December 5th, 2008 FNF Event Summary
The Season Finale' lived up to expectations as a completely sold out capacity crowd filled the Hall at St. Paul's for 12 exciting bouts. Over 200 people were turned away at the door as tickets sold out way ahead of the start of the first bout.
The card featured 7 Muay Thai bouts and 5 Boxing matches. In the main event, Eric "The Hooligan" Utsch made his professional debut against the always game and extremely experienced, Jay Ellis. Ellis landed punches effectively in the 1st round and traded with Utsch throughout the bout however it was Utsch's combination of skill, power and fearlessness that permitted him to stay in control and eventually stop Ellis late in the 2nd round.
Mike Reno and Jonathan Cuba slugged it out in a back and forth junior middle weight battle. Each fighter is a veteran of the FNFNYC Series and so it was expected that there would be fireworks once these two stepped into the ring together. Both fighters were busy, throwing well over 100 punches per round each. Additionally, these guys were toe to toe throughout the 3 round match. It was unanimously agreed that they won the title of best fight of the night. This was the first time that a boxing match has won the honor in a while.
Other bouts worthy of mentioning were Will Espinal's victory over Charlie Cottone, Andrew Rivera vs Mike Kipnes and the exhibition featuring Elijah Clark and last minute stand in Peter Crooke. When Elijah Clark's opponent dropped out 1 hour before weigh in, Peter Crook agreed to step in. Crooke is a world famous competitor who has dominated the sport at the highest level of competition for the last 10 years. Peter is also a good friend of the FNF's and was kind enough to fill in.
This year's season finale was a perfect way to finish up another great year. This year we incorporated 2 new venues, had a wildly successful Rumble on the River (great weather) and held the first ever 8-man tournament for the North American Junior Middle Weight Title. However, our season finale could only be held at our "home" arena. If this last event was any indication as to what we can expect for next year, then 2009 is looking good.