Jens Pulver tapped to a Brian Davidson rear-naked choke at Titan FC 18. | Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Strikeforce veteran Brian Davidson spoiled the promotional debut of Jens Pulver, as he submitted the former UFC lightweight champion with a first-round rear-naked choke in the HDNet Fights Presents “Titan Fighting Championship 18” headliner on Friday at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.
Pulver met his demise 4:04 into round one.
“It was his night,” he said. “He got on top of me and started pounding. He came out like an animal.”
Outgunned on the feet, Pulver turned to his wrestling and secured a pair of takedowns in the first round. However, Davidson neutralized him on the ground and ultimately returned to an upright position, where he was clearly the superior fighter. He stuffed Pulver’s third attempt at a takedown, made him pay with punches to the head and transitioned to the back, cinching the fight-ending choke.
Davidson, a 35-year-old Grindhouse MMA representative, has rattled off back-to-back wins for the first time since 2009.
“It was an honor to fight Jens,” he said. “He’s a legend. I’ve got a lot of respect for him.
Pulver, 36, has lost nine of his last 12 bouts but remained defiant in the face of calls for him to retire.
“I’ll retire when I want to,” he said.
In the co-main event, UFC exile Jake Rosholt was disqualified after he delivered an illegal knee strike to the downed John Ott 4:23 into round three of their bloody catchweight bout.
Rosholt dominated the match up until the disqualification, as he took down Ott repeatedly, passed his guard and opened a number of cuts on his face with powerful punches and elbows. By round three, both men were bathed head to toe in blood, much of it flowing from a massive horizontal gash across the bridge of Ott’s nose.
A three-time NCAA national champion and four-time All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State University, Rosholt mounted Ott twice and unleashed a gruesome torrent of ground-and-pound on Ott at several intervals. As the battered Blue Springs, Mo., native rose to one knee late in the third round, Rosholt fired an ill-advised knee to the head.
Blood flew, Ott went down and the referee quickly halted the match. The cage-side physician ruled Ott unfit to continue, leading to the disqualification.
The defeat snapped Rosholt’s four-fight winning streak. He made no excuses in the immediate aftermath.
“Let me assure you, it was not on purpose,” Rosholt said. “I’m not a bad guy. I’m just out here trying to win a fight.”
Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Rudy Bears submitted Darryl Cobb with a first-round rear-naked choke in a featured middleweight matchup. Cobb asked out of the fight 3:30 into round one.
Bears absorbed a straight right hand and countered the incoming Cobb with a short right hook, putting him on his knees. He then pounced, transitioned to the back and cinched his first attempted rear-naked choke. Somehow, Cobb escaped but clearly had not cleared out the cobwebs.
Moments later, Bears moved to full mount and left his woozy foe no choice but to surrender his back. Cobb again left himself open for the choke, and Bears obliged, as he snaked his arms around the exposed neck and fell backwards, Cobb’s knees bending awkwardly beneath him. The tapout followed.
Undefeated heavyweight prospect Jared Rosholt remained perfect in three professional appearances, as he stopped Kirk Grinlinton on first-round punches from the mount. Their bout lasted just 97 seconds.
A three-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State University, the 6-foot-2, 259-pound Rosholt tested the waters standing, ate a couple of right hands from Grinlinton and made his move. The 24-year-old delivered a double-leg takedown, moved seamlessly to mount and showered Grinlinton with unanswered punches until the referee rushed to his defense.
Rosholt, a Team Takedown representative, has finished all three of his opponents, two of them inside the first round.
Other Titan FC 18 winners were Sean Wilson (toe hold submission over Deryck Ripley), Joe Wilk (anaconda choke submission against Jesse Zeugin) and Bobby Cooper (unanimous decision over Nick Budig). Wilson has posted four straight wins, all of them first-round finishes.