Saturday, June 28, 2008

Strikeforce 10-Press Passes?

Walking in to a fight event without press credentials is not as bad as it may seem. I give you my view on the Strikeforce 10 event that took place last night in San Jose, California as a spectator.

We will start off with the weigh-ins, as they were exactly what you would expect. Professional fighters with bottles of water and Pedialyte, trainers, families, fans and media were on hand to provide somewhat of a human current in the room at Dave & Busters in Milpitas, CA.

Round 1-Weigh-ins
The atmosphere was comfortable, and approaching fighters and MMA celebrities to speak with them was simple. I had an opportunity to briefly chat with Bas Rutten, who was accompanied by Mr. Kenny Rice. Bas was very cordial with fans and media alike, as they reproved his status by steadily greeting and speaking with him. Tracy Lee of was in attendance as well. I introduced myself and spoke with her briefly as she was working the event.
Jake Shields (20-4-1) will be fighting for EliteXC's first welterweight title belt versus Nick Thompson (36-9-1). The fight will be on Saturday, July 26th on CBS.

All went smooth at the weigh-ins, other than Josh Thompson weighing-in at a pound over to start the event. A short while passed, the towel was brought out, and all order was restored as the championship weight requirement was met.

Round 2-Strikeforce 10
On to the fights! This amateur journalist had to leave the event before the championship bout between Thompson and Melendez, but I offer up my sentiments on the event up until that point. HP Pavilion was a great venue, although more beverage vendors would have been appreciated. The lighting and large video screens provided great viewpoints, and the ushers made every effort to keep the aisles clear for traffic, making navigating your way around the pavilion comfortable.

The crowd was very involved and boisterously supported the local fighters, and the opposition was not to be outdone. At one point during the Bobby Stack vs. Jose Palacios fight the crowd began a shouting match. "Bobby!Bobby! comes from one side of the stadium, as "Jo-se!Jo-se!" cried out from the other. Jose Palacios is a local San Jose fighter (3-1) who was undefeated until his meeting with Bobby Stack (5-1), of Pacifica, California.

Another pleasing fight for the fight-fans was the bout between Miesha Tate and Elaina Maxwell. Most of the fight was spent on the ground as Tate spent most of the fight transitioning between ground and pound and submission attempts. Although the fight was fairly one-sided, the crowd showed their knowledge of MMA by cheering at every advance taken by a fighter, no matter how subtle.

The booes did not show up until the co-main event between AKA's Bobby Southworth (9-5) and
Anthony Ruiz (20-11). This bout was a title defense for Southworth who last defended the belt in September of 2007 vs. Bill Mahood. It was a hard fought battle for Southworth who had to work all five rounds to keep the game Ruiz at bay. The fight was spent mostly on the ground with Southworth out-working Ruiz and showing the Light-Heavyweight divison that he "is" the champion. Bobby Southworth had his loyal fans on hand for support as they cheered him upon his exit.

Round 3-Wrap up
Although I did not have press credentials, knowing who to look for can present you with great opportunities. Here are a few photos I took at the show and weigh-ins.

I had an opportunity to meet Anthony "Rumble" Johnson (5-1 in the UFC), with a notable and decisive victory over TUF fighter Tommy Spears. Johnson is set to face Kevin Burns (7-1-0) on Spikes' July 19th show. Johnson is an explosive and athletic fighter who attributes his work ethic to his father "pushing him" and his love for athletics. Johnson says he fears "only God" and will fight anyone the UFC puts in front of him. "Rumble" has a bright future ahead of him in the sport and plans to continue his ascent in the welterweight division.

Jeremiah Metcalf (9-4) who had a great performance against World Combat League standout, Raymond Daniels. Meltcalf executed a perfect gameplan and took Daniels to the mat and eventually submitted him by rear naked choke early in the second round. Metcalf looked solid in his performance and provided a great show for the crowd as well.

San Jose continues to stand out as a city that supports MMA, and where anyone with tact and a camera can have a great time.

Here at LibraporLibra's MMA we would like to stand out in the Bay Area as your source for local MMA news, events, and interviews with local fighters.

I would like to thank my wife for encouraging me to do what makes me happy, and I encourage all of you to do the same.

Libra with Paul "The Headhunter" Buentello and "Crazy" Bob Cook of AKA in San Jose, CA.

And Remember, "Life is a fight, Train for it!"

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