Jamie Varner file photo | Sherdog.com
Former lightweight champion Jamie Varner
continued his slide, as the
Arizona Combat Sports product was choked out by Shane
Roller in the first round of their lightweight tilt at WEC
53 “Henderson vs. Pettis” on Thursday at the Jobing.com Arena
in Glendale, Ariz.
After the two men exchanged jabs to start the fight, Varner threw a
high kick and a left hook to his foe’s head. While kick was
defended, the punch was not, and Roller’s knees buckled. Still
aware of his surroundings, Roller shot a takedown. The Oklahoman
took Varner’s back during a scramble, but the one-time titleholder
defended well and stood.
However, in a maneuver that ultimately became his undoing, Varner
tried to slam Roller. This only allowed the
Team Takedown representative to cinch the rear-naked choke,
forcing Varner to tap out at 3:55 of the first round. Varner is
0-3-1 in his last four fights.
Roufusport product Daniel
Downes spoiled the sophomore effort of Chinese import Tie Quan
Zhang, earning a unanimous decision in a lightweight dark
In the first round, “The Mongolian Wolf” took the bout to the
floor, passing to side control and locking up a straight armbar
with his legs. Though Downes yelped in pain, he maneuvered away
from the pressure and survived the submission attempt. Zhang then
took the American’s back during a scramble and nearly locked up a
rear-naked choke. The game Downes again escaped, rolling into his
foe’s guard before standing. From there, it was Downes who scored a
takedown, but he was again nearly submitted by a Zhang arm bar as
the round ended.
Downes fired back in the second round, passing Zhang’s guard and
securing back control. Downes locked up a body triangle and
attempted a rear-naked choke of his own. Though the Chinese fighter
recovered guard, he appeared exhausted, eating an elbow to end the
frame. Round three also belonged to Downes, as “Danny Boy” again
secured Zhang’s back and looked for the submission.
All three judges scored the bout for Downes, 29-28, 29-28 and
30-27, as he handed Zhang his first professional defeat.
In an early favorite for “Fight of the Night,”
American Top Team’s Brad
Pickett took a hard-fought unanimous decision over veteran
Menjivar. All three judges scored it 29-28 for Pickett, who has
posted 10 wins in 11 appearances.
Pickett took a close decision win.
In the first round, Pickett took the fight to the floor after a
Menjivar right cross hit nothing but air. However, the experienced
Canadian found a way back to his feet. After trading on the feet,
the Brit cut Menjivar before scoring another takedown to end the
frame. Round two began with an errant kick to the Menjivar’s groin.
After recovering from the shot, the
Tristar Gym product fired back standing, as he landed a flurry
of punches that put the Englishman on the run. Pickett survived,
though, shooting another takedown and attempting to take Menjivar’s
The third period brought more action standing but little
resolution. As the decision was announced in Pickett’s favor, the
crowd was ambivalent toward the ruling.
A grim scene unfolded on the undercard, as former bantamweight king
Wineland knocked out Ken Stone with
a violent slam at 2:11 of the first round.
After Stone landed two nice inside leg kicks followed by a spinning
back fist, the one-time champion instigated a clinch. Stone pulled
guard, looking for a guillotine. It was not to be, however, as
Wineland walked his foe to the fence and placed his hands on
Stone’s chest. In one swift motion, Wineland slammed Stone to the
mat, rendering him unconscious. After several tense minutes, Stone,
now awake, was wheeled out on a stretcher.
Team Alpha Male representative Danny
Castillo ended Will Kerr’s
night early, knocking his fellow lightweight unconscious less than
90 seconds into their bout.
Kerr tried to open the match with a bang, missing with a flying
knee. Castillo then scored a takedown but left his neck exposed.
Kerr seized the opportunity, trying to apply a guillotine choke.
“Last Call” fought off the choke, but Kerr then transitioned to an
armbar attempt followed by a try at a leg lock.
Battling to his feet to fight off the hold, Castillo proceeded to
drop three heavy rights on his opponent. Kerr lost his bid for a
submission and his consciousness at 1:25 of the first frame.
In a preliminary lightweight duel, Yuri
Alcantara scored a vicious knockout victory over Ricardo
Lamas 3:26 into round one.
Both men worked from their feet from the start, with Lamas pressing
the fight into the clinch. Alcantara stalked forward for the
duration of the bout and finally found his payoff, landing a huge
overhand left to his opponent’s jaw. The Brazilian followed up with
several unneeded shots on the ground, as his adversary was already
unconscious. In fact, Alcantara actually walked away from his
fallen foe before referee Ron Nation stepped in to stop the
The 30-year-old Alcantara has rattled off 11 straight wins, 10 of
In the show’s opening bout,
Renan do Nascimento Mota Pegado submitted Chris
Cariaso with a rear-naked choke at 3:37 of the first round.
After some early back-and-forth stand-up action, Cariaso slipped
while throwing a body kick and “Barao” followed him to the mat. The
Nova UniÃ£o product worked from Cariaso’s guard, passing to
side control before taking the American’s back during a scramble.
From there, it was elementary, as the Brazilian cinched the choke
and forced the tapout.
Barao has won 15 consecutive bouts since his December 2007
encounter with Claudemir
Souza ended in a no contest.