Undefeated Icelandic prospect Gunnar Nelson posted his eighth consecutive victory in a featured matchup at British Association of Mixed Martial Arts 4 on Saturday, as he submitted Eugene Fadiora with a first-round rear-naked choke at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England. Fadiora, who entered the match unblemished in nine previous bouts, met his demise 3:51 into round one.
Nelson, a can’t-miss up-and-comer in the welterweight division by most accounts, took down Fadiora, passed to side mount and weakened him with hammerfists before securing the fight-ending choke. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie, the 22-year-old Reykjavik, Iceland, native finished fourth in the absolute division at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships. Nelson has stopped his last three foes inside one round.
Meanwhile, BAMMA middleweight champion Tom Watson retained his crown with a unanimous decision over Alex Reid in the main event. Watson has delivered eight wins in his past nine appearances, losing only to UFC veteran Jesse Taylor.
Other winners at BAMMA 4 included surging middleweight John Phillip (first-round technical knockout against James Zikic), once-beaten Joachim Hansen protégé Simeon Thoresen (first-round submission over Marco Santi) and K-1 Hero’s veteran Harvey Harra (first-round submission against David Round).
Wisely Spoils Franca Return
The unheralded Eric Wisely defeated former World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion and one-time UFC contender Hermes Franca by unanimous decision in the Scorpius Fighting Championships 1 headliner on Friday at The Don Taft University Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Franca, who owns a 6-5 mark inside the UFC’s Octagon, had not competed since announcing his retirement following a first-round technical knockout loss to Wisely in January. The 36-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt had hoped to avenge the defeat but fell short in his effort. Franca finds himself in a three-fight losing streak for just the second time in his career.
Meanwhile, UFC castaway Rafaello Oliveira notched a unanimous decision over American Top Team’s Rafael Dias in a featured lightweight tilt. Anchored at the AMA Fight Club in New Jersey, Oliveira was pruned from the UFC roster following his decision loss to “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 finalist Andre Winner at UFC Fight Night 21 in March.
Other winners at SFC 1 included American Top Team’s Ailton Barbosa (third-round submission against John Kelly) and Strikeforce veteran Dave Zitanick (third-round technical knockout over Bounmy Somchay). Reformed street-fighter Rene “Level” Martinez, who has followed a career path similar to that of Kimbo Slice, battled Hansel Calderon to a three-round draw in the co-main event.
Burkman Edges Smith at ‘Respect’
UFC refugee Josh Burkman won his third fight in as many appearances, as he defeated Jordan Smith by split decision in the Showdown Fights “Respect” main event on Friday at the McKay Events Center in Orem, Utah.
Spawned by Season 2 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, Burkman was a multi-sport star in high school and went on to achieve All-American honors as a running back at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. A three-fight losing streak, which culminated in his UFC 90 defeat to Pete Sell, resulted in his release from the promotion in 2008. Burkman has not lost since.
Smith, who had never before tasted official defeat, was chosen as a potential cast member on Season 11 of “The Ultimate Fighter” but failed to survive the qualifying round. He lost to eventual semi-finalist Brad Tavares by knockout in 37 seconds.
Meanwhile, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 semi-finalist Junie Allen Browning -- one of the most polarizing figures in the show’s five-year history -- succumbed to strikes from Jordan Clements 4:58 into round one of their matchup. Browning, 25, has lost three in a row.
Dream veteran Darren Uyenoyama stunned world-ranked bantamweight Shuichiro Katsumura in the Shooto “The Way of Shopto 5” headliner on Thursday, as he stopped the Shooto world champion on second-round strikes in a non-title matchup at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. The defeat snapped Katsumura’s three-fight winning streak, which included his dazzling submission of the previously unbeaten Masakatsu Ueda in March … UFC exile Alexandre Barros stopped Alexandre Andreotti on first-round punches at Watch Out Combat Show 9 on Saturday at the Flamengo Rowing Club Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The end came 2:45 into round one, as Barros put the brakes on a two-fight losing streak … Dream veteran Myung Ho Bae delivered his third consecutive victory, as he posted a unanimous decision over Adam Kayoom at Legend Fighting Championship 3 on Friday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong, China.