What: The Zone – InfernoWhen: May 7th, 2011
Where: Lisebergshallen, Göteborg, Sweden
The card was headlined with three title matches: Lightweight, Welterweight and Middleweight, but before we go to that, there were some great moments! Lots of submissions, a head kick knock out and a women’s match that made you cringe (in a good, violent way).
UFC fighter Alexander Gustafsson (who has fought on three The Zone events) also made an appearance and signed autographs for fans. No news on who his next opponent will be, but he said he was flying to Vegas to meet with Dana White this week and was hoping to find out then. After a couple of impressive performances in the Octagon, I’m sure we’ll see “The Mauler” back in action sooner rather than later.
The UK’s Paul Reed headlined the last The Zone FC event and defeated Hamid Corassani by TKO 3:28 into the Second Round. That earned him a Lightweight title fight at tonight’s event, against Frontier MMA’s Martin Svensson. A very entertaining scrap went to the judges’ decision; they were 2-1 in favor of the Swede. A puzzling decision, in my opinion. I definitely had Reed as the winner.
Jason Ponet from France challenged Besam Yousef from Gladius MMA, but got sent back to the locker room quickly when Yousef submitted him via guillotine choke at 1:24 in the First Round. This was his sixth appearance for The Zone and he has been victorious in every single one of them. A guy to keep an eye on, no doubt!
Another fighter to watch is the always exciting Victor Cheng. Like Yousef, he comes from Gladius MMA in Göteborg, and also like his team mate, Cheng has gone 6-for-6 in his appearances for the promotion. His opponent for the night (representing Snake Team from France) was Eric Cebarec. Unfortunately for the French, Victor hit him with an accidental groin shot early in Round One. At first, it looked like the fight was over: Cebarec was lying doubled over on the mat for quite some time. But he valiantly fought the pain and got rewarded with a barrage of punches from Cheng for his efforts. The referee stopped the contest at 2:32 in the First Round, putting the cap on a very exciting evening of fights. Another home run for The Zone, and I am already looking forward to the next outing, rumored to be in October.
** HammerFall’s new album, Infected, is out June 7th, 2011 on Nuclear Blast Records. Pre-order it here.