Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Kick Down 42 – Main Event Results & Notes

Mickey & Mallory sent along the following:

Kick Down 42: Fall Out — Main Event

Eric must make a decision. Yet, what words are available to describe how he must do it? Or why. What is this called?

A local fighter takes 6 illegal shots to the head: while on his knees, he takes a knee to the side of the head. It’s so hard that his head pops back. The ref runs to him with what appeared to be the intention of stopping it there, but he doesn’t stop it. When Eric falls to the mat, he takes a soccer kick to the head. Finally, he takes four illegal punches to the back of the head.

Eric is given a five minute break. He is not allowed any coaching. He was alone and had to decide what to do. Fight hurt? Quit? He can't quit! He has been dominating this fight. All eyes are on him as he struggles with what to do. No one has told him that if these last blows had knocked him out, he would have won by disqualification. No one told him if he quits now, he would also be awarded the victor of this fight. Despite this lack of knowledge, had Eric known this (we feel confident in saying) he would have done the exact same thing.

And so it is that we find ourselves looking at Eric Heinz kneeling alone in the neutral corner, face towards the ground, blinking his eyes. This is not where he should be. His opponent, Bryant Craven is smiling proudly with arms in the air as he turns in circles beaming to the crowd.

Is Eric thinking about his wife? His four month-old or his seven year-old child? Maybe he envisions them crawling all over him, or does he think about teaching his 8th grade history students? Or does he see nothing but a blurred vision of the bloodied mat in front of his face as he tries to will away the ringing in his head.

This is a man who is a MMA referee who has been failed by another MMA referee. The ref in question is not new, unknowledgeable, or willfully dangerous. He is widely respected in his field. Bottom line, he made a mistake and has reacted too slowly. Someone could be seriously hurt and the fight hasn’t been called.

Does Eric do it for the promoter Steve Alley? This is the main event after all and Eric wouldn’t want to let him down. Before the fight he said if his kids were to take up MMA, he would want them to fight for Steve. “Steve is the only person in this business who has always been 100% honest with me, I love working with him. I owe Steve a lot for everything he has done for me.”

Everyone watched in amazement and awe as Eric straightened himself up, raised his gloves and nodded at the ref. As he stood the cheers became deafening. He didn't look good but he was ready to commence the battle. Has his vision cleared? The blood has been cleaned off the mat now. A woman who could be his mother stands nearby with her hands clasped in front of her and she is concerned. All sons that have done something to cause concern for their mothers know this look. There are other people also standing, looking, and talking to themselves as if they’re all having a private pep-talk with Eric even though he is 100 feet away. All eyes are fixated on the ring.

There are not enough words to describe his decision to continue or not.

Tonight’s Welter Weight challenger is Bryant Craven. He’s not a bad guy. Younger in age, he is in excellent condition, he’s emotional and relentless. This fighter is not entirely to blame for what happened. Are the correct words natural instinct? Bryant used to be a street fighter but told us as soon as he started training, he hasn’t been in a street fight since. He explained how he deals with getting hit — he clicks back to that mental state of survival mode, wants to protect himself, and walk out the victor. Perhaps he had clicked to that mental state with Eric. He didn’t come all the way from Bountiful Utah to be dominated through the entire fight (and up until the illegal hits he was being dominated). It is quite possible he ended up in `street fighter’ mode, and it’s not his fault he wasn’t stopped.

When the fight started, Heinz, who looks eerily like Sean Sherk, immediately took Bryant down and continued with punches to the face. Eric starts with raining elbows as Bryant tries to get out of the hold. Eric’s wrestling background is apparent; no matter where Bryant moves Eric has an offensive move. With Eric standing above him, Bryant starts kicking up at Eric while on his back. In a dramatic moment, Eric does a leaping Sakuraba stomp to a huge round of crowd cheering. Shortly after this move is when the illegal blows are dealt, and the 5 minute rest is awarded. Only 20 seconds after Eric is ready to start back, the bell rings and the first round ends.

In round two, Heinz continues his domination and Bryant displays more of his good defense. Eric comes out strong and takes Bryant down again. Unfortunately Eric’s weight is too far forward and he gives up an arm which Craven takes advantage of with an attempted arm bar. While Eric does break free from the arm bar, Craven smartly puts him into a triangle choke and wins. Eric tapping out at 1:04 in the second. Bryant Craven is awarded the new Welter-Weight Kick-Down Champion.

What is this called? Not enough words are available.


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