Alexander Shlemenko Scores First-Round Submission of David Branch in RCC 7 Headliner

By Elena Katretskaya Dec 14, 2019

Former Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko submitted UFC veteran David Branch with a rear-naked choke in the first round of the Russian Cagefighting Championship 7 headliner in Ekaterinburg, Russia, on Saturday.

Despite the quick finish, the fight was not a cakewalk for Shlemenko. From the beginning of the bout, Shlemenko was the aggressor, pressuring and attacking his opponent with strikes. However, Branch was able to land several takedowns and even took Shlemenko’s back. The situation was very difficult, but Shlemenko did not surrender his neck. The combatants were in the position for a little more than a minute, but Shlemenko was able to delight the Russian crowd by escaping the predicament.

Immediately after that, Shlemenko (59-12) went to work with newfound resolve. The Russian had Branch (22-7) under duress near the fence, and just when it seemed that the opening round was going to end, Shlemenko grabbed the American’s neck for the fight-ending submission at the 4:58 mark of the period.

In the evening’s co-main event, Yasubey Enomoto (20-11-0) defeated Ivan Shtyrkov (16-1-1) by submission at the 2:37 mark of Round 2. Shtyrkov was making his welterweight debut after cutting more than 44 pounds.

Both fighters were very active in the bout’s opening moments. Shtyrkov landed a few powerful blows before securing a takedown. From there, Shtyrkov attempted to score a submission, but the Swiss fighter was able to escape the position, return to his feet and land some significant offense of his own.

The weight cut took its toll on Shtyrkov, who appeared fatigued in the second stanza. Enomoto was able to capitalize after Shtyrkov landed another takedown, as he moved to his opponent’s back and locked in the fight-ending rear-naked choke.

Earlier, Russian fighter Mikhail Ragozin (15-4-0) defeated Canadian Matt Dwyer (11-7-0) by unanimous decision.

The first round was a tense one. The Canadian, having an advantage in height, worked well with punches and kicks at range. Ragozin, meanwhile, used explosive movements to get inside and attack with punches. Ragozin ended the opening stanza on his opponent’s back, but Dwyer was able to survive.

In the second round, the fighters spent most the time on the canvas. Ragozin was active with takedowns, forcing Dwyer to remain on the defensive for the majority of the period. At the beginning of Round 3, Ragozin and Dwyer engaged in a spirited exchange, and the Canadian was able to cut his opponent. The furious action continued throughout the round, drawing a roar of approval from the spectators.

Elsewhere, Kazakhstan’s Georgy Kichigin (23-6) defeated Brazil’s Cleber Souza (19-9) via rear-naked choke at the 1:25 mark of Round 2 in a middleweight affair.

From the first minutes of the fight Kichigin took the initiative, attacking on the feet before taking his opponent to the ground with relative ease. He remained in top position until the conclusion of Round 1. Not much changed in Round 2, as Kichigin quickly landed a takedown, transitioned to Souza’s back and locked in the decisive maneuver.

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