Former UFC middleweight title contender Patrick Cote began his post-Octagon campaign with a unanimous decision win over Kalib Starnes at Saturday’s Ringside MMA 10. Before a hometown crowd of approximately 3,500 at Montreal’s Bell Centre, the 31-year-old “Predator” survived an early scare on the ground to outstrike Starnes in the final two periods and earn a trio of 29-28 scorecards. Cote was released by the UFC in October and had not won a bout since defeating Ricardo Almeida at UFC 86 in July 2008.
Fighting on less than one month’s notice, “Polish Pistola” Seth Baczynski claimed the Ringside interim welterweight title by punching out local favorite Alex Garcia at 2:44 of the second round. The previously unbeaten Garcia was slated to meet welterweight champ Chris Clements before Clements was sidelined with an ankle injury in early March. A contestant on the eleventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Baczynski has notched back-to-back knockout wins since losing to Brad Tavares at the “TUF 11” finale in June 2010.
Elsewhere on the bill, Michel Gagnon retained his Ringside featherweight strap by slamming Rejean Groulx into submission at 3:47 of the third round; Georges St. Pierre training partner Mike Ricci returned from a year-long hiatus with a TKO win over Jesse Ronson at 3:12 of the opening frame; and light heavyweight Roger Hollett clubbed Martin Desilets 99 seconds into round two, stopping the Team Legion fighter with knees and hooks.
Black House Darkens Northeast Ohio
Brazilian welterweight Eduardo Pamplona stretched his current win streak to nine with a third-round TKO of Oklahoman Joe Bunch on Saturday night. The pair squared off in the main event of the Dan Bobish-promoted Ultimate Cage Battles “Stars and Stripes” at the Ohio Net Sports Complex in Parma, Ohio. Pamplona, who trains alongside Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida at San Diego’s Black House, has not lost since a February 2007 defeat to current Strikeforce talent Robbie Lawler.
Another Black House fighter, Missouri native Justin Lawrence, improved to 2-0 on the night with a unanimous decision over the Wanderlei Silva-trained Pete Martin. The lightweight “American Kid” made his professional debut under the Strikeforce banner in December with a technical decision win against Max Martyniouk.
Other winners at “Stars and Stripes” included lightweight Torrance Taylor (unanimous decision over Kyle Baker), middleweight Matt Masterson (second-round rear-naked choke submission of Cortez Coleman) and heavyweight Joe McCall (first-round keylock submission of Pat Harmon).
Quick Hits: Competing in his birth country of Mexico for the first time since winning the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Efrain Escudero dominated Ken Shamrock protégé Ashe Bowman Friday en route to a unanimous decision at XCage “Predators” in Tijuana’s Fausto Gutierrez Moreno Municipal Auditorium. Escudero has won three in a row since his September release from the UFC and will look to make it four against fellow UFC vet Fabricio “Morango” Camoes at Tachi Palace Fights 9 on May 6.
Onetime King of the Cage lightweight champion Tony Hervey halted a three-fight losing skid Friday with an upset knockout of WEC vet Mike Campbell in the main event of CES MMA’s “Cage of Pain.” Hervey, 25, crushed the local favorite with a left hook at 3:31 of the opening round inside the Twin River Casino Event Center in Lincoln, R.I.
Greg Jackson fighters Julie Kedzie and Isaac Vallie-Flagg emerged victorious in the co-main events of Jackson’s MMA Series 4 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday. Kedzie took a narrow, five-round unanimous decision over Kaitlin Young (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) to become the inaugural Jackson’s MMA 135-pound women’s champion, while lightweight Vallie-Flagg improved to 11-3-1 by stopping Danny Rodriguez with knees and punches at 3:28 of round two.
Newly crowned King of the Cage super-heavyweight champ Esteves Jones handed “TUF 10” cast member Darrill Schoonover his fourth straight loss in a three-round unanimous decision at Friday’s Rogue Warrior Cage Fighting Championships debut event in El Paso, Texas. On the show’s undercard, former NJCAA wrestling champion and Diego Sanchez training partner “Slick” Willie Parks fought for the second time in three weeks, stopping Justin Gonzales with punches 23 seconds into the second round.
The lightweight known as “The Anderson Silva of Belo Horizonte,” Thiago Michel Pereira Silva, rebounded from the second loss of his career with a first-round TKO of Erick Barbosa at Saturday’s Brazil Fight 4 in Nova Lima, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
It took 10-time UFC vet Josh Neer just 20 seconds to claim the World War Fighting Championship welterweight title on Saturday, as “The Dentist” knocked out Andre Case in the main event of WWFC 2 at the 7 Flags Event Center in Clive, Iowa. Since being cut from the UFC in October 2009, Neer is 4-0 at 170 pounds, his only loss coming at the hands of Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez in a 160-pound catchweight contest.
In her first fight since May 2009, regarded women’s veteran Erin Toughill was upset by Illinois’ Ashley Sanchez at Saturday’s Freestyle Cage Fighting 46, which took place at the FireLake Grand Casino in Shawnee, Okla. Sanchez, a natural 135-pounder, took a unanimous decision after three rounds in the 160-pound affair. UFC lightweight vet Matt Grice won his fourth straight on the same card, handing David Gardner his third consecutive loss in a unanimous decision.
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