Gene Click, Matt Chambers and Tim Loy put on one of the best Mixed Martial Arts shows I have attended.
The event was held at the Grand Resort Convention Center in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. Fighters had plenty of space to prepare and warm-up backstage with their trainers, while the cage was well positioned so that there was not a bad seat in the house. It was a full card with the 1st rounds for the 145 and 155 Grand Prix series. Multiple 3FC title belts were on the line. Title matches for the night included the heavyweight, 205, 170, and two belts for the 135 weight class including the vacant ISKA TN title. The fighters included top ranked talent according to Around the Octagon (ATO). This was a regional event with fighters representing schools from the whole south east including: AL, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN and VA.
The Main Card
Alex Anderson set the tone for the night by finishing Chris Crawford in the 2nd round by strikes. Gib Frye wins in his debut against Jon Mooneyham in the 2nd by rear naked choke (RNC).
This was the first of 4 wins by RNC.
Anthony Morgan defeats Dustin Smith by RNC in the 1st. Donnie Mashburn earns KO of the night honors with fierce striking against Harold Ivy in the 1st. Zach Pace beats Mark Nunn. Pace controlled all three rounds resulting in stoppage in the 3rd from mounted position. Adam Hyde defeats Chico Henry in the 3rd with strikes from the mount. Reno Mullins defeated Rocky Lange 2nd. Reno controlled the fight which ended with a 2nd round KO. Yvgene Zotov wins by decision over Jerry Bentley in a close match up that kept the crowd on their feet.
Next up was action from the first round of the 145 lb grand prix. The Grand Prix series consists of three rounds or sets of matches, with semis planned for March and Finals expected in June. The winners of the grand prix will be awarded a 3 fight pro contract with Sport Fight X.
In the 1st bout of the 145 Grand Prix; VA Arena and Extreme MMA champion Kevin Depriest was pitted against undefeated James Foy. At the start of the bout Depriest appeared to be on the brink of exploding, while Foy stood calmly in his corner with a determined look on his face. After several exchanges the fight went to the ground where Foy applied the choke, forcing Depriest to tap during the first.
The second bout of the Grand Prix saw Billy Mullins, ATO ranked #9 versus Alabama State Wrestling Champion, Trent Dodson. Mullins continued the quick pace by locking in a tight guillotine that his corner was calling for from the bottom that forced Dodson to tap early in the first.
Number two in the 145lb ATO rankings, Chris Hall and Adam Glenn, ranked sixth at 170lb by ATO went the distance in a grueling 3 round war that showcased the skill sets of both fighters. An inadvertent knee to the head of Glenn created a 5 min delay allowing time for Glenn to recover. Ultimately the match ended in a split decision victory for Hall.
Representing Team Relentless and ranked seventh by ATO in TN, Jon Scott Somerfield proved to be relentless by executing a choke on Wictagon Champion Jack Podgorski, ATO ranked ninth in KY in the first round. With the choke Somerfield earned submission of the night and concluded the first round of the 145 Grand Prix.
For the 3FC 205 title bout saw Mikey Braden ranked #1 by the ATO was briskly defeated by #9 ATO Jake Fine by Rear Naked Choke (RNC). This was a fast and exciting fight that left fans wanting to see more MMA action. Braden applied the RNC in the first round with finesse and proved that Fine deserved to be the champion.
In the 135 pound weight class there were two belts on the line 3FC/ TN ISKA. Cody Chesser ranked eighth by the ATO stunned Matt Coakley with an early flurry of strikes in the first. Matt Coakley was able to close in and take the fight to the ground and take control. There were multiple exchanges and went the distance for a split decision for Coakley. The battle awarded both young men The Fight of the Night.
Tyler Sly ranked sixth by ATO and AL ACF Champion and SC Fight Promotions Champion; Amos Collins started the first bout of the 155 Grand Prix with Collins dominating the majority of the rounds. Collings was able to advance to semi finals with a decision from the judges.
3FC ranked second Lightweight Scott Holtzman was dominate on the ground while Tyler Wilson ranked eight by the ATO was dominate in striking. Both guys were undefeated going into the Grand Prix. While dominating on the ground, Holtzman was able to lock in a tight RNC in the 2nd round.
Josh Downing ranked ninth by ATO TN was in top form as he forcefully had his way with Ortez Thompkins who is ranked seventh in KY by the ATO. Downing maintained control of the fight and had no problems finishing Thompkins with an arm bar in the first round. Downing will prove to be a formidable opponent in the semifinals.
Jesse Grissom ranked first by the ATO proved that he deserves to be called the best lightweight in the state of TN. Yannick Jones holds the rankings of eighth in TN and third in KY. This was a good match up as both fighters gave it everything they had. Grissom wins by decision and improves his undefeated record to 11-0.
The Co-Main event for the 3FC 170 title between Brandon Sexton ranked eighth ATO and Jake Underwood was a ground game until the end. Both fighters demonstrated ground and pound moves that ended up being left in the judges hands. Sexton would prove victorious and walked away with the belt.
The main event of the evening would prove to be very a fast and furious bout between Cole Mason Champions Freestyle MMA/Birmingham, AL and Isaac Fine/Hard Knox combat Club/Knoxville, TN. "The bigger the guys are the harder the punches land.” stated Todd Murray, ISKA Regional Supervisor. This proved to be true in this case. Mason won the fight by TKO/referee stoppage in the first round, leaving Fine’s face a bloody mess.
3FC VI proved to be a very exciting event; the Grand Prix matches are shaping up to be highly competitive. I wouldn’t want to miss 3FC VII.