by Tom Hamlin for MMAWeekly.com
Saturday, July 14- Trenton, NJ: Former welterweight champ Eddie Alvarez was certainly the favorite walking into his fight with Matt Lee. He had the crowd in his pocket. Most didn’t give Lee a chance against his fast hands.
What he actually encountered in the ring with Lee was no walk in the park; Alvarez was taken the distance for the first time in his career. His aggressive style, one he admits can bring him trouble against good counter strikers, came into focus again. Only this time, Alvarez’s heart and cardio carried him through the engagement with flying colors.
Alvarez wasted little time in scoring a takedown in the opening seconds of the bout. Lee mostly clung for dear life, absorbing a couple of hard right hammerfists in the process. Back on their feet, Lee scored frequently with a straight left jab that broke up the waves of punches coming his way. Alvarez ultimately scored the better shots, popping up to fire off one-two combinations that rocked Lee several times. But by the end of the first, Alvarez knew he was in a fight.
Lee simply couldn’t keep Alvarez’s pace in the later rounds. He still scored with stubborn jabs, blooding Alvarez’s nose in the process, but his hands drifted southward frequently.
The two ended the fight baiting each other with outstretched arms, Alvarez eager to settle the unfinished business of avenging the loss of his coach, Stephen Haig. Alvarez rocked Lee several times, but Lee still stood till the final bell.
Though he was happy with the victory, Alvarez wasn’t surprised by Lee’s toughness. “He’s a veteran fighter and he knows how to fight people like me,” Alvarez said at the post fight presser. “I’m aggressive and I like to bring the fight to people and he did the right thing. It was a heart felt battle and my first three round fight which I’m very proud of.”
BodogFight crowned it’s first female champion, 135lb’er Tara LaRosa, who’s tenacity and skill on the ground overcame a trip to the brink of defeat. Opponent Kelly Kobold, brought in on short notice to replace the injured Laura D’Auguste, raked LaRosa over the coals for four non-stop rounds of action.
Kobold never let LaRosa take a breath. Powering through every submission attempt, she slammed several hard lefts into LaRosa’s skull in the second round. LaRosa controlled the submission game, but despite locking in a textbook armbar, couldn’t make Kobold tap before the bell.
When Kobold trotted out to meet LaRosa in the third, LaRosa’s eyes conveyed disbelief that her foe hadn’t given up. After a quick gut check, LaRosa stood and traded with Kobold before taking the fight to the mat. Despite having Kobold’s back several times, LaRosa couldn’t finish a choke before losing the position to a scramble.
LaRosa finally got her wish in the fourth, locking in her beloved armbar too tightly for Kobold to escape, prompting the tapout at 2:50 of the fourth. LaRosa collapsed to the canvas, crying tears of joy.
“This is the coolest shit that’s happened to me in the sport,” LaRosa said afterwards. “Thanks for giving the women a chance. I want to thank Calvin Ayre for giving us the stage to do this on.”
Trevor Prangley put a beating on the smaller Yuki Kondo, who seemed overmatched from the get go. Prangley quickly took Kondo down and pounded open a nasty cut over Kondo’s left eye. Upon a doctor’s check at the end of the second, the doc’s ruled the cut too severe, prompting a TKO victory and new BodogFight Middleweight belt for the native South African.
Shortly afterwards, Matt Lindland jumped into the ring to challenge Prangley for the middleweight belt. Apparently, the thought of fighting twice more at heavyweight didn’t seem so attractive for the top ranked 185′er.
“I feel great, it’s finally all come together,” Prangley said. “I appreciate the opportunity to fight a decent opponent too. I’ve always told the press I didn’t want a paper title. It was a great match-up and it just happened to go my way.”
In other action, Nick Agallar and James Binky Jones fought a technical three round battle for position on the ground that netted Agallar a Unanimous Decision.
The professional eccentric Dan Hawley was outwrestled by fellow newcomer Blair Tugman, who negated his constant armbar and triangle attempts with superior ground and pound. His Unanimous Decision brought the approving screams of the audience, which had quickly grown tired of his crazy man antics.
Brandon Lee Hinkle wrestled his way to a Unanimous Decision Victory over Roman Zentsov, who never got a chance to let his heavy hands go. It wasn’t popular with the crowd, but it got the job done.
Jorge Masdival took one step closer to establishing his name among the current who’s who of lightweights to notice, slapping vet Yves Edwards with a right high kick that flattened him at 2:59 of the second.
Chael Sonnen dominated Amar Suloev on the ground from start to finish, bringing the bout to a halt with punches from a crucifix he locked in the second.
Mark Burch and Yoshiki Takahashi settled their unfinished business too, but Burch had the last word. After wrapping Takahashi up in a clinch, he fired several knees to the undefended face of the Japanese vet, knocking him senseless at 3:45 of the first.
David Love took home a split decision victory with his aggressive countering of Eben Oroz’s Jeet Kun Do tactics.
BodogFight Full Results
-David Love def. Eben Oroz at 5:00 of Rd. 3 by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
-Mark Burch def. Yoshiki Takahashi at 3:45 of Rd. 1 by KO (Knee)
-Chael Sonnen def. Amar Suloev at 3:33 of Rd. 2 by TKO (Strikes)
-Jorge Masvidal def. Yves Edwards at 2:59 of Rd. 2 by TKO (Strikes)
-Brandon Lee Hinkle def. Roman Zentsov at 5:00 of Rd. 3 by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
-Trevor Prangley def. Yuki Kondo at 5:00 of Rd. 2 by TKO (Referee Stoppage Due to Cut)
-Blair Tugman def. Dan Hawley at 5:00 of Rd. 3 by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
-Nick Agallar def. James Binky Jones at 5:00 Rd. 3 by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
-Tara LaRosa def. Kelly Kobald at 2:50 of Rd. 4 by Submission (Armbar)
-Eddie Alvarez def. Matt Lee at 5:00 of Rd. 3 by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)