The 28-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt defeated fierce Polish fighter Artur Kadlubek in a hotly contested final in which both athletes had their moments.
Rocha controlled the majority of the fight on the ground and did major damage to Silesian Cage Club’s top talent with a nasty heel hook. Kadlubek, who fought off bad positions and several submission attempts, had to quit fighting between rounds due to the damage done to his ankle.
“I was very sad, because I wasn’t able to fight for more than 10 months due to personal problems,” Rocha told Sherdog.com. “Thanks to God, I was able to put that behind me and I had a very good training camp with my master, Darcio Lira, in Brazil, which prepared me to survive this gauntlet. With God’s help, I can continue my winning ways and perhaps move on to even bigger and better things.”
Rocha reached the final behind two quick first-round submissions over German kickboxing champion David Goldberg (armbar 1:57 into the first) and Peter Sobotta’s boxing coach, Mihajlo Mihnjak (arm-triangle choke) 1:04 into the first). Kadlubek punched the hard-hitting Thuringia Dominique Stetefeld into submission 1:50 into round one and stopped Golden Glory’s Bastiaan Rejen on strikes in just 70 seconds to book his ticket to the championship match.
In the co-headliner, Italy’s Ivan Mussardo resisted the temptation of striking with Austrian muay Thai ace Philipp Schranz and quickly moved the action to the mat.
A student of Nogueira black belt Augusto Frota, Mussardo scored a double-leg takedown, transitioned to side control and, from there, moved to the north-south position. Schranz managed to get free briefly, but Mussardo took his back and cinched the rear-naked choke for the submission at 1:40 of the first round.
However, the “Fight of the Night” belonged to lightweights Sebastian Nowak and Mariusz Pioskowik. Their 155-pound slugfest started in controversial fashion, when Pioskowik had a point deducted for holding the fence. This only added fuel to his fire, as he aggressively went after the young wrestler from the Baltic Sea and sent the blood of his broken nose spilling onto the announcer’s table.
After an extensive doctor check, Nowak decided to continue fighting. Even though Pioskowik had dominated the opening stanza, the bout went into the second round even on the judges’ scorecards because of the point deduction. “Knacki,” his white shorts drenched in blood, mounted an impressive comeback that had the crowd on the edge of its seats. In the end, two out of three judges scored it for Nowak, awarding him a majority decision.
Maciej Rozanski def. Tarik Kuzucu -- Submission (Triangle Choke) 2:32 R1
Jan Tettenborn def. Mahmadon Cupert -- KO (Punch) 0:05 R1
Mihajlo Mihnjak def. Maik Stumbries -- Unanimous Decision
Bastiaan Rejen def. Andre Walberer -- Submission (Armbar) 1:40 R2
Thomas Friedrich def. Hendrik Oschmann -- Submission (Verbal) 5:00 R1