By: King Eddie
If the first battle between Jon Barnard and Tony Rodriguez wasn't exciting enough, the second battle stepped it up and migrated to the realm of MMA. Lighter gloves, harder hits, and a whole new level of action. Both fighters have been known to creating exciting matchups no matter who they face, and by having them meet in the cage is pure action. In my opinion, it should be an annual meeting.
The fight opened up just as everyone expected. . . with fast action. Tony and Jon both landed hard shots as the two pushed to take the first lead. If Barnard connected with a kick, it was simultaniously met with a punch from Rodriguez. If Rodriguez landed a clean punch, Barnard landed hard to the body. Each man poured their soul into each punch and it was becoming clear neither would surrender.
Fighting since the age of 5, Tony Rodriguez is no stranger to battle. As one of the most accomplished kickboxers in the state, he's come out victorious in nearly every situation one can face in a ring/cage. Barnard too has been highly regarded as a world class striker, even recently traveling to the mainland to compete against a higher level of competition. With that being said, it was a toss up as to which man could take the lead in the standup battle. But with the bout being contested as an MMA bout, Barnard took it to the ground. Once there, he landed hard elbows and punches to the face and body of Rodriguez. Weathering the storm, Rodriquez refused to be affected. Throwing strikes from the bottom, the fight remained competitive.
When the two warriors found themselves on the feet once more, several fluid and beautiful exchanges errupted that madet the crowd rise to their feet. Once again the scales would tip in favor of one fighter, then to the other. Neither man would back down. Neither would surrender. A whirlwind of kicks, punches, elbows and knees errupted. At one point, Barnard found his own back against the cage and a flurrying Tony Rodriquez on the attack. Ducking and dodging as much as he could, multiple shots made their way thorugh. Though nearly any other fighter would have been leveled, Barnard stood strong and delivered answers to as many as possible. As the momentum shifted once more, the two found their way to the ground yet again.
Elbows rained down from above, but Rodriquez refused to lose. Scurrying and scrambling, while still throwing punches, Rodriquez was not making an easy night for Barnard. Though a valiant effort was on display, Barnard took the lead. His control from top position accompanied by his elbows and punches forced the ref to stop the bout. But there were no real losers in this fight. Barnard and Rodriguez both showed us exactly why Hawaii is known for it's warriors in the cage. Neither were willing to give an inch. Neither were willing to surrender the victory. The only thing that this reporter can say is that both men are extremely tough. Both men are extremely talented. Now lets see Barnard Rodriguez III!