Kansas City, Kansas - Titan Entertainment's Combat Sports Championships (www.CombatSC.com) made a triumphant debut on Friday night at the historic Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.
The nine-bout card featured some of the top rising fight prospects in the Midwest in one of the most well-received cards to hit the area in recent years and included celebrity attendees such as current World Extreme Cagefighting fighters L.C. Davis and James Krause along with former NBA center Scot Pollard.
In the main event, WEC veteran Brendan Seguin improved to 18-16-1 with an upset decision victory over hometown hero Bobby Voelker of Kansas City, Kansas.
The loss dropped Voelker's record to a still-impressive 20-7 in a bout that was tightly contested. The large welterweights spent the vast majority of the bout locked in a clinch position in a war or attrition that Seguin, who hails from Detroit, was able to win thanks in large part a strong technical display of dirty boxing.
The night's co-main event featured another hometown favorite, blue chip prospect Eric Marriott. The Lee's Summit native faced the toughest test of his career in UFC veteran Ryan Roberts. In spite of a strong showing by Roberts, Marriott passed the test and improved to 15-1 with his unanimous decision victory.
In addition to the two highly-anticipated main events, the debut Combat Sports Championships also featured a major announcement by Titan Entertainment and CSC President Joe Kelly. Kelly's Titan Entertainment was responsible for bringing former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko to the Kansas City-area for appearances at Memorial Hall in both June and August. And now, Titan Entertainment in conjunction with the X-Fights promotion will be bringing a Strikeforce Challengers event to Memorial Hall on Nov. 20.
The Strikeforce Challengers event will be televised live on SHOWTIME and will be the second nationally televised MMA event Titan Entertainment has helped bring to the burgeoning Kansas City MMA scene on the heels of August's like "M-1 Breakthrough" telecast on HDNet.
"The MMA scene in Kansas has been overlooked for quite some time," stated Kelly. "However, we're bringing bigger and better events to the area and this region is quickly emerging into a hot bed for the sport. We're really looking forward to creating a platform for rising prospects to take their respective careers to the next level. Nov. 20 will be another major step in that direction."
The undercard of the Combat Sports Championships' first-ever card also featured a host of up-and-coming stars with their sights on competing for major national promotions such as the UFC, Strikeforce, and the WEC.
Featherweight Ramiro "Junior" Hernandez, considered by many pundits to be one of Pat Miletich's top proteges, improved to 3-1 with a second round TKO of Brian Davidson of Lee's Summit, Missouri.
After losing round one, Hernandez was well on his way to losing round two against Davidson, an instructor at the Kansas City-area fight gym Team Grindhouse. Despite Hernandez's strong boxing background, Davidson's traditional martial arts background proved to be confounding in the early duration of the bout. However, the Miletich Fighting Systems product was able to improve to 3-1 after beginning to pressure Davidson towards the end of the second round. Hernandez completed the rally with a second round TKO courtesy of ground and pound.
Following a memorable entrance complete with a quartet of female valets, Joe Wilk of Manhattan, Kansas, improved to 9-1 with a guillotine choke just 40 seconds into his fight against Deryck Ripley of Roland Park, Missouri.
After the bout, the talented lightweight competitor addressed the crowd by saying he was willing to the top fighters in the Midwest. Sean Wilson, 19-9, who had been scheduled to fight Wilk last night but was forced to pull out due to a shoulder injury, immediately began to campaign for another chance to fight Wilk.
Tyler "The Evolution" Stinson of Winfield, Kansas, considered one of the area's top welterweights along with Voelker and Rudy Bears, improved to 15-5 with a triangle choke submission over Brandon Newsome of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Combat Sports Championships inaugural event was sponsored by ChokeOutPoker.net and also featured the triumphant return of Brett "The Natural Disaster" Stevens to active MMA competition following a two-year hiatus. Stevens, who won his respective weight class at the ADCC regionals in Las Vegas this past June, recorded a split decision victory over John Ott of Overland, Kansas.
The win was bitter sweet, as Stevens, fighting out of Hollywood, California, sustained fractures in both of his hands during the course of the bout. One year of Stevens' absence from competitive MMA was caused by a shattered hand in a severe auto auccident in September of last year. While improving to 11-4, Stevens could be sidelined again for an extended period of time as initial reports indicated he re-shattered his hand and will undergo surgery early next week.
Stevens was not the only out-of-towner to leave Kansas a winner. Adrenaline MMA veteran Tuan "Kid Thunder" Pham successfully re-booted his quest to become a charter member of the WEC's rumored flyweight division with an impressive display of jiu-jitsu during his unanimous decision victory over Nate Williams. With the win, Pham, a former WKA Amateur Muay Thai Champion, improved to 2-1. He will look to further state his case for the WEC when he returns to action in his native home of Philadelphia, PA on Nov. 20.
The night's opener featured a clash between amateur lightweights Justin Seffron of Omaha, Nebraska, and Todd Bell, of Topeka, Kansas. After being rocked by Bell during the early portion of the fight, Seffron quickly turned the tide and improved to 6-0 following a TKO victory at 1:07 of round 1.
Following its co-promoted Strikeforce Challengers event with the X-Fights on Nov. 20, the Combat Sports Championships is tentatively scheduled to return to Memorial Hall on Friday, January 22. For more information about the Combat Sports Championships, be sure to visit www.CombatSC.com or follow CSC on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/CombatSC
9. Welterweight (170 lbs.): Brendan Seguin def. Bobby Voelker via unanimous decision
8. Featherweight (145 lbs.): Eric Marriott def. Ryan Roberts via unanimous decision
7. Featherweight (145 lbs.): Ramiro Hernandez def. Brian Davidson via TKO (strikes) at 3:01 of round 2
6. Welterweight (170 lbs.): Tyler Stinson def. Brandon Newsome via submission (triangle) at 1:57 of round 1
5. Lightweight (155 lbs.): Joe Wilk def. Deryck Ripley via submission (guillotine choke) at :40 of round 1
4. 190 lbs. Catchweight: Brett Stevens def. John Ott via split decision
3. Bantamweight (135 lbs.): Chad Vandenberg def. Shad Lankford via unanimous decision
2. 128 lbs. Catchweight: Tuan Pham def. Nate Williams via unanimous decision
1. Amateur Lightweight (155 lbs.): Justin Seffron def. Todd Bell via TKO (strikes) at 1:07 of round 1