Monday, October 13, 2008

Ramirez, Pyle, Hieron Grab Wins

Originally posted on

From the ashes of a cancelled Affliction card rose a lineup Saturday inside the Thomas & Mack Center that featured up-and-comers and quality veterans from Xtreme Couture. Save for the lackluster main event between kickboxing legend Rick Roufus and UFC veteran Hector Ramirez, every fight on the Night of Combat bill was entertaining.

Roufus, a six-time world champion in kickboxing, did well in the opening round. But once Ramirez took “The Jet” off his feet, it was all downhill for the middle-aged legend. Roufus found it almost impossible to scramble out from being pinned in side control and full mount -- a bad position he found himself in for virtually every second of rounds two and three.

“I watched him through American kickboxing all the time when I was in junior high,” Ramirez said after he was awarded a unanimous decision via three tallies of 29-28. “I knew he kicked hard and I didn’t want to let him get going, so I needed to take him down. He caught me with a good head kick in the first, so I had to be smart and keep him off his feet.”

In the only other match to go three full rounds, IFL champion Jay Hieron pounded last-minute replacement Chris Kennedy to win a lopsided unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three cards. Hieron battered and repeatedly slammed Kennedy -- a replacement for Bryson Kamaka, who had been scratched for failing a prefight urinalysis.

Mike Pyle slipped on a slick armbar to submit Brian Gassaway 4:21 into the first round. Pyle had a surprisingly easy time, as he scored a terrific takedown early and quickly moved to full mount. From there, he peppered his foe with various strikes, and when Gassaway tried to roll out to escape, the arm was there for the taking.

“I had him down, and he was a bit sideways so I got the arm lock,” Pyle said. “I wanted to pound him out a little more and make him quit, but I’ll take the submission. That’s what I’m all about anyway.”

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