Even though this is a column about amateur boxing, I feel this article on pro mixed martial arts fits in this column because, admittedly, I am an amateur when it comes to my knowledge of MMA. The Washington DC-area is trying to become a player in the Mixed Martial Arts scene. While I do believe that boxing and MMA can co-exist in the same universe, I personally may not be able to straddle that line too well. As far as the card was concerned:
The present and future of pro Mixed Martial Arts came together during a Washington Combat-promoted “Battle of the Legends” card at the DC Armory on May 15.
The main event saw veteran heavyweight Pedro Rizzo of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil defeat Toronto, Canada’s Gary Goodridge after two rounds when Goodridge could not come out for the third round. Rizzo was able to use sound jiu-jitsu and grappling techniques to defeat his taller opponent. Rizzo has a won-loss record of 18-9 while Goodridge falls to 23-21-1.
The co-feature saw one of MMA’s rising stars – middleweight Jordan Smith of Salt Lake City, UT – remain undefeated with a unanimous decision win over Rio de Janeiro’s Gustavo Machado. This was a battle of strikers that was a close contest until late in the third round when Smith caught Machado with a right uppercut that sent Machado to the mats. White tried to wrap up the submission but ran out of time. With the win, Smith is now 12-0 while Machado is 18-8-1.
Local MMA fighters were on the card but were not successful, losing majority decisions. Light heavyweight Manny Okorie of Rockville, MD (0-2) lost to debuting Matt Van Buren of Virginia Beach, VA. Also, featherweight Francisco Salgueriro, making his pro debut, fell to Las Vegas, NV’s Peter Simone, also fighting as a pro for the first time.
In another featherweight contest, DC-born Jahmal McLennan (3-2) lost by third-round TKO to Virginia Beach’s Chris Buckner, who remains undefeated at 3-0. McLennan now fights out of Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Other bouts on the card:
Gabriel Migloli of Sao Paulo, Brazil (2-0) won by third-round stoppage over John George of Las Vegas (2-1) in a lightweight contest.
Light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux of Knoxville, TN (6-4) defeated Claudio Godoy of Sao Paulo (6-8) when Godoy suffered an injury to his right wrist in the third round and could not continue.
Featherweight Marco Galvao (7-3-1) of New York City won by tap out over David Derby of Outer Banks, NC (5-4).
This was the first card promoted by a local company, Washington Combat. While there seemed to be a relatively small crowd in attendance, it was a relatively enthusiastic card.
The promoters pulled out all the stops, including bringing in well-known ring announcer and voice artist Lenne Hardt all the way from her home in Japan. Hardt, apparently, is well known in MMA circles where she worked for the PRIDE league. She is regarded as the premier ring announcer in the sport by many MMA devotees. However, she was not as well-regarded by many in the crowd at the Armory who were not familiar with her work.
Reportedly, Washington Combat will be doing more MMA cards and may add pro boxing to its resume in the near future. Ringside Report applauds them for their efforts and will be following their progress.