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Richmond Halts the Barbaric Crusade



On the night of October 10th, scores of screaming fans were witnesses to yet another hugely successful night for the fighters of MMA Institute.  Nine competitors, eight amateur and one professional represented MMAI in a proud fashion, showcasing their skill, determination and courage.  The fans that crowded into the Richmond Showplace for the Barbarian Fight Club event, “Barbaric Crusade” were treated to two title bouts featuring veterans Steven Wampler and Bryan Lashomb, along with the fourth professional match of Chris Conner’s career . . . Read on for individual fight summaries

Daniel Merrick vs Brian Keener 155lbs

The opening fight of the night pitted two fighters making their MMA debuts.  MMAI’s Daniel Merrick faced off against Brian Keener in a lightweight match.  The fight started off with a furious pace as both Merrick and Keener threw bombs at each other from the opening bell.  The action moved to the cage, from where Merrick was able to score a takedown after being stuck in the clinch for a few moments.  Once on the ground, Merrick easily passed Keener’s guard and moved quickly to the mount where he pounded out his first victory via TKO at 2:32 in the 1st round.


Kenny Titcomb vs John Mattia 175lbs

The second match on the card saw Muay Thai ace and Hawaii native Kenny Titcomb (1-0) take on John Mattia (0-0) in a welterweight match.  The match started out with both competitors feeling each other out.  Titcomb scored with several leg kicks and Mattia moved in and out, frequently changing his stance.  Undeterred, Titcomb stayed true to his game plan as he landed several more leg kicks before unleashing a devastating head kick that landed flush on Mattia’s chin, knocking him out cold and sealing the victory for Titcomb at the 2:10 mark of the 1st round.


Tony Garr vs Winston Tesi 160lbs

In the fourth fight of the night, Tony Garr (1-0) faced off against Winston Tesi (0-1).  Garr looked extremely impressive as he utilized his strong wrestling abilities by stuffing Tesi’s takedown attempts.  Tony, a blue belt in Brazilian Ju-jitsu, was also able to showcase his ground skills as he secured a rear naked choke on Tesi after skillfully moving through Tesi’s guard following a takedown.  However, Tesi was able to make it up to his feet where he dropped himself on top of Garr.  In a stroke of bad luck, Tesi’s head struck Garr square in the chin as the two fell to the ground, knocking Garr out and giving Tesi the victory via KO at the 1:25 mark of the 1st round.


Josh Matheney vs Casey Watson 155lbs

The sixth fight of the Barbarian card saw veterans Josh Matheney (3-2) take on Casey Watson (2-6).  The building was electric as the fight began.  Both fighters came out swinging, but Matheney was able to lift Watson off his feet, then slam him down across the cage, sending the crowd into a frenzy.  Pandemonium rang as Matheney dropped Watson again with a leg kick and finished the round with some hard ground a pound, easily winning him the first round.  The 2nd round saw a reenergized Watson come out and land a big right hand.  The fight moved to the ground from where Watson tried to utilize his own ground and pound, and Matheney, an extremely skilled ju-jitsu practitioner, attempt several submissions from his back.  The final round began similar to the 2nd as Watson again landed a big shot, and ended up on top of Matheney.  Watson seemed content to merely sit on top of Matheney, letting the clock wind down.  Matheney pressed hard late in the round after the fighters were stood up, but in the judge’s eyes it wasn’t enough as they awarded Watson the 29-28 decision victory once time expired.


Zac Stikeleather vs Josh Plato 185lbs

Fighting up from his usual 170lbs. weight class, Zac Stikeleather delivered a dominating performance for a unanimous 30-27 win over Josh Plato from Wright's Extreme MMA (Jacksonville, NC).  Zac scored takedowns in all three rounds and dictated the action by bringing the fight to the ground early in each round.  Josh Plato could do little to stop the much stronger wrestler with Zac landing strikes from mount, side mount and from behind as he had his opponent's back for the majority of the fight.  Zac faced little adversity, other than a headlock late in the second round.  Once he escaped the headlock, Zac quickly mounted Plato.  Zac also showed an ability to control his opponent as he dominated the clinch.  


Chris Conner vs Daniel Sullivan 155lbs PROFESSIONAL

In one of the four professional bouts of the night, MMAI’s Chris Conner (2-1) took on crafty veteran Daniel Sullivan (8-5).  Conner showed his amazing ability as a mixed martial artist, utilizing his hand speed and head movement to set up a crisp double leg takedown.  Conner almost effortlessly passed Sullivan’s guard and moved to the crucifix position where he pounded Sullivan out with punches and elbows, earning the TKO victory at 2:30 mark of the 1st round.


David Cicoria vs Alan Herzog 155lbs

Once the professional action was over, the amateur card resumed as David Cicoria (1-0) took on Alan Herzog (3-1) in a lightweight match.  Cicoria was able to stuff Herzog’s initial takedown attempt, but eventually ended up on his back, compliments of a Herzog trip.  The fighters were stood up after Herzog illegally elbowed Cicoria in the back on the head, but Herzog quickly took Ciciora down once the fight continued.  Cicoria showed great jiu-jitsu skills as he swept Herzog and landed some good shots from the top.  As the 1st round ended Cicoria was caught in a triangle, but never seemed in danger as the bell sounded for the end of the 1st.  The 2nd round was much of the same as Herzog scored another early takedown.  However, Ciciora was relentless with his submission attempts and eventually secured a Kimora lock while being stuck in Herzog’s half guard where he mercilessly wrenched his opponent’s arm until the 2:40 mark of the 2nd where finally Herzog tapped giving Cicoria his second straight win via submission.


Brian Nielson vs Josh Duggins 185lbs

In a highly energetic middleweight bout, Brian Nielson (2-1) took on Josh Duggins (4-2).  The crowd was vivacious as the two warriors traded blows.  Nielson looked to use his strong wrestling background, and shot in for several takedowns before finally getting Duggins to the floor.  Both fighters looked to land punches as Nielson rained down blows from inside Duggin’s guard up until the first round came to and end.  Both fighters came out in the 2nd round with blood trickling down their faces as the war continued.  Nielson landed with several nice combos and scored with a huge slam that sent the crowd into a frenzy.  The 3rd round saw Nielson once again control the action, using his superior stand up and wrestling skills.  After land some more combinations, Nielson again slammed Duggins to the mat, sealing the victory.  All judges scored the fight 30-27, giving Nielson a well earned win, and his third victory overall.


Bryan Lashomb vs Marcus Daniels 135lbs

The bantamweight title was on the line as Bryan Lashomb (3-0) looked to take the belt from champion Marcus Daniels (6-2) in the co-main event of the night.  The pace was absolutely furious as both fighters looked to capitalize on the ground.  Lashomb, a former Division 1 wrestler, had the advantage as he scored with three takedowns in the first round, eventually taking the back of Daniels.  However, it was during the 2nd round where Lashomb truly left his mark.  Lashomb was able to get behind Daniels and suplex him to the ground before utilizing his ground and pound.  A bloody Daniels was forced to roll to his back from where it was only a matter of time before Lashomb pounded his way to a TKO victory with 1:16 left of the second round earning himself the Bantamweight Barbarian Fight Club title belt.


Steven Wampler vs Zach Murphy 170lbs

The final fight of the evening was a championship matchup between fan favorite Steven Wampler (6-2), and champion Zach Murphy (3-0) for the welterweight title.  The 1st round poured with energy as Wampler landed several clean shots before being slammed hard by Murphy.  Wampler attempted a guillotine choke, but Murphy was able to slam out of it, as the 1st round ended with both fighters battling from the ground.  The 2nd round featured several resounding leg kicks from Wampler.  The fight eventually moved against the cage where the Wampler was taken down from inside the clinch.  Skillfully, Wampler attempted a triangle choke, but was unsuccessful.  Murphy then moved the mount where he attempted an armbar, though Wampler was able to keep his composure and wait out the bell for the end of the 2nd round.  The 3rd round of the championship fight saw more of Wampler’s solid stand up skills as he landed a flush left hook and a big knee that seemed to rock the champion.  Wanting no part of Wampler standing up, Murphy scored another takedown.  However, Wampler was able to move from an armbar attempt to a triangle choke.  The crowd swelled with anticipation as Wampler tightened the choke, and the building nearly exploded when the referee saw that Murphy had fallen unconscious and stopped the fight with 1:20 left in the 3rd round and crowned Steven Wampler the new Barbarian Fight Club Welterweight Champion.