Rogers Decisions Warpath, Ninja Falls to Boughton at ‘New Ground’

By Andy Cotterill Oct 24, 2010
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Brett Rogers might have come into the Halifax Forum expecting an easy win over veteran Ruben Villareal at Warrior-1 MMA 6 “New Ground,” but in the third round, the Strikeforce heavyweight contender found himself bent over from fatigue and “Warpath” advancing toward him.

The bout -- which ended in a unanimous decision victory for Rogers on Saturday -- started with some nice leg kicks to Villareal’s lead leg from “The Grim,” one of which collapsed him to the mat. It allowed Rogers to leap on top and hammerfist away with the hope of finishing the fight quickly. Unfortunately for Rogers, Warpath kept his composure while under attack and weathered the Rogers storm.

Round two saw Warpath start with some kicks of his own before lunging in with his hands down and chin out. Rogers bypassed the available chin and instead took down his opponent. The duo rose, and Rogers forced a clinch along the cage before spearing Warpath to the floor for some ineffective ground-and-pound. Back on the feet, Rogers missed with a huge right cross that had the crowd roaring in anticipation.

The final frame opened with a low blow to Rogers that dropped him to his knees. Once he recovered, Rogers missed with an uppercut and then fell again after what appeared to be another low blow. The fight recommenced with Warpath on the offensive, as he secured a nice double-leg takedown and opened up with hammer fists. Rogers, however, managed to get to his feet and achieve a double-leg of his own. The ground action was uneventful, so referee Ken Wood stood up the heavyweights to end the round.

In the end, all three judges scored the bout 29-28 for Rogers.

“I looked like s--t,” Rogers told, admitting he was not happy with his conditioning. “I came out to give it my all, and Warpath came out and gave his all, too.”

The outcome of the co-main event came as somewhat of a shock to everyone, save perhaps Roy Boughton and Team Cesar Gracie. Boughton, seven months into his professional career, defeated former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo Rua by unanimous decision.

Boughton used effective takedowns to prevent his much more experienced opponent from utilizing the violent striking for which he has become known. “Ninja” looked good in the first round, with knees to Boughton’s body and a nice suplex, but from then on, the Californian got the better of the exchanges, with a nice overhand right and a beautiful hip throw. With 10 seconds left, it looked like Boughton tagged Rua with an illegal knee to the head as he attempted to stand. Ninja looked to the referee in protest but was not acknowledged as the round ended.

The second stanza saw Boughton impose himself on the mostly prone Ninja, who sported a nasty red gash over his left eye courtesy of a sharp elbow. Referee Hubert Earle stepped in to move Boughton from his mounted position, and the crowd assumed the fight was being called. Instead, Earle warned Boughton about blows to the back of the head.

Round three saw more pressure from Boughton, but the still game Ninja dove for a single-leg and achieved a takedown of his own. Rua, the older brother of UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, could not keep top control for long, however, as Boughton swept him and attempted a rear-naked choke. Ninja fought off the submission, leaving Boughton in side control where the bout ended.

Finally, local favorite Roger Hollett did not let the unorthodox Mychal Clark’s pre-fight hijinks in a neon green thong bother him, as he got the better of the stand-up game and was never really in danger en route a unanimous decision.

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