Kassius “Killa Kayne” Holdorf earned sweet revenge in emphatic style with a second-round knockout to claim the Victory Fighting Championship welterweight title at VFC 54: Pitolo vs Kayne 2 on Friday night at the Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska, and live on UFC FIGHT PASS.
After losing a unanimous decision to Maki “Coconut Bombz” Pitolo at VFC 52 in July, Holdorf, who took the original matchup on short notice, wasn’t about to let his second opportunity go to waste. After weathering his opponent’s early storm, Holdorf blitzed Pitolo with strikes over the final 90 seconds of the first round. He nearly ended the bout with a hard elbow that put Pitolo down but the Hawaiian was saved by the bell.
Holdorf (8-3) ended the fight just five seconds into Round 2 when he connected with a thunderous right uppercut that flattened Pitolo (10-2) in the center of the ring, much to the delight of his hometown fans.
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“That fight back in July didn’t sit well with me. Patience and hard work, that’s what did it,” said Holdorf of exacting his revenge.
“I said I was going to push the pace and make him keep up with me and that’s what I did.”
Holdorf has now won five of his last six outings, while Pitolo saw his nine-fight winning streak come to a dramatic conclusion.
The Omaha crowd didn’t get the result they wanted in the night’s other title fight and co-main event as hometown hero Ryan “Are You Ready?” Roberts was stung by a crisp right hand and subsequently sustained a knee injury which brought a quick end to his featherweight title bout against Rob “The Saint” Emerson.
Emerson (19-11, 1 NC), who hurt Roberts with leg kicks in the very early moments of the fight, became a two-division champion under the VFC banner as he also holds the bantamweight crown. Roberts (21-13), who hurt his right knee in training just prior to the fight, announced his retirement following the setback.
“I apologize to the fans because I wanted to put on a show, but I was going to win one way or another. I’ve been visualizing this win for over a year,” said Emerson, who ended the fight at 1:34 of the opening round, giving him victories in seven of his last eight fights.
The remainder of the seven-bout main card was a cavalcade of impressive finishes with four clashes ending in ferocious knockouts.
Arnold Berdon (5-1) needed only 21 seconds to put a scintillating stamp on his bantamweight encounter with Omaha fan favorite Terrence Almond (2-2). The 25-year-old Hawaiian prospect was stepping backwards when he fired a right hand that planted Almond face first into the canvas.
Berdon’s teammate Robby Ostovich (3-3-1) wasn’t as fortunate, though, as South Dakota’s Bryce Logan (5-2) floored him with a right and then turned his lights out with a hammerfist at the 3:32 mark of Round 1 in their lightweight tilt.
In a featherweight tussle, Nigeria-born Sodiq Yusuff (3-0) stayed on the undefeated path against Devin Turner. Yusuff bloodied up his foe in the opening round with a stiff jab and timely power punches, then completed his task with a pair of hard rights that put Turner (3-4) down and out at 2:25 of Round 2.
Also earning a tidy finish was rookie pro Corey Davis (1-0) as he escaped an early guillotine choke attempt and then used a barrage of unanswered punches to stop Lucas Dias (0-3) at 1:50 of the opening round in a welterweight bout.
The only fight to go to the judges saw Waterloo, Iowa’s Mike “Plazilla” Plazola win for the second time in two weeks as he followed up his victory at VFC 53 by topping Peter Petties in lightweight action. Plazola (14-6) used heavy takedowns to inflict heaps of damage from ground-and-pound, and although Petties (4-2) surged in the third, the comeback bid fell well short. Inexplicably, the judges’ scorecards resulted in a split-decision verdict (30-27, 28-29, 29-28).
Victory Fighting Championship’s #3Shows30Days campaign wraps up with VFC 55: Lindsey vs. Cochrane 2 on Friday, December 23 in Topeka, Kansas. VFC 55 will air live on UFC FIGHT PASS.