They give us a bit more information about the fighters coming in on this show, thankfully. This is a Middleweight bout despite Walker only coming in at 175lbs for some reason. Why wouldn’t he just cut to 170? Anyhow – he’s a former amateur boxer and also a professional bodybuilder, while Grate’s a BJJ guy under Charles Gracie.
They begin and Walker lands a combination almost immediately to rock Grate, who comes back with some swings of his own and then a takedown right into mount. Walker basically powers out and rolls him into guard, then manages to pull out of a triangle. He keeps making the mistake of over-extending himself though, and Grate goes for it again and again before locking it in deep on a third attempt. Walker looks in trouble as Grate tries to pull down on the head and finish it off, but somehow Walker hangs in there and punches away, refusing to quit. Announcers can’t believe how long Walker’s been in the triangle as he seems to be tiring, but so does Grate, and the lock on his legs begins to fade, and somehow Walker manages to pull free! Crazy stuff. Grate tries it again, but Walker manages to stand out of danger once more, looking very tired now though. Grate comes back up, and pushes forward into a clinch, where he lands some knees to end the round.
Into the 2nd, and Grate looks to strike it out with the tired Walker, but holds his chin waaay too high and constantly gets tagged by shots. Grate changes up the plan again and gets a takedown to guard, but soon after Larry Landless steps in and calls time, apparently for an errant headbutt from Grate. Doctors check Walker over as the crowd are booing loudly now, and it looks like a broken nose for the bodybuilder. Doctor calls the stoppage and Landless decides it was an intentional headbutt, so it’s a DQ win for Walker. Crowd do not like that one. Replays seem to suggest it was unintentional, too. Who knows? Fun little fight while it lasted though.
Bannon is billed as a striker mainly, although this is his MMA debut. He’s apparently also known as ‘DOA’ from the Battledome TV show and he’s fucking HUGE, just a total ripped monster right out of WWE. Crowd seem excited for him. Collup is another BJJ guy, and basically has the opposite physique to his opponent here, not looking to be in the best of shape.
Collup charges in swinging, but Bannon avoids, missing a big right but then NAILING him with a second attempt to put him down for the KO in about 20 seconds, big pop from the crowd too.
Post-fight Bannon poses for the crowd like a pro-wrestler, getting another big reaction. This seems to have been his only fight – not sure why, although by the look of him he’d have been more suited to pro-wrestling anyway, despite the KO.
Never heard of either of these two, but House is a BJJ guy training under Carlos Machado, while Fanshier is the protégé of old-time UFC veteran Cal Worsham. You know, that guy who Tank Abbott tried to throw over the top of the cage.
Round one and Fanshier opens with some low kicks, before House decides to pull guard. Fanshier stands, and then pulls off a SOMERSAULT GUARD PASS! Jesus, not seen that before. House tries a leg lock though, and uses it to get back to guard. Fanshier stands up inside the guard, so House goes for a heel hook, but Fanshier lands some hammer fists and then turns his way out, into side mount. Some elbows land, but then House brings his legs over and gets basically a reverse guard, using it to roll into another leg lock attempt. Fanshier escapes again and gets to his feet, and House looks gassed as he joins him, but manages to close the distance and get to a clinch. Fanshier gets a side headlock and then a BEAUTIFUL throw to side mount, holding the headlock, but House avoids a weird armbar attempt and comes back up. Some knees inside land from House, before they break off and Fanshier comes in with a right high kick. House takes it, and then comes in with a HUGE RIGHT ELBOW that sends Fanshier crashing to the mat! Fanshier manages to survive and get to his feet, and House tries a takedown, but ends up on his back to end the round.
Whew, hell of a round there.
Round two, and they exchange some kick attempts, before Fanshier comes flying forward with a spinning backfist that narrowly misses. Into the clinch, and they muscle for position before Fanshier busts out the sweet headlock takeover throw again. He tries an arm triangle choke, but House manages to scoot out to the side, and then swings over and takes Fanshier’s back! House begins to work for the rear naked choke, softening him up with punches to the side of the head as Fanshier defends well. House really opens up with the strikes, causing Fanshier to turtle up from the bottom...but then the ref calls a stand-up. Huh? Why call that when one of the fighters is in dominant position? They begin to exchange off the restart, but then the ref steps in again, and it looks like the round’s over. Nope, apparently he called time to fix House’s glove up, and there’s still eight seconds remaining. They restart, and now House sends him down to the mat via a leg kick as the round *really* ends. This is quite the fight.
A brief striking exchange to open the third, before Fanshier catches a low kick and gets a takedown to guard. No sooner have they hit the mat though, than House swings his legs up and locks in a textbook armbar for the tapout.
Great, great fight there. Perhaps the best I’ve seen from two largely unknown fighters who never went onto anything bigger later in their careers. Competitive throughout, with some crazy, memorable spots all over the place. First round especially was outstanding.
This is the ‘Battle of the Supermen’ here I guess, with ‘Superman’ Hallman and ‘Super’-Mansouri. Ugh, I still hate that nickname. So corny! Pre-fight Betiss claims he wants to stand with Hallman and knock him out. He comes out for the fight holding a false leg, no idea of what he’s referencing there.
Round 1, and Hallman wings a big right, and then catches Betiss with a left high kick. Dennis continues to strike, working some low kicks, before landing a right hand that causes Mansouri to clinch and look for the takedown. Hallman blocks, but Betiss gets a single leg, and they go down to a really weird position where it appears Hallman might be working for a kneebar. Apparently not though, as he works his way on top instead, in Mansouri’s guard. Betiss tries a reversal from the bottom, but gives his back in the process, and Hallman comes really high up on the back, looking to float into an armbar. Mansouri avoids and manages to roll his way into Hallman’s guard, but Dennis quickly slaps on a triangle from the bottom, and that’s it as Betiss taps out.
Decent grappling-based match there, with Hallman looking pretty impressive, which was nice to see as he’s a guy I tend to expect more out of due to the Hughes wins. Mansouri looked more than capable of hanging with him though, and appeared to just get caught off guard, but he hasn’t fought since which is a bit surprising. I think he’s still coaching with Millennia JJ though.
Batastini is a really journeyman guy on the KOTC circuit, he’s got a current record of 6-18, but he has been in with some real tough guys like Heath Herring and Ricco Rodriguez. Big pop for him here as this is his hometown. Petruzelli looks a LOT bigger than he does now, I guess that makes sense given he’s dropped to 205lbs these days, but I mean he’s a lot bigger here than even when he was on TUF. I like Seth though, so this ought to be interesting.
Rocky shoots in right off the bat for a takedown, but Seth sprawls out and lands a couple of right hands for good measure. Batastini keeps coming on a single leg, but Petruzelli continues to avoid, moving out to the side and landing some punches, some of which catch the back of the head. Ref begins to warn Seth for that, and eventually he stops the fight for a moment and takes two points from Petruzelli for the fouls. Now that’s one rule I never got – I understand outlawing shots to the back of the head, but surely if the guy on the bottom is turtling up and the guy on top is catching the back of the head by mistake, its not his fault? Blah. Anyway, ref asks Batastini his name and what state he’s in and decides he’s alright to continue.
They restart, and Rocky gets the takedown to Seth’s guard, but for some reason decides to stand back up, and Seth comes up and catches him with a right high kick on the side and top of the head. Rocky looks stunned and shoots in again, but Seth sprawls, and Batastini flattens out, allowing Seth to take the back. He tries an armbar, but can’t flip Batastini over to finish it off, and Rocky manages to escape, but ends up going right into a triangle choke. Seth tightens it up, and then flips him over to his back with the triangle still on, right as Rocky passes out, but the ref ignores that and lets Seth pound his face in before he stops it. Who’s the ref, you ask? Steve Mazzagatti of course.
Not a bad fight I guess, I didn’t understand the taking of two points, seemed a bit extreme to me, but I guess that sort of thing just happens. Seth started off a bit slow, but the high kick was nice and the triangle was a really great finish, although the replays look sick as it’s clear Rocky’s completely out cold as Seth flips him onto his back. Nice to see Seth get a win, at any rate.
Severn is ‘only’ 44 years old here. Insane that he’s still competing today, FIVE years after this. Smith is a massive guy out of the Beverly Hills Jiu-Jitsu Club, about 300lbs and nicknamed ‘The Bear’, meaning it’s a rare fight with a size disadvantage for Severn.
Dan circles around him tentatively to open, before Smith clips him with a couple of right hands and then pulls him to the ground with a front facelock. Smith goes into side mount and looks to basically smother Severn, but he ends up giving up half-guard. Severn tries to reverse out, and eventually gives up full mount, and uses it to get out the back door into Smith’s guard. Smith inexplicably tries a triangle, but Severn avoids it easily and gets into side mount. One big elbow lands, and then he locks up an Americana for the tapout.
Severn looked like he might be in trouble here early, with the sheer size of Smith proving to be difficult, but once he got out from underneath the guy it was a total squash for the veteran. Pretty much a nothing fight.
This could be good, two big, heavy-handed sluggers who like to bang. Both guys of course eventually made it to UFC, and strangely enough by the time they did, they were training partners. Not so here, as Kyle was with a different team pre-AKA.
They press to open, both men coming forward tentatively, before Kyle throws a big right into the clinch. They break off quickly, and Buentello throws a heavy right that Kyle avoids using head movement, and they go into a clinch again. Another quick break though, and then Kyle begins to come forward, stalking Buentello, as they exchange some big swings with some landing, but nothing too damaging and neither guy looks hurt. Into another clinch, and then they break off, and Kyle lands some low kicks and a strong right hand. Kyle catches him with a right uppercut into the clinch, before the ref calls time to fix a problem with the cage, looks like one of the pads moved off. They restart, and now Buentello works the left jab, before rocking him with a nasty right cross. Kyle’s knees look like jelly, but he manages to survive a flurry of uppercuts from Buentello, and hold him in the clinch until the round ends.
Kyle comes out strong for the 2nd, opening up with a stiff left jab and some heavy low kicks that Buentello doesn’t block at all. Kyle catches him with a big right into the clinch, and then breaks away and continues to push the action, landing a heavy flurry that looks like it has Buentello on the back foot, but Buentello suddenly stuns Kyle with a big right straight, and a left hook finishes things off as Kyle crashes down to the canvas.
Pretty enjoyable slugfest as I expected. It looked like Kyle was landing more shots, but just didn’t have the power to put Buentello away, and although Buentello landed fewer, the shots he did land did more damage, and the one-two that finished things was a really hard couple of shots, right on the button. Good showing from the future UFC title contender – I still don’t know why they didn’t re-sign Buentello as a gatekeeper in the heavyweight division, actually.
-Eddie and Don discuss the happenings of the night, and then we roll the credits.
That was actually a lot of fun for a B-level show. Not much significance in terms of future stars, as only Kyle, Buentello and Petruzelli ended up going on to the UFC, but the fights were all fun outside of Severn-Smith, and even that was relatively short and inoffensive. Some nice finishes throughout the card (the main event, Petruzelli’s triangle, Bannon’s KO), and the Fanshier-House fight was definitely a diamond in the rough, something really nice to discover on a relatively low-key show like this. As far as King Of The Cage goes, this is one of the better shows I’ve come across. Not bad at all.
Pride: Total Elimination 2005, Critical Countdown 2005, Final Conflict 2005, and 30.
UFC: 65, 66, 67 and 68.
WEC: 10 and 11.
WFA: 1, 2 and 3.
King of the Cage: 21, 23, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36, 42 and 48.
Best of Shooto 2003 vols. 1 & 2.