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The Champ is Still Here!

July 5th, 2012


Carlson Gracie Team Tournament

Ford Heights, Illinois (IL) -- The Champ is still here ladies and gentlemen! After going through a five round war with Christian Aguilera, Danny "the Machine" Morales retained his 170 lbs. CutThroat MMA title. But let's take a look at the other Carlson Gracie Team Fighters before we get to title fight.

Leading off the night for Babes & Brawls XII and for Carlson Gracie Team MMA was Jorge Gonzalez (11-12-1). Jorge's opponent was Brandon Grach. Jorge got Carlson Gracie Team Fighters off to a good start as he came out of the fight with the decision. After the fight, Jorge made it known that he wants a shot at CutThroat MMA's 145 lbs. title.


After the Jorge Gonzalez victory, the next CGT fighter to appear on the card was Matt Shapiro. Matt's (3-0) opponent was Team Wand fighter, Chris Hoffman. If this was your first time seeing Matt in action, then you saw how fast he actually is. His ability to close the distance and to take his opponent down were key components in being able to secure the victory Saturday night. The next two fight that followed though did not go the way of CGT fighters had hoped though.


Aaron "Danger" Brooks was the next CGT fighter after Matt Shapiro. Aaron was fighting Donovan Freelow, out of the Wand Fight Team in Las Vegas. Coming into the fight, Donovan had the upper hand in terms of fight experience. He had a record of 2-1 going into Satuday night, while that was going to be Danger's second MMA fight. It seemed that Donovan new what to expect from Aaron and wanted no part of Danger's plan. Aaron tried to take the fight to the ground by pulling guard several times and going for takedowns, but was unsucessful as Freelow would get back to his feet to avoid Danger's submission game. To everyone's surprise, Donovan was able to secure a guillotine on the blue belt and got him to tap. The fight ended at the 2:52 mark of the first round. This was one of two fights that did not go to a decision that night.


Mike "the Wardog" Reid followed Aaron's fight. If you don't recall Mike's last fight, it was against Mike Hernandez and it was his first MMA fight. Well this time around, Mike took on Ronald Cruz in a Muay Thai fight. And if it was your first time watching Mike, then you were not disappointed. Every time he steps into the cage, he provides a lot of action, and this time was no different. Mike dominated the fight and kept the crowd entertained. He stunned Cruz several times, even knocking him down twice. After earning the unanimous decision, Mike announced that he will return to MMA in the up and coming months because he needs to keep improving in all aspects of MMA.


After "the Wardog" chalked another win up for Carlson Gracie Team MMA, it was Gregg Tigner's turn to get into the cage. Gregg, who was 9-0-1, was fighitng Wand Fight Team's Tom Cruz (6-2). Immediately things did not seem right for Gregg. Once the first round ended, there was something wrong with Tigner, and he could not recover the rest of the night. Tom maintained control of the fight, whether it was on the ground or on the feet. Tom Cruz ended up getting the unanimous decision over Gregg Tigner.


Now, Let's get back to the Champ! Danny "the Machine" Morales seemed to get off to a slow start. Christian Aguilera was able to take Danny down in the first round and kept him there for a good portion of the round. In the second round, there were more exchanges between the fighters but Danny seemed to be losing in the clinch game as Aguilera was able to control him there for most of the round. Throughout the fight, the Pro Danny crowd would errupt specially in the later rounds. After the second round, Danny got back to his boxing background. Danny from the third round and beyond was able to control the fight, and avoid take downs and clinches. He outstruck his opponent and landed some shots that seemed to have stunned Christian briefly. With each punch that snapped Aguilera's head back, the crowd would errupt. Danny at one point had his opponent against the cage seeming to be stunned. He slowed his pace down though and looked for a more technical and controlled fight. Morales' adjustment to what his opponent played a crucial role in being able to secure the victory in front of his friends, family, and teammates.


After the victory, Danny announced that his second CutThroat title defense was his last and declared his intentions to turn pro immediately his Babes & Brawls XII victory. So expect big things from "the Machine."

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