- In what was billed as his retirement match fifty one year-old Volk Han (21-8-1) fought current All Japan Triple Crown champion and PANCRASE creator Masakatsu Funaki (39-13-2) to a time limit draw at Rings – The Outsider. The fight was a back-and-forth, somewhat sloppy grappling contest. Each fighter attempted several leg and arm locks, but neither could finish before the fifteen minute time limit expired.
Volk Han was one of the top stars of the RINGS promotion that fostered legendary mixed martial artists luminaries such as Fedor Emelianeko (35-4, 1 NC) and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-7-1, 1 NC). Similar to Han, Funaki was one of the top stars of his promotion, PANCRASE. PANCRASE also produced its fair hair of legendary fighters such as Ken Shamrock (28-15-2), Frank Shamrock (23-10-2), and Bas Rutten (28-4-1).
- Although he got his hand raised, Andrei Arlovski (18-9, 1 NC) failed to capitalize on the momentum that he gained from his brutal knockout of Devin Cole (20-10-1) in November. At the Fight Nights – Battle of Moscow 9 card Arlovski edged out a razor-thin unanimous decision over former Cage Warriors champion Mike Hayes (18-5-1). With Greg Jackson in his corner, Arlovski slightly outboxed Hayes in all three rounds while landing mores significant strikes. A win is a win, but this fight didn’t help Arlovski’s chances of returning to the UFC or moving up the ALL IMPORTANT MMA rankings.
Fortunately for Arlovski, less than a hundred people probably saw his fight, and I say that without exaggeration. The event was being streamed for 99 cents on various MMA websites, but the price would be knocked down to a whopping 0.00 USD if you were one of the first one hundred people to enter the promo code “mma”. Two hours after the event started I entered the promo code and worked. Because of my internet and streaming issues I actually entered the promo code several times. There were also about five people in attendance, and one of the commentators seemed half asleep, so my hypothesis of less than a hundred people checking out the fight is in all likelihood, accurate.
- Legacy Fighting Championship had its sixteenth event which was a showcase of sorts for prospects in the lighter weight classes. In the main event, bantamweight turned flyweight Will Campuzano (11-4) gave Jimmy Flick (5-1) his first loss by knocking Flick out in the second round with a huge knee. With the win, Campuzano became the inaugural Legacy FC Flyweight Champion. Before being on the wrong end of a devastating knee, Flick actually won the first round with his wrestling.
Undefeated featherweight Chas Skelly (10-0) finished Rey Trujillo (12-9) with only seven seconds left in the fight. Dominating the entire fight with suffocating ground control and rear-naked choke attempts, Skelly ended the fight by landing huge shots from Trujillo’s back.
Bantamweight Ryan Benoit (5-1) made short work of two-time UFC loser Joseph Sandoval (6-4). Not too long after a minute transpired, Benoit put Sandoval on his back with a straight right and finished with a barrage of shots.
NCAA Division 1 Champion Darrion Caldwell (2-0) didn't knee his wrestling to win his sophomore outing. Caldwell knocked down Quaint Kempf (5-4) with a powerful left hand and followed up with a series of punches that finished Kempf in the first round. The improvement from his last fight is scary. Darrion Caldwell is a fighter to keep an eye on.
- Former WEC Bantamweight Champion Chase Beebe (24-8-1) continued his recent resurgence with a unanimous decision victory over Ultimate Fighter contestant Chris Tickle (8-6) at FFC 2. The victory extends Beebe’s win streak to six, and it should help his chances of getting the call for the next Bellator bantamweight tournament.
Also on the card, Shamar Bailey (15-7), a competitor on TUF’s 13th season grinded out a unanimous decision against one-time UFC fighter Gideon Ray (17-15-1). I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if Bailey pieces together a few more wins and returns to the UFC. He’s got a solid wrestling game.
- Jewels returned with a pair of fights that featured two of Japan’s top women fighters. The event was also the first in the promotion’s history to feature fights inside of a cage. Jewels Lightweight (115 lb.) Champion Ayaka Hamasaki (9-0) successfully defended her crown against Emi Fujino (11-6). The decision was awarded to Hamasaki due to her takedowns, ground and pound, and submission attempts. Hamasaki, who also competes under the Invicta FC banner, still had a bit of trouble in the contest as Fujino presented a serious display of offense on the feet and was active off of her back.
The other notable contest of the night saw eighteen year-old strawweight prospect Mizuki Inoue (4-1) submit Korean fighter Hyo Kyung Song (0-2) with an armbar. In the second round, Inoue threw Song to the ground and pounced on her with dominant ground work. Following a swift transition to full mount, Inoue was able to crank on the arm of Song until the Korean tapped out.