by Felix Falcon
Odyssey Fights returned to the State’s capital, last Saturday, November 7th, with their second all-pro card at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The 10 fight card largely featured young up and coming Pros, a handful of vets, and a main event fight that was equally interesting on paper, as it played out in real life.
The first half of the card flew by with five first round finishes. Within that flurry of action, were three promising performances from young amateur-turned-pro fighters. Gustavo Machado BJJ black belt Greg Walker looked more like a wrestler than a Jiu Jitsu expert in his Pro debut, taking down his opponent Chris Cornelius, patiently stepping over to full mount, and landing heavy strikes from the top for the night’s lone TKO finish. Disciple MMA’s Pablo Garcia made his second Pro fight a quick one, by stuffing Nic Nicholas’ early takedown attempt, grabbing a hold of his neck, pulling guard and finishing a mounted guillotine in less than a minute’s time. 8 Corners MMA’s Robbie Lillard quickly dispatched his opponent, Dreon Martin, in his Pro debut as well, keeping his composure while being taken down and finding an opportunity to slap on a triangle for the tap.
The night’s closest fight, both in technique and outcome, was one between MMA Institute’s Ginseng Du’Jour and Conquest BJJ’s David Pope. The first round was clearly Du’jour’s. He landed the more effective strikes, mostly consisting of digging body kicks, and partially blocked head kicks. The third round was clearly Pope’s. He pressured Du’Jour for most of the round, either up against the cage or on the ground. The second round seemed to be the deciding factor of the bout. Du’Jour was able to escape multiple takedown attempts and land the better, more effective strikes while Pope was the one coming forward for most of the round. Ultimately two of the three judges gave the nod to Pope for a split decision win.
American Top Team fighter, JD Domengeaux is slowly making Virginia a fight home. His fight was his third straight fight in the Commonwealth this year. It was also the third time facing his opponent, John Bryant. Not so much in the way of a rubber match, as Domengeaux had already beat Bryant twice before. As the promotion was looking for a late replacement Bryant offered to take a third crack at it and JD obliged. The third time was not a charm for Bryant, though, as Domengeaux’s ground game pulled through, attacking with several heel hook attempts, and as Bryant tried to get to a better position, Domengeaux landed a triangle for the win.
The main event, between MMA Institute’s D’Juan Owens and Conquest BJJ’s Myron Baker showcased both Baker’s size, power and takedown abilities as well as Owens’ patience, grit, and determination. The first two rounds played out almost exactly alike. As the bell rang, Owens would come out explosively, trying to land multiple kicking techniques to get Baker backing up. As soon as they were in clinching range, though, Baker would use his height and power to drive slamming takedowns. Where Baker lacked throughout the fight, was in generating much of an offense once he got top position. The third round opened much like the previous two rounds, except that once it hit the ground this time, Owens managed to find a sweep and a quick transition into an arm triangle that forced Baker to tap.
In the aftermath of such a come-from-behind win, Owens jumped on the cage to celebrate - which didn’t seem to sit well with Bakers corner. Words were exchanged between both camps, but referees Mike King, Angel Ortiz and other DPOR officials quickly came in and de-escalated the situation.
Odyssey Fight’s second showing was a great night of fights. Everything, from the large accommodations of the GRCC Grand Ballroom, fan friendly seating, professional lighting and production served as an excellent backdrop for a good night of action-packed fights.
MMA in VA’s “Of the Night” Awards:
Fight of the Night: David Pope vs. Ginseng Du’Jour
KO of the Night: Greg Walker
Submission of the Night: D’Juan Owens