Fight Card: S!O!S! Payback-This fictional event was designed
with the intent of matching fighters who have had (or may have) grudges against each other.
The designers of S!O!S! played against each other in every fight and were responsible (or guilty) for many of the decisions
each fighter made.
Cabbage vs. Heath Herring (Japanese Rules)
Cabbage came into the match looking to continue his accession in the heavyweight
division and prove critics wrong that claim he would be defeated by a quality fighter; a win over Herring would certainly
do that. Herring, meanwhile, wanted to show that he was not past his prime and that his recent losses to the three top heavyweights
in the world were just that: losses to the top heavyweights in the world that are not indicative of a decline in his abilities.
Cabbage started the fight out at a fast pace, quickly closing the distance
on Heath and letting his hands fly. Herring tried to fight back with blows of
his own, but it soon became clear that the exchanges were favoring his opponent. As
Cabbage pressed the action with further punches, Herring began to shoot in for takedowns.
Cabbages takedown defense was largely successful, until finally, Herring wrestled him to the mat. From there, Heath took little time in gaining the Mount position and began to rain bombs. Much to his chagrin, Cabbage absorbed the punches with seemingly no ill effects, and because Herring had
made himself off-balance by throwing such big shots, Cabbage was able to roll him off and stand back up! A frustrated Herring had little success the rest of the round, seeing his takedowns continually thwarted
and being hit with punches in between.
Round One Scoring: 10-9 Cabbage
For the second round, Cabbage would come out like he did in the first, immediately
launching a big assault. Heaths chin saved him from being knocked out, but the
accumulated damage was beginning to affect him. Cabbage, sensing his foes vulnerability,
did not relent in his attack, continuing to connect with punches on an increasingly less successfully defending Herring until
the referee had seen enough and called a stop to the contest.
WINNER: Cabbage via TKO (Strikes) in Round 2
Phil Baroni vs. Pele (American rules)
This fight was not listed as a grudge match, but at the press conference for
the event, it essentially turned into one! While the stare down between the two
was expected to be intense, many were surprised at just how intense it ended up being.
Afterwards, Baroni got on a mic to address the crowd, referred to himself as The American Dream, and made an anti-foreigners
remark. This incensed Pele, who attempted to storm the stage! Baroni seemed to have no qualms about starting the fight early either, but the physical intervention of
officials and security prevented any further altercationuntil the next night in the cage.
Fans were eager for the fireworks that they were sure would start the fight,
but Pele surprised nearly everyone by immediately shooting in for a takedown. Baroni,
caught off guard, almost lost his balance, but managed to defend and tried to work a guillotine choke on Pele. Pele eventually broke off, and when he did, Baroni rushed at him with his usual ferocity and own takedown
attempt. His was successful, and inside the Cubans guard, Baroni began to enforce
his will, blocking Peles reversal and submission attempts and hammering him with ground and pound consistently for the remainder
of the round.
Round One Scoring: 10-9 Baroni
The second round started off much like the first: Pele once again tried to
take Baroni down, but was not experiencing any success. Phil retaliated by banging
away at Peles body. The combination of being met with failure in his takedown
attempts and being struck seemed to anger Pele, who much to the delight of the Brazilians in his corner, abandoned his latest
takedown attempt in favor of kneeing Baroni in the head. Unfortunately for Pele,
Baroni blocked the knee, and responded to the powerful strike with his own powerful strikes in the form of a Vitor-like flurry
of punches! Pele was rocked by the blows, but refused to go down, and in fact,
when Baroni charged in to try and finish him, Pele countered with a hard punching combo that at least momentarily stymied
Baronis charge. Still, Pele was not yet fully coherent, perhaps explaining his
attempting another takedown at the end of the round; just like the others, it was blocked.
Round Two Scoring- 10-9 Baroni
The obvious urgency of the situation and his corners prodding most likely inspired
the changes of game plan for Pele in round three, as unlike the first two rounds, he came out looking to strike. And almost immediately, he was met with success, as a kick directed at Baronis head landed flush! Phils rock solid chin did not falter, however, and when Pele tried another kick, Baroni
caught the strike and slammed his foe to the mat. Pele clinched from underneath
long enough to force a stand-up, but the time was ticking away. Back standing,
Pele danced around Baroni, jabbing him and landing kicks to his legs. While any
damage done is a good thing, these light blows were not going to be enough for Pele; with less than a minute left, he needed
a knock out to win the fight. Unfortunately for him, Baroni essentially erased
any chance had at victory by charging at Pele with another powerful flurry, staggering his adversary. Pele, perhaps instinctively, shot in with another takedown as Phil bombarded him. Baronis takedown defense would prevail, and Phil finished the fight trying to work his patented Baroni
choke onto his opponent.
Round Three Scoring: 10-9 Baroni
After the fight, Pele threw his mouthpiece into the crowd and stormed out of
the cage before the winner was announced, obviously frustrated and disgusted with his performance in the fight. Baroni, meanwhile, exalted in victory as the judges decision was declared in his favor.
WINNER: Baroni via judges decision (30-27) after Round 3
Wes Sims vs. Tim Sylvia (American rules)
It is unclear how exactly this feud started, but is has been brewing for several
months. Both fighters have taken pot shots at each other before American events
and on a MMA radio program. The 610 Sims, a former college basketball player,
contends that a real athlete like himself is naturally superior in MMA to a fighter with a non-athletic background like Sylvia. Sylvia, 68, meanwhile, has harassed Sims for rules infractions he has committed, and
feels that Sims fighting skills are not at an elite level.
This battle of giants was not expected to be slow, and with both men looking
to bang, it wasnt. Indeed, both men forewent takedown attempts in the first round
so that they could strike standing. Sylvia, however, appeared to be the more
technical striker, and while Sims did damage when he landed, it was Sylvia who was scoring with the most punches and knees. As the round progressed, it became a more and more one-sided fight, with Sylvia clearly
Round One Scoring: 10-9 Sylvia
For the beginning of round two, Sims valiantly came out throwing punches, but
a big right cross from Sylvia put an abrupt halt to his offense and had him reeling.
Sylvia moved in and connected with a second right cross, and while Sims did not go unconscious, he was most certainly
out on his feet. Sylvia perfunctorily landed a few more punches that Sims made
no move to defend and the referee rightfully intervened to bring a halt to the bout.
WINNER: Sylvia via TKO (Punches) in Round 2
Lee Murray vs. Tito Ortiz (American rules)
This fight is the one referred to by the Rematch the gutter brawl from the
streets of London? line on our webpage. Multiple versions of what happened have
been bantered about, but it appears that Murray got the best of a drunken Tito in a short physical altercation. It is unclear if one man initially snuck attacked the other, but in this rematch, they will start off facing
one another and neither fighter will be inebriated, so the playing ground will be fairer.
We will see if Titos claim that he was only defeated because he slipped in his dress shoes is true, or if London Calling
Lee will get the better of him again.
Ortiz, enjoying a considerable weight advantage, opened things up by feeling
Murray out via a quick low kick. Tito had respect for Murrays striking, though,
and made sure the bout did not stay standing for long, taking Lee to the ground with a takedown from the clinch. On the mat, Tito trapped Murray up against the cage and fed him a steady stream of punches and elbows. Murray eventually clinched long enough to get a stand-up, but he was quickly taken
down again and pounded on some more. By the end of round one, this was beginning
to look like a huge mismatch.
Round One Scoring: 10-8 Tito
For the second round, the two would circle each other with little action standing
in the beginning minute. Murray seemed hesitant to step forward and strike, as
if he was afraid of being taken down again, while Tito seemed to be waiting for Murray to come at him. Eventually, Tito took a chance and pressed the action, shooting in with a takedown he had little problem
getting. With surprising quickness, Ortiz passed to the mount position and began
to hammer Murray with elbows. The blows opened up a cut on Murray that, while
not severe enough that the doctor stopped the fight over it, was sure to be nonetheless detrimental to his performance. Once the fighters were restarted in the mount after the medical check, Ortiz continued
his vicious assault, dropping a barrage of bombs on Murray that knocked the Britain out before the ref even had time to stop
it! After the match, Tito performed his grave digger routine and finished it
by pointing to his chin while shaking his head no, as if to say, He couldnt even lay a glove on me.
WINNER: Ortiz via KO (Strikes) in Round 2
Tank Abbott (Legend) vs. Ken Shamrock (Legend) (vale tudo
These two have a long and sordid history.
Both have hurled countless insults each others way and more than once almost gotten into physical confrontations. While a match pitting them against one another has been proposed many times, for a
myriad of reasons, it has never happened. Now in S!O!S!, the score can be settled
once and for all. The fight will be held under vale tudo rules to simulate what
a fight like them under the old American system would have been like.
Much like many of the events in both mens careers, this match was shocking:
shockingly quick! The two men approached each other quickly, with Tank seeming
particularly eager to trade blows. Before he had a chance to get a punch off,
however, Shamrock dove at his legs and attempted a rolling knee bar! Tank, although
caught by surprise, was able to slip the hold. Once he escaped, however, Shamrock
simply stood back up, and when Tank came at him, tried the knee bar again! And
this time, it worked! With his leg bent at an awkward angle, Tank slapped the
mat repeatedly to signify his surrender, giving Shamrock a victory over his long time nemesis that in its quickness was perhaps
more humiliating for Tank than a loss in any other fashion. After the match,
Tank claimed that he just got caught.
WINNER: Shamrock via submission (Knee Bar) in Round 1
Mirko Cro Cop vs. Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira (Japanese
In their first match in Japan, Cro Cop was on the verge of KOing Minotauro
in the first round, but time ran out before he could get the job done. At the
start of the second round, Minotauro took Cro Cop down for the first time in the fight, quickly got the mount position, and
arm barred him soon afterwards. In the rematch, we would see if Cro Cop could
knock Minotauro out before Minotauro scored with a takedown, or if history would repeat itself and Minotauro would claim another
When the fight began, both fighters circled each other tensely. Surprisingly, Minotauro was the first to strike, showing off his own boxing skills by scoring with a quick
combo of punches on the Croatian. Cro Cop soon retaliated, however, and in a
big way, with a lethal kick to Minotauros head! Minotauro survived, but soon
received a jab and a kick to the body from Cro Cop. Mino responded with another
punching combo, but Cro Cop showed why its a bad idea to trade with him, as he answered back with a straight left hand that
had Mino reeling! Cro Cop followed it up with another high kick to the head,
and while the strike landed flush, Mino managed to do what many other men havent as he somehow survived. In fact, with his brain still fogged, he attempted to take Cro Cop downa little too aggressively, as with
no set-up for the takedown, Cro Cop was not only able to sprawl, but strike Mino with punches off of it as well. As Mino backed off, Cro Cop pursued his hurt foe around the perimeter of the ring, before finally cornering
him and with lightning speed, blazing another kick into Minos head. This time,
even Minotauro had had enough, and he fell against the ring post unconscious.
WINNER: Cro Cop via KO (Kick) in Round 1
Josh Barnet vs. Randy Couture (American Championship Fight
Our final fight of the evening would be a rematch from an earlier championship
fight in America that resulted in a storm of controversy. The first controversy
came from the finish of the fight, where many claimed the referee intervened to end the bout in Barnetts favor too early. The second controversy came after the fight, when Barnetts pre-match steroid test
came back positive, yet the result of the fight was never changed to a No Contest. Both
fighters still held bitter feelings over the match and the events surrounding it, so there score would be settled in S!O!S!
Barnett started the payback match off with a tactic employed by many of our
fighters tonight: attempt to surprise an opponent who is thought to be a better wrestler with a takedown. And like most of the other attempts, this one failed as well. Barnett
did not let it discourage his attack, however, as he launched a high kick against Couture that, unfortunately for Josh, Randy
caught and took him down off of. On the ground, Couture exhibited his strength
by pushing the larger Barnett up against the cage and beginning to pound him. Barnett
tried to defend, but Coutures punches were getting through; in fact, they were scoring so well that Barnett was soon sporting
a nasty cut on his forehead! The doctor checked the cut, but Barnett pleaded
with him to be able to continue and assured him that he could see fine, which probably was not true. Restarted in the guard, Couture mixed elbows with his punches. Barnett
tried to escape to the up position, but Couture blocked his effort and continued pounding as the round ended.
Round One Scoring: 10-8 Couture
Couture began the second round by copying the approach that had worked so well
for him in his previous fights. Knowing that Barnett was looking for the takedown,
Couture hoped to surprise him by punching first, then shooting the takedown. The
strategy worked to perfection; Couture scored with a right cross and followed it with an immediate takedown. Trying to avoid Randys ground and pound, Barnett attempted a triangle choke. Couture worked through the hold, got in close and began butting Barnett with shoulder rams. Barnett, however, showing much more vigor than he had in the first round, pushed Couture away and escaped
to the up position. Back standing, Couture moved in and was successful with another
cross, but Barnett struck back with an assault of big punches! Couture looked
wobbly, but he managed to defend against a follow-up Barnett takedown attempt and hold on until the conclusion of the round.
Round Two Scoring: 10-9 Barnett
At the start of the third, Couture seemed to have shaken off the effects of
the previous round and perhaps mentally strengthened by the fact that he had been hit by some of his foes biggest blows and
survived, he showed no hesitancy in throwing and landing another right hand. Surprisingly,
Barnett responded to the punch with another takedown attempt, and even more surprisingly, it worked! Barnett now had a chance to punish Couture with his own ground and pound, the same tactic he had employed
to beat Randy in the first fight. Couture, aware of the danger he was in, wrapped
Barnett up and refused to let go until much to Barnetts chagrin, the referee stood them up.
Barnett attempted another takedown, but lightning would not strike twice, as Couture blocked it and retaliated with
yet another right cross. Couture then shot in with a takedown of his own and
succeeded. Now it was Barnett turn to play the stall game, as he clinched with
Couture until the referee was forced to once again restart the fighters standing, with an admonishment for their lack of ground
activity. With the final seconds of the phase ticking away, Barnett tried to
steal the round (and possibly end the fight) with another attack of punches! While
the crowd cheered for the heavy shots being thrown, Couture was able to block all of them until the sounding of the horn.
Round Three Scoring: 10-9 Couture
In between rounds, the appearance of the fighters in their corners was a stark
contrast. Couture still seemed relatively fresh, while Barnett looked like the
proverbial damaged goods. Barnett may have fought better as the fight went on,
but the effects of the beating he took in the first round seemed to linger, and Coutures continuous right hands were doing
nothing to help him.
For the beginning of the fourth round, Couture sensed that his opponent was
almost finished, and moved in for another right hand that snapped Barnetts head back.
Barnett dove in at Coutures legs, but like he had been doing for much of the fight, Couture blocked the takedown. Couture then tried a takedown of his own in the version of a slam, but Barnett managed
to keep his feet; the effort Barnett exerted in doing so, though, seemed to sap strength from his already nearly empty reserve. Valiantly, Barnett fought on, but saw another try at a takedown and a clinch that
was followed with knees blocked by Couture. At this point, with a nearly fresh
opponent staring him down and stopping everything he threw at him, Barnett bravely made one last stand, motioning for Couture
to, Come on! and then recklessly charging forward while throwing punches. Couture,
in a bit of gallantry of his own, did not give ground to Barnett, eating Barnetts desperate punches before responding with
his own shots. Couture then clinched Barnett behind the head and began to dirty
box him, feeding his adversary a steady stream of short uppercuts until a bloodied, battered, and exhausted Barnett slumped
against the side of the cage. The referee interjected himself to stop the fight,
and with no controversy to speak of, Couture had avenged the biggest loss of his career.
WINNER: Couture via TKO (Punches) in Round 4
The fight was conducted under "vale tudo" rules, so there were no time limits or referee/doctor interventions.
The two spent a large part of the first twenty minutes of the match in a war of attrition, slowly wearing each other down.
Royce did surprisingly well in the stand-up, while Shamrock came closer to winning with submission attempts. Around
the twenty-five minute mark, both men seemingly got there second winds and expldoed in a fury of action! After Royce
pulled guard, Shamrock tried to catch his foe by surprise by immediately rocking back for a heel hook. Royce escaped
the hold, and regaining the guard position, attempted to catch Shamrock in a triangle before he had time to redajust himself.
Shamrock broke the hold and slipped off into a kneebar attempt, which Royce met with an escape, followed by another triangle.
Shamrock would pound through the submission, then continue to let his fists fly, as he began to hammer Gracie with ground
and pound. Amid exhaustion and his opponents' storm of punches, Royce somehow managed to keep his composure, and when
Shamrock overextended on a punch, Gracie took advanatge of the opportunity to slap on a kimura. Shamrock struggled with
all of his strength to get out of the manuever, but finally, he was left with no reasonable choice but to tap out. After
nearly 30 minutes of action, the length of the fight befitting the two warriors involved, Royce would rise from the canvas
the victor in this battle of Legends.