Wisconsinites Excel at Arnolds and WEC in Ohio
Last weekend, US Combat Sports had the opportunity to experience the spectacle that is the Arnold Sports Festival; stationed in Columbus, Ohio, the nation’s largest multi-sport event featured a ton of celebrities, an insane amount of activities, and impressive performances from local Wisconsinites.
While the four-day experience featured everything from performance jump rope to table-tennis, USCS set up camp in Hall C of the Greater Columbus Convention Center; alongside some of the most famous combative athletes, this area showcased boxing, grappling, powerlifting, and the WEC weigh-ins.
Here We Go
Although an amateur fitness contest took place on Thursday night, the bulk of the weekend’s activities began on Friday morning. As participants registered for the martial arts, boxing, and grappling contests, an MMA workshop and meet and greet with Randy Couture took center stage.
Throughout the day, a number of mixed martial arts’ brightest stars including Pat Barry, Urijah Faber, and many others took out time to sign autographs for an endless line of fans.
Preceded by armwrestling, Ms. Fitness International, and the Professional Strongman Contest, the main stage featured the weigh-ins for WEC 47. An intense stare down between Anthony “Showtime” Pettis and Danny Castillo served as a precursor for a spectacular Saturday finish.
Taking place across the street at the LC Pavillion was the Arnold’s first annual Amateur MMA Festival. The well-run card featured 16 exciting fights, appearances from Couture, WEC General Manager Reed Harris, and Ohio Athletic Commission executive director Bernie Profato. The action served as a great forerunner for the next day’s WEC 47.
Grappling Successes and Failures
Saturday served as the busiest and most action-packed day of the festival. With the boxing, martial arts, and grappling competitions underway, the Arnold officials most certainly had their hands full.
The majority of Wisconsin competitors found their places surrounding the grappling mats. Notable participants included Henry Matamoros, Scott Huston, Nick Klein, Andy Acker, Duke Roufus, and many more.
While all of the action was hard to officially record, Matamoros won his No Gi division, Huston won his Brown belt division, Klein took first in his advanced No Gi bracket, and Roufus “became absolutely addicted to jiu-jitsu” after taking first place in his initial grappling competition.
Although many Wisconsin practitioners placed very well in the competition, many of the participants were unimpressed with how the tournament was structured, officiated, and ultimately administered. For a more in-depth discussion into the matter, click HERE to navigate to the Arnolds Grappling Tournament forum discussion thread.
Pettis Earns Big Bonus
Following all of Saturday’s action at the Arnold’s, the city’s attention shifted next door to the Nationwide Arena for WEC 47. The card featured a number of exciting moments including a disgusting cut on the forehead of Miguel Torres, the emotional post-fight speech from Jens Pulver, and the crowning of new bantamweight champion Domink Cruz.
However, no moment was exciting for Wisconsin fans as that of Anthony “Showtime” Pettis’ vicious head kick to that of Danny Castillo. Followed by a number of brutal follow-up punches, Pettis not only vaulted himself into the lightweight title picture, but also brought home a $10,000.00 bonus check for the knockout of the night.
The 2010 Arnold Sports Festival was a mammoth collection of many of the world’s top athletes and fitness gurus. With a nearly endless amount of activities and celebrities, the event truly lived up to its title as the nation’s largest multi-sport event. When does next year’s start?