JOLIET – For those who were looking for a lot of flair and dramatics in the title bouts of the Summer Fights Series II at Hollywood Casino Joliet, they likely walked away disappointed.
That’s because two of the three Mixed Martial Arts matches in which Supreme Promotions belts were being contested Saturday turned into strategic battles where competitors put matters into the judges hands after trying to minimize their opponent’s strengths.
As a result, both the welterweight and lightweight belts were decided in a split decision while the only bout that didn’t go the five-round, 15-minute distance was the heavyweight clash, which was over within about half a minute.
Plainfield’s Josh Streacker defended his welterweight title in a split decision over Sinatra Pool in the main event of the extensive card, which lasted almost six hours and drew the organization’s largest crowd yet.
Lemont’s Angel Cabral made short work of Dean Neely, winning the heavyweight belt by technical knockout in just 32 seconds in the next-to-last championship fray.
And in the first of the three clashes, LaQuinn Swift used his wrestling skills to help him defeat “Flyin’” Brian Akins in a split decision with the lightweight belt on the line.
Streacker, a Bolingbrook and Lewis University graduate, won on two judges’ cards by 48-47 scores while Pool won by that same tally according to the other judge.
Pool seemed to have the upper hand in the first and third rounds, including taking Streacker down to the mat and then controlling him for awhile in the third period.
With the pressure on, Streacker regained some momentum in the fourth round and then used a series of late kicks in the finale to perhaps tip things back in his favor.
“I expected to finish him and I didn’t do that, so I’m kind of disappointed with the fight,” Streacker said. “But he came out there with a great game plan and had the best of intentions to mess with my style. It was impressive on his part and it was a war.
“He got the first round, I got the second after rocking him with a head kick and he won the third after putting me on my back. I got the fourth round so I knew it came down to the fifth round and I wasn’t losing this fight. So I put the pressure on him and that’s what decided it.
“He tried to put me up against the wall and make it into a battle. Fortunately, I stay calm and don’t freak out and try to explode when the time comes. Every time you go into the cage it’s a learning experience and that’s what I want so that I can be better in the future.”
Unlike the lower weight championships, there was no drama when the big men met for the heavyweight belt. Cabral came out with a flurry and had ‘Big Neely Daddy’ reeling after landing a well-placed kick, forcing the official to wave things off not too long after the bout began.
The opening championship match, for the lightweight belt, was another struggle that went the distance before the trio of judges at cage-side had to determine the winner.
Swift was able to take Akins down to the mat in the first, fourth and fifth rounds and then largely kept him wrapped up throughout those periods.
Akins had better chances to get off some of his kicks during the second and third rounds, but the veteran Swift was able to keep him at bay by thwarting most of those attempts.
It was announced that a third series of fights for Jim Jackson’s Supreme Promotions will likely be Aug. 23, once again at the casino.