Donovan, Samuel shine in MMA bouts with T&T, USVI

Dwayne Donovan and Daniel Samuel after winning their bouts

Dwayne Donovan and Daniel Samuel after winning their bouts

By Dean Greenaway

Jost Van Dyke’s Dwayne Donovan won a unanimous decision over Trinidad and Tobago’s Jeremy Rudolfo, while Daniel Samuel used a round house kick to knock out the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Carlos Grey on Saturday night at the Multi Purpose Sports Complex, in the first Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in Paradise event ever staged in the territory.

Donovan took down Rudolfo in a punishing, physical three rounds battle in the main event.

“I knew this fight was going to be a lot tougher than the last time giving that this dude was younger and hungrier,” he said, recalling his first victory in St. Thomas in March. “If I was slacking in anyway, he would have taken it. I gave him some good shots, but he had a chin just as strong as mine—I took his shots and he took mine—it was a good fight. He’s from Trinidad and they have a bigger venue for the sport there, but guess what, not because we are small, means were a limited in the amount of fight.”

Rudolfo said it was a good fight but his downfall was having to cut 15-20 pounds in three days. “Dwayne was a marvelous fighter—I love this fight—and I love the hospitality of this country and looking forward to coming back here,” he said. “I’ll do anything to have a rematch with Dwayne.”

Donovan who was well supported by a Jost Van Dyke contingent said he’s like to see the government behind the program. “As youth, I would like to see them getting behind and encourage the your to get into more positive things like this,” he said. “Yes, it’s violent, but at the same time, it encourages discipline and self respect, which in turn teaches us to respect other people with a greater kind of dignity in mind.”

After several exhibition bouts warmed up the night, Samuel engaged in a tense battle with the Grey, demonstrating all their skills, before Samuel used a round house right kick to knock out a stunned Grey just over a minute into the third round.

“It was a pretty good fight. I just felt that the call was a little bit pre mature but the referee said knockout by third round, so I could only take it and use it as a learning experience and just keep fighting,” Grey said. “I know the pressure was on being in his home court, I had a little disadvantage but I kept the my head up and kept fighting.”

Samuel described the match as fun and entertaining. “He had a mean punch—he rocked my jaw once in the first round,” Samuel recalled, adding that he knew in the second round he had the fight when he had ducki mora move on—trapping Grey’s arm in a figure four. “He didn’t try to resist after that round I knew I had it.”

The fight between Trinidad and Tobago’s Duke Brooks and the BVI’s Rashidi Rogreguez was the shortest of the night. Brooks knocked out Rodriguez merely 29 seconds into the first round.

On the women’s card Trinidad and Tobago’s Sherrise Subero, got the better of BVI’s Teia Hudley Edwards.

Rigo Rodriguez, President of Paradise Fighting Championships said it went well and was a great way to kick off the 60th anniversary of BVI Festival. “We want to thank the sports minister and everyone else who supported this event. We have great talent coming out of Jost Van Dyke, great talent coming out of Tortola and I think it’s awesome,” Rodriguez said. “The crowd was great and we are very pleased with the crowd.”

Promoter Jason Fraser who’s also president of combat sports in Trinidad and Tobago, said he has traveled the world and have seen some very talented fighters in the BVI that needs nurturing.

“Even the guy that lost (Grey) he has a lot of ability,” Fraser noted. “His opponent, trust me, having the sport here and proper support, I’m sure we can develop a champion here. I’m very, very sure about that.”