‘Cyborg’ Stays on Track for Carano Showdown; Heun Stops Berto in EliteXC Prelims

By Brian Knapp and Dave Mandel Oct 5, 2008
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos lashed Japanese mixed martial arts pioneer Yoko Takahashi over three rounds en route to a unanimous decision in the featured preliminary bout at EliteXC “Heat” on Saturday at the BankAtlantic Center.

Judges scored the bout 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27 for the intimidating Brazilian, who stayed unbeaten and remained on track for a potential showdown with Gina Carano.

Santos (6-1) battered Takahashi from the start, as she met her initial rush with a flurry of fists in the opening seconds. Santos seized back control soon after the action hit the floor and transitioned to an attempted armbar before returning to a dominant top position.

Takahashi (13-10) stood strong in the face of a torrent of punishment, as the two women carried their battle into the second round. Santos dropped the Japanese standout with two straight rights and bombarded her against the cage after a brief scramble on the ground. She then delivered a wicked head kick, but Takahashi kept coming. “Cyborg” closed the round with punches, one of them late.

The pace slowed noticeably in the third round, as neither fighter could maintain the frenetic pace. With the exception of a nice spinning back fist from Takahashi, Santos controlled the flow of the action. By the end of the fight, Takahashi’s left eye had nearly swelled shut.

Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Conor Heun (left) vs. Edson Berto
Meanwhile, Conor Heun emerged as a potential force in the EliteXC lightweight division, as he stopped a bloodied James Edson Berto with second-round ground-and-pound.

Knocked down in the opening round, Heun showcased an iron jaw and steely will. He ate a knee, kept coming forward and scored with a monster takedown in round two. Cut above his left eye by an earlier strike, the game Berto moved to top position, where he was promptly threatened with a triangle choke.

Heun (8-2) was docked a point for a downward elbow during a subsequent exchange on the ground but remained unfazed. He pushed his foe back to the mat upon the restart and finished a wilting Berto (14-6-1) with punches and hammer fists.

In welterweight action, Mikey Gomez ended Lorenzo Borgomeo’s time as an unbeaten fighter, as he finished the American Top Team product with a second-round armbar.

Borgomeo (4-1) controlled the match early, as he peppered Gomez with leg kicks and a few right hands. However, he lost his foothold in the fight in the second round.

Gomez (10-4) quickly closed the distance between the two combatants and secured a double-leg takedown 40 seconds into the stanza. He transitioned to back control moments later and threatened with a rear naked choke, but Borgomeo spoiled his efforts. Still, Gomez refused to be denied, and his dogged pursuit paid off. He eventually moved to full mount, dropped a few punches and set up the fight-ending armbar in the final minute of the round. The end came 4:06 into the second period.

A bantamweight match pairing newcomers Bryan Hamade and David Gomez ended quickly.

Hamade (1-0) scored with a takedown a little more than a minute into the fight, moved to side control and transitioned seamlessly to mount. He tried to finish Gomez with punches from top position but lost the mount when Gomez (0-1) bucked from underneath.

As the competitors stood, Hamade locked in a tight standing guillotine choke. From there, the end was within sight. Unsuccessful in his attempts to escape, Gomez succumbed to the choke, fell to the ground and submitted 2:03 into the first round.

Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Nicolae Cury submits Jorge Boechat.
Finally, American Top Team’s Nicolae Cury dazzled in his professional debut.

Curry (1-0) seized control of the lightweight bout early, as he stung Jorge Boechat with a ringing right hand. He threatened to finish in the first half minute of the fight, but his ground-and-pound assault fell short and Boechat (0-1) eventually stood.

Moments later, Cury swept Boechat’s feet out from underneath him with a low kick and quickly secured back control. From there, he locked in slick reverse triangle and flipped over Boechat. Elbows and the choke brought the tapout from Boechat 1:35 into round one.
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