The Battle Cage Xtreme promotion put on an excellent night of MMA last night at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, N.J. With 17 fights on the card, I was a bit skeptical on how they would pull it off, but the event was genuinely entertaining. With only 3 of 17 fights ending by Decision (two of those Decisions featuring incredible back-n-forth action) every fan in the house should have gone home happy.
Maybe it was the HDNet cameras or bevy of UFC vets cornering fights, but each fighter came out blazing. Case in point: Ken Stone connected so squarely on Joe Camacho with a kick to the ribs, the smack sounded like a crack of lightning. The ringside doctors were kept busy all evening with numerous TKO (strikes) and chokeouts.
From our seat cageside, we were able to catch some of the things you’ll only see at a live event – like a fighter’s mother screaming obscenities at her son’s opponents corner. Apparently Steve D’Angelis and Blair Tugman hate each other, and Mrs. D’Angelis had some choice words for Tugman’s corner during the fight. It was ironic that she then used the door on Tugman’s side of the cage en route to give son Steve a big hug after he scored the victory for the BCX 145lb title.
We also witnessed an unnecessary (and annoying) break in the action which was “highlighted” by High Pitch Eric (from Howard Stern show) screaming into the mic for a few minutes. The action of the fights was enough to give the fans their monies worth, so the rambling of High Pitch Eric just created a “WTF” moment that took away from the fights themselves.
It was good to see so many UFC level fighters actively cornering at this event. Ricardo Almeida, Dante Rivera, Frank Edgar, Kurt Pelligrino and Jim & Dan Miller were all shouting instruction throughout the night to their respective fighters. I was particularly impressed with Almeida, who’s comments from the corner were like kind of like a play-by-play of the fight as it was happening. He shouted specific instruction in anticipation of what his fighter should be doing in that very next moment (Almeida’s fighters went 1-2 on the night so not sure exactly how helpful it actually was).
I’ll admit I never would have thought I’d see more wardrobe changes at an MMA show than at a Britney Spears concert. The cornermen of Rhino Fight Team and Team Liguori were swapping sponsor t-shirts faster than I could keep track. I believe at one point, Rhino’s Rob Guarino rocked 3 different shirts during one fight (including a 5 Oz of Pain signature tee, thanks Rob). I challenge any sponsor to question the effort those guys were giving.
Overall, Five Ounces of Pain was impressed with the show. For a young promotion (4th event), the show went off very smoothly. They kept the fights moving and the action flowing. The Tropicana Showroom was packed (small venue) and the fans were loud. It was good to not hear a lot of booing, as most of the fans respected the wrestling and BJJ that was on display. The booing did come when there was clear stalling going down and the ref refused to stand it up, but that was only 2 or 3 times. HDNet should be airing highlights for many of these fights. There were enough heavy hands and slick submissions to fill highlight reel. I hope Battle Cage Xtreme can build upon the success of this event, it would be a solid boost for MMA in the Northeast.
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