Strike Off returned to The Palace, in Woodbridge, on Saturday night, December 13th, for their third endeavor. The upstart promotion accomplished what it had done in it’s prior two events, by packing a large amount of fight fans into a very small venue. However, fight fans were in for an all amateur event, this go around, instead of the Pro-AM events that were put on during their first two shows. This gave the loyal Northern Virginia fight fans a chance to take a gander at some brand new names and some future pros that will, undoubtedly, be highlighting the Strike Off fight cards of the future. Eleven fights were on the docket for this event, all of the MMA variety.
One of the future stars that fight fans will be seeing in the future is Disciple MMA’s Desmond Torres. The Osbourn Park High School wrestler was matched up against Tony Valle, in the fourth fight of the night. Torres, who has only been training at Disciple for approximately six months and won his first MMA fight in September, was back to make his record 2-0 and did so in very quick fashion. It’s not always easy to see a lot of aspects of a fighter in one minute and thirty-five seconds, which is all it took Torres to earn a TKO victory over his opponent. However, in this case, the fans were able to see speed, power, decisiveness and maturity that exceeds most 17 year olds, which is Torres’ age. What I saw after the event is the attribute that might lead to his future success, and that is Torres’ level of unpretentiousness. When all the fights had concluded, Torres was waiting to say goodbye to his coaches and teammates. During this time, Strike Off had begun awarding it’s “of the night” awards. Not expecting to win, Torres said goodbye to everyone and made a b-line for the exit. That was the moment when the Ring Announcer and Lead Official, Angel Ortiz, announced that Torres had been awarded Knockout of the Night. Torres heard his name and ran back into the cage area, seemingly surprised that he had won and chiding himself for almost having left. Coupling the prep wrestling success Desmond has gained, along with the positive strides he is making in MMA, Torres should be considered a top prospect.
Raz Syan, of Freedom MMA, got back in the win column, after taking his first ever loss back in October. In one of the longer lasting fights of the night, Syan was matched up against Shane Schumack of Kaizen MMA. This was a back and forth affair, as both fighters had their moments of control, on the ground and standing up. Syan began to use his wrestling prowess and took control of the fight, in the second round. The Johnny Curtis pupil, was able to gain control of Schumack’s back and lock in a rear-naked choke at the 2:03 mark of the second round.
The main event of the night featured a grudge match that was years in the making, between Disciple MMA’s Adam Levy and Kaizen MMA’s Alexander Olave. The true origin of the beef between these two, was unbeknownst to this reporter, but it appeared that most of the heat from this fire was coming from the Olave side than the Levy side. Olave was absolutely fired up and focused, as he entered the cage, eyeing Levy and mimicking Levy’s paces in the cage, prior to the introduction. Levy, on the other hand, was cool and calm, as is his usual demeanor. When the opening horn sounded, Olave wasted no time in taking the fight to Levy, as he charged across the cage to engage his opponent. It was a very close opening round, as both fighters were able to exhibit their skills, to the judges. Round two was a very different story, however. At around the one minute mark of the second round, Olave was able to gain top position on Levy, against the cage, and proceeded to lay down what must have been anywhere from 10-15 unanswered strikes. The referee was in close proximity to the action and allowed Levy ample time to answer back and defend himself. Levy continued to take strikes to the head and arm area, as he was covering up and the referee halted the action. To most, it appeared that he has stopped the fight, as both cage doors were opened and each fighters’ cornermen entered the cage. However, what actually happened was the ref calling time out, due to an Olave strike that caught the back of Levy’s head. Everyone was ushered out of the cage, Olave was sent to a neutral corner and five minutes were given to Levy to recover. A point was deducted, from Olave, due to the foul. The referee called for the ringside physician to attend to Levy, but the doctor was treating a downed opponent from a prior fight and was not cageside. It took several minutes for the doctor to appear and after a period of time that had to have been longer than five minutes elapsed Levy was not able to continue, never having been able to get up from his seated position against the cage. During this time of much confusion, the crowd had begun to get into it with each other. One of the Disciple MMA pro fighters, there to support his teammates engaged in a profanity-laced shouting match, across the venue, with fans/supporters of Olave. The combustible situation was quelled nicely by the Disciple MMA coaches and other Strike Off personnel. What happened next is where it got tricky. Different sanctioning bodies have different rules pertaining to this type of situation. Some will only take it to the judges’ scorecards if it happens in the third round. Some require a fight to be halfway complete, which in this case would have been past the 1:30 mark of the second round, to go to the scorecards. Virginia Combat Sports Sanctioning (VCSS), the sanctioning body for this event, stated that a fight only has to go past the one-minute mark of the first round to go to the judges score cards, in the event of a stoppage, such as this one, according to Head Official, Angel Ortiz. So, the final tally was Olave winning a split decision, 19-18, 19-18, 18-19. So, that meant that two out of the three judges gave Olave the first round and all three scored the second round 9-9, after the Olave point deduction.
So, in all, the Strike Off fans were treated to 8 finishes in 11 fights and the three decisions were exciting fights. Strike Off awarded fight of the night to Jose Ortez and Chaning Spriggs. KO of the Night went to the aforementioned Desmond Torres and Submission of the Night went to Ramon Willis, for his 32 second rear-naked choke of Ardit Hysa.
Strike Off will be bringing back the pros for their next event, scheduled for February of 2015.
MMA in VA’s “Of the Night” Awards
Fight of the Night: Jose Ortez v. Chaning Spriggs
Submission of the Night: Ramon Willis
KO of the Night: Desmond Torres
Alexander Olave d. Adam Levy, Split Decision (19-18, 19-18, 18-19)
Jeff Blachly d. Greg Weightman, Submission (Kimura), Round 3, 2:32
Raz Syan d. Shane Schumack, Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Round 2, 2:03
Ramon Willis d. Ardit Hysa, Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Round 1, 0:32
Oscar Ramirez d. Shane Brinn, Submission (Reverse Triangle), Round 2, 0:54
Jose Ortez d. Chaning Spriggs, Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Jonathan Liggans d. Anthony Wilson, Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Desmond Torres d. Tony Valle, TKO, Round 1, 1:35
Brock Roderick d. Steven Wolf, Submission (Guillotine), Round 1, 2:04
Joe Callegari d. Zachary Allewalt, Submission (Guillotine), Round 1, 2:31
Daniel Holton d. Hunter Taylor, TKO, Round 1, 1:32