Polley Upsets Hollett at ECC 6

By Andy Cotterill and Chris Harding Oct 21, 2007
HALIFAX, Oct. 20 -- American Top Team had a great night in Canada, as Lew Polley stunned the disbelieving Halifax crowd with a stoppage of fan favorite Roger Hollett (Pictures) at Extreme Cage Combat 6 -- "Hometown Heroes."

Before the fight the crowd went absolutely wild for the video introduction to Hollett, but Polley chose to ignore it, facing away from the many big screens. The pair squared off with no discernible size advantage, and Polley showing little ill effect from his dramatic weight cut to make the 205 pound weight limit for this ECC world light heavyweight title match.

Polley immediately shot in, and Hollett braced against him with a throw attempt that didn't quite complete, resulting in Polley on top in Hollett's full guard. Hollett made two attempts for triangle chokes that didn't seem quite tight enough, even though he had a good hold of Polley's head, pulling it down as tightly as he could.

Polley postured up and tried for a slam, but the Haligonian was just too heavy. Hollett was able to stand, and pressured Polley into the cage. They separated, and Polley leapt in with a straight left jab that caught Hollett flush on the jaw, dropping him to the deck. Hollett seemed alright, though Polley didn't hesitate, and jumped on top to drop down numerous unanswered blows as Hollett covered up.

With a shocked crowd looking on, the referee stepped in to stop the barrage, giving Lew Polley the TKO victory at 4:02 of the first.

The well-spoken Polley then stated that he was looking forward to defending his belt with integrity and dignity, which turned quite a few boos from the audience into grudging applause. Afterwards Polley told Sherdog.com that he credited his coach, former Olympic boxing gold medalist Howard Davis Jr., for developing the straight left that won him the fight.

"It sucks," Hollett said of his first defeat in MMA. "I had a bit of a freak accident in there, my knee popped out of joint on the first takedown and he capitalized on it great."

"My hats off to (Polley)," said Hollett, who was taken to a local hospital by paramedics. "He did a great job on finishing the fight."

The young Canadian then added that he couldn't properly set up his triangle choke attempts due to the immobility of his injured knee, preventing him from locking it in.

"These things happen in the fight game," he said. "I'm going to heal up my knee and get right back in there."

Stjepan Vujnovic (Pictures) looked great as he defeated a very game Travis Axworthy (Pictures) to claim the inaugural Extreme Cage Combat Canadian middleweight title.

The fight started with a stinging leg kick by Axworthy, followed by a head throw that seemed to catch Vujnovic by surprise. Vujnovic recovered with a very nice sequence though, taking Axworthy down with a single-leg, passing guard into half butterfly, and finally onto Axworthy's back, where he sunk both hooks in.

Strikes to the back of Axworthy's head forced the referee to stand the pair up, where Axworthy went for the same head throw that he had already achieved. Vujnovic was ready for it this time and he immediately took Axworthy's back again.

This time Vujnovic was able to sink in a very tight-looking rear-naked choke that Axworthy couldn't escape, forcing him to tap, and giving Stjepan Vujnovic (Pictures) the belt.

Ryan Jimmo (Pictures) looked extremely impressive in his bell-to-bell domination of Matt Acorn. The towering Acorn advanced with some thunderous punches that Jimmo decided to avoid rather than counter, immediately going into a clinch with double underhooks. He reversed the advancing Acorn, pressuring him into the cage until he could stoop and pull his legs out from under him.

Jimmo ended up in half guard, and dropped a few nasty elbows. Acorn showed guts and determination by standing up under the onslaught, but Jimmo was able to sink in a tight-looking standing guillotine choke. He then sat back and pulled guard, causing the top of Acorn's head, still in the guillotine, to smack the mat.

Jimmo achieved full mount, and dropped down punches and elbows until the referee literally body slammed him to get him off the non-responding Acorn.

Both coming off two losses, Shaun Krysa (Pictures) and Mike Bruno knew that this bout was an important one for them, and this time it was ATT's Bruno who emerged victorious.

Bruno wasted no time in shooting in, with the ground expert Krysa immediately going for triangle and armbar attempts from the rubber guard, which Bruno admitted to Sherdog.com afterwards had him very nervous and frustrated.

Although both fighters were very active on the ground, the referee made his first of several questionable stand-ups. Krysa pressured Bruno into the cage, followed by a takedown by Bruno, and once again a too-soon stand-up by the ref.

This second stand-up would prove costly to Krysa, as Bruno employed the same straight left that Polley used on Hollett, connecting with Krysa's chin and turning his legs to Jell-O. Bruno made the most of his opportunity, and jumped on top of the downed Krysa to drop strikes until the referee was forced to intervene.

Krysa felt that his submission attempts were close to succeeding, telling Sherdog.com that he didn't expecting the quick stand-ups and that the left that dropped him caught him by surprise.

"He caught me with a punch that I didn't see coming," he said, "and I still don't remember it, actually."

Matt MacGrath (Pictures) got a quick slam on Steve Rogers to start their welterweight bout. Rogers craftily used his feet to grab the fence to swing away, but was caught by a MacGrath knee as he was standing.

MacGrath got a body-lock and took Rogers down, then mounted him and started to drop some nasty elbows, one of which opened a cut. Rogers tried to twist out of his predicament, but this only resulted in MacGrath taking his back, then grabbing an available arm for an armbar from the top.

Alexis Davis advanced on Tannaya Hantelman (Pictures) like she was on a mission, landing a judo throw that could have done damage had Davis not held on to the cage to stop the majority of the force of the fall.

Davis ended up in side-control and then mount, but Hantelman showed lots of power by standing up despite having Davis' full weight on her. Inside the full guard, she postured up for some strikes but Davis was able to snare an arm for a very tight armbar, that forced Hantelman to tap, and had her wincing for some time.

In the most technical fight of the night, Jeff Harrison and Peter McGrath (Pictures) put on a Muay Thai clinic that few will soon forget. For nearly two full rounds the pair exchanged vicious and accurate hicks to the body and the head, with neither showing a clear advantage.

Toward the end of the second stanza, Harrison achieved a high mount and started punching down on the outside of McGrath's arms, who covered extremely well and didn't appear to take any damage. Harrison went for quantity over quality and increased the tempo of the strikes, looking to the referee to stop the fight; meanwhile McGrath was still safely covered up, timing nice defensive strikes between those of Harrison's.

Finally the referee stepped in to stop the match, prompting McGrath's trainer Peter Martell to confront him, claiming that his fighter was fine. It would be to no avail though, as the victory went to Harrison in his MMA debut.

In the bloodiest fight of the evening, Jonathan Golacki really pushed the pace and achieved a stoppage over Tim Kelly (Pictures). As in his first fight against Tim Skidmore (Pictures), Kelly didn't help himself out by spitting out his mouthpiece on three occasions in the first round, forcing referee Hubert Earle to issue him a yellow card.

In the second, Golacki caught Kelly with a crisp hook to his right ear that caused the former boxer's ear to expand like popcorn until it was sticking out several inches from the side of his head. A subsequent hit by Golacki popped the cauliflower ear so that blood covered everything.

Golacki then went for a standing guillotine choke that Kelly nimbly escaped by walking up the cage. In the end, however, he was taken down with Golacki on top, and the referee stopped the fight when Kelly's mouthpiece came out for the fourth time.

The fight between Rene Allain and Jonny Roscoe was basically repetition of a few events. Roscoe would take Allain down, where Allain would be very active on the ground, going for armbar or triangle submissions until Roscoe picked him up and slammed. Unfortunately for Roscoe, during one particularly painful-looking slam in the second, Allain was able to trap his head and neck, securing a very tight guillotine for the win.

The long journey from Edmonton didn't seem to faze Ryan Ford, who lived up to his "Real Deal" nickname as he achieved a very quick submission over Adil Abbas via rear-naked choke.

Aaron Jollimore (Pictures) started the evening with a submission victory over Andrew Belyea (Pictures), when after a brief clinch he used a double-leg takedown to get into the mount, and then taking Belyea's back for a rear naked choke.
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