Fighters hold nothing back at R.J.’s matches

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2000

DANIEL TYLER GOODEN / L’Observateur / June 14, 2000

LAPLACE – Five fights broke out in the middle of R.J.’s Lounge SaturdayNight. In a contest of strength, strategy and skill, 10 competitors gatheredfor the Pancrase and No-Holds Barred competition.

“This is all real, nothing fake about it,” said Stan Langston, owner of R.J.’s.Organized by Raymond Totorico and Aristides Brito, both professional cage fighters, the competition entertained a crowded bar with two hours of matches.

The competition offered a wide range of events – Pancrase, no-holds barred and submission fights. No-holds barred fights are just what they sound like,allowing kicks, strikes and joint, pressure point and choke holds across the opponents body.

Pancrase fights are nearly the same, the exception being that no closed fist attacks are allowed above the neck. Attacks toward the head thus result in abarrage of open-fist slapping.

Submission bouts are fought by trapping one’s opponent in a hold, be it around a joint or choking off blood and oxygen to the brain. The winner mustmake his opponent tap or pass out, often the former in Saturday’s matches.

The first match of the evening was a submission match with David Pierson and Mike Prince. Pierson, from Slidell, weighed in at 180 pounds while Prince,from Metairie, weighed in at 170. Though the first round lasted five minutes,the fight lasted much less than that. Prince and Pierson rolled and reversedseveral times but Pierson proved the better, finally trapping Prince until he tapped out.

The second match filled the two five-minute rounds and the six-minute overtime. In a no-holds-barred match, Paul Matthews, 150 pound, of NewYork, and “Josh”, 155 pounds, of Mandeville squared off. The fight centeredon the mat 95 percent of the time, Matthews continually on top while Josh used his legs to keep Matthews from finding a good hold.

Through both rounds and the overtime Matthews stayed on top, coming close to losing only once, when Josh was able to wrap his legs around his opponent’s neck in a vice-like hold. With Matthews standing straight, andJosh upside-down almost standing on his head to retain his strangle hold, the referee broke the fight, due to the men coming dangerously close to falling through the ropes on the side of the rings.

With 30 seconds left in overtime, Matthews played it cool, letting the time run low and letting the judges call the match. The judges decided in favor ofMatthews, undoubtably due to his physical controlling position over Josh the entire 16 minutes.

The third fight was over in a blink of an eye. Brandon Jones, 120 pounds, ofMetairie, took on Larry Breazealz, 121 pounds, of Abita Springs in a Pancrase match. With a torrent of slaps landing across each others head,face and necks, the men flew into the fight faster than most can see. Aftera 30-second blur of attacks, Breazealz pulled Jones down to the mat in a submission hold and that was the end of it. The entire match lasted only 35seconds.

“Randy”, 160 pounds, of Slidell, and Jeremy Wolff, 183 pounds, of Covington entered the ring for the fourth fight, a submission match. Wolff’s extra 23pounds, as well as a few extra inches in height, made short work of Randy. Inunder a minute, Wolff was on top of Randy, working his legs around his opponent’s neck and brushing away any resistance. Wolff won with hisTriangle Hold in under a minute.

The main event, originally billed with LaPlace fighter Lance Clements against Andrew Anderson of Picayune was changed. Clements, out due to temporaryinjury, was replaced by John Accordo, of Metairie.

Anderson weighing in at 197 pounds was huge, but still not as large as Accordo who stepped into the ring at 210 pounds. The two sized each otherup for the no-holds barred fight and when the bell rang, they went straight for the throat.

Staying off the floor, both men worked to simultaneously get a choking hold on their opponent and find a weak spot to pound with a quick jab. The twocame out so hard that by the end of the first round, both fighters were visibly tiring. Throughout the fight, people circled the ring, not only wantingto get a close view of the action, but moving in to push the men back into the ring as the fighters struggled closer and often through the ropes. Midwaythrough the second round, Anderson found a soft spot. With a blow to histeeth shaking him up, Accordo threw in the towel.

Later Accordo confessed that the blow to his teeth made him stop the fight.

“About a year ago, I had a transmission fall while I was working on a car. Itcracked my teeth, and I’ve been having them fixed,” said Accordo. The blowto the teeth loosened one tooth and Accordo quickly conceded before risking more damage. “I haven’t been to practice in three months so I want himagain,” added Accordo, eager to get another try.

Almost collapsed against a wall of the bar after the match, Anderson sat catching his breath. “I came out good, but four or five minutes in I ran out ofoxygen,” said Anderson. Overall he was pleased with the outcome, especiallyconsidering it was his first competition. When asked what he had learned inhis first fight that he apply to the next event, Anderson was quick to respond, “run three miles every day.”For those who missed the event, the men will return July 29 for Rumble in the River Parishes. The event will consist of 21 matches of kickboxing andboxing at R.J.’s Lounge.

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