(“Super” Carlos Rocha in action, courtesy of Sebastian Kappes)
Last weekend’s MMA news coverage has largely been dominated by the star-studded shows UFC 114 and DREAM 14. Due to the big hype around these two major league events, many thought they were the only topics that mattered in the MMA world. How wrong they were, as the European MMA scene offered a rarely seen amount of high class shows with aspiring young talent and established veterans. FIGHT! proudly presents last weekend’s European MMA event recap.
Pumukli reigns supreme in Prague
At the Heroes Gate debut show in the beautiful Czech capital Prague, Slovakian striker Attila Vegh (19-3-1) outpointed the experienced Lithuanian Egidijus Valavicius (17-8) in the main event. Vegh notched his nineteenth career win and finished off a busy May, in which he fought four times, with a statement. In further action, Swede Magnus Cedenblad (6-3) punched Czech veteran Tomas Kuzela (14-12) into submission, while Finnish Cage Warriors veteran Jarkko Latomäki (17-6) made short work of late replacement Maros Nagy (1-2), submitting him with a triangle choke in round one.
Tiger-time in the Ukraine
RusFighters Sport Club’s brightest talent, Alexander Sarnavskij (10-0), continued his path to winning the M-1 Selection Eastern European lightweight tournament. The 21-year-old eeked out a split decision over tough veteran Karen Grigoryan (10-3-1) and will next fight Belarussian Artiom Damkovsky in the final. The Selection Semifinals on May 28th in Kiev delivered few upsets, with the favored fighters like DREAM veteran Magomed Sultanakhmedov (13-4) and heavyweight Alexander Volkov (7-1) all advancing to the final stage.
Morten Djursaa swats the Mosquito
Danish “Lumberjack” Morten Djursaa (6-2) managed to defend his welterweight title on May, 29th. He took on the game German Cage Warriors veteran Cengiz “Mosquito” Dana (12-15) and stopped him with a rear naked choke midway through the first round. After fighting most of his career fights in Denmark, Djursaa seems to be destined for bigger challenges soon.
French affair in Russia
Cyrille Diabate-trained Gregory “Blade” Babene (12-7) was simply on fire this weekend. The French Muay Thai stylist took part in the WAFC’s Mayor’s Cup 2010, which featured an eight-men tournament with none other than UFC veteran Sean Salmon (18-10) amongst others. Babene blasted through his first two opponents and went up against his compatriot Eric Cebarac (6-3) in the finals. Cebarac was even more impressive that night: He mauled Ukrainian grappler Vladimir Shemarov (9-9) in just over a minute and submitted the aforementioned Sean Salmon in just 25 seconds. Babene won the final French affair in Russia with a rear naked choke to score the biggest win of his young career.
UFC veterans successful at M-1 in Finland
Swedish Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace David Bielkheden (16-7) managed to score his third consecutive victory in an M-1 superfight in Helsinki, Finland. It took him seven minutes of fighting to do so, as he punched Russian Sambo stylist Musa Khamanaev (3-2) into submission. In further superfight action, UFC-experienced Bulgarian Jordan Radev (23-4) only won a split decision over Croatian Maro Perak (17-2-1), despite being the heavy favorite. Meanwhile, Russian M-1 lightweight star Yuri Ivlev (13-5) dispatched German Mario Stapel (16-13) in just over three minutes, scoring his fourth consecutive TKO/KO victory. The M-1 Selection Western Europe tournaments unfolded as well, with lightweight top contender Mairbek Taisumov (11-2) advancing, as well as Spanish welterweight Abner Lloveras (10-4-1) and German heavyweight striker Dawid Baziak (8-1).
Super Carlos shines at German MMA Championships debut
While many would suspect the German MMA scene to suffer heavily under the recent ban from television, live events in 2010 remain a big success in the western parts of Germany. On May 29th, fledgling promotion GMC – German MMA Championship – held its debut show in Herne. In front of a sell out crowd of over 1100 spectators, German based Brazilian “Super” Carlos Eduardo Rocha (8-0) did not fail to deliver in the main event. The undefeated Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt took on the dangerous Fatih Balci (5-4) and scored a first round submission win that left the undefeated fighter looking for bigger challenges on the European scene. In further action, highly regarded Ulas Aslan (7-3), who holds a victory over Finnish bad boy Niko Puhakka, scored his fourth win in a row by submitting the experienced Robert Scott Westerman (7-9).
Che Mills victorious in Spain
TUF contender Che Mills (10-4) came back this weekend to rebound from two defeats in a row. The British fighter wasted no time in defeating Spanish welterweight Manu Garcia (19-10) at Cage Mania in Marbella as he knocked him out in nine seconds of the opening frame, notching his tenth career win.