East Rutherford, NJ. — One team was able to overcome their injuries while the other flustered at the IFL Semi-Finals.
Entering the night with an undefeated tenure during the 2007 season, the number one seeded Anacondas limped into competition with two starters on the shelf. The first fight was déjà vu for Alex Schoenauer as he lost another controversial split decision to Mike Ciesnolevicz, a fighter he‘s lost to by the same manner earlier this year. Although Schoenauer seemed out on his feet in the last minute of round three, the crowd voiced their displeasure with the decision as they belived he did enought in the first two rounds to secure a victory. It didn’t get any easier for the Anacondas as the next fight produced fireworks from the reliable Rory Markham. You couldn’t tell that this Silverback was returning from an injury as his precise striking floored Chris Clements twice in the opening stanza. Clements, who was replacing Jay Heiron, was Markham’s Huckleberry as he stood toe-to-toe with his opponent in the center of the ring before the referee put a halt to the contest at 1:17. Down two to zero and one loss away from a disappointing playoff exit, the Anacondas looked to another replacement, Harris Sarmiento to defeat the man with the most wins in IFL history, Bart Palaszewski. The Hawaiian put on a valiant effort but came up short – literally. Palaszewski used his reach advantage to keep Sarmiento at bay until the Miletich product was able to submit his opponent by a guillotine choke in the third round. Don’t look now, but the Silverbacks are in a familiar place, the IFL Finals. The lone bright spot for the Anacondas was Benji Radach surviving a huge slam and then unleashing a quick right uppercut that stunned Gerald Harris enough for the referee to intervene and stop the contest at the 3:03 mark of the first round. And who can forget Big Ben Rothwell? Well, I think Krzysztof Soszynski would like to. If you blinked, you missed this TKO that happened just 13 seconds into the first round. Silverbacks tame the Anacondas, 4-1.
With three new starters on his roster, Renzo Gracie truly coached the Pitbulls to the IFL Finals. Local favorite Dan Miller got the action started as he brought the crowd to their feet when he choked Dave Phillips of the Tokyo Sabres unconscious with a guillotine choke in the first round. Miller survived an early scare with an armbar attempt from Phillips, but the crafty jiu-jitsu player slammed his way out on his way to an IFL debut victory. The next fight wasn’t pretty but New York native Bryan Vetell systematically clinched and controlled his opponent with knees to the thigh and several takedowns that earned him a unanimous decision victory over Wayne Cole in a heavyweight bout. Now it was time for an unlikely hero to shine. Once an alternate and now a starter for the injured Erik Owings, Lithuania’s Deividas Taurosevicius was able to bring his Pitbulls to the finals with unanimous decision victory over a very game Savant Young. In what easily could have been the fight of the night, both fighters were knocked down in the first round and the second saw Taurosevicius put on a clinic as he transitioned from having Young’s back with the hooks in, to almost securing an armbar as round two expired. With nothing but pride to fight for, the Tokyo Sabres took the last two fights as Antonio McKee and Vladimir Matyushenko took home decision victories. Pitbulls bite their way to a 3-2 victory over the Sabres.
The IFL finals are now set as the Pitbulls will now take on the Silverbacks.
Here are the complete results:
IFL – Semi-Finals
Thursday, August 2nd, 2007
Continental Airline Arena
East Rutherford, NJ
Silverbacks vs. Anacondas
Mike Ciesnolevicz def. Alex Schoenauer by split decision after three rounds
Rory Markham def. Chris Clements by TKO – 1:17 rd. 1
Bart Palaszewski def. Harris Sarmiento by guillotine choke – 1:06 rd. 3
Benji Radach def. Gerald Harris by TKO – 3:03 rd. 1
Ben Rothwell def. Krzysztof Soszynski by TKO 0:13 – rd. 1
Silverbacks defeat Anacondas, 4-1
Pitbulls vs. Sabres
Dan Miller def. Dave Phillips by guillotine choke – 1:30 rd. 1
Bryan Vetell def. Wayne Cole by unanimous decision after three rounds
Deividas Taurosevicius def. Savant Young by unanimous decision after three rounds
Antonio McKee def. Delson Heleno by split decision after three rounds
Vladimir Matyushenko def. Tim Boetsch by unanimous decision after three rounds
Pitbulls defeat Sabres, 3-2
L.C. Davis def. Conor Heun by split decision after three rounds
Jason Palacios def. Joe Sampieri by rear-naked-choke – 3:21 rd. 1
Lyman Good def. Mike Dolce by unanimous decision after three rounds
Dante Rivera def. Nissim Levy by TKO 1:13 rd. 3