by MMAWeekly.com (Photo courtesy of IFL)
UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Ryan Schultz knocked out previously undefeated 20-year-old Chris Horodecki, capping an exciting night of action by winning the lightweight championship at the inaugural International Fight League World Grand Prix finals held Saturday night in front of 5,731 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Four other Championship belts also took place, including victories by Roy Nelson at heavyweight, Wagnney Fabiano at featherweight, Jay Hieron at welterweight, and Matt Horwich at middleweight.
The five championships were the most ever contested on one night in North American MMA history.
Schultz took control early in the first round and continued to pound Horodecki before the referee stepped in late in the round to stop the bout. Schultz had been named a late replacement in the title bout after injuries to Horodecki’s previous two opponents.
In the first championship bout of the night, at 265 lbs., Nelson came out swinging against Antoine Jaoude, eventually scoring a TKO moments into the second round, to win the heavyweight belt. After nearly finishing off Jaoude near the end of the first round, Nelson kept up the pressure, landing several uncontested punches, resulting in the referee stoppage.
Next, Fabiano kept his unbeaten (6-0) IFL record intact by working a submission over L.C. Davis via armbar late in the first round. Long Island, N.Y., native Hieron scored a TKO at the end of the first round to claim the welterweight bout, finishing off Delson Heleno with a ground-and-pound after knocking him to the mat with a right hand.
Horwich stunned Benji Radach in the second round of their middleweight bout, knocking out the previously unbeaten Radach after absorbing several blows in the first round.
In three preliminary bouts held prior to the championship competition, Alex Cook helped introduce the new British IFL team, coached by Ian Freeman, which will begin competition in 2008, against Marcello Salazar, with Salazar taking a unanimous decision. Brett Cooper, who was selected through the IFL Draft in Los Angeles in October, scored a second-round TKO over Rory Markham, who fights out of Pat Miletich’s camp, in a welterweight bout. Undefeated military vet Tim Kennedy, knocked out local standout Elias Rivera two minutes into the first round of their middleweight matchup.
IFL World Grand Prix
Mohegan Sun Arena
185 lbs.: Marcello Salazar def. Alex Cook via Unanimous Decision, R3
170 lbs.: Brett Cooper def. Rory Markham via TKO (Strikes) at 1:15, R2
185 lbs.: Tim Kennedy def. Elias Rivera via KO (Strikes) at 2:00, R1
265 lbs.: Roy Nelson def. Antoine Jaoude via TKO (Strikes) at 0:20, R2
145 lbs.: Wagnney Fabiano def. L.C. Davis via Submission (Armbar) at 3:38, R1
170 lbs.: Jay Hieron def. Delson Heleno via TKO (Injury/Strikes) at 4:00, R1
185 lbs.: Matt Horwich def. Benji Radach via TKO (Strikes) at 1:58, R2
155 lbs.: Ryan Schultz def. Chris Horodecki via TKO (Strikes) at 2:51, R1