RICHMOND — Odyssey Fights drew an excited crowd to the Greater Richmond Convention Center on Saturday, despite losing three fights from the card merely one day prior. Fans got an exciting show, including appearances by UFC fighter Dustin Poirier and Bellator MMA’s Bubba Jenkins.
The red corner dominated the evening’s nine, all-pro fights. The first three matches were finished in the first round, only one lasting more than a minute. Baltimore BJJ fighter, Micha Goodman bested Kyle “Gruesome” Newson 1:29 into the first round with an impressive head & arm choke. After freeing himself from a Newson takedown, Goodman easily took dominant position to submit his opponent.
Immediately after, Kristopher Lewis was saved by referee Mike King after being knocked out by Freedom MMA fighter Josh Brown just 19 seconds into the first round.
Fight number four brought the heat, when MMA Institute’s Michael Lawrence faced Global Martial Arts’ Remington Miles for three full rounds.
Miles employed fierce strikes, chasing Lawrence to the cage early in the first round. Lawrence was able to escape the hold by throwing knees to Miles’ body. The two stayed pinned to the cage for most of the first round, constantly shifting dominant position. Lawrence ended the round on top however, using body strikes and elbows to push his way out of Miles’ attempted triangle choke. Lawrence started off strong in the second round, landing a powerful head kick. The two couldn’t stay off the cage and referee Todd McGovern eventually separated the men. Miles regained control, pinning Lawrence to the cage, yet again. He dominated round two, securing a rear mount and viciously striking Lawrence until the bell rang. But the final round fell once again under the control of Michael Lawrence. Delivering a powerful head kick, he took Miles back to the cage, using knees and strikes to gain the upper-hand and secure a rear-mount. Miles remained under Lawrence’s command, eating knees and elbows until the sounding of the final bell. The judges unanimously declared Lawrence the victor (29-28 x 3).
The energy only intensified with the next fight. Fight five was a savage battle and as his Pro Debut, a crucial victory for Disciple MMA’s Pablo Garcia. Looking war-ready, Garcia stared menacingly at his Hive MMA opponent, Chris Davis, as he made his way around the cage. Garcia started strong, landing powerful head and body kicks which allowed him to grab his opponent’s foot, taking him down. Davis wouldn't go down easily and flipped and slammed his opponent. Garcia regained dominance, however, mounting Davis. The two eventually took the fight back to their feet, blood visibly splashed across the cage floor, as well as both fighters’ gloves and flesh. Garcia continued brutalizing Davis with repeated head and body kicks, taking him down yet again to ground-and-pound. Round one ended with a very bloodied Davis unable to escape. Taking Davis down almost immediately in the second round, Garcia’s domination continued. He secured a guillotine choke, submitting Davis 26 seconds into the round. Addressing the crowd after his victory, an elated Garcia said: "I listened to my coaches [and] stuck to my game plan. I knew I was going to win.”
The following match was a grinding bout between bantamweights Ginseng Du Jour of MMA Institute and Reginald Barnett, Jr., of 757 Boxing. Most of the three rounds were fought on the ground, the fighters attempting to submit one another throughout, but neither maintained a dominant position long enough to do so. However, all three rounds ended with Du Jour in control and in the end he bested his opponent and was unanimously decided the victor (30-27 x 3). In his post-fight speech, Du Jour said he aims to improve his ground game. Dedicating his victory to his family, friends, team, supporters and God, Du Jour also paid Barnett special respect. The two displayed great sportsmanship, hugging and even bowing to one another on the ground at the bout’s conclusion.
The match that followed was a quick victory for American Top Team welterweight JD Domengeaux. Commanding the match with relative ease, he finished Big Dog MMA opponent, John Bryant, with ground and pound resulting in a TKO three minutes into the first round.
Prior to the Main Event, the crowd heard Steve Montgomery explain the cancellation of his fight, which had been slated as the Main Event. He broke the exciting news that he received the call every fighter dreams of. He will face Tony Sims in the UFC next week. “[Sims] doesn’t know what he’s in for,” Montgomery said. “Dreams come true if you stick with it and stay positive,” he added.
The Main Event ended as quickly as those that started the night. Welterweights Kenny Gaudreau of Disciple MMA and Star City Fight Club’s Nicholas Bleser faced off, but it was Gaudreau who would leave triumphant. The two exchanged kicks at the start, but Gaudreau was able to quickly pin Bleser to the cage and drop him. With a tight hold on Bleser, Gaudreau savagely struck and elbowed him. Bleser managed to escape and quickly land a strong inside leg kick, but Gaudreau responded by immediately taking Bleser’s back against the cage and dropping him yet again. Gaudreau continued brutalizing Bleser with intense strikes until referee Mike King called a stop to the action, 1:21 into the first round. Gaudreau was declared the winner by TKO.
MMA in VA’s “Of the Night” Awards
Fight of the Night: Pablo Garcia v. Chris Davis
Submission of the Night: Pablo Garcia
Knockout of the Night: Kenny Gaudreau
Fight of the Night: Pablo Garcia vs. Chris Davis
Submission of the Night: Micha Goodman
Knockout of the Night: Josh Brown
Kenny Gaudreau def. Nicholas Bleser at 1:21 of the 1st round by TKO (Strikes)
JD Domengeaux def. John Bryant at 3:02 of the 1st round via TKO (Strikes)
Anthony Horn def. John Calloway at 2:33 of the 1st round via Submission (Strikes)
Ginseng Du Jour def. Reginald Barnett, Jr. by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x 3)
Pablo Garcia def. Chris Davis at 0:26 of the 2nd round via Submission (Guillotine)
Mike Lawrence def. Remington Miles by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x 3)
Josh Brown def. Kristopher Lewis at 0:19 of the 1st round by KO (Overhand Right)
Micah Goodman def. Kyle Newsom at 1:29 of the 1st round via Submission (Head&Arm Choke)
Ian Lujan def. Jojo Stringfield at 0:29 of the 1st round by TKO (Strikes)