“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Efrain Escudero submitted Jeremy Larsen with a third-round armbar in the Rage in the Cage 148 headliner on Saturday at the Wild Horse Pass Casino in Chandler, Ariz. Escudero finished it 3:21 into round three.
A surprising roster cut casualty following his defeat to Brazilian prospect Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 22 in September, Escudero has since rattled off back-to-back wins. The 25-year-old MMA Lab representative burst on the scene in 2008, when he defeated Ido Pariente, Shane Nelson, Junie Allen Browning and Phillipe Nover to win “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.
Other winners at Rage in the Cage 148 included journeyman Shannon Ritch (first-round knockout over Scott Guenther) and Arizona Combat Sports product Jade Porter (unanimous decision against Ruben S. Gonzales).
Mein Upsets Riggs at ‘Strong and Proud’
Canadian Martial Arts Centre representative Jordan Mein sprang the upset at Wreck MMA “Strong and Proud” on Friday at the Casino de Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, as he stopped UFC and Strikeforce veteran Joe Riggs on second-round punches. The end came 4:30 into round two.
Mein floored Riggs with a right hook and followed him to the canvas, where he polished off the 28-year-old Phoenix native. The defeat halted a two-fight winning streak for Riggs, who had not been finished by strikes in more than four years. Mein has posted five wins in his past six appearances.
Meanwhile, UFC exile Mark Holst submitted Markhaile Wedderburn with a second-round rear-naked choke in the co-main event. Holst, who had previously announced plans to retire following the match, finished the job 4:56 into round two. The 25-year-old was cut by the UFC in wake of losses to John Gunderson and Paul Sass.
Finally, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 semi-finalist Kalib Starnes won for the third time in four outings, as he coaxed a tapout from Matt MacGrath with a rear-naked choke 3:14 into round two of their encounter. Starnes, 36, has now secured nine of his 12 career victories by submission. He will meet fellow UFC veteran Patrick Cote in the Ringside MMA 10 main event on April 9.
Escovedo Notches Submission
Former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion Cole Escovedo put away Steven Siler with a first-round triangle choke in the Showdown Fights “New Blood” headliner on Friday at the UCCU Center in Orem, Utah. The victory brought an end to a two-fight losing streak for the 29-year-old Escovedo, who was forced into semi-retirement in 2007 by a staph infection that left him partially paralyzed.
Meanwhile, once-beaten prospect Radley Martinez took a unanimous decision from UFC veteran Brian Cobb at the event. Spawned by the same Victory MMA camp as “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 winner Court McGee, Martinez has won eight fights in a row.
Other winners at “New Blood” included Jeremy Horn protégé Travis Marx (split decision over Trevor Mellen) and undefeated welterweight prospect Jordan Clements (unanimous decision against Eddie Rincon).
Quick Hits: UFC hall of famer Dan Severn captured the Elite 1 MMA heavyweight championship with a second-round arm-triangle choke submission over Scott Fraser at Elite 1 MMA “Tapping Out” on Saturday at the Casino New Brunswick in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. The 52-year-old Severn, owner of 97 professional victories, will carry an eight-fight winning streak into his next appearance … Mikel Bronzoulis posted his third straight win, as he stopped Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Joe Christopher on punches 3:34 into round three of their Legacy Fighting Championships 4 main event on Saturday at the Houston Arena Theater in Houston … UFC veteran Diego Saraiva submitted Joe Elmore with a second-round armbar in the Wild Bill’s Fight Night 33 headliner on Saturday at Wild Bill’s Atlanta in Duluth, Ga. A 28-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Saraiva snapped a two-fight losing streak with the victory … “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 runner-up Vinny Magalhaes submitted the previously unbeaten Robert Scott with a second-round armbar in the MMA Xplosion “International Team Challenge” main event on Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The end came 3:51 into round two … Justin Salas earned a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 alum Robert Emerson at Full Force Fighting Championships 1 on Saturday at the Paramount Theater in Denver. Emerson entered the matchup on a two-fight winning streak.
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