Saturday Week 4 June, 2003
-CCC 20 took place, as the company is trying to make a tradition out of big Canada Day weekend events. The undercard was flush with depth and talent, and several matches there would've made acceptable main events, but I was here for one match: The main event.
-Pip Mercurial took on Reed Howlett for the CCC Middleweight title. If I won my next bout I'd get the next shot at the winner, and it became obvious right away that the winner would be Howlett. Mercurial's gameplan against Ripley of get close to the boxer, then outwrestle and outwork him in the clinch did not work in the first two rounds, as Howlett perfectly controlled the range. Round 1 was a 10-8 and a one-sided beating, and Round 2 Howlett scored a knockdown, but Mercurial hung in there and survived a sustained flurry of ground and pound for 4 minutes until the round ended. Round 3 Mercurial finally got some clinch game going, but the referee separated them with 30 seconds left, enough time for Howlett to throw a vicious one-two that knocked Mercurial out cold with 3 seconds left in Round 3.
-Howlett looked every bit the dangerous prospect he was hyped to be here, although I do question his ability against wrestlers. Mercurial and Tom Essy didn't get the chance to take him down, but Tuck Durdell did and landed some decent ground and pound. In a pure standing war, I might be outclassed, but MMA is only a pure standing war when both parties want it. I've got what it takes to put Howlett to the test and take that belt, if I get past a world ranker first........
-Crowd was 517 for this match, a new record, and the event was a critical success.
Monday Week 1 July, 2003
-GAMMA recently poached CCC Heavyweight champ Chuck Dooley, so CCC signed recent GAMMA cut Fatuma Roy to make up for it.
-GAMMA's also put together a big money offer for ALPHA-1 Light Heavyweight champ Jin Katou, as his contract has come up recently. The battle continues.....
Saturday Week 1 July, 2003
-WEFF 34 took place in Montreal with 3 Tough Team gals on the card....
-Suzanne Elder had a subpar performance against KT McManamara and lost via decision. Elder got outstruck in Rounds 1 and 2 despite the corner screaming at her to clinch or do something related to wrestling instead of trading strikes with a kickboxer. Round 3 Elder went for a takedown right away but couldn't get it, although she did work over KT against the fence with strikes. Eventually the ref separated them, and Elder landed a successful takedown with over a minute left, but couldn't pass guard or throw any strikes threatening enough to stop the fight. 29-28 on all cards for KT and a disappointing debut for Elder.
Official Result: KT 'The Flash' McManamara defeats Suzanne Elder (Unanimous Decision in 5:00 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Great.
-Natassia Potocnik fought Diana England and it was a reversed version of the Elder fight. Potocnik won Rounds 1 and 2 with takedowns and good strikes from top position. Round 2 had a few submission attempts from Potocnik to end the fight, but no dice. Round 3 saw Potocnik decide to just stand for some reason, but England could not steal the fight despite opening up a cut early in the round. 29-28 on all cards for Potocnik, and at least she got the debut win......
Official Result: Natassia Potocnik defeats Diana 'Texas Strong' England (Unanimous Decision in 5:00 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Decent.
-Christine Jameson fought Nina Belle, but couldn't get anything going, Belle blitzed her with strikes from the bell but didn't leave any real openings for a takedown, and eventually scored the TKO win in Round 2 of a rough fight for Jameson, whos now 0-4 in the WEFF.
Official Result: Nina 'Liberty' Belle defeats Christine 'Miss Kimura' Jameson (TKO (Strikes) in 1:01 of round 2). The fight was rated as being Decent.
-1 for 3 on a night that could've been 3 for 3.
Saturday Week 2 July, 2003
-Tyler Aldi is booked for CCC 23, hes facing 3-0 wrestler Cort Wack on the main card. Wack became a pro mixed martial artist in 2002 after a decent but unspectacular university wrestling career. He picked up some basic boxing training rather quickly and got signed to CCC as a fill-in, where hes won 3 straight. His style seems to be straight forward takedowns into ground and pound, but he hasn't faced a submission threat like Aldi yet. If Aldi gets taken down the plan should be to work submissions, and maybe try to sweep him and test his ability off his back. This fight is tough, but winnable.
-CCC 23 will have a double main event, with Duane Weatherly defending his Lightweight title against Brock Youdale, and Azor Portela Nunes defending the Featherweight title against Rafael Tavares. There are also two Middleweight bouts in the prelims: Nate Dawes taking on Roy Mouzon in an interesting matchup, and Ojay Houghley taking on a college champion wrestler in Michel Tourville.
-I'm having a good camp so far, Aidan somehow pulled some strings and flew over Gabriel Gallego to do a couple days sparring, focusing in particular on the form and speed of Ballard's kicks. Ballard may not risk kickboxing against a grappler due to the risk of me catching a leg and getting takedown, but I'll be ready if he does.
Wednesday Week 3 July, 2003
-WEFF 35 is happening in Montreal in early September and we've got 3 Tough Team gals on the card!
-Piper Evergood is facing 10-0 Jiu Jitsu ace Hope Lehane for the WEFF Featherweight title! We've had a feeling this fight was happening for a while, and now its here. Striker vs grappler, but Piper has rock-solid takedown defense and Hope has on occasion taken quite a while to get the fight to the floor. If Piper keeps it standing long enough shes got shots at a victory. Hope's only getting older, and that chin could have deteriorated enough for Piper to score the KO. Plus we've got a six week camp to work with and I'm sure the Tough Team is a better camp than Lady Shiva's, no offense. I wanted to be the first person in the gym to become a champion........ but I'm happy Piper's got this chance.
-On the main card Chisaki Gojo faces 14-1 Submission Wrestler Sandy Oliver in the Flyweight division. Unfortunately for us I think Oliver's got Gojo beat on the ground, shes a fearsome submission ace even if shes slowing down a bit. I don't see what Gojo can do aside from get top control and hope for the best, but we'll see how this camp goes. If Gojo had striking threat it'd be easier: Oliver lost her last fight via KO to April Watson.
-In a prelim Bantamweight bout, we've got Rose Nessa taking on 9-3 Judoka Marion Reynolds. Nessa hasn't been able to get adequate TDD or submission defense during her time here, so her only hope is blitzing Reynolds with punches and scoring a KO before Reynolds secures the takedown.
Sunday Week 3 July, 2003
-CCC 21 took place yesterday in Vancouver. Didn't go to the card, but one of the staff members did and got tape from the CCC production truck of the whole card.....
-Stuart Strange had an excellent debut for CCC, beating Bernard Blue via submission in a one-sided fight. Strange got 2 takedowns in the 1st round and shut out Blue in the standing battles. Strange got another takedown in Round 2, and eventually worked his way into a straight armbar for the tapout halfway through the round. Blue was really thrown to the wolves after an initial win over Ronnie Allen Teller but was kept around after this card, surprisingly. Strange, on the other hand, is on the up and up, and called out Sutton Ripley in his post-fight interview. I can't see that going too well for Ripley.
-Sutton Ripley faced Chaz Babish and went head-hunting right away, eventually landing a right cross that knocked Babish down halfway through the first round and followed up with strikes for the TKO. Ripley answered the callout from Strange so we'll see if thats the next fight. Babish didn't get the chance to work the clinch against Ripley and has gone from champion to borderline cut.
-Main event was a good one between two red-hot Vancouver prospects in the Light Heavyweight division, and it was the Wrestler Mayhew Ragot defeating dangerous Taekwondo striker Mandel Belan in Round 1 with the rear naked choke.
-Attendance however was a disappointing 444. Crowd seemed loud enough on tape and ready for the event but CCC was expecting 600 or so and got disappointed. Card was really solid though, with short but entertaining fights.
Tuesday Week 4 July, 2003
-Suzanne Elder has left the Canadian Tough Team to train elsewhere, said it was nothing personal but it was always a short-term stay and she wanted to move elsewhere to thake things up. We wished her well.
-Coming into the homestretch of my camp, and the weight cut is starting soon. This has been the hardest one yet, and the team's pulling out all the stops to get me ready for the biggest fight of my career.
Sunday Week 4 July, 2003
-GAMMA held a double title card on free TV, both interim belts existing becaue of hiatus. Buddy Garner tapped Osmosis Benn with a Kimura lock for the interim Middleweight belt, and Rufus Stephens beat Julio Regueiro for the interim Welterweight belt.
-We got a newcomer to the Canadian Tough Team, the 10-3 Flyweight Boxer Helena Broderick. Broderick's coming in short term to work on her ground game and get in a position for a couple WEFF paydays. She has no booking just yet but has had 5 fights over the past year and a half so she should get the call soon.
Tuesday Week 1 August, 2003
-CCC Light Heavyweight fighter Cal Hillson failed a drug test and got fired. It was for recreational drugs, I'm guessing marijuana, and hes suspended for a year. Honestly thats really harsh, for steroids and PEDs I get it, but for weed? Does being high before a fight actually help? I don't get this. It all makes about as much sense as modern MMA cutting policies..........
-GAMMA is pursuing Zvonimir Asanovic. Once the first poaching actually happens, all hell will break loose, bet on it.
Friday Week 2 August, 2003
-Made weight successfully, as did all my teammates. The big event we've trained for is here.......
Last edited by White Dolphin : 03-31-2018 at 02:29 PM.
ACT I COMPLETE.......I guess?
And so it begins. This is a major turning point in the diary, a lot of these matchups set the gym on a completely different course and change things in the Tough Team forever. Rickard and Piper have their biggest fights yet, as some of the best in the world aim to test them........
Will they rise to the challenge?
Will they go down in flames?
Will Rickard pick better entrance music?
Will Aidan successfully pay his light bill for the 21st consecutive month?
PLACE YOUR BETS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
CANADIAN TOUGH TEAM CURRENT ROSTER
Aidan Ryland (trainer/owner/agent)
Rickard Patterson (5-0)
Also A Main Character:
Piper Evergood (11-2)
Aljur Paras (7-0)
Buster East (6-2)
Christine Jameson (7-4)
French Dancer (7-7)
Richie Stiller (8-4)
Roger Bean (8-2)
Roy Arnett (8-3)
Chad Zoff (9-1)
Chisaki Gojo (10-2)
Ethan LeGrange (10-1)
Helena Broderick (10-3)
Manami Ken (12-2)
Natassia Potocnik (8-3)
Rose Nessa (9-1)
Trish Biel (12-0)
Tyler Aldi (10-1)
Vicki Summers (11-4)
Rickard Patterson vs Ashley Ballard (CCC 22, August 2003)
Chad Zoff vs Malcolm O'Hearn (CCC 22, August 2003)
Aljur Paras vs Collins Lundie (CCC 22, August 2003)
Richie Stiller vs Dule Bayliffe (CCC 22, August 2003)
Piper Evergood vs Hope Lehane (WEFF 35, September 2003, Featherweight title match)
Chisaki Gojo vs Sandy Oliver (WEFF 35, September 2003)
Rose Nessa vs Marion Reynolds (WEFF 35, September 2003)
Tyler Aldi vs Cort Wack (CCC 23, September 2003)
Saturday Week 2 August, 2003
CCC 22: Ballard vs. Patterson
If an entire career could be defined by one fight, this was it.
After just 20 months as a professional, Aidan's first client was in a fight against a world ranker. If Rickard won, it would open up doors for him, get him a title shot against Reed Howlett, maybe even send him to the world stage. Fighting in front of thousands, not hundreds. Becoming a world class fighter right as the sport steps into the mainstream spotlight for good.
If Rickard lost was the worry Aidan had been grappling with. Over the past few months, however, he was certain it'd be alright. The first loss tends to be a psychological death blow to ambitious fighters, sapping their motivation to keep going and making them question their commitment. But Rickard, unlike many rookies in his position, had the responsibility of helping teammates get ready to fight. He had seen a couple take their first loss, and question their commitment, only to help them come back afterwards. He was more mature in his role, and had advantages that others in his part of the career arc lacked. If he did lose to Ballard, his life experience could make it the turning point for him to improve even further, instead of the point of career freefall.
As the camp went on though, Aidan had become more confident the loss scenario wouldn't even happen. It wasn't money in the bank, but Ballard was not invincible just because he was world ranked and a former fighter for GAMMA. Ballard had good kickboxing, decent takedown defense and submission defense, and was an excellent, powerful athlete, but Rickard had an arguably equal striking game and a ground game good enough to ask questions of the Tiger's abilities. Not to mention Rickard's clinch game was sublime, all 4 martial arts were flowing neatly into his skillset and he had too much threat to be ignored in close quarters.
The spars with Gabriel Gallego made Aidan even more confident. Weight difference aside, Rickard showed during those spars that he had skills appropriate for the world level. This would be the fight that makes that statement true. Aidan knew it.
Aidan turned his attention to the monitors, watching the Middleweight fights while Rickard stretched out on the couch in his usual routine. Ted and a few other staff would handle the 3 Tough Team fights, so Aidan could stay in the room with Rickard and ensure no one disturbed him unless he was ready to be disturbed.......
Ronnie Allen Teller took on Derren Barton and won in Round 2 via Rear Naked Choke. Round 1 was mostly dirty boxing against the fence, before Teller got a successful takedown in Round 2, worked for position, and eventually got the back after a scramble before choking Barton out. Teller looked good, but Barton was still flawed on the ground, and didn't get to cut loose with his superior striking game.
Post-match Teller called out Rickard. Aidan had no idea why, one would think he'd learn from the first one, but if Teller ever got into position for the fight, Aidan was sure Rickard would be happy to choke him out again for another win.
Not long after, Mortimer Greenfell took on Jackson Goode in another Middleweight prelim, and Mortimer made short work of Goode, scoring a takedown early, pounding away with elbows until Goode gave up his back, sunk both hooks in, then got a straightforward RNC for a submission win. Greenfell's wrestling looked overpowering and he was surely due for a top-level fight soon. Aidan tried not to let on but he was worried about Greenfell coming up the rankings.
The prelims were headlined by Tough Team Featherweight Richie Stiller taking on Dule Bayliffe. Stiller won Round 1 with sheer volume, but lost Round 2 after Bayliffe landed a flush right hook late in the round. With everything to fight for in the final round, Bayliffe lunged in for a right cross in Round 3, only to be countered perfectly by a head kick that dropped him to the canvas. Stiller followed up on the ground with strikes and won the fight!
Official Result: Richie 'The Killer' Stiller defeats Dule 'Bam Bam' Bayliffe (TKO (Strikes) in 1:49 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Great.
It was an ugly fight, but Aljur Paras got the big decision win over the veteran Collins Lundie. Round 1 Lundie outlanded Paras, despite his reputation as a slow starter, but Paras took Round 2 with a desperate late takedown out of nowhere that surprised both corners. Round 3 Lundie gassed himself and got clinched by Paras, who hooked a Thai plum and threw enough strikes to take the round and a 29-28 decision on all cards. Not what was expected, but a win is a win.
Official Result: Aljur Paras defeats Collins Lundie (Unanimous Decision in 5:00 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Average.
Chad Zoff took on Malcolm O'Hearn and won via a flash KO in Round 1. O'Hearn went for an overhand fight in an exchange, leaving himself open to be destroyed by a right hook from Zoff that knocked O'Hearn down. Zoff followed up with a flurry of ground and pound before getting the stoppage inside one minute. A statement win for Zoff and he'd surely be the next challenger for the Lightweight title.
Official Result: Chad 'Easy Z' Zoff defeats Malcolm 'Zodiac' O'Hearn (TKO (Strikes) in 0:59 of round 1). The fight was rated as being Good.
"Rickard, we're up in 5."
"......How did everyone do?"
"3 for 3, Chad won in 60 seconds, Aljur won a decision, Richie won in Round 3."
"Nice! Time to make it 4 for 4!"
Rickard and Aidan headed out the door, and were shocked to get a big round of applause and cheering from a gathering outside the hallway. It was all the fighters in the Tough Team!
Rickard was surprised to say the least.
"YOU GOT THIS BOSS, KNOCK EM OUT!"
Everyone gave Rickard some fistbumps on the way out. Aljur, Chad, and Richie were at the end of the line, smiling and happy after their wins.
"We opened up the show for you boss, finish it off!"
"I will boys!"
Rickard's music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zHA6zuI7yo
Ashley's music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTC72QoifDQ
"Ladies and gentlemen.......this is the MAIN EVENT of the evening! This fight is officially sanctioned by the Athletics Commission of Saskatchewan, with ringside judges Ian Rivers, Reginald Wodehouse, and Edward Wilde! When the action begins the referee in charge..... Harry A. Bierce! This fight is sponsored by the Canadian Tough Team MMA gym, at 2142 Broad Street right here in Regina, Saskatchewan, and by Cory and Trevor's Heavy-Duty Hauling Service: No matter how big or small, we'll take your load........ Now, for all the fight fans here in attendance here at the Turvey Convention Center in Regina, its the moment you've all been waiting for..... IIIIIIIIIITS TIIIIIIIMMMMMMEEEEEE! 5 5-minute rounds of fighting in the Classic Cage Combat Middleweight Division!"
"Introducing first.....fighting out of the blue corner! This man is a Kick Boxer, holding a professional record of 15 wins, 3 losses! He stands 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing in at 185 pounds. Fighting out of Houston, Texas! He is the number 20 ranked Middleweight in the World by the Blurcat World Rankings! THE TIGER........ ASHLEEEEEYYYYYYY BALLARRRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDD!!!!!"
Ballard looked calm in front of a hostile crowd. No doubt in my mind he'd been in situations like this before. The composure of a veteran.
"And now introducing his opponent, fighting out of the red corner! This man is a Freestyle fighter, holding a professional record of 5 wins, no losses! He stands 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighing in at 185 pounds. Fighting out of REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN! He is......"THE DRAGOOOOOONNNNN"....RICKAAAAAAAAARRRD PATTERSOOOONNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!"
I revved up the crowd, who were as molten as ever for this one. Everyone knew what this fight meant, and I had to step up and deliver, right here.
Ref gave us our instructions and went to the center.
"You ready? Are you ready? Lets get it on, c'mon!"
We touched gloves. Ballard tried to close the distance, weaving his head and moving around a lot. I scored an early jab. He threw a wide hook to the body, but I stepped back to avoid it, then entered his range quickly and popped him with another jab. Ballard fired a jab, then made a motion for a spinning back kick and I backed out just as he threw it. I started my footwork to get my rythym back, but he came in and we had a quick-fire exchange of jabs that were blocked or dodged. I fired a jab to body blow combination but he dodged the right way and didn't go into the power hand like some people do against southpaws. He fired some jabs and one got through, then he scored with a right cross. I backed away, wiped my mouth off, and clapped my fists together before switching into an orthodox stance. Ballard waved me on to fight, but I didn't take the bait. So he came in and I met him at the center of the cage with a right hook to the body. He didn't even seem to feel it though, and popped me with a quick jab followed by a powerful leg kick that missed. I moved him with some feints, got him slightly off-balance, then drove in with a single leg and got it! He pulled guard. I tried to pass, but only got half guard, as he did every trick he knew of to stop the pass and keep me working to do anything from top position. I got free from wrist control and fired off a few big rights, but he shrugged them off. I did manage to get my leg free and passed to side control, then hit a strong knee above the hip, then one to the ribs. I knew he felt that! I fired away with hammerfists to the face, but he held out and defended well until time expired for the end of Round 1.
I waved my arms around pumping up the crowd as I sat on the stool to prepare for Round 2.
"Don't talk, don't waste your energy! Just breathe lad, in and out! Now, did you punch yourself out?"
I shook my head no.
"Gas tank's still full? Alright, that was a good first round, nice feints to set up the takedown! He can't stop you, but you've gotta come in a different way next time and keep him guessing. I want to see some more head movement from you, he hit you with a few good punches, so stick and move, dance around him, look for openings, then move in for the takedown again or clinch him, got it?"
"Good! Stick to the plan and we'll take home that W!"
The gong rang and the seconds got out for Round 2.
I came out early with a feint leading into a leg kick, but he checked the kick and caught me clean with a right hook. I backed off, went into my footwork, then caught him off guard with a quick movement into a single leg takedown! He pulled guard. I threw a nice flurry of ground and pound to draw his attention away from a pass. Eventually I made my move and got into half guard. Ballard worked very hard off his back to stymie me, but eventually I manged to get a second pass into side control. I threw a few punches and a knee to keep busy, before trying to get a crucifix position to remove his defenses completely. He blocked the pass, but I managed to float over, grab his arm, and cinch in an Americana! He fought it, but eventually tapped out! Win number 6!
Official Result: 'The Dragoon' Rickard Patterson defeats Ashley 'The Tiger' Ballard (Submission (Americana) in 4:29 of round 2). The fight was rated as being Good.
I went wild and over the top with my celebration, and why not? I DID IT! I BEAT A WORLD RANKED FIGHTER! THIS IS INSANE! I was a rookie 20 months ago, and I've come this far, beating someone who by all rights should still be employed with GAMMA, and beating him decisively at that. Sure, he outlanded me a bit standing, but I showed superiority on the ground, and I must've landed 20 or 30 shots on him there. He worked hard to fend me off, but not hard enough.
I achieved my biggest goal just having my first pro fight. Now I've had 6 and I'm a shooting star on the come-up. Now what?
The world, thats what.
Post-fight interview was a blur, so was the party afterwards. The only thing I remember is staring at my ceiling knowing I had a clear goal now, and the means to achieve it.
Go to the world!
Sunday Week 2 August, 2002
-Last night was said to be pretty wild, even though I barely remember most of it. It wasn't due to drinking, because I didn't do any, but the whole night after the end of the fight felt like bits and pieces of a dream to me. The Tough Team members were thrilled at going 4 for 4 and tore it up, from what I've been told, and everyone except me and Aidan are hungover. This is good for us, cause it gives us time to deal with all the stuff happening today, and I do mean ALL THE STUFF is happening today
-First of all, I made $8240 off of last night's fight! Which went down to $6180 after Aidan's take, but honestly Aidan deserves all of it, he put together a hell of a camp and a hell of a gameplan for me to get the win. My bank account is looking almost as good as this 6-0 record I have! Unfortunately CCC only drew 454 for my fight, a low number by recent standards.
-After dispensing with the pleasantries, we got down to business. Chris Penn leaked the CCC 24 bookings to us (including the fact the show was the debut for the Ontario market!), and we had a Tough Team member on the card. We also had 2 booked at a Canadian regional show, so we had some tapes to look at.
-Ethan LeGrange is fighting 7-1 Jiu Jitsu fighter Craig Hulme in a Welterweight bout that both fighters have been wanting for months. Ethan's made huge strides in his ground game since joining us and should have enough defense off his back to thwart the submission threat of Hulme. The worry is that LeGrange still isn't great at stopping takedowns. Hulme could win via decision from top position if hes smart about it. Ethan does have knockout threat though, as Hulme did lose to Evan Pizzarro in Round 1 and has a questionable chin. It'll be a tough fight, but I think LeGrange will get enough chances over 3 rounds to KO Hulme before Hulme's superior wrestling steals the fight.
-Meanwhile in the local event, we've got 2 Tough Team gals on that card. Helena Broderick takes on 3-0 prospect Albina Durant in a Flyweight battle. Durant debuted in 2002 and has racked up three straight KO wins. This is weird as she was considered a Jiu Jitsu fighter, but has won the fights standing and has only tried one takedown. It could be Durant wanting to showcase her striking skills and cross-training, but Aidan suspects she has poor fight IQ. If thats the case, Broderick wins this one easily, as Durant is a fairly sloppy boxer and will get picked apart by the superior Broderick. Regardless we will prepare for a ground battle, which is a major weak point of Broderick's.
-The other fight is Vicki Summers taking on 9-2 Muay Thai striker Setsuko Henmi at Bantamweight. Henmi is solid enough standing up and has a decent clinch game, but is weak on the ground. Summers has been good about showing more offensive spark on the ground instead of the ugly lay and pray tactics she was known for, and I feel she'll want to finish this fight quickly to avoid Henmi getting a lucky blow in.
-Aidan let me know Ronnie Allen Teller called me out for a rematch, which made no sense on his part. He also showed me a Blurcat interview done recently where Stuart Strange called me out. He was respectful about it though, just saying it was a match he'd be interested in. I'm ready to fight either guy, but Aidan's said my next fight is probably against the champion. Whether or not they give Howlett a defense before letting the winner of that face me isn't known yet though.
-Finally, Aidan let me know theres a camera crew coming by to film with on the Tough Team in general, and me in particular. Its a big interview with the Maple Leaf Sports TV channel, who are covering the recent rise of MMA in the region for a half-hour special program. Big opportunity for us to spread the word about our gym!
Friday Week 3 August, 2003
-Chad Zoff let us know he was leaving the Tough Team. He explained it was meant to be a short-term thing and he needed to get back to Ontario. We wished him well, he made some strides while training here and is starting to fix his inconsistency and lacksadaisical approach to training somewhat. I was hoping he'd stick around for his title shot, but thems the breaks.
-Allen LeFleur called me late to congratulate me for my win over Ballard, and let slip that he had left Strike Force after getting into a fight with Marmaduke Chuffnell. Allen was really heated over it, and left the team rather than continue to share the same space with him. I really hope he comes back to the Tough Team, but hes happy at home in Quebec otherwise it seems.
-Focus of our gym right now is on Piper, and we're working on a secret weapon to use against Hope Lehane based on the tape I've watched.
Saturday Week 3 August, 2003
-Went in for a medical checkup. The doctor backstage at CCC events told me to take it easy for a week after the Ballard fight because he landed a few punches on me, and then I was to come in for a checkup to see if there was any lingering damage. There wasn't, so I'm cleared to train again.
-Turned out to be good timing, as me being cleared meant I could film the TV segment with Maple Leaf Sports, looking at my gym and the current state of MMA in Canada. I sparred for the cameras, did some lifting, hit the sandbags hard, taught a few of our more casual students the finer points of a submission hold, and did a few interviews. They let me know the segment would air Wednesday and would even be out online! I'm actually interested to see how this turns out, they weren't the usual jerkoff media types looking to tear MMA down and smear it as "human cockfighting", and seemed honestly interested in what we were doing here.
-Aidan also let it slip that I was being looked at by big promotions during his part of the interview, and they also filmed Piper training hard for her title shot against Hope Lehane.
Wednesday Week 4 August, 2003
-Our TV spot for the Tough Team aired! It went over really well, it featured the current up-and-comers in our camp, but focused mostly on my backstory and my career up to this point. They made sure to really emphasize the bit where Aidan mentioned I was getting offers from big promotions, which I found interesting as Aidan hadn't mentioned anything yet to me and just shrugged when I asked him about it. Blurcat picked up the piece as well and I got some people talking about it. I've become known a bit there after winning rookie of the year, and also after being talked up as a future threat by people attending CCC events. Its good to see the reputation building.......
(OOC: This was done to reflect the fact Rickard is Low Level National in terms of Canadian popularity.)
Thursday Week 4 August, 2003
-ITS HAPPENING! Aidan took off yesterday evening without anyone knowing it, and called to let me know he was in Japan discussing a CONTRACT OFFER FROM ALPHA-1! He told me they were offering 5 fights, 2 guaranteed, with a base pay of 8700, double win bonus, 15% bonuses across the board, 5% scaling for a win, and 2175 as a signing bonus up front. I told him to accept and he will do so soon. Both of us know I would've fought for pennies if I had to, just to get there, but its good that Aidan got some juice out of them. Aidan says he'll confirm the deal in a week or so, as GAMMA might also be sending me an offer!
-Chris Penn of CCC called later to congratulate me on the contract and on the TV special. He said he couldn't match wallets with ALPHA-1 unfortunately, but wished me good luck and told me to take their offer. I thanked him for the opportunity and told him I'd still be training guys for his cards regardless of how this all went down.
Friday Week 1 September, 2003
-Piper made weight successfully for her fight against Hope Lehane, as did Chisaki and Rose for their fights. Piper had a pretty good camp and knocked out 3 sparring partners in the lead up. Me, Aidan, a cutman, and a couple of the girls are with them in Montreal.
-Meanwhile in Saskatoon, CCC 23 had their weigh-ins and Tyler Aldi is good to go against Cort Wack. Tyler's got Ted the generic corner/cutman and several other staff with him so he should be fine, I hope. This is the first time in a while we've been double booked like this, so everyones got cell phones at the ready to keep the other group updated on whats going on.
-Aidan pulled me aside after the weigh-in and let me know the ALPHA-1 contract was official! He gave me the faxed documents and I signed them. Aidan said he'd look to get me a fight before the year was out. Everything is coming together now........
Really good stuff with the dynasty! I've been following intensely for a while but forgot to post before now, I'm totally invested in your writing and find myself traversing to your world every time I read a post. Wish there was more! :P (just kidding, I think your pacing is very good, there's enough content to leave me longing for more, which is a good thing.)
(OOC: Thanks for the kind words Paatero!
So guys.......for this fight I'm doing a character piece with Piper. I'm not sure how it'll turn out for other readers, but its something I've wanted to do for a while, so we'll see how it goes.)
Saturday Week 1 September, 2003
WEFF 35: Lehane vs Evergood
Finally, Piper had her shot. Hope Lehane was the legendary undefeated Featherweight in North America, the unstoppable submission ace that had won every fight by tapout. She was widely considered the best Featherweight in the world, depending on what you thought of the Kadena de Mano ladies, and one of the top 5 female fighters in the world, which was no easy task as the quality of womens MMA talent was only going up.
But Piper did something that Hope didn't. She trained for over a year with two of the best trainers in North America to prepare for this opportunity.
Both of them helped polish her skillset and Piper knew she was so much better than when she first came in. She was not the same person who lost to Alyson Arroway. If she followed the gameplan and landed that Sunday punch clean.........she could beat Hope and take the title.
"Take it easy Piper. No need to pace around so much, the prelims have barely even started. Have a seat and relax."
Aidan pointed to the couch, and Piper laid down, closed her eyes, and tried to relax. Hey, it worked for Rickard, and look where that got him: All the way to ALPHA-1. If Piper was the golden girl in this team, he was the diamond.
Sure, his crush on Piper was getting borderline ridiculous. 20 months and Rickard still couldn't ask her out on a date, or talk to her normally unless it was about fighting. She even kissed him on the cheek a few times to as a joke, or to get a reaction, and all she got was him blushing. It was cute and all, but good grief, just ask me out already!
.......Come to think of it, what the hell did Rickard see in her anyways? Piper never looked in the mirror and thought she was anything special compared to any other woman. What does he see in me?
And what do I see in him that makes me keep thinking about him?
Then it hit Piper.
In some ways Rickard was the person she wanted to be.
Piper had a mentality of never thinking she was anything special. That was the decisive factor in why she lost to Alyson Arroway. She saw Arroway as a legend, the first to win a main event fight in WEFF, the sexy icon who helped woman's MMA grow in the early days. Piper didn't see herself as anyone special like that, worshipped Arroway, and that cost her with a KO loss.
Rickard, on the other hand, had the self-confidence to succeed. Oh sure, he was humble on the surface and respected all of his opponents, even that sewer rat Teller. But everyone on the Touch Team knew Rickard was going to win the instant he started his camp. Gym activity still stopped sometimes whenever he'd do shadowboxing or sparring, showing off that perfect form of his. He was looked up to by everyone at the gym, and for good reason. As a fighter, you just had to see him cut air with his punches to know he had the qualities of an elite. Everyone was gobsmacked when he was sparring Gabriel Gallego and defending himself with ease. Gallego had probably seen and been in violent fights in South America that would made normal MMA look like a picnic. Yet there he was, sparring with Rickard and having to work hard just to get in offense.
Rickard had that swagger, that self-belief, and he probably knew he was going to win same as his teammates did. Hell, he probably knew he was going to beat Buster at that video fighting game thing they played together sometimes, and Rickard was using some lameo in a pink judo outfit every time. He acted nervous, he joked around, but he knew the end result.
If Rickard faced a Middleweight guy that fought like Hope, Rickard would win easily. No debate. He'd avoid the takedowns, land a knee to the jaw in the clinch, and send them to the hospital. He and Aidan would pretend to be worried about the outcome and prepare really hard for a ground battle, sure, but the end result would be a KO win and everyone knew it.
What Piper wanted wasn't the mask of humility he wore, but that self-confidence underneath. That ability to look in a mirror and say: I am someone special. Piper was only just starting to get that as a fighter. She may not be an all-around elite, but she had the skillset to win the title in WEFF. She knew she could beat Hope if she landed clean. Rickard though she could beat Hope too, and Rickard thought that she was someone special. Even when there were girls like Rennaya Rives and Kristen Page around, Rickard only got tongue-tied for her.
Piper realized she had to stop thinking of herself as just your average girl. She was the goddamn Sniper. She was the KO artist with the best left hand in womens MMA. She had a guy who thought she was a goddess.
It was time to live up to all that....... and take the crown from the queen of her division.
"Piper, we're heading out for Rose's fight, you can watch on the monitor if you like, but try to relax and get ready, okay?"
Piper nodded, so Aidan and Rickard left to join with the staff, who were getting ready for Rose Nessa vs Marion Reynolds.
"Think she'll be alright?"
"Its Piper we're talking about Aidan. Piper! She'll put Hope down with that new Sunday punch we taught her and take the belt. You better add her as a client after this man."
Aidan smiled. He was pretty sure Rickard had more confidence in her than anyone else did, including Piper. Ah, young love. Rickard had worked with her a lot in the camp though, and they had a pretty good plan put together when it was presented to Aidan. This could be winnable.
That was interesting idea by Rickard though: Piper as a client.........
At that moment, Aidan considered making some phonecalls to his new contact in ALPHA-1. But that would have to wait until after this card. Three fights tonight and one back at the home base. Right now, the focus was on getting the Tough Team to go 4 for 4.......
Unfortunately, it went pear-shaped from the start. Rose Nessa fought well against Marion Reynolds and landed some solid punches. Marion got a takedown Round 1, but Nessa survived til the bell.
Round 2 was the real deal-breaker. Rose knocked down Marion with a one-two and went in to finish. Aidan and Rickard screamed for the ref stoppage as Rose pounded away, but it turned out Marion was playing possum and fooled everyone in the building, except the ref. Marion slipped out from Nessa's ground and pound, took her back, and sunk a Rear Naked Choke for the submission win. Aidan and Rickard were furious with themselves for not seeing that one coming. Harsh loss for Rose Nessa, who fought as well as a striker could in these kinds of matches, but overcommitted and lost.
Official Result: Marion Reynolds defeats Rose Nessa (Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 4:31 of round 2). The fight was rated as being Good.
Unfortunately it didn't get better. Chisaki Gojo was picked apart by Sandy Oliver on the feet and felt too threatened to try a takedown. Round 3 saw Oliver complete a takedown and look for a finish, but time ran out on her. Not that it mattered, as Oliver took a 30-27 judges decision on all cards.
Official Result: 'The Lady Of 1,000 Submissions' Sandy Oliver defeats Chisaki Gojo (Unanimous Decision in 5:00 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Average.
"Well that sucked."
"It can't be helped, they were both underdogs."
"Yeah.......goddamn that Marion Reynolds though! That was a win right there and she was playing possum! How did we not see that?"
Aidan shook his head. Maybe it wasn't even Marion playing possum so much as having the self-awareness to get out of an impossible situation, but still, they should've known and told Rose to not go after her or something.
That likely meant another fighter leaving the camp. Rose was on a short-term stay, and so was Chisaki. Hopefully they could keep the new recruits coming to keep the cash flow from memberships. Aidan's position was fine, but the Tough Team was becoming a bit of a money sink and he wanted to turn that around.
Aidan decided to call Ted and see how things were going with Tyler Aldi......
Not much better. Wack's top control was too good and Aldi couldn't get in any submission attempts. Aldi won round 2 in debatable fashion with a power right cross that hurt his hand. Round 3 Wack just kept his distance and jabbed Aldi en route to a decision: 29-28, 30-27, 29-28. A bad loss for Aldi, who was out of sorts the whole fight and couldn't implement a gameplan.
Official Result: Cort Wack defeats Tyler 'Black Ops' Aidi (Unanimous Decision in 5:00 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Average.
"0 for 3 tonight! This is ridiculous!"
"We're fine Aidan. We have Piper."
"I know, but now we're going to lose 3 people from the Team and its our fault. How are we going to get through that?"
"Whats happened every time someone leaves the group?"
"We hand out business cards and get new people, right? Besides, we'll have two champions in the camp soon enough, and that TV bit already maxed our our casual classes for the winter. We're fine man! Take it easy."
Rickard was right. Still though, it was frustrating as hell. If Aidan was back home Aldi might've snapped out of it and won his fight. Now Piper had to win to salvage the night.
Aidan knocked on the door and let Piper know it was 5 minutes til she was up. They completed the prep, got the ice buckets, and walked out to their destiny, good or bad.
"Piper, remember the plan. Open her up for that Sunday punch we've been working on, and do it early."
"That move we've been working on for the past few weeks!"
"Oh right, that......yeah, I'll try for that first thing."
"You ok Piper?"
".......I'm fine........just fine......."
Piper was just fine.
She had her focus solely on the fight now. Rickard had reminded her on the way out about the punch she could use to open up Lehane's guard. Lehane was likely looking to defend the strikes until she got in close for the takedown, so Rickard came up with a punch to beat it. It was a huge risk, but Piper knew she had the skill and the power to pull it off successfully.
Stick to the plan.
Piper barely heard the ring intros, she just kept a casual pose with her fists pressed together, staring daggers into Hope Lehane.
The ref went over the rules, then went to the center and started the fight.
Hope offered her fist. Piper touched it.
Aidan had his mouth open in stunned disbelief, while Rickard was laughing like a hyena.
Exactly two people knew what was going to happen, in a building that contained maybe 1300 fans and staff.
And then it happened.
Hope came out with her hands up, looking to block and wade through punches to get close. Piper hit a right swing punch around her guard that sent her off to one side. They stood at middle range for a few seconds, then Piper made a deep feint. Hope bit on the feint, opened up her guard, and tried to clinch.
The result nearly destroyed her.
Piper's feint was in reality setting up the motion of the devestating boxing power punch known as the Smash. The three-quarters uppercut went right between Hope's arms and damn near broke her jaw, sending her crashing to the canvas. Piper went to follow up with strikes and it was over in 28 seconds. Hope was flopping like a fish before eventually snapping out of it, and made it back to her feet with assistance from her corner. Meanwhile Piper was atop the cage celebrating with Rickard mugging for the camera in the background, making several faces that would be used as reaction images on the Blurcat forums for years to come.
Official Result: 'The Sniper' Piper Evergood defeats Hope 'Scythe' Lehane (TKO (Strikes) in 0:28 of round 1). The fight was rated as being Good. 'The Sniper' Piper Evergood wins the WEFF Featherweight title!
After the interview, where Piper got the plug in for the Tough Team and thanked Rickard for teaching her the winning shot (and what a shot it was), the team headed out. A few teammates went with Piper, Aidan, and Rickard for a subdued victory celebration at a late-night diner in Montreal (with half off poutine). It wasn't great, but who cared. Piper and Rickard were amped but everyone else on the team was a bit down after a rough night. A better victory party for the new champ would happen back home in Regina.
Eventualy Piper head back to her hotel room. She stripped down, picked up the WEFF Featherweight title, stepped in front of a mirror, and posed.
"I deserve this."
"I am special, I am the best woman in MMA. I deserve this!"
"I DESERVE THIS!!!!!!!"
Sunday Week 1 September, 2003
-Pretty wild victory party back home for Piper, although it didn't have the same edge due to all the other Tough Team losses. Its always weird to me to be happy around a teammate that lost, but then they just tell me to get over it and enjoy my party. Its hard for me to do that though. As a trainer here, its not just my career I'm responsible for, its their careers too. I'm in their corner more often than not, I watch the tapes, I know some of their opponents better than my own. To see them down while I'm so fired up over my success just seems.....wrong.
-Regardless, its a big moment for the Tough Team. Most of us had a good time and we got some nice pictures of our champion to hang on the wall.
-Before that party started though, me and Aidan went over some Tough Team business.......
-A new fighter joined the Tough Team, just as I thought. Her name was Rennaya Rives, an 11-1 Flyweight Taekwondo striker from Brazil currently employed by WEFF. Rives lost her most recent fight to Layla Holmes via a Kimura lock, and has come to work on her ground game temporarily. Shes an electrifying striker with a good deal of potential and we'll see what we can do with her.
-CCC 24 is booked but no one from our gym is on the card. However, my buddy Allen LeFleur is booked against Toby Dingleberry in a title eliminator, and due to several incoming departures we could end up getting a fighter or two coming in to train.
-XCC is running an event, and they've booked our boy Roger Bean against 13-7 Wrestler Noah Smithee in a Featherweight bout. Smithee is a top control-oriented fighter who aims to get takedowns and win on points. He lacks a striking game and a sturdy chin however, which are two flaws Bean can exploit if we gameplan correctly.
-Aidan has it on good authority that Rafael Tavares is headed for ALPHA-1. Tavares won the CCC Featherweight title last night, so this means if hes signed it will be left vacant. This is important for us, because it could put our boy Richie Stiller into a title eliminator.
-Aidan's not sure what will happen with any booking in CCC though, as hes found out Chris Penn may be stepping down from CCC matchmaker duties. This would change the usual flow of how fights are booked.
-ALPHA-1's on a big signing spree, and Aidan's working his contacts seeing if he can get a few guys from the Tough Team in. Apparently they're bringing back Bambang Sriyanto and Tadamasa Yamada. Theres also raiding being done of worthy free agents and fighters in the regional promotions. Petey Mack is rumoured to be among them, whihc would be big for the Middleweight division.
-We're buying an extra ring to help me get ready for the first fight in ALPHA-1, and Aidan's laid out a plan changing up my training for their rules. I need to get used to that weird 10 minute first round ALPHA-1 runs in their fights.
Tuesday Week 2 September, 2003
-There was a local show in Brandon, Manitoba today, and we had two Tough Team members on the card!
-Helena Broderick defeated Albina Durant easily in the prelims. Durant tried to get in close to do some grappling, and Helena just clobbered her with one-twos every time she approached. After a few of those Durant ended up rocked back against the cage, and Broderick put her down with a right hook to end the fight. Good stuff from Broderick, and hopefully another win gets her the inside track to WEFF.
Official Result: Helena Broderick defeats Albina Durant (Knock Out (Punch) in 1:26 of round 1). The fight was rated as being Good.
-Vicki Summers overpowered Setsuko Henmi in her main card fight. Summers got 4 takedowns in the first 2 rounds and brutalized Henmi with ground and pound, almost getting the stoppage a couple times. Round 3 Summers completed her 5th takedown and just ended it by pounding Henmi until she gave up her back, then sunk in a Rear Naked Choke for the tapout. Summers has made some serious progress with her offensive threat and is no longer just a lay and pray specialist. Her last 3 wins have been pretty decisive, even if they were against middling competition, and she's in position for a final WEFF run.
Official Result: Vicki 'The Heart Breaker' Summers defeats Setsuko Henmi (Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 2:26 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Good.
Saturday Week 2 September, 2003
-My first fight in ALPHA-1 is booked! I'll be taking on 6-0 Submission Wrestler Kei Sakakibara in a prelim bout in November at ALPHA-1: Atep vs Hojo. Sakakibara came to ALPHA-1 after 5 straight wins on the local scene, and beat Akihiro Jippensha via Kimura in his ALPHA-1 debut fight in June. His style seems to be based around takedowns from the clinch and working for submissions, regardless of whether he gets top position or pulls guard. Hes said to have an excellent chin, so while I'm probably able to outland him at middle range, I may have to play his game and clinch him or get the fight to the ground. One weak point I've noticed is his lack of cardio, so I have the option to grind out a decision. Even though he seems to be full of holes, his chin and submission game actually make this a slightly awkward matchup for me, but I'm sure I can take him.
Monday Week 3 September, 2003
-Another Tough Team booking! At a regional show in Quebec City, we've got French Dancer returning to action against 4-0 Boxer Raimond Noyer in the Middleweight division. I've actually met Noyer: We were at the same event once, a Canadian amateur boxing tourney, and he won his division in the age group. Hes a skilled boxer for sure, and was a judges decision loss away from representing Canada at the Olympics at one point. However, instead of turning pro he went into the world of MMA for some unknown reason. He doesn't seem to be much for cross-training, so hopefully Dancer can take him down and exploit that before Noyer scores a KO.
-Vicki Summers left the Tough Team. She thanked us for our help in training her but said she needed to shake things up and move elsewhere. We wished her well. I thought she did a terrific job in our camp and improved dramatically in terms of offense, and the fact she hasn't gotten an offer from WEFF to come back is absurd.
Wednesday Week 3 September, 2003
-WEFF is running a TV special card in October and three Tough Team gals are booked!
-Manami Ken is in the main event against 10-2 BJJ ace Layla Holmes. Ken is completely overmatched here: Holmes has her beat standing, on the ground, can submit her, can defend the takedowns, and even has more physical power and stamina. Ken would do well just to see a decision here, and this seems to be a fight set up for Holmes to get a title shot more than anything.
-Rennaya Rives is taking on 11-3 Taekwondo striker Nina Belle in a Flyweight fight. Rives is good but this is a bad matchup for her against a superior striker. There is the chance of a KO for us: Belle's defense is sloppy sometimes and she could walk into a head kick. The defense may also give us an opening to win on points, but Belle has superior offensive firepower to possibly nullify that advantage. We'll do what we can in camp but this is an uphill battle for our new teammate.
-Trish Biel makes her WEFF debut against 7-2 Jiu Jitsu fighter Leslie Myers in the prelims. Myers has good submission abilities, but lacks the physical power necessary to have a good clinch game or top control. Biel should have opportunities to get a takedown and go to work, or use her improving boxing to outland Myers on the feet. The submissions are something to be wary of so she'll work on defending against that during her camp.
-Chisaki Gojo left the Tough Team after her loss, and we're expecting a couple more people to be out the door soon. We've got enough of a reputation that new teammates should come flooding in soon, though.
Friday Week 3 September, 2003
-Chris Penn has stepped down as CCC matchmaker due to personal reasons. He'll still be involved with running the company according to Aidan but for now the matchmaking job is up in the air. This might change some of the Tough Team's bookings with CCC going forward depending on the style of the person coming in.
(OOC: This is my way of saying I'm no longer booking CCC in-game. I needed a few weeks to finish up booking other fights and getting contracts in order and now I'm leaving the company in the AI's hands and booking ALPHA-1 in full now instead.)
-Before he left though, he did manage to change a fight Allen LeFleur had coming up. He was facing Toby Dingleberry, but Dingleberry got injured so now Allen's against Brett Krakowski.
-Tyler Aldi and Rose Nessa left the Tough Team after their losses. We wished both of them well. Hopefully more people come into the team soon........
CANADIAN TOUGH TEAM ROSTER
Aidan Ryland (owner/trainer/agent)
Rickard Patterson (6-0)
Special Long-Term Members:
Piper Evergood (6-0)
Aljur Paras (8-0)
Buster East (6-2)
Christine Jameson (7-4)
French Dancer (7-7)
Richie Stiller (9-4)
Roger Bean (8-2)
Roy Arnett (8-3)
Ethan LeGrange (10-1)
Helena Broderick (11-3)
Manami Ken (12-2)
Natassia Potocnik (8-3)
Rennaya Rives (11-1)
Trish Biel (12-0)
Ethan LeGrange vs Craig Hulme (CCC 24, October 2003)
French Dancer vs Raimond Noyer (Canadian Local Show, October 2003)
Manami Ken vs Layla Holmes (WEFF Unmissable 3, October 2003)
REnnaya Rives vs Nina Belle (WEFF Unmissable 3, October 2003)
Trish Biel vs Leslie Myers (WEFF Unmissable 3, October 2003)
Roger Bean vs Noah Smithee (XCC event, October 2003)
Rickard Patterson vs Kei Sakakibara (ALPHA-1 event, November 2003)
Sunday Week 3 September, 2003
-Watched the ALPHA-1 show tonight with Aidan. The only Middleweight bout of note was Jiu Jitsu fighter Atsutane Akera vs Sambo fighter Tetsuji Myojin. Akera improved to 5-1 in the company with a submission win in 8 and a half minutes. Akera looked really impressive on the ground, from what I've heard and seen so far hes an excellent submission threat, and he is someone to be dealt with in the Middleweight division.
-Main event saw a successful Super Heavyweight title defense by Palmer Lette in a rematch against Jutaro Honma. I think Honma broke his hand trying to pound out Lette after a Round 1 takedown and it really affected him throughout the fight, as Lette took control in the later rounds and got a standing stoppage in Round 4. Overall this was a pretty good card.
Friday Week 4 September, 2003
-CCC 26 is taking place in Regina in mid-November and theres two Tough Team fighters on the card......
-Roy Arnett takes on 3-0 Greco-Roman Wrestler Leon Payer in the prelim opener. Payer debuted in 2002 and won two straight on local shows to get a CCC offer. His wrestling may be too much for Arnett to handle, but if Arnett can keep it standing he wins easily, as Payer is only a decent boxer on the feet.
-Aljur Paras will fight 4-2 Wrestler Deverill Butt. Deverill's gameplan seems to be smothering his opponent via clinch or top control, so Paras has to use his strength and improve his takedown defense here. Deverill has little to offer on the feet so Paras will need to keep the fight there to get the win.
-GAMMA's getting very aggressive in raiding the regional scenes and they've taken a number of fighters from CCC, including champion Tyler Lass for a GAMMA return, and our former teammate Chad Zoff. ALPHA-1 might be bringing back Simon Vine if he defeats Lass, so hopefully CCC can unearth more diamonds from the regional scene to compensate.
Friday Week 1 October, 2003
-CCC 24 held the big Ontario event it had planned in Hamilton, while a local show happened in Quebec City. Both had Tough Team fighters, so Aidan sent a few staff down to both cities and stayed home while we focused on my camp for Kei Sakakibara.
-French Dancer's fight with Raimond Noyer went horribly wrong as he got nailed with a one-two right as he went for a takedown and was knocked out in 39 seconds. Right idea, wrong result. Dancer's rapidly reaching tomato can status after his 4th straight loss, poor guy.
Official Result: 'Captain Hook' Raimond Noyer defeats French 'Private' Dancer (TKO (Strikes) in 0:39 of round 1). The fight was rated as being Good.
-Luckily, at CCC 24 Ethan LeGrange did well on his own versus Craig Hulme, winning a striking battle in Round 1 and getting a big knockdown in Round 2. Round 3 Hulme got a takedown late and tried to ground and pound for the finish, but LeGrange held him off for the 29-28 win on all cards! Good win for Ethan, who has made the most progress of anyone in the Tough Team so far since joining up.
Official Result: Ethan LeGrange defeats Craig Hulme (Unanimous Decision in 5:00 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Decent.
-The double main event saw Nate MacReary claim his second Heavyweight title with a decision win on Taye Burnett, and Teddy Glossop scoring a huge upset over Super Heavyweight champ Dwight Witherspoon to win the CCC title. ALPHA-1 sent him an offer right after the match ended, because such is the life of a regional company.
Saturday Week 1 October, 2003
-A new fighter joined the Tough Team for a visit: Toshie Nishina, a 10-4 Wrestler in the Flyweight division. Her entire career until now was spent on the Japanese local scene before she moved here to chase a contract with WEFF, a common story in our gym. Shes a clinch-oriented fighter who prefers dirty boxing against the fence and winning points, and has a decent ground game if the fight goes there. We'll work with her and see if she can get an offer.
-ALPHA-1's booked an event for early December I'm keeping an eye on. Theres two Middleweight fights: Kojuro Kudo vs Thais Antonio Taffarel and Motoyuki Matsumara vs Hiroshige Shiga. Main event is Zvonimir Asanovic vs Rafael Van Der Moot and I'll be keeping an eye on that one.
-At the press conference to announce that event, ALPHA-1 also announced the creation of a Bantamweight division that is sure to ruffle some feathers at GAMMA, although they'll be missing Willy Bassett and several other high ranked fighters due to contract obligations.
Friday Week 2 October, 2003
-Sadly Ethan LeGrange left the Tough Team to head back home to Quebec for training. He had an excellent 18 months or so with us and made some serious strides as a fighter. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets picked up by one of the Big 2 if he keeps up his winning streak. We threw him a nice party before he packed his bags and headed to Quebec, and we'll miss him.
-Got interviewed by Blurcat later that night for their radio show. This ALPHA-1 signing and the popularity I've gotten since that win over Ballard and the TV spot just hits me in different ways. It still feels weird to be important enough to be interviewed by a journalist. Nonetheless I had a good interview, and got the plug in for the Tough Team, to Aidan's approval
Saturday Week 3 October, 2003
-WEFF's TV card was today and Aidan sent the staff and a couple of the girls down again so he could stay with me. We're working really, really hard on this camp for Sakakibara and Aidan doesn't want to ruin the momentum.
-Trish Biel won her prelim fight against Leslie Myers. Biel scored two takedowns, opened up a cut, and landed a few power punches across 3 rounds to take a clean 30-27 win on all cards. Biel moves to 13-0 and is heading towards a title shot with speed.
Official Result: 'The Real Deal' Trish Biel defeats Leslie Myers (Unanimous Decision in 5:00 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Good.
-Rennaya Rives scored a minor upset on Nina Belle! Rives worked hard on her striking technique and her defense for this bout and it paid off, she outlanded Belle across all 3 rounds and avoided taking any serious shots. Belle got a round from the judges regardless, but Rives got 2 to take a 29-28 decision on all cards. Rives was rewarded for her hard work with a good win that puts her into title contention, and hopefully we'll be in her corner if she does get the shot.
Official Result: Rennaya Rives defeats Nina 'Liberty' Belle (Unanimous Decision in 5:00 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Good.
-Manami Ken faced Layla Holmes in the main event. Unfortunately, she could not pull off the upset, so we had to settle for 2 out of 3 on the evening. Ken got a takedown early and threatened with ground and pound, but Holmes calmly swept her and got an armbar for the submission win over the submission fighter. Big loss for Ken, but her whole strategy to fight meant a loss like this was inevitable. That style only works if you are literally the best submission artist and best wrestler in the division, and Ken is neither.
Official Result: Layla Holmes defeats Manami Ken (Submission (Armbar) in 3:25 of round 1). The fight was rated as being Great.
-Aidan's getting anxious about our membership numbers, but I think we'll find a few more talented fighters like Rives looking for polish and a short-term stay, so we'll be fine.
Friday Week 4 October, 2003
-Two Tough Team bookings are on tap for CCC 27 in Regina!
-Buster East will take on 12-5 Kickboxer Joshua Ziegler in a prelim Welterweight bout. In a pure striking battle Ziegler's got some quality, and is a crafty veteran with solid defense. Buster's been improving, however, and has got some excellent boxing at his disposal now. He might have the skill to cope with the defense and head movement of Ziegler, and still has his considerable talents as a kickboxer in play too. With both fighters on two fight losing streaks under a new matchmaker, this is probably a must-win for both of them to stay employed in CCC. I'll do what I can to help my friend win this one.
-Richie Stiller takes on 4-0 Wrestler Cort Wack in the main card opener. Our only real hope in this one is Wack leaving himself open for power shots, as Wack's takedowns and wrestling ability will be too much for Stiller to cope with at this stage of his career. Stiller can hang in there through some punishment, but if Wack gets mount and starts teeing off theres not much Stiller can really do about it. The flash KO is our only hope unless Stiller makes the same sort of breakthrough in ground ability that Ethan LeGrange made.
-Helena Broderick got a contract offer with WEFF. At age 32 this is her last shot at glory and a couple more paydays, so we'll try to make it count.
Saturday Week 4 October, 2003
-Roger Bean took on Noah Smithee at an XCC event in California. Aidan sent the staff to handle things, but they might as well have stayed in Saskatchewan: Bean destroyed Smithee, who could not find a takedown opening all nght long and got utterly destroyed by Bean at middle range. Eventually two head kicks from Bean put Smithee down on the canvas and the ref waved it off to give Bean the win. With XCC's Featherweight division depleted by raids, now's the best time to win, as it helps ensure either a title shot or that you'll be the next one raided.....
Official Result: Roger 'Jumpin'' Bean defeats Noah 'The Genius' Smithee (Knock Out (Kick) in 1:31 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Good.
Monday Week 1 November, 2003
-My 20th birthday! I celebrated it in rather subdued fashion due to starting my weight cut and being in a camp, so we just had a small party in the gym. It involved a lot of beating people at Street Fighter Alpha 3 with Dan, and a lot of toasts to a succesful fight with Kei Sakakibara.
-As for that, my camp is going pretty well. I'm training exclusively in a ring now, and I'm working hard on my stamina to prepare for the weird 10 minute Round 1 ALPHA-1 runs, and also to prepare for a possible grind to decision.
Friday Week 1 November, 2003
-CCC 25 took place and my buddy Allen LeFleur mauled Brett Krakowski, eventually getting the TKO win after Krakowski got downed by a great leg kick. Main event saw Tyler Lass score a KO win over Simon Vine before departing to GAMMA, and that probably cost Vine a job with ALPHA-1 for the moment.
-ALPHA-1's announced a TV special called "Dynamite! 2003" for New Years Eve weekend. It'll be headlined by Terron Cabal taking on Mason Archer, and the notable Middleweight bout in the prelims is Petey Mack taking on Juro Fukazawa in his debut. Theres also a 195 lb catchweight bout between the returning Tadamasa Yamada and Bambang Sriyanto, and a loaded Featherweight Grand Prix: Li-Kong Ho, Yagi Jokichi, Kenji Akita, Yoshiro Makamori, Tomohiro Takeuchi, Masahiro Maeno, Rafael Tavares, and Lars Bohlin. DAMN! Winner of that will get a shot against Phillip Ziskie. This card is stacked and I sorta wish I was on it.
Sunday Week 1 November, 2003
-Two new Tough Team members!
-Colin J L Capes is a 9-0 Super Heavyweight Kickboxer from Scotland, who moved to Canada to try to chase a job with CCC. Strangely he didn't get an offer from them, but his 9 fight KO streak against local cans did land him a world ranking, which led to the increasingly aggressive ALPHA-1 giving him a contract offer. Hes very one-dimensional as a fighter, but we'll work on his takedown and submission defense to get it to acceptable standards.
-Tuck Durdell is a 9-2 Ground and Pound specialist in the CCC Middleweight division. Hes had an up-and-down tenure in CCC, winning his debut against French Dancer, losing two fights in a row to KO kings in Reed Howlett and Ashley Ballard, then rebounded for a decision win over Ed Burridge at CCC 25. Hes here short term to work on his stand-up game.
Saturday Week 2 November, 2003
-Finally, after a long camp and a pretty hard weight cut, my debut ALPHA-1 fight is here. Kei Sakakibara also made weight and looked good. Two years in the MMA game, all the training I did as a kid, for this moment. I need to make a strong impression on my debut, but I'm ready for a decision if it comes to that. Its time to go to the world stage!
Sunday Week 2 November, 2003
ALPHA-1: Atep vs Hojo
The instant Aidan walked into the building he knew this wasn't going to be a normal fight.
In CCC, Rickard was used to getting somewhat preferential treatment. He had his own dressing room in each fight, in a building he knew well, packed with fans supporting the hometown boy. He could relax before each fight, get into his zone and do his little routine, then come out for war with a crowd behind his every move.
Here, he was sharing a dressing room with a few other fighters, he was on the preliminary card, and all Japanese fight fans would know about him was that he was a prospect from the same country as Mason Archer. No one except the ALPHA-1 brass expected anything from him, and even then Aidan suspected he only got the offer as a preemptive strike against GAMMA. Rickard looked nervous and couldn't get into his routine liked he wanted.
"Remember your debut fight?"
"Then you remember its good to be nervous about this?"
"Yeah, I know. I just want to get into my routine man, I need to relax."
Piper Evergood was with the two, and she decided to tease Rickard a little.
"Oh come on Ricky, a godlike fighter like you, being nervous about some tomato can from Kawasaki? You're better than that, aren't you?"
Aidan could almost see Rickard's eyes turn into red cartoon hearts. He rolled his eyes and turned his attention to the monitor. Piper had come along on this trip to meet the ALPHA-1 brass and provide another sane voice in the corner. Aidan had taken Piper on as a client on Rickard's suggestion, and was trying to get her an ALPHA-1 contract offer by convincing the company to start a Women's division. They said they'd take it under consideration. Aidan knew they would seriously consider it, because anything to cut GAMMA off at the knees was necessary in this promotional war brewing. ALPHA-1 recently poached Evan Pizzarro, and Matt Tripp had his nose out of joint about that. GAMMA firing back by starting a Women's Division and signing all the talent would be a good way to go about doing things if they wanted to escalate.
Eventually, the Middleweight prelim fight Aidan was curious about was on his screen, and he watched for future info on potential oppponents.
Marinho Gomes and Katsunouki Nakata had a short, but fierce striking battle, both sides throwing leather with bad intentions and refusing to step down. Gomes turned the tide once he started working kicks in, and he caught Nakata with a beauty of a head kick to stagger him, then another to knock him down. Good win for Gomes, but Aidan was confident that Rickard could take him due to his lacking ground game.
Eventually the schedule worked over to Rickard's fight. Aidan fetched Rickard from a bathroom, where he eventually went to get some peace and quiet, and they all got ready for the big debut......
Rickard's music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlz6qgahnYQ
Kei's music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ5cBkxFrYs
Crowd reacted to Rickard's music with a few cheers and some laughter, which was more than Aidan expected. Aidan was starting to get accustomed to some of the video game music Rickard would play around the gym as his pump-up themes, and he used a couple for entrance music. Hey, it worked, didn't it?
There was a bit more of a response for Kei's intro. He was fighting in front of some supportive fans, a large group of whom had a giant banner held up with a cartoon drawing of Kei on it. Aidan guessed they must've made the trip from Kawasaki.
After the ring announcer finished the intros, Aidan went to give Rickard some last minute advice, telling him to stay at middle range and watch for the takedowns and clinch attempts, but Aidan wasn't sure Rickard heard him. He was intent and focussed entirely on Kei, and was taking a lot of deep breaths.
"I hope he'll be alright...."
They touched gloves. Kei threw an early one-two, and Rickard casually parried it. Kei stepped into the pocket and landed a right, slipping Rickard's left. Rickard hit a leg kick and somehow swayed back to avoid a right hook from Kei. After an exchange of strikes that were either blocked or dodged, Rickard moved in and secured a clinch, jeckying for position untill he eventually got the Thai plum hooked in. Kei blocked a knee strike and pushed him away, however, and they were back to middle range. Rickard popped him with a couple jabs and dodged a one-two, coming in behind the two for a takedown. It was a beautiful double leg, and he picked up Kei and slammed him into side control! After a knee to the ribs, Rickard tried to hook a D'Arce Choke, but Kei got out of it. Rickard fired a few punches and a knee strike but was content to keep control until the ref stood them up, then resumed the fight.
Kei hit a couple jabs, Rickard hit a nice right jab into left liver blow combo. After an exchange, Rickard came in under a right hook and got a double leg into half guard. Rickard tried to pass, Kei tried to scramble, and Rickard ended up on his back pulling guard after missing a grab at Kei's leg. Kei clipped Rickard's jaw with his shoulder. Rickard tried to bring his legs up for a triangle and almost got it in, but Kei slipped out of it. Kei fired a barrage of light ground and pound, but Rickard grabbed Kei close and hit a few short punches to the head. Kei broke free from that and postured up, and right then Rickard swept Kei, got his leg, and hooked a brilliant kneebar! Kei tapped and the crowd roared with approval as Rickard got up and started celebrating! Win number 7!
Official Result: 'The Dragoon' Rickard Patterson defeats Kei Sakakibara (Submission (Kneebar) in 9:17 of round 1). The fight was rated as being Decent.
"What the HELL was that?"
"I don't know, I'm just glad it worked! LETS GO BOYS! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"
Rickard climbed up on the ropes and posed to some scattered applause from the prelim crowd. Aidan wasn't expecting Rickard to do a submission battle, but sometime's Rickard's instincts surprised everyone, even Rickard himself. Just as long as he didn't try that against a guy like Joaquim Fontes.
After the decision was read, Rickard and friends were sent back to reality, as they were quickly ushered from the ring to make way for the next fight. Rickard did a post-fight hallway interview with a reporter through an interpreter, where he just talked about being excited to win his debut, and how he was ready to take on anyone in the Middleweight division. Rickard also mentioned he wanted to be on the New Year's card and would take a fight on short notice. Aidan did pitch that his client would fight on short notice to the ALPHA-1 brass, so it'd be interesting to see if they'd take him up on it.
Everyone then settled down and watched the monitors for the main card. Joaquim Fontes took on Haranobu Oshiro in a back and forth fight. Oshiro got a knockdown early and Fontes got a takedown late in Round 1, Round 2 was humdrum, and then in Round 3 the finish came out of nowhere: Fontes shot for a takedown and ran headlong into a knee strike counter that knocked him out cold. An excellent comeback win for Oshiro, who was cut unfairly after the disastrous Middleweight Grand Prix and had rebuilt his career on the local scene to get this chance.
Main event saw Atep of Indonesia defend his Heavyweight title succesfully against Motoki Hojo via a head kick KO followed up by strikes. Hojo was building up some momentum after winning the Lightweight GP but it got undone inside 8 minutes of the first round.
After the card, Aidan took Rickard, Piper, and the staff to have some of the famous Yakuniku they'd heard about, and some sake for the drinkers. Everyone was thrilled, but the real party would come on the return home to Regina.
Aidan was satisfied with the debut, and with the newfound rise of the veteran Haranobu Oshiro, things were getting interesting in the Middleweight division......
Last edited by White Dolphin : 04-13-2018 at 01:59 AM.
Wednesday Week 3 November, 2003
-What a debut. I just had a feeling while watching tapes that, despite Kei's submission threat, he'd be actually weak to submissions. That can happen with some fighters: You train the offense of your specialty more than your defense and it costs you. So instead of a long decision fight where I'd be failing to crack that iron jaw of his, it was better to go to the ground and test him there.
-The kneebar finish got photgraphed in some magazines, alongside an interview I did. I got extra copies of the magazine and thats going in my collection of personal memorabilia for sure.
-The party last night was nuts, the Tough Team was hyped up for my debut and they gave me a hero's welcome when I stepped into the gym. Whats even more nuts though is my cheque for the fight. I made $42400! $8700 to show, $8700 to win, $25000 for submission of the night! Aidan made 10 grand, I kept the rest. "The rest" is comparable to what I made over the entire last year. Wow.
-I don't intend to spend a lot of it. I'm keeping my bank account as large as possible in case any lean months or sudden expenses crop up. Some fighters would go buy a car, buy fancy clothes, and splash the cash...... but I'm not wanting to end up near-destitute like some of the foster parents I had. I can't let all this get to my head, because then that 7-0 record becomes 7-3, and I go from shooting star to fizzled dud. I'll take my money, and train harder to get more money. Maybe I'll add to it with a KO of the Night bonus next time.........
-I debuted at #12 on the ALPHA-1 rankings going into the fight, and I moved up to #11 after the victory. Theres some real strong fighters atop the rankings, and I'm looking forward to stepping up to them soon.
Thursday Week 3 November, 2003
-Natassia Potocnik is booked for WEFF 36, she'll be facing 2-1 Wrestler Honor O'Neill. Honor seems to be a grinding wrestler who is good enough to knock out or choke out cans but too green to stand up to real competition. Potocnik should be able to secure the takedown and pound away for the win eventually.
-Trish Biel left the Tough Team, she was here short-term to work on striking but is now heading out to freshen things up a bit. We wished her well.
Friday Week 3 November, 2003
-CCC 26 took place today and we had two Tough Teamers on the card......
-Roy Arnett faced Leon Payer. He tried, but the wrestling ability proved just too much for him to handle, and despite winning Round 2 with some spirited striking, Arnett took a 29-28 decision loss on all scorecards. If we could get Arnett's takedown defense to acceptable levels he'd be a contender, but its a slow process.
Official Result: 'The Wild Dog' Leon Payer defeats Roy 'Trigger' Arnett (Unanimous Decision in 5:00 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Decent.
-Aljur Paras took on Deverill Butt, and after about 20 seconds of circling, he flash KOed him with a jab to head kick combo that left Deverill unconscious. Thats a statement win right there for Paras, and we'll see where this KO takes him in the rankings.
Official Result: Aljur Paras defeats 'The Ass Man' Deverill Butt (Knock Out (Kick) in 0:21 of round 1). The fight was rated as being Good.
-Main event saw Reed Howlett beat Sutton Ripley to defend his Middleweight title. Howlett did it in style with a right hook knock out inside 90 seconds. I was in line for the shot before being signed by ALPHA-1, so Ripley was slotted in instead and looked past his prime against the dangerous Howlett. Howlett looked good but he still hasn't had his ground game seriously tested in 12 fights.
-Card drew a company record 674, but CCC's roster is just getting raided left and right. Aidan told me the winner of the main event is likely headed to ALPHA-1, meaning Reed Howlett gets his first taste of the big time.
Sunday Week 3 November, 2003
-Manami Ken left the Tough Team after her loss. It was a shame, but her style is not suited to modern MMA so it was inevitable anyways.
-Reed Howlett did indeed get a contract offer and is en route to ALPHA-1.
-Passed my medical checkup today so I'm cleared to resume training tomorrow.
Sunday Week 4 November, 2003
-ALPHA-1's booked their January card, I'm not on it, but......
-Colin J L Capes is booked to fight against 2-1 Boxer Nariakira Okayama in a prelim Super Heavyweight bout. Okayama debuted in 2002 with two straight wins on the local scene before being signed to ALPHA-1 and losing his debut fight. He is a fat slugger who looks for big one punch KOs, but lacks cardio (and a ground game, but we can't exploit that). He should be a decent test for Capes and it'll be a hard-hitting striking battle for sure.
-Notable Middleweight tilt on the card is Kadonomaro Deguchi vs Jakuchu Abe. Deguchi beat Heiji Endo in a shock in February, but lost to Tadao Miyazaki and is trying to climb back into the contender's spots. Abe also lost to Miyazaki, but regrouped with a couple wins right afterwards and is also in the hunt. These two have real quality and aren't even Top 10 in the division, which is amazing.
-Main event is Go Yamamoto vs Caca de Andrade, but the real big match is the co-main: Hassan Fezzik returns to fight Affonso Villar at a Catchweight in a dream bout. I'm shocked Fezzik is making the comeback, but he'll be in tough against a super dangerous KO artist in Villar, who is gunning for a title rematch against Jin Katou.
Friday Week 1 December, 2003
-CCC 27 took place, and we had two Tough Team members on the card.
-Buster East faced Joshua Ziegler in a Welterweight tilt. Buster outlanded Ziegler to win Round 1, but Round 2 was a bit closer as Ziegler started to press. Buster broke it wide open though with a clever feint that baited Ziegler into throwing a right, which Buster countered with a BEAUTIFUL jumping front kick to the face and Ziegler went down hard. East followed up with punches and that was that. Good win from Buster to save his job for the moment.
Official Result: Buster East defeats Joshua Ziegler (TKO (Strikes) in 3:18 of round 2). The fight was rated as being Decent.
-Richie Stiller faced Cort Wack, and it was a tough back-and-forth. Round 1 Wack went for a takedown, but Stiller somehow stayed upright. Wack simply drove Richie against the fence and fired short punches to the body until they separated. Richie won the striking exchange at middle range afterwards, but it was a close round. Round 2 Wack got a takedown and took Richie's back, but Richie fended off the fight ending rear naked choke attempts and a late barrage of punches. That was a clear-cut 10-9 for Wack and could've been a 10-8. Round 3 Richie stuffed an early takedown and almost won the fight with some vicious strikes to a turtled Wack, but Wack escaped and landed a successful takedown later in the round. Richie got up from it, and the end of the fight was a fatigued exchange of punches near the fence with Wack in control. It was a decision that could've gone either way, but Aidan was confident Richie took Round 3. The judges decision...... 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 for Richie! Close decision, but Richie edged it for a big win and potentially has the vacant Featherweight belt within his reach.
Official Result: Richie 'The Killer' Stiller defeats Cort Wack (Split Decision in 5:00 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Good.
-We stuck around for the main events, which saw Brock Youdale choke out Robbie Lynn to defend the Lightweight title before leaving to fight in GAMMA, and a Featherweight title eliminator that had Shoot Wrestler Fabrice Marcil score a comeback submission winner on Kickboxer Aubrey Pellegrin, after getting knocked down in Rounds 2 and 3. Aidan found out afterwards that Marcil's getting an offer from ALPHA-1. The bright side for CCC is that with the amount of poaching going on lately, their fed is the place to be to get noticed by a top org and will attract more talent to fill the gaps.
-2 for 2 for the Tough Team tonight and we had a good party to celebrate, Buster in particular was happy to save his job with his awesome KO. Hopefully we'll have another party like this after my next fight......
Monday Week 2 December, 2003
-New Canadian Tough Team member! The newest addition to our camp is 5-0 Featherweight Shoot Wrestler Fabrice Marcil! Aidan heard he was getting an offer from ALPHA-1 last week and invited him to train with us, which he will short term. Marcil's background is pretty interesting stuff. He actually started as a pro wrestler, working the Canadian independent scene when he was 16, and got hired in his rookie year by North of the Border Pro Wrestling for a couple one-off events, where he lost to other guys in the dark matches (what pro wrestling calls the prelims) to make them look good. He then got into MMA in 2002, just to make a few extra bucks on the side. After winning his first 2 fights, he was hired by CCC in April to fill some roster gaps. He won 3 CCC fights in 6 months, and apparently got on the radar of ALPHA-1 because of his undefeated record and pro wrestling background. Hes got a decent striking game, solid submission ability, and is great off his back. His striking game could use an upgrade from decent, though, and he lacks top-end skill in his clinch game, top control, and striking defense. We'll be happy to work with him and see if he gets better.
-ALPHA-1 had a card yesterday, and Aidan got tapes of the Middleweight fights.
-Motoyuki Matsumara beat Hiroshige Shiga by majority decision in a striking battle. Shiga actually outlanded Matsumara and was more active, trying a few takedowns that didn't work, but Matsumara landed the power shots the judges love so much to get the win. Matsumara is a solid striker but his ground abilities could be a weakness to exploit, if he hasn't improved from a prior loss to Zaco.
-Thais Antonio Taffarel scored a unanimous decision win on Kojuro Kudo, thanks in part to a key takedown and some bombs from top control that swung the judges. Both men look dangerous, and good on Kudo for making it back to ALPHA-1 after being cut following the disastrous Middleweight GP last year.
-Main event saw Rafael Van Der Moot knock out Zvonimir Asanovic in under 4 minutes to likely get a title shot at Jin Katou. I don't think this is the end of the line for Asanovic, he just got caught perfectly by a right hook and went down. It happens to the best of us. I do think hes firmly entrenched in the role of gatekeeper now, though. 2 losses for the title against Katou and 1 against Yamada, plus this loss, and that should be the last of him as a top guy.
Saturday Week 2 December, 2003
-XCC had a card with a Bantamweight title clash between Brian Claremont and Willy Bassett. Claremont won the fight and wen't to ALPHA-1, who signed him earlier. Claremont is now rumoured to be facing the former KDM FC Bantamweight champ Lito Alcala to determine the first ALPHA-1 Bantamweight champion.
Saturday Week 3 December, 2003
-GAMMA gave out an excellent Christmas present, cutting Osmosis Benn after a loss to Maarten de Vries. This was loss number 2 in a row, but still, Benn has drawing power. If hes really so far gone he doesn't deserve to be on the world stage, have a few prospects run him down for easy popularity! Also, why cut guys like this in the first place when ALPHA-1's relentless poaching of talent as of late will be leaving you fewer and fewer options to choose from?
-ALPHA-1 is rumoured to be giving GAMMA a Christmas gift of its own, by going after their former Super Heavyweight champ Davey Rushton.
Monday Week 4 December, 2003
-Two Tough Team fighters are booked on a CCC card at the end of January, and one of the fights is big.......
-Aljur Paras is taking on 11-1 Wrestler Nate MacReary in the main event for the CCC Heavyweight Championship! MacReary is probably too strong of an opponent for Paras at this stage of his career due to his excellent wrestling, but theres some hope: MacReary did get knocked out before, by Sly Twinge at CCC 6. If Paras blitzes MacReary out of the gate we have a chance, otherwise MacReary can likely take down Paras often enough to control the fight. We'll work with Paras over the next month but its an uphill battle against a fighter as good as MacReary is.
-Roy Arnett is booked as well, for a prelim bout again 10-7 Kickboxer Cory Brewer. Arnett is clearly the better striker, and Brewer has bad cardio, a declining chin, and no ground game. This should be a stroll for Arnett, hopefully this springs him into title contention.
Saturday Week 4 December, 2003
-WEFF held a big New Year's Eve weekend event with one of our girls on the card......
-Natassia Potocnik lost to Honor O'Neill in a bad, bad fight. Aidan was furious with Potocnik for not trying to go for a takedown and instead going for a standup fight. This played right into O'Neill's hands, as she won at middle range and did significant work from the clinch, taking down Potocnik twice and landing over a dozen shots to the ribs. Two judges gave Potocnik Round 3 for some reason, but it was a unanimous 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 decision for O'Neill in all cards. Bitter end to the year for us.
Official Result: Honor 'Glory' O'Neill defeats Natassia Potocnik (Unanimous Decision in 5:00 of round 3). The fight was rated as being Average.
Sunday Week 4 December, 2003
-Had a bit of a subdued New Year's party this year due to the loss. Nonetheless, we got our spirits up by the end and Aidan got us a tape of the ALPHA-1 Dynamite TV special that aired yesterday for us to watch.
-Prelim Middleweight bout of interest saw Petey Mack take on veteran Juro Fukazawa. Mack didn't mess around and simply took Fukazawa down, passed whatever guard he tried, and cinched in a Kimura for the tapout in under 3 minutes. Excellent stuff from Mack in his return to the world stage.
-The finals of the ALPHA-1 Featherweight Challengers GP boiled down to Tomohiro Takeuchi and Li-Kong Ho. Bit of a shock, I was expecting my dark horse pick of Yagi Jokichi to come around, and Kenji Akita was another one tipped for success. Li-Kong Ho had lost twice to Takeuchi in the past, but unleashed a career-best performance to take the 3rd fight and put himself in line for a rematch with Philip Ziskie, winning via unanimous decision after 4 takedowns and a particularly dominant Round 2.
-Sukarno faced Heikichi Shimizu in a big Lightweight title eliminator and Shimizu got the shock win via Rear Naked Choke in under 5 minutes. Sukarno seemed an invincible Lightweight kingpin but now after two losses he's really shattered and needs to regroup.
-Bambang Sriyanto faced Tadamasa Yamada in a catchweight bout at 195, and Yamada survived an early knockdown, before securing a takedown after scrambling away from some finishing stomps. Yamada passed the guard a couple times, but ended up losing the position and ending up on his back. Yamada managed to calmly move to full guard from the bottom, however, then got a clutch armbar from the bottom for a win with just 27 seconds left in Round 1. Great fight, and Yamada looks back and ready for the big leagues.
-Terron Cabal beat Mason Archer in the main event for the Heavyweight title, avenging an earlier loss via decision. The usual Round 1 blitz proved too much for Archer this time and the eternal gatekeeper of ALPHA-1's Heavyweight division fell in 44 seconds. I stand by my opinion of Cabal, and at the rate ALPHA-1 is acquiring talent, I feel its only a matter of time before he loses that Heavyweight belt.
-Story broke over new year's that Matthew Dean's GAMMA contract has expired, and Buddy Garner is now the official champion. When Matthew Dean comes back from hiatus, theres gonna be a bidding war the likes of which MMA has never seen before for his services......
-No Blurcat awards for any of us this ye