Weekend Rundown: ‘JT Money,’ Olympian McMann Among Victors


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The focus of the fight world shifted back to Las Vegas Saturday as the Ultimate Fighting Championship returned from an increasingly rare month-long break with UFC 130. But, as ever, there was no shortage of high-quality MMA taking place in regional promotions around the globe as the sport enters into another hectic stretch. Back to highlight the weekend’s notable results from Indiana to Ireland, Australia to the Amazon, is our weekly rundown.

Jesse Taylor added another major scalp to his rapidly expanding collection, upsetting Pride and UFC veteran Denis Kang in the middleweight main event of Saturday’s Battlefield Fight League 8 “Island Beatdown” in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Taylor (19-6), a Team Quest training partner of Strikeforce 205-pound champ Dan Henderson, needed only 1:57 to outwork his opponent on the canvas and force local hero Kang (34-13-2, 2 NC) to concede to a rear-naked choke. Infamously ejected from the finals of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 in 2008, the 28-year-old Californian has won 13 of 16 starts since his one-fight Octagon stint.

Husband and wife team Luis “Sapo” Santos and Carina Damm found mixed results in their homecoming, as the Brazilian expats fighting out of Finney’s MMA in St. Louis left Friday’s Amazon Fight 8 in Belem with one win and one draw. It was Damm (16-6) who brought home the victory, halting the worst losing streak of her career -- a three-fight skid which culminated in a March 11 heel-hooking from Tara LaRosa -- with a first-round keylock submission of debuting boxer Maguilla Deize (0-1). Santos (49-6-1) looked to avenge a 2007 decision loss to Carlos Alexandre Pereira (23-9-1), but could muster only a draw after three hard-fought rounds against the Shooto South America 183-pound champ. It was the first stalemate tacked to the nearly 60-fight ledger of Santos, who made a successful Bellator Fighting Championships debut against Nicolae Cury in Lake Charles, La., only six days prior.

Elsewhere in Brazil, veteran welterweight Daniel Acacio captured another belt less than one month after defending his Superior Challenge strap against Diego Gonzalez in Sweden. A replacement for Team Nogueira strangler Andre “Chatuba” Santos, Acacio (24-11) claimed Fatality Arena’s 170-pound title with a 2:58 knockout of Felipe “Mongo” Arinelli (10-11) in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro. The card was originally slated to feature a bout between Paulo Filho and Gustavo “Ximu” Machado, but the matchup reportedly fell through during April negotiations.

Olympic wrestler Sara McMann did not disappoint in her long-awaited and much-delayed pro MMA debut Saturday at Universal Cage Combat “Revolution” in Lawrenceburg, Ind. The 30-year-old McMann (1-0), who in 2004 became the first American woman to win an Olympic silver medal in wrestling, effortlessly took out Christina Marks (2-4), ending their 135-pound contest via rear-naked choke after just 40 seconds.

Australian Michael Mortimer made similarly quick work of Renato Vieira at the inaugural Days of Glory event Saturday in the Gold Coast suburb of Broadbeach, Australia. Eliminated from Legend Fighting Championships’ bantamweight title tournament by Hong Gang Yao in January, Mortimer (13-4) bounced back with a lightning-fast drubbing of his Brazilian foe, punching out Vieira (2-2) after 41 seconds.

English promotion Cage Warriors Fighting Championship returned to the Republic of Ireland on Saturday for CWFC 42, its second event in Cork City. The lightweight main event saw unbeaten 23-year-old local Joseph Duffy (9-0) earn a first-round stoppage of Spanish “Cookie Monster” Oriol Gaset (10-7). American Jake Hecht (9-2) of Finney’s H.I.T. Squad choked out England’s Craig White (5-2) with two ticks left in the second round of their middleweight tilt, while Boston-born Irishman Cathal Pendred (8-2) put away Vladimir Malko (2-1) with punches at 3:14 of round two.

Onetime UFC competitor Mike Ciesnolevicz won his second straight under the banner of Canada’s Prestige Fighting Championship at Prestige FC 2 in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Saturday. Ciesnolevicz (19-4, 1 NC) dominated Midwestern journeyman Bruce Nelson (23-32-1) with a kick-heavy assault in the opening round of their 205-pound tilt, eliciting a stoppage from referee “Big” John McCarthy after dropping Nelson with a shin to the head 33 seconds into the second frame. The show’s main event saw Lee Mein (5-9), father of welterweight up-and-comer Jordan Mein, celebrate his 44th birthday with a 71-second stoppage of Ron Faircloth (33-20, 1 NC).

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