by Felix Falcon
Revolution Fight Series returned to action with their 11th amateur MMA & Muay Thai card in Winchester. After a short stint at the South End Fire Hall, on Saturday, December 13th, they moved back to the much roomier Body Renew Sportsplex.
The night was poised to showcase 11 fights. During the pre-fight physical with the ringside doctor, one competitor was not able to pass a vision/spacial awareness test and was not cleared to fight, taking the card down to five MMA and five Muay Thai contests.
On the Muay Thai side, the evening showcased some very exciting talent all around. The highlight of the night was a five round, main event, back and forth battle between Level Up Boxing's Will Anderson and Capital MMA's Kyle Tyler for the vacant RFS 145 lb. title. I happened to be taking pictures next to Tyler's corner, and it was very exciting to see a fighter pay so much attention to his coaches' instruction. Anytime his corner saw Tyler's defensive left hand come down, they would yell for him to bring it up and he would do so immediately. Both Anderson and Tyler demonstrated excellent conditioning, showing little signs of fatigue as all five rounds expired. As far as the action is concerned, Tyler was definitely the one pushing the pace, moving forward most of the time, throwing two and three strike combinations often pushing Anderson back into the cage with them. Anderson seemed comfortable backing up, trying to measure his distance and trying to land a big right hook among other counter strikes. At the end, the fight went to the judges scorecards, awarding Tyler the win by majority decision.
As far as the MMA action is concerned, Rodney St. Dismas, from Misfits Martial Arts, put on a very impressive performance in his amateur debut against Elite MMA's Chris Gatton. Gatton is partly responsible for getting RFS some nationwide attention, as his use of a dropkick inside the RFS cage made it to Inside MMA on AXS TV earler this year. As the first round started, Gatton backed St. Dismas to the cage quickly. From there St. Dismas employed a tight clinch game that saw him kneeing Gatton four or five times to the head and body until Gatton dropped. From there St. Dismas controlled most of the round. At the end of the round, Gatton attempted an arm bar, but St. Dismas was able to get out and finish the round in a dominant position. The second round was a microcosm of the first, but with finish. Gatton landed in St. Dismas' clinch once again, this time when St. Dismas took Gatton down it was right up against the fence. St. Dismas took his time and made sure he cinched in a tight guillotine grip while still on his feet over Gatton. When the time was right, he torqued his body towards the fence and forced Gatton to tap. His win was capped off emotionally, as St. Dismas' coach awarded him his BJJ blue belt inside the cage.
The fight between Samuel Winn and Eric Throckmorton, although fairly one-sided, is worth noting since as an amateur heavyweight, Winn looked in shape and moved around very light on his feet, which is hard to come by. Winn was able to take the fight to Throckmorton in all areas. Throckmorton ate a barrage of knees from Winn's clinch, on the ground Winn was able to take full mount and transitioned to Throckmorton's back where he eventually found a short choke (officially announced as a neck crank) that submitted Throckmorton early in the second round.
The most competitive MMA fight of the night was one between two independent fighters - Larry Hensley, Jr. and P.J. Lumabao-Espanto. Hensley put tons of pressure on Espanto early and often, smothering with takedowns and ground and pound. Espanto showed good work off his back landing a strike that opened up Hensley's nose. Towards the end of the first round, Espanto managed to weather the onslaught of strikes Hensley threw at him and managed to throw his legs around quickly into a triangle choke. Hensley, who tried everything possible to thwart the attack, tapped out with only 2 seconds left in the round.
Overall, the event was a decent night of combat action.
One thing that was new for the organization, was the fact that this was their first attempt at self-sanctioning. In an attempt to promote fighter safety, all their events starting next year (under the RFS Sanctioning banner) will be subject to fighters submitting pre-fight blood work, weigh-ins will be the day of the fights, and they will be working with gyms and physicians to determine what the lowest weight class an individual competitor can compete in. This is a very commendable stance, but as with anything you do for a first time, there were some visible issues last Saturday with communication between officials and time-keeping that will need to be addressed if they want to carry on the message of fighter safety being a priority not only before the fighters get in the cage, but also while they are in it.
Revolution Fight Series will return with it's 12th installment on January 31, 2015, back at the Sportsplex in Winchester.
P.J. Lumabao-Espanto def Larry Hensley Jr. at 2:58 of the 1st rd via submission (Triangle)
Samuel Winn def. Eric Throckmorton at 0:53 of the 2nd rd via submission (neck crank)
James Huffman def. Rodney Stark at 0:59 of the 1st rd via submission (Guillotine)
Rodney St. Dismas def. Chris Gatton at 0:33 of the 2nd rd via submission (Guillotine)
Randy Kline def. Chase Dews at 1:21 of the 1st rd via submission (rear naked choke)
Kyle Tyler def. Will Anderson by majority decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-48)
Joshua Thompson def. Donte Stith at 1:52 of the 2nd rd via TKO
Kevin Villegas def. Jonathan George by Unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mubashir Rana def. Bernard Hechanova at 1:11 of the 2nd rd by TKO (Muay Thai)
Ben Lipov def. Donaven McCoy at 2:00 of the 1st rd by TKO (doctor stoppage)