That’s the damnedest case of jock itch we’ve ever seen, Kendall. (Pic: ProElite.com)
As the crowds in Rio walked out of UFC 134 and headed for the Copacabana Club, MMA fans in Honolulu, Hawaiia made their way to the Neal S. Blaisdell Center to witness the rebirth of ProElite. Those who watched were treated to submissions and knockouts galore as not a single bout went the distance, but there was more at stake than mere wins and losses. Last night’s biggest fights weren’t waged for a fight purse or sponsorships, but for the value in a name.
ProElite has a name many hardcore fans recognize, but not for reasons the promotion would want. From their previous partnership with noted scumbags to the messy collapse of their first run, they return to the promotion game carrying a lot of baggage. They can distance themselves from previous debacles by doing one thing, and that’s putting on quality, scandal free events. Last night was a step in the right direction. ProElite needs to build, but build slowly.
At one time Andrei Arlovski was a versatile force in the heavyweight division. The former UFC champ seemed equally dangerous on the ground and standing up. But in recent years his name has become associated with the words “brutal KO loss”, and debates turned from whether or not he was a top-level fighter to whether or not he should be fighting, period. “The Pit Bull” controlled most of the action last night, though Ray Lopez proved tough to put away. Lopez survived full mount numerous times throughout the bout, even reversing to take Arlovski’s back and threaten with a choke as the first round ended, but the 5-2 gamer was eventually overwhelmed by ground and pound half way through the final round. Arlovski dominated the bout, as well he should have, but his problem has never been how he looks when he’s winning, it’s how he looks when his jaw gets tapped.
It’s no easy to task to make a name for yourself when everyone already knows it. That was the challenge before Reagan Penn as he walked to the cage for his MMA debut. If the younger sibling of former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight champion BJ Penn had hoped to avoid the inevitable comparisons to his brother, he shouldn’t have employed the same great takedown defense, grappling skill, and killer instinct that made “The Prodigy” famous. Reagan fought the takedown well, but once things hit the mat his BJJ took over. In only 1:10, he had locked in a rear naked choke and drawn the tap. Maybe living up to the family name is better than making a new one for yourself after all.
Kendall Grove made very quick work of Joe Riggs in their headline bout. “Da Spyder” sunk in a deep standing guillotine only 59-seconds into the bout, giving arachnids a 2-0 record for the evening. This was Grove’s first bout since being released by the UFC.
(Reagan Penn’s bout, courtesy of Zombie Prophet)
Full Results (via: FightOfTheNight.com)
Kendall Grove def. Joe Riggs via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 0:59
Andrei Arlovski def. Ray Lopez via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:43
Reagan Penn def. Paul Gardiner via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:10
Mark Ellis def. Jake Heun via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:29
Sarah McMann def. Raquel Pa’aluhi via submission (armlock) – Round 3, 2:53
Drew McFedries def. Garrett Olson via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:04
Kaleo Gambill defeated Sale Sproat via TKO (strikes) at 1:31 of round 1
Dustin Barca defeated Reno Remigio via TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of round 2
Brent Schermerhorn defeated Jesse Kaala-Akana Lundgren via TKO (punches) at 1:38 of round 1