Props have to go to Chester for stepping up at the very last minute to fight Parker as his tabled opponent couldn’t fight through illness. Chester has some good experience and came into the fight with a 4-2-0 record, with Parker having only three fights under his belt. Parker was happy with the challenge, however and came into the fight confident and just happy he could actually get a fight after all the hard training.
The pace was set several seconds into the fight, when Parker shot a great double leg trip, taking down Chester and passing straight into side control. Chester got a nice guillotine overhook and immediately used it to stand back up, pressuring Parker into a takedown and landing in Parker’s full guard against the cage. Parker immediately took hold of Chester’s wrist and shot his hips upwards to sink in a very nice armbar attempt. He didn’t have control of Chester’s posture though, which allowed him to posture high and take some of the angle off the armbar. It was held for several seconds and looked deep, but Chester peeled the leg off from around his head and disengaged to force the stand up.
Parker shot in again after 30 seconds of movement and Chester immediately started to work his takedown defence. Parker pinned him against the cage leaning all of his body in and forcing Chester to use his underhooks to prevent to take down. Chester then snaked his arm under Parker’s chin and locked in a tight guillotine that looked to be all the way on. He pulled guard whilst still stood up and Parker slammed him down and used the impact to dislodge the guillotine. Chester then used some very nice butterfly hooks to push himself back and hip escape into a further guillotine attempt. Parker defended and rolled and then onto his side where the guillotine came loose. A scramble ensued with Chester trying to take his back and locking hooks around one leg. He then sank in what looked to be a tight RNC, that Parker tried to roll out of, giving up his full back. Just as it looked over, the round ended. Great first round!
A short stand up exchange led to Chester shooting in and starting the second round. Parker used great takedown defence to stuff the shot and sprawl down on top of Chester, who pulled guard and then began to work a tight high guard. Parker was aware though and defended the leg pulling into the triangle. He used good control to prevent closed guard and pushed the leg down to pass into half guard. Chester used the opportunity to overhook the head and hip escape to stand. Parker then used his hip escape to set up a mount attempt that Chester avoided by going out of the back door and into leg reaping guard on Parker.
Chester pulled his legs out and back into full guard, whilst Parker rained in some heavy GnP to the body. Chester wrapped the arm but couldn’t break posture and tried to hip escape out to stand, but Parker caught him and pushed him into the cage where he turtled. Parker then tried to take the back, but Chester was pressed against the cage well and was giving him little space to work with. Chester then took an overhook and collar tie and hit some nice knees from the cage wall. Parker then got turned into the wall himself and pushed out to a scramble and stand up again. There was then a battle of the guillotines as Chester scored an excellent take down that resulted in a good attempt from Parker that Chester managed to turn out of. The round ended with Chester sinking in his own but the fight was stopped for the 2nd round break.
The third round began with Chester throwing a leg kick followed by a barrage of punches. A solid left hit Parker as he backed towards the wall but he level changed and immediately took a very nice double leg trip. Chester was wise to the immediate pass and managed to land in full guard, where he began to launch a high guard attack, intent on the triangle. Parker used the triangle attempt to pass, and Chester turtled. Parker finished his last fight from this position and began to work between the underhooks for the armbar and the inverted triangle, which Chester defended well on both accounts. As Chester got to his feet, Parker locked in a tight clinch and tossed him back onto the floor. Parker then looked for an opening to secure a good ground position, but Chester hip escaped and threatened the up-kick.
After a few seconds of stalking, Parker attempted to pass straight into side whilst holding one of Chester’s legs. Chester ended up with one butterfly hook in and almost a rubber guard position controlling Parker’s posture. He slipped the hook out and took a strong triangle guard that Parker immediately sat back to defend before the triangle was locked in and used his long legs to secure the escape and turn Chester into a rear mount. This was a strong position for Parker and he worked again for the inverted triangle, and then rolled into an armbar that Chester turned out of. Parker seized the opportunity and got his hooks in to secure the back. Parker then locked in an RNC, and it seemed only a matter of time before the tap from Chester, who was saved by the bell.
The split decision went in Chester’s favour, but the fight itself was a great display of grappling skill from both fighters. It went back and forth from sub attempt to sub attempt and both looked like they could have tapped out at several points during the fight. Considering the experience gap, Parker showed great maturity through the fight and looked measured and composed. Chester’s defence and ability to hip escape well into stand up and pursue subs from guard were also excellent. Tony Deane said it well at the end of the bout when he said it was a fight with ‘re-match’ all over it. Both fighters have a future in the sport and will hopefully fight for BCFC again on the coming card in March.