HAMILTON, Ontario – Before a capacity crowd at Hamilton Place Theatre in Hamilton, Ontario, The Score Fighting Series lightweight (155 pounds) main event fighters John “The Natural” Alessio (34-14) and “Diamond” Ryan Healy (19-10-1) lit up the venue with an all-out firefight before Alessio emerged the victor by way of unanimous decision after three rounds.
Fast-rising bantamweight (135 pounds) star Josh Hill (8-0) extended his perfect record with a dominant performance and unanimous decision victory over Eric Wilson (5-2) in the co-main event.
Both Alessio and Healy came out of the gates ready for a stand-up war, but it was the 32-year-old Alessio, a veteran of UFC, Pride and WEC, who put Healy down with a sharp jab in the early going and continued to tag Healy with punches throughout the round after Healy made it back to his feet.
Healy began to turn the tables in the second stanza, connecting with punches to the head and body that staggered and gradually slowed Alessio down.
In the third round, a bloody Alessio scored two takedowns on Healy. On both occasions, Alessio took his opponent’s back, but couldn’t finish Healy before the final bell sounded.
“I said coming into this fight that this guy has zero quit in him,” said Alessio. “I said he could take abuse. He dished out abuse too. I hope I showed I can take a pounding. I knew I (shouldn’t) go too crazy on him because he’s one of those guys who will turn it around on you and he did.”
The 25-year-old Hill scored a total of four of takedowns on Wilson over the course of three rounds. Wilson, a seasoned grappler known for his slick groundwork, fought off his back and fended off Hill’s punches from guard position in the first two rounds.
In the third stanza, Hill scored the fourth takedown of the fight and made his way to full mount position, raining down furiously on Wilson with punches. Wilson repeatedly popped his hips up and rolled.
While he was unable to escape the mount, Wilson survived the final round before the Hill was awarded the decision.
In other main card action and what will likely be nominated for Fight of the Year, UFC veteran Forrest “The Meat Cleaver” Petz (24-9) staged a monstrous comeback after being sent to the canvas early in the first round with a hook from Sergej Juskevic (11-7-2) in a welterweight (170 pounds) battle.
Seemingly out on his feet from Juskevic’s relentless barrage of punches and knee strikes, Petz suddenly showed life and began countering Juskevic’s shots with his own knees and hands before the opening round came to a close.
In the second frame, the high-speed pace continued as Petz rocked Juskevic and sent the Lithuanian import to the ground with a right hand. Petz pounced on the downed Juskevic and fired a series of left and right hands from top position.
After the pace of the action slowed on the mat, the referee stood the two fighters up. Once again, Petz wasted no time going back to work, blasting Juskevic until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight, giving Petz the TKO victory.
In another highlight – not just of this evening. but the history of The Score Fighting Series events – Lyndon Whitlock defeated Corey Houston with one of the greatest knockouts ever seen inside the SFS cage. A mainstay for highlight reels to come.
Twenty-nine-year-old lightweight (155 pounds) rising star Alex Ricci (5-0) extended his perfect professional record by taking out Iraj Hadin (6-4) with a single counter left hand that put Hadin on the canvas in the first round of action. Ricci, a dangerous kickboxer, fought off an early takedown attempt by Hadin and exploded on his opponent with a right hand that put Hadin down and brought the fight to an end.
-John Alessio def. Ryan Healy via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
-Josh Hill def. Eric Wilson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
-Forrest Petz def. Sergey Juskevic via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:25
-Alex Ricci def. Iraj Hadin via KO (punch) – Round 1, 3:16
-Shane Campbell def. Derek Boyle via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
-Lyndon Whitlock def. Corey Houston via KO (punch) – Round 1, 4:28
-Jason Meisel def. Mike Sledzion via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
-Elias Theodorou def. Erik Herbert via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
-Adam Assenza def. John Roche via TKO (verbal submission) – Round 1, 4:17
-Craig Hudson def. John McPherson via KO (punches) – Round 1, 1:57