by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Reno, Nevada once again turned out in full force as a jam packed Reno Events Center hosted King of the Cage’s “All Stars” PPV this past Saturday evening.
The card, headlined by KOTC 145lb Champion Urijah “California Kid” Faber, didn’t fail to provide excitement, as evidenced in the evening’s opening moments when in the first fight of the night, the two competitors went at it so hard they literally blew off the cage door, sending one sprawling to the concrete floor.
More on that moment later however…as the story of the night was Faber’s come-from-behind title defense against multiple-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion Bibiano Fernandes.
If there’s any question that Urijah is one of the sport’s top young superstars that was quickly put to rest. Arriving at the Reno Events Center with an MSNBC video crew in tow, there to film Faber and his Ultimate Fitness teammates for a feature on MMA, the crowd was abuzz the entire evening, culminating in a thunderous ovation for Urijah as he walked down the entrance ramp.
In the ring things were just as explosive as Fernandes immediately secured a takedown. From there Urijah showed his quickness, managing to stand up almost immediately, however Fernandes’ own adroitness allowed him to maneuver around Faber’s side, jumping on Urijah’s back as the two headed back down to the canvas.
Herein would lay the test of a true champion. With Bibiano on his back constantly engaging for a submission, Faber, on his belly, started to work his way upright and forced Fernandes onto his back, still attempting the rear naked choke.
Still not out of trouble yet, Urijah smartly started to slide he and his feverously working opponent near the cage and managed to prop Bibiano’s head and shoulders against the fence, and then it happened…
In an instant Faber turned the tables, spinning his body around, simultaneously escaping Fernandes’ choke attempts and setting himself in Bibiano’s guard. From there it was all-out fury from Urijah as a succession of punches and elbows proceeded, opening a gash above the BJJ master’s right brow above his eye.
Quickly the referee stopped the action, allowing doctors from the NSAC to check the cut, here Fernandes’ heart shown through as he refused to let them stop the fight, never once wanting to quit. Perhaps compelled by Bibiano’s words and the high location of the cut, the doctors allowed the fight to continue.
Repositioned against the fence the fight continued on and Faber went back to work pummeling the valiant Fernandes until at 4:16 of Round 1 the referee was forced to step in call a halt to the bout.
Urijah managed to escape a dangerous position that would have cost many other champions their titles and turn the fight around to his advantage. Urijah Faber is still the KOTC 145lb Champion and now he heads toward the WFA on December 9th in Las Vegas with an impressive 16-1 record.
In the evening’s co-main event, rising American talent Kyacey Uscola defeated “Mr. PRIDE” Akira Shoji in equally impressive fashion.
After a first round that saw a good share of strikes, takedowns, and escapes, Round 2 began with a flurry as Shoji came out like a man possessed, attacking Uscola with almost reckless abandon. To his credit, Kyacey kept his cool, managing to counter-strike Akira, forcing the Japanese fan favorite off the attack.
From there it was all Uscola as he used superior ring generalship and controlled the center of the cage, forcing Shoji to constantly circle and not set his feet for strikes. Kyacey peppered Akira with jabs before moving in on an exchange, landing an absolutely vicious left hook that sent Shoji to the mat.
Adamantly Uscola went in for the kill, landing a succession of right hands to the downed Japanese fighter’s face, putting him out for good and getting the win at 2:23 of Round 2 via KO.
In undercard action David Terrell-trained fighter AJ Fonseca dominated all aspects of the sport, striking, wrestling, and submission grappling in his unanimous decision victory over a very game Danny Ailes.
Fonseca’s skills, highlighted by big crowd-pleasing slams, were just too much for Ailes, proving again that there must be something in the water up in Santa Rosa, California as the Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance continues to roll.
Light-heavyweight prospect Jeremy Frietag got off the schnide, winning for the first time in three fights as he pulled off a slick arm bar from the bottom against Rolando Torres at 2:47 of Round 1.
Also impressive was Ben Sattler in his win over Cody Cantebury, considering that it was Sattler who went through the cage door, tumbling to the concrete floor, in the opening seconds of their bout. After shaking it off Sattler got back into cage and secured a takedown on Cody, fallowing it up with some textbook ground ‘n pound before securing a rear naked choke at 2:16 of Round 1.
Overall King of the Cage “All Stars,” which debuts on In Demand/Dish Network PPV on November 11th, didn’t disappoint the highly energetic Reno crowd as every fighter came to bring it on, putting on a fast and furious display of action that saw six of eight bouts ending in the first round.
King of the Cage “All Stars” Complete Results:
MAIN EVENT – KOTC 145lb Championship
-Urijah Faber def. Bibiano Fernandes via TKO (Ref Stoppage) at 4:16 of Round 1
CO-MAIN EVENT – KOTC Superfight
-Kyacey Uscola def. Akira Shoji via KO at 2:23 of Round 2
-Jeremy Freitag def. Rolondo Torres via Arm Bar at 2:47 of Round 1
-Gigo Jara def. Khomkrit Niimi via TKO (Ref Stoppage) at 4:55 of Round 1
-AJ Fonseca def. Danny Ailes via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
-Justin Sampson def. Brad Sandoval via KO at 3:01 of Round 1
-Jeff Morris def. Steven Rivenbark via TKO (Ref Stoppage) at 1:20 of Round 1
-Ben Sattler def. Cody Canterbury via Rear Naked Choke at 2:16 of Round 1