Carlo Prater kept his mid-career resurgence rolling Friday night with a second-round submission victory over “The Ultimate Fighter” alumnus Cameron Dollar at Legacy Fighting Championship 7.
Fighting in his adoptive hometown of Houston, the Brazilian-born Prater asserted his ground dominance from the onset, transitioning from one choke attempt to another before opting to gash Dollar with elbows from top position late in the opening frame. It wasn’t long into the second stanza until the BJJ black belt spun the bloodied “TUF 9” semifinalist down with a single-leg and torqued Dollar’s left arm with a textbook kimura from side control, eliciting a tap at the 1:53 mark.
“I’ve lost a lot of fights along my career. It’s a journey and I’m a man, but I’m not a journeyman,” said an emotional Prater (28-10-1) after the win. “I just turned 30. I’ve got a good 10 years ahead of me still. I wanna win championships, wear belts. I wanna fight big names. I relish this. I relish all the pressure.”
Prater, a onetime WEC welterweight title challenger, improved to 3-0 on the year with three submission wins, a sharp turnaround from his 1-3 mark in 2010. The 24-year-old Dollar (9-3) saw a five-fight win streak snapped with his first loss since being released by the UFC in 2009.
Houston’s own Daniel Pineda (14-7) successfully defended his Legacy featherweight title in the evening’s co-main event, stopping WEC veteran Frank Gomez (10-4) in three.
The larger Gomez looked to control the action in the first round, muscling Pineda against the fence and cutting the champion with elbows once the fight hit the floor. Pineda took the driver’s seat in the second, however, as “The Pit” caught Gomez leaping in with a flying knee and plowed the Greg Jackson product to the mat, where Pineda controlled the bulk of the period.
With Gomez’s pace slowing, Pineda turned up the heat in round three, attacking with strikes to the legs, body and head. Gomez found an opening for a takedown when Pineda slipped on a kick, but the 25-year-old champ’s shoulders barely touched the ground before he swept beautifully onto Gomez’s back. After softening up his challenger with punches, Pineda sunk in a deep rear-naked choke and retained his belt with a tap at 2:25 of the third.
“Whatever he wanted to tap to, I was just-- whatever,” Pineda said post-fight regarding his preferred method of victory. “I just learned that from [4oz. Fight Club BJJ coach] Renan Chavez. I just got my purple belt.”
UFC vet Pete Spratt (23-20) scored a curious technical knockout of fellow Texan Antonio Flores (5-4) in their brief 170-pound meeting. The 40-year-old muay Thai stylist bounced a no-look left hook off Flores’ temple, sending “King Kong” stumbling backward to the ground and forcing referee Kerry Hatley into action after only 25 seconds. While the stoppage appeared premature in real time, replays showed that Flores was badly dazed by the punch and offered no protest at the call.
Other winners inside Houston’s Arena Theatre on Friday included Louisianan bantamweight Jonathan Mackles (9-1), who stunned local favorite Chad Robichaux (11-2) with a 45-second guillotine choke, and Spanish-born lightweight Jesus Rivera (5-2), who pounded out Reynaldo Trujillo (8-7) at 1:53 of round three.
Denis Kang was finished for the second time in as many bouts Sunday, as the former Pride Fighting Championships star was upset by South Korea’s Seung Bae Whi in the main event of Road FC 3 “Explosion” at the Grand Hilton Seoul Convention Centre. In a back-and-forth brawl which saw both men dropped, Whi (7-3) came out on top, taking out Kang (34-14-2, 2 NC) with knee strikes from north-south position in round two. On the undercard, touted 19-year-old bantamweight Soo Chul Kim stayed unbeaten with a unanimous nod over Japan’s Kenta Nakamura, while Kyung Ho Kang forced a 52-second corner stoppage of fellow Sengoku vet Kil Woo Lee.
Shooto world 168-pound champion Luis Ramos needed just 2:18 to dispose of the woefully overmatched Dimitri Burgos (2-8) via arm-triangle choke at Saturday’s Watch Out Combat Show 14 in Rio de Janeiro. Thirty-year-old Nova Uniao product “Beicao” (19-6) has won six of his last seven, the only blemish in that stretch coming by way of a debatable decision loss to countryman Roan Carneiro in the Netherlands.
Illinois-based Brazilian Jonatas Novaes won Combat USA’s interstate lightweight championship in vicious fashion Thursday, snapping the arm of Wisconsin tourney champion Sherron Leggett at Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena in Green Bay, Wisc. Novaes (9-3) pulled guard early and worked his way to mount, where he rolled and extended the left limb of Leggett (21-6) at a grotesque angle for the armbar win at 1:45. The show’s other two interstate matchups were won by Wisconsin welterweight Andrew Trace (first-round guillotine-choking of Aoutneil Magny) and Illinois featherweight David Sachs (third-round rear-naked choke against Josh Sterry).
Top Australian bantamweight Michael Mortimer narrowly outpointed Patrice Empeigne in their Friday five-rounder at Arena Entertainment Complex in Brisbane, Queensland, to claim the vacant Underground MMA 135-pound title. Despite being taken down by the wrestler Empeigne (2-2) and reportedly rolling his ankle in the first round, Mortimer (14-4) used crisp boxing, gouging elbows and effective sprawls to rack up points as the grisly fight wore on, earning a majority decision which infuriated Empeigne’s side. Mortimer, 26, has emerged victorious from five of his last six, with all but Friday’s win coming by way of stoppage.
Shooto vet Akihiro Yamazaki fared decidedly better in his sophomore Pancrase outing Saturday than he did in his promotional debut. Ten months after finding himself on the wrong end of a Masahiro Toryu head kick, 33-year-old Yamazaki (12-5-1) returned to score a one-punch knockout of rugged journeyman Hiroki Nagaoka (16-17-10) just 3:18 into the welterweight headliner of “Impressive Tour 6” at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Face. In the show’s 114-pound co-main event, “Windy” Tomomi Sunaba (17-13-1) used her karate base to record her fifth win in six outings, pummeling the inexperienced Sadae Suzumura (1-1-1) in a two-round unanimous decision.
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