THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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A new player entered the MMA arena this past weekend as Powerhouse World Promotions presented their first pay-per-view, War On The Mainland, shown live on Primetime here in Britain, and featuring Tim Sylva and Paul Buentello battling it out for the vacant Heavyweight title.
The show began with lightweight action as Jens Pulver faced Diego Garijo.
This one lasted just over a minute, and began at a frantic pace with both guys swinging for the fences until Garijo dropped Pulver with a big left. Garijo quickly followed him down and locked in a guillotine for the impressive submission win.
The lightweight action continued as Erin Beech faced Joel Silva.
This wasn’t exactly the most exciting fight I’ve ever seen. Silva’s attack was completely one dimensional. His only tactic seemed to be take down attempts. The only problem was that Beech’s take down defence was very sound.
It was also obvious that Silva couldn’t take any form of pain. Whenever Beech connected Silva visibly recoiled. But credit to Beech for imposing his will on the fight with some good striking.
All three judges scored in favour of Beech, a decision that wasn’t entirely surprising.
Then it was on to Thales Leites taking on Matt Horwich for the vacant Middleweight title.
Given the credentials of these two it was obvious how it was going to play out. It was a solid ground battle with both men putting on good performances.
The first submission attempt of note came in the third round when Leites synched in a side choke, which lasted for ages until Horwich was able to escape.
The end came early on in the fourth when Horwich took Leites’ back and locked in a rear naked choke for the submission win.
The championship action continued as Jason Lambert faced Tony Lopez, a late replacement for Alan Goes, for the vacant Light Heavyweight title.
A somewhat scrappy affair with neither man able to gain any sort of advantage until early in the second round when Lambert got the better of a body lock in the corner.
But then things turned in an instant after Lambert slipped and a Lopez left knee dropped him. One shot later and the referee stepped in, giving Lambert the knockout win. Quite impressive, considering that Lopez had to lose twenty-six pounds in a week so he could make the weight.
Then it was on to Jorge Ortiz against Terry Martin in the welterweight division.
A mainly stand-up battle saw Martin put in a solid performance, with Ortiz visibly tiring as he entered the second round.
Things changed in the third after Ortiz connected with an inadvertent low kick. The rest period seemed to galvanise Ortiz while it had the opposite effect on Martin.
The judges were split in their decision as Martin took home the victory.
The main event saw Tim Sylvia facing Paul Buentello for the vacant Heavyweight title.
Sylvia put in a very effective performance here, doing a good job of neutralising Buentello’s striking game with a series of clinches in the corners, all of which ultimate led to referee separations.
The end came in the dying seconds of the second round. Having softened his man with a series of knees and kicks Sylvia dropped Buentello in the corner, with the referee stopping the fight seconds later, giving Sylvia the knockout win.
In conclusion – Primetime’s third foray into the world of mixed martial arts was a solid and enjoyable event, even if the action was a little unspectacular at times.
Production-wise it was okay, although definitely not up to the standards of the UFC or Strikeforce, especially early on as the picture broke up a number of times.
As for the commentary, play-by-play man Benny Ricardo, a guy with one of worst haircuts I’ve seen this side of 1978 seemed a bit flustered at times, and there were moments when his performance dragged down the normally reliable Bas Rutten.
So in all a good show, but as teachers all around the world would say, could do better.