Miller, Trigg Set Stage for Rematch

By Scott Holmes and Dave Mandel Dec 16, 2007
DALLAS, Dec. 15, 2007 -- Maybe it was the upgraded fight card, or it could have been the free "Halloween" DVD giveaway that brought in 6,754 people to the American Airlines Center for the second HDNet Fights event.

Either way, there was a special energy as the show came out swinging with a card that did not disappoint.

The main event between Jason Miller and Tim Kennedy (Pictures) lived up to all the pre-fight hype.

They came from very different places. Kennedy is a fighter and Army Ranger who lives in a very serious world. Miller, on the other hand, never takes anything seriously. "Mayhem" wore a wrestling mask and a glittering cape to the ring while he tossed candy to the crowd.

Once the fight was underway, both men were all business, engaging in a battle that covered just about every MMA angle possible. The first round went to Kennedy, who didn't have trouble closing the distance. Kennedy tended to hunch down on his back foot and load up on his punches, and they had no trouble finding Miller's face, turning his head at times.

While it was a fairly even fight going back-and-forth for all three rounds, Miller took over in the second after opening up a major cut on the bridge of Kennedy's nose. Twice the fight was stopped to look at the bloody injury, but Kennedy was adamant about continuing and the doctor agreed he was OK.

Kennedy tried for several submissions, but "Mayhem" was always able to sneak out and deliver damaging blows, even throwing out a crowd-pleasing Mongolian chop that landed flush on Kennedy's face. Miller finished strong, taking over in the final moments to win the fight by unanimous decision.

"I just play a tough guy on TV," Miller said afterward. "Kennedy is a real American hero."

Kennedy knew he would have his hands full with Miller. "I knew he was tough," he said. "I knew he was going to be wiry, squirmy, irritating and he definitely did all those things."

Kennedy made no excuses and thought that he should have been more aggressive. "I was pretty sure I was going to destroy him," he said. "I trained so that I could do that, so I have nothing to say but phenomenal job to Jason Miller."

Miller called it a "tough fight" but also added that he has a good record against fighting Army guys, now that he can beat up his dad. Earlier Miller was asked whom he would like to fight next, and he responded by saying that he wanted to fight Mark Cuban for "wallets," meaning that the winner gets what's in the other's pocket. Clearly he had enjoyed himself fighting for HDNet Fights.

Certainly Cuban won't be standing across the ring from Miller in February, but Frank Trigg (Pictures) just might.

Edwin Dewees (Pictures) hadn't fought in more than a year and never got the chance to knock off any ring rust. He caught a leg kick from Trigg and tripped him, but when they hit the ground, Trigg took over and locked up a Kimura. Dewees tried to roll out, but Trigg kept his legs trapped and forced Dewees to tap at 1:40 in the first round.

Dewees was disappointed afterward.

"For me to get submitted, you know that's what I do, so it's kind of embarrassing," he said. "I'd rather be knocked out, folded back on my legs and twitching. Obviously Frank is a very good fighter, and if you're going to get submitted, it might as well be by somebody of his caliber, but it's very disheartening."

Trigg called it a "blessing in disguise" to finish Dewees the way he did.

"You could ask me a million times how that fight was going to end, and in any scenario it was never going to be like this," Trigg said.

Alonzo Martinez (Pictures) rushed Yves Edwards (Pictures), going right at him with heavy punches. He pushed a crazy pace while swinging wildly at Edwards, until pulling him down into his guard. Martinez then threw all kinds of shots during the first round, but nothing too damaging landed.

Edwards came out with a renewed sense of purpose in the second round and caught Martinez with a left kick to the jaw. The UFC veteran smelled blood and dropped his foe with an uppercut and then pummeled him on the ground.

Martinez stayed with it, though, fighting back until Edwards took his back and used his American Top Team training to end the fight with a rear-naked choke at 3:04 in the second round.

Krzysztof Soszynski (Pictures) came into the HDNet Fights cage looking shredded at 205, which was incredible since he was shredded as a heavyweight while fighting in the IFL. Robert Villegas (Pictures) stayed composed in the first round, getting better shots off. In the second round things got weird.

"He's breaking right now," yelled Dan Henderson (Pictures) to Soszynski as Villegas looked listless and gassed.

Soszynski threw a lazy shot that may or may not have connected. Either way Villegas flopped to the ground, and Soszynski looked to the ref for help. Referee Don Turnage cautioned Villegas, but seconds later he dropped again to his back, trying to bait Soszynski to go to the ground. Soszynski looked at Turnage in detest, and this time the fight was called at 3:15 of round one.

Afterward Villegas apologized about the way he finished and claimed that he had broken his foot while checking a kick from Soszynski.

"I wanted him to come down and try to hit me or try to scramble with him, so I could catch him," Villegas said. "He didn't come down there, so that's what happened."

Tristan Yunker (Pictures) had an immense reach advantage against Pete Spratt (Pictures) but decided he wanted no part of a boxing contest, shooting in for a takedown immediately. Spratt reversed positions with Yunker during a mount attempt and took over on top.

It was vintage Spratt as he brought down thunderous shots that wowed the crowd. Yunker suffered a cut from one of the heavy punches that caused him to motion to the ref that he couldn't continue, giving Spratt another convincing win just 1:38 into the first.

Yunker also apologized afterward. "First off, I'd like to apologize to everybody for the weight issues," he said. "I apologize to Pete. I certainly meant no disrespect to you or HDNet Fights."

Spratt's back on a winning streak and talked about the improvements his game has seen after having trained only jiu-jitsu for most of this year.

"I feel very comfortable," he said. "I train gi and no gi twice a day, six days a week. I got a great jiu-jitsu instructor."

Spratt feels his career is on a comeback: "I think with that jiu-jitsu training, I've given my career some longevity."

At the previous HDNet Fights event, Chris Bowles (Pictures) finished off his opponent in the first round. His fight Saturday was eerily similar after Cory Mahon walked into a right hand that sat him down on his rear. Bowles worked to get mount, but Mahon was able to hold him off until he got balled up in the corner by Bowles, who dropped down some heavy shots.

In the second round, Mahon would not be denied, going after the body of Bowles by nailing him with hard knees and punches. Once on the ground, Mahon took over and sunk an armbar that caused Bowles to tap quickly at 4:20 in the second round.

Nissen Osterneck (Pictures) looked a step faster than Freddie Espiricueta (Pictures), getting the better of the exchanges when the middleweights threw leather. Osterneck also showed some good ground skill as he set up for an armbar only to mount his opponent instead. He then pounded out his foe with punches, even looking over to the ref to stop the fight when he knew Espiricueta was done. The ref stepped in at 2:37 in the first round, getting no complaints from Espiricueta.

Jay White (Pictures) returned to winning form with a quick victory over Patrick Castillo (Pictures) in the first heavyweight battle of the night. White seized Castillo's wrist early and went for a shoulder lock that Castillo had to front flip out of to escape. White never let go, though, keeping the arm and transitioning quickly into an armbar that ended the fight 50 seconds after it began.

Jason House (Pictures) returned to the HDNet fold looking in great shape against Liam McCarty (Pictures).

One round in, both men had purple thighs that bore the proof of all the leg kicks they had both rattled off. After losing the first two rounds, House looked to be making a comeback, but the fight was called before the fourth round could begin thanks to a deep cut over the left eye of House.

The night got started when Marcus Lanier (Pictures) met Saul Soliz's fighter Lee King (Pictures) in the opening bout. King won the first round after knocking Lanier down following a great punch-knee-punch combo. Lanier came back strong, slamming King on the ground and tapping him out at 2:58 of the second round.
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