First of all, kudos to Score and AXS TV on their great production. Many times, non-Zuffa MMA events suffer from poor production values that can bring down the overall viewing experience, and that was not at all the case here. The only issue I had involved 5 minutes worth of “technical difficulties” causing me to miss the pre-fight package before the main event. I didn’t miss any of the action though, so I am happy to look past this. Great camerawork, very good pre-fight videos, hot ring girls, and excellent commentary.
Having the Voice man the play-by-play duties always adds a “big fight” feel to whatever he is calling. I think he could commentate me walking to the mailbox after work and make it sound exciting. Also, Robin Black and Arda Ocal did great jobs too. Special props to Black for not falling into the black-on-black-on-black announcer clothing trend that the Goldberg and Rogan seem intent on advancing at every UFC event. I also like how Black mixed in the “really serious golf announcer whisper” at certain times, proving that MMA announcers don’t always have to be yelling all the time.
The first two fights were stopped via rear-naked choke, and neither Ryan Dickson nor Jason Saggo seemed threatened by their respective opponents. I would be interested to see them fight again. Same for Tristan Johnson and Will Romero, who fought to a split decision in an exciting back-and-forth bout that was mostly fought on the feet. Although Johnson got the nod, and has now beaten Romero twice, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing them have at it again, as I have never been one to hate exciting fights.
In the co-main event, Jesse Ronson battered Ryan Healy en route to a unanimous decision win, including an ugly 30-25 scorecard, which led Healy out of the cage in disgust. There is no doubt that Ronson’s kickboxing looked fantastic, and he did a very good job avoiding Healy’s attempts at clinching and going to the mat. After the fight, Ronson lobbied for a spot in the UFC. Not to take anything away from Ronson, but I hope that he can cut down to 145 if he does plan on making it to the big show, because he appeared undersized next to Healy, and that generally does not bode well for you in the UFC 155-pound division, especially if you do not have a wrestling base. Ask Anthony Pettis, all of the kickboxing in the world is not going to keep Clay Guida off of you for 15 minutes, not to mention someone even bigger like Gray Maynard.
Before I move away from the co-main event, I need to say that Ryan Healy is a man among men. His jaw may truly be made of iron, as he was able to eat shot after shot without being finished. In the final minute of the fight he ate three consecutive head kicks, any of which should have put him down, but he kept plugging forward like a zombie. Almost Leben-esque. So, congrats Ryan.
Then the main event featured loaned Strikeforce fighter Jordan Mein and former UFC veteran Forrest Petz. Mein wasted little time overwhelming Petz on the way to the first round stoppage win. If anything, I think Yves Lavinge could have stepped in a little sooner, because Petz turtled up after being rocked with a serious combination of punches, elbows and knees. The elbows to the top of Petz’s head were especially brutal, and reminded me of what used to make David Loiseau and Ken-Flo so dangerous. I hope Mein does not get completely lost in the Strikeforce-UFC shuffle, because I could see him working his way up the ladder over the course of the next couple of years.
All in all, I was very impressed by Score Fighting Series, and can’t wait to see number 8. Hopefully it will again be in southeastern Canada so I can make the trip.