This Week In Face Punching #22: DQ Shenanigans, Brave CF Invades Brazil

3/16/17 – 3/22/17

(Last week’s delayed issue – Next Edition Out Soon!)

This Week in Face Punching Funky Highlight Special: We just couldn’t wait to share this one.  If you haven’t seen this clip yet, check out one of the stranger fight finishes in recent memory as both Windson Ramos (0-0) and Fard Muhammad (3-5) managed to draw the referee’s ire to the point that he ruled the bout a double disqualification.  More on that show’s legitimate fights, and the rest of the week in global MMA, are below!



Around the World in 20 Shows

Brave CF 3 (Brazil) – Abu Dhabi’s Brave CF came to the rescue of Brazilian fight fans desperate for a top-quality regional product, as the leading Middle Eastern promotion matched up a host of top Brazilian prospects with quality international competition including many ex-UFC talents. The prospects definitively came out on top in two of those clashes with former big show talent, with top bantamweight prospect Felipe Efrain (11-2) taking out Walel Watson (13-10), flyweight Marcel Adur (12-4) knocking out Ivan Lopez (14-3). Main eventer Lucas Martins (19-3) avoided the same fate as his fellow ex-Octagon competitors, as the top notch featherweight dominated Mexican Favian Galvan (8-2) for two rounds before latching on a fight-ending D’Arce choke just before the bell.  Other upper-tier Brazilian prospects who came out on top at this highly entertaining card included 22 year old Bellator veteran Julio Cesar Neves (33-1) who clinically picked and poked at Fernando Colman (5-1) over three rounds to score a clear decision; Luan Santiago (11-2), who needed just 143 seconds to blow Ivan Castillo (13-6) out of the water in their lightweight clash; Rogerio Bontorin (11-0), who showed off serious grappling chops in his quick first round submission win over Philippino prospect Jon Olivar Jr. (4-1); and Cristiano Souza (7-1), who cleaned Mexican talent Christian Quinonez’ (9-2) clock with a knockout punch in the second round of their bantamweight contest:

WSOF 35 (New York) – There were so many reasons to pay attention to the World Series of Fighting 35 card that we’ve got a whole article dedicated to it – click the link for the event review, with plenty of highlight videos courtesy of WSOF.  The main event heavyweight title fight was a brief affair, with recent UFC competitor Shawn Jordan (19-8) never really looking like he was in the fight against dominant Bulgarian champ Blagoi Ivanov (15-1). Ivanov stunned his foe with a straight punch and then jumped on him with ground and pound that forced the stoppage just 1:43 into round one – check out the embedded highlights to see how that went down. The other two title fights were unfortunately tepid affairs, with featherweight champ Lance Palmer (11-3) falling by decision to undefeated Ander Harrison (16-0) in a fight that saw Palmer break his hand in round one, and Bekbulat Magomedov (18-1) claiming the vacant bantamweight title that formerly belonged to Marlon Moraes with a dominant if uneventful grappling-heavy unanimous decision over late replacement Donny Frelow (6-2).  Finally, we’d be remiss in not mentioning the fantastic performance authored by top Canadian 135 prospect Hakeem Dawodu (7-0-1) and UFC veteran Steven Siler (29-16), as both men put on a very entertaining scrap that saw Dawodu rock Siler with countless bombs while surviving Siler’s submission attempts and back takes. Good stuff all around – click the link for more on WSOF 35.

DEEP 78 Impact (Japan) Ken Hasegawa (15-1) has long been a person of interest for JMMA fans, first gaining notoriety in 2012 as a vastly undersized yet successfully open weight giant slayer. The 5’11” Hasegawa has shrunken considerably since those days, first to the light heavyweight ranks before slimming down to middleweight where he suffered his only career loss to Bellator talent Brennan Ward at the RIZIN 2015 New Year’s Eve show.  In the last year Hasegawa has dropped even further to the welterweight division, and in his 170 pound debut he won a DEEP welterweight tournament quarterfinal bout by decision over Toichiro Sato last October. Hasegawa followed it up with a much more satisfying and decisive win in the main event of DEEP 78 Impact, as he booked his ticket to the tourney finals with a KO over Yoshiyuki Katahira (10-5-2). Joining Hasegawa in the tournament finals is 31 year old veteran Ryuichiro Sumumura (10-6), who earned a decision win over Taisuke Okuno (13-11-2). The card also featured an appearance from the legendary Masakazu Imanari (36-16), who earned yet another victory via his trademark heel hook technique, and flyweight top prospect Naoki Inoue (10-0) who stayed undefeated with a majority decision over a very game Tomohiro Adaniya (14-11-2).

DEEP Osaka Impact (Japan) – The trials process for the ROAD $1 million lightweight tournament continued at DEEP’s second show of the week emanating from Osaka, with a four-man one night tournament taking place to earn a spot in the main draw. The first round saw both fights go to a ten minute decision, with hometown fighter Kota Shimoishi (20-4) decisioning Yuki Okano (12-9-1) and Kimihiro Ito (11-3-2) earning the nod over Brazilian JMMA regular Luiz Andrade (19-18-6). In the finals Shimoishi put a stamp on his ticket into the tournament draw, as he left the judges out of it by knocking out Eto in just over two minutes.  With the pair of victories, Shimoishi runs his record to an impressive 9-1 since the start of 2014 and has himself positioned as a viable contender for the lucrative tournament crown.

Battlefield FC (South Korea) – For UFC fans, the biggest name on this card was definitely longtime top 10 bantamweight Sarah Kaufman (18-4), who made her first post-Octagon start in the co-main event of the very first Battlefied FC from Seoul. Her Australian foe Jessy Rose-Clark (6-4) was certainly game, but she was unable to match the pressure and grappling skills of the more heralded Canadian. In the end Kaufman started the next phase of her career on the right foot, claiming a clear unanimous decision. Another very familiar face was featured on the undercard, as 22 year veteran Jorge “Macaco” Patino (39-19-2) snapped his four fight losing streak against top competition with a disputed keylock submission win over Yousef Wehbe (6-4); Wehbe claimed that he never tapped, but the result still goes down in the history books as the 43 year old’s 15th submission victory. And in the evening’s main event former ONE middleweight champ Igor Svirid (11-4) choked out American welterweight Joe Ray (13-6). With the dominant win, Svirid made a strong impression in his new 170 pound weight class and snapped a three-fight losing streak to the world-class competitors Yasubey Enomoto, Luis “Sapo” Santos, and Vitaly Bigdash.

GKO 9 (California) – Top-to-bottom this GKO9 offering was a legitimately stacked card for the Calfornia regional circuit. Top quality prospects were plentiful, with none shining brighter than former RFA featherweight title challenger Sam Toomer (11-1) who scored a quick knockout over Strikeforce veteran Anthony Avila (13-5). Fellow featherweight prospect Tyler Diamond (7-0) also got things settled quickly with a 111 second knockout of recently-stumbling journeyman Ran Weathers (18-26).  And joining the first round finish club were Brazilian flyweight prospect Barbara Acioly (4-0) who scored a triangle choke finish against Jamie Thornton (4-2) and 23 year old middleweight sensation Anthony Hernandez (5-0) who scored his fifth straight finish with a standing guillotine choke execution of Mike Persons (8-4). Once the smoke cleared from those battles, the main event featured onetime Tyrone Spong foe Angel DeAnda (17-5) taking on Bellator veteran Justin Baesman (19-12) for the GKO middleweight title. DeAnda ranks among the most underrated (and unassuming looking) talents in the sport but as usual he brought his A game to this one, taking out Baesman via TKO midway through round three. At 31 years old and with five straight strong wins over the last two years, could another shot in a big promotion be in the DeAnda’s near future?

KOTC Supernova (California) – King of the Cage’s latest trip to its California stomping grounds produced a host of quality professional bouts. The main event was set to be a lightweight test for KOTC three-division champion Juan Archuleta (14-1), who holds the promotion’s 135, 145, and 155 pound straps. But his title defense against Brandon Hastings (5-3) came to a premature halt when the challenger suffered an arm injury just 24 seconds in. Other prospects to come out on top included lightweight Ryan Fillingame (6-2) who eked out a split decision nod over Zach Juusola (11-4), electric striker Kevin Holland (9-2) who kept his recent run of top form going with a knockout of veteran middleweight David Gomez (17-10), and bantamweight finisher Johnny Munoz Jr. (4-0) who put away the well-traveled Musa Toliver (10-11-1) with a first round armbar. And in a featured strawweight bout, talented amateur Cynthia Arceo (1-0) made a successful pro debut with a dominant TKO performance over Peggy Ross (0-2).


Conquer FC 3 (California) – One of the better domestic cards to date emanated from California on 3/18 as Conquer FC brought viewers a mix of bouts between credentialed veterans and strong propects. In the main event TUF 8 champ Efrain Escudero (27-12) rebounded from a loss to FNG ace Akhmet Aliev in Russia with a decision victory over 26 year old ex-Bellator contender Fabricio Guerreiro da Silva (21-5). With that win, the 31 year old Escudero goes to 3-1 since his most recent UFC dismissal and set himself up for more major fights on the regionalstage. And the co-main event featured a highlight finish from debuting amateur wrestling star Deron Winn (1-0), who slammed and disposed of Mike Morales (7-6) with ground-and-pound just 28 seconds into their light heavyweight contest – check out the GIF to see the junior college national champion action.



Hard Knocks 54 (Canada) – Canada’s recent regional MMA resurgence continued last week as Hard Knocks brought its action-packed brand of MMA to the MacPhain Centre in Calgary for HK 54. The main event was essentially a coronation for Jesse Arnett (12-4), who entered his bout against Maged Hammo (8-5-1) as the promotion’s reigning bantamweight champion and left the cage as the featherweight champ as well. Arnett dominated all facets of the game, displaying crisp and varied standup to go with his overwhelming wrestling and jiu-jitsu game. Arnett scored the tap via D’Arce choke just over 8 minutes into the bout, and with nine straight wins under his belt it seems inevitable that the 32 year old should receive a UFC or Bellator call the next time those promotions venture back to Canada. The rest of the card was plenty of fun, featuring solid action and commentary from Twitter favorite Elias Theodorou – check out the full @CombatDocket review of the Hard Knocks 54 card right here.

KOP 54 (Michigan) – Michigan Top Team featherweight Cody Stamann (13-1) is rapidly amassing the sort of record that turns heads as he plies his trade on the northern U.S. regional scene. The regular KOP main eventer was at it again at KOP as he faced off with Titan and RFA veteran Bill Kamery (13-6). “TheSpartan” picked up a sixth straight win in style, scoring a TKO just as the buzzer sounded to signify the end of round one. Stamann adds Kamery’s name to an impressive regional resume that includes LFA talent Stephen Cervantes and reigning Titan bantamweight kingpin Frank Sharipov. At 27 years old, this is one prospect who’s showing all indication that he’s ready to test his skills against the elite. Also on the card, 25 year old lightweight finisher Troy “Pretty Boy” Lamson (8-2) scored a second straight stoppage victory over Alex Trevino (7-7), while lightweight prospect Ryse Brink’s (3-1) knockout out of Joe Nehm (1-3) produced an unexpected viral highlight when the semi-conscious Nehm put the referee into a pretty solid looking rear naked choke after he jolted back awake.


Beatdown 20 (North Dakota) – From 2014-2015, 28 year old South Dakota native David Michaud (10-3) enjoyed a three fight UFC journey that saw him slug out a clear decision win over Garrett Whiteley, lose a close split nod to tenacious Chinese grappler Li Jingliang, and suffer a submission loss to grappling ace Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Since his UFC release Michaud has split a pair of bouts in the regionals, first finishing an easy first round win over journeyman Chris Hugh at RFA 37 before losing a 25 minute title fight via unanimous decision to fellow ex-UFC comrade Dhiego Lima in the Titan FC 39 main event. Michaud took on another tough challenge at Beatdown 20, facing off with former Hard Knocks welterweight champion Cody Wilson (9-3). After two rounds of solid action, Michaud unloaded a wicked right hand that separated Wilson from his senses – see the embedded video to witness Wilson’s descent of dreamworld courtesy of “The Bulldawg.”  The co-main event was highlighted by a strong performance from two-time Invicta bantamweight Alexa Conners (3-1), who picked up her third straight win with a first round TKO of Mariah Prussia (5-3). Conners has already booked her next bout, a main card appearance opposite King of the Cage veteran Calie Cutler at LFA 8. And a former RFA competitor was successful on the undercard when strawweight Emily Whitmire (2-1) returned to the win column with a decision over Ronni Nanney (2-8).


UCL (Indiana) – If you’re not familiar with Dan Stittgen (12-5), you may recognize him as the recipient of Wonderboy Thompson’s over-the-shoulder head kick KO in the two-time title challenger’s UFC debut bout. Since his two-fight big show stint in 2012, Stittgen has continued to ply his trade in the minor leagues, suffering losses to big show caliber talents Benjamin Brinsa and Jonavin Webb while defeating four regional level foes. Stittgen once again disposed of journeyman competition in the 3/18 UCL main event, punching out Joshua Lee (9-16) in just over two minutes. The show also featured an appearance by Serbian submission specialist Aleksandr Rajacic (7-2), who showed off his leglock acumen with a first round heel hook finish of Terry House, Jr. (7-11).


CSFC 17 (England) – In terms of fight caliber there’s nothing to report from this club-level UK card. But anytime someone pulls off a twister and catches it on tape, we’re happy to be on top of that action.  Enjoy this fine work from welterweight Rico Franco (1-1) as he schools Steve Webster (0-5) on the backbreaking move:

Aspera FC 50 (Brazil) – A pair of U.S. big show veterans pulled off strong regional wins in the featured bouts at Aspera 50. In the main event Marcio Alexandre Jr. (15-3) decisioned Marcus Vinicius (7-2) to notch his third straight win since consecutive defeats at the hands of Court McGee, Tim Means, and Warlley Alves earned him a UFC pink slip. There’s no shame in losses to that murderer’s row, and at just 27 years of age, there’s still plenty of time for the slick range striker to earn another chance at top ranked competition. The co-main featured ex-Bellator competitor and South American regional star Ricardo Tirloni (22-6), who scored his first submission since 2012 with an anaconda choke finish of Fabricio Oliveira (9-5). And a quartet of trio of notable prospects were victorious on the night: 23 year old lightweight finisher Willian Lima (10-1) who scored a first round knockout, Astra Fight Team bantamweight Saimon Oliveira (12-2) who felled a regional foe in under a minute all the way up at lightweight, and Tapology #33 ranked atomweight Silvania Monteiro (7-2) who ran her winning streak to two with a first round finish of her own.


Tech Krep (Russia) – Ukraine’s Yaroslav Amosov (18-0) may be just 23, but he already has five years of slaughtering (mostly lower quality) professional welterweight opposition under his belt. The Tech-Krep regular earn the promotion’s 170 pound title last time out with a decision over late replacement Roberto Soldic, but this past weekend he returned to his normal finishing ways with a first round north-south choke of his toughest foe yet in Brazilian Anderson Queiroz (16-5). Shiny record aside, Amosov remains mostly untested versus elite competition but the signs are certainly there that he could be a major player in the global MMA scene before long.

In the show’s other title fight Russian bantamweight Goga Shamatava (10-4) simply overwhelmed outmatched Dutch entrant Mitchell Cadeau (3-4), battering him with a variety of strikes until the referee had seen enough just 85 seconds into the contest. The 25 year old Shamatava may have gotten off to a slow start to his pro career, beginning at just 2-4, but he’s been on an absolute tear with eight straight finishes in the last two years. Add his name to the list of fighters who TWIFP hopes to see taking a step up in opponent class soon.

BRACE 47 (Australia) – Along with Alaska Fighting Championship, Shooto, it seems that BRACE’s live broadcast agreement with UFC Fight Pass has been discontinued. Sad news for fight fans, though at least this BRACE show was posted after-the-fact as part of the Fight Library. As usual BRACE featured mostly early-career regional caliber prospects in action, plus a quality title fight in the marquee. That headlining bout saw towering 6’3” welterweight Theo Christakos (7-2) successfully defend his title with a second round rear naked choke submission of Sinosic-Perosh product Andrew Mills (7-2).


TWIFP Prospect Watch

Interesting news and notes on prospects plying their trade on far-flung regional shows:

Main Event: Sean Tobin vs Joey Banks: Professional 145lbs MMA Bout from Sparta Combat League's event, SCL 58 MADNESS at the Grizzly Rose on 3/18/17.

Posted by Sparta Combat League on Sunday, March 19, 2017

SCL 58 (Colorado) – Ireland’s Sean Tobin (6-2) came out aggressive in his featherweight main event clash against local talent Joey Banks (3-2) and never really allowed his foe to get much going on offense. The Cork native did a nice job of pressuring on the feet before securing a well-timed single leg takedown midway through the first. From there the two engaged a scrambling sequence that saw both men reverse positions multiple times. Finally Tobin managed to gain an advantage, wearing his foe down in side control before taking the back and securing an RNC finish with just seconds left in round 1. This was a very nice performance from BAMMA veteran Tobin in his first fight in about a year and a pretty good match overall – we do actually have current video for this one on hand thanks to SCL’s Facebook page.


King of Kings 45 (Lithuania) – Shaggy blond Lithuanian Teodoras Aukstuolis (10-4) made a pretty strong impression in the RIZIN promotion over the past two years, securing a pair of victories over onetime Fedor foe Jaideep Singh and Brazilian 205 pound regional contender Bruno Cappelozza but losing to Polish powerhouse Szymon Bajor and King Mo. Aukstuolis, who is a legit light heavyweight  despite his success fighting at 265 in Japan, made a return to his local scene at King of Kings 45 with a gimme bout against iffy regional competitor Sergey Sokha (9-15). The 25 year old Lithuanian made easy work of the journeyman, securing a first round finish, and  it will be interesting to see how the prospect continues to develop as he returns to facing light heavyweight competition in the near future.


Valor Fights 41 (Tennessee) – A few early career prospects were in action on FloCombat-broadcast Valor Fights 41, with three gentlemen in particular taking another step in the long journey toward the big show. North Carolina bantamweight prospect got off to a rough start in his bout with veteran Chris Wright (8-7-1) but came back strong to earn the final two rounds and a unanimous decision nod – see highlights in the clip to the right. Meanwhile lightweight Luis Pena (3-0) earned his victory in much more emphatic fashion, scoring a victory via triangle choke in the second round of his contest with favored prospect Damir Ferhatbegovic (3-1) – check out the GIF below to watch the 23 year old Missouri native score his third finish in three pro starts. And German lightweight Kobe Wall (4-0) also got in the triangle action, scoring a submission with that crafty hold just 70 seconds into his bout against Zach Cook (3-4). And it also bears mentioning that the deep undercard featured a rare calf slicer finish from lightweight leglock specialist Nick Gherts (7-2) against low level competition.

All Fights 1 (Brazil) – Much like the previously mentioned Dan Stittgen, Brazilian prospect Denis Araujo’s (12-1) current dubious claim to fame is being the recipient of recent UFC signee Deivison Alcantara’s ridiculously violent standing backfist/closed fist pimp slap KO that was in the running for 2016 regional knockout of the year. But given how well Araujo’s other twelve visits to the cage have gone, he may soon be building a notable highlight reel of his own. Araujo got the job done in his first bout since that unfortunate KO loss, as he obliterated overmatched regional hopeful Fabiano Moreira (4-3) in just 91 seconds.


Thanks for checking out this late edition of This Week In Face Punching – next version coming out in 24 hours, covering MMA events 3/23/17 to 3/29/17!


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