Brandon Hunt (top) wrenched his way to victory at KOTC 'Moral Victory.' | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
HIGHLAND, Calif. -- It was two wildly different tales for two Detroit champions at KOTC's "Moral Victory" Thursday night at the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, as Brandon Hunt retained his middleweight crown against Kenny "The Crusher" McCorkell while Dom "I Hate You So Much" O'Grady lost his lightweight strap to Bobby "King" Green.
McCorkell started strong, landing plentiful flurries early before securing back control and looking for a rear-naked choke in round two. The early output seemed to drain McCorkell, and Hunt came back aggressively in the third round, obtaining top position and searching for submissions including a pair of kimura attempts that seemed perilously close to finishing McCorkell.
However, referee Cecil Peoples chose to stand the fighters up shortly thereafter, robbing Hunt of north-south position. Another questionable Peoples stand-up would occur again in round four, as McCorkell attempted to wrench a kimura from his full guard.
By round five, though both fighters had visibly fatigued, it was Hunt who ultimately showed more in the gas tank as he countered a desperate McCorkell flurry with a left hook, dropping McCorkell.
“He covered his face with one arm, and that’s when I saw that he left his arm out there for me to attack,” Hunt told Sherdog.com after the win. “I got a really good bite on his head with my legs, which was the difference.”
McCorkell was left with no choice but to tap out, giving Hunt the submission win at 2:33 of the final round. It was the fourth straight finish for Hunt, now 7-2 in his career.
Green took the KOTC lightweight title from O’Grady, as the Inland Empire's "King" took a unanimous decision via shutout scores of 50-45 on all three scorecards to move his MMA mark to 15-4.
“I didn’t plan on taking him down until the second round, when he kept pushing me against the fence,” Green said after the bout.
"King" began aggressively utilizing his wrestling, bringing the fight to the mat, where he would find himself attempting to utilize his rarely-seen jiu-jitsu, including an armbar-triangle-omoplata sequence after O'Grady had swept to top position. As the rounds wore on, O'Grady would find himself on top less and less, and the H8 Squad product was unable to cope with Green’s top game. Green kept up a steady stream of strikes and submission attempts for the remainder of the fight until the bout’s final 10 seconds, when he stood up from the ground and began celebrating his win a few moments early.
The new champion viewed the lopsided win as vindication from his previous bout, a stoppage loss to Tim Means last October.
“Everybody keeps going off the last fight; I was not ready. I was not in the condition I’m in now. I was ready for this one,” the 24-year-old said.
In a featherweight contest, Fit NHB’s Gerald Lovato quickly established his striking superiority over Dave Rivas, but found himself on his back repeatedly on account of Rivas’ dogged attempts at catching his kicks and flying knees. However, in the end, Lovato’s determination paid off: he finally succeeded in crushing Rivas with a flying knee, dropping the Millenia MMA fighter in a heap. The follow-up punches were more or less perfunctory before referee Cecil Peoples awarded the Albuquerque, N.M., fighter the knockout win just 7 seconds into the second round.
After a delayed start to their middleweight match-up, Paul Arras and Jonny Cisneros threw caution and technique to the wind in a wild and unruly slugfest.
The pair traded heavy leather and knockdowns, and just when it seemed that Arras was in control, a Cisneros right dropped him flat to his back. Cisneros proceeded to drop punches and hammerfists from side control until Arras verbally submitted, prompting referee Larry Landless to halt the action just 1:42 into the bout.
6-foot-3 lightweight Kris Armbrister -- plus his four-inch mohawk -- stayed unbeaten by shutting out Palika Drummondo. Aside from a loose armbar attempt, Drummondo was positively listless throughout. For his part, Lakeside's Armbrister had trouble finding his range standing, but dominated Drummondo from top position en route to the unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-27).
Local favorite Chris Camacho of Riverside found himself repeatedly stifled by the unorthodox gameplan of BJJ black belt Leonardo Soares in their 160-pound contest. Soares utilized a multitude of kicks to keep Camacho at bay whilst defending Camacho's takedowns. Though Camacho eventually got the fight to the mat at several points, he could not do enough to overcome Soares’ points advantage, dropping a unanimous decision, 29-28 across the board.
"The All-American Boy" Jonathan Brandon found himself unable to secure top position with any consistency in his middleweight bout with Ronald LeBreton. Attempts to pull guard led to the C-Quence Jiu-Jitsu rep being pounded on from half guard, until Larry Landless called a stop to the bout at 1:28 of the second round.
Shark Tank welterweight David Gomez dropped Scott Catlin with a left hook and quickly jumped into mount and punched his foe out in just 84 seconds. The dazed Catlin searched for a single leg at the time of the stoppage, but did little protesting after coming to his senses.
In the night’s opening bout at 205 pounds, student Jason Walraven of Victorville survived a pair of knockdowns to largely dominate Norco-based Samoan Kose Sinoti on the mat, elbowing his way to a stoppage at 1:25 of the second round.