Donofrio Entertainment “War of Aggression” recap
By- Antonio Cooper
Kameron Snyder def. Damian Burton (title fight) (Submission, Rd. 1)
Jamie Espinoza def. Keyton Tummell. (TKO, Rd. 1)
Lamar Foster def. Victor Jones (title fight) (Unanimous decision)
Giani Swires def. Steve Gossett (title fight) (Submission, Rd. 1)
Dean Nasser def. Travis Rhodes (title fight) (Submission, Rd. 1)
Marcos Dos Santos def. Rob Steiner (TKO, Rd. 1)
George Simos def. D.J Lane (TKO, Rd. 1)
Jay Hall def. David Radiball (TKO, Rd. 2)
John Kish def. Brian Hopkins (TKO, Rd. 1)
Lizzy Crowley def. Angie Jennings (Submission, Rd. 3)
Andrew Biskner def. Andrew Delargey (Submission, Rd. 1)
Quinton Allen def. Derek Reyes
Donofrio entertainment put on one of its most promising fight cards, as “The War of Aggression” featured four title bouts, along with two debuts that displayed promising futures for both athletes.
Taking place in Downtown Detroit, Michigan inside the Joe Louis Arena. “The War of Aggression” had one job in mind, put on the best show possible. Granted everyone has those expectations, no one truly knew just how far those expectations would be exceeded.
The “War of Aggression” featured some of the top fighters within Michigan, each performing at their very best. Fighters were more than willing to perform at their peak and results showed, having only one fight go to decision throughout the course of 12 bouts.
With some of the top fighters showing their skill, Donofrio hosted a card that presented both, quantities along with quality. Having any of the 11 fights to take place before the main event, perform equally as entertaining and skilled as the main event itself.
This is most evident as the first fight of the night, which featured undefeated prospect, Quinton Allen (3-0), squaring off against Derek Reyes (3-4).
The two warriors started off the night of early, yet entertaining finishes. Opening the card with entertainment well before the fight began; one of the best moments of the card came before the cage actually closed. As Reyes depicted the spirit of a competitor, screaming at Allen to enter the cage as Allen’s entrance music began.
This fight immediately set the tempo of the rest of the card. Beginning with Allen, gaining the advantage over Reyes with a takedown, immediately followed by a triangle choke, the fight ended with Allen winning in the first round. This victory signified much more than a notch under Allen’s belt. Having the win led to two key points that remained throughout the entire night of fights.
It was the first of nine fights that ended before two minutes and it led to the crowds defining energy, a significant theme that fueled the performers as the event continued.
The energy of the crowd was equally as impressive as the competitors, having the two feed off of one another for a fantastic event. With the first fight in the books, the amount of finishes became a competition within itself. as the night of fights featured three submissions taking place back-to-back, refusing to leave the fight into the judge’s decision.
Following the performance of Allen, two featherweights took the cage as Andrew Briskner defeated Andrew Delargey (20-6) in similar fashion, scoring a triangle choke well under two minutes into the first round.
This highly entertaining bout was over early into the first round, but displayed successful offense on behalf of both fighters. Delargey would win majority of the ground battle by scoring a big takedown, and working the guard of Briskner. He controlled the early portion of the fight before a brief lapse in judgement, leaving his hands far too low. This provided Briskner the opportunity necessary to pull off the victory latching on a tightly executed triangle choke.
Delargey, who fought only three days prior, gave credit to his opponent, but acknowledged that fighting three days prior was not the best move on his behalf,
stating. “I fractured my foot and I threw a leg kick out of reaction, I felt it pop and go numb immediately.” Delargey finished, “This probably won’t be the last time I fight twice in one week.” He finished, “If the circumstances are right, I’ll take another two fights in one week, I simply love to compete.”
With the fight card moving at such a dramatic pace, the crowds buzz only grew, as mentioned prior, seemingly fueling the fighters as well. This energy would peak as the third fight began, which could have easily been recognized as the fight of the night. Having brilliant prospect Lizzy Crowley (3-1) square off against debuting fighter, Angie Jennings within the flyweight division.
Being the only fight featuring women on the card, this fight raised the bar for everyone else to following. Providing back-and-forth action that remained entertaining to any fan, of any sport, at all points of the fight. With Jennings coming in as the less experienced fighter, both fighters put on a show that most veterans would have been proud of.
Creating a fight that led to a third round showdown, having Crowley take the first round of action, while Jennings would dominate the second round of the flyweight showdown. Crowley would prove to be far too experienced for Jennings, as she acknowledged her cardio advantage allowed her to lock in a victory over Jennings. Ending the fight with a rear naked choke that led to a standing ovation from both fighters, an accomplishment no other fighter would achieve through the remainder of the card.
Crowley spoke on her performance, stating “She was stronger than I expected, all I knew was that I had to pull out the win.” Crowley exited the cage on the brink of exhaustion, acknowledging that she knew the third round was necessary. “I really didn’t know I had the choke until I felt her hand starting to fade during the choke.” Crowley finished “Round three was a must win situation for me, if I wanted to win, I had to keep the choke.”
The buzz from the crowd was more than enough to acknowledge the brilliant performance of the women. But things quickly changed paces from the Flyweight women, as the competition grew bigger as the fan-favourite heavyweights were set to take the cage. Pitting John Kish (3-2) against fellow heavyweight Brian Hopkins (1-3), as mentioned before, this fight was a major contrast from the women who fought just minutes before hand.
While the build-up leading to this fight had the entire crowd of the Joe Louis arena buzzing, the fight itself featured a three punch route towards a stoppage. Having Kish end the fight immediately as the fight began, swarming Hopkins with immense pressure and landing a right hand that would have ended any fighter.
Fights were rare to come across the second round, as finishes were consistent and plentiful throughout the evening. Only two of the remaining fights reached the second round, while the following one reached a decision. Having Madmen MMA middleweight, David Radabaugh (8-9) face Mash team prospect, Jay Hall (3-2) in what was a very explosive fight.
This back and forth fight featured both sides delivering damaging attacks to their opponent, as Radabaugh would use skilled wrestling and jiu-jitsu gain the upper hand to end the first round. Seemingly neutralizing Hall on the mat and stealing the first round of the fight. Hall would end the fight before the judges could mark down the score. Coming out, the Jackson Michigan product increased the intensity, scoring an early takedown which was the beginning of the end for Radibaugh.
Following a brief scramble, Hall displayed explosiveness usually reserved for a NFL linebacker. Gaining full mount and dominating to end the fight early into the second round. While this was the second time any of the fights went into the second round, the entertainment value of the finish still worked to the delight of the crowd. As mentioned prior, the crowd remained as consistent as the fighters, acknowledging the efforts of the fighters each moment with cheers that echoed far after the fights were over.
While majority of the fights may have ended without going to a decision, the competitiveness of each bout still presented top notch action. Having each fight display stories within the cage with little momentum swings but ultimately presenting an ended with both a winner and loser. Featherweights, George Simos (4-0) and DJay Lane (7-5) told this story best as they squared off. Becoming the beginning to a three-first round finish streak, that made for an early night leading to the championship fights, but entertaining while things lasted.
The fight began with lightning quick exchanges from both Lane and Simos. With Lane gaining the early advantage in the standup, it was only a matter of time before someone’s night ended early. But Simos would turn things into a fight or flight situation for Lane. Simos would ultimately gain the advantage after a brief scramble which showed Lane attempting a half-hearted armbar. Ending the night early for Lane, Simos would electrify the crowd by providing pro-wrestling like slams following some brutal ground and pound to end the night for Lane.
While most would have stopped there, Simos added insult to injury with his post-fight interview, stating “He never wanted to be in there with me.” Simos finished “He wanted to back out because he felt I was too big, I brought him out and I finished him.”
Simos slams provided some of the best material of the night, never allowing Lane to recover and ended the fight well before the end of the first round.
Others followed suit, ending the following fights all within the first round, rendering the judges useless throughout the night.
Not to be outdone by fighters before them, Bantamweight fighters, Robb Steiner (10-11) and Kalamazoo native, Marcos Santos (14-6). Put on a fight which featured Santos taking out the self-trained fighter in under two minutes into the first round. Issuing a healthy dose of ground and pound, Santos landed a multitude of shots that echoed throughout the Joe Louis arena, leaving the judge no choice but to stop the fight.
“I felt way more powerful than I thought.” stated Santos after the fight. He finished, “As soon as I got the top position I knew that I had him, I just had to keep striking until the ref stopped it.”
Dominating the fight, Santos put on a performance that was worthy of note. Catching the eye of the godfather of ground and pound, UFC legend Mark Coleman, who was in attendance enjoying the night of fights.
Following Santos’ stoppage of Steiner, was the beginning of the four title fights. Opening with a flyweight championship bout between Mash Gym contender, Dean Nasser (4-0) and Impact MMA veteran, Travis Rhodes (10-6), another fight which followed the trend of ending the fight before the judges could mark down a score.
This fight began with fireworks and ended in the same way, opening with Rhodes attempting a flying knee that Nasser dodged by a split second. Following a brief scramble, Nasser’s wrestling was on full display as he executed a textbook rear naked choke onto the much taller opponent in Rhodes. Forcing the Owosso, Michigan native to tap out 2:12 into the first round, Nasser became the new flyweight champion.
Keeping his undefeated record intact, Nasser looked as impressive as possible following his victory. Fighting an opponent with doubled his experiences; he finished in extremely spectacular fashion.
While there were only three fights featuring heavier opponents, neither fight disappointed as the fans excitement reached their peak following the flyweight championship bout. Fans stood to their feet as the superheavyweight title bout was set to collide, having behemoths Giani Swires (8-15) faceoff against Madmen MMA’s Steve Gossett (4-7). A fight which had fans buzzing with excitement before the cages locked.
The fight itself lived up to every expectation, as the two giants battled away. Gossett opened with brief display athleticism, throwing a flush head kick to Swires, forcing Swires to pressure forward for a takedown. After a brief moment of clenching, the Kayo MMA product ushered in the beginning of his victory by slamming Gossett and finishing a smooth armbar to end the bout of giants.
After becoming the superheavyweight champion, Swires spoke on the action inside the cage, saying “I put in a lot of work for this fight.” He finished by saying “I knew I had him after I took him down, he hurt me with that kick but there’s no quit in my game.”
Following the fight for the vacant Superheavyweight title, another vacant belt went up for grabs, as the current Light-Heavyweight champion Victor Jones (26-8) battled Self-trained fighter Lamar Foster (12-3) for the vacant Heavyweight championship.
Although this was the only fight to reach a decision, it held both, high as well as low points as conditioning of both fighters became an issue during the later portion of the fight. What began were the two fighters giving their best performance, fighting towards the brink of exhaustion.
The fight certainly began as a back and forth affair, which displayed Foster’s natural size as a heavyweight dwarfing the size of the current LHW champion. Foster’s size was a constant advantage throughout the fight, Smothering “Bone Crusher” throughout majority of the fight. While Jones seemingly had the advantage in striking, he could never finish the fight due to Fosters size and strength.
Jones acknowledged this after the fight, stating “I really could have been more aggressive, I had him hurt plenty of times throughout the fight but I never finished.”
While the two contestants battled to a decision, the two fighters seemingly took a mutual break to gather their winds during the fourth round. The two heavyweights finally reached a breaking point by taking an eight minute breather after unintentional illegal shots were traded from both fighters. Allowing for two separate breaks from both fighters to recover, the championship bout came to an anti-climatic ending as the fight was the only fight to reach a decision. Finally allowing the judges to render a decision, a surprise victory was granted as Foster became the new Heavyweight champion, much to the surprise of majority of the crowd. Having Jones control much of the action and dictate the bout.
Foster was the first to criticize his performance, stating “I didn’t rain for a month, but this is more than enough to get me motivated once again.” He continued. “I was extremely surprised by his (Jones) strength, and the one thing I had to adjust to is him hitting as hard as he did.”
Foster, who was fighting on a moment’s notice, was surprised that he’s become the new heavyweight champion “I took this fight this morning; I didn’t know I’d fight, but here I am with my second championship.”
With only two fights left, the fight card ended the exact way as things begin. With both the co-main event as well as the main event closed out the card in spectacular fashion, as two first round finishes to close out ended the “War of Aggression.”
Finishing with the co-main event between lightweights, Jamie Espinoza (6-0) against Kayton Turmell (9-6). Along with a featured a rare, but entertaining mariachi band for Espinoza.
The fight seemingly ended before it actually began, with Espinoza working a game plan that seemed etched out far before the fight began. Taking the chanthai MMA product down and establishing mount immediately.
Following was brutal ground and pound, which was only a matter of time before the fight ended. Ending the fight before the mariachi band could head backstage. The band would come out once more, creating a scene only witnessed in a comedy movie, as the band would do an encore performance to usher in the main-event of the evening.
The main event featured Welterweights, Kameron Snyder (22-15) fighting Matee fighter, Damian Burton (7-1) in what many would describe as a blur of a fight. With the welterweight championship on the line, Snyder made quick work of Burton. Taking Burton down, establishing back mount and choking Burton out. The MXC fighter gathered the final victory of the night in a lightning 27-second victory.
Effectively ending the night of fantastic fights, Donofrio entertainment certainly entertained the Joe Louis arena without many errors taking place throughout the night. With four titles finding homes on the night, it was certainly a night of fights worthy of mention for the next card by Donofrio MMA.