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King Of The Cage 25: Flaming Fury review
by Scott Newman (MMA)
Posted on November 29, 2010, 6:47 AM

King Of The Cage 25: Flaming Fury

San Jacinto, California

-And the award for the most unfortunately-titled MMA show of all time goes to.... Seriously, Flaming Fury? What the hell were they thinking?

-Your hosts are...again with KOTC, no idea. Sounds like Erik Apple and Chris Cordero or something maybe?

Baki vs Kauai Kupihea

Two big dudes here. Baki Iíve seen before and the guy NEVER wins. Iím guessing with that name, Kupihea is a Hawaiian.

Baki comes out SWINGING with a ridiculous overhand right and Kupihea immediately shoots for a double. Baki tries to get a guillotine, but he doesnít have guard so thereís no...shit, Kupihea just tapped. Man, bad, bad stuff.

Buck Meredith vs Harris Sarmiento

Sarmiento Iíve seen a ton of in the past as heís a JTTS sort, fighting the likes of Rob McCullough, Josh Thomson, Gil Melendez, et al with little success. Meredith? No idea. Apparently heís a Team Quest guy according to the commentators.

Touch of gloves to begin and they press before Sarmiento lands a solid one-two. Into the clinch and they muscle for position as the camera angles go to some of the worst Iíve ever seen even from KOTC. Looks like the camera is just spinning freely on a pole or something. Sarmiento looks for a takedown and gets it, popping his head out of a guillotine on the way down. Good guard pass from Harris and he gets into side mount. Full mount follows but he loses it when Meredith risks giving his back, and Meredith gets on top in the guard. Not much action follows as Sarmiento clings onto him in full guard and Meredith seems unsure what to do. Surprised ref Doc Hamilton hasnít stood them up yet. Meredith is grinding with his elbow but doing very little else. Sarmiento keeps switching his hips out for an armbar but canít get it. Seconds to go in the round and Meredith just pounds at the body. Dude on the outside of the cage has a slight resemblance to Hulk Hogan. Round ends there.

Second round and Meredith walks right into a sharp knee from the Hawaiian. He throws a high kick in retaliation but Sarmiento catches it and looks for the takedown. Meredith looks for a guillotine on the way down and Del Hawkins joins us on commentary, whoever he is. He does confirm that the other dude is Chris Cordero though. They scramble up to their feet and muscle in the clinch with Meredith landing some solid shots. Whizzer from Meredith allows him to break off, and they trade some shots before Sarmiento shoots. Meredith sprawls to avoid and gets a front facelock, and it looks like heís going for a front choke but canít lock it up. Good knee to the shoulder from Meredith and he transitions to take the back, Sarmiento turtling up. Big knees to the body from Meredith and Sarmiento is doing nothing. Punches to the head and thatís that.

Terrible first round, half-decent second round with a solid finish.

Chad Davis vs Kevin Cook

Middleweights here. Never heard of either man even as an opponent for someone else. Cook is the black guy, Davis the white guy. Well, it does distinguish them, doesnít it.

They come out to trade punches and Cook gets the worst of it, dropping face-first twice off a couple of uppercuts. Heís in trouble and starts to lunge and lean forward as Davis looks to stay out of range. Cook manages to clinch and gets the takedown though, putting Davis on his back in guard. Punches to the body from Cook and Davisís body is all marked up. Awful camera angle again as ref Cecil Peoples stands right in the way of the action and they donít cut to another camera right away. Looks like Davis is cut pretty badly from this ground-and-pound. Good upkick from Davis pushes Cook away for a second but he gets back on top quickly. One minute to go and Peoples calls the stand-up. Cook looks gassed and Davis comes in swinging wildly, dropping Cook with a big combo before taking mount. He considers going for a choke for a second before landing more punches, and then Cook gives his back, but Davis canít get a choke to end the round.

Round Two and Cook circles on the outside before they trade into a clinch. Knee to the gut from Davis and he shrugs it off. Action slows down as both men look gassed. Peoples even warns them for inactivity on the feet. Cook lunges into the clinch and forces him into the fence. They break and weíve got a real lack of action in this round. Couple of decent kicks land for Davis. This is becoming a staring contest though. Head kick misses for Davis. Referee finally warns them again for lack of aggression. Davis takes the hint and throws a big combo, but Cook backs out and Davis is too tired to follow up. Double leg from Cook puts Davis on his back and Iím guessing theyíre not getting back up. Ref calls a stand-up though proving me wrong. Kick from Davis but Cook grabs him and slams him to the ground. Fight ends on the mat.

Judges give it to Davis, presumably for doing more damage on the feet than Cook did on the ground. Genuinely bad fight though, really.

Alex Richards vs Auggie Garcia

These guys are Welterweights or thereabouts. Small ones at that. Richards is apparently an American Ninjitsu guy which is worrying given what happened to poor Scott Morris at UFC 2.

Good combo from Garcia to begin but Richards clinches and they exchange knees. Heís doing better than Morris already! Richards muscles Garcia into the cage and tries a throw, but winds up on his back in half-guard. He gives his back but manages to turn it over, getting on top in Garciaís guard. Punches to the body from Richards and then he drops back for a heel hook and gets it locked. Garcia SCREAMS IN PAIN like Chael Sonnen but refuses to tap for a while, until evidently his ACL explodes and heís forced to give it up. Why not just tap and live to fight another day, bro?

Fight was alright I guess as I love leglocks.

Wes Combs vs Raul Delgado

For those wondering this isnít ROLI Delgado who was on TUF 8 as a Lightweight. Combs you may remember from his shitty 2006 UFC run, although he was unbeaten in KOTC action so I donít expect this to last long.

Fight begins and Combs comes out with a body kick but eats a right hand from Delgado. They trade some more and somehow Combsí terrible flailing punches actually land and drop Delgado for the KO. I cannot believe Combs got past so many fighters striking like that. Scary really.

Shad Smith vs Louie Vaith

Smith is the supposed street fighter who ended up taking on Charles Bennett and getting KOd pretty fast. No clue on Vaith although he sort of looks like Josh Burkman at a glance.

They circle and Vaith throws some kicks into the clinch, where they exchange knees and punches. Louie drops for a takedown and gets it, landing in Smithís guard. Smith has a guillotine sunk in though. Vaith manages to work his head free, dropping some elbows down. Nothing really happens from the position until Smith escapes to his feet and begins to land some combinations. Vaith looks tired and in trouble and winds up getting dropped and covering up as Smith pounds on him. Ref calls it there.

DVD jumped all over the place there and made a bad fight even worse. I guess some of Smithís strikes were alright. Blah.

Jeff Newton vs Allan Sullivan

Newtonís claim to fame is a rather pointless 2005 UFC fight with Sam ĎThe Thiefí Hoger that saw him lose via rear naked choke. And Iím sure Iíve seen Sullivan before and a quick record check tells me it was in a losing effort in the IFC Global Domination tournament.

Newton comes out in a full karate stance and throws a lunging head kick into a fast combination that has Sullivan looking confused. Another big head kick just about misses and allows Sullivan to grab Newton for a big slam to the ground. Newton quickly switches to guard though. Armbar attempt from Newton but Sullivan manages to slam his way free. Triangle attempt from Newton now but Sullivan spins out and allows him to come back to his feet. Lunging right misses for Sullivan and Newton lands a couple more kicks. Newtonís karate style is hilarious. Right hand lands for Sullivan. More leg kicks land for Newton. Fight is beginning to suck. Inside leg kick spins Newton around but Sullivan doesnít follow up really. Spinning backfist misses for Sullivan whoís almost in a karate stance himself now. Seconds to go and Newton lands an axe-kick and follows with a flurry to end the round.

Second round and Newton opens with a side kick. Lead head kick and a jab follows. Sullivan tries a sweep but winds up on his back and Newton punches the head as Sullivan attempts a single leg. Newton lands some knees to the body and it looks like Sullivan might be out of gas. Punches to the head from Newton but Sullivan rolls into top position, right into a triangle attempt. Itís not sunk though and Sullivan escapes. Newton slides out from the bottom though and gets on top again with Sullivan in the turtle position, and more knees to the body follow. They explode back to their feet and then tumble back down and Sullivanís on top in the guard now, before falling back for an ankle lock. Newton decides to go for one of his own, and heís more successful, locking up the ankle for the tapout.

Wasnít a bad fight actually. Quite unorthodox and the action didnít get horribly slow at any point, so I canít complain I guess.

Randy Velarde vs Marcus Santos

Donít have anything to say about this one although I have seen Velarde before in numerous KOTC matches that I canít remember being anything special.

They trade some early strikes and Santos looks pretty wild. Nothing really lands though and Velarde goes for a takedown, but Santos stuffs it and they crash into the cage in a clinch. Ankle pick from Velarde puts Santos on the ground in guard, and he lands a right hand from the top. Velarde stands over him and then drops back into the guard. Short elbows follow and then he flurries as Santos manages to hang on. Armbar attempt from Santos but Velarde easily escapes and continues to punch from the top. Santos attempts to get a takedown of his own, and then stands back up, but he looks tired. They clinch and Santos attempts a trip, but they come right back up into the clinch as soon as they hit the ground. Ref calls a break as Santos gets busted for grabbing the cage. Good leg kick from Velarde and the round ends shortly thereafter.

As soon as the round ends Santos collapses in pain and it turns out he has a knee injury and canít continue, making Velarde the winner. Perfectly acceptable fight actually.

Thomas Denny vs Kyle Brees

Ah, finally someone recognizable. Sure, itís the Wildman and he isnít great, but even so! Kyle Brees however is an unknown to me.

They exchange strikes to begin and Wildman gets the better of it and ends up getting a big takedown and getting into side mount. Brees escapes to his feet using the cage and lands a couple of inside knees. They break and Brees throws some kicks, but Denny gets a takedown to guard. Short elbows land for the Wildman and he slowly works to posture up and pass the guard, getting into side mount. Brees spins out though and gets back into the full guard. Nice elbow from Denny. More of the same before Brees escapes to his feet, but Denny wastes no time in closing the distance and getting another takedown to side mount. Brees escapes out and the ref calls time for an unknown reason before restarting them. High kick glances off Dennyís chin but a roundhouse kick to follow does not. Clinch from Denny and he ends the round with a couple of knees.

Round Two and Brees throws some more kicks, but gets backed up into the cage and Denny looks for the takedown again. Takedown from the Wildman but this time Brees rolls him and gets on top. Denny immediately tries to sweep, but he canít get it and Brees remains on top in side mount. Denny escapes out the back door though and gets back into top position in side mount himself. Kimura attempt from Denny but he canít get it and decides to control Brees from the top. Another kimura attempt comes from north/south, but he still canít lock it up and Brees gets back to guard. Denny continues to grind away from the guard until ref Cecil Peoples stands them up, but the Wildman takes Brees down once more and keeps top position. He passes into north/south and then returns to side mount, where the fight ends. Hilarious ending as someone in the crowd rails on Denny for lay-and-pray tactics.

Denny gets the decision in what was really a dull fight for the most part even if it wasnít bad technically.

Greg Mayer vs Jamal Perkins

These guys are Featherweights and Iím sure Iíve heard of Perkins before, but a check of his record proves otherwise. Perhaps Iím getting him confused with former IFL fighter Jamal Patterson or something.

They circle and Perkins shoots and gets a slam, but Mayer reverses and gets a takedown of his own, then clamps on a standing guillotine as Perkins stands. They scramble and end up going back to the ground, where Mayer locks on the MOTHERFUCKING CRIPPLER CROSSFACE AND CHOKES PERKINS OUT!~!

Holy shit. That almost makes the rest of the previous shitty fights worth it. Sick finish there. Really sick.

Jason Lambert vs Brian Foster

This is back in Lambertís Heavyweight days and he has a bit of a weight advantage on Foster, who is not the Brian Foster currently competing in the UFC. This is a journeyman Brian Foster whose claim to fame is a short IFL run with a win over the late Justin Levens in 2007.

Foster throws some kicks and stuffs a takedown early on, forcing Lambert into the clinch against the fence. They muscle for position and exchange some knees and uppercuts before Lambert gets a big slam to side mount. He steps into full mount and lands some elbows, sitting up to deliver some solid punishment. Fosterís doing a good job of not taking too much damage though. He gives his back for a second before rolling back into the mount, and Lambert continues to punch and shows no signs of slowing down really. Doesnít look like Foster is getting out and he might be just trying to survive the round now. Surprised the ref hasnít stopped this as Foster is barely defending. With seconds on the clock Lambert looks for an armbar and then a triangle, but Foster survives the round. Insanely one-sided round though.

Second round and Lambert opens with a right hand and follows with a big slam to guard. Lambert punches him some more and works to pass, getting into side mount and then full mount again. And from there itís a carbon copy of the first round as Lambert pounds him but is unable to finish Foster who is evidently a tough dude. With about a minute to go Foster manages to escape out the back door after he rolls, and he opens up with some hard punches on Lambert, but canít stay away from him and Lambert forces him into the cage. Foster manages to shrug him off though and gets into top position after knocking Lambert off balance, but the round ends there.

To the judges and Lambert gets the clear decision. Ending was hot but Foster left it way too late and Lambert really shouldíve been able to finish him off as he was blatantly in another league to his overmatched opponent.

Gustavo Machado vs Nate Quarry

Ha, cool, Nate Quarry. This was pretty early in his career, way before TUF obviously although he was with Team Quest at this stage. Only his fifth MMA fight too, and he was 4-0 coming in. Ximu was still with Ruas Vale Tudo, too. Should be good, this one.

Round One and Ximu opens with a leg kick before Quarry clinches. They muscle for position and Quarry works with some dirty boxing, answered with a knee from Ximu. Ximu drops for the takedown and gets it, dumping Quarry on his back in full guard. Few solid punches land for Machado and he has Quarry pressed into the cage for good measure. More ground-and-pound from Ximu but Quarry throws his hips up and looks for an armbar. Going to be very tough to tap Ximu though and sure enough he easily avoids it. Short elbows from Machado and he manages to keep Quarry on his back as he attempts to wall-walk to his feet. Referee calls a stand-up and they trade a couple of strikes before Machado looks for the takedown again. This time though Quarry ends up on top, and works some knees as Ximu scrambles to his feet. Good combo on the way out from the Brazilian ending in a head kick. Quarry grabs the clinch again and lands a knee to put Ximu on his back in guard, but Ximu rolls for a heel hook and almost gets it. Quarry slips free though and gets to his feet, and they trade from the clinch to end the round.

Into the 2nd and Ximu opens with a sharp combo that backs Quarry up before getting a slam to side mount. Good escape from Quarry into full guard but Ximu stacks up to deliver some punches. Action slows up a little and the ref calls a stand-up. Good right hand from Quarry has Machado stunned, but he fires back and they trade kicks before Ximu gets another takedown. Triangle attempt from Quarry and it looks almost locked, but Machado escapes and ends up in top position in the guard again. Action slows up once again as Ximu looks to work for position rather than opening up with punches, and again Cecil Peoples calls the stand-up. Good right hand from Machado and again he hits a takedown to guard. Quarry lands some solid elbows from his back this time but Machado continues to control him with a minute left in the round. Apparently this is three rounds though so Nateís still in the fight despite clearly losing both rounds so far. They continue to exchange from the guard and then Quarry kicks Ximu away on the bell.

Third and final round and Ximu ducks a combo and hits a nice takedown to guard. Quarry has to stop these takedowns to win. Once again Ximu presses him into the cage, but Quarry uses the fence to move free. Ximu looks to pass and then drops for a toehold, but Quarry escapes although he canít get off his back in the process. Some good punches land for Machado and he walks right through an upkick to remain on top. Ref calls the restart and they trade some wild punches and finally Quarry stuffs a takedown with a sprawl. Machado keeps driving forward though and plants Nate on his back again. Kimura attempt from Quarry now and he uses it to get a beautiful sweep to full mount, but Ximu doesnít mess around and gets to guard before looking for a leglock. Quarry scrambles free, but gives up position in the process and gets taken down again. Another scramble allows Quarry to get on top using a front headlock, but again Ximu looks for the heel hook and uses it to get on top. This time though he lands in a triangle and it looks locked up! Ximu stays calm though and manages to twist around to pull his head free, getting a ride from side position. He gets side mount proper for a second before Quarry escapes back to guard. Great round thus far. Referee calls another stand-up and Quarry gets the better of a punching exchange and forces Ximu to his back, but the round ends with the Brazilian landing a couple of upkicks.

Judges all give it to Gustavo ĎXimuí Machado, unsurprising decision given that he pretty much outworked Nate in all areas from start to finish. Quarry never looked overmatched for a second though and that made for an excellent fight, by far the best on this card. It did get slow at times when Ximu was on top in the guard but for the most part it was good stuff. Still not sure how Ximu didnít get a UFC shot around this time as he looked like a very strong prospect, but of course it would be Quarry who would go on to bigger things.

Dean Lister vs Brian Sleeman

Lister at this stage was the KOTC Middleweight Champion and had a record of 4-1 with his only loss avenged. Given that heíd already been winning Abu Dhabi and stuff Iím presuming he was seen as one of the top prospects in the whole sport at this point. Never heard of Sleeman and thereís no word if this is a title fight or not.

Body kick from Lister opens and he looks for the takedown and muscles Sleeman into the cage. Sleeman manages to push Lister off though and remains on his feet. Lister shoots into the clinch again and gets a bodylock, but he botches a suplex and Sleeman lands on top. Lister gets full guard and from there he gets, well, something, but the camera angle didnít really catch it. Sleeman taps out regardless. Announcers call it a double armbar, Sherdog has it as an armbar, Wiki as an oma plata. Well, it definitely wasnít an oma plata. I think Iím with the announcers as Lister didnít turn his hips to one side like you would for a regular armbar.

One-sided squash and it is a pity Lister never really developed his game in terms of takedowns and striking, as his grappling is amazing and couldíve gotten him a lot further than it actually did.

-Credits roll and thatís that.

Final Thoughts....

Pretty poor show all around here. Machado-Quarry was a very good fight and there were a couple of passable matches elsewhere, but mostly itís low-level crap with a lot more dull fights this time as opposed to squashes. So Ximu-Quarry and the fight with the Crippler Crossface are practically the only things worth looking at on this one.

Best Fight: Machado-Quarry
Worst Fight: Cook-Davis

Overall Rating: *1/2

Coming Soon....

UFC: 118-122, Fight Night 22
King of the Cage: Various shows

Until next time,

Scott Newman:

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