MASS 2 Night for Troops Honors Heroes as Harris Stops McCraney
MMA Melee presented its second installment of Martial Arts Super Sport on Saturday at the Kingston Armory in Kingston, PA. The night was dedicated to our nation's heroes and dubbed "Night for Troops."
All military personnel in uniform gained free entrance to the event, and rightfully so. The armory was jam-packed with nearly every seat occupied. A large American flag hung high above the rafters and the armory floor played host to several combat vehicles to include military Humvees and tanks.
The fight card however was plagued by last minute injuries that saw a nine-fight card drop down to just four fights. Four amateur bouts and one pro bout were scrapped from the card leaving just one amateur and three pro fights for fans to witness.
The main event featured two light heavyweights, as two-time Florida State wrestling champion Moses "Mayhem" McCraney brought his 14-2 professional record to the cage while taking on Rex "T-Rex" Harris, a 2010 Golden Gloves Boxing champion.
Harris was introduced as a "Straight-Up Freestyle" fighter and the only athlete in northeast Pennsylvania to simultaneously hold title in both boxing and mixed martial arts.
Harris was clearly the fan favorite hailing from none other than hometown Kingston, PA. It is also worthy to note that Harris sports one of the sickest back art (tattoos) in the game.
Not much of anything occurred between the two competitors in round one. The fighters felt each other out but there was no significant damage landed by either competitor.
At the end of round two, Harris unleashed hell and delivered an insurmountable number of strikes to the head and body of McCraney.
The buzzer sounded and it was uncertain if Mulhall had stopped the fight or if Mayhem had been saved by the bell.
McCraney limped over to his corner and could hardly sit on the stool. The ring card girl walked around the cage holding "3" high above her head to signify the start of the third round however the fight would end before the final round would begin.
The referee stopped the fight and awarded Harris the TKO victory.
UFC featherweight fighter Jimy "The Kid" Hettes entered cage to congratulate his friend.
"I didn't close out 2011 the way I wanted to so I had to open up 2012 in a good way," Harris said.
Weber Bests Boyle
In the night's first amateur bout, Iraq war veteran and former Marine, "Ill Will" (William) Weber, defeated Brendan Boyle via unanimous decision in a welterweight meeting.
In the opening round Weber Took Boyle down, and maintained ground control for the better half of the better half of three minutes. Weber inched in a few body blows as strikes to the head are not permissible in an amateur competition.
As the timekeeper made notification of the round's final 10 seconds, Weber hoisted Boyle up in the air and delivered a Quinton "Rampage" Jackson-like slam to his opponent.
As round two commenced the two fighters exchanged blows with Boyle losing his footing and slipping to the canvas floor. He stood himself back up but Weber tossed him aside like a rag doll and once again maintained top control.
Chants of USA in support of the Marine Corps veteran echoed throughout the armory.
Round three saw more of the same from Weber earning him the right to have his hand raised by referee Kevin Mulhall.
Penberthy Pummels O'Deair
In other amateur action bout Craig O'Deair of Team Chamber MMA in East Stroudsburg, PA met Adam Penberthy who hails from Dingman's Ferry. Penberthy was a standout wrestler at Wilkes University.
The two fighters traded blows before Penberthy used his wrestling prowess to take O'Deair down to the mat. On the ground O'Deair struggled to hold on as Penberthy sunk in a rear-naked-choke. O'Deair was able to reverse the position and obtained a standing guillotine choke on Penberthy.
The round was hard to judge as control changed hands several times. The crowd got behind Penberthy and started chanting "Adam."
Both fighters would take turns taking each other's back in round two, and O'Deair nearly landed a submission on Penberthy before the position was reversed. Penberthy landed a flurry of punches before sinking in a rear-naked-choke to end the fight at 4:01 of the second round.
"I was a little tried after cutting weight," Penberthy said. "He was a lot stronger than I thought," he said talking about O'Deair.
Morgan Mauls Parker
Another area favorite Dave Morgan dominated a very game Arthur Parker. The two fighters met at a catch weight of 130-pounds as the two were scheduled for different opponents before reaching an agreement at the weigh-ins yesterday.
Morgan was supposed to fight Josh Lange in a bantamweight fight and Park was supposed to meet Evan Velez in a flyweight scrap.
Park weighted in at 128 pounds while Morgan made it down to 129.
Round one was all Morgan. The highly talented wrestler opened up a huge gash over the right eye of Parker while landing some head strikes on the ground.
Frustration was evident on the face of Parker as he could not get to his meet no matter how many times his corner men told him to sit out and scramble to a standing position.
Morgan was able to secure another takedown and again maintain top control before the fight was briefly paused by the referee to clear debris, likely tape that had unraveled from one of the fighter's gloves.
Immediately in round two Morgan secured another big takedown. Parker's coaches expressed their dissatisfaction and began talking down to their fighter.
The more vocal of the two corner men from Integrated Combat Sports in Lancaster began slandering his fighter in a way that a supportive coach should not do. It was evident that Parker was trying to regain position. He never gave up trying, yet his corner gave up on him. It was a sad state of affairs as most of the audience behind them noticed and began chattering about the unprofessionalism.
This round appeared that it should be scored 10-8 in favor of Morgan.
In round three Morgan came out with a cut above his left eye but his face had not been bloodied as bad as Parker's just yet.
Parker threw a solid leg kick but Morgan was able to follow it up with retaliation, sending Parker back down to the ground with a takedown.
Morgan secured a full mount position. Parker attempted to escape several times. Morgan took his back and moved to side control where he deafened the crowd with thundering powerful knees to the body of his opponent. One could literally watch people in the audience shutter as the knees landed.
The fight was ruled 30-27 in Morgan's favor although it looked more like a 30-24 fight.
At the post fight interview the commenter gave credit to Morgan's stand up tactics when he asked him "Why did you lie to me? Yesterday you told me you were not much of a striker. Today you put on a striking clinic."
With only four fights on the night it was hard to determine a USCS submission, knockout and fight of the night, but the USCS submission of the night is awarded to Adam Penbarthy with his rear-naked-choke submission over Craig O'Deair.
The TKO/Knockout would goes to Harris although technically the fight was stopped mid-round. And the USCS fight of the night goes to Dave Morgan and Arthur Parker for their three round war that saw both fighter's shed blood.