Travis Wiuff weighs-in for UFC 52: Couture vs Liddell II. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Revolutionary? The jury’s still out. However YAMMA Pit Fighting’s inaugural show went off without much of a hitch at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where veteran Travis Wiuff (52-11) won three consecutive fights to win the promotion’s first-ever heavyweight tournament last night.
Wiuff’s road to victory contradicted what Bob Meyrowitz and company predicted that YAMMA’s cage, which sported an incline close to the fence all the way around, would prevent. Wiuff used the leverage of the incline to continuously take his opponent down to the mat. YAMMA’s attempt to keep fights on the feet backfired in a big way.
The quarterfinals of the tournament saw former UFC heavyweight champion and tournament-favorite Ricco Rodriguez (28-9) use well-timed takedowns to score a unanimous decision over George Bush (5-1). Chris Tuscherer (13-1) and Wiuff both used the same strategy to earn first-round wins over Tony Sylvester (10-2) and Marcelo Pereira (0-1) respectively.
The first fight of the night saw Alexey Oleinik (7-4) have a point deducted after he continued to punch Sherman Pendergarst (10-9) while referee Kevin Mulhall was bringing the fight back up to the feet. However Olenik quickly scored a takedown and secured a fight-ending front choke with less than a minute left in the first round.
In the semifinals, Minnesota natives Wiuff and Tuscherer dodged submission attempts and scored takedowns against Rodriguez and Olenik to move to the three-round final that saw Wiuff use superior wrestling to earn a unanimous decision and the tournament crown.
Sam Caplan is reporting that IFL heavyweights Bryan Vetell and Shane Ott have both been released from their contracts to the promotion.
Apparently the decision has nothing to do with the performance of both fighters but rather because the IFL is cutting the amount of teams down:
The decision to release the pair is not believed to be performance related as the league is open to re-signing both fighters in 2008. Based on a scheduled contraction from 12 teams to 8, certain fighters have become victims of a numbers game.
Both fighters posted below average records during their stint in the IFL. Vetell racked up wins over Mo Fowzi and Wayne Cole while being knocked out by Roy Nelson, Devin Cole, and Ben Rothwell. Ott’s lone win in the IFL came against Chad Griggs in April. After that Ott dropped a decision to Roy Nelson and was submitted by Antoine Jaoude at the IFL Grand Prix earlier this month.
Brent Beauparlant (185 lbs) vs. Benji Radach (186 lbs)
Bart Palaszewski (155.5 lbs lbs) vs. Chris Horodecki (154 lbs)
Alex Schoenauer (205 lbs) vs. Vladimir Matyushenko (204 lbs)
John Gunderson (155.5 lbs) vs. Wagnney Fabiano (155.5 lbs)
Gideon Ray (173 lbs) vs. Delson Heleno (175 lbs)
Shane Ott (264.5 lbs) vs. Antoine Jaoude (248.5 lbs)
Bryan Vetell (266 lbs) vs. Roy Nelson (261.5 lbs)
Brian Foster (184.5 lbs) vs. Matt Horwich (187.5 lbs)
Donnie Liles (177 lbs) vs. Jay Hieron (170 lbs)
IFL heavyweight Reese Andy will still be competing at the IFL Grand Prix against Antoine Jaoude on November 3rd after all.
Yesterday MMA Weekly reported that Andy was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Rothwell after aggravating lingering leg and hand injuries during a recent training session and would be replaced by Bryan Vetell.
That turned out to be untrue according to IFL President Kurt Otto.
Heavyweight alternate Bryan Vetell will get his chance to compete at the IFL Grand Prix after all as he will replace an injured Reese Andy in the event on November 3rd.
Vetell will be given the fourth seed and will be matched up against Ben Rothwell in the opening round of the tournament.
Andy was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Rothwell after aggravating lingering leg and hand injuries during a recent training session.