Smash Global, the only black tie MMA organization put on another fantastic event this past Thursday. Smash Global VI was held at the Taglyan Complex in the heart of Hollywood, California. The event featured four officially sanctioned bouts but also honored UFC Hall of Famer Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. Proceeds from the night will go to charities that focus on ending bullying in schools.
Liddell was honored before the main event and was given a commutative championship belt. A small video package was played before Liddell was introduced to the cage. Liddell told a story of how he entered the world of mixed martial arts and how he was unsure if he could make a living being a professional fighter. He spoke about never imagining how big the sport could grow especially when it was impossible to even get coverage in the sports section at many newspapers. He also spoke on the bully epidemic in schools and encouraged everyone to be an advocate for anti-bullying.
Smash Global is a unique concept. It mixes the high-end look of a Hollywood gala with the brutal nature of mixed martial arts. There is a red carpet, men in tuxedos, women in elegant gowns, servers offering alcohol and hors d’oeuvrs. You often have to remind yourself that you are at an MMA bout.
The founder and CEO of Smash Global, Steve Orosco, stated that his vision is to bring a high-end feel to the world of MMA. Growing up he was a boxing fan and wants to bring some of the boxing world’s more high class fans to the sport of mixed martial arts. The fights took place in a grand ballroom with dinner tables placed around the cage and a giant chandelier hanging over the center. It certainty gave off a high-end feel. The fights took place while the audience dined on a full course meal. The sound of silverware hitting plates echoed through the room while two fighters were pressed up against the cage. The environment takes a bit of getting used to but after a while the fights are all that mattered.
The first bout was a gritty and ugly affair between Darren Smith Jr. and Zach Juusola. Both fighters had a completely different style and it did not mess well in the cage. Smith spent the entire bout being the aggressor and charging at Juusola. Juusola is a counter striker who is very patient with his attacks. No matter how often Smith tried to rush at him and tangle him up, Juusola was always able to escape any real danger. The fights rhythm was interrupted by two low blows from Smith and an eye poke from Juusola. Smith was awarded the unanimous decision victory for being the aggressor and being able to tie Juusola up against the cage for large periods of time.
The night’s second bout was a lightweight contest between Ricardo Del Reigo and Pious Enilolobo. This fight started out with Enilolobo missing with a spinning back kick and Del Reigo taking him down. After that a good portion of the first round was spent on the ground. Both men showed great ground technique as they had many position changes. Neither man was able to secure any real threat of a submission. Both men were able to get back to their feet. Del Reigo charged forward at Enilolobo but paid for it dearly as Enilolobo perfectly timed a spinning back fist that connected and knocked Del Reigo out.
The third contest was a featherweight bout between Demarcus Brown and Mario Bautista. The two men came out very aggressive and Bautista clipped Brown very early during an exchange. Bautista tried to swarm Brown but Brown was able to recover very nicely. The bout turned into a grappling contest from that point forward. Both men had several position switches against the cage. Bautista was able to secure the takedown and moved his way to the back of Brown to sink in the rear naked choke. Brown tried to escape but Bautista strengthen his grip and Brown was forced to tap.
The main event was a strange bantamweight bout between Fard Muhammad and Walel Watson. Muhammad spent the majority of the fight laughing and taunting Watson. At one point Muhammad even stood in the middle of the cage, put his hand behind his back and stuck out his chin daring Watson to take a shot. Watson to his credit did not take the bait and tired his best to remain calm and stick to his game plan. There was a few striking exchanges but the real story was Muhammad’s antics which got few laughs from the crowd.
The second round was more of the same as Muhammad continued his taunting. Muhammad would follow his taunts with strikes but Watson managed to avoid any real damage. The two fighters were pressed up against the cage when Watson landed a takedown. Once on the ground Watson did not advance and soon found Muhammad on his back. Watson was able to get back to his feet but Muhammad was still on his back and attempting a rear naked choke. Watson carried Muhammad like a backpack for several moments but fell back to the canvas. Once back on the ground Muhammad was able to tighten his grip forcing Watson to tap.
Smash Global VI Results:
- Fard Muhammad def. Walel Watson via sub (rear naked choke) in Round 2
- Mario Bautista def. Demarcus Brown via sub (rear naked choke) in Round 2 at 4:44
- Pious Enilolobo def. Ricardo Del Riego via KO (spinning back fist) in Round 1 at 4:54
- Darren Smith def. Zach Juusola via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)