Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Ground Zero dominates, Greubel's impresses at Extreme Fight Night


Charles and Ben: victorious and ready for more.It is now official: Augusta’s martial artists are the baddest on the planet … or at least in the tri-state area.

Representatives from Ground Zero fighting systems and Greubel’s Mixed Martial Arts represented the city admirably this past Saturday night, collectively dispatching of opponents from four different MMA camps, all in dominating fashion.

Of the 13 fights, four were full-contact kickboxing bouts, all featuring entries from Greubel’s. All four matches were won decisively by the school’s representatives, with middleweight Nathan Key even scoring a highlight-reel TKO of Controlled Force Kickboxing’s Wayne Revel. After knocking Revel down twice in quick succession in the final round, trainer Gary Frazier threw in the towel. It was the only stoppage in the kickboxing bouts that night.

Ground Zero’s Charles “CJ” Howard lived up to the hype surrounding his MMA debut. He had remained in lively spirits backstage, quickly summoning up the X-factor minutes before he walked out wearing his Brazilian jiu-jitsu gi and blue belt. Despite giving up a couple of inches’ reach advantage to opponent Steven Skelton, Howard controlled the fight from the start, finishing Skelton with an Americana armbar at about 90 seconds into round one.

Ben “BJ” Bradley cemented his status as local celebrity after a brutal, lightning-quick victory over Jeromy Diemer. Entering the ring also clad in a gi and draped in a combination American/Brazilian flag, the Bradley that stepped through the ropes was a far cry from the reserved, polite young man with whom I talked backstage. Giving up about four inches in height to Diemer, Bradley was not deterred, slamming his opponent to the mat and finishing him with a side armbar in just 41 seconds of the first round.

Backstage, the sworn enemies segue immediately into friendly banter as Bradley embraces and thanks Diemer for fighting him. It’s this display of class and camaraderie that has helped to advance the cause of mixed martial arts as a sport, and not as a spectacle.


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