First up was Neil who faced Art “Fists of Fury” Scovens. Scovens, who was 2-1 going into the contest, had demonstrated solid kickboxing skills in his previous bouts and had a significant reach advantage over Neil. At the outset of this contest, the fighters touched gloves and began to measure each other. “Beast Mode” pressed forward for a takedown and Art intelligently used lateral movement to evade. The two returned to the center of the cage and continued to feel each other out. Evidently, Art’s strategy was to wait for Neil to attack, and try to counter with strikes as he moved in. Neil’s was a similar strategy, trying catch Art with a takedown as he moved forward. Once Neil realized that Art was not being as aggressive as he had been in the past, he attacked with an overhand right and pinned Art against the cage. Neil immediately executed a high “double-leg” to take Art down and quickly established control on the ground. He gradually took advantage of Scovens’ movement to improve his position. Once Neil was in the “Mounted Position” he was able to secure a “Guillotine Choke” and finish the fight at 1:47 of the first round.
Next up was Matt Bienia versus Matt Woods. Woods is a Law Enforcement Officer and former Military Policeman who now trains MMA. After touching gloves, these two squared up and Woods immediately landed a solid right leg-kick. Bienia reset and then returned a blistering right leg-kick of his own followed by a glancing straight right. The “Machine” then threw another right leg-kick and dropped down to shoot in for a double-leg takedown. Woods tried to counter by reversing the takedown, but Bienia stabilized the situation, maintaining a somewhat awkward top position. Woods tried to establish a “crucifix” hold from the bottom, but Bienia was able to escape and improve his position to a “North-South Turtle” situation. Bienia began to apply pressure by using punches and knees to strike, and setting up chokes from that position. Eventually, Woods stood up and the “Machine” was able to sink a Standing Guillotine choke to finish the fight at 2:30 of the first round!
The wins pushed the team’s winning streak up to 6-0! Last year Neil had two wins, and Matt and Eugene Plekhanov each had one. Only one of those wins were by Unanimous Decision, while the others were all via dominating finishes!
Although it may be difficult for some to see how the intensity and chaos of Mixed Martial Arts relates to self-defense and their own training, many people believe that MMA is actually the best way to test martial arts and self-defense skills. Even though 98% of the students at ZenQuest will never compete on this level, the success of the fight team is an indication of the effectiveness of the arts, and quality of instruction here!
The next Kaged Kombat event is scheduled for Saturday, June 20th. It is likely that Team ZenQuest will be at that one, too! Please stay tuned for more details and possibly a big announcement!!