Victory Fighting Championship has crowned a new heavyweight king. They call him “Big Kansas.”
Daniel Gallemore submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 graduate Abe Wagner with a standing guillotine choke to capture the vacant heavyweight title in the Victory Fighting Championship 50 headliner on Saturday at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kansas. Wagner (10-8), who has not won a fight in nearly five years, tapped 97 seconds into round one.
Gallemore (5-3) was in fifth gear from the start. The monstrous Bellator MMA veteran backed up Wagner with kicks, sat him down with a vicious right hand and caught him in the guillotine when he attempted to rise to his feet. From there, the conclusion was a mere formality. Wagner fought to free himself, but Gallemore cut off all means of escape, adjusted to a high-elbow grip and brought it to a close.
The 30-year-old Gallemore has posted four victories across his past five bouts, all of them finishes.
In the co-main event, Alexandre Pimentel got his hands on the Victory featherweight crown, as he dethroned Elevation Fight Team’s Jarred Mercado with a fourth-round armbar. Mercado (14-4) conceded defeat 3:59 into round four.
The Blackzilians-trained Pimentel (15-1) bided his time for three-plus rounds. Mercado secured takedowns with ease, employed a smothering top game and delivered some effective ground-and-pound, cutting the Brazilian across the bridge of the nose with an elbow strike inside the first five minutes. Pimentel capitalized on a few chances. He sprang a step-over reversal in the third round, advanced to the back and set his hooks. Mercado survived the exchange, but it exposed the difference in skill on the ground and foreshadowed what was to come.
Pimentel initiated a clinch in the fourth round, rolled for a kimura with his back to the fence and transitioned to the armbar as soon as the two featherweights spilled onto the mat. Mercado initially defended the maneuver, but the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt slowly broke his grip, extended the arm and coaxed the tapout.
Pimentel initiated a clinch in the fourth round, rolled for a kimura with his back to the fence and transitioned to the armbar when he hit the mat. Mercado defended well at first, but the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt slowly broke his defensive grip, extended the arm and coaxed the tapout.
Meanwhile, Blackzilians rep Yuri Villefort survived a scare to pocket a unanimous decision over Cody Carrillo in a three-round catchweight confrontation at 160 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it for Villefort (9-5): 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
Carrillo (11-13) floored the Brazilian with a right hand in the first round and swarmed for a potential finish, only to surrender his momentum by yielding a takedown. As the fight progressed, Villefort continued to lean on his takedowns and methodically asserted his superiority on the mat, successfully navigating the Bellator alum’s guard while piling up points with top control and occasional ground-and-pound.
The 25-year-old Villefort has rattled off three straight wins.
Elsewhere, Ultimate Fighting Championship castaway Jake Lindsey disposed of Zak Bucia with a third-round knee to the body and follow-up punches in their lightweight showcase. Bucia (15-8) wilted 1:26 into round three.
While there was some give and take between the two, Lindsey was in charge for a majority of the fight. He executed multiple takedowns, applied his ground-and-pound with moderate success and utilized an opportunistic top game. Lindsey (11-4) lulled Bucia into a false sense of security on the feet early in the third round, blitzed him with punches and folded him with a perfectly placed knee strike to the liver. The blow left Bucia incapable of defending himself, as Lindsey mopped up the rest with punches.
In other action, Hawaiian prospect Maki Pitolo (7-2) cut down Justin Guthrie (18-9) with punches 48 seconds into round one of their catchweight tilt at 172 pounds; Chuka Willis (8-2) struck Justin Overton (3-1) into submission 3:49 into the third round of their encounter at 145 pounds; Sharkey Slyter took a unanimous decision from Bryan Timmons in a three-round bantamweight clash; and Ivey Nixon (2-0) put away Branden Chevrefils (0-1) with punches 53 seconds into the second round of their battle at 170 pounds.