UK MMA pioneer Ian Freeman (right) stopped Ricco Rodriguez in his first bout in five years. | Mick Bower/Sherdog.com


DONCASTER, England -- British MMA veteran Ian Freeman rolled back the years to score a first-round stoppage victory over former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez in the main event of Ultimate Cage Fighting Championships 5 at a sparsely populated Keepmoat Stadium.

Returning to the cage after a five-year absence, the godfather of UK MMA looked focused from the first bell. Crushing leg kicks kept Rodriguez at bay and Freeman comfortably handled the former UFC champ’s takedown attempts. The end came when Freeman landed another hard leg kick and Rodriguez dropped to the canvas in obvious pain. “The Machine” unleashed a volley of punches, forcing referee Marc Goddard to intervene at just 2:11 of the first round.

Freeman's first win since May 2008 moves him to 20-7-1 in a career spanning 14-plus years. Rodriguez, who stepped in to replace Ken Shamrock in the bout, falls to 51-21.

An obviously emotional Freeman scaled the cage and milked the acclaim of the Yorkshire crowd. Freeman is now the owner of the UCFC legends heavyweight title, but exactly how much support there is for a full-blown comeback is debatable. Despite the promise of an MMA extravaganza backed by a music festival featuring chart topping acts, only a few hundred people turned up at the Doncaster Rovers football stadium.

Rising local star Scott Askham defended the promotion’s 185-pound title against Jack Marshman, earning a unanimous decision to move to 11-0 as a pro. Marshman looked dangerous in flashes when he was able to let his hands go, but Askham remained calm, keeping it at range on the feet and working conservatively from top position on the ground. When the result was announced, Askham pronounced he was ready for the UFC and may soon get his wish.

UFC veteran Colin Robinson showed his experience as he saw off the challenge of Darren Towler. The pumped-up Towler sprinted to the cage and looked to get things over quickly by throwing bombs early. The writing was on the wall when Robinson was docked a point for holding Towler’s glove. As referee Neil Hall separated the combatants, the exhausted Towler slid down the fence to grab a breather. Seconds later, the match was over as “Big C” piled it on to get the stoppage at 4:35 of the first frame.

M. Bower


It was a sparse crowd in Doncaster.

Dutchman Harry Duiven looked every inch the former pro boxer as he was manhandled by unbeaten heavyweight bruiser Karl Etherington. Duiven appeared to have minimal grappling skills and avoided being submitted due to luck and toughness. The pivotal moment of the sloppy contest came when Duiven escaped a standing guillotine attempt and Etherington slipped face down to the canvas. Duiven delivered a fight-ending blow to his downed foe and the fight was waved off. However, Duiven’s celebrations were short-lived, as referee Neil Hall ruled that the punch had landed on the back of the head. Duiven was disqualified at 4:14 of the first round.

Featherweight Zi Shah persisted with a rear-naked choke attempt, eventually extracting the tap from Khaled Radman at 4:04 of round one, while Sheffield boxer-turned-MMA fighter Danny Tombs also got it done in the first frame, pounding his way to victory over Ryan Boyd at 3:24 of their middleweight bout.

Serbian K-1 vet Dragan Pesic showed another side to his game, submitting featherweight David Stone with an armbar in just 27 seconds.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

Carlos Condit vs. Thiago Alves staredown

  • 26 days ago
  • 64 views

After suffering a serious knee injury more than a year ago, Carlos Condit returns to the Octagon on May 30 against Thiago Alves, and the UFC Fight Night 67 headliners faced off during a media day Mon read news >>

Manny Pacquiao enlists low level UFC veteran as sparring partner for Floyd Mayweather fight

  • 26 days ago
  • 105 views

A former UFC fighter and current pro boxer is being used as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao as he readies himself for his big May 2nd showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. We're less than a month read news >>

Johny Hendricks has a message for Georges St. Pierre: Hey, stay in retirement!

  • 26 days ago
  • 91 views

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (25-2) is "thinking about" coming back to the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) after spending more than a year on read news >>

ROAD FC announces Bob Sapp as new vice president of global public relations

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Bob Sapp returns to MMA on May 2, but not as a fighter. The former PRIDE and K-1 fighter, who announced his retirement from the sport in 2013 after 12 straight losses in two years, was announced on S read news >>

UFC Fight Night 63: Clay Guida vs. Robbie Peralta fight video highlights

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

FAIRFAX, Va. – Clay Guida is a battle-tested veteran of the sport, but there were some lingering questions about his future. “The Carpenter” answered them all on Saturday night.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 63 results: Julianna Pena stops Milana Dudieva with violent onslaught

  • 28 days ago
  • 43 views

Julianna Pena’s career suffered an unfortunate setback when she suffered a brutal knee injury in March 2014. She returned at UFC Fight Night 63 and blazed through Milana Dudieva in violent fashion.Fi read news >>

UFC Fight Night 63 results: Julianna Pena returns, destroys Milana Dudieva within one round

  • 28 days ago
  • 17 views

Julianna Pena finally returned to the Octagon this afternoon (Sat., April 4, 2015) following what Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White called "the worst injury ever" that had The read news >>

5 for Fighting: Intriguing storylines heading into UFC Fight Night 63

  • 29 days ago
  • 3 views

The UFC returns to the Patriot Center for the first time in three years for UFC Fight Night 63. Go inside each storyline prior to the card in Fairfax, Virginia today (Sat., April 4, 2015). The Ultima read news >>

Pro Fighter Matt Hamill Stops Erratic Driver, Rescues Young Child

  • 29 days ago
  • 9 views

Oh, Matt Hamill. There's no way we can quit you. Hamill, famed in the MMA community and well beyond for his success as a hearing-impaired UFC fighter, was a different sort of hero recently when he he read news >>