The bright lights of Las Vegas shined. Fans of the event to come were on their feet. Tonight the crowd was more rowdy than usual. Seats were filled with the largest block of consumers in the United States of America which was women. There were men present as well. Clapping erupted from the people. Normally the Mason Arena was a boxing destination that mirrored that of the Mandalay Bay, Caesar’s Palace, and MGM. Tonight there would be some boxing but a lot more violence in that gauntlet for warriors was in store.
As far as stadiums could go this was a grand set up. Numerous posters of a Samoan woman holding up a fist towards a smiling Caucasian fighter littered the place. Fans were drinking alcohol. Vendors were shouting offers of popcorn, drinks and souvenirs. A circle of seats surrounded a large cage with flooring on the inside. A referee and announcer stood in the middle of the arena ready to announce the fight.
Some boxing would occur but the normal boxing ring had been removed. In place of the four squares was an octagon set up that one would find in some mixed martial arts bout. A cage lined the outer parameter of the octagon. The white flooring was physically mimicking that of a Nascar Driver’s uniform in that it was covered in all sorts of sponsor logos. Also there was a mention of the mixed martial arts organization running this bout known as, “Gladius MMA.”
Announcers Jean Williams and Mark Paul were in charge of giving the play by play of the fight. The commentators took to a VIP booth with their cheap suits and the smell of cigarette smoke combined with alcohol deeply ingrained in their presence. Both of them were getting ready to commentate. Mark cleared his thought. Jean was the type of woman to drink Cognac because she believed having a swig of that beverage would allow her to be looser while speaking. The commentary began with Jean opening up for the program.
If someone were watching the program on a television they would see an array of video graphics flooding their television screen with the Gladius MMA logo swirling everywhere. The live feed went to Mark and Jean who were ready to talk.
“Hello MMA fans! This is Jean Williams,” Jean said.
“And I’m Mark Paul. Tonight we have a treat for you in the women’s heavyweight division,” Mark said.
“That’s right Mark. Two fighters with something to prove are about to go to blows. The submission specialist Emma Towns and the knockout artist Solo Kalolo are actually going to fight for the right to be the number one contender to the heavy weight championship,” Jean explained.
“That’s right Jean. The current champion, Beth Scratters, is interested in this fight. In fact, she is here tonight!” Mark pointed out.
The camera panned to the current champion sitting in the crowd. Jumbotrons around the arena revealed the fighter’s presence with people cheering for her. Beth Scratters stood up and raised her arm. When she stood up most people continued to cheer but those who were not cheering were booing. Some didn’t really care for this champion and the dominance she showed. The angles went back towards the commentators.
“Alright ladies and gentlemen tonight will be a heavyweight bout featuring two women at 185,”Mark explained.
If someone were watching the program on television they would see a graphic comparing the fighter’s statistics would have been seen.
“Towns is five feet, eleven inches with Kalolo having the height advantage at six feet, one inch. Kalolo is two years the senior and with a four inch reach advantage. Towns was a scary submission specialist known to take her opponents down quick and end fights. If Towns is true to form Kalolo had better be on her toes tonight,” Jean announced.
Loud guitar music blared through the speakers. Out from the far left entrance ramp came a woman with a red robe covering most of her body. Her trainers and supporters shadowed her. She waved her hands to the crowd who cheered her on. The announcer gave the proper greeting. “Ladies and gentlemen this fight is scheduled for three five minute rounds and it will determine the number one contender for the Gladius MMA women’s heavyweight title. The winner will receive an automatic title fight,” the announcer announced.
“Now for our competitors! In the red trunks from Las Vegas, Nevada, weighing in at one hundred and eighty five pounds she is undefeated in her professional career with a fighting record of seven to zero Emma ‘The Terror’ Towns!” The people cheered wildly.
This woman was the hometown hero around these parts. If anyone had home field advantage Towns certainly possessed that edge. Towns entered the octagon, removed her robe and skipped around the on the mat in a circle. Her mohawk and multiple tattoos depicting being shown to the crowd once more.
“And just listen to those people cheer Mark!” said Jean.
“Yes, they just love Emma Towns. But I wouldn’t bet more than a nickel they’ll love the other contender,” Mark admitted.
From the right side of the arena came another woman. This person was taller and had only one trainer follow her in and no other supporters. She didn’t wear a robe but only a pair of red gloves and trunks with wrappings around her ankles. For upper body wear she sported a sleeveless sports performance top that revealed her stomach, back and arms. She had only one sponsor and that was a beer company in Samoa.
Booing could be heard even from outside of the place. The people here were mostly biased against the challenger because a lot of them wanted their home town fighter to win. Words like, “you suck” and “go back to Samoa” were shouted at the woman. She didn’t even look at the people. She ignored the insults.
“And the challenger in the black weighing in one hundred and eighty five pounds from the American Samoa she is undefeated in eight fights in her professional career Sololo ‘Doctor Ambien’ Kalolo!”
“Well Mark you weren’t kidding! They appear to hate Kalolo!” Jean exclaimed.
“It makes sense. Towns is the home body here. This is her backyard. Plus Kalolo doesn’t have a huge reputation despite putting some people to sleep,” Mark explained.
“If Towns thinks she’s about to have it easy she had better have her A game today. There’s a reason why they call her the doctor Ambien,” Jean said.
Jean laughed after saying her words. There were memories of Kalolo earning that nickname.
“You ain’t kiddin’. They call her that because she has been known to put people to sleep. But the same can be said for Kalolo. Towns is undefeated for a reason. She doesn’t play games. Kalolo’s stand up game is something to deal with but Towns typically takes that away from her opponents,” Mark pointed out.
“And that reminds me tonight’s fight is sponsored by Sleepy Time. No sleeping pill will put you to sleep like Sleepy Time. Side effects may include restlessness and heart failure,” Jean announced.
That sponsor announcement caused Mark leaned in, held his headset away from his mouth and whispered, “I don’t think you’re supposed to announce the side effects.”
Jean whispered back while holding her head set away, “I don’t get your point because why the hell would anyone buy something for sleep that has a side effect of not being able to rest?”
Mark shook his head, cleared his throat and said, “and also brought to you by Yanky Slim Pizza! Yanky Slims, you had the others not try a pizza you’d give to your brother!”
Jean fought back a few laughs as she thought that was the dumbest slogan ever. Mark thought so as well. When the action went back to the octagon they whispered all sorts of jokes that they wouldn’t want on the air. Mark had to say something before they cut to commercial.
“Solosolo, Towns, Gladius 12! The action will start when we come back!” he announced.
Before Solosolo could get into the contraption through the cage door her trainer stopped her. The large man with the pot belly and bald head smiled at her.
“Do your best kid. I’m rooting for ya. Don’t let her get into your head,” he instructed.
Solo nodded. She didn’t say anything back because she was afraid of stuttering which was something she did at times. Of course she was nervous. This fight could determine how far she would go in this profession. She needed this win not just for her own career but to validate her family’s honor. At least that was what she believed she had to do. With that in mind she entered the door. The cage was shut. Towns appeared to be getting some last minute advice from her coach as well. She looked over to Solo and smiled.
“Nice meeting you here. Finally, after months of training I get to do to you what you and your family did to mixed martial arts,” she said.
The taller woman looked over towards the person insulting them. Solo ignored the comment. For almost four months Emma Towns had tormented Solosolo telling her about how her dad committing suicide was the best thing that ever happened to MMA. Of course those comments were never made public and was only made via text message. Solo didn’t tell the media because she didn’t want to appear like she couldn’t take an insult. Even from outside the cage Solo’s trainer heard the comment. He wanted to encourage his fighter.
“Don’t pay her any mind. When she’s on her back because her face ran into your fist we’ll see who is the real chump then,” he advised.
Towns, not to be upstaged, continued the verbal assault.
“Yeah, listen to man about putting me on my back because my face will run into your fist even though my face probably ran more miles than he ever did,” Towns said.
A laugh came out of the hometown fighter. Insults towards Solo’s father already made her want to put Emma Towns on a stretcher. Insulting her trainer was a different story. Solo began walking fast towards the person she challenged. The referee came in-between the two of them. The crowd booed.
“Look you two bit crotch pheasant the next time you insult that man who helped to raise me like his own child I’m gonna rip your arm off and beat you with it!” Solo was angry.
Her trainer opened the door, ran in and helped the referee pull her back towards her own corner.
“We’ll see about that miss sunshine,” said Towns.
The commercial break was up. Cameras were fixed upon the fight that almost happened before the sanctioned fight. The crowd was cheering on Towns by name. Some were shouting, “Solo sucks!” Solo shook her head and took in all the criticism. What those people didn’t know was that all of this was further fueling her rage. She needed that rage, that anger which powered that will to win and that despite desire to be the best. While Towns wouldn’t have been able to stand such criticism the Samoan loved this. She needed to act like an honest fighter but be despised as the villain. The booing only served the opposite purpose intended.
“Whoa! Ladies and gentlemen during the commercial break we almost had ourselves a bout that wasn’t cleared by the Nevada Athletic Commission!” Jean shouted.
“Towns is known for taunting. This doesn’t surprise me. We all know about Kalolo’s temper. I don’t know how smart it is to rile her up before the fight though,” Mark explained.
The two fighters were across from each other on opposite sides of the octagon. Solo looked angrier than usual with Emma Towns looking relaxed. Solo could barely stay still as she slowly rocked from side to side, slowly shook her arms and every now and then would take a small jump. The taller woman looked amped up and ready to fight. Between the two women was a referee to make sure Solo didn’t pounce on Emma before the rules were explained.
“Alright I want a nice clean fight. No hitting below the belt. No punching in the back of the head. Nothing illegal. I want you two to touch gloves and get ready to fight,” the referee proclaimed.
The official also checked both of their gloves for any weapons or anything out of the ordinary.
“You could cut that cloud of hatred with a knife,” Jean pointed out.
“These two look like they don’t like each other but Emma looks calm and Solo looks very angry,”Mark added.
Solo was reluctant to touch gloves with Towns. However she complied. The two women did touch gloves. Both of them backed up. Towns winked an eye at the challenger. Solo’s eyes narrowed into rolling eyes.
“Are you ready?” asked the referee pointing at Towns. The hometown fighter nodded.
The referee looked to Solo and asked, “are you ready?” Solo nodded her head twice as if to suggest she couldn’t wait any longer to get her hands on the other woman.
“Let’s get it on!” shouted the referee. The bell sounded with a woman in a bikini walking across a platform outside of the octagon with a sign carrying text that said, “ROUND 1.” When the bell tolled the crowd cheered. This was a fight the fans of Gladius waited four months to see.
“And here we go Mark!” shouted Jean.
No time was wasted. The two of them moved up towards one another quickly. Solo opened up with a few right handed jabs with Towns dodging the blows. The taller fighter was using that reach advantage and the jabs to keep the opponent at bay. That wouldn’t work. Towns closed in the distance with a move called a, shoot. Emma went into a low gravity centered charge. A clash of red gloves and red trunks combined with black gloves and blank trunks was the result of a struggle. Towns was trying to force Solo to the mat.
Solo managed to push her aggressor away. The striker went for two quick jabs with opposing hands. Towns blocked both blows. Another shoot attempt was made by the submission specialist. Solo put her arms underneath her attacker’s arms to try to maintain leverage. The struggle went all the way across the octagon as the Samoan had trouble keeping the surprisingly strong Emma Towns from shoving her up against the cage. Towns went for an inside leg sweep trip. Solo’s leg was grabbed and she was now hopping on one leg. A take down was all but certain.
“This is exactly what Towns wanted! It looks like we’re about to take it to the mat!” Jean exclaimed.
The big woman got slammed onto the ground with the right side being the side that Solo fell onto. This was the strategy Towns wanted. It was common knowledge within Gladius that the Samoan was strong on the left side. On the ground ji-jitsu specialists like Emma Towns could get what was called side control where an opponent was laying upon the ground and then turn them over to get mounted on top of them. Solo was trying her hardest to get this person off of her. Her resistance was in vain. A rain of punches connected with the side of her head. The crowd went berserk with cheering.
“It looks like Kalolo is in trouble! Look at Emma Towns go to work!” Mark shouted.
Solo managed to muster up enough strength to turn over onto her stomach and lift herself up to her knees. She knew that it was illegal to hit someone in the back of the head and so she used that to her advantage. Towns started punching on the sides of Solo’s head but Solo held up her hands to protect her dome. The Samoan let out a choking sound when Emma Towns put an arm around her neck and tried to hook her legs around Solo’s stomach. Sensing a submission was near the referee got closer.
“Towns is going for a rear naked choke!” Jean yelled.
Now this was a fight of will. If the submission specialist got the choke in place that would mean a certain win. Solo tried to force a hand up underneath the choke hold in order to give herself air. She fell backwards and on top of Towns but that was planned. One leg was hooked around the stomach while Solo grabbed the opposing ankle of her opponent to try to keep the other leg was being put in place. The crowd cheered on their hometown fighter.
“Ready to tap out?!” Towns shouted.
The taunting served to motivate Solo’s will to win. She forced Towns’ ankle that she had a hold of underneath her body so that she was sitting on it. Solo began slowly muscling her way and turning around on the ground so that she was eventually on top of Towns. The Ji-Jitsu specialist tried with every ounce of muscle to hold the big woman in place for the choke but to no avail. Solo forced the other leg to release the hold around her stomach. Before the larger competitor could get even a partial mount Towns scooted backwards and got back up to a vertical base.
“And just look at the fight in Kalolo! This is why it is so hard to submit her!” Jean said.
Both competitors were standing with fighting positions assumed. They came at each other and traded punches. Solo had already taken a bit of a beating to the side of the head. The Samoan returned the favor when Towns had a miscue on a striking combination Solo went for. Towns dodged a left cross hook attempted, side stepped a right hand body shot but got caught with a left fist to the side of the head. A punch from a striking fanatic hurt a lot more than anything the hometown kid could have thrown. Towns stumbled to the side but regained her composure just as quickly.
“Whoa! Emma Towns just took a shot!” Mark pointed out.
“This is why she has to get Kalolo back on the ground and keep her there. Otherwise Towns doesn’t have the striking to match,” Jean added.
Emma Towns wasn’t revealing just how much that punch really hurt. The main factor Towns had to overcome was the fact that the punches were hard to predict. Either hand from that large Amazon of a person could deliver a knock out. But it was the left hand that the Ji-Jitsu black belt was more concerned about. Solo was going in for another striking combination. Towns wasn’t given enough time to formulate a strategy on how to deal with the punching. The hometown fighter was literally saved by the bell as it rang. Solo’s fist was just inches away from the opponent’s face.
That fist stopped in place once that bell sound. She smirked, turned and walked away to her corner. Towns did the same. Before Solo could get to her corner Towns gave out a parting message out loud.
“You stopped that punch. At least your daddy finishes things. He’d even finish himself if he has to. Ain’t that the truth,” Towns said.
Solo wanted so badly to turn around and give her smart mouthed opponent a cheap shot to the back of the head without any care of personally injuring that person. Before she could turn her trainer looked at her, they both made eye contact and he shook his head to signal for her not to give into bad temptations.
“Round one is in the books. I’d say that was an evenly match round and tough to call scores there,” Mark admitted.
“Right you are. Honestly, they both took some hits there. Kalolo only got one good shot in but that hit looked like it rocked Towns. But if I’m a judge I’m giving that round to Towns. She did a take down and got some hits in and multiple hits at that,” Jean pointed out.
“You got a point there! Either way this will be an exciting fight and I can’t wait to see the next round! Round 2 is coming up next after these commercial messages!” Mark exclaimed.