Friday Night Fights was back at the Broad Street Ballroom Friday night with a short but sweet card of great fights. The action started with a scrappy, rock ‘em sock ‘em bout with very little kicking but a lot of punching, followed by a fight that had all the clinching, kneeing, and kicking that the first fight lacked.
The next two JR. Middleweight fights were very exciting, with Mike Koufalis kicking off a night of victories for Renzo Gracie NYC. The southpaw used beautiful technique and striking combinations to break the three fight win streak of Weapons 9’s formerly undefeated Sean McCardle. McCardle was rocked twice in round 2 and failed to answer the bell for round 3, giving Koufalis the win by TKO. After that, N.J. McLaughlin made short work of Eric Broullet with a TKO 1 minute 22 seconds in round 1. Then Jafar “Cookie Monster” Toshev won the crowd over with packs of cookies as well as the fight against Chris Tapia. Tapia looked very powerful, but couldn’t seem to capitalize on most of their striking exchanges or in the clinch, while Toshev utilized a very nasty face teep and low kick and eventually took the win by UD.
The Main Event was a full rules pro bout between Joe Sampieri and James Martinez. Martinez swept Sampieri immediately but Sampieri bounced right up and spent the rest of the round in beast mode and made Martinez pay; he dumped Martinez on the ground repeatedly and was very aggressive. Martinez was visibly rocked at the end of the round, got an eight count and was only narrowly saved by the bell. Sampieri continued to dominate in round two, dropping Martinez with a right head kick that gave him the win by TKO at 46 seconds into the round.
The next fight was a full rules five round bout between amateur featherweight fighters with hair statements, Joe ‘Mustache’ Mueller and Rudy ‘Flat Top’ Felix (not their actual fight names). Both fighters started slowly but rapidly proceeded to flashier techniques and flying strikes, which were a pleasure to watch. Felix dominated the first half of the fight but seemed to lose speed in the later rounds, which allowed Mueller to come back in the clinch.
Following was the only title fight of the night, a full rules five round fight for the JR. Middleweight Title Belt between Sean Fagan and Chris Williams. Williams, who fought just a few weeks ago in New Jersey, controlled the fight and outmuscled Fagan in the clinch. Fagan was very gritty and managed to cut Williams in round one, but couldn’t seem to get anything else started until round four, when his right cross started landing. Williams continued to dominate but was docked a point in round five for an illegal knee, and judges opted to give the win to hometown favorite, Fagan, by UD.
The final Co-Main event fight was a full rules pro bout between Elijah Clarke and Michael Stevens. Clarke had the reach advantage but Stevens was able to get in and force the fight into the clinch, and was not shy about throwing elbows either. There was some confusion about the actual length of the fight, whether it was to be three rounds or five rounds, and while both fighters looked game to keep it going, much to everyone’s disappointment the fight was called at the end of three rounds. Clarke got the final win of the night for Renzo Gracie NYC by split decision.
Friday Night Fights August 16th Results
- Jonathon Nieves (Square Circle, NY) def Manuel Coleote (Next Generation Muay Thai, BK) via UD
- Joseph Suarez (Sitan Gym NY) def Raynaldo Nieves (TSK MMA) via UD
- Mike Koufalis (Renzo Gracie NY) def Sean McCardle (Weapons 9, NJ) via TKO (failure to answer bell, Round 3)
- N.J. MacLaughlin (Blade Fist Muay Thai, LI) def Eric Broullet (Precision Muay Thai, LI) via TKO RD 1 (1 minutes, 22 seconds)
- Jafar Toshev (Next Generation) def Chris Tapia (Weapons 9, NJ) via UD
- Joseph Sampieri (Renzo Gracie NY) def James Martinez (Wink Tactical Striking, Albuquerque, NM) via TKO RD 2 (head kick, 46 seconds)
- Joe Mueller (Art of Eight) def Rudy Felix (Sitan Gym NY) via UD
- Sean Fagan (Evolution Muay Thai) def Chris Williams (Pound4Pound MMA, Toronto Canada) via UD
- Elijah Clarke (Renzo Gracie NY) def Michael Stevens (Tampa Muay Thai, FL) via Split Decision