Reality Fighting 53 took place on January 4th in Uncasville, Connecticut. It was a pro/am event that I was able to see on Go Fight Live. The night before the event, the main event was scratched when late that night it was revealed former UFC champ Tim Sylvia had issues with his medicals. Sylvia Announced his retirement following that. However there was really solid action in the cage with some outstanding finishes. The only negatives on the night was the ring announcer was really struggling, even at one point seeming to not remember the name of one of the winners. But the biggest low light was when Sylvia and his opponent Juliano Cutinho came to the cage for an interview, the crowd very vocally booed Sylvia, which even the commentators rightfully pointed out as disrespectful. However a highlight was Cutinho telling the crowd to show respect. Here is my coverage of the fights and the Of the Night Awards.
1. Amateur Welterweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Ryan Munger (1-2 Spa City BJJ) vs Ray Johns (0-4 Team Thunder MMA)
RD 1: Munger immediately lands punches and slams him down and lands shots from half guard. Johns ground defense is pretty good forcing the ref to stand them. Johns bleeds from his mouth. Munger drops him and lands more till the ref stops it.
Result: Ryan Munger via TKO at 2:11 of Round 1
2. Pro Lightweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Jose Rivera (0-0 Universal MMA Center) vs Marcus Surin (0-0 Renzo Gracie/Periera BJJ)
RD 1: Rivera throws wild punches and misses them all. Surin takes him down and gets side control and then mount and rains down punches. Surin gets an arm triangle but Rivera hangs on and Surin gives it up. Surin mounts again and lands elbows and then gets his back and a rear naked for the tap.
Result: Marcus Surin via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:15 of Round 1
3. Amateur Lightweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Joe Giannetti (2-0 South Shore Sports Fighting) vs Jose Rivera (1-0 Kipp’s Garage)
RD 1: Rivera lands some good punches. Rivera trips him down but a nice sweep by Giannetti. From side control Giannetti does nothing allowing Rivera to roll and get on top. Giannetti then does the same. Giannetti gets his back but in going for the choke he allows Rivera to toll on top and land some punches.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Rivera
RD 2: Nice two punch combo lands for Rivera. Rivera lands nice punches forcing Giannetti to take him down. Giannetti gets his back and the rear naked for the tap.
Result: Joe Giannetti via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:07 of Round 2
4. Amateur Featherweight 3x3x3 Rounds
Joe Albani (0-1 CT United BJJ) vs Mike Piacenteni (1-2 Kipp’s Garage)
RD 1: They trade some shots, highlighted by a nice hook by Albani. Albani takes him down and they both roll and change positions. They stand and Piacenteni looks confused about something. Piacenteni drops him with a punch but lets him up. From the clinch Albani takes him down but lets him up. They trade hard punches and drop down. Albani gets a guillotine and Piacenteni taps due to being injured, but they rule it as being due to the guillotine since he had the choke in.
Result: Joe Albani via Tapout (Guillotine) at 2:38 of Round 1
5. Pro Bantamweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Brandon Polcare (0-0 Spa City BJJ) vs Johnny O’Brien (0-0 CRC MMA)
RD 1: Polcare immediately secures a takedown and lands punches and then gets an arm triangle and puts him to sleep.
Result: Brandon Polcare via Technical Submission (Arm Triangle) at 0:47 of Round 1
6. Pro Lightweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Chris Remedios (0-0 Pellegrino MMA) vs Mike Mangan (0-1 Team Thunder)
RD 1: Remedios drops him right away and gets on top in mount and then side control. Nice job by Mangan to pull guard. Remedios lands some short head and body shots. Remedios stays very active on top with punches. Now he lands harder shots till the ref stops it.
Result: Chris Remedios via TKO at 3:57 of Round 1
7. Amateur Featherweight 3x3x3 Rounds
B.J. Prak (0-1 Harambee Boxing) vs Harris Bonfiglio (0-0 Carlos Gracie Connecticut)
RD 1: Bonfiglio throws a couple kicks and takes him down into mount. Hard body shots by Bonfiglio. More very hard body shots by Bonfiglio. The body shots are clearly hurting Prak.
I scored RD 1: 10-8 Bonfiglio
RD 2: Bonfiglio puts him out with a spinning head kick.
Result: Harris Bonfiglio via KO at 0:04 of Round 2
8. Amateur Featherweight 3x3x3 Rounds
George Lischke (0-0 CT United BJJ) vs Rob Brown (1-0 Strikezone)
RD 1: Brown Immediately secures a takedown but they are up quick. Brown catches a kick and takes him down but again they are up quick. Brown already seems tired. Lischke lands a hard knee low stopping the action. When they resume they come our throwing punches. Brown uses punches to try and get in for a takedown but Lischke lands good shots in the clinch. Lishke gets a takedown to end the round.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Lishke
RD 2: Brown comes out throwing punches to try and set up the takedown but is unsuccessful. Brown shoots in but Lishke sprawls and looks for a choke. Lischke lands knees to the body and gets his back looking for a bus but can’t get it.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Lischke
RD 3: Brown is desperate for a takedown but instead Lischke gets his back. Lishke wants the choke but seems unsure how to set it up. Now Lischke has mount but Brown rolls out of that and Lischke gets his back and lands knees and punches to the body.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Lischke
My score card: 30-27 Lischke
Result: George Lischke via Unanimous Decision (Scores not read)
9. Pro Featherweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Josh Baker (0-1 Inferno Training Center) vs Carlos Candelorio (0-0 New Britain Judo/Soulfighters)
RD 1: Candelorio lands some punches. Candelorio gets a takedown and then his back but was up to high and Bakers gets out and gets on top before letting him up. Candelorio kicks off off balance and gets his back but Baker escapes. Baker has him with with punches and has his back landing more till the ref steps in due to punches to the back of the head. When they resume, they clinch and Candelorio lands nice knees. They drop down and Candelorio gets a rear naked for the tap.
Result: Carlos Candelorio via Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:22 of round 1
10. Pro Middleweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Cheyenne Vasquez (2-0 Sityodtong) vs Jason Ward (3-3 Westchester MMA)
RD 1: Both come out throwing strikes. Vasquez is landing nice counters and hurts him. Nice knees to the body by Vasquez. Vasquez hurts him with punches on the cage and the ref stops it.
Result: Cheyenne Vasquez via TKO at 2:11 of Round 1
11. Pro Bantamweight 5x5x5 Rounds
Marvin Maldonado (1-2 Renzo Gracie Latham) vs Johnny Lopez (3-3 Underdog BJJ)
RD 1: Lopez leg kicks his way into a clinch and takes him down pinned against the cage. Lopez is not doing much from the top. Finally though he lands some head shots. Maldonado tries for an arm but more head shots from Lopez. Lopez lands elbows as well. Lopez mounts him and rains down elbows. Nice escape by Maldonado to get on top and land punches till the round ends.
I scored RD 1:10-9 Lopez
RD 2: They exchange some strikes. Nice leg kick by Lopez to drop him but he is right back up. Nice body shots from the clinch by Maldonado. They exchange strikes in the clinch. Lopez breaks off and lands punches and then a takedown and lands elbows.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Lopez
RD 3: Maldonado is talking him but unable to land anything. Nice hook by Maldonado. Now Maldonado is starting to land strikes. Lopez forces a clinch and lands on the break. Maldonado lands a superman punch and then takes him down. Lopez is showing good ground defense and they stand. Lopez is working hard to get a takedown in the clinch and eating body shots for his effort. Now Maldonado gets a takedown and lands punches. They stand and Maldonado comes forward landing punches.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Maldonado
My score card: 29-28 Lopez
Result: Johnny Lopez via Unanimous Decision (29-8/29-28/29-28)
Submission of the Night: Brandon Polcare
Knockout of the Night: Harris Bonfiglio
Fight of the Night: Marvin Maldonado vs Johnny Lopez