Ken Shamrock (left) vs. Pedro Rizzo: Photo by Chris Dela Cruz/Sherdog.com
SYDNEY, Australia -- In a lopsided beating that surprised no one, Pedro Rizzo downed 46-year-old MMA pioneer Ken Shamrock to cap Impact FC's second venture Sunday at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
Carrying a 3-8 mark in his last decade of competition, the 17-year-veteran Shamrock was a prohibitive underdog to the faded but still capable 36-year-old Rizzo. The most common analysis of the bout proved to be spot-on, as "The Rock" used jabs, right crosses and his trademark low kicks to punish Shamrock from the opening bell.
After three minutes, Rizzo intensified his attack. He landed harder, cleaner low kicks, eventually connecting with a right kick that hobbled Shamrock and dropped him to his knees. Rizzo followed up with a series of perfunctory punches that earned him the stop 3:33 into the first round.
The win was the third for the veteran Rizzo in the last 10 months.
Despite the tall odds heading into the bout, and despite the beating he received, Shamrock remained enormously popular with the Sydney audience, which stood in appreciation following the bout.
"I like being in the ring, and the day that I have to say it's over is gonna be a sad day for me. And it's probably pretty close to that day," laughed Shamrock after the bout.
"As long as the fans come and keep watching me, I'll keep getting beat up," he continued, drawing a bizarrely enthusiastic, possibly sadistic response from the crowd.
Paul Daley (right) vs. Daniel Acacio: Photo by Chris Dela Cruz/Sherdog.com
In his first bout since May's notorious sucker punch on Josh Koscheck that got him released from the UFC, British bomber Paul Daley forced Pride veteran Daniel Acacio to quit in the third round after a vicious elbow split the Brazilian wide open.
Daley landed his trademark left hook liberally in round one. Acacio capitalized on a caught kick from Daley in round two, playing top position with short punches from the guard. With the scorecards knotted at 19-19 after two rounds, Daley's recent training in Thailand came into play but not as expected.
Early in round three, Acacio flopped to guard and Daley let loose with a vicious right elbow that resonated with an audible crack across the venue. With blood instantly streaming over his face, Acacio signaled to referee John McCarthy that he wanted out of the fight 75 ticks into the final round.
"I worked so much on my elbows in the clinch in Thailand," a jubilant Daley said after the bout. "I thought I might get him standing with one, but it just turned out I got him on the ground."
"I'd never been cut before," revealed Acacio after the fight. "I got scared; I thought something might be broken and there was blood everywhere."
Denis Kang (top) vs. Paulo Filho: Photo by Chris Dela Cruz/Sherdog.com
Denis Kang and Paulo Filho were originally set to meet in November 2006 in the finals of Pride's 183-pound grand prix. Nearly four years later in Sydney, the two standout middleweights battled to a highly contentious split draw.
Kang and Filho seemingly split the first two rounds. The first frame saw Kang secure top position and chip away from half guard, and Filho held strong top position for much of round two, even taking full mount.
After a slow 10 minutes, Kang and Filho turned up the pace of their grappling in the third. Kang took Filho's back momentarily in the first half of the round, but Filho was able to peel Kang from his back and top position. As the round wore on, Filho's difficulties making weight showed, as his workrate slowed considerably. The last 90 seconds saw Kang working diligently for a kimura, but he was unable to finish.
Judge Evan Bzadough scored the bout 29-28 Filho, while Brett Hinde had a confusing 30-27 Kang. Charlie Keech came down firmly in the middle with a score of 29-29. Sherdog.com saw the bout 29-28 Kang, giving him the first and third rounds.
A potential rematch is already in the early works. Impact promoter Tom Huggins told Sherdog.com that he is planning two cards in Rio de Janeiro in September and that he would attempt to work out a rematch between Kang and Filho for one of the efforts.
"I'm absolutely interested in a rematch, in Brazil or wherever," Kang said after the bout. "I would've done the rematch tonight."
"Yes, we're interested in a rematch," echoed Filho's manager, Andre Bottino. "Everybody knows what happened. Paulao knows. Denis knows. If they fight again, we'll see it for sure."
Having lost three of his last four heading into the evening, "The Ultimate Fighter" season seven cast member Jesse Taylor righted his ship, forcing former UFC middleweight champ Murilo Bustamante to retire from the bout under unusual circumstances 2:10 into the second round.
In the opening round, the 43-year-old Bustamante swept "JT Money" from the bottom and then took the back, threatening with a rear-naked choke. However, the Brazilian's fortunes took a bizarre turn for the worse in round two. After a Taylor takedown and what seemed like routine ground-and-pound, referee John McCarthy called for a stand-up. Bustamante was unable to regain his feet steadily, falling to a knee and telling McCarthy that he was unable to continue.
"I don't know what happened. I didn't think he hit me hard, but in the guard, I started feeling dizzy," Bustamante said. "When Big John said to stand up, I felt like I was drunk, and couldn't stand. I'm fine now. I'm not sure what happened, though."
Murilo "Ninja" Rua survived an early scare from TUF alum Jeremy May before forcing May to tap to a guillotine 4:12 into the first round.
Rua hit the deck courtesy of a May right cross in the first round, and in general looked slow and out of sorts. However, May's window of opportunity closed as Rua got his bearings late in the round and scrambled to his feet, locking up the fight-ending guillotine in the process.
Light heavyweight prospect Glover Teixeira earned his eighth straight win in lopsided fashion against Marko Peselj. Teixeira, who cut 20 pounds on Saturday to make 206, wasted no time, getting a takedown and full mount in less than 10 seconds. After two unsuccessful arm-triangle choke attempts, Teixeira opted to simply blast away from mount until John McCarthy was forced to intervene.
"Because of the (weight) cut, I started to cramp almost immediately," Teixeira said. "I knew I had to get it done fast. That's why I just went to mount and kept punching."
In a pairing of heavyweight UFC veterans, Soa Palelei tapped late replacement Brad Morris in the first round. After some sharp knees from the clinch, "The Hulk" put Morris on the floor, cranked a keylock, then moved to mount to coax the tap at 4:20. Morris accepted the bout on Wednesday night, after Bob Sapp was officially nixed from the card when talks with Impact FC dissolved.
"Big" Jim York earned a first-round submission over K-1 veteran Peter Graham, dropping "The Chief" to 1-5 in his fledgling MMA career. After some quality strikes mixed with sloppy grappling, York caught Graham's back and finished with a rear-naked choke 3:44 into the first round.
Featherweight fighter and big wave surfer Richie "Vas" Vaculik had little trouble dominating Glenn Taylor-Smith on the ground before choking him out 4:16 into the second stanza.
In the evening's opener, Manuel Rodriguez showed off his submission savvy, locking an anaconda choke from the bottom on Shane Nix, sweeping the Aussie and transitioning to a north-south choke that left Nix unconscious at 4:22 of the first round.