Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco was host to Gladiator Challenge's "Summer Showdown" event last Friday night. There were ten fights in total, and only three of the fights ended in a decision.
Most of the fights were hard hitting and exciting. The most exciting fight was a fight that ended up in a split decision.
Zak Bucia was awarded a split decision after a three round war. The match was a back and forth tussle but the match stalled in the third round as both fighters were gassed.
The crowd was really into this fight and it was the fight of the night.
The decision could have gone either way as the fight was very competitive and even. They both had their moments offensively landing kicks and punches. Bucia was caught in a triangle but was saved by the bell in the first round.
The main event was between Kurt Osiander and Nate Moore. Osiander is a black belt instructor at the Ralph Gracie Academy in San Francisco. Moore fights out of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose.
90% of the crowd was on the side of Osiander as it appeared that all of his students were in attendance.
Believe it or not, the main event ended faster than the main events at the UFC and Affliction shows over the weekend.
Much to the displeasure of the crowd, Moore knocked Osiander down with a flurry of punches and the referee had to stop the fight after only six seconds.
Osiander never had the opportunity to try to take down Moore, and attempt to submit him.
UFC welterweight fighter, Jon Fitch, was in Moore's corner. Fitch also cornered for another AKA teammate, Wayne Phillips, who lost a unanimous decision to Joey Armstrong.
The Ralph Gracie Academy students left Kezar Pavilion stunned and disappointed.
Another fan favorite, Justin "The Hero" Hoglund, also lost as his fight was stopped in the second round due to a cut. Hoglund, who trains at Ralph Gracie's Academy, had a cut that was opened up by his opponent, 19-year-old Gabriel Solorio in the first round.
Solorio was booed heavily and the ending didn't help endear him to the pro-Hoglund crowd. Solorio told me after the fight that he didn't let the boos get to him.
"There was a lot of hate there. I didn't let the crowd get to me. I knew what I was trying to do and I did it," said Solorio."I wanted to stand up and trade some punches, but he wanted to go against the cage and clinch. It started working good for me so I beat him at his own game."
In a battle of heavyweights, John Devine defeated Richard Blake by TKO due to strikes. Blake protested the stoppage by the referee to no avail. The fans were not pleased with what they thought was an early stop to the fight, and some of them started to throw t-shirts into the cage.
The t-shirts the fans were throwing into the cage were the shirts thrown into the crowd by the ring card girls in between rounds.
A fighter that really impressed me was a middlewight named Raul Castillo. Castillo mounted his opponent, Josh Neal, and delivered some vicious punches to end the fight at the 1:36 mark of round one.
Castillo is now 5-0 with four of the wins via TKO. He is definitely one fighter to keep an eye on.
The other winners from Friday night were Ryan Bastianelli, Matt Greene, Larry Mays, and Mike Fazzino.
Mays won his fight over Will Davis due to a verbal tapout at the end of round two.
Fazzino defeated San Francisco police officer, Bryan Lujan, by TKO due to strikes at the 2:18 mark of the first round. Fazzino took him down and then started to rain down repeated punches which forced the referee to end the fight.
It was a chilly and cold night, but the women in the building were very hot. There were lots of beautiful women dressed in short tube tops, dresses, and miniskirts.
The crowd was very lively and raucous throughout the course of the evening.
Although none of the fighters on the card are household names, most of them fought valiantly and impressively. The fights were mostly entertaining and the atmosphere inside Kezar Pavilion was electric.
The Bay Area MMA fans who watched "Summer Showdown" all seemed to have a good time even though a lot of them left disappointed due to some of the fan favorites losing.
Overall, the night was a huge success for Gladiator Challenge and the promoters, Full Contact Promotions, as the fans enjoyed over three hours of entertaining MMA fights.