Evansville, Indiana was the site of the GFight Rising Star championship on May 30th, 2009. This card was a monumental card not just for the 5 women’s MMA fights, it also happened to be the 14 year anniversary of Hook’n’Shoot. Although it lacked traditional 4th of July style fireworks, the night was explosive in the ring. The Rising Star takes some of the top amateur talent in the country and pits them against each other in a one night tournament. It is exactly this model of promoting quality matches that makes Hook’n’Shoot one of the older MMA organizations in the country.
Ashley Delk vs. Lauren Feldman
Round one begins with Lauren getting a takedown. She takes Ashley’s back and attempts a rear naked choke. Ashley is able to escape. Ashley winds up in Lauren’s guard and Lauren goes for a triangle. Ashley backs out and they stand. Lauren gets a single leg takedown. Ashley applies a side headlock but takes hammer fists to the side of the head for her effort. They stand again exchanging blows. Ashley goes for a double leg take down but Lauren sprawls. Lauren transitions to take Ashley’s back. She flattens Ashley and they roll. Lauren gets an arm bar late. The bell rings.
Ashley comes out swinging in the second round. She lands a couple of straight lefts and rights. They clinch and Lauren lands a few knees. Lauren scores another takedown. Lauren goes for an arm bar but is unable to get a second leg over to tighten it. Ashley rolls to escape. After Lauren mounts her and delivers a torrent of punches, Ashley offers her back, but she reverses, landing in Lauren’s guard. Lauren is able to sit up and sweeps Ashley to gain side control. Ashley gives up her back again. Lauren applies a rear naked choke, but Ashley tucks her chin and escapes. Lauren has full mount and lands some more hammer fists then gets another late arm bar and yet again the bell sounds.
The third starts with Lauren attempting a left leg kick to the head. They circle some and Ashley goes for a takedown. Lauren sprawls and they stand. Lauren throws another leg kick that knocks Ashley off balance. Lauren lands a right, knocking Ashley to the mat. Lauren mounts and lands punches in bunches for the stoppage. Lauren gets TKO 29 seconds into round 3.
Semifinal Fight One
Christina Domke vs. Jessica Laubacker
Round one begins with both fighters circling. Christina scores a takedown but Jessica secures a guillotine on Christina’s exposed neck. Christina is able to pop out. Jessica is able to control Christina in her guard, taking little damage. Christina tries to back out but Jessica grabs an arm for an arm bar. Christina is able to escape gaining top mount in the process. Jessica sweeps Christina and is in side mount. She lands some hard lefts while controlling with a side headlock.
Jessica comes out in the second landing a left hook followed by a knee. Christina clinches and pushes Jessica into the ropes. She follows up with a takedown landing in half guard. She punishes Jessica with some rights to the body. Those rights loosen Jessica’s guard allowing Christina to get full mount. Jessica gives up her back and Christina is able to get her hooks in and flatten out Jessica. Christina throws rights and lefts to the head. Christina is able to get her right arm in but is unable to sink the rear naked choke. After delivering a few more lefts she gets her arm under Jessica’s chin and tightens up. Christina wins in round 2 at 2:12 by rear naked choke and advances to the Rising Star championship bout.
Semifinal Fight Two
Lissa Braverman vs. Barb Honchak
Lissa opens round one by throwing a right and left combo. She misses with a follow-up overhand right. They clinch and Barb lands a few knees and follows with an uppercut that doesn’t quite find its mark. They are both throwing and landing punches throughout the middle part of round one. Barb seems to land more in each exchange. Barb clinches Lissa, landing two knees. Lissa lands a left when they separate; then Barb counters with a right. Late in the round Barb seems to be more dominant finishing the round with a few more knees.
The second round begins and Barb clinches. She scores a takedown from the clinch and works for half guard. She transitions from half guard to side mount and eventually to knee on belly. Barb goes for an arm bar from the knee on belly position. She rolls over to secure it; Lissa is able to keep Barb from extending. Barb’s leg gets caught in the rope and Lissa is able to pull free. Lissa stands back up. Barb gets under hooks on Lissa and is able to trip her for the takedown. She falls into side control and moves to knee on belly landing a few punches to the head. Lissa tries to get Barb back into her guard but Barb easily stands. The second ends.
Lissa lands a leg kick to start the action in the third round. Barb quickly gains the clinch and lands two knees. Barb shoots for a takedown but Lissa catches her in an “arm in” guillotine. Lissa holds the guillotine for a bit but Barb doesn’t seem to be in trouble. Barb pops out and has to protect herself from being arm barred. She pulls her arm free and gets side mount, also landing a few rights hooks. Barb wins by unanimous decision to secure a spot in the finals of the GFight Rising Star championship fight.
155 Pound Fight
April Penrod vs. Patricia VanderMeer
The first opens with April and Patricia clinching. They exchange knees and push around the ring fighting for control. Patricia scores a takedown and has top mount. From top mount she lands a series of lefts and rights to the side of April’s head. Patricia goes for an arm bar but April is able to avoid submission by powering back into Patricia’s guard. April leaves enough separation for Patricia to swivel beneath her for another arm bar. The referee stops the fight calling it a “technical submission” apparently doing so to protect April. The crowd and April aren’t pleased with the referee’s call.
GFight Rising Star Finals
Christina Domke vs. Barb Honchak
Round one starts and Chris opens with a few left jabs. Barb answers with a right and then a left hook. Christina throws a few hooks of her own. Barb launches a flurry of punches causing Christina to attempt a takedown. Barb gets backed into the ropes and the takedown is stalled. Barb manages to take down Christina and has her back. From Christina’s back, Barb manages to apply the rear naked choke. Christina escapes and rolls to her side, then again to her back. Barb is in full guard and Christina doesn’t allow her to pass. Christina is attempting an arm bar when the bell rings.
The second round begins with Chris throwing a right hook. They come together in the clinch. Barb gets under hooks and backs Christina into the ropes. Christina gets underhooks of her own and forces Barb into the ropes. They go to the mat and Christina is in full guard. Barb throws up her legs for a triangle. Christina valiantly defends. For a few seconds it looks like she will escape but she is forced to tap. Barb is crowned the Rising Star winning by triangle in round 2 at 2:19.