Historic WFA: King of the Streets
What starts in the Streets ... Ends in the Cage!
Huntington Beach “Street-fighter” Kimo Leopoldo, who was scheduled to fight legendary MMA veteran champion Bas Rutten in a highly anticipated bout, was tested positive for a banned substance after a preliminary medical exam and was barred from competing in this event. As a result, an exasperated Rutten had this to say about Kimo: “Every guy that has to use steroids to fight is a fucking pussy. For him to do this shit after all the promotion he did, all the shit he talked about taking me out in minutes and all that bullshit, apparently that was the steroids talking, right?”
After scrambling to find another suitable opponent for Rutten, WFA officials then contacted Wes Simms, who was anxious to accept at first, but soon decided to drop out due to a prior commitment to next weeks WEC Hitman event.
It was King of the Cage fighter Ruben “Warpath” Villareal at 260 lbs. who was called in with only two days notice to accept the fight as a replacement for Kimo.
Villareal walked the runway towards the cage accompanied by UFC veteran Tank Abbott, but the crowd cheered most loudly at their first glimpse at Bas “El Guapo” Rutten when he then proceeded down the runway as the loudspeakers played his rather catchy theme song. The match itself was brief but exciting right from the sound of the bell starting the first round. Both combatants aggressively began throwing hard blows with Bas delivering some accurate Muay Thai-styled combinations of punches and kicks to Ruben’s head and body. Although Villareal put up a respectable fight, Bas was able to effectively slow Ruben’s flat-footed advances and set up a devastating toe-kick to his lead leg, which brought the big man down for a win by TKO within 3:44 of the first round. Afterwards, a confident Rutten claimed that this fight was easy enough and that he may again decide to come out of his “retirement” again for future matches if he feels ready. Judging by the crowd’s enthusiastic response, I’m sure his fans will all be waiting.
The next match-up was the main event between Quentin “Rampage” Jackson, who approached the cage looking mean with his metallic mouth grill and wearing his trademark heavy neck chain, accompanied by Josh Barnett and Juanito Ibarra as his seconds, versus an able Matt Lindland. At the start of the first round Lindland went straight for the clinch up against the cage. Jackson quickly lifted and then dumped Lindland to the ground, but he escaped back to his feet using the walls of the cage, and then it returned to a stand-up bout. Jackson pushed Lindland up against the cage but received a decent elbow to his head for it. Lindland then picked Jackson up and dropped him to the mat into Jackson’s half-guard and finally takes Jackson’s back. Lindland nearly sinks a rear-naked choke to finish the fight but Jackson’s manages to escape before the bell ends the round. In round two, Lindland delivers a solid back fist, which seemed to disturb Jackson who reverts to pushing Lindland back against the cage as he did in the first round. Just as the action appears to slow down, Lindland attempts a standing front choke but Jackson again slams him down hard to the mat and attempts to gain side control, yet Lindland is able to escape back to his feet.
The round soon ends after Jackson was able to connect with a nice uppercut to Lindland’s chin.
The next round is much of the same. Lindland had Jackson up against the cage and tried to stomp the instep of his feet trying to offset Jackson’s defenses.
Historic WFA Action at the Los Angeles Forum!
Jackson managed to reverse his position and connected with a fairly solid right that may have stunned his opponent. Lindland returned with a good leg kick and attempted to finish with another front choke. With time running out Jackson escapes and begins to reign down some punches before they return to their feet where Jackson throws a flying knee as the bell sounds ending the second round. In the third round the action was very close, with Jackson displaying some good stand up skills, but was almost choked out before escaping and reversing positions on Lindland and proceeding with some more ground and pound, which cut Lindland’s face open! Many think that this is what confirmed Jackson’s win by decision in the judges eyes in this fairly close fight.
In an earlier bout Vernon “Tiger” White, from Ken Shamrock’s Lion’s Den Gym, versus Ryoto Machida went to the ground early with Machida taking White down for a Triangle-choke out attempt that he was able to escape from. Machida briefly takes White’s back but they both returned to stand up. White gets taken to the mat in the second round but the action seemed to slow down a bit until the final round with White’s face getting cut, then again gets taken down with Machida attempting a rear-naked choke, which white reverses into his guard. At the end of the round, White’s face is steadily bleeding, and Machida is awarded the win by decision.
The match up of Jason “Mayhem” Miller versus Lodune Sincaid begins with Miller being very active. He quickly gains control of Sincaid’s back and sinks in a solid rear-naked choke for a first round win. The crowd goes wild as he performs a gleeful “break dance” in the center of the octagon to celebrate his victory!
Jiu-Jitsu artist Art Santore walked towards the cage wearing a bright yellow pimp hat and suit before discarding it to face Ivan Salaverry, who is coached by Tito Ortiz, in this middleweight bout. The first round saw some good standup out of both fighters. Santone received a small facial cut early on, but still achieved a takedown. In the second round Salaverry sends a solid kick to the head of Santone that put him down where Salaverry proceeds to ground and pound. Salaverry wins by the nights first TKO at 4:18 minutes of round two.
Prior to this, there was a super heavyweight fight between H.B. Ultimate Gym’s heavy-set Ricco Rodriguez and former WWE/WCW wrestler and minister Ron Waterman. Both fighter’s soon seemed a little low on gas, but Rodriguez landed some good blows to Waterman’s face leaving his left eye severely swollen and damaged. Waterman could not continue into the second round and Rodriguez was awarded a win by TKO in round one.
In another earlier match, “Razor” Rob McCullough fought another Tito Ortiz protégé named Harris Sarmiento. The first round saw some good Muay Thai-kicking and superb takedown defense and recoveries. In the second round, McCullough shined. There was a little ground and pound and good knee strikes by the “Razor”, which ended up winning him the final decision.
The restless crowd began booing during a hesitant bout between Chute-boxer Jorge Olivera versus Martin Eastman, which ended up in a Draw although Olivera received a small cut to his face early on.
Marvin “The Beastman” Eastman won by TKO at 2:43 of round one of his fight against Edwin Aguilar.