Welcome to Bleacher Report's live cageside coverage of Moosin's USA debut in Worcester, MA.
We'll be here all night reporting on the action, headlined by former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia vs. five-time World's Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski.
First bout kicks off at 8 PM EST with the PPV telecast starting at 9 PM EST.
They have a cool-looking entryway made up of some metallic rigging. Nearly the entire top level is blocked off (the arena is two levels). Definitely very professional looking.
It's a cage (not a ring) and is rounded like Bellator.
Bas Rutten, Butterbean (co-promoter), and Herb Dean are here. Travis Lutter is milling around.
There are a TON of very dolled-up women in the back. Some are sitting at cageside right now. Just another thing to look at if you're watching on PPV tonight.
Not a ton of people outside to start...doors just opened up.
They have some generic music playing on a loop over and over and over again at the usual high MMA volumes. They swore some US Army soldiers into something a few minutes ago, but it was out of eyesight.
There are a TON of Polish fans here with flags, face paint and such. Who knew Pudz brought an entourage?
We're just a few minutes away from our first fight of the night. Maybe 1000 people so far...maybe.
We still haven't started yet, but we're close...I can feel it! While we're waiting, I will also be doing updates on Twitter.
Can I tell you much of a bad ass Bas Rutten looks like in person? I mean, he's a bad ass already but I don't know why anyone would mess with him in any situation at any time. EVER.
Did I mention how many good looking women are here? Buy the PPV for that and Bas' commentary alone.
We are five minutes away to showtime. Paul Barry and Stipe Miocic are up first.
UFC fighter Jorge Rivera is here, all decked out in Red Sox gear. He is sitting cageside next to some of the lovely ladies. Tough job, Mr. Rivera. Lights are down and we are just about ready to begin.
Announcer accidentally said Anthony Lapsley to start...little difference in skin color between him and Miocic...there is pyro flame bursts and that's always a good thing. Miocic has the Cro Cop trunks on, complete with red and white checkerboard print. These guys don't look like heavyweights...more like 185.
Back in a few with the results.
Stipe Miocic def. Paul Barry 2nd round TKO (1:32)
The local boy Barry was completely overwhelmed here as Miocic used fast hands to decimate his face in the first. He started to counter punch late, but Miocic was just that much better. He easily won the round 10-9.
The end came in the 2nd when Barry swung a wild right and Miocic got the takedown and ground/pounded his way to a stoppage. The crowd went nuts...so much for the local guy.
Promoters are giving out glass trophies to the winners and they're doing post-fight interviews with everyone. The only issue? It's 8:30 and the PPV is supposed to kick off at 9 pm.
The ref for this one looks like Matt Morgan of TNA fame. One interesting note: they are wiping up blood on the mat between rounds. I don't know if I've seen that before.
Anthony Lapsley def. Fred Belleton via 1st round submission (:59)
Well, that was quick. Lapsley took down Belleton and worked what looked to be a heel hook (announced as a kneebar) for the victory in a minute's time. So much for the French Foot Fighter.
Matt Lee def. Brett Oteri via 2nd round TKO (1:40)
Lee is from Worcester and got a huge pop.
Oteri is throwing a lot of kicks and Rivera is rooting him on at ringside. Lee is stuffing takedowns, but Oteri finally got one. Lee landed a straight right that dropped Lee and possibly broke his nose. He went into ground/pound mode but Oteri held on to end the round as Lee couldn't do enough to finish. Lee 10-9. Crowd went ballistic at the knockdown.
Lee went on the attack in the 2nd and just wore Oteri down with punches. He landed a flurry of punches, none of which fully landed clean, that dropped Oteri and caused the stoppage. Oteri never did recover from the straight right. Crowd is popping huge for the win.
Top of the hour and time for the PPV to officially start. We have seven fights left to go, so they are two behind on the undercard.
Crowd has really filled in. About 3/4 of the lower bowl is full and the upper bowl is about 1/4 full. The cage is heavily lighted and the crowd darkened so there's less emphasis on who's not here. This crowd is very loud and into every fight so far. New England always brings it with sports.
The mystery of these women has been answered: ring girls..and there are a lot of them. Everything so far has been really solid and well-run...some sound issues early on, but they've put in a great effort so far.
Ralph Johnson vs. Forrest Petz is up next. Petz entering to some Superbad by James Brown. Alright now! The mohwaked Johnson is another Worcester native and is coming out to some metal, yet Petz is nicknamed "The Meat Cleaver". Interesting dichotomy of music there.
This should be good. Back in a few with the results.
Forrest Petz def. Ralph Johnson by u/d
You can see the difference between a veteran (Petz) and four-fight youngster (Johnson). Johnson - a local kid - came out swinging early and was feeding off the crowd who were going nuts. Petz looked tentative early, but waited out the storm and survived. Johnson won the first round 10-9.
Petz then went to work and Johnson just stopped swinging and started evading. He was asking to be knocked out as his hands were next to his sides nearly the entire 2nd and 3rd. Petz simply did more to win, attempting takedowns and forcing action, while Johnson just stopped. I had Petz winning the 2nd and 3rd round.
Two judges had it 29-28 for Petz, while another had it 30-27. Not sure how you give the first to Petz, but that's judging for you.
Ho Jin Kim vs. Lukasz Jurkowski up next. The Polish contingent went nuts for Jurkowski's introduction. Back in a few...
Lukasz Jurkowski def. Ho Jin Kim via 1st round KO (2:22)
I thought I was watching Lesnar/Mir live or something. There is an incredible amount of Polish fans here and they are going crazy for Jurkowski. This feels big time.
Lots of grappling early on and Kim really handled himself well considering he was giving up almost 20 pounds going into this. Jurkowski threw a right knee and followed with two right elbows that dropped Kim. He followed with hammer punches and this was over.
The crowd went INSANE at the finish, like deafening lound. I'm guestimating about 5000 people or so and it sounded like 20k. I'm going to say it again but this crowd is awesome. I guess it's good this made the PPV after all.
Tara LaRosa vs. Rozy Modafferi is up next. They have a tough act to follow.
Tara LaRosa vs. Roxy Modafferi def. Tara LaRosa via split decision
Great fight. Modafferi ends LaRosa's 15-fight win streak...big upset here in a 130-pound catchweight.
1st: Modaferri smiling as intros are goign on...not something you see right before a fight that often. Now she is laying down on the mat as LaRosa is being introduced. Between that and wearing glasses to the ring, she might be dorkiest fighter ever...that includes Luke Cummo. The female Luke!
RM won the first round as she dropped LaRosa with a combo of punches that LaRosa survived. LaRosa looked for takedowns but this was a lot of cage grappling. Roxy 10-9
2nd: LaRosa is coming out swinging and landing some hard shots. RM hits big knee to the midsection...both exchanging hard punches with a minute to go...LaRosa looking for KO and no submission here. LaRosa 10-9.
3rd: Modafferi went down from a glancing blow and LaRosa attacked. Working from the top, but Modafferi locked in a triangle and worked for it for near a minute. Great exchange with LaRosa looking to escape. LaRosa worked out and started hitting some side elbows. Dead even round. 10-10. I had it a draw.
One judge had it 30-27 Roxy (huh?) while the other two split 29-28 scores.
Mike Campbell vs. Yves Edwards up next. Herb Dean is your referee.
Boxer Mickey Ward is in the house as he was training former Boston Bruins tough guy Lyndon Byers to take on Eric "Butterbean" Esch. However, the state commission didn't let that fight happen as of yesterday. I heard there were some angry people about that. They haven't mentioned 'Bean by name yet to the crowd which is surprising.
Orlando Magic player and Poland native Marcin Gortat is in the house, getting a king's welcome as he walks around. No Celtics fans here?
Mike Campbell def. Yves Edwards via unanimous decision
All three judges had it 29-28, as did I.
Another great fight between a guy on the way up (Campbell) and one in the final stages of his career (Edwards). Really tough fight to score as well. I had Campbell winning the first two rounds, but honestly that second round could have gone to Edwards.
1st: Campbell's a Boston guy and got a huge pop...big fight for him against a veteran with name value. He's active early, throwing kicks and punches. He's in great shape. He is going for the takedown and finally got it, but Edwards caused a small contusion on his eye. Close round, but Campbell takes it with the takedowns.
2nd: Edwards got the rear mount and worked hard for the the RNC, but Campbell eventually reversed. Edwards lands a big left elbow and later hit a huge slam that the crowd loved. Mark Dellagrotte is barking orders at Campbell from the corner. Campbell put together some nice combos and staggered Edwards. I give it 10-9 Campbell, but that was close.
3rd: Both guys are swinging now. Edwards missed with a spinning kick and threw a good night knee that just missed. Campbell scored a rerversal on a takedown, but Edwards dropped him with what can best be described as a power bomb. 10-9 for Edwards.
People may be ripping the TV presentation on Twitter, but this has been a fun show. Herb Dean is taking a ton of pictures following the fight and is very gracious in doing so.
Travis Lutter vs. Rafael Natal is up next. No breaks between fights...it's rapid fire.
Rafael Natal def. Travis Lutter via 1st round TKO (4:12)
Man, Travis Lutter looked old tonight.
Natal used an onslaught of kicks and evasive takedown defense to frustrate Lutter. The end came when Natal hit some glancing shots that knocked Lutter down and then unleashe hammer fist hell to end the fight.
Not much else to say here as Lutter didn't look good. Mickey Ward presented him with the Moosin trophy of victory. Also, it's safe to say that no one likes the backstage interviewer. Looks aren't everything, I guess.
I hope Moosin bought some extra PPV times as we're 50 minutes out from the usual three-hour block running out with two fights to go.
Travis Wiuff vs. Josh Barnes up next. The generic Moosin The Contender-style has been heard WAY TOO MUCH tonight. My ears are starting to bleed. Some guys have entrance music and others don't...what gives?
Travis Wiuff def. Josh Barnes via 1st round KO (:34)
Both guys are swinging and Wiuff got the best of it early, connecting with a left hand that dropped Barnes. He went on the attack and ended it quick like. Early stoppage? That could be argued. Barnes didn't seem to fight the decision too badly though.
I guess Moosin will make its PPV curfew after all. Vinny Pazienza presented Wiuff with his Moosin winners trophy.
Main event of Tim Sylvia vs. Mariusz Pudzianowski up next. This place is going to erupt when Pudz comes out.
Sylvia is shown on the screens for the first time and there are huge boos. He's definitely playing the heel here tonight. Pudz shown and gets enormous cheers. If he doesn't win, I fear a riot.
This is awesome. Pudz is coming out with some giant rapping in Polish. Crowd is completely into this. Tremendous intro. He's the Polish Hulk Hogan!
Crowd hasn't sat down since Pudz was announced. It's ironic the US Army is sponsoring tonight, yet the Polish fighter is the fan favorite.
Anthems are done...I don't think it could be any louder. This is amazing.
Tim Sylvia def. Mariusz Pudzianowski via 2nd round submission (1:43)
And just like that, we realized that an MMA veteran that held UFC gold twice was fighting a professional strongman who has fought two pro fights.
Sylvia survived an early bull rush and simply picked Pudz apart with efficient strikes and knees off the clinch. Pudz had no answer and was in survival mode after the second minute of the fight.
The crowd didn't stop standing the whole fight and switched to the USA chant once it was obvious that Pudz was going down. Sylvia was like a shark in picking him apart. The end came in the second when Pudz simply dropped to the mat and after Sylvia began to hit him a bit more than he would have liked, he tapped.
Pudz didn't even stick around for the post-fight interviews. Nice way to show appreciation for the crowd that supported you, bud.
Great crowd. Wow...fun night. Off to the post-fight press conference now. If there's anything notable, it will be on my Twitter feed and a follow-up story will be here shortly after it wraps.
G'night from Worcester!