Razak Al-Hassan severely dislocated his finger at MMA Fight Pit: “Genesis.” | Photo: Will Fox
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- When he’s at the top of his game, Houston Alexander is known for his heavy hands.
That power was on display Saturday night in the main event of the MMA Fight Pit: Genesis, card as the Omaha, Neb., native floored Razak Al-Hassan once in each of the first two rounds of their light-heavyweight fight at the Pit.
It wasn’t Alexander’s hands that ultimately proved to be Al-Hassan’s undoing, however. Al-Hassan dislocated the middle finger on his left hand in the second round. Prior to the final frame, a doctor determined that the Milwaukee native couldn’t continue, officially giving Alexander a technical knockout victory after two rounds.
“At some point in the second round I could no longer make a fist with my left hand [when] I was trying to throw my jab,” said Al-Hassan, who couldn’t pinpoint an exact moment when the injury occurred. “When I went back to my corner and looked down at my left hand, I was like, ‘Oh crap.’ It was all mangled and rearranged. My coach had the doctor come in a take a look at it. The doctor looked at it, and I couldn’t fight with it.”
Al-Hassan was likely down on the judges’ scorecards heading into the final frame. In the first round Alexander utilized a steady jab and dropped the Red Schafer MMA product with a left hook. In the second round Alexander clipped his opponent with a right hand that momentarily sent him to the canvas.
“We took our time and we had great boxing -- used a new technique and it worked. And conditioning I was not worried about,” Alexander said.
Not being able to showcase his stamina in New Mexico’s high altitude was Alexander’s biggest disappointment about not being able to go to a third round with Al-Hassan.
“We were actually gonna prove where the conditioning came in,” said Alexander, who trains at Ryan Jensen’s Premier Combat Sports in Omaha. “We were really in good shape. [I’m] disappointed but it happens.”
In the evening’s co-main event, Jens Pulver dusted off his left hand to take a technical knockout win over local favorite Coty Wheeler at 1:59 of the second round.
Pulver set the tone with a vicious left hook that dropped Wheeler in the initial stanza, but the Mescalero, N.M., native was able to get to his feet and survive the round.
In the second round, Pulver floored his opponent with another left, but again the Jackson’s MMA product was able to get to his feet. From there Pulver aggressively pursued the wobbly Wheeler as the WEC veteran was in full retreat mode. The former UFC lightweight champion was able to drop Wheeler again, and finished the bout with a flurry of punches.
“I was just trying to dial in,” said Pulver, who recently began training with Team Curran in Crystal Lake, Ill. “I saw everything he was throwing. It was just trying to get my game back and not panic and not want to get the hell out of there. That’s really what was going through my head the whole time: Take your time, land the big shot and see if he can take it … So then it was just a matter of not getting crazy with the left, but I ain’t hunted with that left in a while man, so it felt good.”
It was Pulver’s third win in his last four bouts, and the former Miletich Fighting Systems representative believes his mind has improved as much as his physical skills at this point in his career.
“I’ve just been working on the mental. I’m a mental idiot,” he said.
Wheeler was caught somewhat off guard by his opponent’s approach to the fight.
“We were planning for him to shoot in on me and for me to work my ground game on him,” Wheeler said. “We kept standing and I actually wanted to close the distance, get some real estate, and try to take him down and try some flying submissions on him. He’s just a bad dude.”
Four other bouts made the pay-per-view portion of the card.
Jackson’s MMA product Tyler East brought UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to his corner against short-notice opponent Prince McLean, and East took Jones’ cageside advice to heart in using a barrage of vicious elbows to score a TKO victory over McLean at 1:33 of the opening frame.
“The Ultimate Fighter 11” alum Jamie Yager caught decorated wrestler Willie Parks in a guillotine choke early in the second round of their middleweight encounter, forcing the Jackson’s MMA representative to tap just 21 seconds into the period.
In the lone women’s bout of the night, Colorado native Diana Rael took a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) triumph over Albuquerque’s Angelica Chavez.
Team Four Corners fighter Jacob Clark forced a visibly exhausted Junie Allen Browning to tap to strikes at 4:18 of their lightweight encounter. Browning failed to make weight on Friday and ran out of steam quickly against the Aztec, N.M., native.
In preliminary action, Ali Hanjani surprised the previously unbeaten Sean Spencer in their welterweight showdown, securing a triangle choke at 1:41 of the first round to stop the Virginia native.
A failed attempt by Joshua Montoya to take full mount resulted in an armbar submission victory for Coppell, Texas, native Jason Sampson at 2:38 of the first round of their bantamweight bout.
Mean1 MMA’s Conrad Padilla took a unanimous decision over Guy Youell. All three judges scored the featherweight bout 29-28 in favor of Padilla.
In the evening’s opening contest, Albuquerque’s Mark Lujan appeared to turn his right ankle during a takedown by Jackson’s MMA product Rocky Ramirez and tapped at 2:38 of the opening round.