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Warrior Nation XI Fight Review

Jesse Camp took his baby outside Western Mass for the first time in a long time, bringing his one-of-a-kind show to the Holiday Inn in Boxborough. Packed to the gills, the show offered a unique feel given the high ceilings eating up the ambient noise of the crowd; the hits and frantic corner advice audible like no other show. If you couldn't make it out for some cocktails and head kicks, check out how the evening played out for Warrior Nation XI.

Greg Perry vs Joe Leonard

165lb Amateur

The first bout of the evening began with a duo of guys opting to fight at their walking weights for health and comfort reasons. Perry shot early for the takedown but was reversed, taking a knee to the body by Leonard before breaking to center. A stiff jab closed range for Perry as he attacked the body, hitting a thunderous hip throw into side control, killing the arms and ground and pounding as Leonard tried to turn out of the position. Leonard went for a fireman’s carry but was twisted and flattened to the mat, Perry trying to take the back in a transition. Leonard rolled for a kneebar but stalled out; Perry trapping the near arm and throwing punches to the head and body, the referee halting the bout after several blows as Leonard was unable to pull out of the position.

Greg Perry wins via 1st Round TKO (punches)

Richard Santiago vs Matt Allen

125lb Amateur

Our contest began with Allen closing to center, taking a side kick to the head from Santiago, who blitzed his foe with brutal punch combinations. Allen covered but took the brunt of the attacks, only just surviving early as Santiago swarmed. A right hook and body knee opened up Allen for the takedown, Santiago expertly passing from half guard to knee on belly to mount; Allen working his legs back into the equation but being punished with ground and pound. Santiago passed to side control and worked short hammerfists, moving towards an Americana but losing position to Allen’s active defense. Allen looked to frame up an armlock from his guard and work a sweep, but Santiago stifled the offensive BJJ, holding out on top till the horn.

The second began with Santiago throwing hooks and bouncing a head kick off his foe, Allen bobbing and weaving to keep it interesting, but feeling most of what Santiago was throwing. Allen looking for a single leg against the fence, but Santiago turned the corner and took his back on the mat for a short duration, Allen escaping and hitting a body lock takedown into mount; instantly reversed to side control. Santiago looked to hold side control, hitting a crucifix that he contested for as Allen kicked off the cage. Santiago took the back in the transition and locked up the RNC, but Allen defended in increments, surviving to grab a guillotine, which Santiago rode into empty half guard before passing to side control where the round ended.

Allen threw a front kick and took a leg kick and side kick to the body, Santiago going with a spinning heel kick and landing a combination against the cage that rocked his adversary. Allen fired back with a left hook that landed, but Santiago rolled with the punishment, Allen opting for a takedown and hunting for a single leg. Santiago dropped for a single of his own and Allen rushed the guillotine, pulling Santiago on top of himself where the RAC fighter passed to side control. Sliding into mount like a whisper, Santiago dropped hammerfists while defending his position, losing out to Allen’s bottom game work, who regained half guard. With seconds left in the fight, Santiago exploded to his feet and tried to hit the finish, the pair swinging wildly and capping off an entertaining scrap.

Richard Santiago wins via Unanimous Decision (30-26x3)

Nick Rankin vs Chaz Gray

200lb Amateur

A battle of legit big men started out with Gray taking center cage and throwing a snappy low kick, answered by Rankin who threw a pair of body kicks before locking up. Rankin pushed his foe to the cage and tried to grab underhooks, losing the wrestling match briefly to Gray’s bulk, missing an outside trip but hitting a hip throw. Rankin took the back as Gray worked to standing and Rankin went belly down on an armbar, Gray rotating out and surviving, but finding himself under his adversary. Rankin took side control and hit the back in a transition, locking on an RNC but having too much space in the hold to finish his opponent. Rankin worked into mount and tried to put his opponent’s lights out with short time, but Gray survived to the horn.

The second round began with probing shots from both men, Rankin coming in with a double underhook and hitting an awkward lateral drop, though Gray sprang up immediately. Rankin held the body lock and slung his foe to the mat, taking the back briefly, yet again Gray was up, only to be powered to the canvas with a bulldozer-like double leg. Rankin held side control and landed a short flurry, again taking the back when Gray turned under his foe. The RNC wasn’t there, so Rankin moved to mount and back control again, landing conservative punches on a badly winded opponent. Rankin again went for the RNC but didn’t have the angle on it, flurrying from mount as Gray turned with short time left.

Rankin came in for the body lock immediately in the third, Gray breaking out and landing a stiff uppercut and hooks, though he appeared to be running on fumes after a grueling fight. Rankin pushed for the clinch again but ate another uppercut, backing out to center cage and pawing with a jab before shooing another double leg that he hit. Gray punched to the body while Rankin settled into a steady stream of left hands. Gray worked out from under his opponent and looked for a desperation kimura from bottom half guard, but time and fatigue were a cruel combination as the fight ended.

Nick Rankin wins via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)

Dan Bardellini vs Anthony Lauria

170lb Amateur

Lauria came out with a wide kick, Bardellini hitting a powerful double leg that blasted his foe into the bottom of the cage. Bardellini used raw power, keeping his opponent from moving under his massive frame, posturing up with a one handed strangulation to rain down punches; Lauria getting his guard working under him given the space. Lauria tried to hit a scissor sweep but found his opponent too sturdy, going for a kimura that seemed improbably nasty. Rocking on his hip, Lauria inched the hold on, going well past the breaking point before Bardellini capitulated, his arm potentially in tatters.

Anthony Lauria wins via 1st Round Submission (kimura)

Steve Karr vs Carl Langston

135lb Amateur

The pair took to center cage, Langston landing a sharp front kick to the body and stinging low kick, followed by a front leg head kick that snapped off the face of Karr. Another hard head kick came up, though deflected, Langston switching up to blast the leg with a cutting kick on the other side. A hook kick missed but drew a pop from the crowd, Karr hitting a low kick of his own as he tried to keep safe and figure out his opponent’s timing. A front kick for Karr landed and Langston came behind with a three punch combination, showing exceptional power. A pair of jabs landed for Langston, fading and attacking with a thumping hook kick and spinning heel kick to the body; another murderous leg kick slapping off his foe’s thigh. Another hook kick, spinning heel kick and spinning back kick all trained smoke as Langston closed out an incredible round.

The second round began with a stiff jab from Karr, trying to find his place in the fight. Langston landed a front leg head kick like a firecracker, moving around his opponent and looking for openings. A superman punched missed for Langston, Karr keeping his hands tight and trying to work off the counter. Karr shot for a takedown but Langston’s hips were on point, hitting the fast sprawl and reversing against the cage as they came to standing, Karr reversing again and searching for some offensive grappling positions, though nothing came to fruition before the horn.

The final round started with a monster hook kick from Langston and a body kick that tagged the liver. Another head kick got past the glove of Karr, who was losing the long-range striking game thus far. Karr shot from far out but found nothing as Langston darted away with a shield of hooks, resetting to blast a low kick home on Karr’s tenderized legs. Karr against jumped for the body lock but was reversed, Langston landing to the body with knees and punches. Karr reversed and tried to hit a scoop slam, but Langston turned him into the cage, kneeing hard to the body and flurrying as they separated, jumping for a guillotine with very short time to close out a masterful display.

Carl Langston wins via Unanimous Decision (30-27x2, 30-26)

Randy Francis vs Tyler Cronk

145lb Amateur

Francis landed a stiff jab to start the fight, Cronk coming in to find a takedown and pressuring his foe hard against the cage, pulling his legs out briefly before Francis came back to standing. Cronk kneed to the legs and tried to break down his adversary, Francis whizzering hard but losing position and being slammed late in the round; Cronk surging into mount but being reversed by Francis into half guard.

Cronk slung a hard low kick to start the second round, Francis catching it and looking for a takedown, though he found nothing as Cronk pushed him to the cage. Cronk hit a contentious single leg and tried to suck his foe’s legs away from the cage, hipping into mount and slamming fists home on Francis’ exposed face. Francis looked to bridge and kick out off the fence, but Cronk held position and threatened with a mounted triangle, not having timing to finish before the round expired.

Cronk came in with a chopping punch to start the last round, tagging his foe, but Francis used the forward pressure to hit a takedown, finally getting Cronk to the canvas. Misfortune springing from ambition however as Cronk hit a triangle as they touched the mat, slowly working the hold into a triangle armbar until Francis was forced to concede the fight.

Tyler Cronk wins via 3rd Round Submission (armbar)

Matt Alger vs Marty Thompson

170lb Amateur

Thompson took center to start the bout, landing a stinging low kick and another before shooting. Alger stopped the shot but took punishment to the body, knees and short punches landing as Thompson stayed busy. Thompson ground away and slow cooked an ankle pick, Alger hitting the mat for a moment but springing up before Thompson could apply any top pressure, the round coming to a close in the same position.

Thompson came forward slowly, but slung a murderous left uppercut that toppled Alger, Thompson swarming and landing a series of blows that put Alger away on the canvas early in the second round.

Marty Thompson wins via 2nd Round TKO (punches)

David Baxter vs Shane DeCristoforo

125lb Professional

Our first professional offering of the evening began with the two pawing at center cage, DeCristoforo shooting but being bowled over by his larger opponent. Baxter landed a set of elbows from top half guard, but DeCristoforo found his hips and came back to standing, pressing into the clinch and quickly taking the back standing, trying to drag his foe to the canvas. DeCristoforo leapt for the choke but Baxter defended and framed up a kimura, the hold seeming tight, yet DeCristoforo gutted it out and rolled into north south. Baxter locked on a loose inverted triangle and elbowed to the body, reversing position and trying to take the back, but sliding over his opponent’s shoulders as DeCristoforo went out the back door. Baxter quickly locked on the triangle in the transition and went in hard, DeCristoforo tapping out reluctantly to give Baxter a win in his professional debut.

David Baxter wins via 1st Round Submission (triangle)

Derek Rodriguez vs Allen Edgecomb

135lb Professional

The main event started off with a chopping mid kick from Rodriguez, Edgecomb bouncing on the balls of his feet. Another kick from Rodriguez landed hard and Edgecomb dropped for the shot but was bowled over by a hip heavy Rodriguez, landing in mount and dropping elbows on his opponent. Edgecomb tried to escape out the back door but was cut off, Rodriguez slamming punches home as Edgecomb deflected and tried to find a reversal, kicking off the cage and creating space. Rodriguez took an upkick but jumped back in with an overhand, going knee on belly and back to mount, landing choice punches and elbows; conserving energy and holding the position. Edgecomb tied up the arms and blocked, not able to extract himself from the solid top game work of his opponent, who battered his foe to a brutal finish.

Derek Rodriguez wins via 1st round TKO (punches)

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