Thrilling weekend for Vancouver MMA fans 0
What a weekend of fights. It started off on Friday night with a UFC heavyweight tilt that will go down as probably one of the most entertaining bouts of the year, and definitely the best heavyweight fight of all time. Mark Hunt and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva went toe-to-toe and brought the Australian crowd to their feet. In the end it was ruled a draw — a fitting result for what was an all-out war.
The World Series of Fighting 7 was in Vancouver at the PNE Agrodome on Saturday. It was a card that featured some of the top pro athletes in British Columbia and a rising MMA star in Nick Newell. Unfortunately, my prediction rang true — the event was poorly attended. There were a few things that probably hampered the event’s drawing power — the event started in the afternoon, there was a sold-out WWE show at the Pacific Coliseum, and a pro-am MMA event called Battlefield Fight League was being held at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam.
That said, there were some solid performances at WSOF 7, like Kalib Starnes (16-8-1) looking like a real light-heavyweight contender as he played with and knocked out Dwayne Lewis (13-9), Nick Newell’s (11-0) impressive guillotine choke of Sabah Fadai (7-3), and Georgi Karakhanyan (23-3-1) submitting Lance Palmer out of nowhere to grab the WSOF featherweight title. David Perron (6-2) had the most fans in attendance and they went nuts when he submitted Matt Baker (9-5). Overall, it was a solid card with some sick production value, but it lacked the ambience and excitement that we normally see with bigger promotions.
After WSOF 7, I made my way over to the BFL event to catch the last half. There is something to be said for watching amateur fighters compete. Sure it might not always be technically sound, but most of the time you are seeing young men who leave it all in the cage.
Congrats to Jer Kornelsen on winning the BFL amateur middleweight title via a vicious KO against Jared Revel. Unfortunately, excitement turned to horror when Revel lay still on the mat as medics rushed to the cage. Everyone was quiet — this was a tense moment that felt like an eternity. Revel woke up and was rushed to hospital, but it was a grim reality check that for all the excitement the sport provides, there is always that one fear. Major props go out to Battlefield, the doctors, medics and the B.C. Athletic Commission for the way they all handled the situation. Get well, Jared.