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Monday, May 18, 2009

Bobby Lashley Highlights from the fight live video (wins fight ?)

When Bobby Lashley made the switch from pro wrestling to mixed martial arts, he was good-natured about the obvious jokes about pulled punches and scripts.

But at some point, Lashley got tired of the routine. Mike Cook failed to get the memo and got the message the hard way, being choked completely out with a guillotine in only 24 seconds in the former three-time NAIA wrestling champion and World Wrestling Entertainment star’s third pro MMA fight on Friday night.

Cook (7-4) came to Thursday’s weigh-ins for the Maximum Fighting Championship show in Edmonton, Alberta, wearing a mask of Lashley’s former cohort Rey Mysterio in an attempt to mock Lashley, and Cook made the statement that Lashley would defecate in his pants when he got hit with a real punch.

Perhaps Cook, a heavyweight out of Frank Shamrock’s camp, should have known better because he had a 2006 defeat against another former pro wrestler, Daniel Puder, and his coach also has dabbled in pro wrestling in Japan.

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Lashley, now significantly smaller than in his pro wrestling days and slightly lighter than in his two previous bouts, took the calm approach. He refused to touch gloves, and like an amateur wrestler, he grabbed a front headlock and sprawled.

When they got to the ground, he quickly turned it into a guillotine, and it was only seconds later that Cook passed out, causing ref John McCarthy to stop the match.

“I just yanked him down and got the vice grip on him and squeezed and felt him go out,” Lashley said.

Lashley (3-0) seemingly atoned for a lackluster performance in his previous fight, a three-round decision over journeyman Jason Guida in which he almost was finished with a guillotine in Round 3 by a late replacement who usually fights at light heavyweight.

“I’m here for business,” said Lashley, who is billed at 6-foot-3 but was slightly shorter than the 6-2 Cook. “I’m here and everyone wants to and tries to make fun of the wrestling thing. I’m real. If they want to play around, I’ll knock them out or choke them out. And that’s what I did. I choked him out and made him pay. Now he can go put the mask back on and have fun with himself.”

Lashley faces 6-foot-4, 345-pound Bob Sapp (10-3-1) in his next fight June 27 on a pay-per-view show from Biloxi, Miss. Sapp has gone into seclusion in the mountains in Japan training at a judo facility. Sapp competes May 26 at the Yokohama Arena in Japan as part of the same freak show tournament that Jose Canseco is in.

“I’m going to keep the competition going and keep the fights going,” Lashley said.

Several former UFC fighters appeared on the show held at The Venue at the River Cree Casino and Resort before a sellout of 1,500 fans, which also included an announcement that Jason MacDonald, just cut from UFC, would return to the promotion in September and attempt to win the group’s middleweight title.

Trevor Prangley, 36, who fought in the UFC from 2004 to 2006, captured the MFC light heavyweight championship in a five-round decision over Emanuel Newton (11-4-1), stopping Newton’s nine-match winning streak.

Prangley (20-5) looked like he was tired, standing still, moving slow and even at times with his hands on his hips, as early as the first round. But he connected with crisper shots. At no point was either fighter in serious danger, but in the final second of the fifth round, Prangley caught Newton in the jaw with a kick, which put down Newton.

Prangley looked to have hurt himself, as he limped badly back to his corner.

“I actually hurt my foot in the second round, but that kick finished it off,” Prangley said. “We’re warriors. I put the pain in the back of my head and would have continued.”

He was awarded the title on scores of 48-46, 49-46 and 49-46 while Newton looked on in disbelief. Yahoo! Sports had it 49-45, even though rounds two through four were close. McCarthy docked Newton a point in the second round for a knee to the groin.

“I feel bad taking the belt in a fight that was that close,” Prangley said. “I think he deserves another chance, but ultimately it’s not up to me.”

David Heath, who fought in UFC from 2006-2008, lost a split decision to Edmonton native Travis Galbraith (17-6) on scores of 29-28, 28-29, 29-28. Yahoo! had it 29-28 for Heath (11-5), but neither man established himself as a clear winner.

John Alessio (29-13), whose background includes stints with UFC, PRIDE, WEC and Dream, hurt Calgary’s Andrew Buckland (8-4) with a punch, went to the ground and got his back to finish with a choke in 2:53 of the first round.

Ryan Jimmo (10-1) dominated Mychal Clark (8-6) in winning a three-round decision.

The televised opener saw 39-year-old Marvin Eastman (16-9-1), who holds the distinction of beating Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in both men’s pro debut nine years ago, finish Aron Lofton (6-2) with elbows and forearms on the ground at 59 seconds of the second round.

– Dave Meltzer

Strikeforce: Controversial main event; Kaufman shines

The Strikeforce Challenger series on Showtime is designed to be a B-level showcase. But Friday night’s card at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., was as eventful as any major card.

The main event was battle of attrition that finished prematurely, as Billy Evangelista dinged a downed Mike Aina in the head with a running knee and was disqualified at 3:40 of the second round. Replays, however, appeared to show Evangelista may have connected to Aina’s shoulder.

“I took him down, worked some ground and pound, and he looked like was ready to get up,” Evangelista (10-1) said. “I saw an opening, and I timed it and saw he had his arm up so I let it fly. Whatever, it happens.”

Aina, who is best remembered for a 2007 match with Nick Diaz in which he lost a controversial split decision, got the better of the standup and won the first round. But Evangelista was dominant in the second round, scoring a takedown off a single-leg and working Aina over on the ground.

Referee Herb Dean consulted with the cageside physician, who ruled Aina couldn’t continue.

“I don’t know, man,” Aina (12-6-1) said. “I don’t want to take a win like this. If it was up to me I would take this fight off my record.”

In the evening’s semifinal match, Sarah Kaufman and Meisha Tate showed that there is more to women’s MMA than just Gina Carano and Cristiane Santos. Kaufman, a late substitute for Kim Couture, ran her record to 9-0 with a unanimous decision victory.

Kaufman, a Muay Thai specialist from British Columbia who won all her previous fights by knockout, took it to Tate in the standup in the first round. But Tate (6-2) showed great heart in taking the damage and staying standing.

Tate, a champion wrestler from Tacoma, Wash., imposed her game plan in the second round, scoring a takedown early and spending most of the round raining down a ground-and-pound assault.

But Kaufman responded in the third and final round, sprawling out of Tate’s takedown attempts and doing enough standup damage to claim the victory.

“Meisha did a really good job,” Kaufman said. “I hit her with some hard shots. I’m happy I just got a chance to step in here.”

Kaufman also said women should fight five-minute rounds as men do, not three-minute rounds.

“It’s really hard to get something going continuously,” Kaufman said. “Five minutes, all the way. C’mon guys.”

The card featured what could end up the one-punch knockout of the year as heavyweight Lavar Johnson (12-3) dropped Carl Seumanutafa (4-1) in just 18 seconds. The Samoan shot in for a takedown. Johnson sidestepped the attempt and popped Seumanutafa with a bull’s-eye of an uppercut to the jaw as he passed by, knocking him cold.

“I knew he was a big strong dude, and I thought I was in for a rough night,” said Johnson, who has all but one of his career wins via KO. “I was surprised.”

In the broadcast opener, featherweight Bao Quach won a unanimous 29-28 decision over Tito Jones that did not go over well with the audience. The first two rounds were largely action-free, but Quach (16-9-1) landed several effective low kicks and stuffed Jones’ only takedown attempt.

In the third, the Urijah Faber-trained Jones (6-3) nearly finished the fight with a crisp right hook to the jaw, but Quach escaped an attempted choke and got back to his feet. Jones inexplicably backed off at the round’s midpoint and didn’t initiate further action for the remainder of the fight instead of attempting to finish Quach, which clearly cost him a potential 10-8 round and thus a draw.

In a light heavyweight match, Aaron Rosa looked impressive in a first-round submission win over veteran Anthony Ruiz (21-13). San Antonio native Rosa (12-2) withstood a standing series of strikes and responded with an uppercut followed by a slam. Rosa gained side control and worked his way into a rear naked choke for the finish at 4:29.

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