SFL America Team Challenge: Seattle vs. Portland Results
SFL America Team Challenge: Seattle vs. Portland
SFL America: Team Challenge MMA Fight Recap: Written by @petetorious
Cage Sport MMA & Super Fight League made history Saturday night when they re-introduced "Team MMA" back into the sport of fighting. A previous organization called International Fight League (IFL) had a team fighting system that everyone seemed to be pleased with. Unfortunately, their stint in MMA was short-lived and the team MMA concept fell by the waist-side.....until now! Implementing a collegiate wrestling style point system, two teams (#teamseattle and #teamportland) fought for the pride of their team and most importantly, for their city. This new team challenge was everything fight fans around the world have been waiting for. Along with a scoring system that kept fans drooling for one fight after another, SFL America: Team Challenge had a cinderella ending that you'd have to see to believe!
To set the stage for how epic the last two fights of the event were, #TeamPortland was moping the floor with #TeamSeattle, and took a clean sweep of 13-0. Team Portland scored a TKO (5 points) from Benny Vinson, a Unanimous Decision (3 points) earned by Journey Newson and the 3rd consecutive win scored by Team Portland's women's division fighter Liz Tracy with a another TKO. With this huge deficit half way into the SFL Team Challenge, Seattle fans were clinching their chairs hoping to get not only points, but some finishes. Out comes Joey Pierotti to start up the comeback train. Fighting Portland's Chris Evans, Pierotti took little time to take Evans to the ground and finished with a consistent 20 second pummeling to put Team Seattle on the board. This was the point where the crowd wiped away their beer tears and realized Seattle had a chance to pull a huge upset. With the score now at 13-5, #teamseattle needed at least a TKO and a decision to tie (and who knows how a tie would of ended the event...thumb wrestling OT??). It was safe to say that the next two fights were not just for their own personal record. These fighters had the city they represented riding on their backs. The pressure was on for both teams, but especially for Rafael Brewster and Justin Harrington. Now let's dive in:
Co-Main event- Rafael Brewster vs. Jose McKay Rodriguez:
Rodriguez started the fight as the aggressor using his clinch work to press Brewster on the cage. Both fighters scrambled for position with Brewster working to get his back off the cage. Rodriguez let go of the clinch and shot for a single leg which slowly but surely, he got control of and took Brewster down. From here, Rodriguez stayed on top delivering precise strikes while working to pass Brewster's guard. Brewster eventually delivered an upkick that gave Rodriguez an opening to get to side control and advanced his way up to Brewsters neck, working for an arm-triangle. Brewster fought out but Rodriguez' ground game was like a chinese finger trap, the more Brewster fought it, the harder it was for him to shake Rodriguez off. Rodriguez had a dominating position on top in Brewster's half guard, when out of nowhere Brewster started delivering a vicious combo of elbow strikes from the bottom. An elbow accidentally grazed the back of Rodriguez' head, which at this point the referee stopped the fight and docked Brewster a point for illegal elbow. The referee set the fighters back in the same position they left at and Rodriguez finished the round staying on top with Brewster staying active from the bottom. The fight was looking pretty one sided with the superior grappling of Rodriguez. Both fighters came out conservative only having a few kick exchanges. After a minute of both fighters feeling each other out on the feet, Rodriguez charged with some heavy leather and in return, took a loud right hook and hard knee to the head in the process. Rafael took full advantage and with a barrage of punches and knees, sent Rodriguez to the floor forcing the referee to step in. This earned Rafael Brewster a KO victory in the 2nd round and earning 9 points for his team, being the boost needed for #teamseattle to flip the script on #teamportland with the scoring being 14-13, Seattle's lead.
At this point, it might as well be a tie. Very unlikely there'd be a draw (both fighters get 2 points), so there wasn't any feeling like any team had this wrapped up. It all came down to this........
Main Event Lightweight Title Fight (5 Rounds)- Justin Harrington vs. Bryan Nuro:
1st round, Harrington came out confident with his boxing, with very quick footwork and fast jabs, the champ kept landing solid jabs and 1,2 punches while slipping out of Nuro's range. Nuro kept forward but Harrington was light on his feet and gone by the time Nuro wanted to land a punch. Harrington solidified the round ending with a head kick and a left-right hook before the bell.
Round 2 stayed on the feet with Harrington taking center of the cage, keeping light on his feet, calculating his strikes. Nuro came forward and got caught with a right hook, dropping him then having Harrington swarming to finish. Nuro scrambled for a submission making Harrington stay composed and return back to the center to make him stand up. Harrington stalked knowing he was hurt but being conservative to not get caught himself. The champ Harrington kept the pressure up, going with an accurate but not full-power superman punch, followed by a 1,2 combo then attacking the body. Nuro caught Harrington with a good punch combo that forced the champ to clinch and possibly take the fight to the ground. Nuro was able to get Harrington down but not for long before they stood up to do an equal punch exchange to end the round.
3rd round, Nuro picked up a big spike of confidence charging forward, leading the punching exchanges. Nuro landed some hard shots while pulling Harrington into his clinch to then press him against the fence. Nuro explosively dropped low for a takedown, swinging Harrington down. As Harrington stood back up, Nuro jumped onto his back attempting to sink in a rear-naked choke. Nuro got shook off after losing his grip to which Harrington walked away forcing Nuro to stand. Nuro took control of the standing exchanges once again while taking center pushing the champ into the fence. This was the moment you could tell both fighters were getting tired. Many of the exchanges were explosive exchanges then immediately clinched up to catch a breath. Nuro finished the round the aggressor looking for a finish both on the feet and on the ground.
Nuro repeated the same blueprint in the 4th round, charging forward with everything he could throw, following his exchange with a successful takedown. Nuro stuck to his grappling and stalked Harrington for any openings he saw, which he repeatedly almost sunk in a full rear-naked choke that had the Tacoma crowd sweating. The fight turn to an all out grappling match with after most of the round Nuro dominating, Harrington reversed and got top position to end the round.
5th and final round. No true winner can be picked just yet, it all came down to this last round. These fighters fought purely off heart standing and banging like it was the first round. Harrington utilized his jab very intelligently combating Nuro's aggressiveness. Nuro countered with clinching and pressing Harrington against the fence. Both fighters were swing for the fences, staying forward and giving it their all. Harrington delivered a knee and gave Nuro that leg to shoot for a takedown. Nuro finished the round pummeling Harrington with a hammer fist to the ribs.
The bell rang ending the fight. No one was confident that their team had won. It was a quiet nail biter waiting for the judges decision. Finally, Kenny Davis got on the mic, says the judge's scoring (All judges scored the fight 48-47). All is quiet, it could go either way..........#AndStill! Justin Harrington got the win by Unanimous Decision! Defending his lightweight title belt and solidifying #teamseattle as the first team to win the new SFL America: Team Challenge. Both fighters overcame insurmountable pressure to bring home a win to their city. Both fought their hearts out, but one city was crowned the victor, #teamseattle.
Team Seattle: 17
Team Portland: 13
Thanks again to the fighters who made this event possible and to fight fans who witnessed this event for being apart of MMA/Combat Sport History!
Full SFL America: Team Challenge Fight Results
Main Event (5 Rounds)
Justin Harrington defeats Bryan Nuro via Unanimous Decision (48-47x3) for the SFL America Lightweight Title
Team Challenge Fights (3 Rounds)
Rafael Brewster defeats Jose McKay Rodriguez via KO (Strikes) at 1:35 of Round 2
Joey Pierotti defeats Chris Evans via TKO (Strikes) at 2:35 of round 1
Liz Tracy defeats Cindy Hales via TKO (Strikes) at 4:11 of round 2
Journey Newson defeats Shane Friesz via unanimous decision (30-27x2, 29-28)
Benny Vinson defeats Zack Skinner via TKO (Strikes) at 2:31 of round 2
Opening Bouts (Not Scored) (3 Rounds)
Anthony Zender defeats Sean Gee via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
Chris Stone defeats Kody Hammond via Submission (RNC) at 2:17 of Round 3
- Written by Peter Artman (@petetorious)
Scores will be awarded to the winner of each contest with fighters earning
9 points for a KO
7 points for a Submission Victory
5 points for a TKO
3 points for a Decision
2 points for a Draw
The winning team will have the highest combined score for all six bouts.
ABOUT BRIAN HALQUIST
Brian Halquist Productions is the Northwest premiere fight promotion company creator of the famed “Battle at the Boat” boxing series promoting two decades and 100 fights at the Emerald Queen Casino. BHP has also built the largest professional MMA series on the USA’s west coast with “CageSport MMA” promoting over 40 fights. Brian Halquist Productions has promoted events for ESPN, ShowTime and HBO and featured on Showtime’s historic boxing event in St Lucia, West Indies. Brian Halquist Productions has been promoting fights and concerts for over 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.