Former boxing champ Ricardo Mayorga made a
strange-but-successful MMA debut in Nicaragua. | Jonathan
Former boxing world champion Ricardo
Mayorga's strangely-long-awaited MMA debut could hardly be
described as “fireworks,” which is ironic given that notorious
pugilist's bizarre victory in the main event of
Omega MMA's “Battle of the Americas” was met with a literal
(and elaborate) fireworks display.
Friday night at the Pharaoh's Casino in his hometown of Managua,
Nicaragua, Mayorga managed to overcome his complete lack of
grappling ability against unheralded opponent Wesley
Tiffer, ultimately stopping the Canadian transplant with what
appeared to be an illegal knee to the spine at the end of the
The fight was originally conceived as a lightweight contest, then a
160-pound catch-weight before Thursday's weigh-in, at which Mayorga
clocked in at 175.9 pounds. Tiffer, who claimed a 5-1 record
entering the bout and hadn't competed since 2009, tipped the beam
at 153 pounds. The 39-year-old Mayorga, who held world titles at
147 and 154 in the squared circle, looked every bit as physically
terrible as the number on the scale suggested.
Mayorga was originally expected to debut inside the cage back in
May 2010 in the headliner of the ill-fated Shine
Fights “World Collide” against UFC veteran Din Thomas.
“El Matador's” MMA debut never materialized
as the North Carolina Boxing Authority canceled the show amidst
shambolic circumstances, effectively killing Shine Fights as a
Mayorga was taken down by Tiffer after his opening salvo of punches
and spent the vast majority of the bout's 10 minutes clinging to
Tiffer, who held full mount and did little with it. On the sporadic
occasions of Mayorga's escape, he was taken back down immediately
after attempting to punch, right back into full mount.
The awkward-yet-tepid bout finally saw drama in the late second
round when Mayorga bucked to escape from mount and rolled into a
triangle armbar from Tiffer. Mayorga toughed his way through the
hold and freed himself from Tiffer's subsequent armbar attempt with
what appeared to be an illegal knee to the spine just before the
round ended. Referee Milton Rosales Toshi did not call a foul, but
after consulting with the cageside physician, Tiffer was deemed
unfit to continue, giving Mayorga his first MMA win by stoppage at
the end of the second round.
Post-fight, Mayorga jumped on the cage, played to the crowd and
fist-bumped his robust posse as a full-blown fireworks display
burst into the Nicaraguan night sky.
Elswewhere, unbeaten Bulgarian Krasimir
Mladenov stayed perfect with a quick win in the evening’s
middleweight co-main event. The 27-year-old wrestler needed just
2:06 to finish Guatemala’s O.J. Aguilar
after hitting a double-leg against the fence and applying a
In a lightweight contest, American Jonathan
Nunez battered Guatemala Joel Lam en
route to a unanimous decision over 15-minute lopsided minutes.
Wesley Tiffer student Erick Soza
took out his Nicaraguan countryman German
Rodriguez via rear-naked choke 4:15 into their bantamweight
bout. At welterweight, Guatemala's Alejandro
Rodriguez punched out Managua's Jurgen
Gonzalez at 4:39 of the first round, while local Leonardo
Morales restored Managuan pride by defeating Guatemalan
Moises de Paz, stopping him on the ringside doctor's advice at
4:47 of the third round.
In the evening's 175-pound opener, Jose Castro
flattened Pablo Acuna
with a left hook 77 seconds into round three.