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Saturday, December 08, 2007

UPDATED: State better take hold of MMA before someone gets severely hurt or killed

Friday night, Shreveport's historical Municipal Auditorium was the scene of a amateur/pro mixed-martial arts show. "Forces of Destruction" was the best show to come to town in terms of production. However, the state avoided major disaster due to pure luck.
Two fighters went crashing through a ring that should have never been approved and landed on a hardwood floor 4 feet below the canvas.
Christian Fulgium, a former Benton wrestler, and Darrell Wood were relatively unharmed -- not to mention the scoring judge and media member the duo hit on the way down.
It was a pretty wild scene and pretty ironic considering official Alvin Topham warned the media ringside about fighters coming through. Although he initially misrepresented himself as a member of the La. State Boxing and Wrestling Commission -- he's really the ISKA representative (I actually do pay attention to this stuff) -- things worked themselves out.
However, what the commission and Topham should have been concerned with is the ring in place Friday night.
Fighters wouldn't blast out of the ring if they were fighting in a cage OR a ring with thicker ropes. The ropes may have been fine for boxing, but there were a lot smaller (and more flimsy) than the ropes from previous shows in town.
Of course, how about a 5-rope system. There were 4, sadly thin ropes.
Fighters were trying to come through the ropes all evening.
Fulgium, who was unharmed in the fall (unlike his opponent), even said he had concern before his fight as he watched previous bouts worked against the thin ropes.
The sport of MMA suffered its first documented death when a Texas fighter recently died.
Louisiana is EXTREMELY lucky it didn't have No. 2.
Part of the 13-bout card will air on TV in Shreveport on Friday and the editors will likely make the crash through the ring the center of attention -- in part because the professional bouts were sub-par to be nice. Nothing against the fighters, but they either were terrible matchups, ended with controversial referee stoppages, low blows or because fighters crashed through the ropes.
The amateur portion of the card was terrific. The inexperienced fighters definitely outshined their professional counterparts.
The state's Boxing and Wrestling commission better get a hold on safety, now! Louisiana has a special thing. As we saw last night, this is a hotbed for amateur fights because La. is one of a handful of states that allows amateur MMA bouts.
There were amateur from Georgia and others from Oklahoma and Texas (I had previously said two fighters from Miami were amateurs. They were professionals -- I had that right in my story that night, but the blog was incorrect).
Despite that factual error in this blog, the state is still LUCKY to be able to host amateur MMA. Because amatuer fighters DO come from Florida to fight here.
That's who we need to worry about. Not who's sitting ringside. Keep the fighters in the ring -- or better yet in a cage (this is cage fighting after all) and you won't have to worry about the people outside the area of battle.
I love the sport, but oversights like Friday's give it the bad reputation it has.
NOTE: A few people have questioned the pictured used with this blog. It was the best picture we had. It has nothing to do with the story. It was just a great picture. Blood is part of the sport and kudos to (photographer) Jamey Bramlett and fighters Billy Curl (right) and Joseph Salas.


Blogger TexasGladiators said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:24 PM  
Blogger TexasGladiators said...

The amateur portion of the card was terrific. The inexperienced fighters definitely outshined their professional counterparts End Quote:

That is the only correct statement on that article. This guys main intention was to paint MMA in bad light. They were mostly pissed that none of the local fighters won. Local hero and highly touted Blake Franklin lost to an arm triangle choke(He had to have surgery from an accidental groin kick)...the other local hero Christian Fulgium, was getting dominated standing and in my opinion purposely dove outside the ring with his opponent. 5 ring ropes would not have mattered since he dove between ropes 3 and 2. Christian Fulgium tried 2-3 more times to double leg his opponent outside the ring after the initial fall only to be pushed back by the outside officials. His intentions was obvious to me.

I had six fighters on the fight card, 5 amateur and 1 pro..a few of them did not get to fight due to no-shows. We will be back stronger and bigger in numbers.


1:29 PM  
Blogger Roy Lang III said...

Hey Texas Gladiators ... paint MMA in a bad light?? Huh. I'm the biggest MMA fan around. I DONT WANT MMA to get a bad name.
The pro fights were awful. There were more boos once the TV portion began than cheers. That's not good.
The referee was terrible. The (pro) fights were terrible and the unfortunate circumstances were terrible.
I could care less who wins. I want to see great fights. The amateurs were great.
And I'm not saying the pro fighters were terrible, either. The matchups/stoppages were.
What I'm still puzzled about concerning the Fulgium fight was Wood (very much to his credit) got back in the ring and the fight continued. Fulgium hits him with a shot and then the fight goes to the ground twice before it is stopped. How can this be defaulted back to the fighters going out of the ring? Once the fighter said he was good to go, it shouldn't be able to revert to a no contest.
Kudos to Wood for his attempt to continue, it showed plenty of guts.
Oh yeah, the ropes were terrible. I don't care what number ropes they went through, fighters were in danger of going through them all night. You were there, you had to see that. I don't want another black-eye on the sport and that was the entire point of the article.

1:42 PM  
Blogger jkartigue said...


I for one am disappointed that you would infer that an act by Christian was intentional. As a someone who is a trainer and a professional fighter for you to insinuate that is both unethical and unprofessional.

In a match against someone who has a has a skill set he was trying to utilize and an accident happened during the course of the match is regretful but it was not a malicious act on Christian's part. It would be the same as saying a jiujitsu player broke an arm during an arm bar or a boxer broke a nose of an opponent. The match was in a ring with next to no spotters on the outside to insure that this would not happen.

We came up with a specific game plan for the match which involved winning the take down. Never did we once consider throwing the opponent through the ropes to acquire a cheap win. As unfortunate a situation as it was it was an accident during the course of the match between two athletic combatants.

9:57 PM  

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