Prestige FC debuts with exciting night of fights
From Prestige FC:
Rhodes, Southern & Tweet among big winners
Three fighters made resounding statements in the debut event of Prestige FC, the first homegrown promotion in the Province of Saskatchewan which launched Saturday night.
Prestige FC 1: Atonement drew a crowd of more than 1,600 to Crescent Point Place in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, with a fight card headlined by three-time UFC competitor and Roufusport representative Mike “Biggie” Rhodes.
Rhodes (8-4) pursued late replacement opponent Taki Uluilakepa through two cautious rounds before eventually finding some rhythm in the third. After a solid right, Uluilakepa (4-2-1) was cut open by a knee and found himself in danger. Rhodes moved in for the kill and found it with a rear-naked choke at the 3:54 mark.
In the co-main event, former two-time MFC lightweight title contender Kurt “The Hurt” Southern made his debut in the featherweight division against KOTC/RFA veteran Daniel “Agent Orange” Swain. The bout seemed to be going Swain’s way early as drove Southern to the mat three times with impressive takedowns. But the third proved to be Swain’s undoing as Southern expertly maneuvered his way into a guillotine choke and forced a quick tap from Swain just 2:21 into the bout. The result brought a big rise out of the partisan crowd who were backing Southern in his first professional bout in his home province.
The win ended a two-fight slide for Southern (14-6) – both losses to Tom Gallicchio for the MFC’s 155-pound division belt – while the setback put a stop to a two-fight winning streak for Swain (14-6-1).
A featured bout on the Prestige FC 1 main card was a trilogy encounter for two bitter rivals. Hometown favorite and Invicta FC standout Charmaine “Not So Sweet” Tweet was determined to end things between herself and foe Anna “Smiles” Barone in convincing fashion. Tweet refused to touch gloves during the intro and went in pursuit from the very start. A takedown resulted in some ground-and-pound, and up against the fence, Tweet clipped Barone with an elbow. The assault worsened when Tweet blasted Barone with another elbow that opened a massive cut above her right eye. Referee Phil Koldyk let the fight continue despite long looks from Tweet (7-5), but finally Barone (2-5) took upon herself to end it. Barone waved it off and Koldyk concurred sighting the damage for a TKO stoppage at the 3:41 mark.
The bout’s conclusion put an end to the rivalry which began with a Barone victory by TKO in 2011 and was then evened by Tweet’s submission win in 2014. All told, the trilogy was made up of just 7:14 of actual fight time.
Tweet, the only woman to fight both Ronda Rousey and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, is expected to return to Invicta in December after being given the opportunity to fight in her home province.
A pair of top prospects from Tristar fared well in their respective bouts. Bantamweight Louie Sanoudakis (4-0) kept his unblemished record intact with a convincing verdict of rugged journeyman Eric Wilson (6-7). Following a close first round that saw the fighters exchange a variety of strikes from distance, Sanoudakis got his offense together and began to pick up the pace on the tiring Wilson. Sanoudakis further weathered his opponent with a stunning high kick in the dying moment of the second. The Montreal, Quebec, fighter started to badly damage Wilson in the third and nearly finished the fight with under a minute to go with a solid kick to the body. Two judges gave Sanoudakis a 29-28 advantage while a third saw it 30-27.
Sanoudakis’ lightweight teammate Mandel Nallo was dropped by a left hook in the first round by Jose Rodriguez but redeemed himself quickly with a takedown and ground-and-pound attack. Early in Round 2, Nallo (4-0) brought about the end with a front kick that blasted Rodriguez (7-5) right in the mouth. The downed and bloodied Rodriguez never got out of harm’s way and was forced to tap out via rear-naked choke at the 1:49 mark.
Brad Katona (2-0), another highly touted prospect who has struggled to find willing opponents, flashed his striking power with a bullet left hook to liver against Myles Anderson (0-3) and brought his fallen foe to a close with a guillotine choke only 3:12 into their clash. Katona was a late replacement, taking the fight on five days’ notice and moving up from bantamweight to lightweight for the opportunity.
Sheldon Leblanc (3-1) def. Corey Atkinson (4-6) – tapout via keylock, 1:30 of Round 1
George Davis (1-0) def. Clayton Schira (0-1) – unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Johnny Ouellette (2-1) def. Lee Gaudet (3-5) – unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Domenic Ruccolo (3-1) vs. Thomas Richardson (2-0) – no contest (doctor’s stoppage due to accidental foul) in Round 1)
Prestige FC will announce details of its second card, which will take place in February 2016, very shortly.
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