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Friday, November 26, 2010

Where the heck have I been?

ok. I know it's been a while, but I have good excuses. Really, I do. Here are some examples.

stomach flu
wrestling practices and meetings for 4 of my boys
school conferences
christmas shopping
thanksgiving at my house
the other flu
sick and sad american bulldog that is peeing evrywhere
lots of carpet cleaning
sorting through 10+ bins of clothes for 5 boys
helping friends move
clean sweeping my house to prepare for new christmas toys
husband's crazy schedule
grocery shopping
cooking for a family of seven
dog to vet
traveling for thanksgiving # 2

oh, and one other thing...


So those, my friends, are my excuses for not having blogged in a while. Hopefully this week things will slow down a little, no more flus, no more peeing dog, no more hungry kids...wait, my kids are ALWAYS hungry!

and there is no way in hell I am blogging from my phone again, It is a major pain!

I would like to provide you with an update of all my past features and what they have been up to, so if I have written about you, drop me a line and let me know what you have been doing and what is coming up next! If I haven't written about you but think I should, let me know why!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rocktown Showdown - Local Fighters Enter the Octagon

Finally! So sorry sweeties! BelRockCityGirl had a few minor emergencies this week that put me way behind schedule. I wanted to get this up much sooner, but the busy life with five boys and a hubby that is equally as busy, got the best of me!

Our escapade to Rocktown Showdown 11 started with my visit to Core Combat Sports in Loves Park. I contacted owner, Tommy Woodruff, to find out about MMA training in our area. Tom invited me to his gym, if you could call it that, it is actually more like a compound, to discuss his involvement in MMA and the Rocktown Showdown. Tom has been involved in MMA in some capacity since 1993, the flagship year of UFC. Tom has nearly covered all the bases when it comes to mixed martial arts. In the past 20 years or so Tom has trained, fought, trained some more, promoted, opened his own gym, and big surprise, trained even more. Not being a stranger to training on the mat, has taught me many things, one of them being that if your coach works hard, he is going to work you hard, to make you be the absolute best you can be. And that is why we train right? Tom has a couple MMA fights under his belt but his true love is for BJJ. Tom has been training for nearly ten years in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and you know what that means, Black Belt. That beloved, somewhat elusive belt is on the very near horizon for him. Talk about commitment! I almost have my BB in TKD and I think that is a big accomplishment. But when you have a trainer that fits you just right, it makes all the difference. Tom has been training with Jeff Curran, of Curran MMA in Crystal Lake IL, perhaps you have heard of him, ya know,The Big Frog? With a record of 31-13-1 including 19 of those W's by submission you can see why Jeff is Tom's go to guy when it comes to BJJ.

Tom fell in love with this sport and lucky for us, along with his partner in XFO- Xtreme Fighting Orginization, Dan Lardy, they bring us the best local, and not so local talent in MMA. Not only does Tom bring us the talent, he trains the talent. On this particular night The Rocktown Showdown 11 has seven or eight fighters competing, that train with Tom at Core Combat Sports.

Tom was nice enough to get Tim and I second row seats for the event, now there really isn't a bad seat in the house, but, I have to say second row was pretty sweet! Next year, Rocktown Showdown 12, in the spring, I want a table cage side. Nothing says awesome seats like maybe the chance of sweat and blood flyin' your way! C'mon guys, hook the girl up would ya?

We get to Giovanni's after a long decision making process about what I shall wear. Do I wear my Tapout, or no? I'm not a fighter, but I am a fan, so why shouldn't I wear it? I decide to wear it with my purple leather jacket. Wish I could be more like Tim. He has Tapout gear and he wears it. No second guesses, he owns it, he likes it, so he wears it. Plain and simple. We walk into the banquet room with a bunch of other Tapout, Skin, DeathClutch, Warrior wearing other fans and find our seat. We sit, scope out the scene, and decide to get drinks at the bar. Back at our seats we take everything in. Immediately I notice that we are sitting next to a very rowdy section. It doesn't take long to find out that those fight fans are here to support the No Joke Martial Arts Fighters. I am wondering if somehow Rich Whitenack, No Joke owner, somehow played a part in making sure we sat right next to their school. Rich and Tom seem to have a somewhat intense relationship, all in good fun though, seeing as though they are technically rivals. No Joke fighters fighting Core Combat fighters. Maybe Rich thought it would be funny to put the girl that is writing about Tom and Core Combat right next to his fans. But for all those boisterous No Joke fans, Core Combat was also well represented in our section.

Adam and his Free Agent
shirt- pic stolen from his fb page
 I spot a few of the fighters that I had met the night before at weigh ins, they are in the middle of their pre-fight prep, weather it be walking around and visiting friends and family or warming up with a little kickboxing. I was a little surprised to see Adam Kuhn walking around talking to people, completely relaxed. Adam, sportin' a MMA Free Agent t-shirt, came over and told us he wasn't fighting until the 11th fight, so he had plenty of time to prepare. We wished him luck and off he went to continue his rounds. We saw Frankie warmin' up kicking a target and decided he looked like he would do just fine, even if he was wearing pink! Props to Frankie for supporting the cause!

So, the fights are about to start and I pull out my notebook and train my ears on the announcer. Tim looks over at me with that look on his face that says " seriously?" Why would I change now? I always take notes during fights, and I do have an article to write. Like I could remember anything that happened without taking notes. I blame it all on Short Term Memory Loss from my wilder days of doing who knows what harm to those memory cells. I ask him to kindly pipe down and let me take my stupid notes. Whatever, is the look that came across his face with an eyeroll to match.

I am not going to hash every single fight, cause I am not that kind of writer, but I have to tell you about a few that made an impression. The 1st fight of the night was at 170 lbs. and featured Nick Brown of Core Combat and Robert Mason of McHenry. 3:52, 1st round, over. Done. Finished. Who doesn't like a finish? Nick caught the kid in a rear naked and got a TKO. Fight number three featured two fighters making their debut. Fighting at a 210 lb catch weight was Nate Weingartner of Rockford and Frankie "Ace" Ventre fighting for Core Combat Sports. Remember? Frankie was the one wearing pink. Now, he had to know that wearing pink would eventually bring out a few comments form the crowd, and right in our row I heard a girl shout "He looks to pretty, HIT HIM!" Classic. Well Frankie did get hit as did his opponent. This was pretty much a kickboxing match, lots of fists flyin' and kicking goin' on. Neither of the fighters could get it finished, but it was a good entertaining fight giving Frankie the win by a unanimous decision of 30-27 on the judges scorecards. Good job Frankie! Frankie now sports a record of 1-0-0.

Ok. we got a couple fights under our belts, the fans are having a good time, and Tim and I are thoroughly enjoying ourselves. We are totally into the "walkouts" and are trying to recognize each and every song. Next up, fight #4. This fight really has the crowd going. Fighting at 155 was JT (MMA debut) from Core Combat and Alex(0-1-0) from Attrition in Rockford. This fight had an awesome ooh and ahh soundtrack from the noisy spectators. Ground game all the way, BJJ, some ground and pound and some incredible reversals. Great fight to watch! Alex took the win at 2:11 in round 2. JT tapped out on a guillotine.

Fast Forward to fight # 10. It wouldn't be MMA if we didn't hear any booing. MMA fans aren't all that polite when they disagree with the judges. And this was the fight that evoked BOOS from the crowd. Tom Person from Core Combat and Kevin something from Midwest Training Center fighting at 145 featherweight. I did keep score on all the fights and on this one I gave the 1st and 3rd rounds to Tom 10-9 each. The second round I had to give 10-9 to Kevin. This fight went to decision 29-28 Kevin, 29-28 Tom, 29-28 Kevin. Split decision in favor of Kevin. BOOOOO! I wanted to boo, but held back. Tim and I looked at each other and smiled. We loved the investment of the crowd. They were not happy and they were showing it! Next time Tom!

Adam in a previous fight with a little
ground action!
Next up was Adam's fight. It took us a while to get warmed up, but by this time Tim and I were cheering along with everyone else, and we were cheering for Adam. Unfortunately, things didn't go his way. The Canadian caught him. Adam had to tap at 1:51 in the first round. Tap or broken arm? I am with Adam on this one! We talked to Adam after the fight. I was amazed at his attitude. Me? Sore loser, I would have been pissed off, swearing, pouting, you name it. Not Adam, he just got caught, it happens. He wasn't worried about it, he'll be back. I am sure he will and we will be there to watch!

Nicole O'Neil
Right after Adam's fight, Core Combat takes 3 more wins before the co-main event. The women. Rickie Gomes (1-1-0) vs. Nicole O'Neil (debut) fighting at 145, although, Nicole was light and Rickie was heavy, you wouldn't have known it the way that Nicole controlled Rickie up against the fence. Nicole pretty much set the pace and controlled Rickie when it got to the ground. It seemed like Rickie was hitting harder but not making as much contact as Nicole. Rickie's face was showing some blood and a nice lump under her left eye. Nicole? Nothin. Nada. Zip. She looked like she hadnt' been touched, except for the braids that were a wild mess on her head. Nicole grabbed her first 'W' with a unanimous decision of 29-28. Way to go Nicole!

Last fight of the night was a title fight between some kid from Iowa with a 10-3-0 record and Anthony Goodwin 17-3-0 who holds the 155 lb belt. You remember Anthony from my last article right? The crabby guy grunting at weigh ins until he got off the scale and flipped the switch to regular nice guy? Yeah, well he wasn't in any kind of mood to be messin around. The fight was stopped at 2:02 in the first round.

Yeah! We got our fight on and loved every minute of it. Favorite part? Having the chance to meet some of the fighters made it more personal for us and it's a lot more fun watching when you have your favorites. One thing I could change? A little more blood please. Yep, I love to see a pounding that produces blood. Over all we were very impressed with the fights and XFO and Rocktown Showdown has just acquired two new fans! Thanks Tom!

Only how many months til Rocktown Showdown 12? I need all you MMA peeps to keep me updated on the upcoming fights. As I told you before my memory is not so good. So, fans and fighters alike, drop me a message if there is something going on that I should not miss. Fights, seminars, whatever, count me in.

Big thanks to Tom and all his fighters! Tim and I had a great night and we can't wait to see all of you in the octagon again!

Peace Out