SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Seven-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Andre Galvao made a successful mixed martial arts debut on Saturday, as he submitted Jeremiah Metcalf (Pictures) with a second-round armbar at Fighting 4 Kidz at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
To no one’s surprise, Galvao (1-0) pulled off a submission. To almost everyone’s surprise, he used strikes to set it up.
The fight was not without tense moments for the Brazilian phenom, as Metcalf (9-5) opened the match with a stick-and-move style that allowed him to keep his distance from Galvao. Metcalf twice knocked down his debuting foe, first with a straight right and then with a knee. Forced to fight on his feet, Galvao eventually landed a three-punch combination that had Metcalf on his heels.
By round two, Galvao had grown more confident standing and continued to score. Eventually, his combinations set up the opportunity for a takedown. From there, it was like shooting fish in a barrel for Galvao, as the Brazilian snatched an arm and locked in the submission. The end came 2:05 into round two.
In heavyweight action, the American Kickboxing Academy’s Mike Kyle (Pictures) earned a hard-fought unanimous decision over Mychal Clark (Pictures).
Kyle (11-6-1) spent the majority of round one trying to break down Clark’s elusive style, though he eventually set up a stinging right hand with two body shots. Kyle immediately clinched and landed a pair of knees, the second as the bell sounded. Kyle picked up where he left off in the second, as he took down Clark and dominated the round with ground-and-pound.
Like Kyle, World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Bryan Baker (Pictures) also went the distance to attain victory, as he earned a unanimous decision over Gary Padilla (Pictures).
Based out of Brandon Vera (Pictures)’s Alliance Training Center, Padilla tried to take the fight to the ground early, as he stole a page from Chael Sonnen (Pictures)’s playbook. Almost immediately, he shot in for the takedown and slammed Baker to the mat twice. Baker -- who was outclassed on the ground in a decision loss to Sonnen in March -- escaped both times and forced Padilla into a stand-up affair.
Baker (7-1) had a distinct advantage standing and began to pick apart his opponent with punches and knees. He had Padilla badly hurt in the latter stages of the first round but was unable to put him away.
Padilla (8-3) recovered by the start of round two and traded willingly with Baker, who continued to capitalize. The third round provided more of the same, as Baker got the best of most of the exchanges. Padilla, with the crowd’s backing, proved resilient and fought back with combinations of his own, though they did little damage. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Baker.
Meanwhile, in his first action in nine months, Gabe Ruediger (Pictures) could not shake off the resulting ring rust and took a beating for three rounds at the hands of Kyle’s AKA teammate, Justin Wilcox.
Wilcox (5-2) staggered Ruediger with a right hand moments into the fight and secured an easy takedown. From top position, Wilcox dished out a serious ground-and-pound assault. Ruediger (11-5) fought his way back to his feet, only to be dropped again with a one-two combination. Wilcox finished the round with more ground-and-pound.
The one-sided pounding continued in the second and third rounds. Ruediger repeatedly found himself on the wrong end of Wilcox’s punches, standing and on the ground, as he lost for the third time in four fights.
Davin Clark was also part of a successful night for AKA.
In his professional debut, Clark (1-0) overwhelmed Andrew Lang (Pictures) with a crisp striking game. He dropped Lang (0-2) with a straight right in the third round and pounced on him with a flurry of punches and hammer fists. Referee Cecil Peoples intervened just 19 seconds into the third round.
Elsewhere, Seth Dikum knocked AKA product Vanoscar Penvaroff (2-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten, as he submitted the featherweight with a rear naked choke in 61 seconds. Dikum (6-2) has won four straight.
Finally, Dustin Rhodes evened his record at 2-2, as he coaxed a tapout from Vince Ortiz (Pictures) with a triangle choke 33 seconds into round two. Ortiz (0-2) remains winless as a professional.
A charitable event organized by TKT and JG Promotions, Fighting 4 Kidz proceeds went to benefit the Shriner’s Hospital of Los Angeles.