LAS VEGAS -- “Jiu-jitsu, baby!” screamed an exuberant Jay Silva immediately following his shocking submission win over the always-dangerous Kendall Grove in the main event of Superior Cage Combat 4 at the Orleans Arena on Thursday night.
The win came 1:52 into the second round. After hurting the lanky Hawaiian with a flurry of punches, Silva locked on a perfect arm triangle from the side and put Grove to sleep.
Silva didn’t just walk right through his much taller opponent; he had some difficulty in dealing with Grove’s long reach and quick hands. Grove landed several thudding kicks to Silva’s leg and his jab and hooks were causing his opponent some grief. Still, the Huntington Beach, Calif.-based fighter was resilient and wanted to stand and bang with Grove whenever he could.
He got his wish in the second, and it paid dividends as an errant right hand landed on Grove’s temple, buckling his legs. “Da Spyder” tried to regroup and hide the fact that he was hurt, but his rubbery legs betrayed him and he eventually crumbled to the canvas. Silva (8-5) pounced and doled out a vicious attack, but Grove (14-10) was able to survive and pull guard. However, Silva scrambled out and latched on the choke, ending the fight when Grove was rendered unconscious.
In the co-main event, John Gunderson battled through adversity and snatched the vacant Superior Cage Combat lightweight crown away from Justin Buchholz with an impressive submission win. Both UFC veterans, Gunderson and Buchholz electrified the crowd with an entertaining battle. Buchholz seized control of the bout early with takedowns and submission attempts, but the crafty Team Tompkins fighter was able to escape them all.
Buchholz appeared to be winning the duel both standing and on the ground, but Gunderson never lost his focus and continued to plug away at the slippery and speedy Team Alpha Male fighter. In the third round, Buchholz scored another takedown and began raining strikes down on Gunderson, who had to turtle up defensively.
Needing to regroup or possibly be stopped, Gunderson scrambled out. When Buchholz tried to continue the moderate onslaught, Gunderson trapped his arm and locked in a deep kimura. Buchholz (12-7) rolled out of the dangerous position, but his efforts to scramble out were thwarted by Gunderson’s glue-like grip.
Gunderson simply rolled with his opponent and secured the lock, forcing Buchholz to tap. The official time of the submission came at 2:35 of the third, making Gunderson the first ever champion at 155 pounds for the SCC promotion.
“I just want to cry,” an elated and emotional Gunderson (33-12-2) said afterward. “I’ve had so many fights, man. This is unbelievable. Buchholz is a badass fighter who comes from a badass team.
“I was going to break it, I didn’t care,” he added, fighting back his tears. “I wanted this win so bad. I didn’t care if I broke it. This is for Shawn (Tompkins).”
“TUF” Season 11 veteran Jamie Yager outlasted Danny Davis Jr. in a spirited welterweight match and won a close, but well-deserved unanimous decision. Each man give as good as he got, but Yager’s stinging leg kicks and forceful takedowns were the deciding factor in having his hand raised at the fight’s conclusion.
Official scores were 30-27 on all three of the judges’ scorecards in favor of the outspoken Pasadena, Calif., resident, now 6-2. Yager fought at welterweight for the first time after having competed at 185. Davis, from Drysdale BJJ in Las Vegas, fell to 6-6-1.
Paulo Goncalves Silva won a workmanlike three-round unanimous decision over California’s Dominique Robinson (17-5-2). The lightweight battle was uneventful, but the Brazilian was just a pinch better in all areas. All three judges scored the contest 29-28, allowing “Bananada” to improve to 17-7.
Highly-touted featherweight prospect Brandon Bender had to pull out every trick in his bag to dispatch of the tough Marlin Weikel (9-3). After several failed guillotine chokes and various other submission attempts left him nearly depleted of energy, Bender appeared to be trailing on the cards when he suckered the Medford, Ore., fighter into a triangle late in the third and forced the tap.
Bender, from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., improved to 9-0 with the win, which came at 2:29 of the final round.
Heavyweight Walter Harris (4-1) handed Jackson’s MMA’s Anthony Hamilton his first professional loss via first-round TKO. A right hand staggered the taller Hamilton (6-1) and Harris, from Homewood, Ala., followed it up with a series of punches until the Albuquerque fighter collapsed in a heap. Referee Steve Mazzagatti had to jump in and stop the assault at the 1:17 mark.
Xtreme Couture featherweight prospect Jimmy Jones (4-1) opened the night with a hard-fought third-round submission victory over Brazilian Joao Victor (2-1). In a fight that was as evenly contested as they come, Jones was able to lock on a rear-naked choke and force the tapout at 3:29 of the stanza.
The anticipated middleweight showdown between former UFC fighters Jesse Taylor and Terry Martin was scratched because Martin was not cleared medically by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Taylor was still given both his show and win money.
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This item was updated at 2:49 p.m. ET on Feb. 19. The original report stated that this was Grove’s first submission loss; it was his second after 2005 defeat against Savant Young.