Beyond the Octagon: Former title challengers square off and UFC vets go 3-0

It was another busy few days all over the world's regional circuits last weekend, highlighted by a handful of former UFC fighters, the return…

By: Rainer Lee | 8 years ago
Beyond the Octagon: Former title challengers square off and UFC vets go 3-0
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

It was another busy few days all over the world’s regional circuits last weekend, highlighted by a handful of former UFC fighters, the return of one-time ONE FC champ Kotetsu Boku in Japan, and a bantamweight attraction between former WSOF contenders the Joshes, Hill and Rettinghouse, in Canada. We start things off, though, in Miami…

In the main event of Fight Time 25, former Bellator talent Frank Carrillo (9-5, 2-0 Bellator) took to the cage against Brazilian product Rafael Alves (13-6-0), with win streaks at stake for both fighters. Carrillo, despite having the shorter record, has certainly faced the more distinct competition throughout his career, having gone toe-to-toe with Abel Trujillo and Yuri Villefort as well has having delivered TKOS of current TUF castmember Sabah Homasi and, most recently, former UFC lightweight Mike Rio. This edge in experience wouldn’t be quite enough to see him to victory, though, as Carrillo dropped a split-decision after three rounds.

Meanwhile, in Laredo, Texas, would-be UFC heavyweight Richard Odoms (10-2-0) allowed himself a much shorter night, knocking out an over-matched Juan Torres (3-4-0) in Round 1. This, in the headlining bout of the rather topically named Border Wars event. Odoms improves to 2-1 since his catch-and-release by the UFC.

And in Missouri, in the main event of Shamrock FC: Charged, Zak Bucia (13-6, 1-2 Strikeforce) put himself on a win streak of two with his first-round TKO (head kick) of Robert Washington (19-10-0). It’s the first consecutive victory for Bucia in three years.

On Saturday, at Australia’s Eternal MMA, TUF: The Smashes alum Ben Alloway (15-6, 1-2 UFC) earned a TKO of his own, putting away Tristan Murphy (4-1-0) in Round 2. The fight, meant to be for the promotion’s welterweight championship, was changed to a non-title affair when Alloway came in heavy. Alloway moves to 2-1 since losses to Ryan LaFlare and Zak Cummings saw him released from the UFC in 2013.

Over in Bologna, Italy, Venator FC featured PRIDE and Dream veteran Masakazu Imanari, who did what he does best as he locked up a prompt submission of Italian Cristian Binda (9-10-0). Imanari, known as “Ashikan Judan,” or “Master of Leglocks,” opted for the armbar this time around. He’s 3-0 this year.

And in Ontario, Canada, former WSOF bantamweights Josh Hill (11-1, 1-1 WSOF) and Josh Rettinghouse (10-4, 1-1 WSOF) faced off in the main event of Global Warriors FC. Both Hill and Rettinghouse fought for the WSOF bantamweight title–Rettinghouse when it was yet vacant and Hill a year later. Both lost those bouts by decision to sitting champion Marlon Moraes, and both were looking to rebound from said losses last weekend. Local product Hill wouldn’t need any home-town favoritism to give him the victory as he finished Rettinghouse with a rear-naked choke in Round 3.

Finally, on Sunday in Tokyo, the ubiquitous Pancrase put on its 267th show, which featured a bout between prospect Victor Henry (10-1-0) and Taichi Nakajima (9-5-1). Henry hasn’t appeared in any of the big shows but has nevertheless put together a pretty impressive win streak recently, being undefeated in four and owning victories over Hideo Tokoro (by TKO) and long-time top bantamweight Masakatsu Ueda (by submission). Henry bested Nakajima last weekend by split-decision.

Also on the card was Kazuki Tokudome (14-6, 1-3 UFC) who improved to 2-0 in his post-UFC campaign with a unanimous decision over J.J. Ambrose (21-6-2NC, 1-2 Bellator, 0-1 Affliction). For Ambrose, the loss disrupts a two-fight win streak.

Also on the card was Kotetsu Boku (22-10-2, 0-1 Dream, 2-0 K1 Hero’s) who, against prospect Juntaro Ushiku, was looking to rebound from last year’s unanimous decision loss to Eduard Folayang. Boku, currently in his 14th year of competition, captured the ONE FC lightweight title in 2012 only to lose it in his first title defense against Shinya Aoki the following year. A couple of subsequent upset losses put Boku’s MMA future in doubt but, on Sunday, the 38-year-old showed just how much of a threat he still is: in the closing seconds of Round 2, Boku grounded Ushiku and knocked him out with a hail of elbows. With this victory, the unyielding Boku hands Ushiku, 18 years his junior, the first KO loss of his career and snaps his ten-fight win streak.

And lastly, “Ironman” Akitoshi Tamura (19-16-2, 1-2 WEC, 1-1 Sengoku) escaped a third-straight blemish to his record with a split-decision victory over Satoshi Inaba (14-10-3). The former Top 10 featherweight is 1-1 for 2015.

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