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Combat Sports Challenge

When: 1/31/2004 - 1/31/2004
Where: Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A.

January 31, 2004
The Show Place, Richmond, VA

Brought to you by Combat Sports 2000
Sanctioned by the WKA USA
Hosted by Prodigy Martial Arts Academy

Sponsors: Mulligan's Sports Bar & Grille, Thai Diner, Law Offices of Epperly-Follis-Schork
VIPs: Patrick Kia, Ink Tattoo & Art, Harvey's Barber Shop, Tondroski and Associates, ROC
Equipment Sponsor: Aries Fight Gear

Press Release:

January 31, 2004 at The Show Place in Richmond, VA was the debut event for Combat Sports 2000, L.C. management and promotion company. After the building heated up (literally, the building was cold before the crowed showed up), the capacity crowd was treated to the hottest fight card Richmond has seen in quite awhile. Although there were two no-shows and one cancellation of a title fight, there was no shortage of great fights. Eight Muay Thai matches, three MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) matches and one Prestige Submission Grappling match. The card featured three WKA Muay Thai Title matches. The WKA Eastern Regional Super Heavyweight bout matched Yahoshua Yahudah from Atlanta, GA (coached by Scott Hicks) vs Alex Beck from Pittsburgh, PA (coached by Mark Miller). Bertina Lee from Richmond, VA (coached by Brian Crenshaw) defended her WKA US Featherweight Women's Title against Emily Beardon from New York, NY (coached by Steve Milles). Rodderick Melvin from Newport News, VA (coached by Norman Karlsen) defended his WKA US Lt. Welterweight Title against Greg Dorsey from Baltimore, MD (coached by Brian Crenshaw). All title matches, as well as the rest of the card, seemed to be well-matched bouts.

The first title match (WKA Eastern Regional) featuring Beck and Yahudah was a battle of the big boys. These Super Heavyweights traded blows back and forth throughout the entire 5 rounds. It was a toss of the coin, but in the end, it was Beck with a slight advantage on two of the three judges' scorecards to win the match and the title.

Bertina Lee put her WKA US Title on the line against Emily Beardon in this highly anticipated match up. Their previously scheduled match was canceled due to Lee suffering a broken thumb just prior to that match. Lee came out strong in the first round, landing some great combinations and catching Beardon a bit off guard. Much to her credit, Beardon came out in the second round with some adjustments that allowed her to outscore Lee. The rest of the fight had the classic "power blows" verses "number of touches" judging controversy. Lee clearly established herself with power shots, landing powerful punches and backing Beardon up or stopping her in her tracks. To Beardon's credit, her adjustments paid off in the later rounds allowing her to score with both jabs and foot jabs. In the clinch, it was Lee controlling most of the action. It appeared to most in the crowd that the fight went 3 rounds to 2 for Lee, but the judges had it 48/47, 47/48, 48/47 for Beardon. Hats off to both of these fighters - they put on one heck of a fight. Not just a good ladies match, a GREAT FIGHT. Beardon will defend her new title against Kate Meehan in New York on February 20, 2004, and then, regardless of that outcome, Meehan is scheduled to face Lee in Florida on March 13, 2004.

The last title match was a rematch of the US Title match at the 2003 WKA US Nationals last summer. Melvin suffered a broken rib in that meeting, but still fought hard to take the title. Both fighters said they trained hard and were prepared to meet again. In the first round, each fighter seemed to be going through a feeling out process. Perhaps Melvin was remembering the broken rib and Dorsey remembered getting his kick caught and swept on several occasions. The second and third rounds found Melvin using good leg kicks to set up his hand combinations while Dorsey seemed content to try and land single power shots. Both fighters seem to have a great amount of respect for each other's power. However, as the fight moved forward, Melvin opened up and worked far more combinations and landed the better shots. Dorsey either gave Melvin too much respect or thought he would be able to take him out with his single power blows. It turned out to be Dorsey who suffered a "standing 8" in the third round and was left far short on the judges scorecards. Melvin was the clear-cut winner by majority decision and is still the WKA US Lt. Welterweight Champion.

In the under card, there were a variety of matches, including MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and Submission Grappling. The submission grappling match showcased two veterans of this type of competition: Mike Fowler (Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts) and Andrew Smith (Richmond BJJ). These guys had previously met in the "gi" divisions of several grappling tournaments, but had never been matched up in a "no gi" contest. Both competitors displayed great grappling skills and gave the crowd a good sense of what the game is all about. Although the bout ended with Fowler trying to secure a triangle choke, the decision came with the only two points of the match going to Fowler for an earlier take down.

Combine the ground game with the stand up game and you have MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). This card ended up with two great matches, as Lloyd Baldwin's opponent was a no show. The first was Mike Easton (Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts) out-pointing Jason Taylor (Iron City Gym) in this match of 2 rounds of five minutes each. Easton was able to take down (slam) Taylor three times and spent most of the time in Taylor's guard working punches. The next MMA match also featured a Lloyd Irvin Team member, Muhsin Corbrey, matched against local favorite Giovanni Lemm. Both experienced fighters traded great shots initially in the stand up. As the fight went to the ground, Lemm landed two good knees to the body of Corbrey. But before you could blink, Lemm was tapping from falling victim to a triangle choke submission, at 3:15 in the first round.

The night started with a great undercard. Please see Results page attached.
For more information and pictures, checkout the following websites as they are updated over the next few days.

Congratulations to all fighters, coaches, WKA USA staff, and Combat Sports 2000 on a great event!

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