MAIN EVENT: Darren “The Menace” Myles vs Lyon “The Lion” Gaultier
When the infectious opening riff of the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s hit “Can’t Stop” started, the capacity crowd of the Liberty Dome rose to their feet in anticipation of the upcoming clash. DUEL’s Lightweight Champion of the world, Darren Myles, walked to the ring, and awaited his championship challenger. “The Lion” walked out looking determined, and was the fighter that determined the pace early on with a massive head kick that opened a cut on the defending champion. Lyon Gaultier would utilize the clinch to secure an early score-card lead, taking rounds 1 through 4 with a devastatingly effective clinch game. Even with a nasty cut to his temple, “The Menace’ never gave up, and it paid off in the fifth round. A takedown early in the round was followed by a flurry of strikes from guard that forced the referee to stop the fight with 90 seconds left, and end what would earn Fight of the Night and Knockout of the night honors. The Champion showed heart and determination, but this was an incredible showing for Lyon “The Lion” Gaultier, and those following this division will certainly want to keep an eye on him.
CO MAIN EVENT: “The Soldat” Bester Andreasson vs Djamel Hammouche
The co main event of DUEL 26 was a brief, but intense war between two knockout specialists. “The Soldat” Bestar Andreasson stepped into the cage with Algeria’s own Djamel Hammouche. Between the two fighters, there were a combined 28 T(KO) victories, 8 Knockout of the night awards, and 529 pounds of fight ending power. It came as no surprise that this fight didn’t go the distance, with the phrase “don’t blink” being the perfect descriptor for the fight. The second the bell rang the fighters laid into each other. Hammouche caused the first real damage with a combination that opened a cut on Andreasson, but it was “Soldat” who ended the fight with a massive overhand right that knocked Hammouche out just 37 seconds into round one. Bestar himself seemed surprised with the suddenness of the victory, quickly thanking his fans before heading out for the night.
Main Card Fight: Carlos Diego Ferreria vs “The Assassin” Four Loko
Sometimes, a gameplan just doesn’t come together. Things don’t click in the cage, and a fighter has a really hard time. This fight was one of those moments. Though Carlos Diego Ferreira appeared to be the crowd’s favorite walking out, his opponent quickly took control of the fight, and never relinquished it. “The Assassin’s” gameplan seemed to go as planned. Stand up and work a beautifully varied offense of kicks and strikes. Carlos Diego Ferreria’s gameplan was to take the fight to the ground. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. In a fight that went the distance and resulted in a staggeringly lopsided score 30-25 score, Carlos Deigo Ferreria landed two takedowns out of a surely record breaking 74 attempts. He did not throw a single strike while standing. While it is certainly a night that Ferreria will want to forget, it was a showcase of Four Loko’s dangerous, varied arsenal.
Main Card Fight: “Mr Right” Jean Pierre Papin vs John “World Beater” Tucker
This was a bout between two fighters who have been struggling to put together a win streak as of late. “Mr Right,” an elite level boxer, but all-around skilled fighter entered the cage against “World Beater”, a boxing specialist with a lot of power. When the two boxers met, it was the clinch that turned out to be the deciding factor. Papin opened with a flurry of blows before rocking Tucker with a short right in the clinch. ”Mr. Right” then used his height and strength to keep tucker against the cage and punish him, before returning to the middle of the ring and ending the fight with an earth shattering uppercut. Both fighters thanked their fans after the fight. Papin was boastful and cocky as usual, and Tucker seemed to be prepared to hit the tapes and come back stronger in his next fight. This was truly a case of one punch from either fighter having the potential to end the fight, and Papin was the man who landed that punch first.
Main Card Fight: Gustav “Misha” Marailov vs “The Shooting Star” Paul Phoenix
This fight was the first in Duel for the Russian born Gustav Marailov, who was coming in off of a 3 fight losing streak from Trinity. His opponent, 4 time Duel veteran Paul Phoenix, was trying to break out of his own loss streak of three fights, all in the Duel organization. Unfortunately for “The Shooting Star”, his age of 48 means that he just doesn’t have the chin he used to. While he still had that confident swagger and precision in his step, he was rocked within seconds of the bell by a right hand from “Misha.” The son of a former Soviet General, Marailov was elated during the post fight interview, and thanked his fans for their support. Could this transfer to Duel be what Gustav needed in order to reinvigorate his career and fight his way back to the title?
-Post Event Review of DUEL 26 by Gabriel H. Michelangelo