(Minowaman vs. Shlemenko. Sorry Seth, this is what you get for taking the weekend off.)
At the minimum, last night’s Super Fight League 2 card was a small, albeit significant, improvement over the upstart promotion’s first card. The fact that Bob Sapp was not participating already ensured this. Yes, it was still riddled with the goofy, often laughably bad commentary of Phil Baroni and some other guy who I don’t really care to look up at the moment, but overall, it was able to deliver more action and dramatic finishes than this weekend’s Bellator card could account for, and considering it was free, who are we to complain? If only they could get rid of those awkward crowd shots.
But before we get to the most exciting finish, perhaps we could focus on the oddest one– Alexander Shlemenko’s first round TKO of Ikuhisa Minowa. Minowa continued his rough streak against recognizable-named opponents this morning, and it looks like he could be on the shelve for a little longer than usual this time around. For the first couple of minutes, the fight was vintage Shlemenko, featuring more spinning death attacks than a tornado in an axe factory. Minowa simply had no answer for “The Storm” on the feet, and was stalked around the cage until around the two minute mark, when Shlemenko was able to land a well timed knee to Minowa’s skull that sent him reeling backward.
Minowa seemed to be alright, reaching for a leg log in the moments afterward, but when Shlemenko was able to pull out from danger, Minowa suddenly curled up in the fetal position with an apparent rib injury. No word yet on exactly how bad he is hurt, but we’re going to guess that the injury was more, you know, real, than the quad injury that felled Sapp in his main event clash against James Thompson at SFL 1. The announcer not named Phil Baroni was kind enough to inform us that Shlemenko has now fought 13 times in the past two years. That is fucking insane. And speaking of insane, Shlemenko’s thirst for his well deserved rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard might just be driving him a bit loony. After defeating Minowa, Shlemenko gave what was perhaps the greatest post fighting interview of all time, calmly stating, ”Hey India. Hector, I kill you.” If only Lombard could come to an agreement with the Bellator brass, perhaps we could watch these two throw down again.
Perhaps no fighter has fallen farther, faster, in the past couple years than Todd Duffee. We all know the story: After blistering Tim Hague in just six seconds in his UFC debut and subsequently landing on the pages of damn near every muscle fitness catalog on the market, Duffee’s hype train was derailed, as if by Lawrence of Arabia himself, at UFC 114, when Mike Russow scored one of the greatest comebacks of all time by knocking him out cold in the third round. Duffee was dropped by the UFC shortly thereafter for supposed attitude problems, and would get steamrolled by Alistair Overeem at K-1 Dynamite: Power of Courage on New Year’s Eve the following year. This morning marked the first time in nearly two years that we had seen Duffe in action, and it only took him thirty seconds to show us that the dude can still throw with some serious power, as he ran through UFC and Bellator veteran Neil Grove without breaking a sweat.
After a feeling out process that was too short to remember, a staple of Grove’s fights, Duffee landed a right hand so powerful that it apparently imploded the ringside announcers microphones upon impact. Seriously, that hook came from farther away than Jeremy Stephens’ home run uppercut of Rafael Dos Anjos, but there was simply nothing that Grove could do. A few follow up punches sealed the deal, and Duffee earned his third fastest paycheck to date. Well, fourth if you count the Overeem loss, but the money he made that night didn’t even cover the open heart chest surgery he had to undergo (no, not really), so we’ll call it even.
He might not be ready for another run in the UFC, but there’s no denying that Duffee’s speed and heavy-hands could prove to be the undoing of many a heavyweight if he manages to keep his own head on straight. Time will tell.
Check out the full results from SFL 2 below.
Todd Duffee defeats Neil Grove by KO, Round 1
Colleen Schneider defeats Cherie Buck by TKO, Round 2
Ricky Singh defeats Salika Senanayake by TKO, Round 1
Anup Kumar defeats Dilanga Rathnaveera by Submission, (Rear Naked Choke, Round 2)
Alexander Shlemenko defeats Ikuhisa Minowa by TKO, Round 1
Bharat Khandare defeats Soro Ismael by TKO, Round 1
Pierre Daguzan defeats Chaitanya Gavali (29-28)
Ryan Healy defeats Paul Kelly (30-27)