USKA Fight Night, Allentown PA Recap and results
Jay Haas had the highlight of the night as he finished Tyger Banks with a cross elbow to the jaw right before the bell to end round 1. Banks was dazed and out on his feet as referee Keith Pederson waved to the rindside physician to check on Banks as he called a halt to the fight. Haas who is a veteran of 33 MMA fights, has recently turned his attention to competing in Muay-Thai and recorded his second victory in two tries. Jay, out of Bulldog MMA in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, has worked especially hard with the American Zombie, Mark Krumrine, to quickly become a very dangerous opponent for anyone. I’m very interested in seeing what is next for Haas. Jay looked and spoke after the fight like he really seemed to love the new direction with just the striking aspect and not having as many angles as the MMA to work on. Looking forward to his next move.
Zak “Noble” Kelly won the middleweight championship in the main event with a unanimous decision victory over late replacement, Jeremiah Yeager. Despite the 30-27 on all judges scorecards, this was a battle as both guys punished one another for the entire fight. Kelly left Yeagers legs battered and bruised. The new champ was also showing plenty of redness on his body from the powerful Yeagers counter attacks. Yeager represented himself very well for coming in on a weeks notice. It was a very entertaining fight that was nonstop from the first bell to the final bell. Kelly was on his way to buy Yeager a drink at the end of the night. Two great representatives of the sport.
In a very hotly contested battle of two great prospects, Rafael Feliciano took home a split decision win over Gracie 717’s Christian “Strictly Business” Carr. Carr was the aggressor for most of the fight and took many more risks. Feliciano did a nice job of countering and used his reach advantage to score. Carr has a beautiful array of different attacks and was clearly experimenting and trying for a spectacular finish, while Rafael stayed calm and caught Carr with a few nice kicks. I thought Christian won the fight, but it was very tight. Carr is an 18 year old who already has 3 kickboxing and 2 MMA fights on his resume. His stock is very high and so is Feliciano. Both fighters are guys that will be making noise in the fight scene in the upcoming years.
Lucas Larue finished Troy Verbitskey by TKO at 1:15 of the second round. Larue was so efficient and pinpoint with his left cross and dominated with his hands. A beautiful exhibition of boxing it was.
Steve Olan defeated Jordan Grenyon-Smith by unanimous decision. Olan set the tone early by offsetting Jordan’s power with multiple leg kicks, keeping him off balance. The fight was a slugfest and both guys showed tremendous heart. They both left everything in the ring. My choice for fight of the night.
Jon Wunder, out of Algeo Kickboxing and MMA scored 30-27 on all cards to get the UD over 302 BJJ’s Reece Ward. Wunder fights with concentration and a plan. I could see it in his eyes as he calmly executed his game plan versus the very talented Ward.
Kevin Soong was dominant in a unanimous decision win over Thomas Salmon. Salmon did well for himself to just make it the distance. Soong knocked out Salmon’s mouthpiece several times and the referee actually took a point away after it continued. Soong came out landing heavy high kicks in round one. Round two, he seemed to go to his hands more often. It was a convincing, dominant performance for Kevin.
Miles Lee grabbed a 30-27 on all cards victory over Ken Butler. Butler was very game, but Lee is a phenomenal athlete and was aggressive the entire fight. The southpaw landed numerous combinations that would have stopped many. Butler kept coming, but couldn’t score enough to steal a round. Lee is another name to watch. His stock is soaring as he works on his striking to help him with his ultimate goal of becoming a professional mixed martial artist.
Kevin Pelletier opened the night’s action with a unanimous decision (29-28) on all, over Jason Oakes. This tilt was back and forth and got the crowd into it very early. These two warriors set the tone for the night as it was non-stop fighting the entire bout.
Sadly, after the event, Irv Althouse, announced that this would be the final USKA event. Irv had been going strong with the help of Jen Heffentrager, for 19 years. They had a tremendous run and enabled many fighters to display their skills over the years. We wish nothing but the best for Irv and Jen in whatever comes next for them.