Taking a tuneup fight with a regional promotion is a risky move for any fighter under Zuffa contract, and UFC lightweight Daniel Downes nearly demonstrated why.
An import from the World Extreme Cagefighting merger, the 25-year-old Roufusport product had not fought since WEC 53 in December, when he became the first man to top Chinese prospect Tiequan Zhang. Still without a date for his Octagon debut, Downes competed Friday night under the North American Fighting Championship banner at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Expo Center in Milwaukee, and found himself in danger early against Tory Bogguess, a lesser-known veteran of the Midwest circuit.
Bogguess charged “Danny Boy” at the bell, backing Downes into the cage with a Superman punch before scoring a takedown. Moments later, Downes found himself back-mounted and fending off a Bogguess rear-naked choke attempt, which then became a guillotine. Downes kept composed, however, and swept into top control, where he bullied Bogguess at the base of the fence. Bogguess managed to wall-walk and come out on top, where he fell straight into a triangle choke and was forced to tap out at 3:24 of the opening round. Downes improved to 8-1 with the first submission win of his professional career.
Other NAFC “Mayhem” winners included Iowan heavyweight Joe Cason (74-second technical knockout of Sean Salmon), bantamweight Matt Brown (split decision against John Hosman) and middleweight Matt Masterson (second-round arm-triangle choke submission of Kyle Weickhardt).
Swedes Take Gold at Zone FC 9
Swedish fighters took home all three titles up for grabs at The Zone FC 9 in Gothenburg, Sweden. In fact, local competitors dominated the show inside Liseberg Hall on Saturday, with Swedes going 7-1 against international competition.
Martin Svensson captured the vacant Zone FC featherweight title eking out a three-round split verdict against Paul Reed. Svensson used ground control to score points in the early going and weathered a late guillotine attempt from the experienced Scotsman to earn two judges’ scorecards. The final judge ruled the fight a draw with a “must” decision for Reed, who filed a protest regarding the decision to the Swedish MMA Federation on Monday.
Gladius MMA teammates Besam Yousef and Victor Cheng each needed far less than 15 minutes to claim their belts against French opposition. Yousef defended his welterweight title with an 84-second guillotine-choking of Jason Ponet, while Cheng pounded out Cyrille Diabate student Eric Cebarec at 2:32 of the first frame.
Female 147-pounders Elina Nilsson and Danielle West stole the show with a back-and-forth scrap which ended when Nilsson dropped her English opponent with punches at 3:45 of the second. The only visiting fighter to win on the night was England’s Kevin Donnelly, whose bout with Christopher Wassberg ended when Wassberg suffered a shoulder injury at 4:36 of the first.
Onetime UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman reportedly called it a career after suffering a dislocated elbow from a Baga Agaev armbar Saturday at WAFC “Mayor’s Cup 2011” in Khabarovsk, Russia. Ken Pavia, agent of the 39-year-old “Monster,” wrote on Twitter that Randleman “[said] this is the end” after the first-round submission loss. Randleman departs the sport with a 17-16 record, having won two of his final 11 outings. On the WAFC undercard, undefeated M-1 lightweight prospect Alexander Sarnavskiy improved to 14-0 with a first-round rear-naked choke win over UFC vet Douglas Evans.
Thirteen-year veteran and one-time UFC competitor Leigh Remedios also reportedly hung up his gloves Saturday after submitting to a first-round triangle choke from James Saville at Island Rumble’s “Heavy Metal Thunder.” The sole other pro bout on the card, which took place on the Channel Island of Jersey, saw Australian lightweight Jai Bradney punch out England’s Richard Taylor in the first period.
Former UFC lightweight Ronys Torres won his third fight in 35 days Thursday at Hero’s the Jungle 4 in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. After recording first-round submissions of Guilherme “Kioto” Rodrigues and Helderson Filhao in April, the Nova UniÃ£o fighter took just 80 seconds to punch out Gilmar Dantes, upping his record to18-4.
Floridians Luis Palomino and Joe Ray both used armbars to win gold at Champions Fighting Alliance’s appropriately named “The Title,” which went down Friday at U.S. Century Bank Arena in Miami. Featherweight “Baboon” Palomino ran his record to 16-6 dramatically, tapping Peter Grimes with one second remaining in the fourth round. Heavy-handed American Top Team middleweight Ray bounced back from the first loss of his career with a quick submission of John Kelly, improving to 5-1 with five finishes.
Once-beaten M-1 Challenge veteran Pavel Kusch needed only 59 seconds to armbar Serob Minasyan at Saturday’s ProFC “Union Nation Cup 15” in Simferopol, Russia, moving the Ukranian’s record to 11-1 with 11 submissions. Russia’s Magomed Saadulaev upped his mark to 13-1 with an overtime split decision over David Hachatryan in the main event.
Canadian promotion Wreck MMA crowned two new champs Friday at the Casino Lac Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. Bantamweight “Haggis Basher” John Fraser notched his fifth straight finish and took the vacant Wreck 135-pound title with a third-round north-south choke submission of Saskatchewan’s Eric Wilson. Meanwhile, “Bonesaw” Brad Cardinal became the first Wreck lightweight champ with a controversial technical submission of Jesse Gross, who was caught in a rear-naked choke when the referee stopped the contest 38 seconds into round three.
Former novelty boxer Eric Esch on Saturday saw his first MMA action since a September drubbing from Mariusz Pudzianowski. The 400-plus pound Esch stopped debuting boxing convert Dean Storey with second-round punches in the main event of Elite 1 MMA’s “High Voltage” at Casino New Brunswick in Moncton, N.B., Canada.
Peruvian lightweight vet Daniel Aspe bounced back from a March loss to Marcelo Alfaya on Thursday, punching out Brazilian Dimitri Burgos 67 seconds into their contest at Peru Fighting Championship 6 at Lima’s Surco Rose Garden Coliseum.
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