Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rock And Brawl Preview

Rock And Brawl show that will place this saturday 14th of May in Kouvola, Finland is a newcomer in the Finnish MMA scene. This first event by the promotion has been bundled together with the Finnish national amateur MMA championships and a rock concert. Quite a mix, huh? Amateur bouts will take place during daytime and in the evening it's time for the professional MMA fights. After the fights hard rock bands will take over, so people can stay on the same spot, get hammered and party on. Sounds like a good concept to me.

LHW fight: Marcus “Caveman” Vänttinen (20-2) vs Attila "Pumukli" Vegh (21-4-2)
In the main event of the evening Finland’s top prospect Marcus “Caveman” Vänttinen meets the dangerous Attila “Pumukli” Vegh of Slovakia.

In his last two fights Vänttinen has completely manhandled two UFC veterans. Vänttinen first crushed Ron Faircloth in two minutes with vicious knees and ground and pound. Second victim was Edwin Dewees who could hang with Vänttinen for three minutes before he got smashed on the ground by Vänttinen’s ground and pound. The Dewees bout at Fight Festival 30 was Vänttinen’s fifth fight in six months. In October 2010 Vänttinen dominated UFC vet Ivan Serati on the ground and finished him in just four minutes. This was followed a unanimous decision win at Cage 14 over American Victor O’Donnell who fans might remember from the Ultimate Fighter show. Since dropping a decision to Rodney Wallace back in 2009, tall and lanky Vänttinen has made massive improvements during the last two years both to his physical performance and to his MMA skill set. Vänttinen uses his reach very well keeping his opponents on the outside with a stiff jab. In the clinch his solid Muay Thai skills and brute force come in to play. On the ground he likes to grind his opponents with short punches and elbows while looking for submissions and maintaining tight positional control. The young Finn walks around at 220 pounds but for a big light heavyweight he has shown excellent stamina in his fights that have gone full rounds. Vänttinen is currently riding an amazing eleven fight win streak and has openly stated that getting signed by the UFC is his goal at the moment. A win over a top level European fighter in Vegh would move the 24 year old Finn a step closer to reaching his goal.

Fighting since 2008 Slovakia’s Attila “Pumukli” Vegh has been working hard and slowly making his way towards the top of European Light Heavyweight division. For a pro fighter working hard means fighting a lot and that is exactly what Vegh has done. In 2009 he fought eleven times and in 2010 ten times, making him the busiest fighter in the Euro circuit. In his last three fights “Pumukli”, which means little devil in fairy tales, has gone 1-1-1. First he fought for the ISKA European LHW belt against Denmark’s Simon Carlsen. In the second round the Dane slammed Vegh on his head and finished the Slovakian with ground and pound. In February of 2011 Vegh fought a draw in a two round bout against the highly regarded Dutchman Hans Stringer. Vegh won his latest fight via a corner stoppage over Russia’s Baga Agaev who just few days ago armbarred Kevin Randleman at the WAFC. Fighting a draw with Stringer and beating a legit veteran in Agaev prove that Vegh isn’t far from the European top ten in his weight class.

In summary: Vegh is at his best on the feet where he uses his reach well and has a good arsenal of striking skills. However, Vegh’s wrestling and clinch work are average at best and that could lead to trouble in this fight. Vänttinen’s increasingly imposing strength allows him to strong-arm his opponents in the clinch and punish them with crushing knee strikes. While Vegh is certainly a dangerous opponent for Vänttinen both standing and on the ground, I expect the young Finn to continue on his winning ways and finish his opponent within two rounds.

LW (155 lbs/70 kg): Juha-Pekka Vainikainen (16-5, Finland) vs Josh ”Platypus” Pulsifer (16-5, USA)
Finnish striker JP Vainikainen faces American grappler Josh Pulsifer in an exciting lightweight bout.

Espoo’s JP Vainikainen is on a roll right now and steadily making his way to the top ten of European Lightweight division. The young Finn is riding a five fight win streak, finishing four of those fights. In his last two fights Vainikainen has beaten experienced Americans in Brian Geraghty and Ryan Bixler. At the Fight Festival 29 Vainikainen outstruck UFC veteran Gegarthy and won by decision. In his latest fight at the Fight Festival 30 Vainikainen dropped Team Quest’s Bixler with a beautiful overhand right and finished him on the ground. Six foot tall (183 cm) Vainikainen has a long frame and limbs for the LW division. Long reach combined with his technically solid striking makes him a tough fight for anyone who isn’t a powerful wrestler. On the ground Vainikainen can certainly handle himself too and has numerous submission wins to back this claim.

American Josh “Platypus” Pulsifer has been fighting pro since 2006 and during that time gathered a pretty good record (16-5 at the UG, 12-5 according to Sherdog) against moderate competition. Pulsifer comes from a wrestling background that can be seen in his grappling heavy fighting style. He has been training for a long time under BJJ black belt Piet Wilhelm who has transformed him for a pure wrestler to a submission grappler. His ground skills can be seen from his record too as eight of his twelve wins have become via submission. Pulsifer, who teaches history to high school kids for a living, has been fighting down at featherweight before and this will be his first fight in the lightweight division.

In summary: Pulsifer will shoot for takedowns right from the start and try to get this fight to the ground. While Pulsifer will probably be smaller than his opponent, I believe his high level wrestling will lead to successful takedowns. However, keeping Vainikainen on the ground is another story. Vainikainen will have a significant reach advantage on the feet that he will surely want to use. I believe Vainikainen will try to use his crisp straight punches to control the distance and punish Pulsifer when he tries to close the distance.

Other fights on the card:
3x5 min -155 lbs / -70,3 kg
Lauri Väätäinen MMA Utti vs
Tadas Aleksonis Lithuania

2x5 min -170 lbs / -77,1 kg
Johan Vänttinen Fight Factory Porvoo vs
Jake Anttila Mäntän Sutemi/Team BP

2x5 min -170 lbs / -77,1 kg
Lauri Tonteri MMA Utti vs
Dmitri Chelpanov Russia

2x5 min -205 lbs/ -93 kg
Saku Heikkola Valkeakosken Heracles vs.
Grigory Gordeiko, Russia

2x5 min -185 lbs / -83,9 kg
Aleksandr Efimov MMA Utti vs
Nikita Golovchanskiy Russia

2x5min -205lbs/-93 kg
Antti Kästämä GB-Gym Helsinki vs
Antti Kinnunen Edge Vantaa

2x5 min -155 lbs / -70,3 kg
Lauri Kinnunen MMA Utti vs
Roman Porval Russia

2x5 min -145 lbs / -65,8 kg
Tommi Marttinen Mikkelin Full Contact vs
Rashad Muradov Russia