(Come back later today for a full gallery of photos from the tournament.)
Shine Fights battled through a last-minute change of venue, threats of athletic commission sanctions against any fighters who participated in the event, the loss of fighters due to injury (see: Marcus Aurelio, Josh Shockley) and even the loss of a replacement fighter (see: Conor Heun) but managed to pull off it’s third event, an eight-man, one-night lightweight grand prix. Fittingly, troubled veteran Drew Fickett battled through a litany of troubles to take the one-night tourney and signal a possible return to world-class form. Below you’ll find full results along with analysis of the impact the event had on our rankings.
Tournament Reserve Match
Charlie Brown def. Brian van Hoven by majority decision.
Grand Prix Quarterfinals
Drew Fickett def. Charles Bennett by submission (guillotine) at 3:34 of Round 1.
Dennis Bermudez def. Shannon Gugerty by unanimous decision.
Kyle Baker def. James Warfield by split decision in overtime.
Rich Crunkilton def. Carlo Prater by split decision in overtime.
Grand Prix Semifinals
Drew Fickett def. Dennis Bermudez by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:02 of Round 1.
Baker and Crunkilton both withdrew due to injury and were replaced by Prater and Brown.
Carlo Prater def. Charlie Brown by majority decision.
Grand Prix Final
Drew Fickett def. Carlo Prater by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:02 of Round 1.
At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity.
Following a long career decline and a well-publicized battle with alcohol. Drew Fickett may well have found new life in Newkirk, Okla. last night, where he notched three quick submission wins en route to winning the Shine Fights Lightweight Grand Prix. Having previously fought at 170 pounds, Fickett came in ranked #30 in our Welterweight Rankings, but was reassigned and installed at #30 in our Lightweight Rankings following his tourney win.
A long-time veteran of regional circuit shows, Charles Bennett is entertaining but inconsistent, and he re-enters our rankings at #125 after his first-round loss. Rich Crunkilton jumped from #112 to #99 after his first-round win but was forced to withdraw due to injury. Kyle Baker lost ground due to his split decision win over unranked James Warfield, dropping from #71 to #96. Both Crunkilton and Baker were forced to withdraw from the Grand Prix due to injury.
UFC veteran Shannon Gugerty fell hard after his first-round loss to Dennis Bermudez, crashing from #83 to #1221. Bermudez notched his second and third qualifying fights in the tournament and enters FIGHT!’s Lightweight Rankings at #88. WEC vet Carlo Prater managed to lose twice in the tournament, and the former welterweight enters our Lightweight Rankings at #106.
No other ranked fighters appeared on the card.