Former WWE star Dave
Bautista (a.k.a. Batista) overcame first-fight jitters and an
early attack from veteran Vince Lucero
to win his MMA debut Saturday night in Providence, R.I.
The 43-year-old ex-pro-wrestler was dazed by a series of quick
right hands from Lucero, who stepped into the main event of
MMA “Real Pain” on seven days’ notice in place of Bautista’s
original opponent, Rashid
After a few minutes spent pressed against the cage, however,
Bautista created some space and brought the 300-pound Lucero to the
ground. Bautista worked for a rear-naked choke but couldn’t get the
submission and instead settled for a steady stream of punches from
back-mount. With Lucero unable to escape and offering nothing in
return, referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in to call a halt to the
bout at 4:05 of the opening round.
The big men barked at one another as they were separated but shook
hands before the official result was read. Afterward, Bautista
admitted that he was stunned by the early offense of Lucero, a
heavy underdog with just two wins in his last 13 fights.
“He hits like a f--king horse,” said Bautista, who trained for the
bout with the likes of Stephan
Bonnar and Alex
Schoenauer. “He rocked me and I couldn’t feel my legs under me
coming out. I was just so nervous, and it took me a little bit to
get my composure.
“I want to fight again, for sure. I was just so nervous. I had so
many butterflies coming out.”
Nine-time UFC veteran David
Loiseau also had to work through an early upset attempt, his
coming in the form of a guillotine choke from South Carolina’s
After having his back taken and shaking McNally off, Loiseau wasted
no time in punishing his less experienced opponent with slicing
elbows from the guard. When the strikes opened a cut McNally’s
face, the cageside physician needed only a brief look before
advising ref Kevin
MacDonald to stop the bout at 2:30 of the first frame.
“For personal reasons, I stopped throwing elbows for years,”
Loiseau said after the bout, “but the people asked for elbows, so I
brought the peoples’ elbows back.”
Another UFC vet, John “Doomsday”
Howard, left his mark on Georgian Brett Chism.
Having damaged Chism’s left eye with punches in the close opening
period, Howard targeted his opponent’s severely swollen face on the
mat in round two. With the eye swelling rapidly and Chism covering
up under fire from Howard’s ground-and-pound, referee Keith
Peterson waved the bout off at 3:31 of the second.
Holderness made the most of an opportunity when his swing bout
with local favorite Todd
Chattelle wound up in the show’s co-main event slot. The
Boston-based Colorado native charged across the cage and blitzed
Chattelle with a flying knee to the body, then pulled guard and
swept to top position. After about 20 unanswered elbow strikes,
referee MacDonald stepped in to rescue Chattelle from further
damage after just 27 seconds.
At featherweight, “Boston Finisher” Calvin
Kattar couldn’t live up to his nickname, but did make good on
his reputation as one of the region’s top 145-pound prospects. The
Methuen, Mass., native showed good takedown defense as well as
takedowns against onetime Bellator signee Saul
Almeida in their 15-minute affair. Kattar came close to tapping
the ground specialist with a late armbar, but eventually settled
for scores of 30-27 from judges David Ginsberg and Pat Avery, and
29-28 from Mike
Cordeiro. The win moved Kattar’s record to 13-2, while Almeida
dropped to 12-3 with his second consecutive loss.
CES mainstay and Rhode Island native Mike
Campbell earned a commanding unanimous decision over
Adkins. Campbell kept the stockier Adkins at bay with long
punches and leg kicks through the opening 10 minutes, though “Baby
Hercules” was able to connect with occasional right hands.
Campbell’s best work came in the final frame, when he dropped
Adkins with a jab, scored a huge suplex and nearly finished with a
rear-naked choke before time ran out. All three judges -- Avery,
Ginsberg and Wayne Lima -- saw the bout 30-27 for Campbell, who has
won four of six under the CES banner.
In other action, Cranston, R.I., lightweight Luis Felix
upset “The Ultimate Fighter” alumni Marc
Stevens in a three-round unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28,
29-28) and hometown light heavyweight Greg
Rebello tapped Utah’s Chris
Guillen with a rear-naked choke at 2:26 of the opening round.