It took longer for Marlintini’s owner Ethan Billings to announce an exclusive contract for Roughhouse boxing on Friday night than it did for Henry Dehling to dispose of opponent Bailey Johnson in a mixed martial arts bout that determined a shot for the title in May’s Southeast Showdown.
Dehling, from Juneau, used his grappling skills to keep the attacking Johnson, from Angoon, in a standing clinch.
Dehling had a front standing choke hold on Johnson that actually caused a bloody nose and a nearly unconscious tap out by Johnson just 30 seconds into the bout.
Dehling now will fight MMA stud Craig Reishus on May 4 in the first Southeast Showdown Lightweight MMA Championship.
Reishus’ semi-final opponent, Tyson “Kain” Duckworth from Ketchikan could not make the bout and forfeited, meaning Reishus got the pass to the title bout. Reishus had beaten the two-time SS champ Duckworth in a 2010 bout that saw Duckworth saved from a chokehold at the bell.
It was Billings’ announcement of an exclusive contract that drew the most applause on the night.
Executive producers from the Discovery Channel in Hollywood are in the process of creating a video, compiled from footage their production crew shot at Marlintini’s Roughhouse Friday’s on March 23. That footage is being compiled and pitched to their network powers as a reality show.
“It is looking pretty good,” Marlintini’s owner Ethan Billings announced to fight fans during Friday’s combat sports bouts. “They are excited. We put on our normal show that night and they were excited. Thanks again for all your support and we will keep you posted.”
The Discover Channel crew filmed the bouts on March 23, interviewed Billings and Roughhouse promoter Bob Haag and his score keeping wife Sandy, saw a fighter carted off by EMT’s, followed Wayne Fu the next day as he picked up his knife from a pawn shop (the reason he was fighting), saw scantily clad ring girls and people having a blast, and…. Well, that is enough Hollywood for anyone. The exclusive contract means that Marlintini’s cannot sign with any other network or production company while Discovery Channel determines what they are going to do.
Game on! Fights on!
On May 4 the Southeast Showdown will also feature Al “Mean Machine” Valentine, who came out of retirement last year to keep Duckworth from adding the heavyweight title to his ‘06 light and ’08 middleweight belt wear. Valentine dominated that championship and looks better this year.
“I have been training,” Valentine said on Friday. “I am in pretty good shape this time.”
Valentine was cornering for Juneau’s female pugilist Selina Slack in a bout against Anchorage’s Lai “Heavy Hands” Hansen. The winner would get a shot in the new Showdown Women’s Middle Weight class against Hoonah’s Jamiann Hasselquest.
Hansen was the stalker in the fight, trying to cut the ring off on the smaller and quicker Slack who was keeping the crowd dizzy by circling the canvas. In the first round Slack dislocated her right shoulder, popped it back in, and continued.
Hansen landed three hard blows, one in each round, but Slack would counter with a combination each time.
The judges ruled the fight a draw, which caused boos to flood the capacity crowd.
Hasselquest herself took the microphone and said either the judges should come up and answer to her or there should be another round.
It was determined another round should be fought.
Slack declined due to the injury as did Hansen due to the first decision and travel considerations.
Slack was awarded the bout against Hasselquest on May 4 for the title.
One of the featured bouts of the night, and determined the Fight Of The Night afterwards, was a mismatch of size but not strength, determination and crowd appeal as Charlie Gallant went toe-to-toe with James “The Beast” Roberts.
Roberts is looking like he has put a little bit of conditioning into his day and Gallant is appearing to be looking for a Showdown belt himself.
Roberts was the pursuer in the match, trying to connect on huge overhand rights while Gallant was careful not to linger inside on his jabs and counters.
In round two Roberts took a low blow that put him on his knee for a minute. After apologies by Gallant the two were back in fight mode. In round three Roberts landed three nice blows that staggered Gallant against the ropes. Gallant punched his way out to escape. The judges gave the fight cards to Roberts in a close decision.
Other bouts included MMA, Tyler “Superman “ Phillips (17 years of age, 142-pounds) won by rear naked choke over Paul “The Eskimo Warrior” Lee (19, 134-pounds) 42 seconds into round two; Boxing, Chandler “The Henchman” Horne (19, 162-pounds decisioned Hoonah’s William Milton (19, 163-pounds); Boxing, Uriah Sheakly (27, 218-pounds) decisioned Anthony “The Rooster Barril (21, 210-pounds; Ladies boxing, Cassandra Jerue (22, 189-pounds) defeated Jessica Sheakley (25, 181-pounds);
The Southeast Showdown will be Friday, May 4. In addition to the already determined championships for the middleweight women and lightweight men MMA, there will be the regular full elimination series of bouts for the remaining belts.