Wagner (Pictured) stopped two-time UFC titleholder Tim Sylvia on first-round punches in the Titan Fighting Championship 16 headliner on Friday at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The surprising conclusion came just 32 seconds into round one. Only Ray Mercer has finished Sylvia quicker.
“I thought I had a big speed advantage on him,” Wagner said. “I wanted to take the fight to him, because he’s a monster.”
Wagner sent a blistering overhand right across the bow after an opening exchange between the two yielded no advantage. The blow put Sylvia on his heels, as he backed all the way across the cage and into the opposite fence. There, Wagner let loose with a six-punch combination that dropped Sylvia face-first at his feet and forced referee Jason Herzog to intervene on his behalf. Sylvia protested the stoppage but had trouble standing in the immediate aftermath, rattled by the heavy blows from his 6-foot-4, 260-pound counterpart.
“I caught him with one,” Wagner said. “When he got to the fence, he couldn’t back up anymore.”
The defeat snapped a four-fight winning streak for the 34-year-old Sylvia, who weighed in at 311 pounds for the bout.
In the co-main event, Jason High needed less than a minute to dispatch Rudy Bears. A finalist in the 2009 Dream welterweight grand prix, High submitted the Bellator Fighting Championships veteran with a lightning-quick guillotine choke 51 seconds into the first round.
High scored with a single-leg takedown inside the first 30 seconds, snatched the choke and coaxed the tapout. He barely broke a sweat. The 29-year-old Kansas City, Mo., native has rattled off four consecutive victories since being released by the UFC following a unanimous decision loss to Charlie Brenneman in March.
Wagner was not the only fighter to spring an upset.
The little-known Aaron Derrow rendered “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 4 alum Rich Clementi unconscious with a third-round triangle choke in a catchweight showcase. The hold finished Clementi, a late replacement for World Extreme Cagefighting veteran L.C. Davis, 3:35 into round three. The result left the crowd stunned and reduced Derrow to tears.
Having already been mounted twice, Derrow was clearly behind in the fight. However, he lulled the experienced Clementi into a false sense of security at the base of the cage. A failed flying triangle attempt from Derrow left him in bottom position, where his foe figured to hold the upper hand. A Grindhouse MMA product, Derrow deftly trapped Clementi in the choke, cut off his escape routes and waited for the blackout.
Outside of a straight right hand from the underdog in the second round, Clementi controlled much of the bout. He threatened to finish it himself with a rear-naked choke in round two and chopped away at Derrow with short elbows from the top, resulting in superficial cuts to the face. However, his night’s work unraveled inside the clutches of “Daddy Long Legs.”
According to Compustrike data, Clementi outlanded Derrow 79-9 before being submitted.
Meanwhile, UFC veteran Drew McFedries weathered a second-round knockdown, shook off some ring rust and mangled the face of Gary Tapusoa en route to a one-sided finish in a featured middleweight bout. The end came 4:42 into round three.
In his first appearance since September 2009, McFedries started slowly but picked up his pace as the fight deepened. A straight counter right hand from the stocky, 5-foot-7 Tapusoa put him on his backside a little more than a minute into the second round. Tapusoa swarmed but only seemed to awaken the former Pat Miletich protégé. McFedries found a home for his jab and went to work on Tapusoa’s lead leg with a series of thudding kicks.
McFedries saved his best for last. In the third round, he unleashed crisp combinations, pumped a stiff jab into his opponent’s face and opened a horrendous gash above Tapusoa’s left eye. A stinging uppercut that forced the game Samoan to turn away from the battle finished it with just 18 seconds left in the fight.
Other winners at Titan FC 16 included Alonzo Martinez (rear-naked choke submission over Deryck Ripley 2:19 into the second round), Anthony Gutierrez (elbow-induced technical knockout against Jacob Aiken 3:28 into round one) and Drew Dober (unanimous decision over Bobby Cooper).