First up this week we have Trevor Prangley, who possesses probably one of the most heroic chins in MMA this side of Urijah Faber. Prangley (33-10-1, 2-2 UFC, 3-3-1 Strikeforce, 0-1 Bellator) headlined King of the Cage: Steadfast last Thursday, where he successfully defended his title against Jared Torgeson (15-12-0). The fight was a rematch of a 2013 bout, which Prangley won by unanimous decision. The UFC veteran made much shorter work of Torgeson the second time around, putting Torgeson away with punches in just over a minute. Prangley last appeared in a major show in 2011, when he fought and lost to Hector Lombard in a catchweight exhibition match. Since then he’s gone 9-1, with that lone loss coming by TKO to Vyacheslav Vasilevsky. During that stretch he also captured the KOTC light-heavyweight title from Tony Lopez and has since defended it four times.
And on Friday, at Fight to Win: Fight Club Denver, Strikeforce veteran Lumumba Sayers (6-5-0) returned to competition against Canaan Grigsby (4-1-0) after over a year away. It would be a rough welcome back to the ring for Sayers, who fell to Grigsby’s punches mid-way through the second round. From 2011 to 2012, Sayers fought in Strikeforce’s middleweight division, where he put together a 2-2 mark. Consecutive first-round finishes of Antwain Britt and Scott Smith seemed to portend good things, but Sayers was never able to build on that win streak. Since his 2012 guillotine of Smith, Sayers is 0-3. Grigsby, meanwhile, is enjoying a three-fight win streak, with all victories coming by (T)KO.
Big-show veterans continued to have a hard time of it at Saturday’s Vengeance Fighting Alliance 4, where, in the main event, Corey Hill (6-8-0) succumbed to the strikes of Marcus Andrusia (5-8-0) three minutes into Round 1. Hill was a contestant on season 6 of The Ultimate Fighter, where he made an impression as a physically gifted, deeply driven competitor. However, a 1-2 stretch in the UFC, culminating in a horrific leg-break, ala Anderson Silva, saw him exit the promotion. Things have been largely up and down for Hill since his return to the regionals, where he’s experienced a glut of cancelled bouts and, as of last Saturday, a four-fight losing streak, as well. Andrusia, meanwhile, is 3-1 this year.
And at M-1 Challenge 50, undefeated heavyweight Marcin Tybura (11-0-0) notched the biggest win of his career with a first-round north-south choke of the nigh-undefeated Damian Grabowski (19-2, 1-1 Bellator). Tybura, who started his professional career in 2011, has only twice gone to the judges’ scorecards, preferring to finish his fights with a healthy mix of (T)KOs and chokes. He’s 2-0 this year. As for Grabowski, “The Polish Pitbull” sees his win streak halted at six. This is his first loss since dropping a 2010 unanimous decision to eventual champion Cole Konrad in the inaugural Bellator heavyweight tournament.
Tybura vs. Grabowski, complete with excellent sound of that bizarre grunting, gurgling noise familiar to anyone who’s ever been thoroughly choked in bjj, can be seen here. Action starts at 1:00.
Also on the card, welterweight Daniel Tabera (18-5-3, 0-1 Bellator) earned a split-decision victory over the formerly undefeated Ilya Doderkin (5-1-0). The oft-undersized Tabera, who’s fought as high as heavyweight, has very little experience on MMA’s larger stages, but name fighters nevertheless stud his record: he holds wins over Bellator light-heavyweights Attila Vegh, Mikhail Zayats, and Vyacheslav Vasilevsky, and he fought Glover Teixeira to a unanimous decision loss. Tabera is 2-0 since that loss to Teixeira.
Finally, at Arena Tour 3 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, former Bellator mainstay Ricardo Tirloni (18-5, 3-4 Bellator) continued his climb up the comeback trail with a KO, via knee, of Todd Moore (16-6, 1-1 Strikeforce, 0-1 Dream, 0-2 WEC). Since the 2013 submission loss to Alexander Sarnavskiy that saw him exit Bellator, Tirloni is 2-0, with both wins by (T)KO, over competition with a respectable cumulative record of 25-9. As for Moore, this loss stops his win-streak at two. He’s previously fought and lost to the likes of Shinya Aoki and Jason High, and he’s beaten former UFC fighter T.J. Waldburger and Bellator Fightmaster finalist Mike Bronzoulis.
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