Shogun Fights II put on an exciting night of fights.
Rick Desper won the opening bout over Steven Baker by submission armbar in 1:59 of the first round. Desper said after, “I expected to win by submission, that was my game plan.”
Brian VanHoven dominated the second fight, a lightweight match, and won by unanimous decision over Cole Presley. This was the first-time I saw a fighter look at the referee and tell him that the opponent is bleeding too much. Presley, who was bleeding from the mouth, said, “I was on my back, so I had lean to the side and spit out blood, because I couldn’t breath.”
In the third fight, Justin Hickey was a last-minute replacement for an injured Ryan Mackin. Hickey took on Brett Thomas and won by strike in the first round. Hickey said, “I got a call on Friday morning the day before the fights and I weighed 155 (pounds) and I need to get to 145 (pounds). I’m a fighter and I needed the money, so I made it here. But cutting the weight really got to me (in the ring), so I need to end it quickly.”
Johnny Curtis, 39, suffered a broken nose, but won the fourth fight -- a heavyweight match -- by decision over Delaware’s Joe Stripling.
In the fifth bout, Virginia Beach fighter Jason Hillicker made quick work of Albuquerque, N.M., fighter Bobby Huron with an armbar submission in the first round.
Chris Conner and Elijah Harshberger put on a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling clinic in the sixth match. Both attempted submissions and reversals throughout the match. Conner won by decision.
Crowd favorite Mike Paschall fought Quinton McCottrell in the seventh fight of the evening. Paschall, a popular Baltimore boxer who is now MMA fighter, didn’t stay on his feet very long. McCottrell took him to the ground 22 seconds into the fight and won by submission. Paschall tried to bridge and get up, but McCottrell got a rear-naked choke to end the match in the first round.
Up next was 146-pound Jacob Kirwan against 145-pound Steve Deangelis. This was a war for three rounds. At one time the referee took one point away from Kirwan for holding the cage. It should have only been a warning and not a point deduction. Kirwan won a unanimous decision 27-29 on all three judges cards.
In the ninth fight, heavily favored Dave Daniecki took on Germiyale Adkins of Delaware. Adkins proved to be too much for Daniecki and won by a spilt decision.
In the co-main event, 40-year old veteran fighter Binky Jones took on 22-year old undefeated fighter Jim Hettes in the featherweight bout. It took 4 minutes for both fighter to get into the ring. But it only took Hettes 28 seconds to put a rear-naked choke on Jones and end the fight. Hetter said before the fight, “If he wants to stand, I’m going to beat him at standing, if he wants to go to the ground, I’m going to out wrestle him and submit him.”
In the main event, 315-pound Ryan McGowan fought 325-pound Deon West in the super heavyweight bout. McGowan came out and landed jabs and a knee to the stomach of West and dropped him to the canvas. McGowan ended the fight with hammer fists to the head of West and referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout in 30 seconds.
There were several local celebrities at ringside and one surprising fight sponsor. Several players from the Baltimore Ravens, Lardarius Webb, Prescott Burgess, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Marcus Smith and Dannell Ellerbe. Webb said, “I love the knockouts and the submissions, we try an play it on the PS3 (Playstation 3) a lot, so I know what going on. I’m having the greatest time of my life tonight.” Also in attendance were Olympian Michael Phelps and Maryland State Delegate Nathaniel Oaks.
Each fight had a sponsor and the most surprising sponsor of the night was Baltimore’s new Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, she sponsored the second fight on the card. And it was the bloodiest fight of the night, but she went into the ring and handed the trophy to the winning fighter. The mayor told the winning fighter VanHoven, “That was a awesome display of work.”