Remember when yelling that phrase worked? It came in handy when we were kids. Hell, you might hear it bellowed during your fantasy football draft.
Once we became adults, "do-overs" pretty much ceased to exist. We can think of many times in life when it would come in handy, but it just fails to deliver the same results.
This past Saturday night COMBAT!! MMA held its third card at the SpiritBank Event Center. The event went up against the launch of FOX Sports 1 and a night full of free UFC pay-per-view quality fights. Scheduling in advance is challenging, but maybe COMBAT!! would have liked a "do over."
Several scheduled fights fell apart for one reason or another. The main event was in jeopardy for weeks. After the original opponent for Josh Fountain backed out, a reserve fighter was scheduled. The fill-in opponent failed to make weight, and the main event was scrapped. The co-main event was bumped to main event status.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans was billed as the special guest. A fighter from his BlackZilians camp in Florida was scheduled on the card.
When that opponent backed out, COMBAT!! promoter Logan Cunningham worked tirelessly to find a replacement up until the event began. The Oklahoma State Athletic Commission would not allow several of the fighters offered. So Evans, along with his fighter, bailed on the event.
This wasn't all bad, though, as it did allow for other combatants to shine in the spotlight. The opening bout of the evening saw Miles Martin score a huge victory.
By "huge," I don't just mean the size of the heavyweight, but also the magnitude of his submission win.
Gerit Smith secured another victory in his young career. He faced stiff competition, fought through adversity in bad positions, and overcame to lock in a slick triangle submission. Some young fighters grabbed the proverbial bull by the gonads.
Gerit is the brother of a well-known welterweight fighter in Tulsa. Dylan Smith was the longtime XFL champion.
Dylan exited the fight game, but not totally. He no longer actively competes. Instead, he corners his brother and has launched his own apparel brand, Bar None Athletics.
The elder Smith transitions from active combatant to the Tulsa Police force and married life. He still loves the sport and found another way to stay involved, help fighters, and perhaps make a few bucks.
His brand sponsors fighters. The shirts they produce are not your typical MMA attire. Skulls, dragons, and grim reapers are not plastered across your chest. Instead, the message is "anyone, anywhere, anytime" -- kind of a "bring it" mentality.
His highest-profile sponsored fighter so far is Gerald Harris. Harris scored a huge victory in the World Series of Fighting against Jorge Santiago. He broke his hand, won the fight, and sported a Bar None-Athletics shirt.
Two Tulsans doing big things on the big stage.
The decision to attend COMBAT!! versus staying home to watch a very entertaining UFC fight card was difficult.
It boiled down to the scheduled co-main event scrap between Mike Budnik and Jesse Chaffin. It was eventually bumped to main event status, and was certainly worthy of its place on the card.
This fight appealed on many levels. Budnik is a wily vet who got his start in Tulsa, but now lives in Chicago. His ground game is on par with the UFC fighters. He competed in the now-defunct WEC against the world's best. But at 39, how much does he have left in a young man's sport?
Jesse Chaffin, on the other hand, burst on the scene at Xtreme Fight Night. Four wins earned him a shot outside of the state. An impressive victory in Wichita had him looking for big fights to take his career to the next level. He is still young, and would give up tremendous experience at only 24 years of age.
I sat next to a former fighter and connoisseur of the local fight scene. We came to the agreement the fight would be a stand-and-bang affair.
Chaffin's wrestling would dictate where the fight took place. With Budnik's submission game, no way Chaffin decides to take the fight to the ground. It was also unlikely Budnik would be able to secure a takedown of Chaffin.
But this is why they fight. At the same time, on FOX Sports 1, Travis Browne was knocking out Alistair Overeem before millions and millions of stunned onlookers. You never know, and that is what makes this sport the most exciting in the world.
The bell sounded inside the SpiritBank Event Center. A leg kick and a few trades, and Chaffin shot the takedown and scored. Both fighters held good position at times with some nice reversals and transitions. A huge slam by Chaffin likely earned him the first round on the judges' score cards.
The second round would play out differently. No striking. Instead, Chaffin immediately took the fight back to the ground. He was unable to control Budnik this time around. He was overwhelmed by the much older, yet more experienced fighter. The referee stopped the bout when Budnik's relentless ground and pound proved to be too much for Chaffin.
The strategy for Chaffin has to come into question. Wouldn't he have been better served taking his chances on his feet? No "do overs," and it is a valuable learning experience for a young fighter with a bright future.
In all, the event was well matched. Every fight was competitive, and that is half the battle. Will losing the main event and special guest come back to haunt the young promotion?
They announced their next event for October 26. Time will tell if they have the staying power. Fighters and fans hope so, for competition's sake.
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