Noons Dominates Berto on ShoXC Debut

By Josh Gross and Dave Mandel Jul 28, 2007
SANTA YNEZ, Calif., July 27 -- The last time we saw Karl James Noons (Pictures) he was flat on his back as Charles Bennett (Pictures) did back flips in front of a Mississippi crowd.

Tonight, about five hours north of his home of San Diego, Noons showed flashes of the hype that followed him onto the first EliteXC card in February by spectacularly stopping James Edson Berto (Pictures) 45 seconds into the third period at the Chumash Casino.

Making a quick turnaround after fighting on short notice and submitting Victor Valenzuela (Pictures) in late June, Berto, unbeaten in eight fights, could not figure out Noons in the main event of Showtime's inaugural ShoXC fight card, designed to showcase up-and-coming mixed martial artists.

Noons picked away at Berto (11-4-1) when they squared off, and for the most part fended off the Haitian's takedown attempts. Berto wasted considerable resources trying to put Noons, known more for his striking than his ground work, on the canvas. But he was inconsistent in his shots and instead of setting them up with strikes, Berto dove in from the outside.

It was obvious by the start of the second that Berto had to work far too hard to put Noons down, and when he did manage a takedown he couldn't control the 24-year-old lightweight. Noons (5-2-0) also paid attention to the body, landing wide hooks to Berto's sides.

"He looked like he was in pretty good shape so I wanted to make sure I wore him down," said the body snatching 24-year-old Noons.

"I was really dehydrated and very fatigued," said Berto. "It just didn't allow me to be myself out there."

Noons stopped one last sloppy Berto shot in the third by countering perfectly with a right knee that smashed into the 27-year-old's chin. He followed with a punch and an elbow before referee Jason Herzog halted the contest and rescued the Winter Haven, Fla. resident.

"Last fight I couldn't show how good of a fighter I was, because I got taken out in the first round," said Noons. "But this fight I got to definitely show my skills. My wind wasn't all the way up, but it's all good. It ended the way I wanted it to."

Gladiator Challenge welterweight champion Jeremiah Metcalf (Pictures) was slated to face King of the Cage champ Aaron Wetherspoon (Pictures) in a unification bout, but the KOTC title holder was bumped from the card after failing to be medically cleared.

On three-day's notice Gladiator Challenge middleweight champion Jaime Jara (Pictures) was brought in to fight at a catch-weight of 175. Officially tonight's contest was for Jara's belt, but behind the scenes the winner knew he'd have to step up on Sept. 22 and make the welterweight limit.

Jara's lack of preparation was evident early, as the heavily tattooed veteran appeared to take in oxygen from his mouth in the first minute. Metcalf (5-3-0), a local fighter, controlled with single punches while moving forward. His confidence grew and in the final minute of the opening round he traded with Jara, who has held GC titles at heavyweight, 205 and 185.

A left hook slammed into Metcalf's jaw and he collapsed to the canvas; Jara (16-4-0) landed two more shots before referee Cecil Peoples moved in at the 4:15 mark.

"I know I hit like a heavyweight, so I knew if I hit him he'd go down," said Jara, "He's used to fighting at 170. I've been up there fighting heavyweights, so I know I hit hard."

Boise, Idaho's Scott Jorgenson ensured his war with Chris David (Pictures) was a one-sided one, as the 135-pound wrestler continually pressured on the feet and the canvas to take a unanimous decision (30-27 and 29-28 twice).

Though David was purported to have an edge the feet, it was Jorgenson that scored first, landing a high kick that dropped the 25-year-old David. Jorgenson pressed forward but David recovered well and made it to the end of the first.

Jorgenson, who spent his collegiate career wrestling for the Boise St. Broncos, showed his pedigree by lifting David in the air, walking across the cage and driving the Southern Californian into the canvas. Within earshot of his corner, Jorgenson kept a high work-rate inside the guard with both punches and elbows, thudding both off David's head.

The two scrambled and Jorgenson (4-1-0) nearly secured an armbar by countering a David Kimura attempt. They continued to roll around and David (8-6-1) finished the period on top, looking to connect from an awkward angle.

Jorgenson, as he did throughout the first two periods, delivered the more damaging strikes in the final five minutes. A cracking right hand by Jorgenson, 24, was followed by a tight elbow that put David on wobbly legs to start the third. The wrestler pressed forward for the duration of the bout to take the commanding decision.

San Antonio's Aaron Rosa outworked 2003 K-1 Brazil Grand Prix champ Jefferson Silva to stop the Mario Sperry (Pictures)-flanked light heavyweight after one full round.

Silva, 29, smirked as he stalked Rosa around the cage. That changed when the Brazilian found himself underneath the 24-year-old Rosa, a Tito Ortiz (Pictures) sparring partner, eating elbows and punches. Rosa, who wore a cross on his shorts, put Silva in the crucifix and wailed away.

The striker managed briefly to reverse position, including taking the mount, before Rosa put Silva on his back for a second time and finished the round on top.

Between rounds, the ringside physician deemed a cut to Silva's head was bad enough to call an end to the contest.

"I can see OK, but I can't complain about them stopping it," said Silva.

Muhsin Corbbrey's showboating earned him a chorus of boos, but judges at ringside felt his continual battering of Lee Gibson (Pictures)'s lead leg was enough to warrant a unanimous decision win (30-27 twice and 29-28).

Gibson (10-2-0), 31, worked well on the inside, scoring with punches to the stomach and short uppercuts when he put Corbbrey (5-2-0) against the fence. But the 29-year-old lightweight from South Carolina stood up well to Gibson's power punches and danced his way around the cage to collect the win.

Off TV Bouts

Shayna Baszler (Pictures) (6-3-0) capitalized off a takedown by out-positioning Jan Finney (Pictures) (3-4-0) before scoring an armbar at 2:40 of the first.

Josh Neal (2-0-0) escaped several submission attempts from Eric Beondo (1-1-0) in the bout's opening minutes, before a right knee from the Thai clinch ended the bout at 2:56 of the first period.

Jason Geris (4-3-0) injured his right knee in the first round against Anthony Ruiz (Pictures), prompting referee Cecil Peoples to halt the contest on advice from the cage-side physician before the second round were to begin. Ruiz moved to 16-10-0 with the TKO victory.

Tony Rubalcava made good on his mixed martial arts debut, picking up a TKO at 4:19 of the opening period against Drew Montgomery (3-2-0).

Brian Cobb (Pictures) (9-4-0) submitted John Reedy (2-3-0) with a rear naked choke for the third time in his brief career, this time at 4:19 of the first.
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