Rumble at The Roseland 44 may have been the most consistently entertaining night of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) action I've seen. With sixteen action packed fights, the evening was never dull and it moved along at a terrific pace. The evening saw its share of upsets and victories. Female fighter Jody De Simone (who we interviewed here prior to the fight) was defeated by new comer Jana Piper and Chris Nelson was rocked by a Jay Shaffer in an outstanding prize fight upset. But it was Jake Morris who delivered most solidly to expectations in one of the most dynamic and entertaining fights of the night.
Here's a rundown of the bouts at Rumble at The Roseland and my thoughts on them.
Jay Pense v. Jeff Yost – when you think of the words "amateur MMA" a fight like this probably comes to mind. Two relatively inexperienced fighters wildly hitting, kicking and grappling, neither with any finesse or strategy. The bout ends 2 mins and 12 seconds in the second round with Jeff Yost catching Jay Pense in a triangle. In all the worst fight of the evening.
Ron Lane v. John Garcia – a solid fight with two fairly evenly matched fighters. Garcia goes for arm bar after arm bar attempt against Lane but never can quite lock it in. The fight goes a full three rounds with Garcia putting the exclamation point towards the end with a dominating finish that earns him the decision.
Jester Arnold Vs. Shane Smith – the fight explodes out of the gate with a fast an furious folly of punishes. Smith dominates once the fight moves to the ground and brings the fight to a climatic finish 1 minute and 12 seconds into the fight via rear naked choke. It's a short fight but Smith showed a ton of promise in this match.
Sean Murphy v. Greg Shelby – Murphy came to weigh in dressed in a suit and tie as he had just come from his college graduation ceremony. He wasn't going to let the day's glory end there as he had an extremely solid showing and got Murphy with a nice choke. After the bout he brought his wife on stage and exclaimed "This is why I fight!"
Brandon Pitts v. David Lloyd – Pitts looked like he was in amazing shape facing the much huskier Lloyd but he struggled with dominance through out the fight. A strong arm bar attempt in the first round leads to Lloyd's escape and then Lloyd came back strong and won by an early second round tap out by choke (1min 14 seconds in the second round).
Blake Brown V. Sean Miller – Miller had huge fan support, the crowd at the Roseland was so loud when he made his entrance it was deafening. The first round was pretty even with both fighters giving as good as they got. Punches, kicks and take-downs are evenly exchanged until 2 minutes and 59 1/2 seconds when Miller delivers and explosive knock out. Brown hits the canvas, lights out as the horn sounds. A dramatic finish to a great fight. Sean Miller moves to 3-0 and shows he's a fighter to watch.
Jeremy Disbrow vs. Luke Shepard – Disbrow came in the ring covered in sweat, he jumped, leaped and beat his chest. In contrast Luke Shepard came in cool, calm and collect and quickly dispatched him with an early round arm bar. Shepard's cool composure and the way he dispatched Shepard makes him a fighter to watch.
Dylan Loriaux v Brian Cook – Dillian grabbed and choked Cook early and then hung on and rode 'the bull' for 38 seconds until Cook tapped out.
Lincoln Joe v. Joe Kyle Werner – a great example of contrasts, two extremely looking and fighting fighters who delivered an entertaining fight. The first round Werner delivers a ton of punishment to Lincoln who keeps on fighting. The second round has two stoppages for Lincoln delving knees on the ground to Werner (something that's permitted in the league he usually fights in), but the stops don't stop Lincoln who delivers a punishing ground and pound to finish the fight.
Janna Piper v. Jody De Simone – high expectations met this match-up of the female MMA fighters and the two fighters seemed to realize that. The first round showed some strong exchanges from both sides and tough responses showing the each fighter could take a beating. The fight moves to the second round with Janna topping Jody and then nearly choking her out. Jody recovers and seems to have Janna on the run when Janna delivers some power blows. The fight is stopped after the second round (between the 2nd and 3rd round) because De Simone had issues seeing out of her left eye.
Here's the video of the Janna Piper v. Jody De Simone Fight:
Eric Hurt v. Jeremy Morse – a solid fight with Morse dominating most of the first round from the top. The bout ends in round two when Hurt delivered a monster knee to win the fight.
Nick Huff v. Brandon "Buzz" Alderman – an interesting match-up that pitted a new fighter (Huff) against a veteran (Alderman). The fight is packed with a ton of action as each fighter exchanges a volley of punches and kicks, each fighter nearly missing with some huge shots. Round two has some explosive action when Huff unloads on Alderman, but Alderman shows he can take it and then Huff gasses out. The fight is stopped between Round 2 and 3 as Huff is too exhausted to finish the fight.
Darrin Starks v. Kevin Fox – Fox is a monster in this fight and it seems like Starks can handle the punishment, but as the round keeps going the punishment gets more and more brutal until Fox knocks Starks out cold. It takes a while for Starks to get up and recover from such a resounding pounding from Fox.
Everett Walker v. Mario Rossi – a fight filled with tons of action and turns of dominance. Rossi seems to have Walker on the ropes more in a close first round. The second round has Walker dominating with a choke hold that seems like it'll end the fight, but Rossi survives and Walker seems worse for the wear after expending so much energy on the choke. The fight is stopped due to a vanishing mouthgaurd and Rossi gets a point deducted for losing the guard. The third round is filled with exchanges with Rossi pushing the tempo and controlling more of the fight than Walker. Even with the point deduction Rossi takes the fight by decision.
Lance Ford v. Jake Morris – one of the most anticipated fights of the night, Jake Morris continues to prove he's the 'real deal'. At just a few months past eighteen, Morris shows he's got the explosive power to handle anyone that he's matched up with. Ford gives Morris a fight with a few big lead changes in the first round but it all comes to a dramatic end with a monster choke hold that knocks Ford out. Like a pro wrestler Morris dances around the ring celebrating, and with just cause, he's on a road that leads to higher places in the MMA world.
Here's the video from the Lance Ford v. Jake Morris fight:
Chris Nelson v. Jay Shaffer – the 205lb Superfight bout was one of the highlights of the evening. Shaffer who is 40 looked in great shape against Nelson who seemed like the favorite from the start. Nelson snagged Shaffer in a long deep choke early in the first round but Shaffer kept his cool, used his legs and body and escaped the choke. After the escape Shaffer made Nelson pay for the choke with some thunderous punches. Round two found Shaffer executing a pitch perfect strategy. Literally every move he made was spot on, all of it leading to a thunderous knockout that bloodied Nelson's face. Shaffer showed he was the better fighter with his patience, tact and precision, beating a guy much younger than him.
Sixteen action packed MMA fights filled an evening that delivered an extremely strong bang for the buck. The only downside of Rumble at The Roseland is that it seems to rely too heavily on the people who know the fighters to turn out. This is great in terms of crowd reaction but the downside is people who love MMA in Portland may not be all that aware that such fantastic fights are going on in this town. With promising fighters, some of which will find their way to professional careers I'd expect Rumble to seek out more press and coverage for their fights. I was shocked to find that I was one of the only reporters allowed in to the fights this time around and hope Rumble will connect with more press to get the word out on this fantastic event.
If you're a fan of MMA and haven't checked out Rumble at The Roseland, you owe it to yourself to check it out. The July 25th fights will feature a Jake Morris's first shot at a title and for that reason alone it'll be worth the price of admission.
For more information about Rumble at The Roseland: