Ring Wars 14: Upping The Ante

Omar "Ozone" Fowler sealing the ring before his championship defense.

Omar “Ozone” Fowler sealing the ring before his championship defense.

“I hate negativity so much, I can’t stand when fighters especially mock/disrespect the art”. Omar ‘Ozone’ Fowler, our main event winner for Ring Wars 14 was thrilled yet humbled after his win on June 28th. It’s attitudes like his that we at I.B.F Promotions truly appreciate, support, as well as promote. Saying things like Fowler did, and on a stage in front of hundreds of people in attendance really helps to promote combat sports and Martial Arts to greater lengths, and should be employed in all fighters alike. With that being said; Ring Wars 14 went down without a hitch, and was one of our most action packed cards to date. Wars, scraps, and knockouts ensued throughout the course of the evening. It was everything a fight fan could potentially hope for! Not one fan exited the venue that night un-entertained or disappointed.

The evening started out with an all out brawl between two female K1 fighters in Jennifer Biddick (Weapons 9) facing Samantha Dawson (Dragon Gym). This was a very high paced 3 round fight, with the battle swaying back and forth the entire time. Jennifer pressed forward often with harder leg kicks and thudding knees. Jennifer also set the bar high for the evening as she was able to have the referee intervene twice for the 8 count. In the end, the judges scored the bout for Jennifer with a unanimous decision moving this tough young lady to 2-0.

Every bout was as action packed as it was entertaining. This time however, Ring Wars had a main card which has never been so stacked. These bouts took place at 153 lbs, 147 lbs, As well as 195 lbs. Knowing all of these fighters personally, you can imagine my lure into all of their distant future plans, their near future plans, as well as their immediate insight on the fights. Although in the end there is only one can who can “win” a fight (unless it’s a draw), all of the fighters would be considered “winners” this time in my book due to their endless efforts to better themselves as athletes, fighters, and competitors. As well as the fact that they put their skills on a stage for others to be entertained and/or supported by people who will most likely never have the audacity to try for themselves. That’s why I.B.F Promotions and Ring Wars appreciate every single one of our warriors, and we consider all of our fighters “winners”.

In one of our co main events, and always a fan favorite, Spencer “The Baby Faced Assassin” Gekoski returned to Delaware to defend what he feels is rightfully his against the bully style of a brawler in Namron Bibbons. This fight was extremely interesting with some history behind it, as Namron earned the title shot after defeating a teammate of Grekoski’s in Chris Tapia. Grekoski never seemed too interested in the notion of “revenge for a teammate” as he and I talked throughout the weeks leading to the fight. However, seeing as no fighter ever wants his team to lose to anyone, let alone multiple people losing to the same person, Grekoski rose to the occasion. Grekoski had a lot of adjusting to do after the first round as Namron came out blisteringly fast and pushing Grekoski backward toward the corner of ropes for the eventual tripping, and throwing Grekoski to the floor. “Bibbons was the strongest guy I’ve fought, and I’ve fought more muscular looking men but that dude was STRONG!” said Grekoski of Bibbons. While Grekoski clearly had the advantage in technical striking, Grekoski brushed the first round off, made the proper adjustments in properly circling and angling off his strikes as Bibbons moved in for the clinch. That adjustment was all Grekoski needed as he claimed “I wanted to stand and exchange which I was able to do once I adapted to his style. Once I picked up on what he was doing, I was able to get into my game and have fun”. It definitely looked as if this young man was having fun, as it was smooth sailing after that for the Baby Faced Assasain. Grekoski clearly took the rest of the rounds in the endeavor scoring a definitive unanimous decision, and Grekoski took his I.B.F strap back to New Jersey with him. Grekoski went on to state “I don’t plan on losing at (any) Ring Wars!” and went on to thank his Kru Chris Tran, and Joe Pelligrino, and the rest of his Weapons 9 teammates. His final words were “Weapons 9 is here to stay!” Who will be the next to step up to Spencer? We have yet to see.

Our second to last bout of the evening took place at 147 pounds between the hard nosed brawler in Matt Colachino (North East Karate & Boxing) facing the technique savvy and hard hands of the current champion, Anthony Santiago. As expected, this was a brawl from the opening bell until the very end, as Anthony Santiago clearly was the cleaner striker. Colachino took all Santiago had to give and then some coming back with hard thudding punches. Both came out and exchanged blows in the middle of the ring in the first round. They battled back and forth with vicious kicks being landed by Santiago, and looping, yet thudding punches from Colachino. This first round could have gone either competitors’ way as they moved onto the second round. This round would be the defining and final round of a short fight for these two gentlemen as Matt Colachino clipped Santiago with an overhand right in the second round flooring Santiago as he struggled at first to get to his feet. The referee had already seen enough and waved the contest off, not even giving Santiago the 10 count. Santiago contested the stoppage, as well as other people in attendance, but the decision was final and we had a new 147 lb Ring Wars K1 Champion. After the fight when asked about Colachino’s KO victory and his feelings towards the bout being waved off early, he replied “He was sleeping. He could have got a lot more hurt (if the contest went on). His eyes were rolling in his head, and it was over, no doubt”. Colachino confidently went on to emphasize his performance by saying “I knew he (Santiago) was more skilled with his feet. I also knew I was the underdog. I’ve been training for only the better part of 3 years. I’ve fought champions, golden glove boxers, and I rise to the opportunity. As you saw I took a fight against Nick (Perez) on 17 hours and I fought Konal (Sayal) in my 6th fight. Being an underdog is my kind of fight. When I should lose it makes it that much more thrilling when I KO the guy”. No one knows what Colachino’s future holds for defending his belt just yet. However, Colachino will be ready to rise to the occasion as always as he closes the conversation with “To those that want my strap, I’m not going to lay off! I’m coming to stop them with something! You have to KO me to stop me, and I’m hardheaded”.

In our main event of the evening, the big boys came to throw bombs, as “Big” Keith Coleman (Dragon Gym) challenged the champ Omar “Ozone” Fowler (Thai Haq) for the 195 lb title. This was supposed to serve as the main event at Ring Wars 13, however due to some issues, the bout had to be rescheduled until this card so one can imagine the excitement and anticipation that went into this intense fight. Both men were up for the challenge and eager for their time for that ring walk when their music hit the speakers, and the first bell would sound. Although the first round seemed like it served as more of a feeling out period, both fighters still stayed active at a distance with Coleman keeping his jab pumping, and Fowler chopping at the legs and still working his boxing in as well. Both fighters were very careful not to make any mistakes as they were both eyeing each other’s styles closely. Fowler says about his opponent in the first round, “I saw that he was waiting on me to engage, and when I did he would counter with a leg grab or a kick, showing his strength sort of like a bully style. I told myself let’s wait and see if he’s as fast as he is strong.” The second round was a much different story as both fighters came out swinging with vicious intentions in an attempt to halt the bout early. With Fowler getting the better of the exchanges, it was only a matter of time before one of them got clipped. It didn’t take long into the 2nd round for Fowler to land a brutal left hook, straight right combo that rendered Coleman completely out cold, and Fowler the winner by KO, and still our I.B.F champion. When asking Fowler if he had been hurt by anything Coleman did during the contest and the actions that led up to his KO, the champ said, “Yeah he woke me up with a shot to the top of my head after grabbing a lazy kick that I threw. When I felt that I said it was ‘Turn Up Time’. So I had to adapt with more offense. I said to myself ‘Let’s see how he can handle some grenades’. And I started throwing”. Upon scoring that amazing knockout, instead of raising his hands or beating his chest or celebrating in any form, Fowler simply showed class for himself, his camp, and his opponent by kneeling in a neutral corner for prayer. It was a prayer that the champ said he “was giving thanks for the knockout, and I made it safe through the fight. I was thanking God for allowing me to come out victorious after everything I went through in this training camp. I was also praying that Keith was okay, because I couldn’t tell if he was seriously hurt with everyone (huddled) around.” These are true words from a true class act and respectable champion whom we are proud to have as OUR champion. With that, our main event closed in devastating, and jaw dropping fashion that fans still seem to be chomping at the bit about. Hopefully Fowler takes a short break, and gets right back in the mix to defend his title belt sooner than later; only time will tell.

As always we want to thank all of our fighters, coaches, and teams, as well as the fans that keep our promotion running. We’ll be back at it again August 24th with another stacked card to be released soon. We are bringing back BJJ matches to Ring Wars so all aspiring BJJ practitioners as well as MMA fighters that would like to compete to improve their grappling, please contact Greg Pritchett. We appreciate everyones continued support, and we’ll keep striving to better each card in every way we can. See you in August!



About Adam Crist