Although some mixed-martial arts events drag at times, UWC “Redemption” was worth the price of admission.
The featured bout of the evening, UWC bantamweight champion Mike Easton, taking on MMS veteran Chase Bebee in a five-round match, which had quite the controversial ending that spilt fans who stuck around until the very end.
In the end, Easton (9-1) defended his title, taking a split decision over Bebee (12-5). Fans voiced their displeasure with boos and outright anger, as Easton – who spent a good portion (perhaps as long as three rounds) on the mat – was kept at bay thanks to an impressive ground game by Bebee. While Easton was grounded, Bebee used an array of hooks, chokes and punches to neutralize to him, but he could not finish off the defending champion at all.
When Easton was up, he took to Bebee with a strong offense that included a flurry of punches and kicks that at times were overwhelming; however, his opponent took the punishment.
After the fight, Mike Easton, like a confident champion despite the displeasure of the crowd emphatically said, “I was killing him (Bebee) standing up. It was a close fight, but it is what it is -- It was controversial, I enjoyed that fight. I love those kinds of fights. I’m the Champ, gotta beat the Champ!”
Most can assume in the near future that there may be an Easton-Bebee II match.
Before the Easton-Bebee fight, Pat Runez and John Dodson perhaps staged the most entertaining contest of the evening to decide who would become the UWC first flyweight champion. In the end, Runez would get the belt in another split decision as he bested Dodson in five rounds in a battle that sometimes bordered on brutal, but at times looked very scientific and deliberate.
Mike Easton is pinned to the fence by Chase Beebe. Easton won the main event by split decision during the UWC Redemption event at the Patriot Center on October 3, 2009. Yuchen Nie/DC Sports Box
Both Runez (7-0) and Dodson (12-5) went at it hard, and the pendulum swung towards either fighter. Dodson, at times, pounded Runez with an array of punches and strikes; however, Runez seemed to be the much better all-around fighter as he picked-and-chose when to attack Dodson and not. Towards the end of the match, both fighters hit one another with a flurry of punches, but when the bell rang, Nunez stood as the winner.
It looked to be that either man could have earned the win, but the judges chose Runez. In turn, Runez gave a lot a respect to his opponent, Dodson—who had a perplexed look when he heard the decision, but was respectful of his opponent – in the ring after the fight.
“He was a tough opponent. I thought I had him (Dodson) rocked, thought I had him out in the second. He came back strong. That’s a true champion right there.”
Runez also added when the prospect of his next fight in the UWC would be, he said, “As long as UWC keeps bringing in quality opponents like John Dodson, I’ll be ready to come back and defend the belt.”
In other action, UWC Redemption featured another women’s MMA fight, as Iman Achhal (2-0) – who won her MMA debut at the fifth UWC event – emerged victorious again as she defeated Sumie Sakai (2-3-1), a former pro wrestler. The Patriot Center was pro-Achhal as she disposed of her opponent in two rounds, using her strong jiu-jitsu skills and offense to counter Sakai.
Freddy Assuncao (1-0) Unanimous Dec. over Felipe Ariantes (0-2)
Jesse Riggleman (6-0-0) Split Dec. over Josh Ferguson (7-3-0)
Iman “Mannie” Achhal (2-0-0) TKO Sumie Sakai (2-3-1) at 2:30 in 2nd round
Kris McCray (4-0-0) TKO Igor Almeida (5-1-1) 49 seconds 1st round
Jacob McClintock (6-0-0) TKO Beau Baker (7-3-0) 3:30 1st round
Timothy Woods (5-2-0) TKO Ryan Sturdy (11-4-1) 35 seconds of 3rd round
Kyle Baker (8-4-0) TKO Tommy Truex (5-3-0) 4:59 of 1st round
Pat Runez (7-0-0) Split Dec. over John Dodson (12-5-0) (New UWC Flyweight Champion)
Mike Easton (9-1-0) Split Dec. over Chase Beebe (12-5-0)