Don’t let judges determine the outcome of a fight – if you can avoid it.
That’s what fighters from Whitehorse’s Avalanche MMA are reminding themselves after taking three losses at Warpath IV in Chilliwack, B.C. on Friday.
Avalanche’s TJ Woodman and previously undefeated Miller Rogers both went the full three rounds only to be handed losses by the panel of judges at the mixed martial arts competition. Avalanche’s Simon Pregent also lost, but in the first round.
“Don’t leave it in the judges’ hands,” said Avalanche owner/operator Cliff Schultz. “I have to explain that to those guys. If you can finish the fight, finish it.
“They left it for the judges and (the judges) scored it for the hometown guys. The other two were like the hometown favourites.”
Woodman lost by split decision to Jamie Siraj, of the Revolution Gym in Chilliwack, in the 135-pound weight class.
Siraj, who went into the ring with a 2-2-0 record, was seconds away from losing the fight in Round 1 when Woodman got him in a rear naked choke. But Siraj was saved by the bell.
“The guy didn’t even punch or kick TJ once – TJ dominated on the feet,” said Schultz, who was the cornerman for the three Avalanche fighters. “(Siraj) took him down once or twice in the second, but TJ got up or reversed him. Same in the third and they gave the fight to him too.”
Woodman, who keeps a winning amateur record of 3-2-0, went for a title in Warpath III in December, losing in the fourth round.
Rogers had Rico Brinson to tango with on Friday in a 160-pound catch weight class, for which Brinson was three pounds over.
Brinson – now with a 2-0-0 record – is a jiu jitsu instructor at Mamba MMA in Abbotsford, B.C. and has a strong wrestling background. His wrestling skills resulted in numerous takedowns, but Rogers was left unscathed from Brinson’s ground game.
“Miller didn’t even get touched once by the guy,” said Schultz.
Rogers, who now has a 3-1-0 record, lost by unanimous decision.
“I figured that was going to happen,” said Rogers. “I knew I lost the last two rounds. I thought I took the first – I did take the first – but I lost the last two rounds. I was just on my back too much and didn’t do much from there.
“I need to get back out there and not get laid on next time.”
The fight was the first time Rogers had even seen the third round. He won his first fight at Warpath II in September, in the second round, and his next two in the first.
“I strayed from the plan and got a little too timid about the takedowns,” said Rogers. “I let him dictate where the fight went. I definitely won’t do that next time.
“I really feel bad for the next guy,” he added. “The next guy is just going to get hurt.
“I’m not taking this too badly. I’m not undefeated anymore, but now I know what it’s like to face a dominant wrestler and I won’t worry about it again.”
Pregent’s first amateur bout didn’t last long. His opponent, Chad Gerow (2-1-0) of Revolution Gym in Langley, B.C., caught Pregent with a big right punch and got in the mounted position before the ref stopped the 170-pound fight.
“By chance Chad got a really lucky right hand off that stunned Simon,” said Warpath organizer Sean O’Halloran. “That’s part of the fight game. Sometimes that lucky one gets through right away.”
“He came in strong, started with some leg kicks and then started exchanging punches. He ended up getting caught and the ref stopped it,” said Schultz.
Close to 1,200 spectators came out for Warpath IV, making it the largest turnout of the four Warpath events. The venue also had a new canvas and padding on the ring as organizers hope to expand its audience through television.
“Our demo tape went to one of the networks, so we’ll see what happens with that,” said O’Halloran.
Warpath V has been set for May 4 and an invite will be extended to Avalanche MMA fighters, said O’Halloran.
“The Avalanche guys up there come to fight,” said O’Halloran. “They can’t be disappointed with those (losses). These guys come to fight, they show well – and Jamie Siraj is a tough fighter.
“Miller was by far the better fighter (in his fight). All the Mumba guy did was take him down and lie on top of him.
“Man that Miller is good!”
Rogers dedicated his fight to Tabitha Murphy, a friend who has been battling cancer.
“I wanted to dedicated this fight to her because she fights every day and it’s the least I can do for her,” he said.
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