Whenever there’s an opportunity to take a road trip to New England, I generally avoid it at all costs. I’m sure New England is wonderful if you’re from New England, but they don’t take kindly to people who wear baseball caps with an interlocking NY symbol prominently displayed upon them. My Yankees hat is the metaphorical equivalent of a tattoo upon my upper hemisphere. It isn’t a removable fixture. Think of it as more of a cranial landmark, like Don Frye’s Mustache. I don’t even want to know what life would be without Don Frye’s mustache, and neither should you. I’m as hard-headed about removing my Yankees hat as Anderson Silva is to finishing his opponents. If ‘the Spider’ has taught us all one thing, it’s that giving Dana White a brain hemorrhage at every post fight press conference is somehow more gratifying than knocking his opponents out and silencing critics. I packed light, and treaded even lighter in the hopes of living to tell the tale of Mariusz Pudzianowski’s American debut in Worchester, Massachusetts. By the way, although Worcester is pronounced “Wooster” because there is no “R” in the Bostonian alphabet, there’s clearly an “R” in “Worcester” and it defies all the rules cemented within English diction as to why it’s omitted it’s regional enunciation. Going by the demographic of the crowd, it may actually be more appropriately pronounced “Warsaw”. I’ve never been to Poland, but after last night, I’m sure it’s no different than being at the DCU Arena or anywhere else in the world people buy tickets to see Mariusz Pudzianowski kick a Volkswagen through some uprights, or compete as an MMA fighter. People love this dude, and wherever he is; that’s his hometown. The dust has settled, and I had a 4 hour drive home to recall/comprehend everything I saw at Moosin.
First and foremost, congrats to our girl Roxanne Modafferi for her HUGE win over Tara LaRosa. This fight card may have been overshadowed by Super-Heavyweights, but it took a couple of 130lb ladies to get the crowd on their feet, where they remained standing for the rest of the night. Just like Gatti vs. Ward, Tara and Roxy made it clear they need to complete their inevitable trilogy. They both traded hard shots and even harder smiles, solidifying why Women’s MMA is incredible and needs to continue being showcased. Huge props go out to Strikeforce for letting Roxy throwdown this weekend at Moosin. Secondary props go out to Denny’s in Worcester for serving up Roxy’s chocolate victory-milkshake at 2:00am.
Mike Campbell and Yves Edwards exchanged monstrous body-slams and left hooks like 2 hungry kids fighting over who gets the last pack of Dunkaroos until the judges rendered a decision that put an end to Yves’ 3 fight win streak. It’s not the first time we’ve seen him come up short on another fighter’s hometown scorecard, but it was certainly one of his better performances and we hope he continues to showcase Thug-Jitsu to all the nay-sayers until wikipedia recognizes it as an actual fighting style. To consider Yves anything less than a legend in MMA is like trying to convince yourself Yogurtland is better than Pinkberry. Don’t even bother trying, it’s an argument you can’t win and Dana White will blacklist you from the UFC if you so much as think about it…
Moosin also provided fans with 3 first-round knockouts that will round out their next event’s promo video with unparalleled rawesomeness. Lukasz Jurkowski fed his opponent an lethal knee that gave the Pro-Polish crowd its first spectacular finish of the evening. Renzo Gracie disciple, Rafael “Sapo” Natal followed with an impressive one-round destruction of UFC veteran Travis Lutter. Rounding out the night, Travis Wiuff decided he didn’t feel like taking his 76th pro fight past 30 seconds and subsequently punished Josh Barnes for making him contemplate breaking a sweat. I had to duck from my ringside perch when the bodies hit the floor out of fear for nuclear fallout from the power generated upon impact. Moosin delivered some of the best live action I’ve seen all year, and this was before the main event even got underway.
The time had come for Tim Sylvia to face a man that could re-shape the galaxy by lifting the planets like atlas balls and placing them in any alignment he sees fit. The fight went down pretty much exactly how oddsmakers thought it would… Mariusz was dangerous for the first few minutes of round-one, but eventually gassed out and took a few many of Tim Sylvia’s knees, eventually falling to the ground and submitting via strikes. It’s important for larger-than-life sport-celebs to save some of their walkout antics for their post fight celebration. Sure, Polish hip-hop is raw, but so is having all 15 minutes of Cardio in an MMA fight. Experience certainly played a role in Tim Sylvia’s performance, the rest was all the heart he had left to go out there and prove he’s still relevant in MMA. Opinions of whether or not he succeeded will vary depending on who you ask, but everyone has to applaud his nonchalant destruction of the world’s strongest man. ‘The Maniac’ limped into the post fight press conference after sustaining a couple Pudzianowski leg-kicks and said he looks forward to taking a couple of weeks off, then returning to his job as a police officer until another MMA opportunity presents itself. Mariusz, on the other hand, didn’t have as clear of an answer as to what’s next for him. He’ll probably go home and continue reading MiddleEasy.com, then pick up a copy of UFC Undisputed 2010 and indirectly become inspired to give MMA another chance. At least we hope so…
Anyway, here are the rest of the pictures from Moosin, enjoy the gallery and be sure to follow me on twitter for live ringside commentary from the next event we cover.