Ok.. In my best Bruce Buffer voice... WE ARE LIIIIIIIIIIIIIVEEEEE from Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island... Electric performance of the national anthem by a beautiful young lady named Jacklyne Tasca.
Justin Switzer vs Tyson Chartier
Right off the bat we have two young, hungry fighters going at it with local fighter (coming straight out of my backyard's backyard.. Woonsocket, RI) Justin Switzer taking on a stocky youngster making his MMA debut, Tyson Chartier.
Switzer lands a great throw in the first round on his way to controlling the action and securing round one. The rest of the fight is all Chartier who uses his wrestling and strength to assert his will and eventually land a rear naked choke in the 3rd round.
Ruben Rey vs James King
In a rather amusing moment for the crowd, James King's girlfriend/wife starts the bout off by screaming encouragement (profanity, but I'm not mad at her at all) loud enough for everybody in attendance to hear. Her heart is clearly in the right place, but the parents of the "under 18" folks in the house are going to want to have "earmuffed" the last few minutes.
King shoots and lands a takedown.. fights off a guillotine attempt.. Rey gets it back standing and lands a gargantuan knee. Fight over.. King, asleep.. Very impressive knockout.
By the by.. King's girlfriend spent a good five minutes terrified, saying to herself "Oh my God" repeatedly until King made it back to his feet. Best of luck to the both of them. This guy would love to see James King back in the cage soon.
Doug Bolanes vs Josh Labossiere
Bolanes is not making any enemies right here with his choice of entrance music. He's coming out to Young Jeezy's "Put On"... By the way, a New England Patriots staple last year. Hard not to root for this guy...
Doug Bolanes' "Dougout Crew" is loud and in proud in support of the huge crowd favorite and Framinham native. Bolanes does not disappoint and puts Labossiere to sleep early in the first with a laser-beam straight right.
Crowd - crazy... Bolanes, victorious..
Bolanes just gave Ruben Rey some competition for knockout of the night.
Luiz Rodriguez vs Lionel Young
Rodriguez starts this fight by immediately getting Young down and taking his back and mounting him.. very quick... very impressive... Young is game on his back and quickly recovers position. Both fighters spend some time scrambling and Rodriguez sinks in a triangle choke. Young fights it for a bit before falling to his backside... Rodriguez also has control of an arm and Young has the face of a guy who needs to tap. Young is a few seconds from sleep and tries to tap out. Nothing but love right here for referee Dan Mirgaliotta, but on this one it seemed like he was the last person in the house to realize Young was out. After a quick transition to a mounted triangle, Rodriguez decides himself that the fight is over and climbs off Young. Very impressive win for Luiz Rodriguez against a tough dude.
Jeff Anderson vs Hitalo Machado
Fight starts with some solid exchanges in the stand-up. Anderson looks to be ready to defend the shot. Machado throws a couple stiff jabs and changes levels nicely to land the takedown. After they take turns changing positions on the ground, Machado looks for an arm bar. Anderson defends nicely and finishes the round landing some nice ground and pound. Good round, I give it to Machado based off his takedown and submission attempt.
Second round goes off very similar to the first. Some good exchanges on the feet that lead to Machado landing another takedown. Machado landing some more ground and pound that leads to a couple scrambles. Anderson finds himself on top and locked in a triangle choke. Machado has it pretty tight as the ten second mark goes off. Anderson is fighting it but is definitely saved by the bell. Round two ends with Anderson locked tight in a triangle. I'll give this one to Machado again.
Round three comes off to the same tune as the first two. Both fighters trading and landing shots in the stand-up. Machado changes levels nicely again and lands another takedown. Anderson is trying to get the fight standing again but Machado isn't having it. Machado stays busy enough on the floor and the fight ends as such.
Good fight. Machado's wrestling was the difference. I score it 30-27 for Machado. One judge agrees with me, the other two had it 29-28. UD win for Machado.
Jason Bennett vs Tateki Matsuda
First round is a flurry of great grappling and submission attempts. Matsuda is staying very busy looking for an assortment of submissions including multiple heel hooks, ankle locks and triangle chokes. Incredibly entertaining round that I have to give to Matsuda.
Round two opens with both fighters trading leg kicks. Another takedown by Matsuda but Bennett is quickly back on his feet. Some furious exchanges on the feet with Matsuda getting the better of it. Matsuda is looking to land more knees to the body but that gives Bennett an opening to land his own takedown. A quick scramble on the ground results in Bennett landing on the top. The round ends with Matsuda on top. Tough round to score. I'd call it 10-10, but the judges could go either way.
Round three starts off with both fighters throwing heavy kicks. Some wild exchanges that have the crowd fired up. Matsuda lands a nice single leg. Some more nice grappling that finds Matsuda taking Bennett's back. Very nice reversal from Bennett that finds him on top. Matsuda staying busy from his back and looks to lock in a triangle. Whoa! Three big slams from Bennett and the triangle is broken. Both fighters back standing and throwing bombs to finish the round and fight. Bell sounds... Great fight. I've got it 30-28 Matsuda. Judges have it as a split decision win for Matsuda.
Tiawan Howard vs Greg Rebello
It's time for the co-main event. Howard promised a knockout, on way or the other in the prefight press conference. The first round comes out with Howard throwing a heavy kick and both fighters quickly clinch and find their way to the ground. Some wrestling that finds Rebello in top position but not doing much damage. Round ends with Rebello going for a couple submission attempts that don't go very far. Rather uneventful round that goes to Rebello based off superior position for the duration of the round.
Second round is rather uneventful. Much of it is spent with Rebello landing a couple takedowns and at one point achieving mount but not doing a lot of damage. Easy 10-9 round for Rebello, but not a lot of excitement.
Third round is more of the same. Rebello landing a quick takedown and controlling position for the duration of the round. At one point, Howard gets the fight back standing only to have Rebello get him right back down. The fight ends with Rebello looking for an armbar that never quite settled in. 10-9 for Rebello.
Judges agree, 30-27 on all scorecards for a UD win to Rebello. The main event is on deck.
Dany Lauzon vs Damien Trites
Another intense staredown and predictably no touch of gloves. Trites comes out very agressive, throwing hard and landing. Lauzon looks for a takedown but finds himself on the bottom. Trites lands a few shots from inside Lauzon's guard. Lauzon gets free and they are standing again. Trites looks to take Lauzon down again but sticks his neck right out and you can't do that vs Dan Lauzon. Lauzon pounces on the opportunity and quickly sinks in a tight guillotine. Trites tries to fight it but is forced to tap. Big win for Dany Lauzon. Tough loss for Trites. He looked to have Lauzon in trouble for a moment, but you can't give a guy like Dan Lauzon your neck.
Lauzon wins via first round submission.
Check back tomorrow for my final thoughts and some post-fight quotes from fighters including Lauzon, Trites, Rodriguez and Matsuda.