(Worst. Pride parade. Ever. Photo courtesy of Tom Casino @ Pro Elite.)
Five fights, five first-round stoppages; last night’s ShoXC Challenger Series card was unquestionably badass. But for our money, the night belonged to Shayna Baszler. With mentor Josh Barnett in her corner, “The Queen of Spades” faced Keiko “Tama Chan” Tamai — who was clownlike in both attire and demeanor — and smoked her, dispatching the outmatched Japanese fighter with a suplex (seriously!), ground-and-pound, and finally a neck crank; maybe the first time we’ve seen that submission since Dan Severn in the mid-’90s. With the win, Baszler improves her pro record to 9-4, with all nine wins coming via submission. After the fight she claimed ownership of EliteXC’s women’s division, and declared she was ready for any challenger to try and prove otherwise. LaRosa and Carano, you’re officially on notice.
Also notable was the fight between undefeated middleweights Matt Lucas and Givanildo Santana, who had previously defeated nine of his ten opponents via armbar, earning him the nickname “The Arm Collector.” You’d think Lucas would be extra careful to avoid the same fate, but like an idiot, he got on top of Santana during the fight, leaned over too far without protecting himself and got snatched up. Make that ten wins by armbar.
As for the rest of the televised card, Bao Quatch put Doug Evans to sleep in 55 seconds with a right hook to the temple, Fabricio Camoes disposed of Joe Camacho via GnP TKO in what Stephen Quadros described as an “old-school vale tudo match,” and the main event drew boos after Jared Hamman went down due to a flying knee from Poai Suganuma, and the ref immediately stopped the fight (just 15 seconds into the first frame), even though it didn’t look like Hamman was quite at the point of helplessness. “I am so mad right know,’’ Hamman said after the fight. “I don’t know what happened or why it was stopped. I wanted to keep fighting. I felt I could keep fighting…I absolutely want a rematch.’’
Suganuma agreed that the stoppage was early: “No one likes to win in controversial fashion,’’ he said. “I thought I had him dazed but I don’t think he was completely out. I was a little surprised the ref did what he did but only because I wanted to hit him again. If he wants to fight again, that’s fine with me. Let’s do it.’’
(Jared Hamman is all, “wha hoppen?” Photo courtesy of Tom Casino @ Pro Elite.)