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Battlegrounds MMA Results and GIFs: Roan Carneiro Wins the One Night, Eight-Man Welterweight Tournament

(Imagine this but 30 pounds heavier / Photo via Getty)

Chael Sonnen. Jim Ross. One night tournament. Holy shit. Are you ready for this?

We certainly weren’t (and judging by the sparse attendance, nobody else was either) The event was probably one of the most “freakshow-ish” events of the entire year, and we loved every second of it. Here’s a brief recap of the festivities!

The tournament, which was in the welterweight division, started off with Trey Houston vs. Jesse Taylor. Taylor took Houston down early and after a period of inactivity on the ground Houston managed to grab Taylor’s arm and lock in an armbar. Check out the GIF (this and others via Zombie Prophet/Fansided):

In the next quarterfinal bout, Roan Carneiro took on Randall Wallace. Carneiro took Wallace down immediately and out-classed him on the mat. He mounted Wallace, then took his back, and then scored a brutal armbar, the second of the night.

In the fight CagePotato viewed as the main event, Cody McKenzie fought Brock Larson. McKenzie looked awful physically. He sported a sizeable beer guy, channeling his inner Chuck Liddell. Despite his physique, he nearly managed to sink a guillotine in toward the end of the first round. But in the second, Larson’s strength prevailed. Overpowered McKenzie on the ground, passed his guard, and submitted him with an arm triangle choke.

The last quarterfinal took place between Joe Ray and Luigi Fioravanti. Fioravanti started the fight by pressing Ray up against the fence. This ended up working to Fioravanti’s disadvantage as Ray landed a knee in the clinch that hurt Fioravanti. Then Ray landed an additional pair of knees which floored Fioravanti, who turtled up.

After the semifinals, there was an interlude. A dude who as 16-23 took on a guy who was making his pro debut. Ugh. The 0-0 guy won. Moving on…

Two young featherweight fighters in Zac Church and Ryan Hayes met one another in a great scrap. The first round had some surprisingly technical scrambles between the two relatively inexperienced fighters and some decent striking exchanges as well. Unfortunately, this torrid pace didn’t continue and the fight slowed down by the end. Zac Church was awarded with a unanimous decision victory.

In semifinal one, Trey Houston met Roan Carneiro. Carneiro controlled the first, taking Houston down and mounting him. He wasn’t able to get the finish though. Carneiro landed a HUGE hook in the second that made Houston limp. Carneiro took Houston down off the punch and ultimately scored a TKO finish via ground and pound.

The next semifinal pit Joe Ray and Brock Larson against one another. Larson controlled the first, taking Ray down and cutting his nose open with an ‘accidental’ headbutt. Ray reversed his fortunes in the second. He managed to take Larson, the wrestler, down and stay on top of him in side control. Ray attempted a D’Arce choke that appeared to be sunk in but he couldn’t finish it. Larson controlled the last round with some serious lay and pray up until a fruitless flurry in the last few seconds. Larson won a unanimous decision. There weren’t any highlights from this to GIF, really.

So the finals were between Roan Carneiro and Brock Larson.

An interlude bout saw bantamweights Tyler Shinn fight Chris Gutierrez. This bout was pretty forgettable and wasn’t that great, in all honesty. Gutierrez was awarded with a split decision win.

Finally, the FINALS of the tournament. Roan Carneiro controlled the first round by pressing Larson against the fence, something we expected Larson to be doing to be honest. The second round saw much of the same and was pretty lackluster, to be honest. No fighter had any real offense, which was understandable as they were depleting from fighting twice already. Carneiro nearly finished the job in the start of the third round. He dragged Larson to the mat immediately, took his back, and started landing ground and pound. Larson, fighting off instinct, managed to regain half guard and then later full guard. Carneiro coasted on top for the rest of the round to win the fight via decision, as well as the entire tournament.


We give this event a B-. I was certainly fun but it was plagued with pacing issues later on. The problem was that each tournament fighter had to have a 30-minute rest period after their tournament bouts. That killed the pacing in the last half of the card and made it run to an inconvenient time to those on the east coast. An earlier start date would work wonders. The tournament overall was intriguing, fun, and a refreshing change. It was a bit of a bummer that the final wasn’t terribly exciting.

And, of course, there was Chael Sonnen and Jim Ross on commentary. They started off pretty shaky but managed to pull it together and did a wonderful job. Chael was composed and very informative. JR did great as well, and had some great zingers too.

To us, the event was worth the $20. Let’s hope Battlegrounds survives to do a second event.


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