for a rear-naked. It was never close and Hazeltine confidently escapes the dangerous position. Round Nguyen.
Round 2: Nguyen shoots for an immediate takedown and lands in full mount. Goes for a straight armbar on Hazeltine’s left arm. Hazeltine is in big trouble as Nguyen extends his arm with a lot of force. Face down, Hazeltine verbally submits and Kevin the Ref calls the fight.
Official time was :32 into round 2, Thai Nguyen wins by Armbar Submission. Hazeltine is visibly upset saying he didn’t tap. Later Kevin gave me the lowdown: Hearing Darren groaning from the armbar, Kevin asked if he was submitting. Darren apparently thought he was answering if he was ok to continue and said yes to wrong question. Too bad if that’s what happened. Nguyen’s slick armbar looked deep and it might have only been a matter of time. Thai looked sharp.
DILLON JENNINGS vs IBRAHIM TODY (Amateur 3×3 Lightweight)
Blue: Jennings (Inner Circle) – 186 pounds out of North Attleboro, MA
Red: Tody (Waikru) – 155 pounds out of Watertown, MA
Tody enters the cage. No cup! He doesn’t seem to care but the ref does. A random cup emerges from somewhere in the building and we all have 2 minutes to imagine the interesting places it has been. Glad that’s over. Doesn’t look like Ibrahim is phased; he’s ready to scrap.
Round 1: Tody goes right for a takedown and wastes no time in trying to grab an armbar. Jennings is ready to defend and he is agile rolling and working to escape as Tody tries to secure it. Jennings’ arm is still being held but now he’s on top of Tody’s side. Jennings rains down several huge knees to the midsection. Tody rolls out and briefly gets full mount but Jennings bounces up. Tody slams him back down and again looks for the armbar immediately. Could be dangerous as he tries to get in position to extend the arm, but time expires. Jennings is an escape artist. Round Tody.
Round 2: Jennings looks to get some striking established and goes right for it. Tody doesn’t want any of it and is able to get another slam takedown. He lands in Jennings’ half butterfly guard. Jennings pulls him into a closed guard and then uses his length to tighten on a body triangle from the bottom. Tody is very quick on the ground and is able to get passed the guard and attacks the arm again. Lots of time left this time and the arm lock is on tightly. Jennings taps.
Didn’t hear the official time but it was about halfway through round 2, Ibrahim Tody wins by Armbar Submission. Exciting and good fight. Bumped into Dillon after and he said it was actually more of a shoulder lock that resulted in the tap out.
JARED KIRKORIAN vs NICK DABROWSKI (Amateur 3×3 Lightweight)
Blue: Kirkorian (John Lequevic Kempo) – 156 pounds out of Cranston, RI
Red: Dabrowski (South Shore) – 160 pounds out of Halifax, MA
Both guys look completely amped and ready to fight!
Round 1: Dabrowski gets a takedown into Kirkorian’s half guard. Lands some really powerful GnP. Back standing only for a second as Dabrowski leaps forward for a standing guillotine. Kirkorian decides to plant him on his back, but the slam doesn’t shake off the choke. Kirkorian is forced to tap.
Official time is 1:17 of round 1, Nick Dabrowski wins by Guillotine Choke Submission.
ANTHONY CARMENATTI vs STEVE CASSIDY (Amateur 3×3 Bantamweight)
Blue: Carmenatti (Doomsday) – 131 pounds out of Chelsea, MA
Red: Cassidy – 131 pounds out of Mattapoisett, MA
Round 1: Good clinch work and strikes from Cassidy. He gets a takedown. Anthony looks for an armbar and then shifts into a triangle attempt. It looks tight but Cassidy doesn’t tap. Even tighter but Cassidy doesn’t give up, holds on and does a nice job sliding his right arm in between Carmenatti’s legs and postures up to break free. Back standing and now Carmenatti is chasing after Cassidy. Round Carmenatti.
Round 2: Cassidy gets a takedown, but Carmenatti sweeps him and gets full mount. They roll over again and Cassidy is now in Carmenatti’s guard. Armbar attempt by Carmenatti but Cassidy is all about the escapes. Carmenatti now in side control and then north/south. They both look fatigued as the round ends. Round Carmenatti.
Round 3: Minute of rest must have helped… Carmenatti darts in and around almost into a standing RNC position and gets a takedown. He has Cassidy’s back for about 2:30 going for a choke to no avail. Cassidy is able to get back to standing at the end and shows great sub defense the entire fight. Round Carmenatti.
All 3 judges have it 30-27 for Anthony Carmenatti by unanimous decision.
KORINA GOSELIN vs SHANNON HARNEY (Female Amateur 3×2 Flyweight)
Blue: Goselin – 113 pounds out of Taunton, MA
Red: Harney – 114 pounds out of Peabody, MA
Round 1: Goselin showing a nice display of strikes… low kicks, high kicks. Only a couple land but they have good snap to them. Goselin gets Harney in a headlock of sorts but she is able to shake it off and keep standing. Round Goselin.
Round 2: Goselin throwing strikes again, preferring to keep a good distance. Harney unable to get in close, looks a little frustrated from being kept at bay and at distance. They clinch to end the round. Round Goselin.
Round 3: Harney gets the takedown she’s been looking for. Is able to get into full mount and unloads a barrage of strikes. Fred the Ref steps in to save Goselin.
Official time is 0:57 of round 3, Shannon Harney wins by TKO, strikes from mount. Korina didn’t take much damage but she seemed stuck and it was a fair stoppage. Good fight and good comeback for Harney.
BRYAN MARINO vs ERIK REINDEAU (Pro 3×5 Featherweight)
Blue: Marino (Inner Circle) – 146 pounds out of Attleboro, MA
Red: Reindeau – 145 pounds out of Providence, RI
Round 1: Erik has the reach advantage and is throwing low kicks. Marino catches a kick and gets a takedown and throws some strikes. Erik gets up but eats a knee doing it. Big punch by Marino knocks Erik’s mouthguard halfway out of his mouth. Marino big slam takedown. Erik tries to turn out but is getting smothered and hit with strikes. Erik sees an opening and ties up his opponent’s leg and goes for a sub. Marino is explosive powering out. Full mount for Marino. A punch knocks Erik’s mouthguard out and the action pauses for a second. Erik is game but he is overpowered. Turns over to his back and Marino sinks in his arm for a rear naked choke.
Official time is 4:08 of round 1, Bryan Marino by Rear Naked Choke submission. Reindeau had slick moves but this one turned out to be all about Marino’s power and explosiveness.
THEO DESJARDIN vs MIKE MARCHIONI (Pro 3×5 Featherweight)
Blue: Desjardin (Inner Circle) – 137 pounds out of North Attleboro, MA
Red: Marchioni (South Shore) – 145 pounds out of Marshfield, MA
Round 1: Marchioni moves in for a takedown. Desjardin goes for a guillotine as he is taken down but Marchioni is able to pull his head out and pass to mount. Lands good GnP and is looking slick on the ground going for an armbar and then omoplata. He is thrown off. Desjardin has a choice and decides to stand. Marchioni barrels in for a double-leg takedown immediately. Marchioni gets mount briefly, takes his back, lands some good strikes. Pure action by both guys but Marchioni gets the better of it. Round Marchioni.
Round 2: Two good low kicks from Marchioni and then he shoots for a takedown and gets it. Desjardin gets caught in a triangle and it is deep and getting tighter. Desjardin is a warrior and survives a full minute in this position but finally has to tap out. Action packed fight.
Official time is 1:36 of round 2, Mike Marchioni wins by Triangle Choke submission. Looks great in staying undefeated.
TONY DAVEY vs MIKE SCHNEIDER (Amateur 3×3 Middleweight)
Blue: Davey (Doomsday) – 176 pounds out of Weymouth, MA
Red: Schneider (LA Boxing) – 175 pounds out of Wareham, MA
Round 1: Schneider begins with a big takedown into side control. Nice sweep from Davey, into full mount. Davey unloads big time but Schneider is able to block and deflect most of it with his forearms in front of his face. He tries to roll to the side to escape but Davies is quick to capitalize on the position and take the back. RNC choke comes quick and Schneider taps out.
Didn’t hear the official time but it was probably about 1:30 of round 1, Toney Davey wins by Rear Naked Choke submission. Impressive win for Davey. Schneider looked excited to throw down but unfortunately got forced into bad position quickly.
TIM O’CONNELL vs JUSTIN BURRELL (Pro 3×5 Welterweight)
Blue: O’Connell (LA Boxing) – 171 pounds out of Wakefield, RI
Red: Burrell (South Shore) – 169 pounds out of Hanson, MA
Round 1: O’Connell throws a low kick. Then a kick to the midsection. Then a swift roundhouse high kick but misses. 2 more low kicks land and O’Connell is throwing them hard. Just as the crowd is admiring the diverse kicking attack, they engage closer-in and Burrell clips O’Connell on the button. He goes down slo-mo style and is hurt. Hitting the canvas jolts him back into action but O’Connell is already on top looking to finish with strikes. Fred the Ref lets him eat one or two and decides he can’t intelligently defend himself and stops it.
Official time I think was 2:51 of round 1, Justin Burrell wins by TKO. O’Connell tried to protest but it was a good call for his safety. He looked like he had some wicked standup but he got caught. Big win for Burrell.
JASON MCLEAN (challenger) vs KEN STONE (champ) (Pro 5×5 Featherweight Title)
Blue: McLean – 145 pounds out of Perthamboy, NJ
Red: Stone – 144 pounds out of Braintree, MA
McLean comes in and gets a decent round of applause even though he isn’t from around here. Stone gets a big cheer and looks really focused as he steps into the cage. McLean is compact but shredded, and looks to outweigh the taller and longer Stone by several pounds.
Round 1: Ken looks patient and composed, throwing single strikes from a distance but not committing to anything as he feels out how McLean will react. McLean shoots for a takedown but Ken sprawls confidently and shrugs it off. Ken uncorks a huge spinning back fist from the outside that misses entirely but sends a warning signal that he has some tricks and will use them. Good boxing technique by Stone with a jab, left-straight combo. Ken throws a kick but Mclean times it perfectly and gets a takedown. Ken is on his back and Jason is standing over him. Agile Stone jumps back to his feet when he gets a tiny opening. As soon as he is up Ken launches forward with a flying knee. Doesn’t connect cleanly and they end up on the mat. Again Ken in butt scoot, Jason standing over him peppering with kicks to the thighs. Jason moves into Ken’s guard and shows off some vicious power in his ground and pound. Ken manages to stand up from against the cage, they are clinched and Ken opens up the Judo playbook and executes a beautiful hip throw. Jason bounces up, Ken puts him in Muay Thai clinch. Jason grabs onto one leg, and with his other leg Stone elevates and connects with a knee strike like he’s Urijah Faber. Round Stone and we have a fight!
Round 2: Incredible takedown defense from Stone as McLean shoots for a single leg. Stone hopping on one leg, getting barreled backwards towards the cage and sprawls to the side as McLean hits the mat. They are clinched standing and Jason delivers a good body shot. Ken again uses the thai plum to throw a good knee strike but McLean hoists him off his feet and slams him down. Stone went down hard but is unfazed and immediately uses rubber guard and neutralizes McLean in mission control. Scramble and again McLean stands over a butt-scooting Stone. Jason seems hesitant to play in Ken’s guard and while standing tries instead to throw a stomp/kick to the midsection. Ken grabs it and works immediately for a leg lock. McLean escapes easily but has to give up position to do so, and now Ken is on top in Jason’s half guard. They stand and Ken gets clobbered with a big punch and stumbles back into the cage… he might be rocked (or Stoned? sorry, had to). Can’t tell how badly Ken is hurt and both guys exchange wildly and the crowd is going nuts. Down to the mat Jason lands in Ken’s half guard. Jason is very strong. Round Stone, but barely and it’s arguable.
Round 3: McLean lands some good shots standing. Ken seems less confident, something has changed and maybe he is now realizing the McLean will not go away. Again Ken on his back with Jason standing over him, a stalemate position that keeps happening in this fight. Ken lands a solid upkick and then stands. High kick thrown from Stone. McLean locks him up and gets a trip takedown into Ken’s guard. Again nifty guard-work from Stone, he wastes no time swinging his hips out and attempts an armbar. Nothing there. Butt scoot again. Ken jumps up but this time wobbles off balance, maybe a sign of fatigue. Ken throws another monster spinning back fist but misses again, and this time is way off balance and McLean gets a takedown. Jason’s cardio is off the charts. Round McLean.
Round 4: Starting the 4th Ken is holding his hands higher in defense than he had been earlier. Jab from Stone, kick to the mid-section from McLean. Stone lands an accidental shot to the groin. 10 second pause, Jason is fine. McLean shoots for a monster takedown and they fly sideways into the fence. Pete’s new cage is getting tested just as much as the fighters. Composed, Ken goes for a triangle, but Jason pops out and again he stands over while Ken on his back. Position of the night. Great fight but crowd yells for standup and action. Kevin ultimately agrees and stands them. Big exchange on the feet but nothing damaging lands. Nice 2 punch combo from Stone, followed up by a glancing high kick. Ken throws a low kick and McLean catches it for a takedown. Rubber guard again, has him locked up for about 30 seconds to end the round. Round McLean, but very close.
Round 5: Stone tries to sprawl out of a takedown but McLean pulls him down. Butt scoot again. Ken finds the space to jump up. Big punch lands from Jason. He is not throwing combos but his power and timing are great. Another big shot. Jason is winning the standup battle now and he grins at Ken. Ken catches a low blow and takes 30 seconds to recover. Ken lands a good strike and McLean again turns to his wrestling base and looks for a takedown. Incredible takedown defense! Ken momentarily off his feet but balancing himself on Jason and moving with him backwards. Finally they go down and Ken goes for the guillotine. Good try but Jason never in big danger and he slips out. Butt scoot / standing again. Another takedown from McLean. Round McLean.
We go to the scorecards (I’m sure I misspelled these judges names):
- Francis Holder: 48-47 Stone
- Mike Porter: 48-47 McLean
- Mark Alberto: 49-46 McLean
Official result is Jason McLean is the new featherweight champion by Split Decision. Both guys are winners tonight. Completely awesome 5 round war. Congratulations to Jason McLean who came into Ken Stone’s hometown and took the belt. Very close but I have to give it to McLean also. Three rounds were definite: 1-Stone, 3-McLean, 5-McLean. The other two rounds were very close and judge Holder certainly wasn’t wrong to see it for Stone 48-47. Personally I saw a momentum shift after the 2nd round, where McLean’s confidence grew and his cardio and toughness kept him going.
I caught up with Jason after the fight. Really nice guy. Jason says he didn’t know until the MIDDLE of the fight that they were going 5 rounds! He had been planning for 3 but he pointed to his trainer and gave him credit for the hardcore preparation that enabled him to keep going in the 4th and 5th. Asked if he wanted to come back to AFO, he said “You aren’t a true champ until you defend it, right?” You are definitely the champ Jason, but it’s a cool attitude.
Also got a minute with Ken who was obviously a little bummed out. He said he was trying to make it exciting and go for everything he could think of in there. No doubt about that – I was really impressed with his talent and diverse set of skills. Asked what he was walking around at and if he wanted to get down to 135, he said he was right near 145 and definitely was looking at bantamweight for his next fight.
It was announced that AFO’s next promotion will be on August 21st at the same Sheraton Braintree.