Pinnacle Fighting Championships Series 1: Innagural Event

DSC_0114 The Pinnacle Fighting Championships (PFC) Series 1 did not disappoint in any fashion, providing fans and fighters a professionally orchestrated venue with local flair.

The PFC Challenge Series was Pinnacle Fighting Championship’s inaugural event and I must say, the crew did a fantastic job with overall execution, security, crowd control, music and food.

For the most part, the fights were pretty entertaining, all of the cards seemed to put in a good camp in order to prepare. But, as with the fight game, especially the newbie promotions, fighters had weight problems and some shifting took place. Thankfully the cards weren’t completely decimated and the crowd had an entertaining evening.

I was unhappy with one fight in particular: Cody Garbrandt vs. Charles Kessinger

This was Garbrandt’s first time inside the PFC cage against a very game Kessinger, who obviously was more aggressive, stronger and hit harder than Garbrandt. In the first round, Kessinger had Garbrandt dead to rights with a standing guillotine choke, when Garbrandt spit his mouthpiece out to prevent passing out. In any other venue, this would result in an automatic loss. [edit]Ok, perhaps that was a bit inflammatory, obviously they’re not going to call a fight for spitting a mouthpiece out, but the fact that he didn’t lose the fight because he “lost” his mouthpiece cheapens the win and I don’t think he deserved it.[edit] They didn’t even deduct a point, and then they called the fight when Garbrandt was ” peppering” Kessinger with baby punches on the mat, when he was clearly and intelligently defending himself.

Garbrandt admitted in his victory speech that he spit out his mouthpiece to avoid the loss. It wasn’t a conspiracy, just a lack of proper officiating and a terrible call on the stoppage. Kessinger was a great sport nevertheless, but agreed in a post fight interview that the fight should have been called when Garbrandt chucked his mouthpiece.

Fight of the Night:  Adam Milstead vs.  Bobby Gurley

The heavyweights impressed me, specifically the heavy-handed Adam Milstead, who knocked out Bobby Gurley with a beautiful right hand in the first round. Milstead is definitely not a ground guy.  I would hope he gets a little more BBJ training or he could become a very one-dimensional fighter.

Hurtpiece of the Night: Mark Cherico vs. Chris Dunn

Mark Cherico, is the self-proclaimed pride of Bloomfield with a now undefeated record of 12-0, keep in mind that 9 of the fights are amateur where Cherico was never tested.

Chris Dunn changed Cherico’s world in their matchup at PFC Challenge Series 1, as Dunn rocked him a few times, none of which Cherico has seen in the past. As soon as he got a taste of Dunn’s power, and realized that he was going to be sleeping soon if he didn’t get him on the ground, he shot and the rest is history, rear naked choke, win number 3 as a pro.

Kudos for Cherico as he escapes with a win, but the whole arena saw what he did, vulnerability. In his victory speech, he didn’t mince words, and said that he didn’t have a good fight. “I might be back, I might not,” Cherico stated solemnly.  He took the victory with little fanfare or showboating, much of what he’s known for coming into the ring. This night, he left with no costume, just his belt on one shoulder and doubt on the other.

The Fans

For Pittsburgh being the birthplace of MMA, I thought the fans were relatively uneducated about MMA, cheering for the weirdest moments in fights when they had no relevance or impact on the outcome. Somebody throwing 15 punches that don’t land isn’t a cause for an outbreak of emotion. Just watch the fight, and understand the sport before you start yelling out “Knock em’ out!”

I think more fight cards like the Pittsburgh Challenge Series 1 will help educate fans on MMA and the art of the sport. It’s not all about blood and knockouts. I know people want to be entertained, but understanding the sport will make it so much more entertaining for everyone, especially the guy sitting in front.

Results from the Pro Fights.

  • Paul Felder def Khama Worthy via TKO (Strikes) 01:10 in Rd 1
  • Justin Steave def Arman Aliyev via Submission (RNC) 03:18 in Rd 2
  •  Anthony Durnell def Jeremy Pender Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Ahsan Abdullah def Mike Wilkins via Submission (RNC) 01:42 in Rd 2
  • Adam Milstead def Bobby Gurley via TKO (Strikes) 03:49 in Rd 1
  • Cody Garbrandt def Charles Kessinger via TKO (Strikes) 04:11 in Rd 1
  • Mark Cherico def Chris Dunn via Submission (RNC) 02:54 in Rd 1

                                              The Knuckle Dragger MMA section is brought to you by the PA National Guard

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