Pro Point: Wild Card Bracket Results and Analysis
Pro Point is a new professional point fighting promotion founded by Team Dojo Elite - Power executives Josh Horwege, Alex Reyes, and Tim League, as well as former sport karate/WWE fighter Ernest "The Cat" Miller. On Friday, an eight-fighter, wild card bracket took place to determine who would advance to the seeded bracket on Saturday night.
Pro Point's one-of-a-kind rules are designed to highlight technique, speed, and control. The most unique feature of their rulebook is the scoring system. As opposed to standard point fighting scoring in which judges call their points openly after each clash, Pro Point judges record their scores on a scoresheet that is not revealed until the end of the fight. This format leads to a suspenseful finish as the final scores are called out one judge at a time. Some other special features of Pro Point include a circular ring and legal sweep techniques. This brand-new concept was put to the test with the wild card bracket. Keep reading for complete results and analysis.
The quarterfinal matches began with an action-packed showdown between Team Unity's Dillon Brandes vs Ronald Zabala of Millennium Martial Arts in Miami, Florida. A balanced attack of blitz techniques and kicking from both fighters resulted in one judge giving the edge to Brandes (6-5), and two judges scoring in favor of Zabala (8-4, 6-3).
The next match saw Team KTOC's John Curatolo vs Tobias Lopez, a new acquisition by Team All Stars' developmental squad. Curatolo is typically known for his lethal kicking arsenal, but controlled this match with his counter punching to obtain a winning score from all three judges (4-2, 4-3, 6-2).
The show continued with Team Dojo Elite - Power's Zach Winder vs Jerrell Dawson, the brother of world-renowned heavyweight Kameren Dawson who had been retired from point fighting competition for several years before this event. Dawson looked fast and strong despite his time off, but Winder used his impressive kicking ability and movement to secure the win from two judges (4-1, 2-3) while the other judge called a draw (2-2).
The final quarterfinal match featured Sergio Brandon vs Rashad Eugene of Team DKS. Eugene attempted to throw Brandon off with a patient strategy and variety of fakes. However, Brandon got the judges' call on the majority of the clashes to win on two cards (3-2, 3-2) with the other judge calling a draw (2-2).
The first match of the semifinals was John Curatolo vs Ronald Zabala, and it did not disappoint. The fighters showed a bit more strategy in this round with a lot of movement early, but after the halfway point the kicks started to fly and it appeared that most scoring occurred on follow-up punches. The back-and-forth match resulted in one judge calling a draw (1-1), another in favor of Curatolo (4-1), and the final in favor of Zabala (4-3). Under Pro Point rules, the tie is broken by adding up the total points. This resulted in an 8-6 win for Curatolo.
The second semifinal bout was Zach Winder vs Sergio Brandon, as Winder came out of the gates fast with a flurry of kicks. Brandon defended the kicks well by keeping his distance, until he was sent to the ground by a follow-up punch from Winder. Brandon would shift the momentum back in his favor with a strong hand combination to answer the quick start of Winder. This made the match extremely close as two judges ruled a draw (2-2, 1-1) and the fight was decided by the final judge who saw Brandon as the victor (3-2). This fight was deemed "Fight of the Night" by promoter Josh Horwege at the conclusion of the event.
The final match, John Curatolo vs Sergio Brandon, started slow as both competitors were feeling each other out and getting their distance. Curatolo mirrored the techniques that were successful in his first two matches, accumulating his points with multiple counter strikes and a sharp hook punch. Commentator Ernest Miller even remarked that Curatolo's striking reminded him of kickboxing legend Bill "Superfoot" Wallace. Brandon defended the counter strikes very well, but it was ultimately not enough as Curatolo secured two judges' cards (2-1, 3-2) despite the other judge calling a draw (2-2). Curatolo moves on to the seeded bracket Saturday evening, and will face Canadian superstar Robbie Lavoie of Team All Stars.
The other seeded fighters that will be in action Saturday night are Ryan George of Team Dojo Elite - Power, Kristhian Rivas of Team Legend, Bailey Murphy of Team Straight Up, Chad Cannon of Team Gipsy, as well as Enrique Letona and Blake Spence of Team Top Ten USA. The seeded bracket will be live at 7:00 PM EST on October 17th and is available for purchase on OSS TV. This event features only lightweight fighters (169 lbs and under), and another event for heavyweights is already on the schedule for December.
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