The results of this past weekend’s MMA action were as varied as the geographical locations of the events. There were prolonged beatings, early stoppages and iffy decisions. Big-show veterans had winning streaks snapped, while others continued to pave the comeback trail. Some hot prospects validated their hype by claiming titles, and some tasted defeat for the very first time.
Here to get you up to speed on the last 72 hours’ worth of scraps, it’s the Weekend Rundown.
Several former UFC talents were on display Saturday at Amazon Forest Combat 2 in Manaus, Brazil, but none was more impressive than Ronys Torres. Despite opponent Ferrid Kheder weighing in at 172 pounds for their 160-pound catchweight bout, Torres needed only 22 seconds to fell and pound out the Tunisian judoka. The win extended the Nova Uniao lightweight’s current streak to 10 in a row with eight finishes.
On the same card, Canadian “Predator” Patrick Cote moved to 4-0 since exiting the Octagon by battering Gustavo Machado on the ground until referee Mario Yamasaki stepped in for a late stop at 2:44 of the opening frame. With the win, Cote earned the right to vie for the vacant Amazon Forest Combat middleweight title against Thales Leites, who exacted revenge for a 2010 loss on Matt Horwich with a second-round arm-triangle choke. The main event of ACF 2 saw 45-year-old Murilo Bustamante grind out a unanimous decision against Dave Menne in a rematch of their 2002 UFC middleweight title bout.
Another pre-Zuffa UFC vet, onetime heavyweight champ Maurice Smith, proved he’s still got a knack for knockouts at Friday’s Resurrection Fighting Alliance 2 in Kearney, Neb. Three months removed his 50th birthday, Smith bloodied 28-year-old Jorge Cordoba with knees and hooks for the better part of 12 minutes before a perfectly placed right high kick turned out the younger man’s lights at 2:05 of round three.
RFA 2 headliner and local Nebraska favorite Houston Alexander was acquitting himself well against Pride vet Gilbert Yvel until “The Hurricane” struck late in the first period of their 205-pound bout. True to his pre-fight words, Yvel refused to brawl and waited for Alexander to wade into his range during the brief, all-standup affair. When “The Assassin” came too close, Yvel staggered him with a left hook, then finished the job with a thunderous right which sent Alexander slumping face-first to the canvas at the 3:59 mark.
Before Saturday’s Worldwide Mixed Martial Arts event in El Paso, Texas, heavyweight Brian Heden was looked upon as fodder for former UFC big man Sean McCorkle. The evaluation seemed spot-on during the pair’s first round, when referee Jacob Montalvo appeared inches away from halting the bout in McCorkle’s favor during a late ground-and-pound surge. When “Big Sexy” emerged exhausted for the second frame, however, Heden seized his opportunity. Escaping out the back door after a takedown, the Minnesota native pinned McCorkle’s left arm behind his back and teed off with right-handed hammerfists from side control, forcing a stoppage at 2:44 and snapping McCorkle’s post-UFC winning streak at six.
Other winners on WMMA 1 “Fighting for a Better World” included Lyle Beerbohm (first-round guillotine choke submission of Cleburn Walker), Darrill Schoonover (unanimous decision against Paul Buentello) and Karo Parisyan (unanimous decision against Thomas Denny).
Jadamba Retains Legend Title, Isao Claims Pancrase Crown
In October, Jadamba Narantungalag edged out Adrian Pang in a three-round split decision to become Legend Fighting Championship’s second lightweight titleholder. Saturday in Hong Kong, Mongolia’s top MMA export kept the judges out of his first defense against South Korea’s Yui Chul Nam.
Narantungalag, best known for his 2010 upset of Akihiro Gono, impressed throughout the six-minute scrap, recovering from a pair of takedowns to rock “The Korean Bulldozer” with punches and threaten with submission attempts off his back. After dropping Nam with a pair of hooks early in the second stanza, the champion cinched up a guillotine and pulled guard to force a tap at the 58-second mark.
Legend’s eighth event also featured the promotion’s inaugural featherweight title bout, which put Pancrase-bred Yusuke Kawanago against unbeaten submission specialist Xian Ji. Kawanago, whose lone loss in the Legend ring came in a controversial decision against Mark Striegl, kept the pressure on with a steady diet of takedowns, elbows and knees before forcing a kneeling Ji to tap to a guillotine at 4:18 of round two.
Meanwhile, Kawanago’s previous employer crowned a new lightweight King of Pancrase on Sunday in Tokyo during the Japanese org’s fourth “Progress Tour” event. Once-beaten 23-year-old Isao Kobayashi avenged his April 2010 loss to defending champ Koji Oishi -- a rematch Kobayashi earned with his run through Pancrase’s 2011 lightweight grand prix -- with a three-round unanimous decision (30-28, 29-28, 30-29). Tournament runner-up Kazuki Tokudome got back on track with a first-round armbarring of Jung Hyun Jo on the undercard.
In other Asia-Pacific action, former Deep bantamweight champ Masakazu Imanari used his go-to submission to end the undefeated run of Filipino standout Kevin Belingon at Saturday’s One FC 3 “War of the Lions” in Singapore. Imanari wasted little time in attacking Belingon’s legs, readjusting his grip several times before coaxing a tap with a reverse heel hook at 78 seconds of round one. Belingon’s teammate and fellow URCC champ Eduard Folayang came up on the short end of a debatable split decision against Filipino Dutch lightweight Ole Laursen, while Dream star Tatsuya Kawajiri got his third win at featherweight with a first-round triangle-choking of King of the Cage titlist Donald Sanchez.
Adriano Martins took just over a minute to defend his Jungle Fight lightweight title against overmatched American Jimmy Donahue on Saturday at Jungle Fight 37 in Sao Paulo. Martins, who entered the bout with a 22-6 record against Donahue’s 4-2, dropped the Missourian with a left straight and pounded on his still-defending foe with enough ferocity to draw a stoppage 62 seconds in. Junior dos Santos teammate Kleber “Orgulho” Silva had a more definitive defense of his 205-pound belt, surviving an early guillotine attempt from Aldo Sultao to finish with hard shots from top position at 4:24 of round one.
Shamil Abdurahimov returned to action Sunday in the main event of Pro FC 40 in Volgograd, three months after suffering the second loss of his career against Tony Lopez. The Russian heavyweight sent German opponent Jerry Otto to the ground with a seoi nage, where Abdurahimov attempted a keylock from mount before getting the tap from side-control at 1:46 of round one. On the undercard, Brazilian journeyman Fabricio Nascimento withstood an assault from Beslan Isaev to secure a first-round kneebar, and women’s prospect Milana Dudieva improved to 8-1 with a 25-second stoppage of England’s Danielle West.
Antonio McKee stayed unbeaten since his one-and-done UFC run Saturday, winning his third straight start with a unanimous decision against Alliance MMA-trained Arizonan Chad Dietmeyer at EWFC “The Untamed 2” in Anaheim, Calif. Shooto Brazil standout Leandro “Batata” Silva forced a doctor stoppage against McKee’s Bodyshop teammate Jesse Juarez after one round, and BJJ ace Ricardo “Demente” Abreu picked up his third MMA win via first-round TKO against Jared Bailey.