Check back here later tonight for a special live-blog of HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon. I call it “special” because this won’t be your typical “nice armbar attempt” kind of live-blog. Au contraire, I will attempt to paint a complete picture of all the proceedings inside as well outside the cage at the American Airlines Center. If you’re one of many who doesn’t get HDNet well then the Park is definitely the place for you.
We’re just a few hours away. Can you feel it?!?!?
5:40 CST – I’m here. So, they kind of promised me cageside seating but its more like 3 rows from the cage. Oh well, one day I can dream of working for Sherdog. Anyways, here is proof of the Park’s arrival onsite.
As you can see, it’s pretty empty up in here…and I still couldn’t get a better seat! Anyways, I’m still impressed they gave me a media pass after the whole IFL GP Finals on HDNet debacle so I’m not complaining.
Right now, Yves Edwards is warming up in the cage. I never realized how small he was. He needs a win tonight. Badly.
Guy Mezger is walking around. He appears to have transitioned nicely from the cage to the front office. The American Airlines Center is pretty nice. That’s all I got right now. Be back in a minute.
5:50 pm – I really wish they gave me better seats. This annoys me. More importantly I just found out that Frank Trigg’s first name is actually Dewey. Dewey vs. Dewees tonight on HDNet!
5:53 pm – Remember in our Pete Spratt interview when he said he would be pissed if they made him walk out at the same time as his opponent? Well, he is going to be pissed again tonight. I actually agree with him. This is a dumb idea. I know they want to be different but sometimes it’s just better not to be. Speaking of entrances, I wonder if Mark Cuban will be walking out with anyone like he did with Pretty Boy last weekend. Something tells me he won’t.
6:00 – Here is a photo of the entrance ramp. If you look to the right you can see Ron Kruck pacing back and forth. Very exciting stuff.
They are playing a Kennedy-Mayhem preview video. I like that they are trying to build this up as a huge grudge match but anyone else find it weird that Kennedy is going from a main eventer tonight to curtain jerker at the IFL GP Finlas on 12/29? Somewhere, Sean Salmon weeps.
6:03 – Breaking News…I may be moving seats. Someone from the Fight Network just came to sit next to me and they moved him. Don’t they know The Fight Network and The Park are practically family? Speaking of the The Fight Network, I will be a guest on Fight Network Radio this Monday. Can’t wait for that.
Sorry for the blurry photos, by the way. These are from my phone so they will have to do.
6:08 – Not much going on right now so I thought I would mention the tragic death of Ryan Gracie. Very sad stuff.
6:14 – Bad news. I’m not moving. Let us never speak of this again. Elsewhere, it’s freezing in Dallas. So, I went to see “I am Legend” today. Weird film but it was OK. I would give it a C.
6:26 – Wow, a lot has just happened. First, in a drastic change of events I’m sitting cageside. No, really I am. Eat your heart out…no one. Even better, I’m sitting right next to reps of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. This should be fun. And even better, Mark Cuban is in the house! What a cool guy. Just walking around mingling with the folks. At the risk of looking completely unprofessional, I snuck in a photo of him (he’s the guy with the white collar).
6:32 – I’m also sitting next to a writer from the Dallas Morning News, Damon L. Sayles. Great guy. He loves my Pete Spratt interview. Clearly I am important. Across the cage sits the Sherdogs and MMAJunkies of the world. Ha.
6:33 – Wow, Michael Buffer is in the house. Bruce better watch out. Buffer is looking good but kind of old. I hate to say it but it’s true. He needs a cane to walk around. I hope he just had surgery or something because we need the Buff for many more years.
6:40 – Andrei Arolovski is sitting behind me. I wonder if I should tell him I interviewed his lovely girlfriend last week? First fight is about to start…Lee King vs. Marcus Lanier. Tell all your friends!
6:42 – Good news, Pete, the fighters aren’t walking out together.
Lee King vs. Marcus Lanier
Holy crap. I’m sitting right next to and I mean right next to the bell keeper (the guy who rings the bell). Geez, that’s some loud ringing. That said, no place I’d rather be than right here. Glad your with us.
Round 1: Not much going on in the first few minutes. They are just hugging each other up against the cage. Kenny Rice even appears to be bored. Nothing much for Round 1.
Round 2: Sorry, I was talking with Andrei Arolovski…more on this later. Anyhow, Marcus Lanier is clearly a Hardcore Holly fan because he tried to pull an Alabama Slam. It didn’t look as smooth as Holly’s version but still effective, nonetheless. He then ended up applying a pretty armbar and got King to tap at 2:59. This is one of those 3 minute per round fights, by the way. Arlovski is coming to the Park later this week!
Winner: Marcus Lanier via armbar @ 2:59 RD2
Next up, Liam McCarty vs. Jason House
Round 1: That bell is killing me. This is another five three-minute round bout. And the first was pretty solid. I would score it 10-9 for House. McCarty threw almost double the amount of punches but landed half.
Round 2: Rumor has it, friend of The Park, Patrycja Mikula, will be in attendance. More as this develops. I’m not sure how I feel about the three-minute rounds. Just goes by too quickly. Pretty uneventful round. McCarty landed 4 more strikes than House (10-6) and was the aggressor for most of the round. 10-9 McCarty.
Round 3 – I wonder what Buffer thinks of MMA. Is this totally foreign to him? Furthermore, when is TNA going to completely transform into WCW and hire him to call their main events. I would guess that there are 5,000 people here. Tops. House is bleeding above his right eye. House had McCarty’s back a couple of times. Wow, the doctor just stopped the fight due to the cut. Crowd is kind of upset. McCarty wins…M-c-c-c-C-a-rty wins.
Winner: Jason House via TKO in Round 4
Between rounds they have Tim Hughes and Matt Lindland(!) talking on the PA and giving some analysis with regards to the last round. Hughes is awesome and Lindland is doing a great job, as well. Is Lindland headed to HDNet Fights? This excites me.
Excuse me, I need to stand for the national anthem. I hope the sing the Canadian one too. They didn’t.
Tracy Lee of Napkin Nights is sitting next to me too. Clearly I have the best seat in the house, y’all.
Next up, Jay White vs. Patrick Castillo
Randy Couture in the house, he trains Jay White. What a great guy that Couture is. This is another three five-minute rounder – Heavyweight style.
Round 1 – Wow, awesome performance by White. White wins via armbar at :50 into Round 1. He went for a shoulder lock and thn Castillo actually flipper him over but then White locked in the armbar. Randy is very happy.
Winner: Jay White via armbar at :50 in Round 1.
Next up, Freddie Espiricueta vs. Nissen Osternick
Lindland just called Freddie a veteran of HDNet Fights. That might be a bit of a stretch. Anyhow, this is a welterweight showdown and we are also back to our usual three five-minute rounds. I hate the guy to my right ringing the bell but love Hughes and Lindland on the PA. This really works well.
Round 1: Nissen is dominating, side control which lead to the mount and then the stoppage. Hughes just said that elbows are illegal but House’s cut came via an elbow. I smell controversy. Anyhow, Nissen looked good and Freddie, well, not so good.
Winner: Nissen Osternick via TKO @ 2:30 RD1
Next up, Cory Mahon vs. Chris Bowles
Battle of 155ers.
Round 1 – Great round. Bowles dropped Mahon with a right hand and had him on his back for the majority of the round. Mahon went for a couple of guillotines but to no avail. Tough round to call but I score it 10-9 Bowles.
Round 2 – My man Damon from the Morning News is hailing this the fight of the night, thus far. I agree. Every minute another guy seems to be in control. Mahon almost got the rear-naked choke but eventually won via armbar. Amazing round. Amazing fight. HDNet had high hopes for Bowles. Oh well.
Winner: Cory Mahon via armbar @ 4:20 RD2
Couture was just announced to the crowd. They love him in Dallas. Couture made a point to say he WASN’T retired and is just waiting for his UFC contract to expire. He said he will be fighting Fedor. Oooh doctor. Cuban – make this happen pronto.
Next up, Tristan Yunker vs. Pete Spratt. The Battle of the JarryPark Interviewees!
Spratt isn’t happy with all the smoke in the air. He is covering his face with his shirt. Breaking news: Yunker cut his hair! Weak Yunker, weak. I dug the Weezer haircut. More big news. Michael Buffer is ring announcing now.
Dan Henderson is out with Spratt. The crowd loves Spratt. Yunker need a tan. Oh, they are having a face off and Spratt makes a joke about how Yunker’s height (he’s taller). I guess they don’t hate each other after all.
Round 1 – Yunker shoots and takes down Spratt. Spratt then took control and nailed some vicious punches. He eventually cut Yunker atop his left eye and Yunker quit at 1:38 of Round 1. Spratt looked good and very quick. Spratt is definitely the crowd-favorite thus far. Yunker will want to forget this weekend.
Winner: Pete Spratt via TKO at 1:38 Rd 1
Ken Shamrock is in the house. I want to ask him about the WM XII double turn but will resist.
Just spoke with Patrycja. She says hi to everyone.
Next up, Robert Villegas vs. Kyzysztof Soszynski
I really hate that the fighters come out alone. Hate it here and really hate it for WEC events. Seems too pro wrestling-like. Don’t get me wrong I love pro wrestling (as you all know) but MMA needs to mimic boxing more than wrestling when it comes to this stuff.
Best moment of the night: Kyzysztof telling Buffer he mispronounced his name. He really did. You can do these things when you’re the TKO light heavyweight champ.
Round 1 – Boxing match. Neither man is even attempting a takedown. Despite that, boring 1st round. Both are way too tentative. Very close to call but I will score round 1 10-9 for Soszynski – he landed more strikes.
Round 2 – Villegas went for an ankle lock but it really looked like a figure four. I yelled “woooooo.” The bell ringer looked at me but Damon loved it. Anyhow, Soz remembers he can shoot and does so. Several times. Wow! This is very weird. Villegas kept pretending to get hit and would fall down. This was worst than the Nash-Hogan one finger push. Villegas totally quit. He did this three times. Never seen anything like that before. The ref actually docked a point off Villegas and then after he did it twice DQ’d. Damon calls it the “lamest fight in HDNet Fights history.” Well said, my friend. He also thinks Cuban shouldn’t pay Villegas and I can’t say I disagree. Weird stuff.
Winner: Kyzysztof Soszynski via DQ @ 3:04 RD2
Arlovski is talking to Hughes and Lindland. All he said was “I will fight very soon.” We shall see.
Mark Cuban is talking to the crowd. He loves his MMA. No questions about his ring entrance last week. Typical.
Next up, Alonzo Martinez vs. Yves Edwards. Very much looking forward to this one.
Round 1 – Fast-paced start. Martinez came out blazing but Edwards took him down. He now secured side control but that lead to nothing. Middle of the round was pretty uneventful. I expected more from Edwards. 10-9 Martinez. Martinez threw 64 strikes and connected 43. That’s 67%. Edwards, on the other hand, threw 12 and only landed 4.
Round 2 – Edwards knocked him down but was unable to finish. He then secured side-control which lead to a mount and finally the rear naked choke. Yves Edwards, welcome back (sort of). Tough loss for Martinez.
Winner: Yves Edwards via rear naked choke @ 3:04 RD2
The t-shirt throwing girls threw one to the TDLR rep. That’s weak. Speaking of girls, you don’t really notice the lack of a ring card girl around these parts.
Next up, Edwin Dewees vs. Frank Trigg.
Hey, we got our first comment. Bobo – thanks for stepping to the plate. Rest assured, lots are reading but I guess they are shy.
Anyhow, Twinkle Toes is out. He kind of looks Kurt Angle, eh?
Remember that Dewees vs. Ray TUF fight. That was a bloody one. Why do I get the feeling that Trigg is going to win in less than a minute?
Round 1 – Shamrock is in Dewees’ corner, btw. The man can coach. Dewees is very agressive. Threw some nice leg kicks but then, damn, Trigg applies the shoulder lock and Dewees eventually taps. I was 40 seconds off.
Winner: Frank Trigg via Kimura @ 1:40 RD1
Tough loss for Dewees but this was expected. One half of the next HDNet Fights main event is set. Trigg just gave Couture a lot of love for reinventing his career.
Next up, your main event, Tim Kennedy vs. Jason “Mayhem” Miller
Mayhem is wearing a luchador mask! I love this guy. In the pre-fight interview he called himself a wrestler from parts unknown. He is now my new favorite fighter. His corner is throwing out candies and parts of a pinata. Awesome.
Tim Kennedy is out. He looks like a young Guy Mezger. Maybe that’s why they signed him?
That entrance was tremendous. Jason “the dancing luchador” Miller. The question remains will this all be a distraction when it’s time to fight.
Round 1 – Kennedy got caught with a leg kick. Both men are happy to keep this one standing. Kennedy finally shoots at the four-minute mark and gets Mayhem’s back. Mezger is nervous. Kennedy is dominating on the ground. He had the rear naked choke and let go to throw some punches. Mayhem then gets saved by the bell. Wow. 10-9 Kennedy.
Round 2 – I just realized that none of the fights went the distance. Kennedy is dominating again. He is trying for the rear naked choke but is unsuccessful. Mayhem is back in control but isn’t doing much on top. The ref finally decides to check on Kennedy’s cut. Please don’t call the fight. Phew, he doesn’t. This one is too good to end that way. Kind of weird he didn’t return them to the same position but oh well. 10-9 Mayhem.
Kennedy’s corner is saying that Mayhem head-butted Kennedy to open him up. Interesting.
Round 3 – We get our first traditional third round (if you know what I mean). Nice takedown by Mayhem. There is a guy screaming in back of me “C’mon Mayhem. I’ve got two dances on you.” Welcome to Dallas. Kennedy is bleeding. Ref would like to check on it. Nissen Osternick is sitting next to me breaking it down. The fans are afraid the fight will be stopped…and they are not disappointed. Great end to the night. The boys are back on their feet. Great action, Kennedy went for a triangle and an armbar but to no avail. Great final minute. 10-9 Mayhem. We go to the judges…
Hot-diggity all the judges scored it the same as me.
Winner: Jason “Mayhem” Miller via Unanimous Decision.
Mayhem called out Cuban. Great stuff. I’m headed to the press conference. Don’t leave!
Press conference notes:
* Sam Hoger is here and he gained a lot of weight. Maybe that’s why he “retired”
* Arlovski is sitting in the PC room. This is a little strange considering there are only 20 people here. Is there more to this relationship than meets the eye?
* HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon is holding court.
* Kennedy speaks first. He is pretty bloody.
* Kennedy and Mayhem love each other. Mayhem: “I’m running off at the mouth like Nick Diaz.” Awesome.
* Guy Mezger is very happy. He says he wants to see a third match between the two but first it’s time for Mayhem vs. Trigg.
* Someone asked Mayhem about his entrance. He said he didn’t like the fact that he had to stand next to Kennedy on the ramp. You haven’t live until you’ve witnessed a Mayhem post-fight PC.
* Hoger is asking questions?!?!
* I am recording the PC by the way, so you will get to enjoy it later.
* Trigg is at the podium texting someone on his phone. He is very humble and loves him some Xtreme Couture.
* Andrew Simon is the star of this press conference.
* Robert Villegas is in the house. He claims he broke his foot yet he is walking on it. Strange.
* He said he flopped down to his back to make Soz come to his guard. I guess that makes but, still, that could have been dealt with a little better.
* Yunker and Spratt are up. His eye is taped up. He is very apologetic for the loss but, more importantly, the weight deal.
* Spratt says his ground game is a lot better. He has some movie deals coming up. Don’t they all.
* Couture and Jay White are up. Mezger said that he usually wouldn’t have looked at a guy with White’s record (1-5) but the fact he is associated with Couture meant a whole lot.
* When Randy speaks the room listens. Seriously, you can hear a pin drop in here. I wonder if anyone will ask Randy about the contract situation…
* And guessed who asked it? Sam Hoger. This guy is great. We need to sign him up as an interviewer.
* Someone asked Randy about Hong-Man Choi. Couture wants Fedor to win so he can beat him.
* Andrew wants everyone to know that they treat the fighters with respect.
And with that we are done. That was fun. Park Pilgrimage I is in the books. Good night!