GFL 13: Heavy Hitters
From Old School
Marcus Davis brought his fight game to The Portland Expo Center, and half the State of Maine showed up to welcome him!
It was 1:00 am in a Burger King on a south bound service plaza on the Maine Turnpike. My Lovely traveling companion (Miss Barbara) and I decided to fuel up, burger up, and continue our four hour trip back to Cape Cod. After covering the GFL 13, we needed to be on our way. Our quick stop became a sort of Midnight MMA Meeting, as Ken Kersch and a crew from the Real Deal met us at the gas pumps. Inside the Burger King was a plethora of MMAssociates ranging from Kevin the Ref and crew to Mike Gresh and Sityodtong staff. Even funny man ring announcer Mike Koutrobis showed up! Throughout the next hour or so we were blessed with enough gym rats, MMA junkies, and fight stories to last until next April! (Did you hear about the prosthetic fighter down in Georgia? Hey Old School, are you gonna finish that burger?) What started out as a brief highway stop became red eye MMA Burgerfest.
We left Cape Cod and headed north to Portland, ME before noon on Friday, September 23, so as to avoid any traffic issues, and arrived in the great city of Portland around 3:30. Promoter Jason Leeman had Barb and I squared away with our press creds in no time at all, which left plenty of time to get acquainted. Sucker Punch Tom was setting up for what would be a very profitable night of “T” shirt sales. Other vendors were setting up as well. Techno guy Scott was doing his thing and the whole place was coming together. We snuck out and found a real down home Maine diner, The Dog Fish Café, and I highly recommend you visit it the next time your in town.
GFL 13 promised to be a welcome home coming for Maine native Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis. The fights started a bit early, because there were 17 fights in all; twelve Amateurs and Five Pros. (Amateurs in Maine are wearing shin pads.) The crowd was one of the largest that I’ve seen in a while; real close to a sell out. The crowd was clearly Maine sports fans, as opposed to the usual MMA junkies, gym rats, and fighter fans. Many of these folks had never been to an MMA event before! Early in the evening you could see the Bruins shirts, Red Sox hats, and Patriot logos every where. By the night’s end, these new fans of the game were leaving with Sucker Punch, Get Punched, and other fight wear on their backs! Also, I and most of the other gym rats really appreciated the conservative but attractive attire of the beautiful ring girls. Four large screens added to the viewing convenience. I would qualify this as a top rate event from beginning to end. I know many of these new fight fans came out to see the Irish Hand Grenade, but there were also a lot of other exciting fights on the docket. Let’s get to it…
FIGHT # 1:
155 lb Amateur
Jonathan Lemke 3-0 (Team Irish)
Zach Labbay 0-0 (Team Combat)
Lemke starts the night by rushing into a striking battle, and Zach is more than happy to oblige him. Josh wins a takedown and Zach tries an arm bar. Lemke dominates the balance of the first round with a constant supply of Team Irish G&P. The round ends with Lemke dropping his own Team Irish hand grenades and Zach’s face is a mess!
The second round sees the boys come out swinging and Lemke drops Zach with a big right. Lemke gains side mount and is unloading like a Wal-Mart Stock boy. He locks in a modified crucifix and keeps dropping bombs until the ref has seen enough!
Winner by TKO @ 2:08 Rd 2: Jonathan Lemke
FIGHT # 2:
145 lb Amateur
Ken Kersch 0-3 (Real Deal MMA)
Caleb Costello 0-0 (Team Irish)
The second fight begins with Caleb landing a pair of thudding body kicks wrapped around a nice flurry of punches. Caleb then takes the fight to the ground and dispenses some Team Irish G&P from the side mount, north / south, half guard, and full mount. He finishes the round with a north / south choke attempt.
Ken isn’t done just yet as he comes out for the second and clinches to the cage, locks in a guillotine, and back rolls into top of guard. Ken dispenses his own brand of G&P, slams his way out of an attempted arm bar, and continues to drop punches. Ken then tries a guillotine from the top of side mount. More body shots by Kersch and the fighters are standing back up. They throw a few strikes to end the second round.
Caleb’s right eye looks really swollen as Ken starts the final frame by punching his way into a clinch. Again he locks in the Real Deal standing guillotine, adding some knees to the body to the equation. Ken goes for a single leg and Caleb grabs a guillotine and jumps guard. Ken pulls out and drops some big punches. Caleb tries for an arm bar while Ken punches away from the top. Ken looks to Kevin the Ref and says “I’m okay” and he punches some more to win the round and the fight (on my unofficial score card)!
Winner by Unanimous Decision Ken “The Wreckage” Kersch
The crowd is really starting to fill in now. It’s getting loud and getting hot!
FIGHT # 3:
203 lb Amateur
Rick Garland 0-1 (Real Deal MMA)
Nolan Brown 0-0 (Team Havoc)
Nolan enters to the song “Bad Company” for a nice old school touch!
Rick takes the early lead by muscling Nolan to the cage. He throws a few knees to soften up his opponent. More muscling and some more knees and Rick is really starting to hurt Nolan. Rick lands some body punches and continues to drive knees to the body. (If this keeps up, Nolan’s kids are gonna be born with broken ribs.) Rick finally separates and throws some strikes. Nolan ducks for a clinch to end the round.
Rick sets the pace in round two by jabbing into a cage clinch, where he continues the assault on the body with knees and punches. After a long clinch and stalemate (I think Rick’s knees are taking a rest) the ref separates. Rick forces the clinch and Nolan grabs a takedown to top of guard where they both strike till the end of round two.
The third frame finds Nolan shooting in off a striking combo. Rick stands it up and they both appear tired. Nolan shoots for another takedown into top of guard. He lands a few good shots. Rick tries to roll, but Nolan controls with good wrestling skills. Nolan steals the third round and adds some more G&P just to seal the deal!
Winner by Unanimous Decision: Rick Garland.
Despite the lack of blood, the GFL clean up crew is in the cage in between every fight and every round cleaning and wiping down the cage floor!
FIGHT # 4:
168 lb Amateur
Shaun Head 0-0 (Team Headstrong)
Scott Lavoie 0-0 (Team Irish)
The boys come out for the first and Scott nails a double leg takedown into the mount, throws a few punches, switches to an arm bar, and gets the tap, slick as a smelt!!! Wow!
Winner by Arm Bar @ 0:23 Rd 1: Scott “Don’t Blink” Lavoie
This place is nearing capacity. Folks are filling the seats. They’re buying food, drink, and fight wear! It’s getting real loud and the energy level is high!
FIGHT # 5:
135 lb Amateurs
Cecil Haney 2-2 (Academy)
Tom Balzano 2-0 (Team Irish)
The two Maine guys really have the crowd behind them. Tom jabs into a single leg takedown and finds top of guard. Cecil ties up tightly from the bottom. This lasts a while. Finally, Tom passes guard and works some G&P. Cecil is active from the bottom, but Tom owns this whole round, as he ends it in a crazy mount landing punches from an odd angle.
Tom starts the second by ducking under for a takedown. Cecil tries an arm bar, but Tom lifts and slams three times for the release. (It looked tight, but not deep enough!) Tom stays on top and keeps things under control from half guard, while Cecil defends from the bottom.
Cecil starts the third with a spinning back fist, but Tom ducks it and again puts the fight on the mat. Cecil tries for another arm bar and Tom lifts and slams three times and out! (I think Cecil wants to take that arm back to the Academy as a souvenir.) Tom works the top game and lands a knee to the body. The fighters stand and clinch. Cecil grabs a guillotine and jumps half guard, but Tom pulls out and the fight is over.
Winner by split-decision: Tom Balzano
I really didn’t see a split decision here at all, but I do think Balzano won, and so did a majority of the judges.
FIGHT # 6:
190 lb Amateurs
Buck Pineo 1-0 (Shay Institute)
Paul Sokolowski 0-0 (West Side)
Both fighters enter to the same song, “Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap”. This could be a DJ snafu, or maybe these two are just brothers from different mothers.
Paul jabs his way into a clinch for some dirty boxing. They separate and Buck lands a big over hand right into a clinch and sticks a takedown. Paul sweeps to top and throws some punches and Buck sweeps back. Paul pulls a triangle off the bottom and it looks deep. Buck lifts and slams out of trouble and adds a few punches to end a tight round.
The fighters start the second by punching into a clinch. Buck gets the takedown to mount. Paul rolls and buck has rear mount. Paul rolls back and again he rolls to stay out of trouble. Buck finally locks in the hooks for a RNC tap out!
Winner by RNC @ 1:16 Rd 2: Buck “Knuckles” Pineo
FIGHT # 7:
129 lb Amateurs
Maria Rios 0-0 (Academy)
Heather Lambert 4-0 (Kaze)
I was told by a few folks in the know that Heather Lambert moved from her normal fight weight of 115 lbs to 130 lbs for this fight. There is a noticeable size difference.
In the first round the ladies clinch, and it’s Maria with the height and strength advantage as she pushes it to the cage. Maria gets the big slam into side control. After a long stalemate and a quick scramble, Maria gets rear mount. She can’t secure a RNC, so she unloads some Academy G&P and the ref is watching closely as the round runs out of time!
Heather walks right out and lands a body kick that Maria catches and turns it into a takedown. Heather sweeps and Maria locks in a triangle from the bottom. She pulls it tight and hooks and sweeps to top mount with the triangle locked in. She continues the G&P from the top and the Ref steps in before the cops have to!
Winner by Assault and Battery @ 0:57 Rd 1: Mario Rios
This was a huge win in her MMA debut for Maria. Heather suffered the first loss of her career, and she may head back down to her natural fighting weight. The crowd is really loud and the joint is jammin’.
FIGHT # 8:
115 lb Amateurs
Sarah McLeod 3-3-1 (Kaze)
Jill Valenzuela (Academy / Fighters Alley)
This fight is being filmed by National Geographic Australia for a piece on women’s fighting. The crowd is jacked right up for Jill!
The first round sees Jill forcing the clinch. Sarah nails a takedown into mount and lands some big punches. Jill sweeps to top of guard and Sarah ties up from the bottom. Jill lands some small G&P, but Sarah sweeps and lands some big punches to the face. Jill sweeps and Sarah reverses. Jill tries a triangle from the bottom. Sarah defends and Jill switches to an arm bar. Sarah defends and hangs on to end the round.
Sarah comes out in round two and lands a huge flurry to the face and Jill takes the fight down. Sarah sweeps and Jill sweeps back. Jill stands and lands a nice combo. Jill gets a takedown and Sarah pulls guard and ties up. Sarah sweeps to top and lands some real nasty G&P to the face. Jill tries to arm bar, but Sarah neutralizes and drops some more hammer fists to the face directly! Wow!!!
Jill starts the third with a slick hip throw into half guard and Sarah ties up. Jill lands a little G&P and a brief arm triangle and she is generally controlling the round and slowly stealing this fight! Jill throws some more strikes from side mount to end the round!
Winner by Unanimous Decision: Jill Valenzuella
FIGHT # 9:
170 lb Amateurs
Daniel Muese 0-0 (Academy)
Joel Adams 0-0 (Team Irish)
The boys come out and clinch and scramble. There’s some dirty boxing and another long clinch. Joel decides to pull guard. The scramble on the ground continues, an arm bar try misses, and they keep battling. Joel gets on top in guard. Dan locks in an arm bar from the bottom. It’s real deep and the ref steps in. I didn’t see the tap, but Joel’s arm seems to be injured.
Winner by Arm Bar @ 2:19 Rd 1: Daniel Meuse
So far we have some well matched fights. The crowd has leveled off pretty close to capacity. We do have many MMAssociates on hand as well. Chris Kumite, Mike and Jeanette, Crazy Eddie and Pedro are on hand. I also want to throw a shout out to Joe Cav and the boys from Sucker Punch and Registered Fighter. NH boys John Hagopian and Big Ed Carr were also on hand! This place is rocking!
FIGHT # 10:
145 lb Amateurs
Trevor Kell 1-0 (Team Irish)
Ted Washburn 0-1 (West Side MMA)
These boys don’t tap gloves to start the fight. Ted slaps a few leg kicks and circles out and away. More leg kicks, in and out, by Ted. Ted continues this throughout the first and it’s all about the leg kicks. More inside and outside leg kicks by ted keeps this round at his pace and distance.
Trevor catches the first kick of the second round and turns it into a takedown. Ted stands and eats a punch. Trevor lands a 1-2 punch combo and Ted lands a body kick. The pace is fast, but the distance is creating a lot of fakes and missed strikes. They circle and cautiously spar to the end of the round.
They tap glove to start the final round. Ted lands another leg kick and Trevor responds with a head kick! (The crowd approves!) Ted gets a takedown but it’s right back up. Ted is starting to find the range again and he is landing leg kicks once again. He is circling and landing more leg kicks, and if they weren’t wearing shin guards, Trevor’s grand kids would walk with a limp! Trevor catches one more leg kick and gets a takedown but Ted works into top of guard. The fight ends with Trevor trying a kimura from the bottom! Great Fight!
Winner by Split-Decision: Trevor Kell
FIGHT # 11:
148 lb amateurs
Ray Wood 2-0 (Youngs MMA)
Elias Leland 0-0 (Academy)
Elias charges in for the clinch and it’s back and forth. They scramble down and then up. Ray lands some bombs. They go to the ground and back to the feet and they are still clinched! This is an amazingly fast pace! Back standing, Ray lands a 1-2 punch and they clinch. Ray takes him down and then lets Elias stand back up. They clinch and the fight goes to the ground and back up. Ray takes it down again into side mount and Elias pulls guard to end the first round, a frigging barn burner!!!
Ray comes out for the second and he is winning the stand up battle. Ray gets a takedown, lets him up, and lands a clean four punch combo! Elias clinches and Ray nails a hip throw. Ray blocks a shot with his groin (do not try this at home!), he is allowed to recover, and they’re right back at it. They trade strikes and Ray gets a double leg takedown. Ray passes from guard to side, throws a knee, and stands. Ray gets another takedown, applies G&P from rear control, and lets Elias back up. Ray lands a 1-2-body kick to end another furious round. Ray wood is a BEAST!!!
Ray comes out firing on all cylinders in the third. Elias takes him down, but Ray sweeps and stands. Elias clinches and Ray takes him down, controls him, and then stands up and out. Elias shoots again and Ray sprawls and wins yet another takedown. Now Ray decides to apply a dose of Youngs MMA G&P and he is mauling Elias. Finally, Ray locks in an arm bar for the tap!
Winner by Arm Bar @ 2:31 Rd 3: Ray “All Business” Wood
I don’t know if Elias stole Ray’s lunch money when they were kids, or if he dated his sister or something, but this was a beat down! I have very rarely seen a fighter with this kid’s level of Cardio. His striking is all that it was supposed to be and his wrestling looked amazing! Hot Damn! This kid must eat galvanized nails for breakfast!
FIGHT # 12:
125 lb Amateur
Ernesto Orneles 1-0 (MMA Athletix)
Stephen Desjardins 1-1 (Team Irish)
My good friend Chris Kumite tells me that Ernesto has a wealth of amateur boxing experience as well as a college wrestling pedigree! I’m excited to see the kid fight. Fight ref Steve Rita, who had the night off, is called in last minute as a mid reliever.
Both fighters are jacked up and wired for this one. Stephen sprints across the cage and dumps Ernesto on his fanny against the cage. Ernesto pulls guard, crawls the cage to stand, and locks in a standing guillotine. Stephen doesn’t tap; he just goes to sleep with out a bed time story!
Winner by Technical Submission @ 0:39 Rd 1: Ernesto “El Terrible” Orneles
FIGHT # 13:
145 lb Pro
Eloy Kaminski 1-1 (Team Irish)
Nate Ainsworth 0-2 (Kaze)
Round 1: Eloy is much taller. He shoots in for the takedown into top of guard. Nate grabs a defensive guillotine and Eloy goes to side mount and then to mount. Eloy then works for a modified crucifix and he lands some filthy punches and nasty elbows. The ref is watching closely. Eloy works to rear control with a body lock. He tries a RNC but Nate defends. He moves for the arm triangle and Nate cannot hold up any more and he is forced to tap out!
Winner by Arm Triangle @ 4:04 Rd 1: Eloy Kaminiski
FIGHT # 14:
205 lb Pro
Josh Watson 6-3 (Academy)
Carlos Lovato 2-0 (Intense)
The crowd goes nuts when Watson enters the cage. I can only imagine what they’re gonna do when Marcus comes out!
Round 1: Josh connects on a few leg kicks and several jabs. Carlos gets a takedown into top of guard. Josh tries an arm bar that won’t work right now. Carlos moves to side mount and Josh stands it up. Josh throws a nasty leg kick and a big punch that drops Carlos like a bad habit. The ref stops the action, as Carlos appeared to be out. Carlos complained a bit, but this was a good stoppage!
Winner by TKO @ 1:20 Rd 1: Josh Watson
The crowd chants their approval, “WATSON, WATSON, WATSON”
FIGHT # 15:
170 lb Pro
Ryan Sanders 1-0 (Youngs)
Vincent Silvestre 1-2 (Sityodtong)
The home crowd cheers wildly for Sanders. Silvestre came up to Maine from Boston to piss in their Kool-aid!
Round 1: Ryan is using his long reach advantage as he connects on a punch combo. Vincent nails a takedown into top of guard. Ryan is called for illegal elbow strikes to the back of the head (and a point is deducted). There’s no argument, as Vincent has the gash on the back of his head to prove it! Vincent maintains top guard. Ryan stands and Vincent takes him back down. Ryan has a weak guillotine that Vincent pulls out of and Vincent locks in a top half guard. Ryan stands, lands a knee and Vincent takes him back down. Ryan is busy with strikes from the bottom while Vincent keeps him on his back and throws some body shots. They stand and Vincent lands a knee and a guillotine attempt to end the round! Great round!
Old School score: Vincent Silvestre 10-8
Round 2: Ryan starts the second with a flurry that drops Vincent and Ryan drops some big G&P from guard. Vincent tries to defend. Ryan pushes the ground fight over to his corner, where Vincent sweeps to take top position. They are both busy striking, Vincent from the top and Ryan from the bottom. Ryan sweeps, stands, and separates. He drops Vincent with punches. They strike on the ground and Ryan stands and invites Vincent to do the same. Ryan jabs and kicks and Vincent drops him with a punch, and then jumps into top of guard to end the round!
Old School score: Ryan Sanders 10-9
Round 3: This is a war! They start the third by striking on the feet and Ryan shoots a takedown into top of guard. He lands some big punches from top position. Ryan locks in a real tight guillotine from the top and earns the tap out!
Winner by Guillotine @ 1:30 Rd 3: Ryan Sanders.
The place goes wild for the home town guy. I think this is Fight of the Night so far! And the Ryan Sanders Kool-aid looks clean!
FIGHT # 16:
Shawn Durfee 2-0 (Academy)
John Johnston 1-0 (Sityodtong)
This fight could be another war. John has some of the most crisp, tight stand up I have seen in a heavyweight fighter. Both warriors come here tonight undefeated! Durfee is the home town hero and Johnston is here to piss in his cornflakes!
Walking into the cage, Big John slips on a wet spot and blows out his ankle real bad. He gets up and hobbles around and says the fight is on!
Round 1: John is moving well all things considered. He lands a punch and a knee in combo. They clinch and separate. Shawn rushes and gets the clinch and the takedown into full mount. The crowd loves this, “DURFEE, DURFEE, DURFEE”! Shawn rides the mount for the entire rest of the first round, landing punches and elbows. John defends from the bottom, but generally takes a beating in this round. Shawn cuts John with elbows and we now have MMA DNA on the press table! This round is all Shawn Durfee!
Old School score: Shawn Durfee 10-9
Round 2: Johnny comes out with a huge 1-2-knee combination that finds its target. Shawn drops like a sack of Maine potatoes and John throws some knees and punches. Johnny lets him up and they stand. Johnny lands a1-2-face kick combo and Shawn is hurt bad! Shawn is down again and Johnny invites him back to the feet. Back in the cage center, Johnny lands another punch combo and Shawn is OUT!
Winner by TKO @ 0:48 Rd 2: Johnny Johnston
This was an amazing effort by Johnny. We saw a tremendous display of courage and heart. We have always known that he is a well respected corner man, but we witnessed a whole new side of the man! (Don’t be eating any of those cornflakes, by the way!)
On his come from behind win, Johnny said that someone would have to kill him in the cage in order to beat him.
Shawn Durfee came into Johnny’s locker room after the fight and these two warriors shook hands and thanked one another for the effort. Johnny’s ankle was terribly swollen and the fight doctor splinted it and sent Big John to the Hospital; he felt the ankle was broken.
FIGHT # 17:
170 lb Pro
Marcus Davis 25-8 (Team Irish / Sityodtong)
Travis Coyle 12-5 (Team Juggernaut)
The house is rocking for the pride of Maine, Marcus Davis! At the Burger King after the fight, Kevin the Ref said that when he was giving Travis his instructions in the cage, Travis looked at him and said “I’m so scared I’m (pooping) my pants right now!” I heard that there was also an issue with Travis not making weight, but that was worked out monetarily.
Round 1: The fighters circle cautiously; Marcus looks amazingly relaxed, while Travis appears real tense and tight. Travis shoots and Marcus sprawls. Davis gains top control and works for the guillotine. He ratchets up the tension for the tap out! Wow!
Winner by Guillotine @ 1:07 Rd 1: Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis
We just saw the difference between a real good regional fighter and one who has spent the last six years in the UFC!
Marcus gets on the Microphone and thanks everyone! Walking into the locker room after the fight, Marcus was very happy that he got in and out of this fight unscathed, as he has a fight against Chuck O’Neil in two weeks!
We saw a wonderful show up here in Maine, and the locals really came out top support the effort. Props to Jason Leeman, Scott Millette, and the whole crew! The crowd was large and well mannered. The vendors sold a barn load of their goods. This was just one really great night!
Here’s how I saw the action…
FIGHT OF THE NIGHT- Ryan Sanders vs Vincent Silvestre
SUBMISSION OF THE NIGHT- Scott “Don’t Blink” Lavoie
KNOCK OUT OF THE NIGHT- Johnny Johnston
MOST INSPITATIONAL PERFORMANCE- Johnny Johnston
ENTRANCE OF THE NIGHT- Nolan Brown
Congratulations to all our award winners. You may all pick up your bonus checks from Jason Leeman at the next show!
Well, to all you MMA junkies, gym rats, and Native Mainers, I’m signing off now. Remember, we are not responsible for items lost or stolen.