MMA Kickboxing and Grappling – Oh My!!

By on November 14, 2020
Jerald Spohn and Kyle Koziel battled it out in the main event for (photo Jordan Raiff)

Tampa, Florida is becoming more synonymous with MMA as the months pass on, and Vigilant MMA brought solid variety to their “CQ 10” event on November 7th, 2020. From traditional caged MMA (with kick pads), No-Gi grappling, and kickboxing, with titles galore up for grabs; this card was stacked with something for everyone.

          Opening the night was a 125lb title fight with Tabari Grubbs taking on Markevian Williams. Opening with a mantis position, Grubbs started off defending stiff kicks from Williams, setting the stage for a brilliant defensive match. Despite this defense, Williams quickly scored a strong takedown where they remained off and on before ending the round on their feet with Grubbs doing as much as he could to even things up and put Williams on the floor.

Grubbs vs Williams (photo Jordan Raiff)

          The second round was a bit more reserved as each fighter had began to zone in on where their opponent was attacking. With Grubbs still looking to go to the ground, Williams mostly kept defending the takedowns expertly. Once taken to the ground, Williams waist locked Grubbs on the mat as both men struggled for position. After fighting their way back to their feet, the closing seconds ended with both men exchanging shots in an attempt to win the round.

Tabari Grubbs victorious (photo Jordan Raiff)

          With the third and final round, both men moved like the first bell had just sounded. With Williams now on the takedown charge, Grubbs used his knowledge of the moves to remain on his feet. With a stiff charge to the abs, Grubbs took him down and kept him there for a solid 30 seconds while looking for the submission in various ways. Despite this, Williams found himself able to stop the maneuvers with the ref standing them up. As the round drew to a close Grubbs was exhausted, but still just as ready to go if they could. Going to the score cards, Grubbs did enough to win. Winner: Tabari Grubbs by Unanimous Decision

Loud vs Diaz (photo Jordan Raiff)

          Up second, Colton Loud took on Gabriel Diaz in kickboxing. Diaz was definitely nervous before this fight, even leaving his head gear behind; forcing his cornerman to run for it. While both were energetic as the fight began, Loud nearly lost his helmet with a vicious headshot 30 seconds in. Considering how often both fighters were going for head and neck shots, it’s a surprise either fighter was able to keep their helmet on.

Loud pounds Diaz (photo Jordan Raiff)

          Starting off the second round, Loud went after Diaz with a rough midsection kick, that Diaz was able to catch and use to dump him on his back. This didn’t make much difference as Diaz responded back but simply NAILING home an abdominal kick that put Diaz down and left him sucking air. As the round ended it seemed like his corner was considering tossing in the towel, but Diaz came back out.

Colton Loud the victor! (photo Jordan Raiff)

          As the fighters went to touch gloves, Loud hit a spinning kick to the same spot in Diaz’s abdomen, sending him to the ground. While the ref attempted to give him time to return to his feet, Diaz was done. This move left much of the crowd very upset at this poor show of sportsmanship. However, the golden rule in any fight is to protect yourself at all times, and it was apparent Diaz just could not do that. Winner: Loud by TKO

Tuck vs Rodriguez (photo Jordan Raiff)

          Devon Tuck was up next taking on Ricardo Rodriguez in a 190 lb Title Elimination No-Gi grappling match. As the fighters clinched up, Tuck drove Rodriguez to the side of the cage, and down to the ground. As Rodriquez remained on his back trying to outmaneuver his opponent, Tuck was able to find the Kimura lock for the quick submission. Winner: Tuck by Submission (Kimura Lock).

Devon Tuck (photo Jordan Raiff)

          Running cleanup, Marcellus Wallace and Olu Brinson battled it out in a 160lb Title Eliminator MMA match. Opening up with several kicks, Wallace couldn’t seem to make anything land. As Brinson struck back with shoulders and fists, Wallace kept the offense coming. With both fighters exchanging blows, this was an exciting and even round.

Wallace vs Brinson (photo Jordan Raiff)

          Coming out of his corner with a flying kick, Wallace found nothing but air as Brinson easily moved away. Brinson was able to counter these leg attacks and seemed very ready for this maneuver. His counter striking was simply phenomenal.

Wallace vs Brinson (photo Jordan Raiff)

          The third round kicked off with both fighters knowing that they needed this round to win. They came out of their corners and exchanged strikes left and right. Eventually Wallace found and opening and attempted a takedown that Brinson was able to stay up from. Wallace was able to bound back from this defense and land more head and thigh shots as the round continued. When the final 10 second clacks sounded, the strikes flew out from both sides yet again. Looking to make a final impression, they left it all out there. In the end Williams took the decision as both fighters got on their knees and bowed to one another while shaking hands as the scores were added up. Winner: Wallace by Split Decision

Wallace vs Brinson (photo Jordan Raiff)
Jones vs Cordova (photo Jordan Raiff)

          With the 160lb No-Gi Title on the line, Tyler Jones took on Wesley Cordova. Both fighters opened up the round fighting for position. Cordova found himself on the mat first, but quickly finding his feet yet again by twisting out of Jones’ grip. Dancing around one another, Jones was able to put Cordova down yet again. With Jones firmly on top, he rained down open handed strikes as Cordova made faces at the fans and stuck his tongue out. With these strikes not phasing him, Cordova was able to standup with Jones halfway up his back before going back down. Back down on the ground, Cordova was able to reach around and slap Jones repeatedly. Now on his feet, Cordova was able to get on Jones and look for his submission. Jones countered with a series of leg and arm locks that Cordova countered by lifting Jones up and nearly shaking him off. As the rounded ended Cordova was able to escape with more hard slaps.

Jones vs Cordova (photo Jordan Raiff)

          The second round began on the ground, with Cordova wrapped around Jones as both were seated. Jones could not seem to escape the squeeze and grip of Cordova as they rolled around. Now switching up, Jones was behind Cordova and found himself quickly lifted up by Cordova while hanging on for dear life with his legs, all while upside down. As Cordova freed himself, they switched positions and Cordova kept dominating the match to win by points. Winner: Cordova by points

Peterson vs Amado (photo Jordan Raiff)

          The 150lb MMA title was up next, featuring Cory Peterson taking on Adam Amado. Peterson was the first to strike with swift kicks that took him off his own feet they were so sudden. Getting back up, each fighter was looking for the takedown with true vigor. Amado eventually got Peterson against the cage, choosing for upper chest and abdominal strikes before he recovered. With Peterson now back up, he charged Amado against the other side of the cage, and both continuously on the floor in different positions as the round ended.

Peterson vs Adamo (photo Jordan Raiff)

          Peterson opened the second round with one of the most vicious front kicks to the face I have ever seen. His forehead now wide open and leaking blood, Peterson found himself firmly on the defense. Battling back, he got Amado against the cage and delivered what appeared to initially be a kick to the lower abdominals that sent Amado to the ground. The ref stopped the fight to the objection of many in attendance. The ref saw what many missed; as shot far too low that caught Peterson in the groin. Once the fight resumed Amado came back out swinging before taking his opponent to the ground with authority. Now on his back, Amado sunk in a rear naked choke deep. As Peterson was visibly out, the ref called the match. Winner: Amado by Rear Naked Choke

Rehak vs Carroll (photo Jordan Raiff)

          Not to be out done, the 150lb No-Gi title was up for grabs next, with David Rehak taking on Brelin Carroll. Going down for a low take down, Carroll found a quick leg lock, and held on to it as the two fighters remained on the ground for the entire round. This was a chess match for sure.

David Rehak wins (photo Jordan Raiff)

          Rehak won the coin flip for the second round and started off in control of Carroll. Unfortunately for Carroll, Rehak was able to keep his grip and held him out for time. Switching positions, Carroll couldn’t keep a hold, and positions yet again changed. Battling back and forth in dominant position, Rehak was able to escape and use Carroll’s body weight against him to throw him across the cage. The final positioning found Rehak again escaping for the victory by points. Winner: Rehak by points

Dorsey vs Pope (photo Jordan Raiff)

          The 185lb MMA title fight brought the crowd back to life as Justin Dorsey took on Vashawn Pope. While Dorsey had ample fans in attendance, Pope had more than 75% of the crowd behind him. Wearing his gym’s shirts, and chanting his name, Pope took time to play to them as he came in. Watching these two feel each other out for the first round, you could see the experience in both fighters. As they exchanged quick and stiff shots, Pope seemed to favor his leg attacks, while Dorsey looked to close the gap and utilize chest and hear punches.

Justin Dorsey (photo Jordan Raiff)

          Dorsey came out looking for the take down, but Pope expertly evaded it, this time countering with strikes to the chest of Dorsey. With the pace and strength of their strikes, both fighters appeared tired but battled on with a vengeance. Pope took advantage of the telegraphed movements of Dorsey and fired off strong, precise, and decisive leg kicks.

          As the third round began, Dorsey realized he was obviously down on the cards, he came out looking for the takedown yet again. Much as before, Pope evaded these attempts, and threw Dorsey against the cage violently. This took Dorsey down for a moment, but he was able to regain his composure despite being exhausted. With both fighters now bleeding visibly from their mouths, they battled on and each looked for the takedowns without success. As the fight ended both men applauded each other as the fans went nuts. This was by far the battle of the evening thus far. Going to the cards again, Pope was able to secure the decision. Winner: Pope by Decision.

Brandon Lopez with a leg up, or should with say “on” Jahan Razavi (photo Jordan Raiff)

In the semi-main event Jahan Razavi took on Brandon Lopez for the 180lb No-Gi title. Lopez came out the crowd favorite in his signature pink shorts and came out looking to take this right to the mat. Razavi was able to battle back and put Lopez firmly on his back. With both quickly recovering from various submission attempts, they battled their way back up and looked to drop the other to the ground.

(photo Jordan Raiff)

Lopez shot low for a takedown as Razavi moved and positioned Lopez against the cage. Not to be underestimated, Lopez was able to gain the top position and used his weight to his advantage and slap Razavi around with authority. Batting for position back and forth, eventually Razavi put Lopez against the cage. Out of nowhere Lopez sunk in a tap pinch to force Razavi to submit as he grabbed and manipulated the muscle like a butcher in a slaughterhouse. This was a decisive and sudden submission for Lopez and the crowd ate it up!! Winner: Lopez by Submission

Spohn vs Koziel The Main Evenet (photo Jordan Raiff)

Jerald Spohn and Kyle Koziel battled it out in the main event for the 170lb MMA title. While both came out viciously, Koziel nailed a vicious spinning elbow that left Spohn absolutely unphased. Battling back, Koziel  found himself busted open 90 second in. As Spohn used this to his advantage, and worked Koziel against the cage. Using his bodyweight to drive him to the ground, Spohn launched a vicious ground and pound tactic. Koziel mounted a sizeable defense but was unable to find any way out from the onslaught.

(photo Jordan Raiff)
(photo Jordan Raiff)

Spohn kept raining down fists and elbows as Koziel took the abuse. As the ref called an end to the fight Koziel had gashes under and over his eyes and massive swelling. Spohn had not only won decisively, but brutally. Winner: Spohn by TKO

(photo Jordan Raiff)

The next Vigilant MMA event has yet to be announced, but with their partnership with Global Legion FC, this promotion has a great future ahead of it. The titles are crisp, the ref is in control, and the fighters are TRULY hungry. Next time they are in your area you owe it to yourself to come check them out.


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