By Paul Fontaine, WrestlingObserver.com
MMA’s version of the Wednesday night wars tonight as RFA aired on AXS TV from Broomfield, CO and WSOF was in Edmonton, AB and aired on NBC Sports Network. First up, RFA 26:
Bantamweights Boston Salmon (4-0) UD over Danny Mainus (3-4)
Salmon is a product of Extreme Couture in Vegas while Mainus was the local here in Broomfield, CO. Salmon dominated the first round with his boxing, landing nothing but combos. Second round was more even and Mainus even got a takedown. Mainus with hit with a really hard low blow in the third and took almost the full five minutes to recover. Salmon controlled most of the third round as well. Pat Miletich scored it 30-27 for Salmon. 2 of the judges agreed and a third gave it 29-28 for him.
Heavyweights Ashley Gooch (8-4) TKO at 3:16 over Brandon Griffin (4-1)
Gooch was on a five fight win streak, all finishes and Griffin had finished all his opponents as well. Gooch is from the Fight Lab in Glendale, AZ and Griffin was the local. This was a slobberknocker and bowling show ugly. Griffin almost finished Gooch seconds in but gassed himself out. Gooch took him down and went into mount immediately. He was gassed as well but got the TKO as Griffin actually called the ref over to stop the fight. It took Griffin almost five minutes to get to his feet after the fight was over.
Middleweights Andrew Sanchez (6-2) 2nd round TKO at 1:17 over Clinton Williams (6-2)
Sanchez' two losses coming in were both to fighters who have fought in UFC in Kevin Casey and Dustin Jacoby. Williams looks a WWE wrestler coming back from injury. In other words, he'd have a tough time with UFC's version of a Wellness Policy. Boring first round as Sanchez took Williams down 30 seconds in and just kept him down with ground and pound the whole round, never advancing from guard. Sanchez took him down 30 seconds into the second and finished him with ground and pound shortly after. Sanchez looked really good and is definitely someone to keep an eye on.
Bantamweights Bruno Frazatto (7-2) submitted Jarred Mercado (12-3) with a RNC at 2:28 of the 2nd.
Mercado missed weight by over 5 lbs, coming in at 140.6. Frazatto is member of Team Nogueira at Blackhouse MMA. Mercado is the local. First round was uneventful, all on the feet with a couple of cage clinches. Mercado attempted a takedown at 1:30 of the second and Frazatto ended up taking his back in the process and quickly got a figure body lock. He got the tap with a rear naked choke about a minute later.
Lightweights Marcus Edwards (10-3) UD over Thiago Alves (8-3) vs Marcus Edwards (9-3)
No, not THAT Thiago Alves but he is a submission specialist, with submission wins in 4 of last 5 fights. Edwards is vet on the regional scene, having competed for MFC in the past as well. First round was incredible. Edwards dominated the first 4 minutes, nearly finishing Alves. He dropped him with a flying knee with a minute left and Alves ended up scrambling into top position when Edwards went to the ground. He nearly finished him with a choke before the round ended. Edwards dominated the second, dropping Alves several times with punches but not really wanting to engage on the ground too much. Alves looked completely gassed by the end of the round. Third round was terrible. Edwards just dominated and Alves looked out on his feet several times with Michael Schiavello saying he looked like a drunk stumbling around. He last until the end though. Miletich gave it 30-27. I might have thrown one or two 10-8’s in there. All three judges had the same score at Pat.
Main event for the RFA Welterweight Title: Gilbert Smith (11-4) submitted Champion Ben Smith (14-3) with an armbar at 3:27 of the third to win the title.
Gilbert got the title shot coming off a loss in a title fight against Chidi Njokuani. Lot of that going around in MMA these days. Ben came in with a five fight win streak and is another product of Extreme Couture, out of Minneapolis. Nothing happening first round with both guys getting takedown and spending significant time on top but not doing any damage. Pat actually gave it a 10-10. Second round was shaping up to be more the of the same until Ben got a takedown off a clinch and almost finished Gilbert with a key lock but he got out of it. Ben spent most of the rest of the round on top. 3rd was shaping up to be a carbon copy of the first when Gilbert got a takedown and just laid there forever. Eventually he worked his way into mount somehow and while Ben was trying to escape, Gilbert caught him in an armbar to win the fight and the title.
Now on to WSOF 21 from Edmonton:
Renzo Gracie replaced Bas Rutten on colour tonight, as Rutten does Inside MMA on the “other channel”. God bless him but he’s really not very good.
Featherweights Hakeem Dawodu (5-0) TKO at 2:55 of the 2nd over Chuka Willis (4-1)
Willis fights for American Top Team in Kansas City and Dawodu is an Alberta prospect who has fought all of his career fights in WSOF and had won all by stoppage coming in. First round was fun with Willis coming out like gangbusters but Dawodu came back in the last half and dominated Willis, nearly getting a finish with seconds left. Dawodu was all over him in the second, just killing him with vicious knees to the body. Willis had enough and verbally tapped about 3:00 in. Dawodu is someone to watch for sure.
WSOF Heavyweight Title Fight – Blagoi Ivanov (12-1) submitted Champion Smealinho Rama (9-2) with a guillotine to become the new WSOF Heavyweight Champion
Ivanov is the guy you might remember from Bellator who had a near death experience following a stabbing incident and fought his way back all the way to a tournament final at their PPV last year, losing to Alexander Volkov. Facially and body wise, he looks a lot like Rusev of WWE and he’s also from Bulgaria. Rama won the title in 51 seconds in his last fight and is the first heavyweight champion for WSOF. He’d finished all but one of his career wins coming in.
First round was kind of slow. Rama pushed the pace the whole round but Ivanov landed more strikes. They went to the ground briefly after an Ivanov takedown but nothing happened there. Second round was similar although Ivanov did much more damage, opening up a cut under Rama’s left eye that was bleeding heavily by the end of the round. Ivanov dropped Rama early in the third and secured a guillotine for the tap.
Main Event for the WSOF Featherweight Title – Champion Lance Palmer (10-1) submitted Chris Horodecki (21-6-1) at 4:28 to retain his title
Hard to believe Horodecki is only 27 as it feels like he’s been around forever, having competed previously in Bellator, WEC and the IFL. Palmer is the Team Alpha Male product who won the title from Rick Glenn last December.
Palmer got a takedown 3:00 in and quickly took the back of Horodecki, trying to finish him with a rear naked choke but Horodecki escaped. Another Palmer takedown at 4:00 and he quickly got back mount, softening him up with punches and securing the RNC to defend the title.
Welterweights Michael Hill (8-3) SD over Mark Drummond (7-3)
A couple Canadians here that are veterans of the regional scene in their native country. Round 1 was kind of boring. Hill got a takedown and controlled the last couple minutes. Round 2 was on the feet with kickboxing for the most part until Hill Drummond down late. Third round was even worse. Hill came on a bit at the end but this was just a bad boxing match for the most part.
Ray Sefo closed the show by mentioning the two fights that they had been promoting all night, which are coming up on August 1st. The one that will garner the most interest is between Rousimar Palhares and Jake Shields for the group's Welterweight title. Tyrone Spong will also make his WSOF return on that night when they are next on NBC Sports Network.