Story by Joseph Egloff of MMA Blaster
ICF Power of Champions at Parris Island, South Carolina featured a monumental night of fights. They were the first legal mixed martial arts bouts in the state of South Carolina. While the state of South Carolina still bans mma, Parris Island is a federally owned Marine base.
The bouts were fought in a hexagon style cage with a gray floor and black fence. I was seated about five feet from the cage at a table with Marines press and representatives from sponsors Grand Champ MMA and Omega Fightwear.
Norman Jones def Justin Granet via TKO(ref stoppage), 3:22 R3 - This fight turned out to be an entertaining fight as Norman Jones(white trunks) and Justin Granet opted to mainly stand and trade. Jones, who is also a pro boxer, had good head movement and occasionally baited Granet in by dropping his hands. Granet was content to throw quite a few leg kicks with most landing with a good snap. The first round was Granet’s best as he came close to getting a rear naked choke and armbar.
The second round saw Jones throwing the better combinations on his feet, finding his rhythm and timing. At this point, Jones was shaking off Granet's leg kicks. Jones was able to land some knees and power punches taking the second round.
In the third, Jones was able to throw Granet to the ground on a couple occasions and effectively used his ground and pound. Jones threw more effective combinations, with blood and sweat popping off Granet after crisp punches. While continuing to pour it on and inflict damage throughout the round, the ref called a stop to the bout.
After the fight I was able to have a couple words with Norman. When asked about Granet’s kicks, he said, “I was like man, stop throwing them kicks, your leg is going to be sore tomorrow.” Norman then proceeded to demonstrate his head movement and a left right combination. Norman is a pretty funny guy.
At weigh-ins I had asked each fighter about pre-fight jitters as each was entering their first pro fight. Norman said, “you gotta have jitters or you aren’t prepared.” Justin, who was extremely calm, stated he just relaxes and takes it easy.
Josh Robertson def. Joe Trevino- 3:07 R1- TKO- These two competitors were the only ones with bad blood during the weigh-ins and press conference. Josh had apparently carried a grudge with Joe after one of Joe’s students pulled out of a fight with him. Joe said he would beat his ass. With all the ill will, I asked Josh if he intended to knock Trevino out. Josh said that he would submit Joe in the first round.
The fight started with Josh quickly getting a takedown and then securing full mount. It seemed that Josh was throwing punches to set up an armbar, or get Joe to roll into a rear naked choke attempt. Trevino didn’t give Josh that opportunity, instead trying only to block the punches. Despite not every punch landing, Trevino just wasn’t doing anything to improve his position. The ref called the stoppage.
The crowd was not at all happy about the stoppage, and it was the only time we heard boo’s all night. If you aren’t improving your position with taking punches for a minute and a half on the ground, usually the ref is calling the fight.
Larry Landry def. Shah Bobonis via sub(rear naked choke), 3:08 R1- TKO- “Hollywood” Shah Bobonis came out dancing to Akon’s, “We Taking Over” looking loose and ready to go in Black Brawl and Maul shorts. The “Lethal Leprechaun” Larry Landry came out to Eminem’s, “Lose Yourself,” and was by far the hometown favorite.
Both fighters were looking to stand and trade in the opening frame. Shah was able to land a perfectly placed spinning backfist, and then threw a high kick that struck Larry’s head. With Shah thinking Larry was dazed, he went to engage again. However, this time as Shah threw a straight right, Larry countered with a right hook.
The hook landed flush to the side of Shah’s temple and dazed him. Larry didn’t waste anytime punching and getting a slam takedown, following it up with more punches before sinking in the rear naked choke. At this point the hometown crowd was going absolutely crazy as Larry had secured the ICF Featherweight Belt in an awesome come from behind victory.
Following the fight, I asked Shah what happened after the high kick landed. He said, “man, I clipped him with the high kick, check out my leg.” Looking down I saw a small cut on Shah’s shin with dried blood. “I never hit anyone like that who didn’t go down.” When asked about the hook, Shah said, “I don’t remember anything after I was hit in the temple. “
A jubilant Larry Landry thanked his wife and kid, as well as Omega Fightwear. “My wife is my number one sponsor,” remarked Larry as he gave her praise for putting up with his lifestyle. I asked Larry about the head kick, and he said, “I wasn’t stunned, it hit me but didn’t stun me.” When asked what punch finished him off Shah, Larry remarked that he countered Shah’s punch with a hook. One thing is for sure, Larry's head is as hard as a rock.
Muhsin Corbbrey def. Jason Nicholson- :28 R1- KO(knee)- Both fighters circled briefly before Muhsin landed a thunderous kick to the thigh of Jason Nicholson that let out a big smack that could be heard throughout the venue. Jason came in to engage throwing his own kick before looking for a takedown. Muhsin used the opportunity to throw a nasty right knee to flush on Jason’s head. Jason went down to the ground and Muhsin followed, but it wasn’t necessary as the ref had already stepped in. Muhsin takes the 155 pound Lightweight Belt.
Muhsin wanted to thank his friend Joey in Iraq as he has been an inspiration in his life. When I asked about what knocked Jason out, Muhsin said, “right knee man, pop” as he mimicked the move he had just thrown to win the ICF Belt.
Jason Nicholson has to be given tremendous credit for taking the fight as many other fighters had turned down the opportunity. Jason engaged with the Elite XC veteran, not backing down, and gave it his all. Even though he lost, he showed some serious heart and courage.
*Once again, I would like to thank Rico(black suit above) and Rich(black t-shirt above) from the ICF for their hospitality and press pass. I would also like to thank all the guys at Grand Champ MMA and Omega Fightwear.
*Thanks also to Brent Bishop Photography, check out www.brentbishop.net
*I'll have three posts to this event, the Main Card, the Undercard, then a post about my adventure.
*We will see Muhsin fight again in the ICF sooner rather than later as Elite XC is closing its doors and filing for bankruptcy.