I take umbrage with some of the insight provided in this article. But mostly, I just want to offer my recap of the show. Finally.
Fans with ringside seats often stood on their chairs for better views when action inside the ring got hectic. Some fans even rushed toward the ring out of pure excitement.
Not that I watched every person in the crowd the entire evening, but I didn't see anyone standing on their seats. That doesn't really matter, and you take into account that I was at ringside, so there were several rows of fans behind me that may well have been up on their chairs. Though, come to think of it. the chairs were the sort of cheap plastic variety when you got out of the ringside area, and I realy don't know that they would support much weight or, failing that, not stay in one place; the chairs were on flat metal legs on a basketball court surface, so standing on a chair at that point is asking to fall and crack your skull open.
Chair standing aside, I must again point out that I was at ringside, and I had a very clear view of the goings on in and around the ring. If people rushed toward the ring, I certainly did not witness it. Perhaps Pramit is referring to the aftermath of the main event, though it seemed people were rushing out of the arena rather than towards the ring. Though some folks did head towards the ring to meet and have their picture taken with Mario Yamasaki, I hardly call it a rush toward the ring.
Wow, I just ranted about someone talking about seating arrangements. Who knows where this is going to go.
Baltimore was represented on the card by Antwain Britt, who won his heavyweight fight with a decisive first-round knockout of Patrick Barretine. While Britt’s knockout earned cheers from the crowd, his self-congratulatory post-fight comments received a smattering of boos.
Nonsense. The crowd LOVED THIS MAN. He came across as a total star. He had a spectacular knockout as mentioned, then proceeded to launch his mouthpiece into the crowd, dance around the ring, flex his chubby but not totally out of shape heavyweight physique, and then cut a profanity-laced promo that reminded me of Rampage before he was born again. He was a great man and came across as a star.
When Batastini returned to the bout, fans chanted “Rocky!! Rocky!!” in appreciation of his courage, though he would eventually lose by unanimous decision to Franca.
szucconi and I started the Rocky chant, thank you very much. Not that this matters in a summary of the event, but...just thought I'd toot my own horn for a second. More so. Anyway...
Another unusual moment came when an incident outside the ring during the Killa B. Niimi-Chris Manual [sic] fight diverted the attention of most of those in attendance. A couple of members of the crowd were involved in the incident, which temporarily halted the fight in the ring. At least one female member of the audience was led away by event staff.
How he missed out on the details is beyond me. This was a great moment, which both szucconi and I have discussed elsewhere on this forum. Basically what I gleaned from the situation was a young lass, about 130lbs., put this random dude who was about 200lbs. into a rear naked choke. She made the guy, who was 70 POUNDS HEAVIER THAN HER, go unconscious. When she let the dope go, he fell to the ground HARD, his head bouncing off the floor like a basketball. You would have thought the world came to a halt watching it live, as even the fighters and the ref were paying full attention to the goings on. The girl was led away by security shortly thereafter, much to the chagrin of the crowd, but the geek that got choked out stuck around and seemed to be heckled by those in close proximity to him.
Fans at the event appeared to be knowledgeable about MMA and most – if not all – came because of their love for the sport. As Jeff Faberman of Rockville, Md., explained, “I’m a huge MMA fan.”
This is interesting to me, because szucconi and I talked to many of the people while on line and around our seats, and the one issue that continued to come up was that apparently during this event people were just learning that UFC had purchased PRIDE. So on that level, you wouldn't say that the fans were particularly knowledgeable about MMA. BUT WAIT. The people sitting around us definitely knew the break down of a fight. There were several broads sitting just to the left of us, and they were yelling at the fighters to take their opponent's back, go for a choke, telling them to work position, things that, while minor on some level, showed a knowledge of the sport. Another guy continuously shouted out support and presumably offered advice to the Brazilian fighters in Portuguese. So it seemed like there was a healthy mix of casuals and hardcores in attendance, which made for a very healthy crowd over all in my opinion.
And the fans I spoke to genuinely seemed to appreciate the night's fight card. As Joon Oh of Alexandria, Va. said, “They got a lot of good fights in ... a lot better than some of the fights I’ve seen on TV. I was really surprised.”
I tend to agree. Aside from the main event and the fight between Brito and De La Cruz, each fight really offered a level of excitement usually seen in only one or two fights per event. I was exceedingly pleased with the quality of the fights on this show, and I'm certainly looking forward to the next MMAC event.
The most common complaint expressed by those in attendance was that the heat inside the Armory was overwhelming at times. As Oh’s friend, Dee Chu, said succinctly, “It was hot” in the arena. Faberman concurred, saying the event could have used some air conditioning.
Yeah, it was pretty toasty.
In addition, some fans were miffed by the lackluster ending to the final fight of the night -- the co-main event bout between Homer Moore and Fabiano Capoani. A few minutes into the first round, Moore appeared to call timeout and was declared the loser as a result of “verbal tap out.” Apparently, Moore aggravated a pre-existing knee injury and was seen sitting in the ring, ice on his injured knee, long after the conclusion of the bout.
Yeah, that more or less covers it. Moore was in Capoani's full guard for basically the entire fight (which ended at 3:59 in R1). How you injured your knee in that position is beyond me, but he must have done something pretty severe because he pushed off, slid across the ring, and called time out as if he were in the NFL. This was comedy at the moment it occured, but when the ref waved the fight off the crowd was not amused. It's a shame that this happened in the main event of the evening, but the rest of the show went so well that I it was not the end of the world by any means.
MMAC Director Omar Olumee has already stated that the promotion will hold its next event sometime in September. And, as mentioned earlier, last week's event will be shown on TV sometime this summer. These developments -- along with a nice first event and the audience's positive reaction to it -- make D.C.'s MMA scene worth following closely over the next six months.
I encourage everyone in the Baltimore/Washington Metro area to head out to the event in September. If its half as good as this past event (which, remember, was this organizations FIRST SHOW EVER), then it will be well worth the price of admission. And definitely check this show out on TV One whenever it comes on this summer. You can see szucconi and I enjoying ourselves; we were right behind the commentators.