Recently I attended the latest Tuff-N-Uff event on August 26th, and I can tell you it was quite a pleasure to see with floor seats. This is my coverage of the main card fights, and I do hope you enjoy it.
There were three title fights on the line, with two of them in the women's divisions, so there was definitely a lot on the line!
Thank you in advance, for reading and leaving a comment about your thoughts on the piece.
From the opening bell, Tompkins goes for an early takedown. Yokoyama sweeps, and get into Tompkins' guard, eventually working into side control. Tompkins works his way up, and presses him against the cage. Both get back to the feet.
This is clearly where Tompkins is at his most comfortable, as he did significantly better than Kyosuke did, connecting with a number of knees. The round ended with Yokoyama in Tompkins' rubber guard.
Round opens with some stand-up, but Yokoyama gets close to David and trips him, and works into the full mount and drops a few shots on him. Tompkins rolls over, and Yokoyama attempts a RNC, but unltimately fails. The round ends yet again with Yokoyama in the dominant position.
Tompkins once again gets the better of the stand-up battle, until Yokoyama presses him against the cage, then takes him down. After letting a few shots go down, David rolls, giving up the back mount. After fending off an RNC attempt once more, the two roll back and forth, with Kyosuke constantly maintaining either the back mount or full mount almost the entire round.
Official result Yokoyama by Unanimous Decision
Both fighters put on a good ground show, but Yokoyama dominated this one. He showed he is very good at transitioning his ground positions, and was decent in striking against the much taller fighter. The dominant wrestler reminded me of Dong Hyun Kim, a little bit, but with a better submission game. He has improved his record to 4-0, and I look forward to seeing him fight again.
The two start out standing, which is Davis' bread-and-butter, then Garza immediately takes her down and moves into half guard. After a minute and a half of trying to work into various submissions, and eventually worked in a guillotine choke from the half guard, forcing Davis to either tap or pass out.
Official decision: Jordan Gaza via Guillotine choke in the first round.
While I did not get to see too much of her stand-up skills, she showed that she has one hell of a ground game, transitioning nicely and just generally impressed. Her Jiu-Jitsu is clearly very impressive, and for a woman of only 18 years old, she has all the time in the world to improve. Definitely look forward to seeing her in the pros.
Davis is good, and had an extremely active guard, but I feel like she needs to evolve to a more well-rounded game before she goes pro.
Both come out aggressive, but not connecting on many of their attacks, pretty much the entire time, with the round ending with a takedown from Isbell. Cranford seemed to throw more heat in his shots and connected a little bit more, so I would have to give that round to him.
Both fighters come out the same way, fighting aggressive. Although, Cranford is hitting on more combos this time around. Isbell has been trying for a number of takedown attempts, but Derick just isn't letting them work.
Once again, the round ends with an Isbell takedown, though. Cranford's striking looks much more technical so far, as he is hitting on more shots and hitting harder. Isbell's right cheek has swollen pretty bad.
Isbell comes out swinging, fighting like he knows he's behind. But Cranford connected on a couple of really big shots in the start though, especially connected on the swollen cheek of Isbell.
After some more exchanges, Cranford takes him down, looking to finish the round without being finished. However, he falls right into a triangle. Luckily for him, Isbell just wasn't quite able to finish it as the round ended.
Official decision: Derick Cranford by Unanimous Decision
This was a very good fight, and closely contested in the beginning. However, after a while it seemed that Roman was just too frustrated and was getting more reckless. Both of these guys are very good fighters, but Cranford fought better tonight. I am definitely looking forward to seeing him one or two more times before he inevitably goes pro.
Damian Jackson is significantly stronger than the 6'2" Van Slyke, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that affects the fight. Both showing respect for each other's striking, until Damian pegs him pretty hard with a superman punch.
Having already tasted some power, Van Slyke then goes in and works for a takedown. Jackson shows a great sprawl, but is eventually pressed up against the cage and brought down. Not a whole lot of action from Vince, and he did no damage through the fight. However, seeing as he was in the dominant position for 1:30, you can't give Jackson the round.
10-9 Van Slyke
The round opens up with little action, both pawing at each other until Jackson goes in and hits Van Slyke with yet another perfect superman punch, which drops him. Dropping a couple hammerfists, Vince gets back up and goes for a takedown, and succeeds in doing so. Van Slyke throws a few punches every few seconds, but does no damage.
However, once again, he was in the dominant position for half the round. But since they each owned half the round, I'd have to go with Jackson, since he did a lot more damage. It's become clear who is the better fighter standing up, to this point
Jackson throws a head kick shortly after the opening bell, then Van Slyke tries for a takedown and fails. Jackson slips throwing a punch, then pulls guard, which Van Slyke jumps into.
From there, Vince throws some punches, but the fight is stood up. Jackson connects with a left, but Van Slyke presses Damian against the cage and ends the round.
10-9 Van Slyke
Official decision: Vincent Van Slyke by unanimous decision
It is a disappointing loss for the ever-talented "Master Chief", but he is young, gifted, and in excellent shape so he will most indubitably improve with time.
On the other side, Van Slyke looked very good with his takedowns and showed that despite being the less powerful fighter, he was able to work leverage well and get Jackson down. I was surprised, and very impressed with how well he did.
The two start off aggressive and work into the clinch, with Liz using her knees to do damage. McDonald presses her against the cage and starts using knees, but the fighters are separated, for Jordan grabbing the fence. Starting up again, Jordan overpowers her and presses her against the cage again, eventually working in a trip takedown.
Liz showed a great guard, turning her hips and flipping her leg over to work in an armbar. Just as McCarthy gets it in deep, the round ends.
Despite the late surge and leaving a pretty bad cut and swollen left eye on McDonald, Jordan was in the dominant position for the majority of the fight and fought through it all. Close round, though.
10-9 Jordan Note: the doctor analyzed McDonald's eye and cleared her to continue.
The ladies clinch once again, both fighters throwing knees.McCarthy jumps into a flying triangle, and after a few seconds, "Lil" Lightning" forces her to tap.
Official decision: Liz McCarthy wins via submission, due to triangle
Both of these girls looked very good in the fight. Jordan trains with Jake Ellenberger (who was also in her corner for the fight) and others at Tapout, and at her age, she is definitely going to improve in the future. She was putting up a good fight and was arguably winning up until the time that she got caught, so I really can't wait to see her come out and fight again. Also, she's a model, which most of you probably didn't know.
McCarthy looked very impressive in the fight for me, as well. She's clearly good with her Jiu-Jitsu and her striking is pretty solid. At only 25, she has plenty of time to become an even more complete fighter before going pro. My only complaint with her is that in the post-win interview, her voice so tiny and quiet that no one could understand what she was saying! But if that's the only down part of her night, I think she's doing just fine.
Church is 6-0 while Jaynes is 28-12 (he is in college, so he can't fight pro just yet), so it's pretty clear which one has the experience advantage. But to see the two fighters next to each other, Matt is significantly larger, and has to be among the biggest 155-ers I've seen in person.
Both fighters start up showing a lot of respect with their striking. Church throws a couple kicks, but misses a few punches. Neither fighter really conencting too cleanly on their strikes.
Church throw a head kick, but Jaynes moves down and takes a HUGE knee to the face and drops to the ground. Church tries to pound him out, but transitions to back mount and pulls the rear-naked choke, forcing Jaynes to tap.
Official decision: Matt Church via submission (RNC)
Both fighters looked good, but Church seriously impressed. He showed crisp striking, and a lot of power. He also proved that he isn't one-dimensional in that he looks to finish a fight any way possible, not just with his power.
Jaynes looked good, but clearly not perfect. He did show that he has a fantastic chin, though, because that knee would have knocked most men out cold, but he was only rocked. At 22 years old, he has plenty of time to improve his game before going to pro within the next year.
When asked if he was going to go pro, Church said "Probably, yeah", but I am thinking it is pretty clear what his decision will be. I hope to see him sign with the UFC, and if not, at least Bellator. He has a lot of talent, for sure.
That man right over there is the next big ring announcer. Justin Bernard has the best announcing voice I've ever heard in MMA, so trust me...there's a reason they call him "The Voice."
Other fighters who performed well:
Jacob Swinney: He showed a rock solid game with good stand-up and an excellent ground game. He was quite dominant in his fight, and was definitely one of the most friendly fighters I met. I can't wait to see how he does in the future
Gabriel Gonzalez: This Wand Fight Team member showed a very good Jiu-Jitsu game in his submission win over Ray Buckner, in the first fight of his career.
Also in attendance: Jake Ellenberger, who was a cornerman for Jordan McDonald
Gilbert Yvel who was a team member of Matt Church, and was very kind when I got a picture with him
Wanderlei SIlva who was a cornerman for two fighters whom he has trained, and was extremely fan-friendly as per usual.
Frank Mir, who co-commentated on a couple of the fights.
And last, but certainly not least, Cody McKenzie (who had to be the nicest fighter I've ever met), who posed with me in a choke-hold for a couple photos. All of the fighters were kind and courteous, which I love to see from people.
Anyway, it was a great night of fights and was a pleasure to cover. The owners really do know what they're doing with these fighters, and I can't wait to see the next event in October.