Many big time fights happened this past weekend with three of them being featured on CBS for Strikeforce's most recent card. Still, I would like to focus on a fight that happened at MMA Big Show's "A Prodigy Returns" at a casino in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Chris Bennett, who had an 18-1 amateur record, has already drawn comparisons to BJ Penn, has a cool nickname (Samurai), and had to move up in weight just to find somebody dumb enough to fight him, would make his pro debut against some guy named Tony Sims.
This fight was set up to mark the rise of an MMA superstar, and that is exactly what it did, just not quite the way people envisioned it.
The fight started with Bennett pushing the pace with a couple kicks and a nice two-punch combo. He slipped on his third kick attempt, but quickly rose to his feet. This is where things took a turn and Tony threw a couple punches (video is unclear), but it was enough for Bennett to clinch and attempt to pull guard. Tony kept it standing and pushed him against the fence where they exchanged some knees. Bennett then successfully pulled guard, but Sims stayed calm in the top position, eventually getting out of his guard and landing a solid right hand. Bennett rose to his feet and again initiated the action, but Tony landed a right-left combo that dropped Bennett and followed it with a couple shots to his downed opponent.
After Sims let Bennett up, Chris immediately pulled Tony into his guard. Sims again stayed calm and pulled out of the guard when he found an opening. Sims then landed a solid right, and then Bennett shot in for a takedown and put Tony on his back. Bennett then fell back into a leg lock that looked like a heel hook, but if I'm wrong on that, feel free to correct me. Sims again kept his calm and was able to pull his leg out of that predicament and get the fight standing again. Both fighters threw strikes until Bennett shot in again and performed a nice trip takedown that left him in Sims' half guard. Sims was able to reverse the position and was left in Bennett's guard where he landed some solid shots from the top.
Again the fight went standing where Sims stormed him with punches without landing anything cleanly. Bennett then shot in on Sims, but Tony grabbed the neck, pulled guard and Bennett, knowing that he was caught, quickly tapped to the submission.
Both fighters showed well-rounded skills. Bennett never seemed to be able to find his range on the feet and outside of the one submission attempt, Sims avoided danger throughout the fight. He showed great hands and also showed a great feel for jiu-jitsu when he pulled off the guillotine choke to end the fight.
Bennett came into the fight as the next big thing, the phenom who was ready to ascend up the MMA ranks. The question now becomes, what do you call the guy who beats the phenom? A Super Phenom? I honestly don't know, but Sims showed that he is not a stepping stone for others' greatness. He is a force to be reckoned with. Bennett is still a young guy who should be able to bounce back and hopefully have a great career, but the incredibly bright future may not belong to the Samurai, but to an unknown guy from Davenport, Iowa. D-Port Represent.
P.S. Tony is like the toughest guy I know, here are a few gifs to show some of the things that he's been rumored to have been doing to train for fighting.