Spartyka Fight League 32: Play By Play & Awards

by Ryan MacDonald

MMA in VA reports from the Ted Constant Convocation Center, in Norfolk, VA, Saturday, January 27th at approximately 6:00 PM EST, with play by play and our "of the Night" awards, for Spartyka Fight League 32: Pro/AM.


Scott Bucsok v. Gavin Thomas

Round 1

The current SFL Lightweight Champion starts off the card, at a catchweight of 150 pounds against Gavin Thomas, making his MMA debut.  Thomas came out with a kick and was taken down by Bucsok, but recovered nicely and got back to his feet.  Both fighters exchanged standing blows until the wrestling skills of Bucsok showed themselves again, for his second takedown of the round.  Bucsok maintained top control, but Thomas found an ability to mix in some elbows from the bottom, to try and keep the position uncomfortable for Bucsok.  Strong ground game and more top time should secure the round for Bucsok

MMA in VA Unofficial Score:  Bucsok 10-9

Round 2

Bucsok shot in early but was rebuffed by Thomas, who used his strength to toss Bucsok away.  Bucsok shot in a second time and was again turned away from a takedown.  A right hand from Thomas dropped Bucsok.  Thomas went in to capitalize on the position and incurred a left leg injury, causing referee Mike King to call a halt to the bout at 1:29 of the round.  Official result is a TKO due to injury.  The victory allows Bucsok to run his amateur record to 8-1.

Cristian Pachicano v. Lee Hall

Round 1

40 year old, Lee Hall, from UGMMA takes on Cristian Pachicano, making his MMA debut.  Pachican, fighting out of Alliance Fight House.  Both fighters exchanged body kicks, to start the round.  Hall was moving backwards and suddenly looked down at his foot/leg, appearing as if he slipped on the label on the center of the cage.  Pachicano took the opportunity to close the distance and get Hall to the ground.  No real damage on top from Pachicano and was almost caught, by Hall, in a triangle choke.  The bout got back to it's feet, Hall working to push his opponent against the cage and landed some nice knees to the head and body.  Close round.  The striking should have outweighed the takedown, for Hall.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Hall 10-9

Round 2

Hall did a good job with his jabs and inside leg kicks and just appeared to be the fresher fighter.  Pachicano was looping his punches and Hall closed the distance, pushing the tired Pachicano against the cage, sinking in a choke that forced Pachicano to tap.

Tyler McCormick v. Mark Johnson

Round 1

After a 2.5 year layoff, Heavyweight Tyler McCormick returned to the Spartyka cage.  The third Spartyka fight for McCormick may be his toughest, to date, in Mark "Sleepy" Johnson.  Johnson was not looking to make this a long bout, landing with solid and powerful punches and body kicks.  McCormick survived a flurry of strikes and tied up Johnson, briefly, but Johns took his opponent to the ground and instantly gained full mount and worked his ground and pound until referee Elvis Bello stepped in to call a halt to the bout at 2:09 of the round.  Johnson moves his record to 3-1 with the lopsided victory.

Kyle Wright v. A.J. Aguilar

Round 1

The third fight of the night that was delayed due to a fighter not coming out with his mouthpiece pits Kyle Wright, who lost the first fight of his career at Spartyka 31, in October, after starting out 2-0, will look to rebound against debuting A.J. Aguiar, out of San Diego.  Referee Elvis Bello stopped the fight, immediately, as the opening bell rang, docking Wright a point due to not coming out with his mouthpiece, after all fighters had been previously warned in the locker room to do so.  Knowing that he was already down on the scorecard, Wright came out with a powerful shot and takedown of the Navy veteran, Aguilar.  Aguilar stood back up, but was later taken down, for the second time, by a powerful single-leg takedown from the North Carolina native, Wright.  Aguilar maintained a good guard, but ultimately got passed, as Wright moved to side mount.  Wright ended the round in top mount and tried to transition to an arm bar, just as the ring bell rang, ending a dominant round for "The Savage Beast", Wright.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Draw 9-9

Round 2

Aguilar had some early success with a kick.  Feeling the shot, Wright shot in again for an early takedown.  Wright was easily able to evade the guard of Aguilar, getting into side mount twice.  Aguilar gave up his back and Wright transitioned to a rear-naked choke attempt.  Wright could not finish and fight made it back to it's feet, where Wright ended the round controlling his opponent against the cage.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Wright 10-9

Round 3

Aguilar, clearly exhausted, was taken down again, in a mirror image of the prior two rounds.  Wright was, again, able to gain full mount and land some ground and pound.  Aguilar, sapped of strength, was simply unable to escape and get back to his feet.  Wright moved for an arm bar, near the end of the round, but was unsuccessful.  A dominant fight for Wright.  His lone blemish was the point deduction in the first.  The judges scored the fight, for Wright, 29-27, 29-26 and 29-27, by unanimous decision.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Wright 10-9

Rob Shermer v. Jonathan Burrs II

Round 1

Shermer will look to move his amateur MMA record above the .500 mark and get that third win.  Burrs, on the other hand will look to remain undefeated and secure his third win.  Burrs out of Clinch Academy, in Maryland, has finished both of his prior two fights by knockout.  These lightweights came out fast, with Shermer chasing Burrs down to hopefully stay in close and negate the striking attack of Burrs.  Shermer was successful and scored a takedown, hooking in a guillotine choke from full mount.  Burrs survived and actually reversed position and was briefly in top position.  Shermer, very slick on the ground, went for submission after submission from the bottom and used a submission to sweep and take back top control.  Shermer worked for an arm bar and got the tap at 2:41 of the opening round.  Very strong ground game by Shermer.

Brandon Gardner v. Justin Harrell

Round 1

Gardner, out of Team XCWT, sporting an undefeated 2-0 record with a 100% finish rate, via knockout takes on Justin Harrell out of Fearless Fighting in North Carolina.  Harrell is 1-1 with his sole victory coming in the Sparytka cage, via KO, at Spartyka 29.  The winner of this bout could be on a clear patch to a future Welterweight title.  Both fighters came out swinging.  Gardner connected with a right hand that dropped Harrell, hard.  Due to the way that Harrell fell, referee Shaun Spath jumped in and called an instant halt to the bout at 22 seconds.   Harrell did not appear to be out and recovered quickly from the shot.  The crowd shared their disapproval with the call.  This bout should be rebooked on the next show.  This could have been an instant classic.  Gardner remains undefeated and keeps marching toward a Welterweight title shot.

Tony White Moye v. Samson Sausser

Round 1

In a late add to the card, Tony White Moye steps into this fight in place of his injured teammate, Ka'sim Ruffin, taking on 19 year old phenom, Samson Sausser.  The young Sausser is giving up a great deal of in cage experience, only having one fight, against the 12 fight vet, Moye.  Sausser worked hard, early, for a takedown, with success, but was unable to hold down the XCWT fighter Moye.  Moye got back to his feet but was taken down again, taking some shots in the process.  After getting taken down an additional time and taken a ton of punishment, Moye tapped out.  At 2-0 and on a fast career trajectory, Sausser will certainly command a higher ranked opponent in his next bout.  I'm sure he'd still like to run back the fight with Ruffin.

Diego Bautista v. Kaeon Minor

Round 1

Bautista, out of GA, comes into this bantamweight bout with a 5-3 record.  All wins have come via decision and his three defeats were all by decision.  His opponent will be the former Spartyka bantamweight Champion, Minor, whose only blemish was in his first title defense at Spartyka 30.  Kaeon will look to get back on the trail to the title and Bautista will look to get the win and blaze his own trail to future Spartyka gold.  Minor did not come out with the same fury as he normally does.  He seemed to have grown in his young career and has learned how to pace himself.  Minor scored two takedowns, with the second takedown getting reversed for Bautista.  Unable to hold Minor, both fighters continued to exchange grappling positions  on their feet.  Both fighters exchanged kicks to end the round.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Minor 10-9

Round 2

Bautisa came out sporting a large contusion on the right side of his face, beside his eye.  That did not deter Bautista who landed a strong front kick that backed Minor up and later got a takedown and top position.  Bautista maintained top position for quite a bit of time, in the round.  Back on their feet, Bautista ended the round controlling Minor against the cage.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Bautista 10-9

Round 3

Minor started the round with a leg kick and Bautista countered with a side kick from a karate stance.  Bautista landed another side kick to the body and was successful in another takedown attempt.  Minor gave up his back, but against the cage, Bautista was not able to get in the hooks.  Bautista repositioned securing back position, twice, and pounded out Minor until referee Mike King stopped the bout at 1:54 of the round.  Huge win over the former Champ, for Bautista, and a new contender in the Spartyka bantamweight division.

Marshall Shermer v. Jude Hammad

Round 1

A fight that was on and then off and then on again pits Marshall Shermer, the younger brother of Rob Shermer, looking to follow his brother's performance earlier in the night with a win in the Spartyka featherweight division.  Shermer, at 3-1 will take on Jude Hammad, a Champion in another promotion, who stands at 4-2.  Hammad shot in for an early takedown, but Shermer sprawled and evaded the takedown attempt.  After a scramble on the ground, Shermer stood up and called his opponent to his feet.  Hammad shot in again, Shermer sprawled again and maneuvered to take Hammad's back, sinking in a rear-naked choke at 1:03 of the round.  Winner, by RNC, at one minute and thirty-two seconds quicker that his brother, is the now 4-1 Marshall Shermer.

Joseph Bishop v. Clark Wright

Round 1

Joseph Bishop out of Rising Warriors MMA in North Carolina will make his debut against 59 year old Clark Wright.  Wright, out of 303 Training Center, in Colorado, has been a mainstay on Spartyka cards, over the years.  Wright sports a 3-4 record and is on a two fight slide, since his last win in 2015.  Bishop comes in with a front kick, which gets caught by Wright and turned into a takedown, by the Special Forces veteran.  Bishop maintained a guard and ate some elbows until Bishop was able to get back to his feet.  Bishop rebounded and dropped Wright with a punch.  Bishop followed up with ground and pound and Elvis Bello jumped in after two heavy head shots, to Wright, and called a halt to the bout at 2:06 of the round.  Winner by TKO and 1-0 as an amateur is Joseph Bishop.

David Gladfelter v. Troy Cain

Round 1

The first of four amateur title bouts begins with a contest for the vacant Middleweight title.  David Gladfelter, out of MMA Institute in Richmond will look to run his winning percentage to 80% with his 4th win in 5 fights.  To do so, he will have to get past undefeated Troy Cain, out of Fearless Fighting, in NC.  In three fights, all wins, Cain his won every way possible, with one coming by submission, one by decision and one by knockout.  Cain submitted Gladfelter's teammate in the Summer of 2017, so Gladfelter will be looking for some team payback.  This bout will be contested at a maximum of three 5-minute rounds.  Gladfelter came out the aggressor, pumping his jab and Cain looking to counter.  The fighters clinched and changed positions back and forth until Cain got a quick takedown and locked in a guillotine choke.  Gladfelter stood up and fought the hold, but was soon taken down.  Cain landed several strikes, but gave up his back and fought through two rear-naked choke attempts.  Cain landed a third and that was too much to overcome for Gladfelter, who tapped to the hold at 2:15 of the round.  With an undefeated record and a new shiny belt, Troy Cain is now 4-0 and the Spartyka Fight League Middleweight Champion.

Justin Hatcher v. Imani Smith

Round 1

The SFL Welterweight title bout will feature Justin Hatcher, coming off of a two and a half year layoff, sporting a 4-6 record and a knockout victory in his last fight against Eastside Muay Thai fighter, Imani Smith, whose record does not do him justice.  Smith at 5-7 has won four out of his last 5 bouts.  Smith lost in his last attempt at the Welterweight title, getting defeated by tonight's main event fighter, Mitch Aguiar.  As the last bout, all title bouts tonight will be fought within three 5-minute rounds.  Imani came out strong and was immediately taken down by Hatcher.  Smith got back to his feet and both fighters exchanged strikes.  Hatcher, at a reach disadvantage continued to try and close the distance and take down Smith.  Smith was having none of it and crumbled Hatcher with an elbow out of a clinch, against the cage.  Hatcher went limp, instantly.  Vicious KO win at 1:13.  Your new Spartyka Fight League Welterweight Champion, running his record to 6-7 is Imani Smith.

Robbie Cutrell v. Jacob Ashley

Round 1

Odyssey MMA's Robbie Cutrell drops down a weight class for this Featherweight title bout.  Cutrell is coming of a loss last time out, at Spartyka 31.  His opponent, out of Charlottesville BJJ, is the Interim SFL Featherweight Champ, Jacob Ashley. Ashley, a winner in his last Spartyka bout, is coming off a loss in another promotion and will look to turn his interim belt into an undisputed belt.  Cutrell came out fists flying and dropped Ashley with a flurry of strikes.  Ashley recovered guard and withstood a leg lock  and showed his BJJ skills, as he secured Cutrell's back.  Cutrell got back to his feet and got Cutrell in a headlock.  Cutrell lifted Ashley and slammed him on his back, which allowed Cutrell to move to side mount.  Cutrell moved between side mount and north-south position, but was unable to secure anything besides point scoring top time.  Ashley made a strong attempt at an arm bar but last it.  Again, Ashley transitioned to take Cutrell's back with about 45 seconds in the round.  Ashley used some ground and pound and closed the round going for a triangle choke submission.  Very close round, which Jacob may have taken with that last minute of action.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Ashley 10-9

Round 2

Cutrell started with a slower pace and both fighters started in a clinch with Ashley controlling the majority of the grappling.  Cutrell did momentarily gain top control, but found himself in a triangle attempt, which Ashley turned into a brief mount, rolled him and caused Cutrell to tap at 2:15 by triangle choke.  Fighters looking to take on Ashley had better bring their submission defense game, as Ashley is always on the hunt for a limb.

Ahmad Hicks v. Corey Champion

Round 1

The fourth and final title bout of the night will be contested in the SFL Bantamweight division.  The Champ, Hicks, will look to make his second defense of his title agains 19 year old Corey Champion, out of 8 Corners MMA in Louisa.  Champion a successful high school wrestler will look to bring the fight into his wheelhouse.  Champion land a nice left hand that send Hicks backwards and landed a strong leg kick.  Hicks, at 5-0, is a master of weather storms and letting fights come to him.  Champion showed a lot of good movement with faints and head movement.  Hicks landed a leg kick and Champion countered with a left that dropped Hicks.    Hicks landed a big head kick, but Champion walked right through it.  Hicks shot in with about 15 seconds left and was taken down by Champion to close the round.  The volume of strikes, coupled with the takedown and knockdown should be enough for Champion to take the first stanza

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Champion 10-9

Round 2

Hicks went to a heavy kick game in this round.  Landing a number of leg kicks that went generally unchecked.  Champion did land a few solid punches, but got taken down after Hicks caught one of his kicks.  Hicks maintained top position for a short amount of time, with Champion getting back to his feet.  Both fighters exchanged during the remainder of the round.  Champion did secure a takedown with one second left in the round, but the volume of strikes was the differentiator for Hicks, in that round.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Hicks 10-9

Round 3

Champion and Hicks exchanged shots, with no fighter really gaining a distinct advantage.  The power seemed to belong to Champion, but the volume seemed to come more from Hicks.  The power won out and Champion caught Hicks with a shot that dislodged Hicks mouthpiece and sent him crashing to the canvas.  Champion followed up the knockdown with a couple of strikes until referee Elvis Bello stepped in and called a halt to the fight at 2:20, via KO.  At 19 years of age, Corey Champion is your new.....wait for it....Champion.  I think there may be another 19 year old, in the building, in the same division, that may be looking for the next shot.

Thomas Blair v. Alexander Olave

Round 1

Thomas Blair and Alexander Olave will have the historical distinction of being the first two pro mixed martial artists to compete on a Spartyka Fight League card.  A fight that Olave called for, the 1-1 pro from Kaizen MMA in Fairfax comes into the house that saw Blair compete in for 15 amateur bouts.  Blair was the victor in 10 of those bouts, 4 of which were title bouts.  Blair made the jump to pro in 2017 and has started off with a 3-0 record.  Olave is 1-1 and coming off a savage knockout of Shawn Joffe, in another promotion.  Olave started the bout with a slap to Blair's head and then followed that up with a takedown against the cage.  Olave landed several hard elbows from the top position and controlled the top.  Blair, however, found a opening and tried to work to his feet and secured a guillotine choke on the way up.  Blair fell back to the mat to try and lock it in tighter, but Olave powered out and remained in top position.  Olave finished the round on top and took the round.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Olave 10-9

Round 2

Olave began the round talking to Blair, employing him to throw strikes.  Blair did so but so did Olave, landing a powerful left that sent Blair backwards.  Olave called Blair back to the center of the cage and landed a nice punch combination, followed by a low kick and went into a clinch.  A trip followed and Olave, again, got the fight to the ground and secured top position.  Olave landed successive elbows to the head.  Blair saw another opening for a choke and tried another guillotine from the bottom, but again could not secure it.  Olave remained on top and secured another round.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Olave 10-9

Round 3

Both fighters expended a lot of energy in the first two rounds, but exchanged some friendly fire in the early round.  Olave went for a kick and slipped on the mat, which allowed Blair to jump on him and take top position.  Olave, the bigger, taller, fighter kept a strong guard with a brief attempt at a triangle choke.  Olave got back to his feet, but was extremely tired, which allowed Blair to connect with his strongest shots of the bout.  Both fighters clinched up on the cage and Olave grabbed Blair's leg and took him down, finishing the fight on top, throwing heavy leather.  The judges scored the fight for Olave by scores of 29-28, 30-27. 30-27.  Olave came into hostile territory and defeated the previously unbeaten Blair.  Big win for Olave.

Mitch Aguiar v. Brandon Pennington

Round 1

Pennington came to the cage to the song Zombie, by the Cranberries.  He will look to employ that zombie mind state as he will try to weather the inevitable early storm that Aguiar brings.  Aguiar came out to the ring in tearaway everything and had a brief "Magic Mike" moment on the way to the cage.  Aguiar who was very "small" at weigh-ins yesterday appears to have gained back every bit of size and muscle that he cut to get to the 170 pound mark.  Aguiar stalked Pennington with his hands down and connected with some hard jabs and punches.  Brandon shot in for a takedown and got it.  Aguiar got back to his feet and attempted a guillotine choke, but got taken down again.  Pennington moved to side mount but with a feat of strength I've never seen, carried Pennington over with one arm.  Pennington fought through another choke attempt to take Mitch down for a third time in the round.  Pennington got Aguiar's back but couldn't get both hooks in. This caused Mitch to roll and Brandon got into full mount.  Aguiar got back to his feet and unleaded a fight ending fury, but got taken down a 4th time for his troubles.  Aguiar regained top position with a few second left.  Four takedowns should have secured the round for Pennington.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Pennington 10-9

Round 2

Aguiar started the round breathing heavily, while Pennington's cardio looked to be superior.  Aguiar went for some more fight ending punches, but Pennington used his momentum against him and shot in for the first takedown of the round, 5th of the fight.  Aguiar got back to his feet, but was taken down for the 6th time in the fight, second in the round.  Aguiar once again muscled out and went for another guillotine.  Pennington escaped and controlled Aguiar against the cage and scored a 3rd takedown of the round.  Aguiar powered out and got a takedown of his own and looked for some ground and pound.  Pennington weathered it and went for an arm bar attempt that Aguiar got out of, but got taken down for a 4th time in the round.

MMA in VA Unofficial Score: Pennington 10-9

Round 3

Aguiar was taking heavy breaths between rounds, but the Navy Seal came right back out firing.  Pennington showed a bit more fatigue than he did after the first.  Aguiar was able to defend Pennington's first takedown attempt and made Pennington pay for the shot.  Aguiar, hands down ate a couple Pennington jabs and continued to stalk his opponent.  Aguiar opened a cut under Pennington's left eye.  Pennington went for the safety of the clinch and pushed Aguiar against the cage and secured the first takedown of the round.  Aguiar muscled out again and hit Pennington with several hard head shots on the way up, but Brandon never let go of his leg and pinned Aguiar against the cage and got another takedown.  Mitch got free and went for broke and got Pennington to the mat and never let him up.  Mitch unleashed some furious ground and pound, with Pennington absorbing a lot of punishment.  Referee Elvis Bello allowed Pennington to work and continue, until he had seen enough and called a stop to the fight, just 28 seconds prior to the end of the bout at 4:32 of the round.  Winner by TKO and now an undefeated Pro, Mitch Aguiar, put on a great come from behind performance and will look forward to his next fight.

 

For full results, visit the SFL 32 Tapology event page.

MMA IN VA'S "OF THE NIGHT" AWARDS

Fight of the Night:  Mitch Aguiar v. Brandon Pennington

KO of the Night:  Mitch Aguiar

Submission of the Night:  Jacob Ashley