Charity Event Knocks Out Blindness

By Antonio Cooper

Donofrio Entertainment held its annual “knockout Blindness” charity function, in partnership with the Shelby Township Lion’s Club, the charity foundation looked. Donofrio Entertainment more than lived up to its name as the fight promotion put on a spectacular event, showcasing a few of MMA’s rising prospects.

Joseph Donofrio was the first to express his excitement for the event in itself, stating “This is the 7th annual event, we raise money for “Leaderdogs for the Blind” and we always try to top last year’s amount. This year our goal is $40,000.”

The event itself was more than just prized fights, having silent auctions, autographed memorabilia, and music in-between fights. This event was in fact a guaranteed event to indeed knockout blindness by the end of the night.

With three titles on the line along with seven fights on the card in total, the charity to “knockout blindness” seemed to be a success before it began. Fortunately both, fighters and spectators performed their role at high levels, as the fighters entertained and the crowd treated every fight with the intensity of a main-event.

While seven fights filled the card with a multitude of gym’s being represented throughout the night, the night ended just as explosive as things began.

The event would kick-off with a battle of new-comers who would eventually set the remaining pace for the entire night, as Javon “Bad Combination” Henry (1-0) of Cooper’s Gym took on Dereck Shedbwsky (0-2) of FC Fitness in a fight that would have pleased any crowd.

Being the only kickboxing fight on the card, the two performers looked to put on their best show, which occurred. The night’s only kickboxing match provided the right amount of explosives on the card as the Cooper Gym product, Henry dominated his way towards a decision victory.

While each fighter looked to put on their best performance, the Cooper’s gym product put on a memorable performance as he simply outperformed Shedbwsky, cruising towards his first career victory. Providing us with a sign of things to come for the remainder of the night.

Henry was ecstatic in victory stating “It felt good to get out there, I felt like I couldn’t do wrong out there and I think it showed, I just kept throwing combinations.” Henry continued “I knew if I threw a bunch of combo’s the only thing he could do was try to block.”

Although each fight was memorable, putting on entertaining finishes, much to the crowds delight, five of the seven fights ended in finishes such as the heel hook executed by Brent Mcbride (16-3).

While the lone two fights that didn’t end in a finish didn’t end in a finish, the fights still supplied more than enough crowd entertainment as both times the fights simply featured two fighters swinging for the fences.

One example of this came from Jay “Country Boy Guthrie (9-4) vs Aurtan Daily (9-7), a fight that could have won fight of the night for any organization at any given night. While things ended with the American Muscle MMA product getting his hand raised in the end, Daily was still game throughout the fight, landing more times than not. Guthrie’s split decision victory displayed signs of a promising future for “Country Boy” who’ll surely fight under the Donofrio banner once again.   

With three championship fights on the card, each of which would go exceedingly well, beginning with a fight between Usama Rahman (9-7) and Nate Long, which paired the two flyweights for the third time in their career. The trilogy would end in the first round as “Young Lion” Rahman would pounce on the Cooper’s gym student from the opening bell lasting nearly until the end of the bell. Ending the fight before seconds before the end of the round.

The “Iron Fist Clan” member had much to say about his performance “I knew I had him hurt from the start, I had my dad telling me to keep going, and all I kept thinking was kill.”

While Rahman held his hand high on the night, he wouldn’t be the only new champion crowned, as the main event featured a fight-ending submission that let the fans go home satisfied with a successful charity in the books.

The night of fights would end sooner than expected as all three championship fights would end due, including two first round stoppages from Usama Rahman (9-7) for the flyweight championship and Travis Pettergell, for the Light-Heavyweight championship. With both champions performing exceedingly well, they’ll perform once again inside the octagon in the near future.

One of the more interesting show stealing experiences came just moments before the main event, as Danielle Cooley took on Coco Vicious for the women’s flyweight championship. A fight that displayed all techniques but in the end Cooley’s skill-set seemed far too versed, locking in a fight-ending rear-naked choke during the second round.

With every fighter, winners and losers performing well, this seemed to be a great sign of things to come as Donofrio Entertainment’s upcoming event “Turf War’s” only week’s away, taking place at the Joe Louis Arena.