Cosmo Alexandre was simply too big and too explosive for John Wayne Parr.
The Brazilian defeated Parr via unanimous decision (50-48, 49-47, 48-47) in the Lion Fights 25 headliner at the Pechanga Resort in Temecula, Calif., on Friday night, capturing the promotion’s super middleweight championship and winning the rubber match between the longtime rivals.
“Great fight. Fighting against Parr is an honor. When I started fighting he was a legend already,” Alexandre said. “So I have to say thank you to him.”
While Parr (91-31) occasionally unleashed his trademark punching flurries, Alexandre (52-17-1) was usually able to defend without absorbing too much damage. In the end, Alexandre’s physical advantages propelled him to victory. He caught Parr’s kicks and countered effectively, bullied his man in close quarters and attacked with flying knees on several occasions. While the bout was competitive, Alexandre consistently landed the more effective strikes.
Parr offered one final salvo in the fifth frame, but a tiring Alexandre was able to weather the storm and reach the final bell, brining closure to a fight that was six years in the making. Parr defeated Alexandre via unanimous decision in their first meeting in 2007, while Alexandre got the victory via second-round TKO in a 2009 rematch.
In the evening’s co-main event, Jorina Baars made sure there would be no revenge for Martina Jindrova. Using her length and a multi-faceted arsenal, Baars (38-0-3) retained her welterweight title with a unanimous decision (48-47, 49-47, 49-46) triumph over Jindrova. Baars also outpointed the Czech Republic native in a 2012 meeting.
Baars, who notably dominated Invicta FC featherweight titlist Cristiane Justino at Lion Fight 14, didn’t allow her opponent to get comfortable, as she utilized her superior reach while attacking with a variety of punches, kicks and knees. The champion fed Jindrova (49-14) a steady diet of front kicks to the gut throughout the bout, and those took a toll down the stretch when a fatigued Jindrova was unable to move forward to press the action in the later frames.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Baars. Jindrova opened a nasty cut under the right eye of the Dutchwoman in round three, which left Baars’ cheek smeared with blood for the rest of the contest. Fortunately for Baars, the laceration was not in a location that hindered her vision, and it only seemed to increase her sense of urgency to close the fight in emphatic fashion.
Elsewhere, Mike Lemaire kept his unblemished record intact against Jake Poss -- but just barely. In a cruiserweight contest that left both combatants battered and exhausted, Lemaire emerged with a hard-fought unanimous decision (49-47, 48-47, 49-48) triumph.
Lemaire (15-0) was at his most effective in close quarters, landing hard knees to the body that had his opponent breathing heavily after the second round. Meanwhile, Poss (4-2) battered the San Diego-based Frenchman with repeated short elbows, eventually opening a nasty gash over his foe’s eye. While Lemaire was slightly more effective, he only barely kept his footing during an assault by Poss in the fifth round’s waning moments.
Earlier, Romie Adanza rallied to score a thrilling third-round knockout victory over Anthony Castrejon at 118 pounds. A perfectly-timed right hand to the chin by Adanza brought an end to the bout 3:00 into the frame.
Adanza’s (19-7-1) victory came seemingly out of nowhere, as Castrejon (6-3) controlled the first two rounds with effective boxing and movement while his foe struggled to find openings to counter. Castrejon’s movement slowed in round three, however, as Adanza began to have success with leg kicks to eventually help set up the fight-ending blow.
In other action, Joe Gogo defeated Marvin Madariaga via third-round technical knockout due to doctor stoppage, while Ming Freeman stopped Jason Andrada by knockout in the fifth stanza.