Saturday, March 22, 2008

Denny wins by DQ

SANTA YNEZ, Calif. (March 22, 2008) – The rules are abundantly clear: in mixed martial arts, a fighter is not permitted to deliver an elbow in a downward motion (ceiling to floor). Nor is a fighter allowed to strike an opponent behind the back of the head.

Malaipet did both in the closing seconds of the first-round against Thomas “Wildman” Denny Friday in the main event of ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series on SHOWTIME, and was disqualified.

In other televised bouts, scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds, Conor Heun (7-2), of Hollywood, Calif., won an unpopular, unanimous decision over Marlon Mathias (5-2), of Brazil; Jaime Fletcher (9-3), of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., recorded an upset points victory over Aaron Rosa (10-2), of San Antonio, Texas; Shane Del Rosario (4-0), of Irvine, Calif., scored an opening-round knockout over Analu Brash (1-2), of Kula, Maui; and Mark Oshiro (10-1), of Honolulu, Hawaii, knocked out previously unbeaten Chris Cariaso (6-1), of San Francisco, in the first round.

Non-televised results: Crowd favorite Kenny “The Poet” Johnson (1-0), of Los Angeles, did all the right stuff in his pro debut as he manhandled Michael Penafiel (2-3), of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., en route to winning a unanimous decision by the scores of 30-27 three times; Steve Gable (1-0), of San Clemente, Calif., scored a 2:47, first-round TKO over Eric Jones (0-2), of Los Angeles; Lyle Beerbohm (5-0), of Spokane, Wash., submitted (rear naked choke) Vince Guzman (2-3), of Los Angeles, at 3:26 of the second; Devin Howard (1-0), of La Habra, Calif., impressively submitted (rear naked choke) Mark Kempthorne (1-5), of Vandenberg, Calif., at 2:53 of the first; and Brandon Tarn (1-1), of Los Angeles, submitted (rear naked choke) Jason Williams (0-1), of Rancho Cucamonga, at 1:05 of the second.

“I’m sorry because I came here to fight, but this is MMA and you have to follow the rules,’’ said Denny, who could not continue after he was nailed by three blatant elbows to the back of the head. “I may have been dazed but I wasn’t knocked out. One thing I could not do, however, was move my neck.’’

Knowing his advantage on the ground, Denny took Malaipet to the ground in the opening seconds and kept him there for more than four and a half minutes of the initial five-minute session.

At one point in the 160-pound fight, it appeared that Malaipet would get choked out, but he rallied to work his way out of it and managed to continue. Denny quickly locked him up again and tried to take matters back to the ground. A frustrated Malaipet then committed the three flagrant fouls.

Denny (26-16), of Victorville, Calif., was given a few minutes to recover, but when he couldn’t the fight was called at the 4:51 mark. “Malaipet was tough because I thought I had him with the rear naked choke,” Denny said. “But I will definitely fight him again. I was totally dominating.’’

A world-class superstar Muay Thai kickboxer with reportedly more than 300 Muay Thai fights, Malaipet (3-2), of Rancho Cucamonga, by way of Thailand, had a three-fight MMA winning streak end.

“I definitely want to fight him again,’’ Malaipet said. “If he wants to do it at 150 pounds, I’ll fight him any time, any place. This wasn’t my type of fight. But there was no way I was ever going to tap out.’’

In an excellent, crowd-pleasing, give-and-take battle at 160 pounds that appeared closer than the judges had it, Heun outpointed Mathias by the scores of 30-27 on all three scorecards.

“This was yet another hard, tough battle,” said Heun, who was cut above his left eye and may have had his jaw broken. “I didn’t expect to get hit like that and I don’t like bleeding. But I love to fight and look forward to doing it again.”

“I am very disappointed in the decision,’’ Mathias said. “I inflicted the most damage and landed the most punches. I definitely won two of the three rounds.”

In an action-packed fight at 205 pounds, Fletcher dealt Rosa a second consecutive defeat, scoring one knockdown en route to winning by the scores of 30-27 twice and 28-29. Rosa lost his previous start to unbeaten Jared Hamman on Oct. 26, 2007, on ShoXC on SHOWTIME at Chumash.

“This is by far the biggest win of my career,’’ Fletcher said. “It is unbelievable how great I feel. He was so tall and had a reach advantage on me so I knew I had to push the pace. I knew by the first round that it was going to be a long fight because I couldn’t get inside.

“I pretty much felt I won the decision with the knockdown. The biggest surprise to me was that he decided to stand and fight me. He played right into my hands.”

In a match-up of 265-pounders, Del Rosario humbled Brash. Fairly dominant from the outset, Del Rosario was pummeling Brash with punches to the head when the referee stepped in and stopped it at 3:16 of the opening stanza.

“He hit me a couple of times, but I felt I was in control the whole time,” Del Rosario said. “I expected to win, I just didn’t know how. I was a little nervous because there was a lot of pressure on me, but now I am very relieved and happy.

“I was surprised the referee let it go because I thought he was out. At one point I stopped because I thought I heard the ref say ‘stop.’ But when he didn’t, I just kept going.”

In a thrilling fight to open the telecast, both fighters went down before Oshiro knocked out the previously unbeaten Cariaso at 2:38 of the first.

“I knew I hurt him after I landed the right hand, but as long as the referee wasn’t going to stop it, I was going to keep throwing punches,’’ Oshiro said.

“He had me on the ground and I fought to get back up. He hit me pretty hard in the gut when we were on the mat, so when I got back up I really wanted to get him back.”

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