Results from Saturday night’s big Vegas event
Saturday’s Superior Cage Combat show was full of exciting fights, great prospects and plenty of former UFC veterans.
There are plenty of local cards in Las Vegas, but SCC took things to a new level in terms of production. They’ve set themselves apart from the rest of the competition by using a nice cage, excellent lighting and a graphics and video package that were not at all cheesy. It was a good look.
Oh, and the fights were awesome.
Josh Neer wasn’t the most popular man in the arena tonight. That honor would go to Blas Avena, a local Las Vegas star who was excited to fight in front of his hometown. He even got the final entrance of the night, typically reserved for the biggest name on the card, and the throng of his supporters in attendance were the loudest of the night.
It was all for naught, though. Neer utterly dominated Avena, getting him to the mat and in the mount before finishing him with a string of brutal elbows. For Neer, it was a vintage performance.
Shawn Fitzsimmons took his fight with UFC, PRIDE, WEC and King of the Cage veteran John Alessio on just two days notice. It showed in the cage. Fitzsimmons had plenty of heart, but he was never going to be in Alessio’s league. Alessio peppered Fitzsimmons with a snapping jab throughout the first round, keeping the unorthodox Fitzsimmons from getting too close. In the second, Alessio proved that his submission skills are still something to fear, submitting Fitzsimmons with a rear-naked choke that put him to sleep roughly 2 seconds after it was applied.
Justin Buchholz’s last outing in the SCC cage saw him finish fellow UFC veteran Steve Lopez with the famed Anderson Silva push kick. He badly wanted to do the same thing to Thiago Meller tonight, and threw it with wild abandon. He couldn’t quite connect, but did enough to win a dominant unanimous decision over the Jose Aldo training partner and friend.
John Gunderson’s heart was on his sleeve as he came to the cage to open the SCC 2 main card. Gunderson, a long-time friend and protege of the late Shawn Tompkins, walked to the cage to the tune of “I’ll Be Missing You.” It was an emotional moment, not just for Gunderson, but for those of us who knew him well. Gunderson understandably had a tough week, much like every other member of Team Tompkins competing here tonight and around the world. But Gunderson did enough to submit the very durable James Birdsley in the second round after consistently putting him in danger throughout the fight.
Bristol Marunde looked to be out of his element on the feet against Victor Moreno. Luckily for him, Moreno made a mistake after dropping Marunde to the mat, allowing Marunde to get a north-south position and then transition into a nasty kimura for the submission in the first round. Moreno’s arm is still attached to his body. That’s a good thing, because I wasn’t certain it would be after what I’d just witnessed.
Vitor Belfort protege Cezar Ferreira looks a lot like his mentor. Unfortunately, it was opponent Elvis Mutapcic that wielded the trademark Belfort power. Mutapcic sent Ferreira into a slow back-first fall to the canvas with a nasty short left just 25 seconds into the fight, then followed up with a single punch to the unconscious Brazilian on the ground. Short fight and impressive display of power by Mutapcic, who moves to 9-1 in his career.
Taking a fight on two day’s notice isn’t usually a good idea, something that former UFC heavyweight Chase Gormley likely now realizes. Gormley came in the fight visibly out of shape, but was still the aggressor early in the fight. But Beau Tribolet hits really, really hard, and he ended the third fight of the night by dropping Gormley to the mat with a right and then a cascade of ground and pound.
Despite the name, Danny Davis Jr. has no pro wrestling connection. What he does have, however, is a win after scoring a third-round submission over Mike Dizak. Dizak – another top pupil of the late Shawn Tompkins – was likely on his way to a rather uninteresting decision win before making one mistake in the third and giving up the anaconda choke. Dizak tried to hold on but couldn’t make it to the end of the round.
In the opening fight of the evening, Xtreme Couture featherweight Jimmy Jones jumped up a weight class to fight David Bollea, better known as the nephew of legendary pro wrestler Hulk Hogan. Bollea had little to offer on the feet and outside of a few submission attempts, couldn’t do much of anything on the ground. Jones continually floored him the second round and Steve Mazagatti finally put a stop to it. I’d hoped Bollea would Hulk Up and drop a leg, but it didn’t happen.