Not every fight was spectacular, but ICF 22 had plenty of solid action
221 Industries' 'Tough Enough to Fight in Pink' raised money for Sletten's Circle of Hope
Putting together a compelling Mixed Martial Arts fight card is hard work. Just ask the folks with 221 Industries.
While many of the fights on Friday during ICF 22: “Tough Enough to Fight in Pink” ended in short order, all of the competitors who took to the ring still brought their A-game, nonetheless.
ICF 22 was held in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As such, 221 Industries donated a portion of the proceeds to the Sletten Cancer Institute’s Circle of Hope Project.
The main events saw Shino VanHoose take down Jody Lynn Reicher and Chris Sowell defeat Matt Goff. The main amateur fight was won by Sam Sievers, who defeated Karina Carpenter after a rather evenly-fought match.
Cory Smith, CEO of 221 Industries, after the amateur fights came out to center ring to talk a bit about the first part of the fight card.
“I wasn’t that happy with the first part of the fight card. We’ve had the hardest time getting this card together than we ever had before,” he said.
He explained that the card originally had all female fighters but after several fighters backed out or got injured, they at one point were down to just four female fighters. They eventually ended up with eight. More than a few of the fighters were making their amateur MMA debut, as well, such as Sahara Reedy, Jayce Carlson, Joey Haynes, Brian Mad Plume and Punekwa Vielle.
That being said, it was an all right night of fights. While I’m not privy to the details regarding the difficulties they had in getting this card together, there were no last-minute drop-outs, and the first-time fighters showed real potential in their matches, some more than others.
The VanHoose-Reicher match brought an interesting dynamic due to the fact that VanHoose had more pro-MMA experience than Reicher, even though Reicher is more-than twice her age as she is 52 while VanHoose is 20. VanHoose also just recently moved to Boise from Japan, where she fought some of the top Japanese and South Korean female MMA fighters.
Reicher, on the other hand, when she’s not fighting MMA is a practicing massage therapist, something she’s been doing since 1992. She was a US Marine and also has run in more than 40 marathons, according to her online bio.
While she lost, Reicher gave VanHoose a battle before losing via arm bar submission in the middle of the first round.
The highlight of the evening, without question, though, was the match between Sievers and Carpenter. Seivers came out on the attack early, landing several pounding blows to Carpenter’s head and body, even though Carpenter battled back and nearly caught Sievers in an arm bar. Sievers escaped, however, and swiftly landed a knee to her chest, which spelled the beginning of the end for Carpenter. The second round saw Sievers continuing to land blow after blow and Carpenter was unable to answer the starting bell in the third.
The other pro bout saw Sowell mixing it up with Goff primarily on the ground, although both fighters were able to land a few blows each while on their feet. Sowell controlled the pace early, however, landing stiff blows to Goff’s head and torso. He eventually was able to make his way into an arm bar and earn the submission win after just three minutes of action.
There also was just a whiff of controversy in the Carlson-Reedy bout. Carlson, who lost via “verbal submission” after the match claimed that she did not submit. However, according to official amateur MMA rules, the referee must rule that a fighter taps out when, “When a contestant verbally announces to the referee that he or she does not wish to continue OR makes audible sounds such as screams indicating pain or discomfort,” as Carlson did when the referee made the ruling.
All and all, people who showed up got their money’s worth with plenty of hard-fought matches that featured some hard hitting, expert grapple moves and lots of displays of determination, toughness and grit, even if the fight card may have been a little on the less-than-exceptional side this go around. If anything, these fights prove how incredible 221 Industries has done in putting together some of the best fight cards in the region and how difficult it is to have the type of streak of amazing bouts they have had in recent history.
That streak will likely continue, as well, as 221 teams up with Fusion Fight League out of Billings to present “O’Malley’s Homecoming” bouts in Helena on Nov. 7, with O’Malley taking on Mark Coates, who comes into the match with a 3-1 professional record, nearly matching O’Malley’s perfect 3-0 record.
For more on that, check back with Big Sky State Buzz next month! Many thanks go out to Get the Picture photography for letting us use their great photos from Friday’s event as well.