Frenchmen dominate MMA
The Caribbean Fight League’s (CFL) Massacre 5 event turned out to be more like Wrestlemania XXXI.
And by the way those in attendance – especially the small contingent from Martinique – responded, you would have sworn Undertaker or Hulk Hogan was on centre stage.
However, it was the Frenchmen who stole the spotlight on Saturday night, during the fifth regional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Championships at a packed Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
On a night when ten of the 11 fights were won on the ground, Martinique showed they were a class above the rest.
While the home side had mixed fortunes, all four of Martinique’s fighters were both brutal and clinical in recording impressive victories.
So dominant were they, only one of their opponents made it past the first round.
One of the most savage beatings of the night came at the hands of Martinque’s light-heavyweight champion, Bryan Bohouri, who made Kittitian professional Tija Stanley look like an amateur in what was supposed to be the feature attraction.
Stanley was actually lucky to have made it that far, after Bohouri wrestled him to the mat and delivered several powerful forehands and elbows to his head late in the opening round.
And while the bell saved him from an early defeat, Stanley had no such luck in the second of their scheduled three-round fight.
The blows caused Stanley to cry out “he hit me on my head . . . it hurts. Stop, stop!” forcing the referee to stop the fight and summon the doctor.
Bohouri’s 275 pound compatriot, Jonathan Lette didn’t give Thaddeus Francis of St Lucia much of a chance in their super-heavyweight match either.
The massive kick boxer peppered St Lucia’s lone competitor with several roundhouse kicks, before connecting with a vicious left hook to Francis’ face that sent him sprawling to the canvas.
Lette then finished off the match, thumping him with four more forehands as he crouched on his hands and knees stunned, bringing the fight to an abrupt end.
Barbados’ Rommell Ellis was the hometown hero of the night after defeating Trinidad’s Stephan White in a gruelling contest to claim the lightweight title.
Despite not boasting of a physique similar to that of his muscular and well-toned opponent, Ellis made up for that in determination, endurance and technique.
Most people were in shock that White, who came in with an 11-1 record, even made it out of the first round after Ellis put him in a headlock for the majority of the round which left him gasping for breath and his eyes protruding.
The third and final round was a virtual stalemate, with both fighters showing signs of fatigue and neither being able to establish an advantage.
And while the crowd roared when Ellis was announced the winner, White showed his obvious displeasure and disappointment by pulling his hand away from the referee and walking to his corner.