COLOSSEUM COMBAT XXXI RECAP

Saturday night, Colosseum Combat returned to the National Guard Armory, in Kokomo, Indiana and the house was packed! Fighters and fans from all over Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois piled into the venue to enjoy an 11 fight card, that included two title fights and some talented up and comers looking to continue climbing the local ranks.

The first fight of the night put Illinois native Dion James (2-4) vs D’Marcus Spencer (2-0) in a bantamweight fight. Spencer pummeled his one-armed counterpart from the opening bell leaving the ref no choice, but to stop the fight after James could not find a way to defend the onslaught. Referee Rob Hinds waves off the action at 2:48 of the 1st round. Giving Spencer his second amateur win, his first via TKO

The second fight of the night was one of many Indiana vs Ohio matches, as heavyweights Jeremiah Roberts (3-1) and Joe Hall (4-5) did battle in the cage. As most fights with the big men, this one didn’t last long. The much taller Roberts brought the fight to the canvas almost instantly. After a series of scrambles, heavy ground and pound, and failed takedown attempts by Hall, Roberts found his opponents neck and coaxed the tap with a front choke(officially ruled a North/South Choke). The Indiana Pit representative picks up the submission victory at 1:40 of the first round.

The third fight of the night brought two fan favorites into one cage as Patrick Ruby (6-5) met Anthony Klinker (7-13) in a lightweight bout. The fighters delivered a fast, fun fight. The fighters traded kicks to start the fight and after that, it was all about the mat. Ruby pulls guard, as he is known to do, and Klinker is quick to bring it back up to the feet, seemingly wanting nothing to do with the guard game of his opponent. The White Trash BJJ fighter is quick to bring the fight back to the mat, but gets reversed. The Hybrid Combat Sports Academy fighter wastes no time pinning his opponents right arm down, with his left leg, and dropping punches until his opponent to submit. After winning only 2 of his last 10, Anthony Klinker showed you can’t count a fighter out, due to his record. An impressive win for a man who many thought was the underdog.

The fourth amateur bout of the night matched two promotion champion, and IBG standout Aaron Highbaugh (8-3) against Kokomo’s own Kevin Purvis. Highbaugh showcased what a high level ammy competitor looks like as he showed a powerful stand up game, great wrestling, and even mixed in some submission attempts in the mix. “Uncaged” spent a majority of the fight landing powerful ground and pound, but also had some great exchanges on the feet. Purvis hung in there and even put his opponent is some rough spots during their fight, which is impressive for a man who is doing incredibly well in his late 30′s as an amateur mixed martial artist. It was a fast paced, 3 round war that showcased two of the top middleweight amateurs in the state of Indiana. When the battle ended all three cage side judges scored the bout 30-27 for Aaron Highbaugh.

The amateur main event was an exciting one as the Colosseum Combat Bantamweight Championship was on the line against defending champion, 19-year-old Janson “the Goin’ Samoan” Golightly (3-1-1), and American Top Team Indianapolis fighter, Mahu “the Mexican Savage’ Mendoza (2-0-1). The first round was mainly contested on the mat, where the two blue belts met in a chess match of violence. Mendoza escaped a well defended triangle attempt from the champion, and after a quick scramble, a knee was landed that could have been illegal from the referee’s standpoint and a halt in the action was called. After a short time of recovery and warning to Golightly, the fight continued. The young champion threw a kick you would expect to see in a Bruce Lee movie, but was met with a thunderous right hand that sent him to the mat. The round ended with Golightly grabbing for an ankle lock and Mendoza landed shots as Golightly just smiles until the horn. The second round was more of the same as Mendoza, this time, took the better part of the round. The third round was the game changer. Mendoza caught Golightly with a huge shot and went to town on the face of his opponent for the better part of 15 punches. The referee was quick to halt the action as Mendoza was holding the fence during the onslaught. A point was deducted for the foul and the fight continued as the rest of the fight with excellent ground work. It seemed as we had an interesting decision on our hands, and that is exactly what we got. All three judges scored the contest a 28-28 unanimous draw, meaning the . Both fighters and their corners showed immense respect for each other and the decision as both teams and the crowd were already asking for a rematch.

The pro card kicked off with kicked off with a rematch with some bad blood as Chris Burchfield (0-1) made his professional debut against wrestling stand out Dustin “Bam Bam” Parrish (3-0). These two first met in 2012 as amateurs in the Art of War promotion, where Parrish won the 170 lbs amateur title in a lightning fast 47 seconds via rear naked choke. Parrish, an American Top Team Indianapolis representative, dominated the fight from start to finish with a mixture of huge takedowns and savage elbows. Once Parrish took mount the fight was over, as he had a one-armed guillotine locked in airtight on his opponent and he had no choice, but to tap. Parrish had some choice words for his opponent after the stand up and after that it seemed as the bad blood was finally behind the fighters.

The second pro fight of the night brought the highly anticipated professional debut of Ryan Gosnell (1-0) as he faced Sean “Shake N’ Bake” Fallon (2-2). This fight was a quick one, as shortly after Fallon got the takedown, Gosnell snatches up a trinagle. After a readjustment and some elbows the head of his opponent, Fallon had nowhere to go and taps out at 1:27 of the 1st round.

Our third pro fight of the night pitted middleweights Mike Eikenberry (2-6) and Christopher Sprinkle (2-0). Sprinkle came into the cage Saturday night after being the first award winner of the Colosseum Combat Knockout of the Night award, in his last outing with the promotion, which lead the brutal knockout to be shown on Inside MMA’s Viewer Submissions of the Week. Eikenberry, a BJJ brown belt, controlled the first two minutes with some sharp stand up, with his opponent offering little as a result. When the Kryptonite MMA fighter did land, it was devastating, as he rocked Eikenberry and followed up with a vicious barrage of punches that gave the referee no choice to call off the action. A remarkable come from behind win for Christofer Sprinkle, at 2:17 of the first round.

The feature fight of the night was an exciting one as long time veteran, David “Doctor” Love (14-15-1), made his return to the cage after nearly 3 years, against Ohio’s Reggie Merriweather (6-5). I want to point out that when David Love started his MMA career, his opponent was in elementary school. The fight started with a bang as not even 10 seconds in Merriweather floored Love and it seemed the homecoming for Dr. Love would be short-lived. After seemingly going unconscious on multiple occasions, yet miraculously Love recovered and eventually took control of the round with his ground game and has several submission attempts that many thought would get the 40-year-old the win over his younger adversary. The rest of the bout continued as such, with Merriweather getting the better of the stand up and Love trying to work his ground game. After 15 minutes of grueling action it went to the judges scorecards with Merriweather picking up a unanimous decision, that left some fans in attendance unhappy. No scores were announced.

The co-main event of the evening was the most anticipated fight of the night, where people were on the edge of their seats waiting to see the bad blood between local favorite, Dan Head (11-10), and Ohio slugger, Tyler Combs (15-11), spilled all over the canvas of the cage. The first round was a dominant one for former Ultimate Fighter contestant, Dan Head, as he took his opponent to the mat and controlled the fight with his slick Brazilian jiu jitsu, but Head was ultimately unable to capitalize on a submission. The second round slowed much more as Combs landed a hefty number of punches throughout the round while Head attempted to take the fight to the mat. The third round started with both men getting the crowd fired up for the grand finale of the feud between these men. After a wild exchange Combs was able to grab the neck of his opponent and sink in a nasty anaconda choke. At 52 seconds of the third and final round, the action was stopped as Dan Head had went unconscious from the choke. The home crowd went silent and the feud between these men met a violent end.

The main event for the evening was a 3 round championship fight between Team Colon stand out, Lloyd “Mama’s Boy” Carter (9-7) and Chris Dunn (9-6). The first round was a fast paced, yet repetitive one, as Lloyd Carter threw a jab, right hook combo often with Dunn scoring mostly from some quick, slapping leg kicks. In the second and third rounds the fighters started to add some flavor to the action with some great exchanges and ground work, but continued showing each other, what some may consider, a little too much respect which did not please the crowd. After a hard-fought three rounds between two talented and well matched bantamweights, the judges came to a split verdict, giving Lloyd Carter the third championship belt of his career.

A thank you to promoter, Mark Slater, and the rest of the Colosseum Combat family for having us. Anyone in the Midwest looking for one of the best shows around, follow Colosseum Combat on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the official website for news on future events and more.

By: Coty Kennedy

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