Brian Camozzi sang Nick Barnes a lullaby.
The younger brother of Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Chris Camozzi choked Barnes unconscious with a first-round guillotine, as he captured the vacant Resurrection Fighting Alliance welterweight championship in the RFA 43 headliner on Friday at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. Barnes (11-2) went to sleep 1:40 into round one.
Camozzi (7-2) withstood the Bellator MMA alum’s advances in the clinch and created some distance with close-quarters knees and elbows. Barnes ducked into a double-leg takedown but left his neck exposed and found himself hopelessly entangled in the choke. With all means of escape cut off, he lost consciousness and Camozzi’s clutches.
In the middleweight co-main event, Gabriel Checco submitted Factory X representative Adam Stroup with a third-round kneebar. Stroup (10-4) conceded defeat 2:32 into round three, as he lost for the third time in four appearances.
Checco (10-2) was dogged in his pursuit of takedowns and leg locks, and his stubbornness paid off. The 30-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt frustrated Stroup with a series of single-legs and clinches, much to the chagrin of an increasingly restless crowd. A ringing Stroup uppercut forced “Zangief” to retreat to his back midway through the third round, and he again attacked the legs. Checco cinched the kneebar as Stroup made an ill-conceived exit, forcing the tapout.
Meanwhile, Pariah MMA export Zac Riley was awarded a controversial split decision over Xtreme Couture prospect Boston Salmon in a three-round bantamweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Riley (5-3).
Salmon (5-1) had two knockdowns, as he sat down the 23-year-old Pueblo, Colorado, native with an overhand left in the first round and a short counter right in the second. There was enough of a disparity in the standup that Riley resorted to pulling guard in the middle stanza. Those efforts yielded nothing of substance, and the resulting restart allowed Salmon to return to his feet. Riley benefitted from a slowing pace down the stretch, as he pressed forward, drilled the Las Vegas-based Hawaiian with leg kicks and caught him with an exquisite hook kick to the head. It was enough to sway two judges.
Riley has rattled off three straight wins.
In other action, Cory Sandhagen (4-0) took a unanimous verdict from Clay Wimer (6-2) in a three-round tilt at 145 pounds, earning 30-27 marks across the board; Josh Wick (6-2) submitted Jonathan Wyderko (2-1) with an armbar 3:15 into the second round of their featherweight tussle; Eric Grant (2-1) put away Peter Straub (3-1) with punches 1:47 into the third round of their lightweight affair; Alonzo Menifield (2-0) knocked out Brock Combs (2-2) with punches 22 seconds into the second round of their meeting at 205 pounds; Sonny Yohn (1-0) submitted Tyler Vogel (2-2) with a rear-naked choke 4:34 into the second round of their middleweight encounter; and Cody Yohn (1-0) claimed a unanimous decision over John Alford (3-3) in a three-round battle at 170 pounds.