A rugged Texan journeyman and a 13-year MMA veteran, Davila needed only seven seconds to put Larson away Saturday night before a crowd of 3,167 at a scaled-down Target Center. “Big Head” scored with a devastating right hook to the jaw that collapsed Larson, forcing referee “Big” John McCarthy into action as Larson laid on his back, eating repeated hammerfists from Davila.
With the upset win, Lubbock’s Davila is now 20-10 as a pro, while the 33-year-old Larson falls to 33-6. Davila is 6-1 in his last seven bouts, having beaten three UFC veterans -- Larson, Pete Spratt and Lodune Sincaid -- in that period.
In the evening's co-feature, “The Ultimate Fighter” and Strikeforce veteran Paul Bradley easily outclassed journeyman Eddie Larrea, earning a first-round submission win.
As usual, Bradley was precise and methodical with his attack. The Minnesota Martial Arts Academy fighter shot a double-leg takedown, moved to half-guard, and secured an arm-triangle choke with ease.
Though Bradley made the mistake of getting rolled to his back, it didn’t matter: Larrea was still helpless and was forced to tap at 2:54 of the first round. The win marked the third consecutive submission victory for “The Gentleman.” The former Iowa Hawkeye wrestler is now 16-2 in his career.
Elsewhere, “TUF 6” finalist Tom Speer found himself in a tougher-than-expected 175-pound bout with Hibbing, Minn.’s Indalecio Tat Romero.
The two men felt each other out early, exchanging punches and top position throughout the first round. Speer found success in the middle frame with kicks to Romero’s body. However, Romero answered with a takedown and ground strikes which bloodied the nose of the UFC vet, making for a tense final period.
Speer continued with his kicking offense chopping the lead leg of “The Mean Bean.” Recognizing his disadvantage on the feet, Romero took Speer to the floor, but Speer showed off his grappling, working for a triangle choke and a kimura in the final 60 seconds. The last minute salvo sealed it for Speer, who took scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice to earn the unanimous decision.
The closing minute of the bout saw Speer work for a triangle and a kimura; neither came to fruition. However, it was enough for him to secure the win via decision as Andy Kemp scored the bout 30-27, and Joe Fipp and Doug Manning had it 29-28, giving the 26-year-old Speer his 19th pro win.
Elsewhere, Taylor Falls, Minn.’s Melvin Blumer shocked the Target Center by stopping WEC veteran Courtney Buck in the first round to capture the Cage Fighting Xtreme featherweight title.
Blumer, 29, capitalized off of a Buck kick to wrestle his foe to the floor. From there, Blumer moved to mount, securing a mounted triangle choke.
Blumer then utilized an assault of elbows to force Buck unconscious. Referee McCarthy halted the onslaught just 72 seconds into the round.
Blumer's two-minutes-younger identical twin, Marvin Blumer, also tasted success on the evening, as the bantamweight “Bash Brother” used constant submission attempts to snare North Dakotan Jeremy Stetz in an armbar that ended the fight at 2:49 of the first round.
WEC veteran Jeremy Lang made quick work of “Suga” Shane DeZee in a bizarre catchweight contest. Originally set to be contested at middleweight, the bout was changed to a 208-pound affair when Dezee came in 23 pounds over the 185-pound limit.
Despite the unusual occurrence, Lang overcame the weight differential and an early cut to stop the Burnsville, Minn., native with a rear-naked choke in just 38 seconds. Dezee told Sherdog.com after the contest that his weight indiscretion was the result of being hospitalized during training camp for dehydration.
Bellator bantamweight tournament veteran Travis Reddinger walked through Brainerd, Minn.'s Rocco Maggorie. Reddinger took top position early on and had little to worry about from there. Reddinger took over the bout with punches and elbows, allowing him to pass guard and secure a rear-naked choked at 3:30 of the opening frame.
Minnesotan featherweights Mitch Jackson and Gabe Greenberg went back and forth on the floor for nearly 15 minutes, but it was Jackson who triumphed, catching his opponent with a guillotine at 4:22 of the final round.