LEMOORE, Calif. -- Local favorite Anthony Ruiz defeated UFC veteran Xavier “Professor X” Foupa-Pokam by unanimous decision at Tachi Palace Fights “Brawl in the Hall” inside the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino.
The light heavyweights waged a back-and-forth affair for all three rounds. In a first round spent mostly on the ground, Professor X took Ruiz’s back and looked for a rear-naked choke. Ruiz defended well, landing shots over his own head until he managed a reversal. Then, Ruiz winged blows from the top and defended an armbar attempt.
Ruiz took over in the second round, stifling Professor X with takedowns and top control and got the nod on all three judges’ cards in a competitive final round. The official scores were 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.
The flyweights put on a good show, as Ulysses Gomez choked Chino Nicolas unconscious with a standing guillotine in the first round.
Gomez started strong, controlling position and landing the more effective strikes. Nicholas tried to switch levels, and Gomez locked on the choke. Nicholas refused to tap and went out at 4:31 of the first round.
UFC veteran Diego Saraiva defeated Eddie Yagin with a third-round technical knockout from a doctor’s stoppage.
Yagin and Saraiva went toe to toe the entire fight, with Yagin scoring first blood and cutting Saraiva under the left eye with clean punches. But by the end of the first, most of the blood was coming from Yagin.
Yagin slowed down in the second round, breathing heavily and spitting blood as Saraiva began to take over. By the third round, Yagin looked to have little left, swinging slow single-punch haymakers as Saraiva began landing more knees and punches. Referee Jason McCoy stopped the fight and the ringside doctor checked a cut over Yagin’s eye before the action was called at 3:07 of the third round.
France’s Cyrille Diabate had little trouble catching the out-matched Rob Smith with a first-round rear-naked choke. Diabate wasted little time taking Smiths back and landing some nasty punches before sinking in the choke, forcing Smith to tap just 1:17 into the fight.
David Mitchell remained undefeated by submitting Bobby Green with a toehold in just 54 seconds. Green began tapping before the crowd could see what he was caught in. Mitchell improved his record to 9-0.
Jesse Bowen wowed the crowd with his first-round technical knockout of Shawn Klarcyk. Klarcyk appeared to be in control early, bullying Bowen with superior wrestling. Bowen was on his back with Klarcyk standing over him when he threw a high kick that hit Klarcyk square in the jaw and dropped him. Bowen pounced, throwing punches until the referee stepped in at 2:08.
In other bouts, Romulo Melo submitted Cody Canterbury with a rear-naked choke 2:17 into the first round, while Cody Gibson started the evening with a unanimous decision win over Ray Cervera.