For those of us still carrying a torch for the late, great PRIDE FC, last weekend’s batch of regional fight results should prove especially interesting, as Joachim Hansen entered the ring for the first time in over a year.
Hansen, a potent kickboxer with strong submission skills, was a staple of the PRIDE lightweight division, announcing himself to the promotion in 2005 with a walk-off KO of Masakazu Imanari. He would put together a 4-2 mark with PRIDE until it folded in 2007, at which point he fought for Dream, besting the likes of Kotetsu Boku, Mitsuhiro Ishida, and Shinya Aoki, the last of which won him the Dream lightweight title.
Following the loss of that title in a rematch with Aoki, Hansen dropped down to featherweight–a move which has been coincident with his significantly diminishing performances. Hansen endured a winless 2014 during which he was knocked out twice–once by 9-7-0 Doo Won Seo in Road FC, and then again by UFC vet Diego Nunes–thus tripling the number of his career losses by KO and prompting him, apparently, to take all of 2015 off from competition. With that weighing on him, Hansen returned to the ring for a bout with replacement opponent Tsuneo Kimura (11-8-1) in the main event of Fight Collection in Okinawa.
Unfortunately, a return to the win column was not in the cards for “Hellboy.” Kimura walked away with a unanimous decision victory, and by the looks of this picture, he marked Hansen up pretty bad. With this latest loss, Hansen slips into a three-fight slump and three years away from his last victory. He falls to 23-14-1 overall.
Fellow big-show alum Sean Soriano (9-4, 0-3 UFC) likewise found himself upset last weekend. Soriano entered his co-main event bout with Thomas Webb (10-3-0) at Legacy FC 52 as a significant favorite, and seemed poised to fulfill that promise in the early going, knocking Webb down in the fight’s opening seconds. Armed with superior grappling and strong powers of recovery, however, Webb would assert himself in the later rounds, fatefully passing to mount in Round 3. From there, a volley of unanswered hooks and hammerfists forced the referee to halt the fight. Soriano has not won consecutive bouts in nearly three years; Webb has won two straight following a loss to UFC vet Daniel Pineda.
You can watch an abridged version of Webb vs. Soriano here.
In the night’s main event, Matt Schnell (10-2-0) beat the odds with a first-round armbar of Klayton Mai (8-2, 2-0 Bellator). The submission earned him the interim flyweight title; Schnell will face reigning champion Damacio Page later this year.
And in Moscow last Saturday, at Absolute Championship Berkut 32, Mike Kyle (21-14-1-2NC, 2-1 UFC, 0-3 WSOF) moved back up to heavyweight in search of a rebound victory against 25-year-old heavyweight prospect Denis Goltsov (17-4-0). As with Hansen and Soriano, however, Kyle would slip on his way back into the limelight.
Kyle looked to strike early but caught a finger to the eye, which not only brought a halt to the action but perhaps prompted a change in strategy from Kyle, who immediately shot for a takedown following a restart to the action. He was, however, quickly reversed. Goltsov then steadily worked his way into a mounted triangle-choke. Kyle swept and tried briefly to fight his way out, but the choke was good and he was soon forced to tap out.
The loss drops Kyle to 1-4 since 2014; he hasn’t won consecutive bouts since 2010. Goltsov has won his last twelve, which includes victories over UFC vet James McSweeney, Strikeforce’s Brett Rogers, and Bellator’s Peter “The Chief” Graham.
Check out Goltsov vs. Kyle here.
In the main event of Global Knockout 6, Justin Baesman (19-8-1, 0-1 WSOF, 1-2-1 Bellator) defended his middleweight title with a unanimous decision over former TUF 17 hopeful Nick Kohring (9-2-0). Baesman has won three straight; both of Kohring’s losses have come to Baesman.
Also on the card, Roy Boughton (13-7, 0-1 Bellator) pulled himself out of a two-fight slump with a third-round kimura of JR Lugo (7-3-0).
In the main event of Sugarcreek Showdown 29, Tony Lopez (40-21, 0-1 Bellator) took a five-round unanimous decision over light-heavyweight champion Egidijus Valavicius (29-12-0).
At KOP 48, bantamweight Cody Stamann (10-1-0) out-fought Farkhad Sharipov (15-7, 1-2 Bellator) for a unanimous decision win. And Alexander Trevino (6-5, 3-1 Strikeforce) submitted Erick Lozano (4-9-0) with a first-round armbar.
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