Bethalto, IL-- When anybody talks to promoter, Mike Griffin, about submission wrestling, they can see the enthusiasm build in his eyes. Mike is a submission wrestling enthusiast beyond normal reason. He views submission wrestling as an art form that should be enjoyed. With this in mind, Mike brought together great submission specialists and MMA fighters for his "Ultimate Submission Challenge" event.
Eight submission wrestling matches and five MMA fights held the audience's attention throughout the entire night. The submission wrestling matches were just as exciting, if not more so, as the MMA fights. The matches were so evenly setup that even the matches that went to decision were fast paced classes in submission and defense.
Included in the night's festivities were two women's matches. Local favorite, Peggy Brooks, Pro Gym, Moro, IL, and Anna Ceja, Shirmer's Gym, Chicago, IL went head to head for thirteen minutes. Peggy Brooks eventually won the decision but Ceja put up a great fight. Ceja is a rookie to submission wrestling, having only been training for four months but she defended well against the veteran, Brooks, not allowing a submission.
The other women's match pitted Maribel Schirmer, Schirmer's Gym, Chicago, IL, against Tammy Webb, Iowa. Maribel showing the hereditary skill of the Schirmer family took out Tammy Webb with an arm bar in just eighteen seconds.
The most exciting match of the night was between Jim Bruketta, Silverback's Gym, Canton, IL, and Tim Stafford, Combat Do, Chicago, IL. The submission wrestling match was a whirlwind of submission attempts and counters from both fighters. Never stopping to rest or relax, these fighters kept at each other until the final bell rung. So evenly matched, the fight had to go to judge's decision with Stafford's hand being raised at the end.
RSF Lightweight Champion, Jason Reinhardt continued his winning ways submitting Ryan Sotter, Iowa, with an ankle lock at 2:14 in the first round. Jason even gave us a smile after his match while still sitting on the apron.
The end of the night brought the the main event. Travis Fulton destroyed Matt Clemens in a little over a minute. Clemens took on the fight at the last minute substituting for Ben Boyer who had dropped. Clemens should be congratulated for stepping up to the challenge but it was obvious, from the beginning, that he wasn't prepared for Fulton.
A good turnout and a friendly atmosphere made for a great event. We were amazed at how intense the submission matches were. Plainly, Mike Griffin knows how to match up submission wrestlers to provide eye riveting action. We are looking forward to the next Ultimate Submission Challenge.
Sam Davis at Midwest Submission Challenge - 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Decatur AL