Titan Fighting Championships returned for its second edition on HDNet on Friday night with TFC 17, featuring a main event pitting former WWE Superstar Bobby Lashley against John Ott.
Lashley’s mixed martial arts career came under heavy scrutiny following a loss to Chad Griggs in his last appearance for Strikeforce. He needed to make a statement at TFC 17 and he did… at least in the opening moments of the fight.
Right out of the gate, Lashley scooped Ott up and blasted him into the canvas. There he punished Ott with a brutal assault of hammerfists, elbows, and punches. Ott’s face was a crimson mess, but held on as Lashley tired towards the end of the opening round.
Lashley again put Ott on the mat in the second round, albeit with less authority, and much less ferocity. And following his modus operandi, faded fast as the fight wore on.
Ott started fast in round three, using some good movement to take advantage of Lashley’s lack of gas, picking away at him with his stand-up game. But the punishment Ott took over the first two rounds caught up to him as well.
Going to his bread and butter, Lashley took Ott down one final time in the last two minutes of the bout, keeping him there to the bell.
Lashley wasn’t overly impressive, but he managed to get back on the winning track with a unanimous decision victory over Ott, improving his overall record to 6-1.
Whether from exhaustion or disappointment, Lashley sat back down on the stool in his corner after he was announced the winner.
“We have stuff to work on, but I felt good out there. I felt like I was in control the whole time,” Lashley said after being coaxed into an interview by HDNet’s Ron Kruck. He added that he’d like to step up in competition and fight “four or five more times” in 2011.
Abe Wagner came into Friday night’s fight riding high off of a win over former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia. Aaron Rosa, however, brought him right back down to the Earth.
It was a solid back and forth battle in the first round, but a Rosa left hook dropped Wagner at the beginning of round two. Rosa then quickly took Wagner’s back and submitted him with a rear naked choke.
Nick Nolte – no, not that Nick Nolte – took the fight to Phil Baroni early, pressing him against the cage and driving home numerous knees. Baroni turned the tide, however, with heavy hands and by taking Nolte to the mat.
Nolte threatened again with an armbar attempt in round two and by unleashing a striking attack on a gassed Baroni in round three, but each time Baroni got Nolte to the mat for a ground and pound attack.
It wasn’t pretty, but Baroni did enough to earn the unanimous nod from the judges. The victory ended a three-fight skid for Baroni, the last two of which punched his ticket out of the UFC.
“Give him credit more than say I was out of shape. I was in shape,” Baroni said after the fight. “I’ll do a little better next time.”
Bellator veteran Eric Marriott used a brutal onslaught of strikes to punish the much-less experienced Willian de Souza for all three rounds of their bout. There was no stopping Marriott’s striking, but there was also no finishing the grappling-based de Souza. Marriott walked away with a unanimous decision.
Alonzo Martinez got caught in armbar early in first round, and in a rear naked choke late in the third, but he did enough between those two danger zones to eke out a victory. Aaron Derrow, and many fans in the crowd, disagreed with the decision, but Martinez’s heavy hitting during the three rounds earned scores of 29-28, 28-28, and 29-28 for a majority decision.
WEC veteran James Krause unleashed a Cro Cop-esque head kick shortly after the opening bell on Nathan Schut. He finished the fight with a few ground and pound punches for good measure, giving the boys at the top end of the fight card something to live up to.
Anthony Gutierrez kicked off the show with an exciting triangle choke finish of Jon Hollis. The victory kicked Gutierrez’ record up to 2-0.
Titan Fighting Championship 17 Full Results:
-Bobby Lashley def. John Ott by Unanimous Decision (29-27, 30-27, 29-27), R3
-Aaron Rosa def. Abe Wagner by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 0:35, R2
-Phil Baroni def. Nick Nolte by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), R3
-Eric Marriott def. Willian de Souza by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
-Alonzo Martinez def. Aaron Derrow by Majority Decision (29-28, 28-28, 29-28), R3
-James Krause def. Nathan Schut by TKO (Strikes) at 0:41, R1
-Anthony Gutierrez def. Jon Hollis by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 4:20, R1
(UPDATED at 1:45 p.m. PT on March 26, 2011, to note that this was Titan Fighting’s second event on HDNet, not its debut.)
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