March 2, 2013
NASHUA TEAM TRIUMPH FIGHTER CODY ANDERSON DEFETATED IN COMBAT ZONE AT ROCKINGHAM PARK
SALEM, NH- Seasoned veteran Ryan “F2 Darkness” Hodge took just :49 to knock Team Triumph of Nashua’s Cody Anderson from the undefeated ranks when he dropped him on his back and submitted him via rear naked choke hold in the main event of Combat Zone MMA at Rockingham Park on Friday night.
The 32-year-old Hodge came out swinging with a quick combination of strikes and Anderson, one of three professionals on the card fighting for Team Triumph, fired back. But the experience of Hodge, who has been in the sport since 1999, was the undoing of the 19-year-old Anderson, who tore through the amateur ranks at 5-0-0 and had won his pro debut last time out.
“He’d never been pressured before because he’s young and he’s been walking over everyone he’s fought,” said Hodge, who came in from Gainesville, FL for the middleweight match. “I think I outreach him by maybe an inch, and so I was hitting him and he’s not used to that. I just continued with the pressure but he didn’t fold. He didn’t go all the way back to the cage. He came back at me. He cut me with that over the top elbow and it was a great technique. But it was his downfall because he committed so hard to it. I got his back and secured the hold and that was the difference.”
In the best fight of the night, two rising pro stars in the featherweight ranks, Team Triumph’s Walter Smith Cotito and Ray Wood lived up to all of the pre-fight hype and gave the fans their money’s worth. Clearly prepared for one another, Wood demonstrated he had added striking skills to his game and Cotito kept his opponent from playing to his strength and getting him on the ground. Round 2 matched the intensity and thrill of the first, with the aggressive and strong Wood landing blows but the talented Cotito responding with defensive tactics and ending the period with a takedown even though he was gassed.
It wasn’t until the late stage of the final and hard fought round that Cotito had edged ahead with his takedowns. But Wood, who had opened a nasty and gaping cut over his opponent’s left eye, was able to roll him over onto his back and win with a TKO at 4:20. Wood, fighting for Young’s MMA in Bucksport, ME, remained undefeated at 2-0-0 and Cotito, who hails from Milford, slipped to 1-2-0.
Team Triumph’s other representative, Joey Gomez (1-0-0) from Hollis, racked up his first pro win when he nailed Derry’s John Santos (0-1-0) with a knock-out roundhouse right cross in 1:53 of round 1. But until that point Santos, who fights for Team Fury, was clearly the aggressor and was scoring points from the judges and the crowd in the pro debut for both fighters.
Rising MMA star Rodrigo Almeida’s long-awaited return to the cage was successful but he had to shake off some ring rust and calm a case of nerves before dispensing with Christian Rivera in the first round of their pro match at 165 pounds.
“I had the butterflies and I have never felt that way before a fight,” said Rivera, representing Team Intenze in Lawrence, MA, after he forced Rivera to tap out at 2:06 of the first round. “I definitely felt some ring rust, too.”
Almeida, who is nicknamed The Young Lion and was on the fast track to bigger stages, improved his pro record to 9-2-0 in his first fight in 18 months after being sidelined by a broken ankle that required surgical reconstruction and extended rehabilitation. While he said that his old injury presented no problems, the drama surrounding his fight did. His originally scheduled opponent, Josh Parker, scratched the night before due to an ear infection and Rivera, of Fishermen’s Den in Gloucester, MA, was a last minute replacement on fight day.
“I didn’t get any sleep at all because I had trained so hard for so long to come back and then I didn’t have a fight,” said Almeida. “I prayed all night for this fight, and my prayers were answered.”
With Alemida the superior fighter in all aspects, the outcome of the match was never in doubt. The only surprise was that it lasted as long as it did before Rivera was dropped to 5-14-0.
“My boxing trainers did a lot of work with me. I wish I could have used my more of my stand-up game,” Almeida said. “But it feels great to be back, and to get the win. I feel so good I’m going to fight again next week, and I’ll go anywhere my manger gets me a fight.”
In another pro match-up, Dirlei Broenstrup, who is from Brazil and was making his US debut in the cage, overmatched and outfought Cody Lightfoot in a light heavyweight bout from the bell until 3:26 of the first round when the referee stopped the action. Lightfoot (6-5-0), whose bloodied left eye told part of the story, has now lost four in a row after beginning his career at an impressive 6-1 and Broenstrup’s overall record improved to 6-3-0.
In the night’s first pro fight between a pair of flyweights looking for their first win, 33-year-old Jimmy Alexander from F2 Arena in Gainesville, FL came out with immediate aggression but his nine years younger opponent Ernesto Ornelas soon took control with his takedowns and fists. A bloodied Alexander, who dropped to 0-4-0, was forced to tap out in 4:29 of the first round when he could no longer see out of his badly swollen right eye. It was the first win for Ornelas, who is from Portland ME and represents Choi’s Institute, in three tries.
Two first timers from Maine, Dominic Cofone and Matt Denning, started the night with the first of the six amateur bouts on the card and it took the full three rounds before Cofone (1-0-0) notched the unanimous decision win on the basis of his better ground game. Next up, another pair making their career debuts, Josh Batchelder and Dan Dinan, fought an even two rounds before Dinan (1-0-0) got his opponent to tap out via an uma plata shoulder hold in a spirited third round that got the crowd cheering and Batchelder requiring medical attention in the cage.
Cody Sargent and Jordan Pope got into a terrific and intense bantam weight battle that lasted through 1:01 of Round 2 when Sargent was submitted by triangle arm bar. Pope, representing Gracie Fighter NH, improved to 2-1-0 while Sargent, fighting for Balanced Ground MMA, dropped to 1-3-0. In the next fight at 170 pounds, Peter San Anotnio from North Andover, MA and Team Pit Bull and Andrew Tripp from Team Irish in Maine brought it up another notch in an intensely competitive round one that saw Tripp cautioned by the referee for kneeing his opponent in the face. Tripp came back to start the next stanza with two swift kicks to his opponent’s head and although he dominated the fight from that point on, San Antonio repeatedly executed defensive techniques to gamely hang in to the finish despite being bloodied and battered. By unanimous decision, Tripp remained undefeated at 4-0-0 while San Antonio slipped to 7-5-0.
Then in a match at 185 pounds, Cheyenne Vasquez (2-1-0) from IntenZe MMA in Lawrence, MA introduced Jacob Cameron(0-1-0) to his fast hands when he needed a mere :21 to score a TKO. Cameron’s mouth piece was dislodged with powerful strikes to his face right before the referee called a stop to the action in his first fight. Next up JT Harold of North Andover, MA came in to the cage with the partisan home crowd chanting his name to start his welterweight fight against New Jersey invader Jesse Schneider and they engaged in a competitive and closely fought first round although Harold’s stand-up game and striking were stronger. But round two shifted decidedly in favor of Harold (2-0-0) as he drew blood and dominated before submitting Schneider (0-2-) by rear naked choke hold in 1:57.
185 – Ryan Hodge (Gainesville, FL) def. Cody Anderson (Billerica, MA), rear naked choke, :49 Round 1
205 – Dirlei Broenstrup (Ludlow. MA) def. Cody Lightfoot (South Berwick, ME), TKO, 3:26 Round 1
165 – Rodrigo Almeida (Woburn, MA) def. Christian Rivera (Gloucester, MA), tap out, 2:06 Round 1
145 – Ray Wood (Bucksport, ME) def. Walter Smith Cotito (Milford, NH), TKO 4:20 Round 3
145 — Joey Gomez (Hollis, NH) def. John Santos (Derry, NH), KO 1:53 Round 1
125 – Ernesto Ornelas (Portland, ME) def. Jimmy Alexander (Gainesville, FL), tap out, 4:29 Round 1
155 – Dominic Cofone (Westbrook, ME) def. Matt Denning (Lewiston, ME), unanimous dec.
175 – Dan Dinan (Groveland) def. Josh Batchelder (Greeneville, NH), tap out 2:08 Round 3
135 – Jordan Pope (Derry, NH) def. Cody Sargent (Portsmouth, NH), triangle arm bar 1:01 Round 2
170 – Andrew Tripp (North Waterboro, ME) def. Peter San Antonio (North Andover), unanimous dec.
185 – Cheyenne Vasquez (Lawrence) def. Jacob Cameron (Bangor, ME), TKO :21 Round 1
170 – JT Harold (North Andover) def. Jesse Schneider (Bloomfield, NJ), rear naked choke 1:57 Round 2