BodogFIGHT: Gracie Victorious, "Junior" Defeated

USA vs. Russia

By Josh Gross Dec 3, 2006
Andrei Semenov (Pictures) and Trevor Prangley (Pictures) went the distance for the second time in their careers. It was a solid fight, each man testing the other before leaving it to the judges.

Two stiff right hands from Semenov let Prangley know that he was not going to get out of the ring unscathed. Undeterred, the South African middleweight, who trains out of San Jose, Calif.’s American Kickboxing Academy, responded with a nice bit of ground-and-pound to finish the first period.

Semenov struck Prangley’s body and head with a swift combination early in the middle round that made the large middleweight clinch.

“I wasn’t near to going down or dazed, but I sure felt it,” Prangley said. “Anybody who’s ever fought him or seen him fight knows the guy can hit, and he caught me clean. He studied my tape, watched me. … Counter-punched me great.”

Once again, Prangley landed a solid knee to the Russian’s abs that lifted the veteran fighter to his toes.

For much of the period Prangley fended off a serious attempt by Semenov to bring the fight to the ground. After enduring digging shots to the body and a combination upstairs, Prangley was suddenly the fighter interested in taking it to the mat, and he did with a well-executed trip.

Chipping away at Semenov for the final minute and a half, Prangley did enough according to the judges to take the round. Ignorant to the fact that he was up two rounds to none on each judge’s scorecard, Prangley decided to walk through Semenov’s punches in the third.

The Russian checked a leg-kick from Prangley with two and a half minutes remaining in the fight, and the solid defense seemed to inspire Semenov, who desperately worked to catch his foe.

Yet it was not to be, and judges at ringside handed down a shutout in favor of Prangley.

“He’s twice the fighter he was when I fought him the first time,” Prangley said of Semenov. “I’m just glad I’m three times the fighter I was when I fought him the first time. He brought it man. Super impressed with him. He was in great shape I’d seen him in a long time. He wanted that victory. I think he thought he got robbed in the first fight because I spoke to him afterwards, but you know I don’t think there’s any doubt on this one. But he brought it and it made for a great fight.”

Mario Rinaldi (Pictures) used his size and grappling edge to control and out-point Russian heavy-hitter Sergei Kaznovski. Rinaldi, an Abu Dhabi Trials champion, never deviated from his game plan, and throughout the course of the 15-minute bout he repeatedly planted Kaznovski on the floor.

At the start of round two, Kaznovski launched himself towards Rinaldi, connecting with a knee that opened a gash just above the American’s left eye. That, however, was the Russian’s only moment of the fight, as Rinaldi composed himself to walk away with a unanimous decision.

Chael Sonnen (Pictures) out-wrestled Alexie Olyinek to easily capture a unanimous decision victory. Sonnen, who later in the evening would receive a prize of $50,000 from Bodog for his efforts on the debut season of the promotion’s fight-related TV progam, put the Russian on the floor as he pleased. Unfortunately, he did little more than control position en route to the three-round conquest.

The evening’s lone contest featuring female mixed martial artist was also the most technical of the eight “USA vs. Russia” contests. Tara Larosa (Pictures) used her considerable submission-grappling skills to finally catch a brave Julia Berezekova (Pictures) at 1:28 of round two.

Larosa twice swept Berezekova from the guard into mount. More than Berezekova’s technique, of which she appeared to possess plenty, it was her grit that prevented a first-round loss when Larosa strained to finish via armbar while the period came to a close.

The American opened the second frame with a nice double-leg takedown that put her in side-control. Larosa transitioned from advantageous position to advantageous position before taking Berezekova’s left arm and extending it past parallel.

Again the Russian showed her guts by refusing to tap. An adjustment or two from Larosa took care of that, as the pressure became too much for the Russian to bear.

Nick Thompson (Pictures) took advantage of Ansar Chalangov (Pictures)’s attempt at a leg lock to finish their fight by rear-naked choke with one second remaining in the first period.

The American attempted to wrestle with Chalangov, but found it difficult to put his fellow UFC veteran on the canvas. It was during a transition that Chalangov made his mistake, choosing to attempt a toehold rather than work from the top.

Thompson smartly defended and soon moved to mount, where he tried several times for an arm-triangle choke. Chalangov defended well enough, but as the round ticked down the former University of Wisconsin wrestler took the Russians back. At 4:59 of round one, Chalangov tapped to a rear-naked choke.

Vladimir Zenin (Pictures) endured low kicks from a larger Nick Agallar (Pictures) before connecting with a single left hook that changed the fight.

Agallar controlled the ring against the quick Russian for over four minutes before Zenin leapt forward with a left hook that from ringside didn’t appear to carry much steam. Yet Agallar went down, allowing Zenin to pounce and pound his way to a stoppage victory at 4:26 of the first.

Despite getting dropped in the opening stanza and having been mounted at the conclusion of the third, two of three ringside judges sided with Russian Eric Oganov, giving the Red Devil welterweight a split decision over Keith Wisniewski (Pictures) (30-27, 29-28, 27-30).

Leaping left hooks were the shorter Oganov’s best weapon during the 15-minute contest. Several times he snapped Wisniewski’s head, wobbling the veteran American in the middle of the first.

As the opening period came to an end, Wisniewski planted a stiff right straight that dropped Oganov to the white canvas. Yet it was the American who bled from his nose to begin the second frame. Soon the 170-pounders worked on the inside: Oganov offered short knees while Wisniewski pounded away at the left side of the Russian’s ribcage.

Wisniewski looked for takedowns from the clinch, and at the end of the second Oganov turned the tables by countering his way into the mount.

In the third round, little changed. The two fighters continued to work on the inside — Oganov’s best weapon was his left hook and Wisniewski scored with a right straight.

Oganov seemed to take an edge when he planted the American on the canvas after catching a mid-level kick. But like Chalangov, the Red Devil fighter quickly gave up position by going for a leglock. Wisniewski moved to the top and quickly transitioned from the mount to back-control, where he scored with punches. However, the fight-closing effort proved not to be enough.

Mike Patt took a lackluster decision over Martin Malhosyan. After landing his first punch of the fight, a wide left that put an off-balance Patt reeling against the ropes, the retreating Malhosyan did very little. Patt chased, but not with enough pressure to make life difficult for the Russian. Following a third period which twice drew boos, judges at ringside tallied a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-30).

Elite fights

Todd Gouwenberg (Pictures) had an easy time with Ron Faircloth (Pictures). Gouwenberg landed stinging combinations before putting Faircloth away by knockout at 1:34 of the first round.

Rob Velek enjoyed a quick debut in the card’s opening contest. The powerfully built lightweight lifted Tim Smith in the air before depositing him on the canvas. Velek quickly moved from side-control to full mount, where he unloaded a series of unanswered shots that prompted the referee to call the contest 35 seconds after the opening bell.
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