The prelude was comedic. The build-up was degenerate. The fight itself was unsightful. But yet the ending was perfect.
After three weeks of juvenile insults, cheap shots, and childish pranks, the highly-anticipated special attraction bout pitting thespians Baron Geisler and Kiko Matos finally came into full swing Saturday night at the Valkyrie Night Club in the Palace Complex, Taguig City.
The night started with four semi-professional bouts that saw four finishes much to the delight of the upscale crowd that gathered for this momentous occassion.
As the night went on, and with the alcohol slowly taking effect on the patrons, the anticipation for the blood feud grew and grew as the hours went by.
Three professional bouts served as an appetizer to the main course.
In the first main card match-up, the strawweights took to the stage. In an upset, journeyman MJ Abrillo was able to stop Eddie Estrada in the very first round in a grappling contest via a rear naked choke.
A star was born in the co-main event bout as welterweight John Adajar made a successful pro debut with a TKO win over Deftac’s Jericho Tomagan.
Then in the featured bout of the evening saw reigning URCC Light Heavyweight Champion Chris Hoffman overcome danger once again in staving off the upset-minded Arvin Chan in the second round via ground and pound. Moreover, Hoffman was making his middleweight debut, a weight division that he is planning to stay in according to him.
As the main event ended, the crowd that had ballooned to the rafters screamed their lungs out as the profanity-laced video promos by the two protagonists were shown on the big screen.
Matos, the heel, was serenaded by boos as he entered the cage.
On the other hand, Geisler, known more as a bar room brawler rather than an accomplished actor by the younger generation, received a hero’s welcome.
With the moment finally arriving and with the emotions for both men at an all-time high, the two did not waste anytime in going into an all-out brawl. Matos was able to get the upper hand in the opening round in securing the mount but inexperience and fatigue quickly set in as he threw only soft, glancing shots that failed to stop the bout.
Gassed-out entering the second three minute round, Matos succumbed to the pressure put on by Geisler and more importantly succumbed to fatigue, gassing himself out due to inexperience.
According to the rules, a tie would have resulted to a winner-take-all third round but both men, who have little to no professional training, have tired each other out.
On one end, the 33 year old Geisler, with gashes on his face, remained on his stool, still with rage on his face, dripping with sweat like it was a hot summer day.
On the opposing end, the 23 year old Matos seemed to have fainted into exhaustion.
Even with this scene that was reminiscent of an old western standoff, the crowd that composed celebrities, VIP’s, purist MMA fans, and fans of both, wanted more. However, even if their minds wanted to, the physical of both actors has had enough as the fight ended in a 19-19 draw.
Geisler channeled his inner Maximus Meridius in grabbing the mic to ask the crowd, “Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained?”
It was not the prettiest nor the most technical of fights by any means. It was far from it.
But in the finale that seemed to be perfectly scripted, Geisler and Matos, after the cheap shots, the coin throwing, the harsh insults, and the urine spraying, hugged it out at the center of the cage. Both men admitting afterwards that they have gained a mutual respect for one another.
In essence, this was the lesson URCC founder Alvin Aguilar wanted to preach: the code of honor that martial arts teaches can be the solution even to the bloodiest of feuds.