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ShoXC: Hamman vs. Suganuma Review

This version of ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series came to us all live from the Table Mountain Casino in Friant, California on April 5, 2008. The main event brought a match between undefeated up and comer Jared Hamman and Poia Suganuma. Coming a few days after one of the best UFC's in recent days (UFC Fight Night 13) one had to wonder if the good times would continue. The night started off with a bout between Bao Quach and UFC veteran Doug Evans. "I think he's going to be in a lot of pain from my leg kicks," said Quach beforehand. Turns out that Quach was wrong. He took his opponent out way before leg kicks became much of a factor. In sum, soon after a failed takedown attempt Evans came in guns blazing with a flurry of punches. But Bao Quach simply took the assault on and then threw back at him, catching his opponent with a hard right hand that floored him. One more strike on the ground later and it was all over. Next up was a match between Matt Lucas and Giva Santana. Lucas was a two time All American wrestler. That said, he noted that, "transitioning (to MMA) is tough." In other words, this ain't wrestling, even if that's a great background to have when making the transition. The majority of the first stanza was spent on the ground after Matt Lucas took his opponent down. However, while they were on the canvas it seemed that Santana had the better go of it, hitting home with elbows from his back and trying to keep an active guard. Eventually, the referee stood the two fighters up, and when he did so Lucas demonstrated some power in his left hand by dropping Santana. But when he followed his opponent to the ground, Lucas gained guard and then went for a successful armbar. Giva Santana wins via armbar at 4:49 of round one. Next up was a female match between Tama Chan and Shayna Baszler. "God have mercy on my opponent, because I'm not gonna," said Baszler before the fight. Enough said. This one was fun. Chan came out blazing with an attempted Superman Punch. The two rolled around a whole lot and changed positions on a couple of occasions. However, eventually Baszler took Chan's back and started raining down hard and unanswered punches to her face after adeptly slamming her into the canvas. From there, a neck crank ended things. Shayna Baszler wins by neck crank at 2:05 of round one. Every time she steps into a cage, there's sure to be some excitement. Next on the docket was Fabricio Camoes and Joe Camacho in a lightweight bout. "Don't blink, because the knockout could come right away," said Camacho coming in. He was right. Unfortunately for him, it went in the other direction. Fabricio Camoes was able to take Camacho down quickly and after dealing with an active participant from his back, took over with some furious ground and pound of his own. And eventually, the referee had no choice but to step in. Fabricio Camoes wins via TKO at 3:30 of the first round. For me, every single fight is a championship fight, said Jared Hamman before his main event bout against Poia Suganuma. On the other hand, Suganuma said the following: "When I was younger and I wrestled I used to imagine ripping the guy's head off and throwing it on the ground and stomping off the mat. . ." However, these days he understands that it's not all about aggression; that focus, intelligence, and the game plan are just as important if not more so. But would he be able to implement the game plan against a fighter the caliber of Jared Hamman? This one was over in a hurry. Namely, Suganuma connected with a hard right that dizzied his opponent. From there, he nailed Hamman with a hard flying knee that floored him. That's when the referee stopped the fight. Being a referee is a thankless job, and clearly he was just trying to protect a fighter. Further, Suganuma had a very good chance to end things if it kept going. But I don't think that the fight should've been stopped just yet. However, that's only one opinion, and what can't be questioned is that Suganuma had taken the fight to his opponent in a big way up to the point that the bout was stopped. It's just that Hamman didn't look out yet to me. Either way, Poia Suganuma wins via TKO after 15 seconds in round one. Of course, there was a chorus of boos afterwards that Suganuma hardly deserved... But that seems to be the name of the game. This version of ShoXC was a fun one with the exception of the controversial ending. We're talking about five straight stoppages, after all. If you watched this fight, you're likely left with an understanding of how hard it is to be an MMA referee. Knowing when to stop a fight or not is an art form. Regardless, that's why they have rematches.

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