by Felix Falcon
Convention centers, more often than not, convey the atmosphere of, at worst, boring business meetings and at best a massive platform for like-minded people to go buy the stuff they nerd out on, like gun shows or comic conventions. Last Saturday, August 23rd, the good people from OO Fights brought something way better to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in DC, a slew of very entertaining amateur MMA fights.
At first, the juxtaposition of a steel combat cage set in the middle of a large carpeted convention hall looked out of place. But with the use of great lighting, 360 degree overhead video projection, comfortable seating arrangements, among many other efforts, the promotion went to great lengths to set an engaging viewing experience for the audience once the doors opened.
Before the first bout, announcer Kevin Shaffer introduced Rener Gracie of the Gracie Academy who had some words to say about the Guardian Education Fund, a non-profit initiative they are supporting which helps fund local law enforcement officers with tactical hand to hand training that they might not have budgetary means to receive otherwise. After a few words of encouragement for the fighters and the crowd, the show was on its way.
The third fight of the evening between Bidhan Thakur (MiKiDo) and Luke Hunsaker (MMA Institute) was full of drama. Halfway through the first round, Thakur landed a double leg takedown and tried to capitalize on his position by raining down punches from above. With his back to the cage, Hunsaker was able to bait Thakur with an armbar attempt and landed a triangle which rendered Thakur to go on the defensive while Hunsaker either tried to finish the submission or land significant elbow strikes to Thakur’s head. Early on in the Second Round, Thakur accidentally kicked Hunsaker in the groin and whereas he only received a warning, almost immediately Thakur again landed an even harder illegal kick to the groin that cost him a point deduction. Hunsaker somehow managed to take some time and gather himself and finish the round. After three rounds the point deduction came back to bite Thakur, as the judges all scored it 28-28 and the fight was declared a unanimous draw.
The fight between Alexander Olave (Kaizen MMA) and Anthony Giacchina (Maxum BJJ) was a three round war. In the first round, both competitors intelligently measured each other up, with Olave taking on a confident showman stance anytime Giacchina threw any strikes attempts. During the Second round, Olave picked up the pace and started to find his range, picking a bloodied Giacchina apart from outside. The third round started much like the second did, but at one point Giacchina seemingly woke up and pushed the pace forward. He caught Olave up against the cage where both fighters exchanged furious combinations. Giacchina managed to take Olave down at the end of the third and dropped some ground and pound strikes, but it was too late as the ref stopped the action signifying the end of the fight. After the fight, both fighters embraced and congratulated each other in a fever pitch of emotion as the crowd loudly applauded their efforts. The judges came back with a unanimous 29-28 decision in favor of Olave.
The lone female fight of the night was between Morgan Dailey (Disciple MMA) and Jocelyn Browning (Tech Top MMA). As soon as Dailey’s name was announced, she walked out to the cage with what seemed like 50 or 60 people behind her, including plenty of members of the Disciple MMA fight team. The fight itself was three rounds of Dailey imposing her will and taking Browning down at her choosing. When not attempting a submission, Dailey was busy attacking with punches in an attempt to set up further sub attempts. Credit is due to Browning, who even though she was on the defensive for most of the fight, managed to keep getting out of increasingly dangerous situations. At the beginning of the third round, Dailey had top position over Browning and made a slick transition into an armbar that Browning looked to escape from by getting up against the cage. Dailey’s grip persisted through all the escape attempts and finally inflicted enough pressure by turning belly down with Browning still standing up against the cage. The tap came in at 1:29 of the third round.
The fight labeled the “Co-Main Event,” which oddly came in halfway through the fight card, pitted Scott Noble (Ground Control) against Brandon Murchison (MiKiDo). A very even fight all across the way, the decisive moment came at the second half of the third round. Noble managed to move his way into full mount and landed hard elbows from the top onto an exhausted Murchison who was not able to shake him off. The judges awarded Noble the decision win (29-28, 30-27, 30-28) and the middleweight championship belt.
The second title fight had defending bantamweight champion Duy Le (Vanguard Gym) facing Roque Zapata (Zamora Boxing). Le came out aggressively in the first round, taking Zapata down to the ground, passing into side control and eventually taking Zapata’s back. Zapata showed plenty of composure and patience, slowly getting up with Le still on his back and biding his time to loosen one of Le’s hooks and fall right back to the ground, but this time in top position. From there, Zapata went to work dropping elbows and hammerfists until the bell rang. The second round started off quickly with Le going for a single leg takedown which Zapata quickly turned into a heel hook attempt. Le managed to roll out and ended up in Zapata’s guard. From there on, it was almost a facsimile of the first round. Le passed guard, took Zapata’s back and Zapata once again patiently waited him out, stood up and shook Le off his back. From there Zapata landed a barrage of elbows, body strikes, uppercuts, and hammerfists that forced the ref to stop the fight. The TKO win made Roque Zapata the new OO Fights Bantamweight champion.
The night was not without it’s share of oddities and weirdness.
The defending OO Fights Welterweight champion, Raz Syan (Freedom MMA) landed some huge significant strikes to the head of his opponent, Jay Bee (Kaizen MMA), in the first round that brought on a small hematoma on Bee’s forehead. Bee’s corner tried it’s best in between the first and second round to ice it and prevent it from swelling, but by the time the second round was over, normal swelling plus additional strikes from Syan, ballooned the hematoma to a degree which the cage-side physician declared it was unsafe for Bee to continue. Syan retained his title.
The main event of the night, also oddly placed on the card as the 15th fight out of 18 fights, had an even odder ending. After a very fast paced first round, Pete Petties (TLI/Crazy 88) and Jeff Melvin (DCbFit) came out aggressively once again. Petties, much like in the first round, was landing the most significant strikes any time the two exchanged blows. Halfway through the second round, Petties landed a couple of hard kicks to Melvin’s mid-section. Those kicks might have had an exceptional effect, because right after them, Melvin suddenly started to throw up profusely. Even though he seemed to regain his composure and seemingly wanted to continue fighting, the doctor called the fight, and Petties won the OO Fights Featherweight belt via regurgitation.
All in all, the event came and went seemingly without a hitch. You can tell that with this being their 32nd live event, OO Fights have a very good sense of how to run a successful and exciting event. They also have been incredibly quick to upload all 18 fights on their Youtube page, so if you want to watch any of these bouts you can do so here. They have announced that their next event is going to take place on October 25th at The nZone in Chantilly, VA.
MMAinVA's "of the night" Awards
Fight of the Night: Alexander Olave vs. Anthony Giacchina
Submission of the Night: Morgan Dailey
KO of the Night: Roque Zapata
Title Fights (3 x 5 min):
Pete Petties def. Jeff Melvin at 2:09 of the 2nd rd. by TKO (doctor stoppage)
Scott Noble def. Brandon Murchison by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30 28)
Tevin Cooke def. Sunni Imhotep by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Raz Syan def. Jay Bee at 5:00 of the 2nd rd. by TKO (Doctor Stoppage)
Roque Zapata def. Duy Le at 4:11 of the 2nd rd. by TKO (strikes)
Non-Title Fights (3 x 3 min):
Tom Scott def. Darrion Wilson at 2:40 of the 1st rd. by submission (rear naked choke)
Joe Yeager def. Stan Myaskovsky at 1:16 of the 1st rd. by TKO (doctor stoppage)
Morgan Dailey def. Jocelyn Browning at 1:29 of the 3rd rd. by submission (arm bar)
Szymon Sawicki def. Chris Marshall at 1:54 of the 2nd rd. by submission (strikes)
Joe McMahon def. Ben Boswell at 0:33 of the 2nd rd. by submission (strikes)
Tony Campos def. Andrew Horace at 2:19 of the 2nd rd. by TKO (strikes)
Alvin Mercer def. Travis Pittenger at 2:18 of the 2nd rd. by TKO (strikes)
Alexander Olave def. Anthony Giacchina by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Stacey Anderson def. John Kermon at 2:48 of the 1st rd. by TKO (strikes)
Tony Gravely def. Eddie Spiker at 1:11 of the 1st rd. by submission (guillotine)
Bidhan Thakur vs. Luke Hunsaker declared a unanimous draw (28-28 x 3)
Rob Wolford def. Edward Levin at 1:21 of the 1st rd. by TKO (strikes)
Kyle Staten def. Brian Duke at 1:41 of the 1st rd. by submission (arm bar)