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Pyry Kontio Meets King Diamond in Island FC 18 Main Event

Will the Island FC lightweight champion defend his title?

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The lightweight title is on the line when defending champion Pyry Kontio squares off against King Diamond in a three round affair. The oddsmakers have this one razor thin, slightly favoring Kontio (-117) over Diamond (-113) by the slimmest of margins.

I believe they are gravely underestimating Kontio’s submission game.

There is no doubt that King Diamond has the hands necessary to give Kontio problems. A powerful lightweight who walks around about six pounds heavier than the champ, Diamond has shown he can finish people on the feet. Working from the southpaw stance in his QFC debut, the man they call King showed off a strong right hook that had Alex De Nascimento reeling before finishing him off with a wrecking ball of a left straight.

Since that fight, however, Diamond has mostly abandoned the standup, preferring to use the wrestling skills he’s worked so hard to develop. In his title eliminator against Sun Lee, Diamond worked for five takedowns from the clinch, throwing just four punch combinations and landing just one.

If he tries to grapple with Pyry Kontio, he’s going to have a bad night.

While only sporting a purple belt in the martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Kontio has shown a ruthless aggression on the mat that has taken The Island by storm. In his first fight outside the QFC, Pyry locked on a triangle choke in under thirty seconds. He debuted here at Island FC 14, submitting Obat Timur with a kimura preceeded by some savvy punches and elbows to create the opening.

In his championship victory over Herminio Herculano, Kontio was at his absolute best, using an americana to set up the arm triangle choke, forcing the former champ to submit in the 2nd round.

Pyry Kontio has shown that if you try to grapple with him, he will be looking for the submission, and he has a strong track record of finding it. Whether or not King Diamond tries to keep it on the feet — and, if he’s succesful doing so — will be the story of this fight.

 

Scout’s Corner: Albert Ricci

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Albert Ricci

Sporting a 4-0 record with four (T)KO finishes, “The All American Italian” Albert Ricci has made some waves on the New York scene with his domination of Primal Combat‘s featherweight division en route to capturing their 145-pound championship.

Very well rounded, Ricci uses excellent foot work and head movement to set up his old-school style of punching — heavily working the body to open up the head for his looping, devastating right hook, highlighted by a 3-body, 4-head two-punch combo that leaves opponents looking at the lights.

Against Kengo Mulumba at Primal 16, Ricci showed that he hadn’t entirely abandoned his wrestling roots, working hard in tight to deliver fight ending strikes from the clinch.

As the only champion at Unicorn Powered Fighting, Ricci is seeing his stock climb higher and higher with each win. With a busy punching style, strong work in the clinch and a strong killer instinct, Ricci has a lot of reasons to be positive about his future. He hasn’t been tested on his back, but is surely working hard to improve any perceived weaknesses in his game. Tune in when he defends his title at Primal 21 on 4/30/16.

Spotlight: Primal 18

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Coming to you live from the Hard Rocks Arena in New York City on Saturday April 9, Primal Combat brings you a stacked card for Primal 18, with two title fights anchored by a featured heavyweight undercard bout.

James Marley will be looking to rebound from his Primal 13 submission loss that cost him the company’s heavyweight championship. One of Primal’s early stars, you have to wonder if he’s capable of keeping up with the growth of the company — the heavyweight division is stacked, and the title picture is getting awfully crowded.

Marley still possesses the great equalizer — knockout power. He’s shown an ability to drop devastating ground and pound from top position, and knocked Coolio Duras out cold with one of the more violent uppercuts you’ll find in New York. That punch could be his key to victory.

“The Pagan Party Beast” Rocket Bob Frankles is one of the most hyped heavyweights in Primal, scoring two Knockout of the Night bonuses in two outings. He’s no stranger to the uppercut himself, putting on his best Rocky Marciano impression during his Primal 9 destruction of Marcus Wester.

Will Marley regain his footing in the division, or will the Rocket continue his ascension up the ladder?

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In the co-main event, Rob Maldonado looks to claim the heavyweight championship he first had a shot at in the finals of the heavyweight grand prix at Primal 8, where he was quickly submitted by James Marley.

Yet another heavyweight that prefers to the uppercut, Maldonado has earned all three of his stoppage wins under the Primal banner by way of the punch. He does a great job of getting in close before creating the exact amount of distance needed to drop his shoulder and explode through the punch.

Using a “Sapp Rush” esque strategy, Maldonado is most dangerous in the early stages of the fight, with each of his three Primal wins coming in under three minutes. He’ll need to be completely focused on keeping this fight standing, as Marley showed the holes in Maldonado’s submission game.

Vincent “Jackhammer” Muji is the man that will be looking to find and exploit those holes. Debuting with a shot at the heavyweight title at Primal 13, Muji quickly put Marley on his back and cranked a kimura for the submission in under one minute of action.

He’s also shown very strong strikes from top position, finishing three fights with his ground and pound.

Muji has a tendency to shoot for doubles as early as 10 seconds into the fight. If he can bring Maldonado down, he stands a great chance at retaining his title.

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In the main event, “The Red Typhoon” Ryosuke Sato defends his 205-pound title against Harrison Neeson in a battle of 4-0 light heavyweights. Neeson first burst on the scene at APEX TWO, rocking Corbin The Game in the first round before landing a disgusting one-two combo just five seconds into round 2 for the walk-off knockout.

In his title eliminator at Primal 13, Raistlin Lovelair was given the opportunity to learn firsthand that Neeson possessed an elite level killer instinct, eating a brutal three punch combo that finished the fight after being rocked by a counter uppercut he never saw coming.

Sato is virtually the same type of fighter, backing up a strong wrestling base with crisp, powerful hands. Coming from the famed Legion of Doom alliance and training out of the esteemed Brooklyn Boxing Club, Sato’s support system just may be enough to give him the slight edge.