(Fickett vs. Prater in the final. Props for all vids: YouTube/ZombieProphet MMA)
It took Drew Fickett all of seven minutes, 38 seconds of actual fighting to cut a swath through the Shine Fights lightweight tournament on Friday night. Three fights, three choke-out victories for the Arizona fighter now apparently billing himself as “The Night Rider.” By comparison, Carlo Prater – Fickett’s opponent in the final – had already lost a three-round split decision, then won a two-round majority scorecard verdict by the time they met up in the evening’s last bout. Can’t blame Prater for looking a little bit “over it” by the time he and Fickett locked horns, in light of that.
After the jump, check out Fickett’s road to the final, including his ugly arm-in guillotine on Charles “Kid Kaos” Bennett. Seriously guys, just pick a nickname and stick with it …
While it’s probably not totally accurate to describe this tournament as a “Grand Prix” – it was more of a “Pretty-OK Prix,” really – the embattled Shine Fights promotion may have exceeded expectations by simply pulling it off. That has to be considered a step in the right direction, I guess.
Despite an opening round loss to Rich Crunkilton, Prater got new life in the tourney after both Crunk and fellow quarterfinal winner Kyle Baker were forced out with injuries. Prater defeated alternate Charlie Brown to earn his date with Fickett.
All in all, the look of these videos make it seem like Shine Fights pulled off a halfway dcent broadcast here. Perhaps my ears are deceiving me, but I think I hear the lilting voice of former UFC play-by-play announcer Bruce Beck on the call. If so, bravo to Shine for dusting off one of MMA’s oft overlooked (and more competent) broadcasters. With Beck in the booth, all this PPV was missing was former UFC color commentator Jeff Blatnick calling every fight a “fuss-drating war of attrition.” Then we really would have been in business.
Anyway, if you’ve got a few minutes to spare, witness Fickett’s dominance over the field:
Fickett vs. Bennett (Fight goes dark at :57 – owing to a “poor signal” — but returns at the 1:55 mark):
Fickett vs. Dennis Bermudez: