2H2H: Werdum, Einemo and Yvel Victorious

By Chaitu Satbhai Nov 13, 2006
ROTTERDAM, Nov. 12 — After Hammer House wrestlers Mark Coleman (Pictures) and Kevin Randleman (Pictures) shocked this port city in 2005, this year the crowd at the Ahoy Sports Palace was treated to world-class submission wrestling.

The goliath James Thompson (Pictures) and crowd favorite Aleksander Emelianenko (Pictures) were both heavily outclassed by their respective ADCC champion opponents Jon Olaf Einemo and Fabricio Werdum (Pictures). And the much-anticipated clash between Dutchmen Gilbert Yvel (Pictures) and Rodney Faverus turned out to be a very lopsided affair with Yvel winning by knockout very quickly.

In the MMA main event, Werdum pulled off a surprisingly easy submission victory over highly touted Emelianenko, known as much for his KO prowess as for being brothers with PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures).

After a short feeling out process in which Werdum landed a few good low kicks, he secured the clinch and scored a trip takedown. Once on the ground he worked his way to side-mount and secured a relatively straightforward arm-triangle choke, forcing Emelianenko to tap.

Essentially this was a bad match-up style-wise for Emelianenko. It would still be great to see him go to the UFC and take on the likes of Vera, Arlovski and Sylvia as his style matches up nicely with theirs. Werdum definitely moves up the rankings after this win and perhaps a match with Josh Barnett (Pictures) in PRIDE would be interesting at this stage.

In what was expected to be a brawler versus grappler fight, Einemo shocked everyone by coming out striking and landing some clean hard punches to the face of Thompson.

After softening Thompson up with punches, Einemo scored a takedown and worked his way to mount. From there he continued punching Thompson until he could secure an easy armbar for the finish.

Einemo put on a clinical demonstration in which he dismantled the bigger, stronger Thompson. It’s really a shame he hasn’t fought more against top competition. His talent has been acknowledged for years, but somehow he hasn’t fought very actively.

In one of the most anticipated matches in recent Dutch MMA history, Yvel scored an unexpectedly quick and brutal knockout over longtime nemesis Rodney Faverus.

The 15-kg weight difference proved to be too much for Faverus. As soon as the fight started, Yvel imposed his strength and threw Faverus to the ground off the very first stand-up exchange, landing directly in mount. From there Yvel unloaded a series of calculated punches to Faverus’ head, knocking him out cold.

It’s a shame the originally planned fight between Alistair Overeem (Pictures) and Gilbert Yvel (Pictures) did not take place. After the fight, Overeem came in the ring to apologize for having to pull out and challenged Yvel for the next 2 Hot 2 Handle. Hopefully the fight will happen next time so it can finally be determined who the best Dutch MMA heavyweight is.

Milco Voorn (Pictures) is considered one of the better Dutch heavyweight fighters, having racked up quite a number of MMA victories in several big events.

Experience was also on his side going into this match as he has faced top level opponents like Mark Coleman (Pictures), and has fought all over the world, including in dodgy bare-knuckle events in Russia. Despite this, Jessie Gibs was calm as always and imposed his will from the word go.

After a brief stand-up exchange he dropped Voorn and immediately got top position on the ground. From there he diligently worked his way to side-mount and secured a textbook Kimura that forced Voorn to tapout.

This outcome is essentially quite an upset and it puts Gibs quite high up in the Dutch heavyweight ranks. It would perhaps be nice to see him against a Russian Red Devil heavyweight such as Ibragim Magomedov (Pictures) or Ramaz Ahadulaev.

Thiago Tavares (Pictures) is a submission specialist having won the majority of his fights that way. Against Ulas Aslan it was clear that he wanted the fight on the ground so he could work for a submission.

Both men scrambled around for dominant position on the ground, with Tavares generally having the upper hand, as he was able to inflict more damage. After a few failed submission attempts Tavares landed some hard shots to Aslan's head, forcing the referee to stop the contest.

Tavares has racked up an impressive record and may be worthy of a shot in the lightweight division of the UFC.

Michael Knaap is another Dutch fighter who has racked up quite an extensive record, including a draw in his teenage years against Cheick Kongo (Pictures) and a knockout over Russian Red Devil fighter Roman Zentsov (Pictures). Murad Chunkaiev (Pictures) was expected by most to run through Knaap with ease. However, to everyone’s surprise, Chunkaiev had a very hard time getting Knaap to the ground, and once on the ground, he had an even more difficult time inflicting any kind of damage.

As the match progressed, Chunkaiev grew increasingly tired and Knaap started landing some hard shots in the stand-up exchanges. Especially in the second round, Chunkaiev was shooting for takedowns just to survive.

Had there been a third round, chances were high that Knaap would have scored the knockout. Even so, many feel the split decision victory awarded to Chunkaiev was unjustified. Although he did control the ground action, he did close to no damage. Knaap on the other hand was going for the finish every time there was a stand-up exchange.

Despite the outcome, Knaap is the moral victor of this fight. Chunkaiev has been disappointing in his recent fights. In fact, he is essentially the same fighter today as he was in 2002 when he scored an upset victory over Andrei Semenov (Pictures). He hasn’t managed to complement his wrestling base with improved striking or submissions.

In one of the more exciting and evenly matched MMA bouts on the card, local fighter Dave Dalgliesh scored a brutal knockout over his rugged Polish opponent Lukas Jurkowski.

The fight started out with Dalgliesh getting the better of the stand-up exchanges. Once the fight hit the ground he maintained the upper hand, landing some good strikes from top position before the fight was restarted standing.

Towards the end of the round, Jurkowski out of nowhere landed a series of hard punches that dropped Dalgliesh and almost knocked him out. Jurkowski followed up with some ground-and-pound before the round ended.

At the start of the second round Jurkowski made a sloppy error by falling to his back after a failed spinning back-kick attempt. Dalgliesh secured top position and landed several knees to the head before finishing off with a series of brutal Chute Boxe style head stomps that finished Jurkowski.

There was some controversy about the knees to the head towards the end of the fight, as several of them allegedly landed on the back of Jurkowski’s head. Both fighters showed tremendous heart and desire to win. Dalgliesh continues to rack up knockout victories while Jurkowski showed that there is some talent in the Polish MMA scene.

In a heated welterweight fight, it initially seemed as though Oktay Karatas was going to run away with an easy victory. He took the fight to the ground early on and administered some damaging ground-and-pound.

Brian Lo An Joe appeared to have no answer to the onslaught from his opponent until he suddenly scored a reversal halfway through the round and began his own barrage of ground-and-pound and soccer kicks. Towards the end of the round Karatas was visibly gassed out and while trying to defend Lo An Joe’s ground attacks he gave up his back and got caught in a rear-naked choke.

In the only non-PRIDE rules MMA bout of the night, Michael Ettl won a somewhat controversial decision over Anil Dubar. Despite the fact that Dubar was pressing the stand-up action, Ettl landed the more telling blows.

After a hard punch knocked Dubar to the ground, Ettl got top position on the ground and worked some light ground-and-pound. Following a standing restart by the referee, Ettl again cracked Dubar with a hard punched that echoed through the stadium. He followed this with a takedown and some more light ground-and-pound to win the round and match.

The IMA rules under which this bout was contested stipulate that there is one additional five-minute round if the first round is a draw. As Ettl dominated the first round he was declared the winner. Dubar however was outraged by this and claimed he deserved another round. After refusing to shake his opponent’s hand and nearly attacking the referee, he was booed out of the ring by the vocal audience.

Non-MMA Action

The Muay Thai portion of the card featured several matches that went the distance, due to most fighters being evenly matched. Alviar Lima and Faldir Chahbari scored very close decision victories over their respective opponents Marco Piqué and Ali Gunyar.

In the ladies bout Germaine de Randamie showed why she was unafraid of her opponent's 10-kg advantage as she completely outclassed and knocked out Joanna Generowcz in the first round.

Other winners in Muay Thai action included Ashwin Balrak and Murat Dereci, both scoring third round stoppages over their respective opponents Samir Bennazzouz and Ray Staring.

The evening also featured a fight contested under Kyokushin Karate rules between Barrington Patterson and Henk Kuipers. After five rounds of back-and-forth action, Henk Kuipers received the nod from the judges.

Finally, in the heavily anticipated main event, Tyrone Spong showed why he is worthy of all the hype after putting on a Muay Thai clinic on the experienced Joeri Mes. After scoring two knockdowns in earlier rounds, Spong finished Mes off in the fifth round. His intensity was far too much for Mes and at no point in the match did he appear even slightly fatigued. Currently it really seems like he is unstoppable in his weight class.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>