by Joe Pawlus (Photos by Thomas Michael Rozdzynski)
CHICAGO – Pride, International Fight League (IFL), and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) veteran Joe Pearson had his lights put out in devastating fashion at the Ironheart Crown XII “Resurrection” at the UIC Pavilion on Saturday night by No. 8 ranked featherweight Rafael Assuncao.

“I like fighting as the underdog,” Pearson said before the bout. “I’ve won some good fights as the underdog… I think I have a good chance at winning this fight.”

Pearson charged across the cage and unloaded with a powerful combination of punches, but he left himself wide open in the process. A solid cross from Assuncao sent the Miletich team member reeling, and all it took was a few follow up strikes on the ground for the ref to end the match at 12 seconds.

Up and coming welterweight, and Miguel Torres team member, Juan Magana suffered his first loss in what was considered a big upset as Joey Benoit earned the knockout.

Magana assumed his normal position as the aggressor, but Benoit was able to slip a ferocious right cross up the middle and land it square on the button as Magana pushed forward. Benoit followed his opponent to the mat, and it appeared Magana was going to recover as he slipped Benoit into full guard. Magana didn’t seem sure if he wanted to create or close the distance from the guard, and Benoit took advantage. Benoit sent a shot right down the pipe, landing it for the knockout. A few “extra measure” punches were thrown and the contest ended.

Fight of the Night went to the lightweight battle between Rob Menigoz and Anthony Marti. Both combatants displayed decent standup skills, but the fight hit its peak pace on the ground. Marti seemed to control the first round from the top position, although Menigoz used very effective jiu-jitsu to survive the round.

It was Menigoz’s turn in round two. Once the fight hit the ground, Menigoz was all over Marti. After switching to his opponent’s back and exploring the possibilities for a choke, Menigoz finally sank the rear naked choke at 4:12 of the second round.

-Rafael Assuncao def. Joe Pearson by KO at 0:12, R1
-Joe Benoit def. Juan Magana by KO at 0:35, R1
-Tommy Lee def. Charles Wilson by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Keith Smetana def. Dan Gilbert by Submission (Rear Naked Choke), R1
-Ricardo Lamas def. Christopher Martins by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Chris Albandia def. Jake Ambrose by TKO, R2
-Rob Menigoz def. Anthony Marti by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:12, R2
-Jason Schmidt def. Ad Fonck by Submission (Kimura) at 1:28, R1
-Mustafa Hussaini def. Antonio Canas by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:59, R1