Weekend Rundown: Nelson, Marshall, Imanari Victorious

By Brian Knapp Aug 30, 2010
Sherdog.com Illustration

Undefeated European welterweight prospect Gunnar Nelson submitted Danny Mitchell with a first-round rear-naked choke in the Cage Contender 6 headliner on Saturday at the Altrincham Leisure Centre in Manchester, England. The end came 2:51 into round one.

A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie, Nelson has rattled off seven consecutive victories, all of them finishes, since his professional debut against John Olesen ended in a draw three years ago. The 22-year-old Icelandic export finished fourth in the absolute division at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships. Mitchell had never before been submitted.

Other winners at Cage Contender 6 included FX3 veteran Greg Knapp (unanimous decision over James Doolan), undefeated Iranian Ali Arish (unanimous decision against Nathan Champ) and Warren Kee (second-round technical knockout over Lee Barnes).

Marshall Outpoints Haynes at ROF 39

Jettisoned UFC light heavyweight Eliot Marshall outpointed “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 finalist Josh Haynes en route to a unanimous decision in the Ring of Fire 39 “Summer Brawl 2” main event on Friday at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver.

Marshall -- who was pruned from the UFC roster following his split decision defeat to former International Fight League light heavyweight champion Vladimir Matyushenko in March -- nearly finished Haynes with a rear-naked choke in the third round. A semi-finalist on Season 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” he has won four of his last five fights. Marshall, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, trains out of the Grudge Training Center in Colorado.

The defeat halted a two-fight winning streak for Haynes, who has hovered around the .500 mark since he was shown the door by the UFC in 2007.

Other winners at Ring of Fire 39 included Brandon Thatch (first-round rear-naked choke against Danny Davis Jr.), Angelo Duarte (unanimous decision over Ron Muir), Bruce Reis (second-round TKO against Vellore Cabellero) and Michelle Blalock (third-round TKO over Marciea Allen).

Imanari, Fukuda Retain Deep Titles

Masakazu Imanari won a unanimous decision from Tomoya Miyashita in the Deep 49 Impact headliner on Friday, as he retained his bantamweight championship at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. Imanari swept the scorecards from all five ringside judges.

Content to fight off his back, Imanari pulled guard several times and threatened the challenger with a series of submissions: two triangle chokes in the first round, a kneebar in the second and an armbar in the third. Transformed into prey inside Imanari’s spidery guard, Miyashita mounted little in the way of offense in the three-round affair, as he delivered a hard left hand in the third round and landed the occasional punch when the two men were on the ground.

Imanari has held the Deep bantamweight crown for more than two years. The 34-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will carry a four-fight winning streak into his next appearance.

Meanwhile, EliteXC veteran Riki Fukuda dispatched Ryuta Sakurai with second-round knees, as he kept his stranglehold on the Deep middleweight belt. Sakurai met his demise 32 seconds into round two. Fukuda, cut near the eye, unleashed a stream of uppercuts and knees that sent Sakurai out of the ring and onto a judge, ending the bout. Fukuda has won seven fights in a row and nine of his last 10.

Quick Hits

UFC veteran and 2009 Dream welterweight grand prix finalist Jason High snapped his two-fight losing streak with a unanimous decision over Jordan Mein in the Rumble in the Cage 40 main event on Thursday at the Taber Ice Arena in Taber, Alberta, Canada … Elaina Maxwell defeated Raging Wolf 135-pound women’s champion Alexis Davis by unanimous decision at Raging Wolf 9 “Mayhem in the Mist 4” on Saturday at the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Maxwell failed to meet her mandated weight requirement, resulting in the switch to a non-title affair … Nick Duell stopped Mickey Hughes on second-round strikes to capture the vacant North American Allied Fight Series welterweight championship at NAAFS “Rock-N-Rumble 4” on Saturday at the Nautica Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio. The end came 14 seconds into round two … World-ranked flyweight Fumihiro Kitahara submitted Hiroyuki Tanaka with a second-round rear-naked choke at Shooto “Gig North 6” on Sunday at the Zepp Sapporo in Sapporo, Japan. Tanaka waved the white flag 4:35 into the second period, as the 26-year-old Kitahara extended his winning streak to five fights.
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