Ring Wars 13 Review & Highlights

Namron Bibbons elated to win both fights against Chris Tapia.

Namron Bibbons elated to win his second fight against Chris Tapia.

As in any highly anticipated event, accidents and mishaps are bound to happen. Ring Wars 13 was no different with our co-main and main event falling out. I.B.F Promotions was in need of high level fighters to step in as quality replacements. I.B.F Promotions did what they do best, and hit the ground running looking to keep this card as stacked as it originally was slotted to be. Stepping in as the co main event would be Spencer Grekoski facing Chaz Holloway, and Chris Tapia squaring off against Namron Bibbons for a very highly anticipated rematch as the main event. The finalized replacements were just what was needed to secure yet again, a very successful and eventful evening of fights.

The night started with Paul Miller (Weapons 9) facing Khalid Hudson (Kai Thai Academy) in an exhibition bout. Not many people knew this little fact, but Paul and Khalid had actually fought in a Ring Wars bout previously, so these two were no strangers to each other’s style. They opened the evening with solid rounds of trading punch combinations, knees, and leg kicks. Although this bout was only an exhibition (meaning it wasn’t scored), it still proved to be a great way to kick off the evening for the fans.

In the third bout of the evening, Mike “Killer” Legg (MVJ) was looking to stay as active as possible after returning from having surgery done on his shoulder when he took on 2-0 fighter, Sultan Isakov (Rocco’s MMA). Legg lost the first round to his opponent, but used that round as a great feeling out process, as he noted “He was a strong dude, but I came back the last two rounds, similar to my last fight. I saw where I could hurt him, and I tried my best to do that”, (Mike laughs). Legg went on to do as he was aiming to do in hurting his foe as he dropped Sultan in the second round from a thunderous leg kick. Legg easily cruised through the rest of round two, and moved into the third round full of confidence and had a similar outing as the previous round. He picked his shots while slipping his foes attacks, and sealing the deal at the end of the fight with a vicious kick to the midsection dropping Sultan, yet again. “He couldn’t take body shots. He also had no head movement”, said Legg. “Killer” being notorious for his own head movement, and evasiveness continued, “My jabs were able to set up pretty much everything. I just wish I threw more jabs in the fight. I think the fight would’ve been more one sided”. With the final bell sounding and the judges tallying up their scorecard, in the end the nod clearly went to “Killer” Legg. When asked what was next for the “Killer”, he replied with an innocent giggle: “I’m not sure. I’m just gonna keep fighting and keep trying to beat people up and see where that takes me”.

The night continued with competitive and entertaining fights that had the crowd gushing with “Oh’s” and “Ahh’s.” You could also often hear the traditional “Owee” or “Ahoy” or a variation of the chant which is commonly used whenever a Thai fighter lands a significant punch, kick, or combination.  Such was the case in Jon Curtis’ (Weapons 9) fight against Mirbek Sagynbekov (Rocco’s MMA). This fight was competitive early in the first round, but wound up with Curtis walking away with the KO in the 2nd. After chopping his opponent down by setting up his punches upstairs, he then went to the body with his kicks and sealed the deal with a front kick to the ribs; rendering Sagynbekov unable to continue. When Curtis was asked about his impressive victory he stated the following: “After I saw him get hurt from the middle kick in the first round, which was more knee than shin ’cause of how close we were together, I was looking to hurt the body more.. but otherwise it (the KO) just came. I saw him hurt from that (body shots) more than anything, and it was early on in the fight so I hoped to slow him down from the ‘jumping around’ style I felt like he wanted to do. I attempted to set up the middle kicks and my knees with hands and he came in a lot and left his body open for shots. He was a good opponent though, nice guy and packed a mean cross!”.

The highlight reel knockouts continued as Steve “Zero Doubt” Covington entered the ring after ironically enough coming back from a knockout loss. Covington re-entered the ring as a man on a mission, and proved exactly what his nickname claims as he showed “Zero Doubt” in his own skills and in himself during the bout. He was able to dominate his opponent from start to finish.  Zero Doubt controlled the pace of the bout using his ever improving boxing skills and keeping his opponent at the end of his jab. Working in some combinations with his hands, Covington started working a few kicks seemingly getting his opponent confused. When the time arrived, Zero Doubt delivered a thudding single right hand to his foe’s jawline that froze him in his tracks as he fell face first to the floor. Upon the referee’s observation, there was no need for a count as Steve “Zero Doubt” Covington won via KO in the first round. After winning so impressively Zero Doubt said “It felt great! I was aiming for a second round KO to show that the time I spent training wasn’t for nothing and to show that I’m still hungry and aiming for the top. The surprise was it happening so easily when I wasn’t planning on it coming until later that round. I was planning on setting up a combo of punches and ending out with a round kick to the head, actually”. Covington was full of confidence after such a spectacular performance closing with, “I will be an I.B.F Ring Wars champion! And I’ll keep that title until I go pro”.

Moving into the co main event of the evening, the always entertaining Spencer “The Baby Faced Assassin” Grekoski (Weapons 9) took on Chaz Holloway (Raww Dawg) as both fighters took the fight on short notice to help keep the show running on all cylinders in addition to the fan’s interest. This bout was a matter of hands versus legs, and in this particular fight, the legs prevailed. Holloway was throwing his hands with devastating intentions, however, Gregroski knew his opponent had good hands and he intended to hurt whatever they hit. Spencer however, had a game plan. He had stayed poised and kept the fight on the outside and systematically broke down Holloway’s legs whenever he came forward aggressively. Spencer went on winning a 3 round unanimous decision pretty easily, and stated, “I was really happy and grateful that Greg was able to find a replacement for me. I love fighting at I.B.F Ring Wars. The fight was good. We knew he had good hands so every time he tried to throw them I chopped down on his leg. As for Raww Dogg gym; they have been nothing but respectful. We have had no problems with them at all. Its one person who is disrespectful and arrogant”.

Our main event served as our first ever no gear fight (no headgear or shin guards), and as in past shows, I.B.F has never had a disappointing main event. This fight was no different as Chris Tapia faced Namron Bibbons in a rematch. Even though their first fight wasn’t long ago (Bibbons barely winning) these two fighters looked revamped, improved, and eager to get at each other yet again. They had an all-out brawl with Bibbons finding success in being able to keep the fight at range with his jab and combinations and eventually scoring a knockdown. Although some, including Tapia himself, thought the knockdown was questionable; nevertheless it was scored a knockdown. In the end Bibbons took the unanimous decision winning their rematch and stepping up on the ladder, working his way to a potential title shot sooner than later. After the fight, Bibbons said “Finding out that I was the main event a few days prior to the rematch put some pressure on me, but I have been training for the fight since the end of December 2011 so my confidence level was at its peak. If I had to pick one thing to be nervous about, I would choose not using my headgear or shin pads. Only because that was the 1st time fighting without the protective gear. However, to fight with no gear felt good. I felt as if there was less restraint on me, a sense of freedom to do what I do best and love. The first fight was a tough battle, Chris is a good fighter. (And) I did feel the need to increase the stakes by suggesting we not use the protective gear so we both could fight to our potential.”

As always the fans left entertained, the fighters were drained from their efforts, some with smiling faces and others with broken hearts. I.B.F Promotions is proud of all of our warriors for always risking their own health to further their career and to keep the crowd grinning. We hope you’ll join us on June 29th, 2013 as we present Ring Wars 14? at the Boys and Girls Club of Bear, DE. Our main event will be a rescheduled Thai match up where Omar “Ozone” Fowler takes on Keith Coleman in a four round title bout where Omar will be defending his 195 pound title. In our main event we welcome back our 147 lb K1 champion Anthony Santiago as he faces Matt Colachino in a four round bout with Santiago’s title belt up for grabs. I.B.F Promotions expects nothing but fireworks from this upcoming event, and hopes to see you there!

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