Atlantic City, NJ (The Phanatic Magazine) - Kensington native Eddie Alvarez, the former BodogFIGHT welterweight champion, stopped Ross Ebanez in the second round of the main event at the SHOXC Elite Challenger MMA Series at Mark Etess Arena.
With the partisan crowd chanting Eddie...Eddie...Eddie, Alvarez established control early and dominated his Hawaiian challenger.
Alvarez dropped Ebanez late in the first round and has his corner rushing the cage, anticipating victory but Ebanez held on for the time being.
Ebanez scored with a stiff left early in round 2 before things went to the ground. It was there that Alvarez imposed his well, dropping three straight brutal rights on Ebanez before things were stopped at 2:32.
"He had me a little hesitant to step inside, Alvarez said. "I was just being patient. I knew I won the first round and he would have to pressure me and make a mistake."
A pair of veterans were in the welterweight semi-final, England's Paul Daley and St. Paul, Minnesota native Sammy Morgan, with Morgan earning the trash-talking crown coming in.
“Some people may think Daley is something special, but I don’t," Morgan said. "I’m going to knock him out and send him home to England to his ‘mummy’ so they can have their tea and crumpets together."
Well, Daley (17-6-2) certainly looked like something special and might be planning that tea and crumpet party as a celebration. After weathering a quick storm by Morgan (19-10), Daley caught the loud-mouth fighter at 2:10 of the first round with an elbow and the bout was quickly waved off.
"I'm a striker," Daley said. "No one can fight with me standing up. I believe I am the best. All I will be delivering is the knockout. I am the fuckin best."
Military veteran Bobby McMaster, who served in Irag, battled Bao Quach in a lightweight encounter. McMaster (8-3) was trying to recover from a guillontine choke loss to Muhsin Corbbrey in his last fight. “It took me a few weeks to put that last fight behind me, but I have, McMaster said. "Still, it’s hard to believe it ended the way it did. But that’s what happens when you get overanxious."
McMaster went to the other extreme Friday and it hurt him. Both fighters seemed overly cautious in the opening round until McMaster unloaded some bombs that missed late. Quach (12-8-1) staggered McMaster midway through round 2 and looked like the better-conditioned athlete. The final round saw Quach take advantage of the worn out McMaster to earn the unanimous decision, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27.
"I thought he would be a little more aggressive," Quach said. "I have been working on my kicks and it really helped tonight."
The lone women's match of the night pitted Julie Kedzie and Tonya Evinger at 140 pounds. Kedzie was anxious to get her loss to Gina Carano, who has moved on to star in NBC's American Gladiators as Crush, out of her system.
“After my fight with Gina, she became a superstar and I am very happy for her and I appreciate her giving me the chance to fight her," Kedzie said. "But even though I got my butt whipped, I didn’t feel like I lost. I came away from that fight feeling good about myself and my ability to compete."
Not good enough to deal with Evinger (6-3), who now trains at Ken Shamrock's Lion's Den. Evinger let Kedzie (9-7) over commit and caught her in a rear naked choke at 1:43 of the first round.
"It went exactly as I planned," Evinger said. "She got her chin down but I got my legs in (the choke)."
The SHOWTIME special kicked off with a light heavyweight bout between the highly-regarded Kala Kolohe Hose of Honolulu and France's Frederic Belleton.
“All people want to talk about is me fighting Robbie Lawler and all the postponements. But I am not even thinking about Lawler now," Hose said before the fight. “My only focus is on winning. To underestimate or look past anybody would be a big mistake for any fighter.’’
Hose (5-1) certainly didn't underestimate Belleton (5-2), who seemed just happy to be in the fight. "“This is a great opportunity for me to make a good name for myself against a quality opponent," Belleton said. "I am more excited than nervous. It is quite an achievement for me to make it all the way to a SHOWTIME card."
Belleton had quite the height advantage and scored with some nice kicks early but it became apparent quickly that Hose would overwhelm the Frenchman with his powerful punching ability and sure enough, the Hawaiian caught him at 4:32 of the first round.
"I give him respect. He had some weight in those leg kicks," Hose said. "I am looking forward to go after the title now."
The non-televised portion of the card featured a theme of local fighters. Philadelphia native Matt Makowski opened the night by taking on Joe Shilling of Los Angeles in a welterweight encounter. Matkowski (2-0) blitzed Shilling, who was making his MMA debut, from the outset and won via choke at 4:01 in the opening round.
A pair of young New Jersey fighters, Sergio Vinagre from Brick and Brett Linebarger from Ewing squared off in an entertaining light heavyweight bout. Linebarger (3-1) seemed to be the better conditioned fighter and scored quite a bit with knees in the midsection during the first two rounds. Both fighters look gassed in the third but Vinagre(2-2) had nothing left and was caught with a devastating left hook at 2:29 of the round to end it.
Another Philly fighter, Mark Getto travelled down the AC Expressway to battle Baltimore's James "Binky" Jones at 160 pounds but it wasn't much of a contest. The veteran Jones(5-5) was just too savvy for Getto (1-4-1) and caught the local favorite in a kimura at 1:14 of the first round.
Another pair of Philly fighters, Zach Makovsky and Wilson Reis, were next at 140 pounds. Reis (3-0) dominated with ground and pound in the opening round and nearly submitted Makovsky (3-1) on a couple of occasions. Round 2 was more of the same Reis showed superior athleticism until catching Makovsky in a side choke at 1:15 to end it.
The last dark match featured Pennsylvania's Charlie Brenneman and Lakewood, New Jersey's Drew Puzon in a welterweight clash. Puzon (1-2) brought a vocal cheering section to help battle the undefeated Brenneman (5-0) and they were the only ones making any noise in what turned out to be a rather lackluster affair. The first two rounds were really a wrestling match with neither fighter coming close to a submission. The third featured a little more action but nothing earth-shattering. First decision of the night with Brennerman taking a split decision, 29-28, 28-29, 30-27.
Notes: Ken Shamrock was at the show and made it official that he would be fighting as a heavyweight for EliteXC when he returns to the cage in London on March 8.