Ian Freeman Returns From 5-Year Retirement, Stops Ricco Rodriguez at UCFC 5


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.

Related News

  • 18 hours ago
  • 29 views

In the second half of this week's BtO, former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez returns to take on Strikeforce vet Dion Staring, plus former UFC fighters Steven Siler, Mike Kyle, Eddie Yagin, read news >>

  • 9 days ago
  • 0 views

After winning the single-night BattleGrounds MMA welterweight tournament in October, veteran Roan Carneiro is apparently back in the UFC.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

The week's most interesting bits from the MMA and UFC twitter world. A few updates on what's been going on in the MMA & UFC Twitterverse -- There's a ton of tweets below, but first, don't forget to f read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 2078 views

Video: After a 20-year absence from the "sweet science," Golden Globe winning actor Mickey Rourke returned to the boxing ring to face 29-year-old Elliot Seymour in Moscow, Russia, and won via second- read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 35 views

Georges St-Pierre may go down as one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the history of the sport. As multiple MMA writers continue to speculate whether or not he is going to return to the sport read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 390 views

Twenty years after his last professional boxing fight, acclaimed actor Mickey Rourke, at 62 years of age, stepped back in the ring and kicked some butt. read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 7 views

MMA Fighting's Esther Lin takes a look back at her favorite photos during UFC 180 fight trip, including a field trip with Greg Jackson on fight day. read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

After more than 17 years as a professional fighter, Yves Edwards has retired from MMA. read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 0 views

The Thugjitsu era has come to a close. Yves Edwards, one of the most respected fighters in the UFC, is calling it quits. The 17-year MMA veteran announced his retirement Sunday night on Facebook. Edw read news >>

Jump to: