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King Of The Cage 58: Prime Time review
by Scott Newman (MMA)
Posted on November 29, 2010, 11:02 AM

King Of The Cage 58: Prime Time

08/05/05
San Jacinto, California


-Your hosts are Erik Apple and Michael Westbrook. Odd opening video package shows Tyson Griffin looking menacing despite him not fighting on this card.

Fernando Gonzalez vs Aaron Torres

Donít know either of these fighters. Gonzalez is announced as being 190lbs which would put them as small LHWs Iíd guess. He looks like a small Dan Christison actually. Torres is 180lbs, which is just odd as heíd make MW, then. Really weird moment on commentary as Apple and Westbrook sound like theyíve put their mics down to argue over something. Donít ask me.

Pair of big left hooks from Gonzalez lead them into a clinch where they muscle for position. They break and trade wildly and Gonzalez lands some hard shots that have Torres hurt. They clinch again before breaking and Gonzalez lands some more clean shots. No idea how Torres is still standing. Big knee lands as Torres shoots, and he winds up flat on his stomach and takes some more shots. Gonzalez lets him up and referee Larry Landless decides Torres has had enough and stops it.

Good stoppage as Torres was blatantly done. Apparently he verbally tapped in fact. Sloppy striking from Gonzalez but it got the job done.

Rob McCullough vs Jeremy Jones

ĎRazorí Rob! Iíve been critical of this guy in the past actually but I do sort of like him, I just get frustrated in that heís pumped up so hugely by commentators and doesnít always deliver that well. Certainly comes off like a badass though and I think the unknown Jones is in big trouble, especially as itís apparently his MMA debut. And wow, Razor Rob brings Tito Ortiz AND Rampage Jackson out with him! And Tiki Ghosn, but thatís less of a big deal.

Fight begins and both men throw some kicks, but itís Razor Rob who lands, a nasty kick to the body that causes Jones to shoot in. McCullough stuffs it and continues to stalk forward throwing kicks as Jones tries to keep distance with an odd side kick. Huge right hand lands for Razor Rob and drops Jones like a ton of bricks, and a few more shots on the ground stop things.

Brutal finish for Razor Rob over a painfully overmatched opponent. I actually felt sorry for poor Jones here and I never normally get that. But shit, would YOU want to face Rob McCullough in your pro MMA debut?

Shawn Bias vs John De La O

Bias is a pretty well-known guy on this circuit, as heís fought the likes of Urijah Faber before if I recall correctly. Not heard of De La O but he has the worst name in MMA and Iím sure his record of 23-4 canít be correct.

They exchange some early strikes into a clinch and Bias looks for a takedown and gets it, planting De La O on his back. Full guard from De La O, but he eats some solid punches. Bias moves into half-guard and avoids a guillotine to deliver some more ground-and-pound. De La O manages to get back to full guard, but he takes some more elbows before trying an armbar. Bias pulls out though and takes the back, then gets full mount and opens up with punches and De La O looks in trouble. De La O manages to get to half-guard and then scrambles to full guard, where he tries a guillotine, but Bias slams his way out and follows with a mini-slam that flash KOs De La O! A punch wakes him back up and the ref obviously didnít spot it as he lets it go, but another series of punches land for Bias. De La O manages to turn over and looks for a takedown, but finds himself in a mounted guillotine after a roll and Bias squeezes to get the tapout.

Really fun stuff as De La O tried everything to avoid the loss but in the end Bias had too much skill for him to handle. One-sided but De La Oís desperation made it watchable.

Buddy Clinton vs John Caulson

Clinton is the Gracie student from KOTC 48 and on that show he tapped out a way overmatched opponent. Not heard of Caulson so the odds on it happening again must be high.

They exchange punches and Caulson stuns Clinton right away, dropping him, but as he looks to follow up Clinton goes for a leglock. Heel hook attempt from Clinton but Caulson pops free, only to wind up on his back in half-guard. Caulson gets to full guard for a moment, but Buddy passes back into half-guard and then into side mount. Caulson rolls, but ends up stuck in a triangle choke and Clinton tightens it and pulls on the head for the submission.

Another win for Clinton over an overmatched opponent, as despite Caulson catching him early he was unable to capitalize and fell right into the triangle choke.

Paulo Dantas vs Jay Valencia

Announcer claims Dantas is 18-1, and according to Sherdog that wouldíve been correct! Heís also from American Top Team meaning my interest in this fight just skyrocketed. Featherweights, too.

They circle and it looks like Valenciaís setting up for a takedown. Suddenly though Dantas comes in with a HUGE FLYING KNEE AND KNOCKS HIM SENSELESS!~!

Holy SHIT. That was one of the best flying knee KOs Iíve ever seen. Up there with James Irvin on Terry Martin and Kid Yamamoto on Kazuyuki Miyata. Incredibly brutal knockout.

John Alessio vs Shannon Ritch

Ha, man, real veteranís fight, this one. According to the ring announcer this is Shannon the Cannonís 144th pro MMA fight, which is insane. Got to respect that even if heís seen as a tomato can these days. Alessio meanwhile was just a couple of fights away from his 2006 UFC return. Pretty intense staredown from these two.

Fight begins and Alessio pushes forward with the jab and shrugs off a takedown attempt. Big right hand lands for Shannon and he follows with a glancing head kick, but Alessio seems fine. They clinch up but Alessio breaks off and then drops the Cannon with a combo and follows with some strikes on the ground for the stoppage.

Total mismatch as after he got hit cleanly once, Ritch looked like he didnít want to be in there and just folded. Apparently he took the fight on short notice though so hey. As one-sided a fight as youíll see in MMA.

Mike Guymon vs Ray Perales

Never heard of Perales but Guymon is one of the most likeable guys in MMA and I was really pleased for him that he made it to the UFC earlier this year. He looks in AMAZING shape here and Justin Levens (RIP) is in his corner. That whole fight camp with Ruas, Levens, Guymon and Cub Swanson, et al always seemed really cool to me.

We get underway and Guymon slips on a high kick, but lands a stiff right hand. He looks for the single leg and then switches to a double and gets Perales down, working into half-guard. Solid elbows from Guymon and he follows with some more hard ground-and-pound. Guymon works into full mount and lands more elbows, and Iím surprised Perales is still in this. He takes some more shots but somehow manages to roll into top position. Guymon looks calm from his back though and swiftly slaps on a triangle when Perales tries to posture up. Perales does a good job of escaping and getting back into the guard, but a second attempt at the triangle is more successful and forces the tapout.

Guymon looked excellent there with skills all round and you can see why he eventually made it into the UFC once the company really began to expand, as heís not a top fifteen guy or anything but is definitely a solid talent. Perales showed heart but little else and against someone like Guymon that usually wonít cut it.

Cub Swanson vs Mondo Sanchez

Big fan of Cub Swanson here Ė have been since before his WEC days even due to the Levens connection Ė so excuse any biases. Indeed, Levens is in Cubís corner and dwarfs him, ha. Never heard of Sanchez but ĎMondoí is an odd name for sure.

Front kick to open things for Swanson and he avoids some strikes from Mondo. Takedown from Sanchez but Swanson catches him on the way down in a guillotine. Cub tries to use it to get up, but Sanchez pushes forward and then they stand. Swanson still has the guillotine and he uses it to hit a sweep, landing on top in full mount. That was nice. Good punches from Swanson as Sanchez covers up, and then he really opens up with some vicious elbows. Sanchez looks in trouble and isnít defending, and Doc Hamilton calls it there.

Very good showing from Swanson as he used some awesome skill to take top position pretty much from nowhere and once he got the mount it was all over. Itís taken another six years since this fight but I look forward to seeing Swanson in the UFC in 2011.

James Lee vs Chris Peak

As I said in the KOTC 48 review, James Lee was always real good on this circuit, blowing through overmatched guys with ease, and Peakís introduced as being 10-10 in his career, so you can probably guess how this is going to go!

We get underway and Lee comes forward and takes some knees before they scramble and Peal ends up on his back looking for a kimura. Announcers seem confused as to whoís who. And itís no surprise as joining Apple now is RAMPAGE, who they didnít bother announcing for some reason! Ha. Lee gets a slam and lands on top in half-guard, where he lands some punches before dropping back for a heel hook. Peak looks in trouble and Lee gets the heel hook locked up to force the tap.

Typical one-sided win for James Lee as Iíve seen a lot of times in KOTC. Post-fight Quinton rips on Peak for waiting until his knee popped before tapping, before begging to see the replay of the slam. He then claims Lee doesnít train properly, saying how he called him the day before this fight saying he probably ought to do something but hey, the fightís tomorrow. HA. Commentary was as entertaining as the fight.

-Erik Apple now introduces KOTC promoter Terry Trebilcock as joining him on commentary, and then we get a segment introducing KOTC ICON BRAD and the ring girls, before a really good version of the US national anthem. Amazing vocals from whoever the singer is.

Nam Phan vs Joe Frainee

Phan is of course competing right now on TUF 12 where heíll probably gain the most fame in his career, but heís been around FOREVER and this was his eleventh bout. Frainee? No idea.

They trade punches and Phan tags him right away, showing a clear advantage in the stand-up. Frainee connects with a couple of sloppy shots himself and gets into the clinch, but he takes a knee to the groin and drops like a sack of potatoes. Ref calls time to let Frainee continue, and doesnít take a point from Phan as it was clearly unintentional. They restart and exchange punches and this time Frainee gets the better of it, wobbling Phan with a jab. Frainee wades in with a big knee and some punches into the clinch, and now heís all over Phan with more knees. Phan survives though and manages to break off. They continue to trade from close quarters and Phan has taken a lot of shots. Frainee gets a takedown and lands some solid ground-and-pound, but almost gets caught in a triangle when he gets too sloppy. Frainee escapes and continues to land with elbows and punches, but leaves himself open again and this time Phan manages to lock up an armbar and he rolls through onto his stomach and extends it for the tapout.

Wow, total come-from-behind win for Nam Phan who took some serious damage from Frainee. This showed Phanís biggest weakness actually Ė a Gurgel-like penchant for pointless trading Ė and it wouldíve cost him the fight had Frainee been more tight with his top game. Fun fight, at any rate.

Emanuel Newton vs Hector Ramirez

This ought to be sloppy as Sick Dog Ramirez always swings wildly for the fences and gasses fast, while I remember Newton from a super-sloppy fight in the old WEC from around this same time period. Hopefully itíll be funny sloppy rather than boring sloppy.

Bell sounds and surprisingly Ramirez looks for the takedown and forces Newton into the fence. Didnít expect that. They muscle for position and exchange some short strikes before Newton breaks. Sick Dog looks for the single leg again but Newton stuffs it and they go back into the clinch. Again Newton breaks off after a while and comes in with some weird kicks, but Ramirez clinches and they trade punches. They break off and we get a wild trade with both men landing, finally! Sick Dog clinches again and forces Newton into the fence, and weíre back to muscling for position. They break again but Newton quickly rushes back in with punches. Into the clinch again and they exchange knees, before Hector breaks and they trade wildly once more into another clinch. Newton stuffs a takedown and breaks off, and he opens up with a combo and we get another CRAZY exchange with both landing clean. Back to the clinch with seconds to go and the round ends with another exchange from close range.

Round Two and this time Newton shoots, but Ramirez sprawls nicely and they trade some more shots. Single leg attempt from Ramirez is stuffed and they end up back in the clinch. Beautiful outside trip puts Ramirez down, but he pops up very quickly back into the clinch. Little action happens as they exchange shots in the clinch, but the action slows up now as both men look tired. Ref Doc Hamilton calls the break and they exchange from range before trading wildly back into the clinch. Again they break and Ramirez looks for the takedown, but Newton hits a switch and almost gets a takedown of his own before they separate. Action is much slower now as theyíre both gassed. Back into the clinch and it looks like theyíre happy to trade shots from there. Ref calls the break and they exchange some more punches, but Ramirez still canít get Newton down and they end up clinched to end the round. No idea how Iíd score that.

Judges have it a draw, which is perfectly understandable as both men landed about the same amount of shots, both stuffed takedowns and both men ended up gassed by the end. First round was fun, but the second was pretty slow and on a show where itís all been first round finishes this did get dull in the end.

Thomas Denny vs Frank Kirmse

Kirmse is a Gracie Barra guy and his video package makes him look pretty badass, but I havenít heard of him and with a record of 5-3 Iím not expecting anything overly special, no offense. The Wildman is, well, The Wildman. You know what youíre getting. His pre-fight promo shows him being oiled down by two porno star-looking women. He also gets his own custom entrance video, complete with shots of a masked Wildman running around shirtless in a graveyard. Really.

Kirmse comes out looking to close the distance, but his stance is awful and he leaves himself wide open, and sure enough Wildman capitalizes and drops him with a series of strikes. Kirmse tries to cling to a leg for a takedown, but the Wildman gets on top in half-guard and continues to land before Kirmse ties him up. Kirmse reverses and gets a takedown of his own into half-guard, then Denny gets back to full guard. Triangle attempt from Denny, but Kirmse does a good job and manages to posture out before flipping the Wildman over. Guillotine attempt from Kirmse and he pulls guard, but a reversal puts him on the top again. Another guillotine attempt follows, but Denny passes into side mount to alleviate the choke and in a scramble, Kirmse gives his back and the Wildman hops on. From there he gets the rear naked choke and Kirmse taps out.

Solid enough grappling-based fight with some decent reversals. Nothing more to say really. Announcers sell it as a shock that Denny would tap a Gracie student, but then Denny is very experienced and Kirmse wasnít, so I donít see it as an upset myself.

Post-fight Denny calls out KOTC Welterweight champ James Fanshier for a rematch, and I guess Wildman is the Interim champ or something as Fanshier gets in the cage and gives Denny some abuse, ripping on his title and saying he was created by Terry Trebilcock! Ha! Odd stuff but if you were following KOTC at this point it probably wouldíve made sense.

Wes Combs vs Brian Sesma

Combs is out in full military fatigues here. Hopefully he shows some better striking than in the last fight I saw him involved in as it was appalling. Not heard of Sesma but based on what I know of Combsís KOTC run this wonít last long for him.

They exchange some leg kicks to begin and then begin to throw punches and sure enough Combs is as sloppy as ever. Sesma grabs a clinch and forces Combs into the fence, but he breaks off and throws an overhand right. They exchange some more, pretty much going punch-for-punch, and finally Combs opens up with his TRADEMARK FLAILING COMBO and chases Sesma across the cage before dropping him for the KO.

Man, I would love to see Combs try that against a legit striker. Makes me wish heíd been put in with someone pinpoint accurate in the UFC (not that Wilson Gouveia isnít actually, but he just took Combs down) like Machida just because it wouldíve been funny to see him picked apart.

Manny Tapia vs Gregory Vivian

We get very little information about Vivian Ė the announcers are practically silent during his introduction, like they donít know a thing about the guy either. All they really say is that heís a Jiu-Jitsu stylist and that his coachís name is Silva. Tapia of course went on to bigger fame in the Zuffa WEC, where he beat a lot of good fighters en route to an unsuccessful title shot against Miguel Torres. Good, exciting fighter though.

Vivian comes out swinging, but Tapia quickly ducks under and hits a takedown to guard. Vivian looks to tie him up, but Tapia lands some short punches and then manages to remain on top in a scramble. Tapia pins him into the cage and opens up with a heavy flurry that has Vivian covering up. Really good shots land for Manny and Vivian is in trouble. Vivian tries to scoot out but looks stuck, and Tapia locks up an arm triangle choke and hops from half-guard to mount to side mount, and tightens it up for the tapout.

Tapia just whitewashed that guy with very little effort Ė so much for the announcers trumping Vivianís BJJ game, he looked totally lost on his back. Good win for Tapia who you normally just see striking on his feet!

Joey Villasenor vs Jorge Santiago

Ah wow, this should be good. Villasenor was on his really impressive run at this stage, without a loss since 2002, but Santiago was clearly his toughest test to date as up to that point heíd largely been fighting low-level guys on the KOTC circuit. Santiago meanwhile wasnít as highly regarded as he is today Ė heíd taken losses at 170lbs to the likes of Diego Sanchez and Manny Gamburyan Ė but anyone with a BJJ black belt fighting out of American Top Team is naturally dangerous.

We begin and they circle before Santiago throws a combo that causes Joey to grab the clinch and muscle him into the cage. Takedown from Villasenor but Santiago goes for an oma plata. Villasenor has to flip his way free and he winds up on the bottom in guard. They exchange from the guard with Santiago landing some nice elbows. Villasenor manages to escape to his feet and then forces Santiago into the fence, landing some knees to the legs. They continue to exchange knees from the clinch before Villasenor breaks with a high knee. Head kick misses for Santiago and he lands a right hand back into the clinch. Good elbow from Villasenor on the break and he pushes the action with strikes. Pair of right hands land for him into the clinch and both men look for the takedown before Santiago throws a big right hand and shoots. Villasenor stuffs it and winds up on top, dropping some BIG PUNCHES that hurt Santiago, and he looks out of it as the round ends! Surprised Herb Dean hasnít stopped this actually as Santiago looks done.

Santiago decides to come out for Round Two but he still looks wobbly and has to grab the clinch right away as Villasenor comes forward swinging. Villasenor breaks off and avoids a pair of high kicks before landing a good knee. Left hook lands glancingly for Villasenor and Santiago drops to his back in guard, but Villasenor refuses to go down and lands a spin kick to the butt before dropping some punches from above. Joey forces Santiago back to his feet, and he swings into the clinch before dropping to his back again. Joeyís having none of that and forces him back up, but he walks into a solid overhand right from Santiago that forces him to clinch! Good right hand breaks for Joey and they trade some shots with both men swinging for the fences. Back into the clinch now and Santiago looks for the plum, but Joey breaks off. They continue to trade shots before going back to the clinch, and Joey rocks Santiago with an elbow and follows with a right hand. Santiago collapses to the ground again and Joey lands some shots from above before going into half-guard. Big elbow from Villasenor and he leaves Santiago lying on his back to end the round.

Third and final round and a stiff jab opens things for Villasenor. Good overhand right from Santiago causes Villasenor to clinch and force him into the fence. Nice shoulder butt from Villasenor in the clinch, not seen those in a long time. Joey breaks off and Santiago comes in swinging with a combination, but Villasenor grabs the clinch again and they exchange from there. Action slows down a little from the clinch and Villasenor works with the shoulder strikes before Herb Dean separates them. Big combination from Santiago coming forward and heís really swinging for the fences. He leaves himself too open though and gets dropped coming forward by a knee from Villasenor, who gets on top and looks to seal the deal. Somehow Santiago survives but Villasenor calls him back to his feet. Good right from Santiago and he comes out swinging, but Villasenor gets a bodylock and slams him to the ground. Full guard from Santiago with less than a minute to go and Joey continues landing punches on top before standing to kick at the legs of the downed Brazilian. Herb Dean calls Santiago up and he continues to swing for the fences, but Joey fires right back with counters and the fight ends with an exchange on the feet. Iíve got this fight for Joey Villasenor, but man did Santiago show some heart.

Judges all score it in favour of the KOTC Middleweight Champion, Joey Villasenor. Santiago was a very tough challenge for him though as he wasnít blown away like Villasenorís previous KOTC opponents, despite for all intents and purposes being knocked out at the end of the first round. The fight couldíve been stopped there but Santiago came back out fighting, and it made for a really good, UFC-level fight in the end. Real good main event.

-Highlight reel ends our night.

Final Thoughts....

Excellent KOTC show, as while the majority of the fights finished quickly, a lot of them werenít actually one-sided and were skilled and competitive, while the squashes all ended in brutal highlight-reel fashion. There were a couple of crappy fights Ė Ramirez-Newton wasnít great and the Wes Combs fight was horrendously sloppy Ė but they were in the minority and a UFC-level main event is nothing to be sneezed at for a promotion like this. Thumbs way up.

Best Fight: Villasenor-Santiago
Worst Fight: Ramirez-Newton

Overall Rating: ****1/4

Coming Soon....

UFC: 118-122, Fight Night 22
King of the Cage: Various shows

Until next time,

Scott Newman:
NewmanMMA@gmail.com



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