Jordan Mein (left) beat Marius Zaromskis to the punch. | Photo: Al Quintero/Sherdog.com
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario -- The first edition of the Score Fighting Series, an MMA project of Canadian MMA sports cable network The Score, saw Dream welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis fall by unanimous decision to 170-pound prospect Jordan Mein at the Hershey Centre.
Mein was able to land more low kicks and clean punching combinations, capitalizing on his reach advantage and forcing Zaromskis to circle away. It was not thrilling offense, but it was more than enough for Mein to earn scores of 30-27 (twice) and 29-28.
“I wanted to keep it standing the while time and test myself like usual,” Mein told Sherdog.com after the bout. “If there was a takedown available, I would have taken it, but I was feeling comfortable and I was landing more strikes.”
With the victory, the 21-year-old Mein moves to 22-7 and has won five straight, including wins over UFC veterans Josh Burkman and Joe Riggs.
“If [UFC matchmaker Joe Silva] calls, we're ready,” stated Mein's father, Lee, who also serves as his son's trainer. “If they don't need us right now we'll just keep getting better and when they do call us we're going to tear it up when we get there, too.”
The night had a bit of controversy, as Bellator veteran Nick Mamalis earned an unpopular split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) over Toronto's Adrian Wooley in a bantamweight affair.
Mamalis' superior standup was obvious early, as he badly bloodied Wooley; busting his nose and gashing his scalp open with an array of kicks. However, halfway through the bout the tide changed, and Wooley was able to use his wrestling to slam Mamalis to the mat repeatedly in the style of Matt Hughes.
The Green River, Wyo., native avoided any real danger from the former Brock Badger wrestler, but his kick-heavy offense had no answer for Wooley's takedowns.
With the second round serving as the swing period, it was Mamalis who took the split nod over the popular Peel Regional Police detective to a chorus of boos from the Mississauga crowd.
Sherdog.com saw the bout 29-28 for Wooley. Judges' names were not immediately made available by the Ontario Athletic Commission.
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou's cardio remains a concern, but “The African Assassin” was able to hang on to earn a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) over Cesar Gracie product Roy Boughton in a light heavyweight affair.
The Cameroonian judoka easily took the first two rounds over Boughton, landing booming low kicks and stuffing Boughton's takedown tries. However, Sokoudjou's conditioning disappeared down the stretch, as Boughton assumed top control in the third frame and nearly took his back, showing positional dominance.
Despite seeming like a clear 29-28, Boughton was shocked at the announcement of the verdict, as Sokoudjou notched his third straight win.
Torontonian featherweight Antonio Carvalho used cage smarts and low kicks to take out UFC veteran Douglas Evans via unanimous decision with scores of 30-27 across the board. "Pato" cut off the cage effectively, landing series of heavy kicks to the Alaskan's legs, leaving Evans stuck in first gear throughout the bout.
The win was Carvalho's third straight since returning from a neck injury that sidelined him for nearly two years.
Gritty Canadian journeyman Joe Doerksen broke a three-fight skid, earning a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) over fellow UFC middleweight veteran Luigi Fioravanti. “El Dirte” was aggressive from the outset, running at Fioravanti with punch and knee combinations. “The Italian Tank” was able to land strong hooks, but in general was left out of range and was outpointed.
Stoney Creek, Ontario's Josh Hill stayed undefeated against late replacement Darin Cooley, dominating en route to scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28. Hill's superior striking forced Cooley to repeatedly pull guard, but to no avail. Hill pelted Cooley standing, escaped from his rubber guard attempts, and pounded him over 15 minutes to move his pro mark to 6-0.
Saskatoon's Kurt Southern notched his third win in a row, besting Toronto-based Brazilian Jorge Britto by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28), landing heavy leather on the feet and dominating with takedowns.
Lanky featherweight Tristan Johnson used his rangy boxing to earn the biggest win of his career, taking a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) over Bellator veteran William Romero. Romero rang Johnson's bell with a head kick in the first round, but the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, native overcame adversity, using his jab and clean right crosses to outbox "Leon" to victory.
M-1 Muay Thai's Alex Ricci showed off his striking superiority in a lightweight clash with Mike Sledzion. The Woodbridge, Ontario, native backed up Sledzion with his kicks, before ducking under a lazy left and destroying his foe with a brutal right hook just 84 seconds into the round.
In the evening's 130-pound opener, Mike Reilly showed off rugged dirty boxing before knocking Tyler Hardcastle cold with a sensational throw at 2:02 of the second round.