Barnett punishes 'Mondragon' - photo: Scott Clark/Sherdog.com
BRISBANE, Australia -- Josh Barnett made it look easy down under, as he pounded out mammoth Brazilian Geronimo "Mondragon" dos Santos in the first round to cap Impact FC's debut card "The Uprising" in front of a spotty but enthusiastic crowd at the Brisbane Entertainment Center.
Barnett got a takedown to full mount within 10 seconds of the opening bell, and it looked like the bout wouldn't even see 30 seconds. Though "Mondragon" made it back to his feet, Barnett finished another takedown, again straight into full mount, and exploited the Belem native's nascent ground skills by posturing up and pounding away.
Dos Santos turned away from Barnett, who hammered right hands into the Brazilian's earhole. After a salvo of clean rights, referee "Big" John McCarthy stopped in to halt the bout at 2:35 of the first frame. Dos Santos complained to McCarthy that the bout was stopped too early. As Dos Santos reached his feet in protest, the hulking Brazilian was rubber-legged, zig-zagging across the cage.
"The referee stopped the bout; that's the only reason I quit," said Barnett after the bout. "If he thought it was going to get any better for him, he's wrong."
The loss was Dos Santos' third in his last four, with that quartet of bouts all coming in the last five months.
In what was intended to be the evening's co-feature, Karo Parisyan returned to action for the first time since January 2009 and recorded a tougher-than-expected second-round submission win over tougher-than-expected local Ben Mortimer in what was actually the evening's first fight.
"This was my first fight that I was away from my family, and I knew they were freaking out at home," Parisyan told Sherdog.com. "My sister was at home throwing up. I felt like it would be better for them, and for me, if I fought first, and I could get it over with so they could stop worrying."
"Karo came to me, and said it was really important for him to be the first fight of the night, so we made it happen," said Impact FC promoter Tom Huggins.
For the better part of two rounds, Parisyan's oft-praised judo dominated proceedings, as he notched four throws that landed him firmly in side control. Parisyan looked to have victory secured twice in the first round, as he spun for far-side armbars from side mount, but Mortimer escaped both, and even landed some sharp right hands on Parisyan's face.
In Parisyan's fourth trip to side control in the second round, Parisyan threatened with a kimura that forced a scramble. In said scramble, Parisyan rode Moritimer from the side and locked up a Caol Uno-style rear-naked choke. After securing the choke, Parisyan then sunk his hooks and coaxed the tap at 4:18 of the second round.
"I need more time. My body looks like a third-grader body. But I'm trying to get back," said Parisyan in self-critique.
Sokoudjou pounds out Ferreira - photo: Scott Clark/Sherdog.com
Though he recently started training with former Anderson Silva muay Thai trainer Daniel Woirin, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou didn't need his stand-up to quickly crush Brazilian Joaquim "Mamute" Ferreira.
The lone man to defeat heavyweight super-prospect Junior dos Santos, "Mamute" found no such luck against Sokoudjou. After desperately pulling a deep half guard to escape Sokoudjou's stand-up, Ferreira's exposed head proved an easy target for "The African Assassin," who exploded with a torrent of rights and lefts on the helpless "Mamute." “Big” John McCarthy stepped in just 80 seconds into the bout.
In heavyweight action, frequent flyer mile-lover Jeff Monson wore down Brazilian Ubiratan Lima Marinho to win a unanimous decision, with three cards of 29-28.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Lima was problematic for Monson in round one. Monson, who was originally set to face considerably smaller UFC vet Brad Morris, was on the receiving end from liberal jabs and kicks from Lima, and he couldn't buy a takedown.
In round two, Monson finally slammed the Paraense down and was able to start his usual top position grind. The grappling noticeably slowed Lima, who started moving straight back, becoming easy prey for Monson's short punches and takedowns. "The Snowman" continued to pound away from top position in the third round to seal the win.
Also on the card, Australian-based American Brian Ebersole earned a workmanlike unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-29) over former UFC welterweight champion Carlos Newton.
The first round was an awkward one, as Ebersole employed thigh-slapping takedown fakes and ill-advised capoeira kicks against the Canadian. However, in the last two rounds, Newton's on-going fitness issues reared their ugly head again.
Newton, who weighed in at 174 for the welterweight contest -- the latest in a long line of recent weight overages -- had virtually no offense in the last two rounds. Ebersole didn't finish a single clean takedown in the fight, but his level changing kept Newton off-balance and allowed the American to liberally land left-hand leads outside and elbows and knees inside. For the last 10 minutes, a stationary Newton simply served as target practice for Ebersole's consistent, varied attack.
Thiago "Minu" Meller, originally a striker by trade, showed off his nasty guillotine against Aussie banger Jai Bradney. After Bradney stuffed a Meller shot, "Minu" locked up an arm-in guillotine and pushed his way to top position. Meller passed to mount, tightened the choke and left Bradney limp and lifeless before he could even tap in a mere 92 seconds.
"I thought I was fine. I was looking for a half guard sweep. Then I had a dream," Bradney laughed post-bout. "I woke up, and John [McCarthy] was looking at me."
Brazilian ex-pat Fabio "Galeb" Fenandes showed real slickness for a 240-pound heavyweight, as the Mark Hunt training partner tapped Kiwi Api Hemara with a rear-naked choke at 3:58 of the first round.
Carlos Newton understudy Tom Waters earned a second-round stoppage, pounding out Jacob Mahony, who took the bout on 24-hours notice.