V3 FIGHTS REPORT!
By: Michael Sheffield @ ringside
V3 Fights gave local MMA fans a pre-holiday treat with an 11-fight card filled with six title fights Saturday night at Minglewood Hall. Put that together with an appearance by Memphian and UFC Light Heavyweight star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and V3 fight fans got a night they won’t soon forget.
Jackson addressed the crowd before the main event, answering questions submitted by fans via Facebook and publicly addressing his “retirement” months before he was scheduled to be the main event when UFC made its Memphis debut in 2009.
Highlights of his answers included who he would rather be on a desert island with between Rashad Evans and Wanderlei Silva. He said neither.
“Why couldn’t I be on there with Eva Mendes or somebody?”
Also, he admitted knocking out Silva in UFC was the highlight of his career.
Jackson said he still wants to fight in Memphis, but told the crowd that he would be retiring from fighting soon. No matter how long he continues his career, the Memphis crowd let it be known that he can always come back home. All during the evening, Jackson graciously posed for photos and signed autographs for the fans.
While Rampage’s appearance was a highlight for many fans, V3’s fighters wanted to put their own stamp on the evening. All but two fights ended early, including the main event, which featured a Heavyweight Championship bout between Jeremiah Trundle (3-1) and Matt McAlister (1-1).
Trundle, who had one of the most vocal cheering sections of the night needed all of 32 seconds to land a devastating uppercut to end McAlister’s title chance.
“As soon as I hit him with the uppercut, I knew it was over,” Trundle said after the fight.
Light Heavyweight, and crowd favorite, Tripp Carter (8-2) got his V3 record fifth victory against a tough Lawrence Purifoy (2-2) in a fight that few expected to get out of the first round, but ended up going the distance. Both fighters were visibly exhausted by the end of the third round, but didn’t stop throwing and landing some of the hardest punches of the evening.
Purifoy, a Kung Fu specialist, relied heavily on kicks in the first round, but also added hard punches that caused the hard-hitting Carter to change his game plan early. The fight was easily the most entertaining of the night with both fighters standing toe-to-toe. When the fight went to the ground, both fighters wasted little time returning to their feet.
Purifoy staggered Carter in the third round, but couldn’t capitalize. Carter would end the fight with a takedown that one cage-side judge admitted swung the fight in his favor. Carter would win the unanimous decision, but Purifoy would win his opponent’s respect.
“He’s got heart and a hard head,” Carter said after the fight.
Carter shook off a low blow in the second round that he admitted was an unexpected blessing.
“I was glad he kicked me in the nuts,” Carter said. “It let me catch my breath.”
Featherweights Patrick Burkett (3-0) and Jesse Wallace (9-1) would spend most of their 5-round championship bout on the ground.
Burkett, who seemed to have an early advantage would be submitted by Wallace at 1:55 of the third round.
Wallace, a submission specialist tried (and nearly succeeded) several holds before the arm bar. He admitted after the fight that he may have tried too many, but he was happy with his championship.
“Only one person (Ryan Collins) has been able to hold me down like that,” Wallace said.
Rising V3 star Sammy Lua (13-0) would abandon his lightweight championship in order to go after the V3 Bantamweight Championship against Jonathan Clemons (25-5). Lua, who has submitted each of his 13 opponents, would notch number 14 against Clemons. Lua instantly went for a triangle choke and 45 seconds later, Clemons tapped.
Asked after the fight if he would want to fight Collins, Lua stopped short of issuing a challenge.
“I’m here to fight whoever you put in front of me,” he said. “I don’t care.”
Lua’s lightweight championship would be contested by Tony Way (8-1) and Zack Wallace (5-2) in a scheduled 5-round fight that would end in 1:51 of the first round with Way locking in a guillotine choke.
Welterweight Hunter Utley (0-1) would get his first V3 win over Cedric Williams with a one punch knockout 10 seconds into the first round of the opening fight of the evening.
Welterweight Ben Brewer (13-1) submitted Jerry Rowe (4-1) at 2:55 of the first round with a rear naked choke to win the title, while middleweight Mike Houston (6-2) would need nearly two rounds to submit Jeremy Simpson (12-7) with an arm triangle.
Lightweights Philip Price (2-2) escaped an early guillotine choke from Rick Bing (MMA debut) to lock in a rear naked choke at 1:53 of the first round.
Light Heavyweight Joey Crawford (10-3) would suffer a TKO at the hands of 39-year old emerging crowd favorite Donnie Woods (1-0) at 2:26 of the first round, and light heavyweight Carlton Little (9-6) won a unanimous decision over Brandon Taylor (5-3) in their 3-round bout.