Despite being SteelChair’s resident deathmatch dealer, one of my biggest loves is shoot-style wrestling. As such, it’s always a treat to see more Bloodsport shows announced, even better to see 2 shows announced. On today’s show, we’ll see “Filthy” Tom Lawlor vs Simon Grimm, JR Kratos vs Alex Coughlin, Kal Jak vs Nolan Edward, Calvin Tankman vs Davey Boy Smith Jr, and much more leading to the main event where Chris Dickinson took on Jeff Cobb in the ultimate battle of monsters. We have a lot of fights to watch so let’s get into the action!

Diego Perez defeated Gil Guardado via Grounded Choke

The first fight to grace the new secret location was Diego Perez vs Gil Guardado. It would be a battle of two MMA fighters fighting to see who was the dominant fighter. Perez was the striker and would be looking to bring his heavy hands and height advantage to Guardado. We got a fairly even fight here as both spent the fight trading kicks, strikes, and fighting over mat control. Perez tried to show off his mat game but Guardado had the experience factor here and tended to get the advantage when both fighters were on the mat. Guardado didn’t want to trade strikes and worked at kicking out Perez’s legs and going for takedowns. He tried to submit Perez with a leg lock but the bigger man was back on his feet and struck out of it. The two continued the cagey striking with Guardado keenly aware of what Perez can do and blocking his kicks. Perez scored on a single-leg takedown and was able to roll it through into a choke and Guardado had to tap. This was an excellent opening bout that showed off the type of action to expect with two guys showing what they could do on this new stage. It had a great balance of striking and mat work and allowed Perez to show the mat training he’d been doing.

Calder McColl defeated Royce Issacs via Triangle Choke

Next on the card was Royce Issacs taking the Highlander Calder McColl. It would be MMA fighter turned wrestler taking on pure wrestler Issacs. Issacs has held titles in the NWA and FSW but could he meet the skills of the McColl. Royce started by showing off his amateur wrestling game and refused to go to ground originally when McColl baited it. McColl countered this with strikes as Issacs tried to keep his distance. Early on it was very much Issacs’ fight but his takedowns left him open to McColl’s submission game. He hit McColl with strikes as he mounted but McColl had a lot of answers for his attacks. McColl had to fight out of a side choke and tripped Issacs into a Rear-Naked position. The fight evened out a bit but Issacs continued to have the high ground and really forced McColl to work up the fight. Once it got to strikes, it was all McColl and countered a crab attempt into a Triangle. Issacs got one final big blow in with a deadlift Suplex but couldn’t follow up with the submission attempt and McColl gave him a head kick into an attempted Cross Armbreaker before winning with a Triangle choke. This was again, a nice evenly-match fight with a lot more wrestling flare and Issacs showing off a whole lot of momentum until Calder showed how one hold can end it all.

SuperBeast defeated Bad Dude Tito via Double Wrist-Lock

Next up was the Battle of Los Angeles. It was the relatively unknown MMA-trained SuperBeast taking on LA wrestling veteran and BJJ-trained Bad Dude Tito. Both guys were big and intimidating but who would walk away as the winner? SuperBeast had a major Bane vibe going on and was just as strong as him too. They started with attempted takedowns and quickly traded kicks after some posturing. The pair continued to trade as both guys jockeyed for position. Tito looked to have control but SuperBeast dropped Tito on his head with a backdrop. We got a battle of attempted armbars and arm locks but once again SuperBeast’s power saved him. However, he was working with one good arm. An ill-fated front choke led to Super Beast taking a bevvy of strikes and knees but the big guy was still standing. A slugfest broke out but Tito put a stop to it with a massive kick and even bigger Enzuigiri. But it didn’t win the match and Tito was back on the mat after a vicious German. Tito tried to fight back but SuperBeast picked a wrist and tossed him into a Double Wrist-Lock for the win. This was a juggernaut battle and showed to scary big men showing some scary athleticism. I need more SuperBeast on my screen. Please bring him back.

JR Kratos defeated Alex Coughlin via Knockout Knee Strike

JR Kratos is one of Bloodsport’s resident monsters. As part of Team Filthy on New Japan Strong, he has reached new levels, and now, he was going to try and take another scalp with a victory of Alex Coughlin, an LA Dojo young lion coming back from injury. Kratos has knocked out opponents and has one hell of a gas tank to go with it. Coughlin was in for a fight and a half. Coughlin used his speed and smaller size to try and outmanoeuvre Kratos but the strength advantage of Kratos put a stop to most of these attempts. Both were throwing in mat work and knees but neither man seemed to keep the advantage. Coughlin was trying to show he was back at 100% while Kratos was being his usual calm self. This really was a technical strategy fight until Kratos really started using his strength to throw suplexes and make Coughlin’s body bend to his whims. Again though, Coughlin found a way to survive and regain control. Kratos threw some hands and kicks which sent Coughlin into a chop and stomp frenzy, giving him the biggest advantage yet. He found the strength to hit a deadlift Gutwrench Suplex but he couldn’t keep Kratos down for a choke and Kratos just slammed him down and knocked Coughlin out with a knee strike. Coughlin definitely brought the fight to Kratos but at the end of the day, strength is strength and Kratos knocked out another opponent. What a stiff and masterful bout.

Kal Jak defeated Nolan Edward via Concrete Gorilla Press

Next up was the returning Grizzly Kal Jak as he took on the master of No Flinch Nolan Edward (no s). Kal Jak is a massive man and master of amateur wrestling whilst Nolan Edward just doesn’t feel pain and doesn’t know how to quit as well as being a very damn good college wrestler. Would his almost invincible pain threshold bring him to victory? Edwards tried to kick out at Jak but the size advantage saw Edward used like a ragdoll with slams and suplexes. Edward worked at softening up a leg with kicks and stunned Jak with forearms but the pendulum quickly swung away from him as Jak dropped him with a German. Again, Edward found a way back and locked on a headlock but Jak just suplexed him away again. His leg gave out and Edward lit him up with strikes but was stopped in his tracks by a gut wrench GTS knee. The ref deemed him able to continue so Jak Gorilla Pressed him to the concrete floor and the ref quickly back-peddled his decision. Edward was knocked out and the Grizzly won with sickening efficiency. Nolan Edward did his best but he was put against a massive opponent with a mean-streak. This was the first win for Kal Jak and the first win using a wall.

“Filthy” Tom Lawlor defeated Simon Grimm via Liver Shot TKO

Following that was a bout between two Bloodsport regulars. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor and Simon Grimm were about to go to war on the Bloodsport stage. Both have been at pretty much every previous event and know each other very well. Lawlor, the UFC veteran would be taking on wrestling specialist, Grimm. This was going to be a very interesting one to watch. It quickly went to the mat as the pair quickly went counter-hold for counter-hold. Lawlor scored the first slam and tried for more holds but again, the pair went straight into another hold and positioning trading sequence. Lawlor went after Grimm’s liver with strikes but Grimm caught him into a front choke. Lawlor went back to strike from the full mount but Grimm was right back on him and trying to tie him up. Grimm also showed some of his power by dumping Lawlor on his head and shoulders with a waterwheel drop and went for a wrist-lock. He had Lawlor trapped and continued to manipulate the arms. Lawlor finally broke free and picked an ankle for stomps but Grimm stunned him with a face kick. He was straight back on Lawlor with elbows and tried to lock-up the wrist again and transitioned to a kneebar as Lawlor tried to recover. Lawlor kneed him in the liver and caught a kick but Grimm rolled it into another Cross Armbreaker attempt. Lawlor once again broke free and PK’ed Grimm in the liver, stunning him. The pair struck out but Lawlor took him out with another knee to the liver and won via TKO as Grimm couldn’t defend himself. This was a bit of a shame. I always root for Grimm and this was mostly his fight but Lawlor picked a weak spot and just wouldn’t lay off, paralysing Grimm through repeated liver shots and stealing the win. What a fight.

Davey Boy Smith Jr defeated Calvin Tankman via Crippler Crossface

Davey Boy Smith Jr is another regular to the Bloodsport stage. He is a monster in this rule-set and now had his biggest challenge to date, the Heavyweight Hustle Calvin Tankman. Both guys are riding the high of victory after Bloodsport 3 and were looking to keep their streaks alive. The pair locked up and Tankman took Smith to the mat. He had the mount but Smith picked the ankle and brought both to their feet. Tankman went behind and brought the fight down again but Smith had a wrist. After another battle of the waist-lock, the fight collapsed to the mat and Smith went back to an ankle as Tankman tried to choke him out. Smith manipulated the fingers of Tankman and took the full mount to elbow Tankman in the head. Tankman escaped the hold but Smith had pushed him off the platform to the floor. Tankman came back in hot with strikes and Smith hit back just as hard. Smith dropped to a knee so Tankman pressed the advantage with knees to the midsection and dumped him on his head with a German. Both guys continued to throw bombs at each other as exhaustion took hold. Tankman tried to chop down smith but it didn’t work and Smith struck Tankman until he was stunned and took him over with a Saito. He quickly followed up with the Crossface and Tankman tapped. It was a short fight but Tankman left a mark on Smith. It didn’t go his way and Smith, as usual, proved to be the dominant force in Bloodsport but Tankman got a great showing here. I just wish it could have gone a little longer.

Jeff Cobb defeated Chris Dickinson via German Suplex TKO

Last but not least, the main event. Another battle of the giants. Chris Dickinson is perhaps the biggest name in Bloodsport despite his lacking win record and now he had another massive challenge ahead of him, the debuting Jeff Cobb. Both guys have taken NJPW by storm but only one could leave Bloodsport victorious. Dickinson tried to dominate on the mat but Cobb was playing defensively. He worked the leg to try and destabilise the powerful base of Cobb. He continued to keep Cobb on his back with takedowns and mat work, limiting the options Cobb had. Dickinson continued to try and work arms and legs but Cobb kept breaking holds and eventually started throwing hands back. He respectfully got off Dickinson, trying to bring the fight by to their feet but Dickinson was more comfortable on the mat and went right back to the ankle. Cobb started throwing forearms and brought the fight back up. Dickinson threw a combination of kicks and launched Cobb back to the mat for more holds. Momentum shifted between the two on the mat and once again, Cobb defensively worked to hold off Dickinson. As you can expect from these two, it was continuously one-upping itself in terms of technicality as Dickinson worked to avoid getting Suplexed or slammed. Unfortunately, that only lasted so long and Cobb got his way. Dickinson shook off a slam and locked in a heel hook but continued to transition between limbs. Cobb launched Dickinson with a trio of deadly suplexes and took the win. It had been a hard-fought battle with Cobb really struggling to show off any power until Dickinson’s plan slipped up and he got knocked out for it.

To cap off the show we got the reveal that Jon Moxley will be back for Bloodsport 5 happening on February 20th  and will be taking on Davey Boy Smith Jr. That is going to be an insane match to watch but for now, let’s celebrate what we’ve just watched. This was top to bottom one of the best Bloodsport’s I’ve watched yet. Each match delivered in a big way. Every fighter was on their game, every fight had something to offer and as always Chris Dickinson kicked ass in the main event even if he took another loss. The IPPV is still viewable for another few weeks so if you like the sound of anything you just read or want to get in on Bloodsport 5, then you can buy it here. They really have pulled out the stops for these shows. The fights are great, the aesthetic is awesome and Josh Barnett proves once again that he can build amazing shoot-style cards.

All images courtesy of Josh Barnett Twitter, GCW Twitter, Hiban Huerta, Ryan Loco, omgjess

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