Despite a slew of fight fallouts and substitutions, the large crowd was treated to an exciting show with a bit of everything at promoter Joe Donofrio’s Impact Fight League 51 “No Guts No Glory” pro-am MMA event on Saturday, November 17 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
In the night’s main event, promising newcomer Kevin Lee (3-0) of Detroit was able to fend off Strikeforce and Bellator Fighting Championships veteran J.P. Reese and take a unanimous (29-28 X 3) three-round decision.
In the opening round, Lee was able to thwart Reese’s repeated takedown attempts and punish him with thudding elbows to the body.
Remarkably, in round two Reese took control and even fully sunk in a rear naked choke. For a full minute, Reese squeezed Lee’s neck and yet, strangely, nothing happened. Lee did not go to sleep. Did not tap. He simply waited for Reese’s arm to tire of choking him and then popped his head out of the normally fight-ending hold.
In round three, Lee turned the tables by taking Reese down and battering him with elbows and fists.
The decision of the judges was the correct one in a very closely contested match-up.
Troy, Michigan’s Ruben Baraiac (1-0) made his pro debut in style by dominating Kalamazoo’s “Ninja Bunny of Doom” James Carrow (2-2) on his way to a unanimous (30-27 X 3) decision. Baraiac was too strong and relentless for Carrow to deal with and he took a fearsome beating.
Making his pro debut, Detroit’s Vince Murdock needed just 16 seconds to level Lansing’s Adam “Bomb” Alvarez (4-6) with a monstrous leg kick. In the knockout of the night, Murdock let loose a baseball bat of a kick and Alvarez was out before he crashed to the mat.
In another quickie, Cody “Mr. Wonderful” Staman of Sparta, Michigan, moved to 2-0 with a 8 second guillotine choke of overmatched Chris “The Machine” Bourdon of Ravenna, Michigan. The introductions took a lot longer than the fight. Trained by Daron and Dean Cruikshank and John Toth, Staman looks to be on another level than most.
Windsor, Ontario’s Randa Markos made her pro debut in style submitting former female amateur champion Allanna “Hands of Stone” Jones (1-1) of Kalamazoo with an armbar at 3:14 of round three. In the fight of the night, the two ladies fought with sustained ferocity and kept it interesting throughout. In the end, Markos had better stamina and simply wore the capable Jones down.
In an entertaining fight marred by several low blows, Jay “Hook em” Fish (3-2) of Saginaw was able to defeat Todd “Detroit Bad Boy” Allee (3-2) of Redford by unanimous decision (30-26 X 3). Allee lost a point in round two for the second of three serious low blows. Fish was able to recover eventually and paid Allee back by hammering his face into bleeding hamburger.
Detroit heavyweight Aaron “Grown Man” Ware (3-4) won a sleep-inducing TKO 4 over Canada’s Chester “El Fuego” Post (8-25-1). The two were content to have a pushing contest for most of three rounds before Ware was able to mount post and rain down hammer fists. Mercifully to those watching, Post decided he’d had enough and elected not to return for the fourth round.
Clinton Township, Michigan’s Eric “The Monster” Moon (11-7) took a bite out of Ypsilanti’s Anthony Smith, stopping him at 2:14 of round one. Moon responded well to a big shot from Smith, taking him down and quickly submitting him with a modified choke.
Former European Amateur Champion Adrian “The Eagle” Hadribeaj (4-0) from Albania stayed unbeaten with an impressive TKO 2 (2:59) over Addison, Michigan, trialhorse Frank “The Tank” Thomas (22-21). Hadribeaj put on a striking clinic while beating Thomas mercilessly from pillar to post.
In the opening fight, one punch is all it took for Jackson, Michigan’s Steve “Madman” Gossett (3-5) to dispatch Ionia, Michigan’s Adam “Fat Bastard” Forest (2-4). Gossett fired the right hand and the portly Forest tumbled down at the 13-second mark of the first round.
“No Guts, No Glory” was presented by Donofrio MMA in association with Palace Sports & Entertainment.