ERFURT, Germany – UFC veteran Peter Sobotta ran a grappling clinic on his opposition at the third annual Casino Fight Night.
In an old-school tournament contested with no rounds, no time limits and no judges, the 25-year-old German scored three submissions victories in a combined 6:21 to win Saturday’s bracket at the Westspiel Casino.
That makes five consecutive victories via tapout overall for the highly talented submission specialist, who exited the sport’s premier organization in November 2010 after losses to Paul Taylor, James Wilks and Amir Sadollah.
In the grand finale, the Dean Lister brown belt faced last year’s finalist, Tamirlan Dadaev of Chechnya. The tough-as-nails Vienna-based all-rounder had stormed the final himself with an 18-second submission of English Army representative Jamie Lloyd. Sobotta proved to be on another level, though. With his mentor Lister looking on from ringside, the Planet Eater team captain methodically worked his way to the back of his opponent, where he cinched his trademark rear-naked choke at the 2:10 mark of round one.
In the semifinals, Sobotta used the same move to submit Belgian representative Mustafa Asmaoui 3:36 into round one; the veteran kickboxer had punched his ticket to the second round with a bone-breaking leg kick knockout of luckless Andre Schug, leaving his 36-year-old opponent to roll on the mat in agony after the Shaolin Team fighter shattered his shinbone.
Sobotta needed just 35 seconds to dispatch experienced boxer-turned-mixed-martial-artist Branimir Radosavljevic in the opening round. The bearded Serbian went all out, throwing wild haymakers, but Sobotta timed his shot perfectly, smoothly transitioned to the back and had already sunk in the choke before all of the 150 guests at the VIP-only gala had taken their seats.
In other tournament action, Thomas Wichmann’s streak of bad luck continued. Last year the sympathetic Saxon saw his title dream smashed by a liver shot. This time, the blow went a little lower – a Jamie Lloyd kick caught him right in the crown jewelry. As he threw up in the ring, it became clear that there was no way the 29-year-old Vale Tudo Merseburg fighter would be able to continue. Even though the fight was correctly ruled a no-contest, it was Lloyd who moved on as Wichmann could not continue.
On the amateur undercard, Stefan Ziegler did not always fight cleanly, but he got the job done against Robert Herzberg. The AK Ultra fighter controlled the action on the ground and did a lot of damage with short knee strikes from side control. An unanswered flurry of more than 60 strikes from mount position ended the night for a badly beaten-up Herzberg.
Artjom Knorr wasted little time to put the hurting on Toni Angolini in a wild brawl. The young man from Neubrandenburg, Germany, had to be pulled off his hapless opponent after a left-right combo floored the Berlin fighter and resulting ground-and-pound came crashing down.
Andreas Muehlbayer gave away a great first round in which he punched Salman Dakaev’s right eye completely shut, only to get careless and let himself be knocked out in the second stanza. In the opening bout of the night, Japanese transplant Yui Lange won a unanimous decision over Michael Bahr in a grappling-heavy affair.