Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez flattened journeyman Travis Fulton with a first-round head kick under the Cage Thug MMA banner on Saturday at the McElroy Auditorium in Waterloo, Iowa. The resurgent Rodriguez sent Fulton careening into the cage with his left high kick 3:10 into round one.
The two men circled one another for much of their brief encounter. Eventually, Rodriguez moved in for a failed takedown, as Fulton countered with an attempted guillotine choke. The knockout blow followed soon after they separated.
Rodriguez has rattled off six consecutive victories, five of them finishes. The 32-year-old, who won the absolute division at the 1998 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships, has now secured 33 of his 41 career mixed martial arts wins by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
A veteran of more than 250 professional MMA bouts, Fulton entered the matchup on an eight-fight winning streak.
Madadi Submits Browning
Reza Madadi submitted UFC veteran Junie Allen Browning with a second-round guillotine choke in the Superior Challenge 5 “Pride and Fury” headliner on Saturday at the Fryshuset Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. Browning met his demise 22 seconds into round two.
The twice-beaten Madadi, a 31-year-old Iranian-born Swede, has won four in a row since his decision loss to Peter Irving at a Strike and Submit show in July 2008. A semi-finalist on Season 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, Browning has dropped back-to-back fights for the first time in his career. The polarizing 24-year-old Kentucky native was cut from the UFC after he was arrested in October for allegedly assaulting three nurses at a Nevada hospital.
Other winners at Superior Challenge 5 included World Extreme Cagefighting castaway Jameel Massouh, a unanimous decision victor over Sami Aziz, and Swedish middleweight prospect Tor Troeng. Unbeaten in his last eight fights, Troeng submitted Rafael Silva with a triangle choke 3:44 into round three.
Sunabe Bounces Back; Kondo Crowned
Former flyweight King of Pancrase Mitsuhisa Sunabe knocked out Hayato Sato with a head kick and follow-up punches in the Pancrase “Passion Tour 4” co-headliner on Thursday at the Differ Ariake Arena in Tokyo. The end came 2:31 into the opening period.
The world-ranked Sunabe, who relinquished his title to Kiyotaka Shimizu three months ago, has posted four wins in five fights. A veteran of the Cage Force and Shooto circuits, the 27-year-old Sato came up short in his promotional debut and has tasted defeat in five of his past six appearances.
In the main event, Yuki Kondo became the undisputed middleweight King of Pancrase with a unanimous decision win against Ichiro Kanai. Scores were 30-29 across the board for Kondo, a 34-year-old veteran of 82 fights. Kondo punctuated his victory with a strong third round.
Cisneros Stops Sims in Hawaii
Chris Cisneros stopped Marlon Sims on first-round strikes in the Unorthodox Industries Championships “Wang vs. Rincon” co-main event on Saturday at the Afook-Chinen Hilo Civic Auditorium in Hilo, Hawaii. The bout lasted just 97 seconds.
Sims -- the man who infamously engaged Noah Thomas in a backyard brawl on Season 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter” -- ate a right hand to the chin and ultimately succumbed to strikes on the ground. Cisneros, a 30-year-old Ring of Fire and Icon Sport veteran, has posted four wins in five fights.
The UIC main event between UFC veteran Andy Wang and late replacement Eddie Rincon ended anticlimactically in the third round following an inadvertent eye poke from Rincon. The two men appeared to split the first two rounds.