Dominique “Fallen Angel” Robinson is the man. We’ve had him and his friend and training partner, fighter James “9 Knuckles” Chaney on the radio show and they were both awesome cats. I’ve kept in touch with them on Twitter and when I heard they’d be out here in Vegas for Dom’s fight with Anderson Silva’s student Paulo Bananada at Superior Cage Combat 4, I had to go. The rest of the card had some impressive names too – like UFC vets Kendall Grove vs. Jay Silva in the main event.
Anyway, the kind folks at SCC gave me a press pass, despite my frequent assertions that I’m not a journalist. Hey, I’m better than a journalist; I’m a social media juggernaut. In fact, to their immense credit, when I offhandedly suggested via Twitter that they give a ticket to my Twitter friend and ammy fighter Jeff Wright, they did! All he had to do was live tweet the event and keep me company… and buy me a beer. Those last two were my stipulations. And for the record, he only lived up to the first two. He still owes me a beer.
Twitter was all abuzz Thursday afternoon. Anderson Silva was going to be there, Frank Mir, all of Team Alpha Male to support their teammate Justin Buchholz, and on and on. It seemed like every fighter in Vegas and half within a 200 miles radius was showing up. So I got there excited to see some awesome fights and lots of big names in the MMA game cageside. I sat down in press row and started earning my passes by making some quite hilarious tweets from my Kindle Fire that were streamed on the screens (not just mine, all tweets tagged #SCC4) – which was fun. It’s nice to look up and see “If Kendall Grove sat on Stefan Struve’s shoulders, he could punch the moon. #FACT #SCC4 – Spilled Bag of Ice” on the big screen for all to enjoy. I tweeted an invite for the press row journalists who I’ve never met to come say hi. None of those mouth-breathing squares did. Fine, I’ll just hang out with my mate Dan Hardy.
Jeff Wright, whom I never met before, showed up looking a bit like a mini-Jake Gyllenhaal and we bailed the press nerds to kick it with Dan Hardy. I stole Mike Pyle’s seat. Yeah, I’m a bad ass like that. Okay, fine… He left and Dan said I could take the seat. We were soon joined by Middle Easy’s Layzie the Savage and his gal, Jessica. Nice kids. Looming around I noticed the fella who would later become known as “YouTube Sensation” but I’ll save that for later. There were also fights!
The first fight was a 145lbs. scrap between local boy out of Xtreme Couture, Jimmy Jones, against heavy-handed Brazilian Joao Victor. Jimmy Jones wears Diamond MMA Compression Jocks and he walked out to Andrew WK. Instant fan. I love AWK and always thought his music would be perfect for a walk-out song. Jones had a tough fight as Victor threw heavy punches and was beating the local boy going into the third before Jones was able to get him in a Rear Naked Choke and steal the victory from the Victor. (Zing!)
Walt Harris vs. Anthony Hamilton was a slugfest from go. Both guys came out swinging but it was Harris who landed the harder, more accurate haymakers, KOing Hamilton in the first.
Brandon Bender looked like Pauly D from the Jersey Shore and Shorty Weikel looked like a mini TJ Dillashaw. Nice back-and-forth for two rounds with Shorty landing what looked like the harder strikes. In the third, however, Bender was able to lock up a triangle choke and submit Shorty for the W.
So far SCC 4 was kicking some ass. A come-from-behind submission, a nice back-and-forth battle and one crazy first-round KO.
Next up was my main man, Dominique Robinson, against Paulo Bananada. I’m going to go a little more in-depth with this one since it was a controversial decision. Bananada is Anderson Silva’s student and whose nickname should be “Da Banana” Bananada. Good luck with that, ring announcers! Paulo was throwing a lot of leg kicks but Dominique countered with strikes and Paulo decided he wanted none of that and clinched Dom against the fence and held him there for almost a minute. The crowd starting booing, then Dom reversed him and got him against the fence. Ten seconds later referee Steve Mazzagatti separates them. So basically, Paulo got almost a minute to work with and Dom got 10 seconds. Dom pushed forward while “Da Banana” backed up and avoided damage and occasionally countered and landed leg kicks. Tough round to score. In the second Dom pressed forward with strikes while Paulo mostly just avoided them while landing some more inconsequential leg kicks. Another close round but I’d definitely give it to Robinson for cage control and aggression. There’s no question that the third round was Robinson’s. He dropped Paulo who worked furiously but unsuccessfully for the takedown. In the final minute of the fight Paulo tried to goad Dom into a brawl which was weird from the guy who was backing up a lot in the first two rounds.
Judges scored the fight 29-28 for Bananada – which isn’t completely crazy but I don’t see how all three judges could give the second round to Bananada. Did Anderson Silva in his corner affect their judgment? I can’t say but it was a questionable and disappointing decision.
Okay, so let’s take a brief intermission to talk about the drunk guy in the Affliction T and Throwdown hat who dubbed himself “YouTube Sensation”. I’m not sure how he got onto the floor, actually I know how but I’m not going to say because I highly enjoyed his BRO-nanigans and it was part of what made the SCC event more fun than a UFC event where that guy would’ve gotten thrown out before he made it to the floor. I wonder if Dana White thought this to himself when YTS was asking him what kind of razor he used, rubbing his head and sniffing him and asking what kind of cologne he used. Layzie the Savage filmed the guy and I’ll put the link at the end so you can all enjoy it but there were a lot more moments that he didn’t catch. The Dana head rubbing, YTS asking a confused and bemused Dan Hardy how he could “hulk him out, bro”. Not to mention the fact that someone gave the guy their press pass after the fights -which meant he was in the post-fight press room where the bonuses were announced. After most people cleared out, YTS picked up the mic and started doing mock karaoke and dancing. SCC matchmaker Joey Varner, wondered, “who the hell is this guy”? I just want to say that he didn’t have a press pass all night; someone gave it to him. Or maybe he found it. So, ya know, don’t start getting too stingy with the press passes. Although, that being said, we mostly enjoyed the YTS show.
Okay, back to the fights. TUF Alum Jamie Yager took on Danny Davis Jr. and while Davis held his own and even had a few near submissions, Yager deserved the 30-27 Unanimous Decision victory.
At this point, Dan Hardy left since he was just there to see his buddy Davis fight, but not before YTS pinched his nipple. Luckily for YTS, this elicited laughter rather than anger from “The Outlaw”.
Next up was John Gunderson vs. Justin Buchholz for the inaugural SCC Lightweight title. This was a hell of a fight with a lot of back-and-forth both on the feet and on the ground. Both men had dominant positions and submission attempts throughout the first two rounds of this very close bout. In the third, Justin wound up on top but “Guns” was able to tie him up and lock in an impressive Kimura. As Joe Rogan often says “that’s a strong man move”, and this was two-and-a-half rounds into a grueling fight. But Gunderson was able to get it and force Buchholz to tap and secure the victory and the lightweight title.
Incidentally, this bummed Dominique out since he had previously beat “Guns” and was anticipating a title shot had he won against “Da Banana” Bananada.
Before the main event, let me name check some more MMA luminaries in the house. Ray Sefo, Kevin Randleman, Frank Mir, K-Sos (Krzysztof Soszynski), and all the aforementioned ones including Dana White. And those were only the ones that I actually saw.
Okay, onto the main event! Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove vs. Jay Silva. Both have fought in the UFC and are pretty exciting fighters. Although, I don’t care how you misspell it, Kendall, that’s Anderson’s nickname. Just sayin’. Let’s just say Jay Silva came out swinging like he just found out Grove fucked his girl and took a shit in his favorite hat. It was nothing but haymakers. Grove was able to use his range and avoid getting tagged while countering with some solid punches and kicks. He’s a lanky ass dude, y’know? Very close first round but Grove may’ve landed more. Still, I got the feeling that if Silva kept swinging like that, it would only take one to connect and drop Grove.
In round two, that’s exactly what happened. Silva drops Grove. Grove does a good job of recovering and surviving but he’s still rocked with Silva on top dropping bombs. Silva doesn’t let up and as Grove turns to try and escape, Silva lands vicious hammer fists that I thought would end the fight but then Silva took the back and apparently got a Rear Naked Choke. From my vantage point I thought it was more of an Arm-Triangle but apparently it was a RNC. All I know is suddenly “Da Spyder” was asleep. Fast asleep.
An exciting fight to cap off a great card. Aside from the disappointing decision against Dominique, SCC 4 lived up to the hype. SCC is doing it right: Big show talent with an intimate small show atmosphere. I’m only saying that because it’s true and because it’s true I want to go to SCC 5 – Especially if James Chaney is fighting and YTS is doing Cage-Side BRO commentary.
I hung out with Dom, James, and the Goon Squad after the fights. They’re good people and their cut man Phil Mondello was a cool old-school fight guy who had a ton of great stories and I luckily got to hear a few of them. Also, Dom treated me to french fries and a couple pints of Guinness. I tried to pay but hey, that’s the kinda guy he is. Gracias to the Goon Squad!