Fans slept through the first 899 seconds of the bout, and Fulton through the last one.
MMA fans are quick to dismiss a card that lacks a lot of star power, but sometimes those events come through with exciting fights and lightning quick stoppages. This is not one of those times. It’s one thing when a surly blogger talks a little trash about an event, but when the organization’s announcer tweets that he’s falling asleep mid-bout and the promoter jokingly agrees you know that the card didn’t even live up to whatever low expectations you may have had for it.
While their first show back from exile was largely a success, ProElite took a gamble last night and lost by focusing their attention on heavyweights. When a mere pair of heavyweight fights can mar an otherwise enjoyable UFC card, the odds of twelve second-and-third-tier big boys delivering a memorable night of fights for ProElite seemed unlikely.
In the evening’s main event, Tim Sylvia took home his second consecutive win in a plodding unanimous decision over Andreas Kraniotakes. The former UFC champion employed a strict gameplan of wall & stall to keep his smaller opponent pinned to the cage while periodically dispensing knees and punches. It was a win, and that’s about all you can say for it.
In his second fight under the ProElite banner, Andrei Arlovski returned to action against the Cal Ripken of MMA, Travis Fulton. Though the two showed a slight interest in exchanging strikes in the first round, that desire had waned by the second. The judges were spared the embarrassment of admitting that they’d stopped watching the fight at quite literally the last second, when “The Pit Bull” connected with a powerful left high kick that dropped Fulton cold at 4:59 of the final round.
In his pro debut last August, Reagan Penn displayed the same adept submission game and killer instinct as his older brother BJ. Last night he revealed that they share the same cardio training regimen as well. The first round was an active back-and-forth grappling battle, but Reagan was noticeably slower with nearly two minutes left in the frame. He started the second round with his hands hanging low, which allowed Evan Cutts to unload solid punches and kicks before taking the fight to the ground. Cutts spent the rest of the round grinding down Penn and working for submissions while taking his back and gaining full mount. Round three was rinse and repeat. Cutts picked up his third pro victory with the unanimous decision.
Heavyweight Tournament cliffs notes:
- Jake Heun picked up his second pro win with a first round TKO over Ed Carpenter. After spending much of the round pinned beneath Ed Carpenter, Heun worked his way back up and landed a body kick and big right hand that sent his opponent falling backward. Heavy ground and pound forced the ref to stop the fight.
- Justyn Riley spent most of round one brutalizing Cody Griffin’s body with knees while holding him down on all fours. In round two he secured the same position, but opted for punches and elbows to Griffin’s flanks instead. Griffin survived being back mounted at the end of the round and opened the third stanza throwing bombs. He dropped Riley and stood over him raining down blows until waived off by the official just 32 seconds into round three.
- Richard Odoms was simply too big and strong for Rodney Housley. Odoms was able to successfully control Housley against the cage and on the mat en route to a unanimous decision.
- Former NCAA champ Mark Ellis failed to parlay his considerable wrestling talent into a successful offense against Ryan Martinez. Martinez easily sprawled out of Ellis’ attempts to get the fight to the mat and made him pay with punches, hammerfists and knees (both legal and not). Martinez advances with the UD.
I sacrificed my Sunday to watch these fights so you don’t have to, but if you’re feeling full of self-hate you can catch them over at IronForgesIron.com.