What looks like it could be either a marriage made in Heaven or the most dubious business proposal in years starts this weekend as Sugar Shane Mosley Productions presents their first MMA event. Super Brawl Showdown takes place at of all places the Phoenix Zoo in Phoenix, AZ with a live pay-per-view webcast.
MMA fans may not be fans of boxing but have probably heard of “Sugar” Shane Mosley, a retired fighter who once held the IBF lightweight title as well as the Lineal, WBC, and WBA welterweight titles who after retiring in December decided to add live events to his training young fighters. The event series is officially referred to as Mosley Showdown, some shows being boxing and some MMA with this event being the first. No word is available on plans for a second or if so if future events will also be pay-per-views.
On paper the business model has potential so far, the “pay-per-view” part being the striking part. Traditionally the UFC are the only company to do well in that market despite many lesser organizations trying from BodogFIGHT to last year’s Battlegrounds MMA, to date the only promotion to hold more than one being Affliction which tanked just prior to their third attempt. That isn’t to say it can’t be done, its just a superior fight card is required while this card to be polite to a new organization doesn’t fit that definition, perhaps a more accurate phrase would be “appalling”. Mis-matches and handing returning fighters easy wins are part of boxing culture but not MMA.
The main event features UFC vet and former KOTC champion Joe Stevenson vs. a much less experienced Dominique Robinson. 31-15 Stevenson hasn’t fought since June 2012 when he hit his fourth loss in a row with a rear-naked choke at the hands of Dakota Cochrane. 8-4-2 Robinson is a TPF vet whose biggest career win so far was a TKO of UFC vet John Gunderson in February 2011, in the almost four years since then Robinson has gone 2-1-1 with his most recent being a KO of Tommy Treux in regional promotion Shinzo Fight Sport. Given Stevenson’s fame through TUF and the UFC it is difficult to not view this fight as what should be an east “come out of retirement” bout.
The co-main event ten years ago would have questionable, now it seems a joke as UFC vet Shonie Carter faces the infamous Shannon “the Canon” Ritch. Carter qualifies as “legend” for his pioneering work in MMA, most notably his spinning back fist win over Matt Serra way back in UFC 32. Carter was one of the cast members of TUF 4, the “comeback season” filled with UFC vets vying for a second chance. The downside is Carter has been in an almost 5-year losing rut with one win in that time to go with nine losses. Now on a three-fight losing streak Carter hasn’t been in the spotlight since Bellator 25 where he lost to Torrance Taylor. A record of 53-76 says it all about Shannon Ritch, one of the most experienced fighters in the sport but one known for being thrown into fights as intended to lose. Now 44 years-old Ritch hasn’t fought since June 2013 when he defeated Roman Sierra in regional promotion IMMA, a fight that amazingly left Ritch with a 5-1 one-year segment of his career. Old-school fans may get a chuckle out of Ritch’s most recent career segment is better than UFC vet Carter’s but it is unlikely at this point in both fighters’ career twilights the outcome will have any serious effect other than last-fight-of-career bragging rights.
The rest of the card may actually be worth seeing, it just doesn’t have the starpower to carry the weight of being a pay-per-view. Most notable of the undercard fights is MMA Labs’ Ashley Gooch vs. Lance Friedenstein. 6-4 Gooch has won four in a row most recently defeating Louis Harvey in RITC, Friedenstein was undefeated until a unanimous decision loss to Bryan Humes in his last fight notched his first loss in his 5-1 career.
Super Brawl fight card
- Daniel James vs. Jason Walraven
- Evan DeLong vs. Kamuela Kirk
- James Chaney vs. Jimmy Scully
- Steve Hanna vs. Richard Solis
- Nick Rhoads vs. Thomas Schulte
- Ashley Gooch vs. Lance Friedenstein
- Brenda Gonzales vs. Lacey Schuckman
- Shonie Carter vs. Shannon Ritch
- Joe Stevenson vs. Dominique Robinson