USA’s Badbeat 5 featured co-main eventers in similar positions:
two UFC veterans who struggled in the big show, returning to action
from year-long layoffs. Mike
Guymon and Gabe
Ruediger would both find their comeback opponents to be far
tougher than expected, too, though their fortunes differed
considerably Friday night at the Commerce Casino in Commerce,
The 37-year-old Mike Guymon had announced his retirement after his
final UFC bout -- a submission loss to DaMarques
Johnson in January 2011 -- and seemed focused on training
fighters out of his Joker’s MMA n Lake Forest. Instead, Guymon
returned to action, making his lightweight debut against
Farmington, N.M.’s Cris Leyva,
who gave Guymon all he could handle early on.
In round one, Leyva repeatedly thwarted Guymon’s attempts at
initiating a ground battle, battering a lethargic-looking “Joker”
on their feet with punch combinations and low kicks that nearly
sent Guymon spinning. Bloodied and looking far more worn down going
into the second, Guymon managed to change the tide of the bout when
he successfully bull-rushed Leyva to the mat, repeatedly scrambling
to keep his foe off his feet while pummeling him with punches.
Leyva’s gas tank soon emptied under the assault, and as Guymon
mixed knees to the body and hammerfists into the equation, Leyva
could do little more than desperately cling to Guymon’s legs
between collapsing to the mat. Referee Mike Beltran would finally
stop the beating at 4:10 of the second round, giving Guymon the TKO
victory -- his first victory in nearly two years -- to improve his
record to 13-5-1.
Ruediger went down the
tubes against Catlin.
Ruediger, meanwhile, looked well on his way to bouncing back from
his layoff in the opening stanza of his lightweight bout with
Catlin, but round two was a different story for “Godzilla,”
too. The TUF 5 cast member spent the vast majority of the round
glued to the Alliance MMA rep’s back with a tight body triangle,
securing the position through numerous rolls and buck attempts.
Ruediger seemed to look almost exclusively for the rear naked
choke, as he dropped few strikes and did little to vary his attack
even as Catlin repeatedly thwarted the maneuver.
The lack of a finish would haunt Ruediger in the second, however,
as a straight Catlin left stunned the UFC vet in the round’s
opening seconds, sending him reeling. Catlin followed in close
pursuit, dropping Ruediger with a looping left-right-left punch
combination. Ruediger attempted to place his legs between himself
and his opponent, but Catlin easily circled past, dropping
hammerfists and then punches as Ruediger turtled, eventually
forcing referee Luis Cobian to halt the bout 36 seconds in the
frame. The third straight loss for Ruediger drops his career mark
to 17-8, while easily the biggest win of Catlin’s career moves the
Chula Vista, Ca., native’s meager MMA mark to 5-6.
WEC alum Chad George
made short work of journeyman Shad Smith,
taking the 12-year MMA vet down with a powerful double-leg takedown
into side control before snatching a tight arm-triangle choke.
Smith initially appeared to roll free of the submission, but George
clung tightly to Smith’s side during the transition, eventually
putting Smith to sleep for the technical submission at 1:56 into
the opening round.
The third straight first-round stoppage for George since his Zuffa
release moves his pro mark to 14-6.
Bodyshop Fitness Team’s Mychal
Clark brought the crowd to their feet in the evening’s sole
heavyweight bout, punishing the portly body of Josh Bennett
before crushing his opponent’s nose with an impressive spinning
back elbow that dropped Bennett in a heap. Referee Luis Cobian dove
into action and saved Bennett from further punishment at just 2:36
of the first frame.
Clark's spinning back elbow
delivered the goods.
Local favorite and cancer survivor Chris Beal
took an emphatic first-round knockout victory over Jose
Morales in a bantamweight tilt. With the round winding down,
Beal’s corner called for a planned last-minute rush that saw Beal
slam Morales to the mat with a double-leg and follow up with a
score of unanswered elbows. Referee Mike Beltran would eventually
see enough, stepping in to call the bout at 4:44 of the opening
Stevenson’s Cobra Kai pupil Joe Condon
took a split decision over Ismael
Gonzalez, punctuating the otherwise dull bout with a
position-dominant third frame after a pair of closely contested
rounds. Judges Ron McCarthy and John Newber saw the bout 29-28 for
Condon, while Larry
Landless dissented via a 29-28 Gonzalez score.
In a 129-pound catch-weight fight, Bobby
Sanchez slammed his way out of one Jason
Carbajal triangle choke only to succumb to a second attempt,
going unconscious and prompting Mike Beltran to step in and award
the technical submission victory to Carbajal at 3:05 of the opening
Combat Submission Wrestling lightweight Eric Brown
made quick work of Brandon
Anderson, guillotining his foe for the tap only 20 seconds into
In the night’s opening bout, debuting Xtreme Couture lightweight
Gil Guadardo defeated Chris
Costello at 2:21 of the second round, dropping punches from
back mount until referee Mike Beltran stepped in for the TKO