Derrick Cole vs Max Ryder, #462 (UCW)
Usually I don't think of UCW for beefy brutes. Quite the opposite, UCW makes me think of Chuck Palahniuk's quip in Fight Club: "Skinny guys, they never go limp. They fight until they're burger." At their best, guys like Eli, Axel, Quinn, and Nick are living evidence of Palahniuk's point, slim-figured warriors with chips on their shoulders and hard-ons for a scary scrap. But lately the company has recruited wrestlers with a bit more meat on their bones.
This is Max's eighth outing in the cinder-block arena, and he gives the more surly, more brutal heel a fight for the record books, thirty minutes of sweaty knock-down drag-out action. Here in his fourth UCW fight, Derrick gets an adversary more or less his size, having so far faced fit but slenderer opponents. Maybe it's time he started picking on somebody his own size, and Max looks ripe for the task. And when these guys rumble, they rock the house.
The wrestlers waste no breath on introductions and grandstanding. It's like they're in a hurry to raise welts and wreck joints and, in the time-honored UCW tradition, stretch some trunks. The give and take is so close you might as well not try to guess who winds up on top. Until his recent heart-stopping match versus Malik, Max had slipped under my radar. He makes a fan of me in this battle; the stud doesn't let Derrick get away with anything. It's safe to say that Derrick gets my vote as best bad-ass of 2016, so far anyway. In spot after spot in #462 he raises the bar on vicious. Guts get punched, and crotches get shoved to faces. Neither man gains an unobstructed lead till the finish, a sudden and humiliating double-leglock submission spelling very bad news for one of them.