Atlas Fights 34: Holiday Fight Night Full Review

Atlas Fights 34
Photo courtesy of Atlas Fights.

Atlas Fights 34: Holliday Fight Night took place Saturday, December 15, 2018, from the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi. The event was a huge success as the event went to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the coast area. The live results can be seen here if you are just interested in seeing the matchup outcomes. The man on the microphone was “Dynamite” David Hardy Jr. Dynamite is THE voice of combat sports in the South and will actually announce the Showtime boxing card set for January 11, 2019, in Shreveport, LA.

TWebb MMA Continues Their Run of Dominance

One of the top MMA coaches in the South, Thomas Webb, brought two fighters to Biloxi from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to represent TWebb MMA at Holiday Fight Night. Both Donald Wilkinson and Nakia Brown made quick work each earning a first-round knockout. After dropping his MMA debut in a tough outing, Wilkinson entered the cage with purpose and looked focus on getting his hand raised. After the matchup was taken to the mat, Wilkinson earned the dominant top control and rained down shots leaving the referee no choice but to call an end to the contest as Wilkinson defeated Cody Fountain via first round TKO.

Wilkinson and Brown with Impressive Showings

Nakia Brown

The other young prospect under the TWebb MMA banner, Nakia Brown, entered the cage winning his debut back at Capitol City Fight Night in Baton Rouge back in October 2018. Brown’s opponent for the night was Brandon Billingsley of Saucier, MS. The two engaged in an early striking exchange leading to Brown landing a devastating left hand that dropped Billingsley to his knees. The instant Billingsley returned to his feet he was met with another solid left-hand strike that totally flattened Billingsley leading to a clear knockout finish. Both TWebb MMA fighters started off the night impressively for Louisiana.

Three Quick Submissions in the Show

Three bouts on the 11 fight card ended in submission. All three of those came within a four-fight span. Donald Caston of Ocean Springs, MS submitted Jeffrey Hoda of Gulfport, MS early in the first round of their bout. Caston took control of the matchup early and finished off Hoda.

Terrance Peterson also was victorious by submission over Glen Martin. Martin attempted a standing guillotine choke early on Peterson but Martin was eventually slammed to the mat. Peterson kept the top control pressure on eventually locking in the hammerlock submission to finish off Martin in the first round. It appeared Martin suffered a broken bone or dislocation as a result of the submission.

The third submission took place next with Levi Stroud defeating Austin Godwin, also by first round submission. Stroud landed a quick takedown getting the back of Godwin quickly. Stroud attempted a rear naked choke but didn’t have the submission locked in well enough. Godwin was extremely active trying to get free, rolling nearly halfway across the cage to try and break free. Eventually, Stroud proved to be too much and locked in the rear naked choke for the finish.

Gulf Coast Rivalry Fight Goes the Distance

The judges had a pretty easy night up to the sixth matchup of the evening, with all bouts ending by crowd-pleasing submission or knockout. It was Biloxi vs. Gulfport in the first of two Gulf Coast Rivalry Fights with Darius Scott of Biloxi taking on Joe Eubanks of Gulfport. The first ten seconds started out with both fighters exchanging strikes. Eubanks eventually locked in a clinch on Scott and kept him pressed on the cage. The fight finally went to the ground where Eubanks did a very good job keeping control. Scott tried several times to buck off Eubanks from his mount but Eubanks was way too high in the guard for the buck to work. The first round came to an end with Eubanks dropping down shots from the top mount.

2nd Round Action Picks Up

Scott started out the second round throwing body shots. Scott had the better of the striking exchanges in the first round while Eubanks appeared to be the more seasoned grappler. Eubanks eventually got the fight back to the ground where he had his first round success. Scott seemed to adapt a little better, fending off Eubanks’ attacks. Scott’s efforts to escape from the bottom paid off landing a nice up kick before returning the matchup to the feet. Prior to the second round ending, Eubanks continued his grind to get Scott back to the mat ending the round in control of the ground game.

The Final Round

The third round started with Scott landing a heavy left hand before being driven into the cage. Scott stopped the takedown attempt and landed a few strikes after the separation. Eubanks stayed with what worked and eventually landed a takedown. Each fighter seemed to be in control of opposite spectrums of the fight game with Eubanks now in control in his element. Scott looked to finally figure out Eubanks’ ground game but unfortunately for Scott, it was too late. The bout came to an end with both fighters trading on the feet. Scott’s push was a round too late and Eubanks walked away with the decision victory.

Huge Hometown Debut

A “big” crowd favorite from just down the road of Biloxi made his MMA debut. The 6ft5in Tyler Mohler entered the cage to a loud ovation as he stood across from Jonathan Miller ready for battle. Mohler had the height advantage but it was all Miller when it came to the weight advantage. Mohler weighed in at 202 pounds while Miller pushed the scales at 259 pounds, a 57-pound weight advantage! The two began with some striking before Miller attempted a takedown. Mohler showed great takedown defense to keep the bout on the feet. The same time Miller threw a leg kick, Mohler delivered a huge punch that dropped Miller. Mohler kept the ground control and even attempted a guillotine choke but the bell rang to end the round.

Miller attempted to get creative with his strikes in the second round throwing spinning kicks and backfists to no avail. Mohler landed another strike that dropped the bigger Miller yet again. This time Mohler pounded on top delivering ground and pound until Miller was flattened. The referee called the bout awarding Mohler the second round TKO to a huge fan ovation.

Trey Mohler

Absolute Domination in the Female’s Heavyweight Division

Alan Belcher MMA was proudly represented in the female heavyweight bout of the night with Bailey Ray Jackson.

Bailey Ray Jackson

Jackson displayed three-rounds of domination over her opponent for the night, the 2-1 Justice Galloway. With the big reach advantage, Jackson did an amazing job from the start mixing leg kicks and jabs to keep the distance as well as wear down Galloway. Jackson was light on her feet reeling off four even fight strike combos before rolling out of the way. Galloway was sparing with the strikes, occasionally throwing a slow overhand to which Jackson dodged the strike, stepping away with a smile and a shake of the head. If there was ever a 30-24 decision in MMA, this was it. Jackson looked extremely confident in only her second career MMA bout ever and has a very bright future in a budding division for women across the realm of MMA.

Exhibition Razor Close Matchup

The last bout before the main event and co-main featured an extremely close battle between Mark Kolker and Treston Vines. The first round started off a bit slow as both fighters tested their range respecting the striking prowess of the other. The second round saw a pick-up in action as Vines landed a few takedowns during the round. Near the very end of the round, Kolker was able to get the fight to the feet but Vines ended the round with a slam and back to control on the ground.

The third round was an amazing, barn-burner of a battle. After the two exchanged a few strikes, Kolker dropped Vines with a heavy shot and pounced on top. Somehow Vines was able to fight through it and return the battle to the upright position. Vines returned the favor with heavy shots of his own before landing a huge takedown. Big strikes rained down from Vines who was in the dominant ground position after his takedown. With about five seconds left, both fighters were swinging for the fences battling until the bell. When the decision was read, it was announced Kolker was victorious via split decision.

Five Round Battle for the Flyweight Crown

Some fighters just have “it.” Joshua “The Flash” Langley is one of those special fighters. At only 17 years of age, Langley, up to this matchup, had earned a record of 3-0 with three victories by way of first-round finishes. Langley took on the toughest test of his career to date by challenging the Gulf Coast MMA flyweight champion, Terrance Jones. Langley entered the cage to a massive ovation. The young fighter had quite the following being a couple hours away from his home of Walker, Louisiana.

The first round started off with Langley landing a few beautiful leg kicks that echoed throughout the arena. Jones was able to pressure Langley to the cage but Langley locked in a nice Thai plum clinch and delivered a few solid knees to Jones. Jones spent the majority of the round trying to land a takedown but was unsuccessful as the first round came to an end.

The second round began with a brief striking exchange. Langley attempted a big strike on Jones but slipped. This provided Jones an opportunity to pounce on top and take control on the ground. While on the ground Langley attempted a kneebar but couldn’t quite get Jones’ leg from his guard position to lock it in. The round ended as mostly a ground battle. As the third round started the two exchanged strikes again showing their comfort for the standup game with Jones this time landing a solid body kick. The bout had a few stoppages due to low blows from Langley on a couple of leg kicks that slightly missed the mark. Now both fighters enter the “championship rounds” of the bout.

Championship Rounds

Jones was having success with the takedown game after the first round and decided to go back to the mats. Langley continued to show his calmness and submission ability nearly securing an armbar. Jones decided to abandon the ground game and return to his feet. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Jones delivered a big slam to end the round.

Both fighters were picking up the momentum behind their strikes in the final frame of action. Langley attempted a spinning kick that missed the mark. Jones took advantage and landed a solid right jab. Jones’ success came with his takedowns as he landed another on Langley. With about 20 seconds left in the round, Langley locked in a triangle choke that was the closest of all his submissions to ending the bout. The matchup ended with the bell but a bit longer and the triangle choke could have been the end of Jones’ night. When the scorecards were read, a new flyweight champion was crowned with Langley wearing the gold. The young Langley has now improved his record to 4-0 and a flyweight championship to his resume.

Joshua Langley

Strawweight Main Event

The night concluded with a professional strawweight main event as 4-6 Miki Rogers took on the 0-1 Jenny Savage looking for her first professional victory. The round began with a bit of cage-clinching. After the action left the cage walls, the two exchanged strikes with Savage mixing in some body kicks. The first round came to a conclusion as a toss-up. The action picked up in the second round as Rogers landed a big left hook that nearly dropped Savage but she was able to keep her footing. Rogers began to find her groove in the second round, stringing together some nice strikes.

The third stanza slowed down a bit from the high-pace second round. Savage landed a jab but it was hard to tell if it dropped Rogers or if she slipped. After landing the heavy strike, Savage seemed to have the momentum edge for the rest of the round. Both fighters exchanged superman punches in addition to Savage landing a nice body kick and a couple solid jabs to put a stamp on the third round. When the cards were read, it was announced Savage took a split decision nod, earning her first professional victory.

 

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