Welcome back to Paradigm and the grand finale of the Super Middleweight Grand Prix. The time had come to crown the first-ever champion. We had four fighters left with the final two going through not one but two, heavy UWFI rules fights. Damyan Tangra, Robert Martyr, Cole Radrick, and Jordan Blade were the big finalists of the tournament but only one was walking away with that belt. Alongside that, Handsome Max ZERO made his UWFI debut against Jeffrey John, Sidney Von Engeland goes one-on-one with King Garuda, a chaotic eight-person tag, and Dominic Garrini goes to war with Billy Scott’s protégé, Braedon Ward. Let’s get into the final round of UWFI action.
First though, as always with the UWFI series’ let’s check the rules. Victories under this ruleset can come from knock-out, submission, and ref stoppage. Fighters begin with a set number of points and will lose 1 point to 3 points every time they use a rope break, get knocked down, and require a ten-count be that from strikes or suplexes, break the code of conduct, and under extreme conditions if they leave the ring. Fights tend to be short and violent as the rule-set streamlines the fight and promises a winner.
Sidney Von Engeland defeated King Garuda via Neck Crank
The show opened with something a bit different. Instead of opening with tournament action, they opened with Sidney Von Engeland looking to keep the couple’s victory streak going. His opponent was none other than King Garuda, who was making his UWFI debut. Von Engeland quickly brought the match to the mat and forced Garuda to waste a point on a rope break. They reset and Von Engeland went back to the leg but Garuda swatted him away with an enzuigiri. Von Engeland ducked a second enzuigiri but had his leg picked as Garuda tried to tie him up. Garuda got on a Figure Four but couldn’t do any damage as Von Engeland instantly grabbed the ropes. Von Engeland was through playing and wrenched an arm, then finished Garuda with a powerbomb into a sickening neck crank. He had taken his licks but he ended the match in a dominant way, forcing Garuda to tap with brutal efficiency. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a crank like that. To his credit, Garuda proved he could work within the rules, he was just sadly against a UWFI pro.
Handsome Max ZERO defeated Jeffrey John via Yakuza Kick KO
Up next was a battle of the handsome ones. The fighting male model, the Babushka Badass Jeffrey John was back in Paradigm for more UWFI fun against the Himboss Handsome Max ZERO. This was going to be an interesting one as Max should be a strong fit for UWFI. They opened with some light strikes and kicks before Max scooped up John and Suplexed him down. Max let John get a hit in, then went for a German but John hugged the ropes, forcing a break. John tried to kick at Max but Max just grabbed his leg and slammed him down for ground and pound forearms. He held on and dragged John into a deadlift Fisherman Buster. We got duelling heel hooks with both softening the other up with slaps. Both guys fired up with Max landed an overhead belly-to-belly and John popping right back up to deliver a headbutt into a Teardrop Suplex. Max too popped up and knocked out John with a Yakuza Kick. Max had come out of nowhere and shocked the UWFI with his raw power and vicious striking acumen. This was an awesome fight with Max really getting the time to shine. Bring back the Himboss, he can kick ass and look good doing so.
Semi-Final: Jordan Blade defeated Robert Martyr via Cross Armbreaker
Time to get into the tournament. First up, the Ankle Breaker vs the Poison Youth. Blade and Martyr have had an interesting road through the tournament and now, brash would meet focused as Martyr would have to avoid having his ankle broken by the Submission Sniper. Martyr charged in and survived a corner onslaught to get the advantage on the mat and force Blade to the ropes. They struck it out and Blade knocked Martyr loopy with palm strikes and knees into a Vertical Suplex. Martyr found his feet and smashed back with a headbutt and Butterfly Suplex. They both tangled around the mat as neither could fully cinch in a submission. They battled over ankle picks with Martyr skating to the ropes before Blade could catch him again. Martyr had to stomp free of a Triangle and tried to roll Blade over but couldn’t make her move and got tapped out by a Cross Armbreaker. The Ankle Breaker was our first finalist, shutting the Mat Bully up and booting him from the tournament. Martyr knew he’d been beaten fairly and they ended things with a hug.
Semi-Final: Cole Radrick defeated Damyan Tangra via KO Forearm
The other semi-final was going to be an even bigger clash of styles. Mat Science and jujitsu were about to collide for that other final spot. Tangra had pulled off an upset over Williams and now he was in the position to do it again if he could best Radrick. They opened with cagey strikes and Radrick quickly picked a leg. They grappled around the mat and both jumped to their feet after a stalemate. They both started throwing bombs and Radrick downed Tangra with a Pele kick. Tangra downed Radrick with a headshot and swarmed him on the mat but Radrick went to the ropes. Radrick fired back with more swift kicks and sent Tangra falling to the ropes with a stiff strike to the midsection. Tangra counter-punched again and floored Radrick with a punt kick. Tangra hopped on Radrick’s back for a rear-naked choke but Radrick threw him off, kicked out his leg, and ended things with a KO forearm. The Wildheart kept beating and survived another painful pummelling to take the win and the other finals spot. Tangra did incredibly well here and would have probably won against anyone with less heart than Radrick.
Eight-Person Tag: Cody Lee, Eden Von Engeland, Victor Analog & Freddie Hudson defeated Donnie Janela, Molly McCoy, Jaiden & Travis Huckabee via Shining Wizard on Jaiden
We break from the tournament for some tag team chaos. Team Hudson was going against Team Huckabee as two shooters brought armies into war. The Hornet had brought Eden Von Engeland, Victor Analog and Cody Lee whilst Huckabee had brought Molly McCoy, Donnie Janela, and Jaiden. There were 33 points to play with as this tag was still under UWFI rules. McCoy opened things with a hockey fight and got kicked back to their corner to tag. Huckabee entered and Analog tried to soften him up with leg kicks but found himself trapped in the corner and pummelled. Analog nearly won with a calf crusher and Huckabee made him pay with a forearm into a calf-targeted Curb Stomp. Both guys tagged and we got Kung-Fu Janela vs Cody Lee. They started with kicks and quickly went to the mat to trade submissions. Lee used the ropes to break a Sharpshooter and brought in Von Engeland to battle McCoy. The pair opened with a slugfest and Von Engeland threw McCoy overhead with a T-Bone. Eden’s thought their work was done and brought in the Hornet. He was instantly taken out by a spear and McCoy went forearm wild on him. They left and Jaiden tried to continue the beating on Hudson. He took out Hudson with a flying knee and rained down shots but Hudson tagged to Lee. Jaiden brought in Huckabee and Huckabee broke Lee’s arm. We got Hudson vs Jaiden 2 and Hudson ended things with a stomp to the back of the knee and killed Jaiden with a Shining Wizard. This had been surprisingly ordered despite the numbers and gave us a whole host of little fights. Jaiden sadly had to be the one to lose but even he had some moments of glory before dying. This was just a nice way to give these fighters another chance to enjoy the spotlight.
Dominic Garrini defeated Braedon Ward via Heel Hook
Dominic Garrini was back in action again as he tried to prove himself the best of the new UWFI generation. He had beaten Cody Lee and now he was going to take on the protégé of the original UWFI standout Billy Scott, Braedon Ward. This was going to be a big feather in the cap for Garrini if he could send Ward packing. They opened with strikes and kicks before Ward took Garrini to the mat. They grappled around the mat as Garrini locked onto Ward’s back. Ward worked back up and wrestled around Garrini, trying for a kneebar. They both battled for holds and Garrini forced Ward to the ropes. Ward went back to striking and trapped Garrini in the corner, then went for a takedown but Garrini caught hold of his head. Garrini moved to a full mount, looking for a Calf Crusher but Ward rolled through and the rapid grappling resumed. Ward nailed Garrini with ground and pound strikes but Garrini kept moving and locked Ward in a body lock. Garrini locked on a heel hook and Ward had no choice but to tap out. This had been a real chess game of a match. Both guys have incredible ground games and were able to keep each other guessing throughout the match. Garrini wouldn’t break the hold, forcing the locker room to come to Ward’s aid. The UWFIcon took to the mic to once again decry his competition and ran down Scott. It was here Garrini laid down the gauntlet to Scott. When that match happens, it’s going to be something special.
Grand Prix Final: Jordan Blade defeated Cole Radrick via Ankle Breaker
This was it, the grand finale. Radrick and Blade had fought off three separate opponents each and now, they were going to have one final battle to decide who takes that title home with them. Both fighters were ready to tear each other apart if necessary to make Paradigm history. Radrick instantly struck with an arm kick and Blade latched onto his back. Radrick tried to pick a leg and got back up for a fight reset. He nailed Blade with another swift kick and sent her crashing to the corner. She came out of the corner fired up and downed Radrick with a duo of German Suplexes. Radrick grabbed a leg and bided his time until he could land another deadly kick. Blade was right back up and nailed Radrick with another duo of German. Radrick tried to snap an arm but Blade was ready and trapped him in a sleeper. Radrick tossed her away with a Fireman’s carry and ran right into an ankle catch facebuster. The Ankle Breaker and Radrick tried to fight but gave in and tapped out. Jordan Blade had just taken the Super Middleweight title, upsetting many people’s brackets and taking the final win over the man on the marquee. The Ankle Breaker has proven herself as a formidable fighter time and time again and now she has a belt to prove it. This had been an incredible mini-series of UWFI action and now there’s a new title to fight over in the division. Congratulations on making history Jordan Blade, you more than earned it.
All images courtesy of Paradigm, Screenshots,