Judoka Ronda Rousey and wrestler Sara McMann took a combined 81 seconds to roll through their opposition Friday night, as both Olympic medalists improved to 2-0 in their burgeoning professional MMA careers.
Rousey, 24, squared off against debuting kickboxer Charmaine Tweet in a 150-pound contest on Hard Knocks Fighting Championship’s “School of Hard Knocks 12” card at Century Casino in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Employing her skill of trade, the 2008 Beijing Games bronze medalist twice floored Tweet with judo-flavored takedowns, moving to full mount on the second try and securing a textbook armbar after only 49 seconds. Despite clocking in at less than one minute, the submission finish still took nearly twice as long as Rousey’s March pro debut, a 25-second armbarring of Ediane Gomes.
Meanwhile, at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher, N.C., McMann met former Canadian Olympic weightlifter Julie Malenfant on the fourth offering from BlackEye Promotions. The 30-year-old McMann, who became the first American woman to medal in wrestling with her freestyle bronze at the 2004 Athens Games, needed just 32 seconds to plow down “Badchild” and secure a stoppage with punches from mount. The show’s undercard saw former Rousey adversary Gomes submit the Gilbert Melendez-trained Katrine Alendal with a 42-second ankle lock.
Drysdale Rolls Nickels, Starnes Walks Away
Decorated grappling champion Robert Drysdale continued to make this MMA thing look easy Saturday night, disposing of UFC veteran Mike Nickels 64 seconds into their light heavyweight bout at Armageddon Fighting Championships 6 “Conviction.”
Nickels found himself underneath the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt seconds after the start of the fight and struggled to escape the position. When Nickels did manage to shrimp out, Drysdale was waiting with a lightning-quick guillotine choke which had the Coloradoan tapping almost instantly. Since turning pro in July 2010, Drysdale has submitted all three of his opponents inside the first round, with none lasting longer than 2:06.
In the night’s main event at Bear Mountain Arena in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Kalib Starnes looked to defend his AFC middleweight belt for the first time against fellow ex-UFC’er John Salter. It was not to be, however, as the local favorite succumbed to punches from Alabama native Salter at 4:13 of the second round. Following his second consecutive loss, the 36-year-old Starnes reportedly announced to his hometown crowd that they had just witnessed his last fight.
Musoke Loses, but Emerges ‘On Top’ in Glasgow
Nicholas Musoke got a second chance Saturday, and the Swedish fighter made the most of the opportunity, capturing the 170-pound title of fledgling Scottish promotion On Top at Bellahouston Leisure Center in Glasgow.
The night began with four fighters -- Musoke, Scotland’s Steven Ray, and Ireland’s Mervyn Mulholland and Cathal Pendred -- lined up to vie for the vacant strap. Local favorite Ray first outhustled Mulholland on the feet and the floor, forcing the Irishman to submit to a triangle-armbar with one second remaining in their two-round semifinal. Pendred then earned a unanimous nod over Musoke by controlling the action on the ground for the bulk of their 10-minute affair. However, it was Musoke who advanced to meet Ray in the final after Pendred was sidelined with a pulled hamstring.
In stark contrast to his first fight of the night, Musoke was able to put Ray on his back almost at will in the title bout, slicing open the Scot with hard ground-and-pound. Moments after himself being cut by an elbow, Musoke applied a deep rear-naked choke which had Ray slapping the canvas in submission at 4:56 of the first round. Afterward, Musoke recognized that he had not truly earned his spot in the final and offered to rematch Pendred when his hamstring healed.
Despite scoring takedowns in the opening stanza of their featherweight fight, Marcos Nardini wilted under pressure from Lithuanian Sergej Grecicho, who kept top position and battered the Scotland-based Brazilian for most of the second frame. A bloodied and swollen Nardini had little to offer by the final round, allowing Grecicho to sprawl and pound his way to a clear-cut unanimous verdict.
Wolfslair Academy product Michael Bowman was victorious in his first trip to the cage since being eliminated from the 13th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” earlier this year. Bowman spent the early portion of his 163-pound catchweight bout with Kieran Malone defending single-leg takedown attempts, but eventually broke loose and floored the Scottish wrestler with a standing elbow. Unable to capitalize before the end of the round, Bowman quickly made up for his lapse in the next period, putting Malone on his back against the fence and coaxing a tap with a guillotine choke after 54 seconds.
Scottish muay Thai convert Sean Wright laid waste to Richard Edwards just 65 seconds into their lightweight affair, crushing the American with a brutal knee and right hook in the clinch which forced referee Marc Goddard into action. Lightweight Claes Beverlov also had a short night, as the Swedish submission specialist improved to 7-1 with a 73-second triangle-choking of Scotsman Graham Armstrong. Earlier in the evening, Scottish flyweight Brian Hyslop survived a knockdown scare to submit Northern Ireland’s Barry McGuigan via rear-naked choke at 2:03 of round two, and afterward celebrated by “planking” atop the cage fence.
Dan Lauzon became the first lightweight champion of top New England promotion World Championship Fighting at Friday’s WCF 11 in Wilmington, Mass. Once the youngest fighter ever to compete in the UFC, now-23-year-old Lauzon won his third straight by battering Vermont’s Noah Weisman with punches, pounding out a TKO win at 3:55 of round one. Also on the card, Team Bombsquad featherweight Anthony Leone halted a four-fight losing skid with a unanimous decision over Mainer Bill Jones.
English promotion Cage Warriors Fighting Championship held its inaugural “CWFC Fight Night” Thursday at Le Grand Hotel in Amman, Jordan, and while German heavyweight Andreas Kraniotakes scored his 10th stoppage win in the main event, it was French lightweight Jean N'Doye who stole the show. N’Doye, 23, displayed a diverse game on the feet and the floor, but relied mainly on his crisp boxing to batter and bloody Dan Hope. The end came at 3:55 of the third round, when some 30 unanswered punches prompted referee Marc Goddard to rescue Hope, moving the young Frenchman’s unblemished record to 5-0.
American Top Team product Mike Bruno took a lopsided unanimous decision over Mexico’s Manuel Gallareta Friday in the 155-pound headliner of Fight Time 5 “Total Destruction” at War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The younger brother of UFC vet Steve Bruno imposed a grinding top game across all three rounds to win his third straight under the banner of Fight Time, an event promoted by 1976 Olympic boxing gold medalist and current ATT striking coach Howard Davis Jr.
Unbeaten prospect Mark Striegl scored the most important win of his career Friday when Saipan gym Trench Tech held the 14th iteration of its Trench Warz series at Saipan World Resort’s Royal Taga Hall. The Wajutsu Keishukai youngster submitted TT representative Giovanni Sablan via rear-naked choke at 3:15 of the opening round in their lightweight main event, securing Striegl’s spot in the upcoming featherweight title tournament of Hong Kong-based promotion Legend Fighting Championship. On the undercard, former URCC 115-pound title challenger Jordan Ogo choked out Jay Muna at 2:15 of the first frame of their flyweight tilt.
French 205-pounder Francis Carmont continued down the comeback trail Friday, punching out Jason Day in the first round of their headliner at Slammer in the Hammer in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Absent from MMA for two years, 29-year-old Carmont returned to the ring last September as a member of Tristar Vale Tudo and has since rattled off four straight stoppage victories. In the co-main event, Michigan’s Daron Cruickshank notched a first-round TKO of Canadian lightweight Brad Cardinal, who was recently announced as a September opponent for WEC vet Chris Horodecki.
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