Archive for Demetrious DJ Johnson

Verbal Sparring: Drew “The Eternal Fire” Brokenshire (Genesis FIGHTS)

Posted in Genesis FIGHTS, Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2009 by jaytan716

Drew Brokenshire (center right), with his team.

Drew Brokenshire (center right), with his team.

“The Eternal Fire” may seem like an unusual nickname for a fighter, but for Drew Brokenshire, it actually fits quite well.  With his red locks of hair that reflect the “fire” to his appearance, Brokenshire commented that “the Eternal” mirrors my passion and work ethic.  Moreover, that term indicates a sense of continued lineage, particularly fitting for a young man who looks to take his family name to the next level in MMA.

As the youngest of four boys, Drew Brokenshire had no dearth of male family members to look up to.  All three of his brothers were wrestlers, so it came as no surprise that “Drewdown,” as his friends know him, would follow in his brothers’ footsteps.  But competition has a way of showcasing those with a natural talent, and in the three years since his transition from collegiate wrestling to MMA, the youngest Brokenshire has risen to the top.

Splitting his time between AMC Kirkland and AMC Pacific, Brokenshire is a former Genesis FIGHTS featherweight champion and Rumble on the Ridge II Superfight champion.  Having lost his featherweight title earlier this year to John “Prince” Albert, Brokenshire is driven to turn things around, rebuild a series of wins, and reclaim his championship belt.

In this round of Verbal Sparring, Brokenshire broke down the role that wrestling and fighting plays in his family, his transition from one discipline to another, and which mutants Matt Hume would fare better against – the X-Men or Ninja Turtles.

JT:  Tell me what you can about your background and how you got into MMA.

DB:  Basically, I started wrestling in high school.  Before that, I did baseball and stuff.  My brothers were really into wrestling when they were little, so finally I got hooked into it in high school.  It was a lot of fun for me.  I had my oldest brother, Bobby, coaching me, and I had a good time with that.   I was never that good at wrestling, but I developed a good work ethic there, and I enjoyed it.

After high school, I wrestled a little bit up at Highland Community College, and while I was training for college wrestling, I got hooked up with AMC, Steve Skidds, and everybody at the [Pacific] gym, working out for wrestling.  That was because my brother Bobby Brokenshire was fighting.

JT:  How many brothers do you have?

DB:  I have three older brothers.  One passed away five or six years ago.  And I have one younger sister. . . My brother Bobby has wrestled his whole life.  He’s still coaching high school wrestling now.

JT:  What was it like growing up with three older brothers?  Were you the one that constantly got picked on and was the takedown dummy?

DB:  I don’t think we wrestled too much, but I definitely got picked on a bit. . . Me and my brother Jesse, who’s the one right above me in age, probably got the worst of it from our two older brothers.  But it was never too extreme; we never got into too many fights or anything.

JT:  Do you remember when you first match was, or how soon after you started training?

DB:  It’s kinda a cloudy area, because I don’t really remember how long I was helping other guys train.  Basically, when my brother started doing a little bit of the grappling, ‘cause I was already at the gym wrestling and whatnot.  So I’d be kind of the wrestling dummy, and just worked with those guys.  Of course. . . I kinda got caught up into it.  So I started learning as I was helping them, even though I wasn’t really planning on fighting anytime soon.  It was probably six months or something before my first fight.

JT:  Did you feel game-ready?  Was it a different kind of nervousness?  Or the same, for that matter?

DB:  Before the fight, I was supremely confident.  When I found out who I was going to me matched with, which was somebody who worked out at the same gym where we were at; we hadn’t really gone with each other with anything, but I knew enough about him where I was pretty confident.  And I ended up actually losing the fight to him by decision.  But the first fight, there wasn’t too much nervousness, because I knew my opponent and it wasn’t too big a deal.  There were definitely first fight nerves in the ring, where I just wasn’t thinking, basically.  The main thing in the first fight is to do what you trained over and over again.  So basically, a jab-cross over and over and over again, and that was about it.

JT:  You’re training out of AMC Pacific.  Do you go to the Kirkland gym as well?

DB:  I go up there usually on Saturdays.  They have the fighter training there.  I usually leave my house around 11am, and get up there about 12.  And then there’s about an hour where I just do my own thing with whoever’s there.  Get ready for fighter training and do that there.

JT:  What’s your philosophy to training?  You’ve had a long time, certainly, to develop a certain mentality for it.

DB:  Really, it’s just, with AMC, there’s just so many good coaches. I’m never afraid to ask a question and I just take all their opinions to heart.  We’ve got Matt Hume, Trevor Smith, Steve Skidds, Luke Pitman.  All these guys help me tremendously in every way.  A lot of what I do, I just ask them what I should work on and they give me one or two things and I just work on those. . . A week or two down the road, I ask them again, and we go from there.

JT:  How was the transition, of going from wrestling to MMA, for you?

DB:  It was good because with wrestling, I wasn’t very good.  I really enjoyed the striking aspect of mixed martial arts, and it’s just a lot more fun to me, to be able to do everything.  Grappling and striking.  So it was just a breath of fresh air, after doing wrestling, which I wasn’t very good at, to something that I feel I can be great at.

JT:  Walk me through when you won the title.  Around when that was and what that felt like to you, beforehand and after.

DB:  That was February of 2008. . . It felt great.  I knew Jesse [Davis] was a tough opponent.  He actually fought my brother Bobby and beat him by decision before we had fought, so there was a little extra there to save the family name and not let him be the Brokenshire Killer or something.  He trains up at AMC and he had a couple of fights under his belt. . . So it was a great feeling to be able to go out there and give the display that I did.  Especially after the fight I had before that, which was against JJ Lopez, and I got TKO’ed.  It was a good way to bounce back.

JT:  Did the loss to John Albert sting a lot?  Certainly that’s not how you anticipated the match going down.  Do you have other thoughts on the match, looking back?

DB:  Definitely.  I think it was a great experience for me, because the mistakes I made in there, and the kind of mental errors that I made right off the bat, were something that you can’t experience in the gym. . . . It definitely hurt, but I knew, as soon as I stepped out of the ring, after losing, everything that I’d done wrong.  And I identified it then, so it was good in one way.  Of course it sucked in a lot of [other ways].

JT:  What do you like to do in the downtime?  How do you decompress from the training and fighting?

DB:  Geez!  I mean, there really isn’t too much decompression time.  Right now I just hang out with my girlfriend when I’m not at the gym and stuff.  Other than that, I’m just working and working out.  That’s pretty much it.

That’s one thing that is great about mixed martial arts for me, is that it’s kind of my decompression and it’s truly fun for me.  So it’s not that hard for me to go out there and work hard.  My best friends are my training partners.  It’s where I like to be.  It’s not like work for me.  It’s just I go to hang out with my friends and have a good time.

JT:  I saw the tribute to your brother, Keith, on your MySpace page.  I’m curious to hear about your relationship with your brothers.  What’s that like, having all those guys behind you?

"The Eternal Fire," with his youngest fan.

"The Eternal Fire," with his youngest fan.

DB:  As far as my family life goes, I was raised up in a great home.  We had five kids and my parents.  They’re always supportive of everything. . . Anything that any of the kids ever needed, my parents are always more than willing to give. . . It’s definitely great to fight and have my family in the stands and stuff, and to come home and say “good job” or “get ‘em next time” if I lost, or anything like that.

JT:  Do you think a lot about your brother when you go into the ring?  Do you use him as a motivation or inspiration for victory?

DB:  At times.  I try not to dwell on it too much, but I definitely feel like he’s always looking out for me.  I definitely wish that he was around to see what I’ve done.  He came to a couple of my wrestling matches back in the day, and I’d won.  Like I said before, I was never that great at wrestling.  It would be great to have him know that I’m actually better than average at something, and I think I’m better than average at fighting.

JT:  I’d say so!  The fan following and the matches that I saw – you had a fantastic slugfest with Anton Tsiberkin there, and fans were eating that up.  Certainly your performance against Butch McGavern didn’t look too shabby either. . . Did Keith wrestle when he was alive?

DB:  Yeah, when he was younger, like junior wrestling.  He didn’t continue it through middle school or high school.

JT:  Do you and Bobby have your own side competitions on who’s training harder or who’s got the better win streak going?

DB:  Probably an unspoken one, I’m sure.  We always give each other crap.  He had fought Zach Mukai for the title and lost, and I came up later and beat Jesse for it, so I have that up on him for awhile.  And then I lost to John Albert and I’d hear about that all the time.  There’s always that little rivalry going on.

JT:  Talk to me about you as a fan of MMA.  Who are some of your favorite fighters or best matches that you’ve seen?

DB:  I love watching all of it, really.  Anybody that goes out there and just really goes for the finish, and pushes it to the limit, I can respect.  Spencer Fisher, I’ve actually sparred with him a little bit, so I love watching him fight, because he’s always so aggressive and never stops coming forward.  So he’s real exciting to watch.  Anybody with that kind of style.  Anderson Silva and most of his fights, when he’s just coming forward and just destroying people. . . Anybody that really just has that kind of ruthless offense to where they don’t stop and they aren’t worried about what their opponents are doing. . . I love watching stuff like that.  Or even just the slugfest wars.  Those are always exciting as well.

DB:  You’ve got guys like Randy Couture, who are really fun to watch.  Because he’s an older guy who always comes back to show these young guys up. . . People think, after 40, guys are done. . . I’m really just excited to see Matt Hume hopefully get back in the ring.  That’ll be an exciting thing to see.

JT:  Do you guys put pressure on him and try to rib him about making a comeback?

DB:  Well, it’s not really a ribbing.  It’s more like “please, Matt, get back in there so we can watch you fight.”  But that’s not a guy we really put a lot of pressure on.  He kinda intimidates most of us, so we kinda try not to put pressure too much.

JT:  What’s it like training under Matt?

DB:  It’s awesome.  Because you just know there’s no ceiling on where you can go.  And with all his connections and everything, I feel like I’m in the best place that I could possibly be as an amateur fighter coming up.  I know that I’m getting better constantly, and it’s through his system and all the trainers at AMC.

JT:  Describe his coaching style, in your words.  How he motivates you, the good and the bad, the scary and the inspiring.

DB:  Well, the real thing is just, you roll with him or spar with him or whatever and you just see how effortless it is for him to just pick you apart if he wants to.  And yet, anything that you ask and he’s always got an answer.  And he hardly has to think about it. He’s just got so much knowledge, it’s great to know he’s on my side [laughs].

JT:  What’s your best and your worst memory, of your career, so far?

DB:  It’s probably all the same one – my fight with JJ Lopez.  It was a real slugfest and I had to dig deep.  I was pretty sick that night . . . but we ended up just going back and forth.  And I thought it was a great fight, in watching it.  And just hearing the crowd and all that was a pretty awesome experience.  To have everybody on their feet and all that.  But at the same time, I lost a fight, so. . . It’s one of those things where you show a lot, but in the end, it wasn’t quite enough.  So I guess it was a double-edged sword where it was great, but at the same time, it sucked.

JT:  It seems to be a common mantra in MMA where some of your best memories or best lessons are learned when you lose.  You grow more through that than through the wins.

DB:  Definitely.  I mean, I lost my first two fights.  I was kinda glad to get them right off the bat.  Learn from them then, rather than have a ten-fight win streak and have two in a row.  Definitely learned a ton from my losses.  I do my best to learn from my wins and my losses, but definitely, you learn quite a bit more when you’re losing.

JT:  Were you facing some confidence issues, or were you having second thoughts, with those two losses?  Were you thinking “maybe this isn’t for me?”

DB:  No, definitely not.  My first fight, I lost a controversial decision, and my second fight, I just was making some mistakes, mainly on the ground.  Just going for things that weren’t working, and I just kept going for them . . . Right after the fight, I was really disappointed and upset.  But after talking with my coaches and understanding everything that I did do wrong, it’s just one of those things where you just gotta work harder and learn from your mistakes.  That’s one of the fun things for me, is seeing what my mistakes are and just being able to keep learning.

JT:  So you lost your first two matches and then you came back and won two matches and then the JJ Lopez fight?

DB:  Yeah, I lost my first two, then I fought Ken Daviscourt, won by TKO.  I fought Josh Chinchen on the first Genesis card, won by TKO, and I fought JJ and lost by TKO.

JT:  What goals do you have, within and without fighting?  Is this the thing you want to make your life, or are you seeing how far you can take it?

DB:  I definitely want to make a living by fighting.  I want to become a professional and make it to the top level, even be a world champion some day.  Right now, I’m just taking the steps that Matt and my coaches think I need to make to do that, which is to keep improving and fighting.  Also, on the side, I’ve been going to school. I’ve pretty much finished with my Associate’s Degree.  I want to go to a four-year school . . And probably get a degree in nutrition or something along those lines.  Personal training.  Something to keep me in the gym, because I’m truly happy in the gym, whether it be working with other guys or training myself.  Definitely the kind of core of my life right now, and it’s where I want to be.

JT:  Being in a place like AMC, where you train with local guys, but then you see these guys from the big leagues come in – names like Rich Franklin, Jens Pulver, and Spencer Fisher – what’s it like getting to work out with these guys?

DB:  Being able to talk to them and train with them is cool.  They’re just guys, like everybody else.  As far as how AMC trains and everything, it’s amazing.  The first time I sparred Jens and Spencer, I was expecting to just go in there and get dominated, but I went in there and was able to hold my own.  And it’s just a good feeling to know that the gap between amateur and professional really isn’t that large.  The ladder to your goal isn’t as big as I once thought it was.

JT:  It’s gotta be a good confidence booster.  I would think it also helps your skills, in that, for example, a coach was telling me how one of the tougher things can be to have that confidence to let your hands go sometimes.  But to feel like you can handle it against a Rich or Spencer, somebody, it gives you that confidence to let your hands go, and then your hands go.

DB & DJ - Two brothers from another mother.

DB & DJ - Two brothers from another mother.

DB:  I think it definitely plays a part.  When you go in there and you’re like ‘wow, I’m pretty good.  I can hang in there with these guys,’ yeah, it definitely does help with the whole confidence thing.

One thing with me and DJ [Demetrious Johnson], who’s my main training partner, we’ve never had a problem with letting our hands loose and stuff.  I think part of that is some of the mantra that Matt and Trevor and everybody has kind of instilled in us, which is ‘don’t worry about what your opponent’s gonna do to you.  Just worry about what you’re gonna do to them.’  Because if you’re doing what you want to do to them, they’re not going to be able to do what they want to do to you.  So I’ve never had a problem letting my hands go.

JT:  That’s another good question to ask.  Besides DJ, who are some of the other guys that really push you?  Your core team of guys that help you improve?

DB:  Basically, we have a group of guys down here at AMC South.  We’ve got Taurean Washington, Brian Roberge – they’re both amateur title holders now.  They both fight at 175 lbs.  They’re two top-ranked guys in Genesis FIGHTS, and those are two of my main training partners as well.  And Steve Skidds is our head coach down here.  And he of course pushes us and teaches us constantly as well.  Also [Luke] Pitman, who’s just coming off of a knee injury himself.  In the beginning, he was one of my core guys that really helped me with my basics and my base for fighting.

Between Taurean, Brian, DJ, Steve, and my brother Bobby, they’re basically the main core down here, and those are the guys I work with the most often.

JT:  Is there anything else about Drew Brokenshire that we should know about?

DB:  I’m a fan of superheroes.  I’m an Eagle Scout.

JT:  Are you a big comic book fan?

DB:  I don’t have a ton of comic books, but I definitely have been a fan of X-Men and everything.  Since I was little, I had all the action figures and played X-Men with my friends in the backyard.  We had a trampoline.  We were always on that playing around.  Any kind of superhero type stuff.  Ninja Turtles.  Anything like that.  You’ll probably see me wearing the shirts all the time.

JT:  Who wins in a match between Matt Hume and Wolverine?

DB:  I don’t know.  I gotta give it to Wolverine, because he’s got the rejuvenation powers.  Even if Matt beats his ass, he’s gonna keep coming.  Unfortunately, Matt doesn’t quite have his healing powers up to that rate yet.  Although he is a freak of nature.

JT:  And Matt doesn’t have the adamantium steel for the striking.  He doesn’t have those claws, so he’s really gotta work on the knockout.

DB:  Yeah, exactly.  The adamantium claws and skeleton is gonna hurt Matt’s chance of breaking his arm.

JT:  Wolverine’s gonna cause more cuts, certainly, above the eyes . . . what about which Ninja Turtle is gonna give Matt more a run for his money.

DB:  I don’t know.  I think Ninja Turtles would be in trouble against Matt.  I don’t think they can handle Matt.

Following this interview, Drew recently fought Colby Hoffman at Brian Johnston’s NW Fight Challenge VII.  He defeated Hoffman with by rear naked choke submission in the second round, becoming the new 145 lb. USAMMA champion.

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Posted in Genesis FIGHTS, Live Event Reports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2008 by jaytan716
Genesis FIGHTS: Cold War took place on December 6th, 2008, at the Bellevue Community College just outside Seattle, WA.

Genesis FIGHTS: Cold War took place on December 6th, 2008, at the Bellevue Community College just outside Seattle, WA.

The Emerald City celebrated their “season’s beatings” early, as Genesis FIGHTS held their final MMA / kickboxing event of 2008.  Entitled ‘Cold War,” the event took place at the Bellevue Community College.

Nine different fight teams participated in the night’s fight card of 15 bouts.  AMC Pankration had eight representatives on the bill, including Drew Brokenshire, Taurean Washington, and Demetrius Johnson all defending their respective featherweight, welterweight, and bantamweight titles.  In addition, the first two regional elimination matches for entry into the 155-pound Unified World Grand Prix of MMA (UWGP) took place.  The winners of those matches will square off in 2009 to determine who will be one of four participants in the UWGP.

The UWGP is a global tournament in the 155-pound weight class organized and promoted by a collective of promoters (including Genesis FIGHTS promoter Matt Hume) from North America, Asia (SHOOTO), Hawaii, and Europe (GOLDEN GLORY).  Each region is holding a four-man tournament to determine their regional representative, which will be a one-night four-man tournament to take place in 2009.  The winner of the UWGP will receive a multi-fight contract to a major MMA organization.

1. Greg “The Rage” Sage (AMC Pankration) vs. Julian Martin (Brian Johnson Kickboxing Academy), 155 lb. Novice Kickboxing

Sage was the first of eight AMC Pankration fighters on the bill tonight.  The first round saw Sage and Martin exchange kicks.  Martin, with the height advantage, largely kept Sage at bay with side and low kicks and jab combinations.  Sage was wearing a vicious red welt on his right flank.  Sage charged in at the beginning of the second round, but Martin caught him with a right cross.  Martin dropped sage by catching a right kick and tripping him over.  Sage largely tried to push the fight with charges.  In the third round, Sage picked his shots, using kicks and mid-range punches, while Martin kept his distance.  Sage did land a spinning back kick and dropped Martin with a left low kick.  Towards the end of the round, Sage charged Martin with body shots and clinched him against the ropes.  It looked like Sage had more gas in the tank.  Both fighters raise their hands in victory and share some mutual audience applause at the end of the match.

Greg Sage is awarded the match by split decision, giving AMC its first win for the night.

2. Craig Beatty (AMC Pankration) vs.  X Bowers (Brian Johnson Kickboxing Academy), 205 lb. Novice MMA

Round one was worth the price of admission alone, as Beatty & Bowers battled it out like an amateur level Griffin-Bonner.  Beatty fired the opening salvo with a right jab and Muay Thai knees.  Bowers fended the attack off with straight punches, slapping on a front headlock after Beatty slipped and fell.  They broke apart and continued to exchange hard shots, including Beatty almost taking Bower’s head off with a right hook.  The fans were into this match, including foot-stomping. Neither man was much for head defense, but both were giving it their all. In round two, Beatty took command with Muay Thai knees and body shots.  Bowers was exhausted and fell to the ground.  Beatty took the back, but Bowers rolled over and ended up on top, almost in Beatty’s guard.  Beatty is worked for an armbar from below.  Bowers threw Beatty to the side and took his back, but Beatty reversed back and got full mount.  Bowers eventually rolled over, allowing Betty to sink in the choke at 2:43 of the second round.  The crowd was ecstatic.

3. Jesse Winkler (Eastside MMA) vs. Sean Lindsey (Brian Johnson Kickboxing Academy), Heavyweight Novice MMA

Lindsey is solid and looks game, almost like a smaller version off Kryzsztof Soszynski.  The first round saw Lindsey take the clinch several times.  The first time, he took Winkler to several corners, throwing knees in between.  Winkler landed a hard right cross.  If this was Vegas, the fans would have been rabidly booing, but Seattleites know their MMA.  Lindsey slapped on a front headlock to wear Winkler down, but Winkler held on, possibly baiting Lindsay into wasting energy.  It apparently worked, as Lindsey looked tired after breaking, but he bought some time by keeping Winkler at bay with kicks.  Lindsey swung hard to finish the fight, but Winkler’s got in some lefts and rights of his own.  Early in the second round, the ref halted the action, asking a doctor to check a cut over Winkler’s left eye.  But the bleeding was too much, and as such, the doctor called off the fight.

Sean Lindsey was awarded the match at 0:20 of the second round via TKO / doctor’s stoppage.

4. Eric Kennedy (AMC Pankration) vs. Dex Montenegro (Eastside MMA), 145 lb. Novice MMA

Montenegro wore shorts with the colors of the Filipino national flag.  As this fight happened on the same night as the De la Hoya-Pacquiao fight, this didn’t seem like a coincidence.

Kennedy stunned Montenegro early and slapped on a front headlock.  Montenegro escaped and got a guillotine after Kennedy shot in.  They took it to the ground and Kennedy eventually got a rear naked choke, with accompanying body triangle, but Montenegro fought it to the end of the round.  In round two, Kennedy scored another takedown and claimed top control early.  But the referee stood them up, at which point it Montenegro fought back with explosive leg kicks and punch combinations all the way to the end of the round.

Eric Kennedy was awarded the match via unanimous decision.

5. Brian Belisle (Bonney Lake, WA) vs. Leo Hoover (Gator MMA), Heavyweight Novice MMA

From the get-go, these two behemoths wanted to throw heavy artillery.  Hoover declined the opening round knuckle bump. Twelve seconds later, Hoover’s backed up his arrogance with a striking flurry that left Belisle on the ground.  This writer barely had time to blink.

6. Jordan Mclaughlin (Eastside MMA) vs. Jory Erickson (Great Northern Fight Club), 205 lb. Novice MMA

Erickson immediately scored a takedown.  Mclaughlin briefly had Erickson’s right arm, but before you knew it, Erickson had the back with hooks in.  Mclaughlin tried to roll out of it, but ends up tapping out at the one-minute mark of the first round.

7. James Kim (Eastside MMA) vs. Tim Williams (Brian Johnson Kickboxing Academy), 165 lb. Novice Kickboxing

Lots of engaging in the middle of the ring, with Williams throwing body shots, and Kim attacking with hard kicks and headshots.  Williams covered up, but Kim’s shots still got through.  James commanded ring generalship in this round, although Williams turned the steam up in the last 10 seconds.  In round two, Williams tried to make up for it, drilling Kim with headshots and a clear head kick.  By the end of it, Kim had a wicked red welt on the right side of his stomach.  Williams continued the assault in round three, but Kim volleyed back with leg kicks, and a superman punch.  Both men gave it their all to the end, but Tim Williams was awarded the match by decision.

At this point, ring announcer Dar Johnson announced a 10-minute intermission, which the crowd actually booed.  Clearly, Seattleites like their MMA.

8. Josh Baker (AMC Pankration) vs.  Brian McGrath (Great Northern Fight Club), 185 lb. Novice MMA

The cornrowed Baker is a fan favorite from Hume’s AMC Pankration team.  He walks over to the other corner and gives double knuckle bumps, demonstrating his fan favorite style.

Baker & McGrath went through an intense feeling out period in the first round, striking hard and backing away.  McGrath tried to take advantage of Baker overextending himself, but Baker catches a kick and tripped McGrath over, falling into his guard.  McGrath muted Baker by overhooking his arms, but the hometown favorite was able to pull out of guard.  Back on their feet, Baker dropped McGrath with a left jab as McGrath kicked a body shot.  The crowd was very Japanese for this match (read “intensely quiet and respectful of the fighters’ skills).

The Even-Steven battle continued in the second round.  Baker scored a takedown and got side position briefly before, they both came to their feet and traded knees before separating.   McGrath proved to be a tough challenge for Baker, who kept distance with low kicks.  McGrath saw his low kicks and raised them with head kicks.  Another clinch saw more knee exchanges and a head kick by McGrath as they separated.  McGrath once more stunned Baker, who shot for a takedown just before the bell ended the match.

Judges gave the match to Josh Baker by split decision.  Despite some audience boos, both showed great sportsmanship.  McGrath is no sore loser.

9. Ben Fodor (Alderwood MMA) vs. Justin Nelson (Team Quest), 170 lb. A-class MMA

Seemingly taking his cues from The Rock and Big Daddy Kane, Ben Fodor is a star in the making, and he clearly knows it.

However, in round one, Fodor found himself on the defensive for much of the match.  Nelson took Fodor down twice, but the two ended back up on their feet.  Nelson had the height and reach advantage, taking Fodor down in the corner, but Fodor was able to get to his feet and push the pressure on Nelson with overhand rights.  Nelson eventually got Fodor on the ground again and trapped him in a rear naked choke, then maintaining control with full mount and ground and pound tactics.  Ending up on the feet again, Fodor was able to mar a judo takedown, but Nelson forced it and continued to rain down punches.  Fodor gave it his all to get out of it and finally got to his feet, hurling overhand rights past Nelson’s guard as the bell rang.

In the second round, Fodor used his wrestling to prevent several takedown attempts.  Nelson worked hard for the takedown, but Fodor threw him off and dropped bombs, even with Nelson halfway out of the ring.  Nelson eventually got Fodor to the ground, where Fodor went for a leglock / ankle twist.  Back on their feet, Nelson continued the takedown assault with a judo toss attempt and another single-leg.  Fodor threw a high kick, followed by a spinning backfist that missed, but which popped the crowd.  By the end of the round, Fodor was blown up, but not so much that he didn’t have energy to play to the crowd.

But that wasn’t enough for the judges, who gave the decision to Justin Nelson.  Fodor looked out of his element in defeat.  Probably because at 8-0 up to that point, he was.

10. Brian Roberge (AMC Pankration) vs. Tim Sternod (Brian Johnson Kickboxing Academy), 170 lb. A-class MMA ranking fight

Roberge and Sternod were fast and furious in this barnburner.  Despite an early time-out for an eye poke on Sternod, the match continued.  Roberge had some nice combinations, connecting often.  The crowd once again “turned Japanese” for this match.  Roberge dropped Sternod, but couldn’t pass guard, so he stacked Sternod and dropped lefts.  As Sternod tried to escape from bottom by climbing up a single, then double-leg takedown position, Roberge peppered him with rights.  Roberge was working bodyshots from side control when the bell ended.

After taking another look at Sternod’s eye, the doctor stopped the match, awarding the match to Brian Roberge.

Brian McGrath & Josh Baker are brought into the ring.  Scorecard recalculations turn Baker’s win into a draw (and AMC’s record to 4-0-1.  There was minimal rejection from the crowd, even though their hometown hero was denied his victory.

11. Blaine Macintosh (Team Quest) vs. Rico Rough (United Fight Team), 155 lb. Unified World Grand Prix match

This was the first of two UWGP qualifier matches for the night.  Rough and Macintosh traded shots early in the match, with Macintosh connecting on punches and Rough throwing low kicks.  Rough caught a midsection kick from Macintosh and tripped him for the takedown, slamming Macintosh with a powerbomb after almost getting caught in an armbar.  Macintosh continued the jiu-jitsu assault with a rubberguard and gogoplata.  Rough escaped, but was gassed enough for Macintosh to capitalize with ground-and-pound, followed by a body triangle / rear naked choke.  Rough finally tapped at 3:34 of the first round.

12. Caros Fodor (AMC Pankration) vs. Kyle Gotzman (Silverdale, WA), 155 lb. Unified World Grand prix match

Caros Fodor, adopted brother of Ben, is another AMC hometown favorite and a regional triple champion, holding two belts in Genesis FIGHTS and another title in a different promotion.  Both Fodor and Gotzman are U.S. Marines.

Fodor and Gotzman didn’t waste time in engaging right off the bat.  Fodor got the clinch and threw Muay Thai knees until scoring a takedown.  Gotzman held a tight clinch from the bottom, but Fodor eventually got side mount, then full mount, working a kimura / Americana.  Finally, Fodor spun around to catch an armbar on Gotzman, who tapped out at 2:04 of the first round.

Caros Fodor will now face Blaine Macintosh in early 2009 to determine the Genesis FIGHTS representative in the UWGP, which takes place later next year.

13. Drew Brokenshire (AMC Pankration) vs. 9-1 Butch McGavern (Victory Athletics), 145 lb. Genesis MMA Title fight

Brokenshire’s was the first of three Genesis FIGHTS title defenses for AMC for the night.

Brokenshire and McGavern traded blows from the start.  With no delay, Brokenshire tagged McGavern with a right cross to his left temple, instantly dropping his challenger.  He followed up with ground-and-pound shots until the referee pulled him off at 0:17 in the first round.

14. Taurean Washington (AMC Pankration) vs. Justin Larsson (Twin Dragons), 170 lb. Genesis MMA Title fight

With the title vacant, Washington and Larsson were both hungry to claim championship gold.    

After briefly feeling each other out, Washington and Larsson clashed with simultaneous hard rights.  Larsson clinched up and went for a takedown that almost propelled them both out of the ring.  Restarting in the middle, Washington tagged Larsson with another right that dropped Larsson like a sack of potatoes at 1:35 of the first round.  This was almost a replay of the previous match.  Larsson was out cold for several minutes, but he was eventually able to get up of his own accord.  The crowd was respectably quiet and concerned for Larson, giving him an honorable round of applause as he exits the ring.

15. Demetrious Johnson (AMC Pankration) vs. 7-3  Forest Seabourne (Victory Athletics), 135 lb. Genesis MMA Title fight

This was Johnson’s first title defense of 2008, as his previous Genesis FIGHTS matches this year were in Muay Thai (May) and boxing (February), notching up wins in both outings.    

This was fast scrap between wrestlers.  Seabourne scored a takedown early in the first round, but didn’t hold Johnson down for long.  Johnson came back with a hard right.  The two vied for control standing, ending up in whizzer position against the ropes.  Seabourne was able to throw Johnson to the ground, but couldn’t capitalize on it before Johnson got to his feet.  Johnson continues his striking with Muay Thai knees.  They finally ended up on the ground from whizzer position, with Johnson in Seabourne’s half-guard.  Johnson was able to employ some ground-and-pound rights while using his wrestling to keep Seabourne on the ground.  Seabourne eventually escaped and Johnson chased him with a high kick.  Johnson got another takedown and sunk his hooks in, tying up a rear naked choke and getting the tap at the 4:09 mark of the first round.

Although not a team tournament, AMC Pankration claimed the “Cold War” definitively, with a powerful 8-0-1 record for the night, including first-round finishes in the last four matches of the night.  Brian Roberge also had an early night, taking his match by doctor’s stoppage, while Eric Kennedy and Greg Sage went all the way to decision victories.  Craig Beatty finished his opponent midway through the second round with one of the most exciting submissions of the night.

Genesis FIGHTS next event will take place on March 21st, 2009, at the Shoreline Community College.