Hard Knocks Fighting Championship 10 Play by Play
The event was another capacity crowd of educated Mixed Martial Arts fans. The nice thing about this city and the growing sport of MMA is that the fans are actively learning more about it and cheering not just out of bloodlust, but for strategy and technique.
Very rarely do you hear a chorus of boo’s and demands to stand the fighters up as soon as they hit the mat. The fans are more educated now and are starting to enjoy the skill and effort that good ground fighting demands, although you still hear “PUNCH HIM IN THE FEET!” every once and awhile when fans get frisky.
Fight 1: HEAVYWEIGHT AMATEURS
Jeremy Smith (Martial Combat Systems) vs. Shane Ryan (Arashi-Do Airdrie)
Both Smith and Ryan had some good opportunities and worked hard for the dominant position, but Smith was better at controlling Ryan’s position. On the ground Smith dropped some good knees into the ribs and kidneys of Ryan, but Ryan quickly spun out, getting back to his feet and laid some knees of his own into Smiths legs.
Not a lot to report in Round 2 as both fighters seemed to go back and forth equally in both position and submission attempts — neither having much luck securing anything remotely dangerous.
Ryan shoots in for singles and doubles and gets stuffed repeatedly by Smith. The fight goes to the ground and Smith gets on top and works hard to escape in half-guard, finally getting to side control and a failed scarf-hold.
Back on their feet Ryan scores a takedown and starts working out of Smiths guard and eventually passing to half-guard. Ryan starts working on Smith’s body, but not trying for any submissions.
In the dying seconds Ryan puts on a show and nearly lands an Americana, but to no avail. If only he knew how to finish it.
Not surprisingly the judges scored it a draw. Spectators nearby could be heard to say it was the most boring fight they’ve ever witnessed.
Fight 2: THIS WILL ONLY HURT FOR A SECOND
Robert Stewart (Independent) vs. Matt Bustard (Independent)
Up until this fight, I was working on a theory. The theory being the fighter who looks at ease in the cage and not mad-doggin’ his opponent will likely be the winner — the poise in the cage reflects earned confidence. I said to my guest that I was really excited to see Stewart fight because he was “that guy”; he seemed relaxed and confident and even though he didn’t look threatening I thought for sure he’d turn out to be an MMA Super Hero.
I was wrong.
Just before the referee started the fight I looked at Bustard. He was amped up and ready to game. I looked at Stewart. He looked quiet and contemplative. Then the referee started the match.
Quiet and contemplative was quickly replaced by fear and instantly Stewart’s facade crumbled. He really looked like he’d never been in a fight before, and as Bustard started landing shots to his head it was all he could do to keep his feet, the fatal mistake being to turn and run from Bustard who quickly cut the angle and finished him by knockout.
I hate to say it, but this was one of those fights that wasn’t fun to watch and Stewart had no business being in that cage even though both fighters were 0 – 0 entering as amateurs.
The referee stopped the fight quickly at 0:34 of Round One. Matt Bustard for the win by knockout.
Fight 3: ABANDONING THE PUNCHER’S CHANCE
Aaron Morton (Gracie Barra Calgary) vs. Jason Prior (Natural Spirit Coulter Dojo)
Prior comes out strong and lands the first shot and Morton counters with some leg kicks which are ineffective. Morton is really stiff and doesn’t appear to be eager to close the distance and take Prior to the ground which is odd for a Gracie guy to just want to stand and bang.
Both fighters are evenly matched and the first round likely ends in a draw on the judges score cards even though Prior is much looser and moving well around the cage, he just isn’t able to land anything of consequence.
With the adrenaline dump and Cage Shock done and behind them in Round One, and some solid coaching in both corners Round Two gets under way.
Prior comes out with bad intentions and starts pushing the pace. Getting backed into the cage Morton pulls guard and drags Prior down on top of him, shooting for an armbar. Prior does a decent job trying to defend it by spinning free, but he just can’t shake Morton.
The fight ends at 1:27 of Round Two. Aaron Morton winning by Armbar Submission.
Fight 4: SHOCK AND AWESOME
Blair Herzog (Dynamic Martial Arts) vs. Patrick Ward
Herzog comes out with SCUDS strapped to his arms and starts lighting off against Ward who’s having a tough time getting his defenses up in time. Both Ward and Herzog have a good standup game and despite the early onslaught Ward is able to regain composure and stuff Herzog’s takedown attempts.
Ward gets Herzog in his guard and moves quickly and easily transitions into mount. Ward’s got a great base and great ground control and starts hunting for a Kimura between wracking Herzog with body shots.
Round one goes to Ward.
Ward comes out gaming and starts throwing bombs from everywhere at no less than 100% and shoots for a double that lands him in Herzog’s guard. Unable to escape from Herzog’s guard Ward gets the fight standing again only to be met by Herzog’s legs and hands.
Ward lands a huge uppercut and shoots for another double and works Herzog against the cage for control.
At some point a fan behind me screams, “Make him choke on your elbow!”
Round two goes to Ward.
Round three starts like the other rounds with each fighter throwing everything they have and Herzog is looking fresh and getting good shots until Ward takes him to the mat. Ward starts working again from Herzogs guard when out of nowhere Herzog attacks Ward with an armbar and finishes the fight.
The fight is called at 1:40 of Round Three for Blair Herzog by Armbar Submission.
Fight 5: BOOM, BOOM, POW
Blain Salthouse (Gracie Barra Calgary) vs. Adam Shaw (Canuckles)
There was no time for Salthouse to get close enough to take Shaw to the ground. In less time than it takes to read this sentence, Salthouse was knocked out by Shaw.
Adam Shaw wins in a record time of 0:14 of Round One by Knockout.
Fight 6: AMATEUR MAIN EVENT
Ben Calfrobe (Progressive fighting Academy) vs. Jeff Larkin (Arashi-Do Red Deer)
I overheard some of the other fighters talking before this match about Larkin’s nickname “The Atomic Zombie”. It apparently comes from the fact that Larkin works at twice the speed of normal people and will not die.
Calfrobe sets out to set the pace by literally taking Larkin and tossing him to the mat twice, followed by some big right hands and vicious leg kicks.
Up against the cage Larkin is controlling Calrobe’s head well and starts dropping knees into his body. A lot of action on the cage and Calfrobe’s right hand is starting to find it’s rhythm.
The story of this round is grinding against the cage. Both fighters are working well, Larkin with the knees, Calfrobe with his big right, but Larking is landing the best shots.
Calfrobe is having a tough time figuring out Larkin, as well as getting off the cage. Larkin takes Calfrobe to the ground with a single and gets mount with only 30 seconds left in the round and misses about 100 armbar opportunities right up to the bell ending the round.
Larkin takes control of the centre of the cage and is really working Calfrobe over leading up to an attempted double which is stuffed by Calfrobe.
Larkin and Calfrobe trade knees and Larkin shoots for a single, but ends up in a Guillotine by Calfrobe which is easily escaped by Larkin. Larkin shoots in for another single and ends up getting punched in the head repeatedly for his trouble.
The fight ends with more knees and leg kicks.
Jeff Larkin wins by Unanimous Decision
Fight 7: BATTLE FOR DOWNTOWN TOKYO
Big Dave (Team Assassin) vs. Jordan Murray (Lethbridge Fight Club)
These heavyweights enter the cage with a lot of drama. Eye’s shooting daggers across the cage, feet stomping the cage in an effort to send a shockwave through the floor and topple their opponent over.
It’s not a record setter, but Murray drives across the cage like a linebacker to the quarterback and smashes Dave into the mat and in 33 seconds gets the win by Rear Naked Choke.
Jordan Murray wins at 0:33 of Round One via Rear Naked Choke.
Fight 8: INTERMISSION?
Robert Curtis (Independent Calgary) vs. Chris Ade (Independent Edmonton)
Ade’s record of 15 – 16 makes you stop and think. This guy fights. A lot. Curtis, not as much.
Ade controlled this fight from word go and earned a Referee Stoppage at 1:04 in Round One due to Unanswered Strikes.
Not a well matched fight and pretty boring even if it was only for a minute.
Fight 9: MAIN EVENT HEAVYWEIGHT PRO
Buddy Dixon (Dynamic Martial Arts) vs. Bobby Kalmakoff (Independent)
These fighters should have their hands checked for Volkswagens. When the fight started Kalmakoff started throwing HUGE hands from the opposite side of the casino. But what started exciting ended quickly as Buddy was able to mount him and finish him off with strikes.
Buddy Dixon wins by Referee Stoppage at 1:11 of Round One.