Written by: Mike Hammersmith
The most unique show in New England, Warrior Nation set up their cage at the Hu Ke Lau once again for a night of Polynesian food and red-hot MMA action. If you couldn't make it in for the live combat sports dinner show, go grab some Chinese takeout and read up on what you missed.
Justin Kristie vs George Lischke
The first bout of the night started with an overhand and mid kick from Lischke, Kristine coming in behind and pushing to the fence as the two contested in the clinch. Kristie reversed and tried to keep double unders but his hold was broken as they returned to center, Kristine cracking with a blazing low kick as Lischke threw tight hands inside. The two hit the cage again and Lischke put the pressure on, though Kristie’s core strength allowed him to impose himself and reverse. A couple of steps from the cage and Lischke hit a simple trip takedown into guard, Kristie working strong man BJJ from bottom with wrist control and legs breaking down posture, hitting a promising armbar that Lischke defended smartly to the bell.
The two met at center cage to start the second, Lischke against going low to work a trip as the two jockeyed for position against the cage. Kristie threw stiff power punches with murderous intentions but Lischke was finding his foe’s timing and avoiding the majority of shots, coming in behind strikes to grind for takedowns on the fence. Kristie kept working a forklift and landing body knees, breaking to center and trading, where Lischke snuck sharp rights to the jaw. Kristie locked up again and slammed uppercuts home to the body; Kristie using the space to angle short punches in. Kristie went for a hip throw mid flurry but couldn’t budge the powerful Kristie’s base; the bigger man driving his foe to the mat in the final seconds of the round.
The final round started with Lischke clipping Kristie hard with a right and the strong man landing a pair of hooks with authority, driving his opponent to the cage and trying to keep pressure, whether with clinch or throwing short power punches. Kristie went for one-off power shots with his back to the cage, landing beautifully, yet Lischke was able to find his way inside again. Lischke tried to set up a trip takedown, but found himself tripped to the canvas himself coming down with Kristie perched awkwardly on top of him. Lischke went for a leglock off his back and Kristie retaliated with a kneebar attempt, setting the two in motion rolling around the canvas, defending lethal leglocks. Lischke found himself in top position in the scramble but Kristie used his gorilla strength to snatch a kimura from bottom, the hold looking solid but unraveling after tense seconds as the fight came to a close.
George Lischke wins via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)
Tom Rossi vs Shane Joubert
Joubert started with a hands down approach, Rossi throwing front hand power shots and trying to hit the elusive head. Joubert showed his innate sense of timing, sliding out of range and countering with a hard right, the two crashing into the cage with Joubert trying to get a body lock takedown. Joubert backed off and took a kick to the body, fighting in the pocket with hand s down and again sliding out of range. Rossi switched to mid kicks and slammed a punch home that dropped Joubert to his back, following up the stunning shot by leaping on his foe for a guillotine that he wrenched on inch by inch. Joubert defended and found himself fighting to avoid being mounted, letting his foe burn out his arms on a hold that wasn’t going to get the job done as the last seconds of the round ticked away.
Joubert went after his opponent early and landed a pair of shots that dropped Rossi to the canvas briefly, the two quickly going back to exchange at center. Joubert landed a hard right and body shots that sapped some of Rossi’s resolve and began to find the chin with regularity, though Rossi was still in the fight. Joubert shot for a takedown and landed in guard, both fighters exhausted as Rossi locked down the guard, but the referee gave them no break and returned the fight to standing quickly. Rossi tried to walk down Joubert with straight punches, but he bobbed and returned fire, Rossi grabbing him in the exchange and hitting an all-power hip throw that shook the building as he landed in mount. Joubert locked down the head and Rossi landed to the body, too tired to break out of the stalling maneuver as the horn sounded.
The last round of an all-action fight, Joubert charged in with a combination that blasted Rossi, the tired man throwing back and slipping from a front kick, but coming to standing. Joubert airballed punches and a spinning heel kick, the two wildly exchanging and stumbling around the cage, seemingly out of juice in their arms to even hurt each other. A quasi punch-trip put Joubert down and Rossi pounced, moving into side control as Joubert applied a guillotine that wasn’t going to work, but looking to turn it into an anaconda with some hip movement. Rossi extracted himself and flattened out his winded opponent, kneeing to the ribs and threatening with mount as Joubert held his opponent in a school yard headlock. Rossi finally found the mount as the last seconds ticked down and landed a pair of punches to try and make his case for the round and fight.
Tom Rossi wins via Split Decision (30-27, 29-27, 28-29)
Justin Valentin vs Richard Santiago
The pair of flyweights kicked off their bout with rapid exchanges in the center, Valentin tagging Santiago with a hook but finding his opponent elusive for the follow-ups. The two tore into each other with rapid fire punching volleys and Valentin rushed for a takedown, but didn’t find it as they clashed hard on the cage. Santiago rode the momentum of the impact and dropped for a takedown of his own in a reversal, but the move would prove to be his undoing as Valentin latched on a crushing guillotine and pulled guard. Santiago struggled mightily, but found himself truly stuck despite his bucks and rolls, tapping out with much reluctance.
Justin Valentin wins via 1st Round Submission (guillotine)
Steve Rodriguez vs Chris Paulauskas
The two traded leg kicks and Rodriguez was tripped to the mat, coming up to a flurry of punches but surviving to grab at a single leg. Paulauskas defended the takedown and broke his foe’s offensive posture, landing a hard shot inside and spinning for a belly to belly suplex, though he was rolled due to the excess momentum. The two came to standing and Paulauskas lined up power shots that seemed to wobble his opponent but Rodriguez hit a takedown and dropped back for an achilles lock immediately, Paulauskas entangling his legs and patiently working out of danger into a knee mount, driving punishing shots down into his opponent that broke his posture and allowed full mount. Paulauskas went full-on berserker from the dominant position, force-feeding Rodriguez knuckles until the referee stepped in.
Chris Paulauskas wins via 1st Round TKO (punches)
Curtis Watkins vs Jose Rivera
Watkins came out in a low stance, looking to be deceptive with his shot and finding success with his first drive; spiking Rivera with a fast double. Rivera shrimped to the cage and worked his way to standing briefly, but Watkins was deep into his opponent’s base, bringing him to the mat again with a hip in. Watkins transitioned to the back and tried to sink his hooks in, being met with serious resistance as Rivera rolled and tried to slip his legs out of the grip, Watkins inching on an RNC but unable to find it. Rivera rolled out and found himself mounted, again rolling and coming to standing faster than his foe. Seeking to turn the tide, Rivera charged in with chopping shots to the ear and a volley of follow-up punches that dropped Watkins to his haunches. Rivera pushed to finish but was stifled in close, hitting a takedown where Watkins went belly down in search of a single leg reversal; Rivera sprawling on him as the horn sounded.
The second round started with an absolutely blistering head kick from Rivera that crashed into Watkins’ neck; the dazed wrestler coming in for a takedown off the move and finding it. The hasty takedown allowed Rivera to ensnare his adversary in a nasty guillotine however, putting on a squeeze and looking to get Watkins out of the fight. Watkins tried to pull out of the choke but found no slack, tapping out and giving Rivera a spectacular win.
Jose Rivera wins via 2nd Round Submission (guillotine)
Ray Johns vs Pat Casey
Johns came out with a pair of rights but Casey was on him immediately, hitting a double leg and driving his foe to the cage. A barrage of hammerfists bounced off the defending arm like Casey was pounding nails into plywood, forcing him to change tactics and throw heat-seeking uppercuts under the outstretched arms. The blows zapped Johns over and over as he found himself twisted under his adversary’s hips and unable to pull away, the referee intervening on his behalf.
Pat Casey wins via 1st Round TKO (punches)
Steve Karr vs Roberto Rios
Rios launched a front kick to the body to start the night, with Karr absorbing the hit and shooting for a takedown; taking the back in a scramble. Rios defended against Karr’s hooks and choke smartly, peeling limbs away and turning his foe off his back, though Karr was there to readjust and hand fight as needed. Karr landed both hooks firmly and focused on a slow-cooked gable grip RNC, but Rios defended and kept working to pry his adversary off his back. Karr acted at the ten second clapper and started unloading punches while Rios rolled, but was unable to extract himself before the horn.
Rios landed leg kicks and straight shots early, grazing his foe with a sizzling short hook while Karr fired back with simple boxing combinations. Rios landed an uppercut to the body and followed with knees as Karr drove for a clinch, finally picking the ankle and trying to grab the back again. Rios avoided the pitfall and came to his feet, landing punches from close range while backing away to throw low percentage kill shots; front snap kicks and superman uppercuts getting the crowd riled up. It wasn’t the fancy shots that did damage but the body blows that showed accumulation, Karr sinking to a knee and trying to pull guard. Karr found some energy in the fray and shot for another double leg, pulling his opponent down in a precarious control position just as the horn sounded.
A chopping hook from Rios started the last round, finding his timing and range to obliterate his foe in the boxing department. Karr shot for a double but found nothing the first time, and being flipped into mount the second, Rios dropping measured bombs that slowly broke down Karr, taking a win in a highly competitive affair.
Roberto Rios wins via 3rd Round TKO (punches)
Dan Randall vs David Nieves:
A battle of goliaths started with a two piece from Nieves as Randall unloaded his kick arsenal. Nieves showed professional poise as he tried to target the chin with amazing economy of motion, cracking Randall repeatedly and keeping him on the outside. Randall found his way in and pulled Nieves up into a thunderous slam that threatened to shatter the cage. While impressive, it was Randall who felt the effects the most, as the combined 500lbs of fighter landed on his ankle, mangling the joint. Nieves worked his way up from the takedown and looked to box but Randall was there to snake a shot in and set Nieves on his heels, bowling him over into mount and unloading for a near fall. Nieves worked his way out and to standing, Randall landing a mid kick but clearly injured at this point. Nieves tagged his hobbled opponent with a pair of driving jabs and Randall came in hard for another epic slam that literally moved the cage two inches. The round closed out with a flurry of punches and Randall limped back to his corner, the fight in question due to the ankle.
After a period where Randall bluffed away the ankle injury for the ringside physician, the second round started got underway. Nieves jabbed and tried to keep his opponent in one spot , but was caught with a monster flurry as Randall ran him down. Nieves survived as Randall’s ankle showed horrid swelling and put the brakes on his charge, and the two went back to center in a wild fight. Nieves tried to line up a killer hook but Randall fired three shots down the pipe like he was feeding shells into a tank turret, blowing Nieves clean off his feet and into unconsciousness.
Dan Randall wins via 2nd Round KO (punches)
Will Smith vs Ali Zebian:
135lb Amateur Title
The first Warrior Nation title fight began with leg kicks from Zebian and a stinging two piece from Smith followed by a head kick and a blazing double. Zebian showed incredible strength by posting up on one arm and returning to his feet, Smith going hard to find that takedown again. Zebian turned his adversary against the cage and held a deep underhook, using his free hand to punch to the head and body while looking for a trip takedown. Zebian blasted the legs with knees for a time but Smith reversed out, his breath stolen by a body knee as Zebian put the pressure on him against the cage yet again. Smith again reversed but couldn’t find a way out of the clinch as the round ticked away.
The second started off with a hook from Smith and an overhand right; Zebian throwing hard on the counter and landing a stinging mid kick. Smith again went upstairs with a kick and Zebian answered with sound hooks and jabs, keeping Smith outside. Zebian rushed in and was hung up on a hard jab from Smith, who caught a low kick but couldn’t find the takedown before Zebian shoved forward to the cage. The two contested in the clinch, Zebian showing his powerful core and working what offense he could while holding position. Smith went for a trip takedown but couldn’t budge Zebian, Zebian hitting a pair of hooks as he backed out. Smith launched for a double leg and nailed it in the final seconds, Zebian unable to extract his legs and regain his feet before the end of the round.
The third started with Zebian working his boxing, jabs and hooks there to prod and intercept Smith. A mid kick landed for Zebian and Smith returned with a front kick to the body and an overhand that cracked home. Zebian flipped the script on his adversary and shot in on Smith with a counter takedown; the powerful double leg seeing him land in top half guard. Smith worked smartly off his back, tucking his head and getting his hips involved to extract himself, but Zebian found an opening for some vicious left hands. Smith ate the offense and used an outside grapevine to pitch Zebian to the mat as he tried to rise, though the takedown was short lived. Smith pressured standing and punched to the leg while Zebian tried a bulldog choke, the round closing out in the contentious position.
The first championship round in Warrior Nation history began with probing strikes from both men, Zebian landing a body kick that Smith nearly caught as they pumped jabs at each other. Smith caught the second kick and wrapped his foe up for a trip takedown; Zebian showing amazing upper body strength late in a fight to one-arm post and try to escape, taking to his feet and firing with mad hooks. Zebian backed Smith up with the offense and Smith returned fire with a hard right that got Zebian’s attention, who shoot in and trieng to get the DCNU fighter down to the canvas. Smith put his hips out of range and held a body lock, pushing Zebian to the mesh in a grueling clinch affair late in the fight, Zebian reversing with an underhook to land body knees to close out the round.
The fifth and final round in a very tight fight, the two landed hard hooks on each other simultaneously, Zebian seeming to get the worst of it as Smith came in with a takedown, latching onto the back in a rush and flattening out his opponent. Sliding a forearm under the neck, Smith crushed down on an RNC but Zebian gutted it out for all he was worth. The hold wasn’t going anywhere however and with a last ditch effort to slip the hooks and escape, Zebian was forced to tap out.
Will Smith wins via 5th Round Submission (RNC)