In the headline bout for last night's (Nov. 5, 2011) ProElite 2: "Big Guns" main event, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia entered the cage for his first heavyweight fight since 2008.
"The Maine-iac" had previously been competing only in super heavyweight fights during his time between 265-pound matches.
Sylvia squared off against Andreas Kraniotakes, an up and coming German fighter who was almost not allowed to fight on this card, due to his small amount of professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fights.
For three rounds, Sylvia tied up Kraniotakes' arms, clinched up, pushed the fight against the cage and essentially leaned on his opponent.
While he did land a decent amount of dirty boxing strikes, he never did anything to threaten or get anywhere near a finish. Unfortunately, the headlining bout ended up being the least exciting fight on the card, causing the fans in attendance at the iWireless center to rain down boos as Sylvia performed his post-fight interview.
Let's take a look at the rest of the action from ProElite 2.
The co-main event saw another former UFC heavyweight belt holder in action as "The Pitbull" Andrei Arlovski went up against Travis Fulton, who was doing his best to earn his "Iron Man" moniker by making his 307th MMA appearance.
Arlovski came out with the clean-shaven back; evidence that he's clearly evolved as a fighter.
For almost three entire rounds, Arlovski fought a safe fight. Frank Trigg, the ringside commentator phrased it best when he said, "Arlovski is not trying to win. He's trying to not lose."
It looked very much like "The Pit Bull" was going to win a narrow unanimous decision when, with one second remaining, Arlovski threw a thunderous head kick that landed squarely on the jawline of his opponent and sent him to sleep instantly.
Big win for Arlovski. Congrats.
After a disappointing showing by his older brother B.J. Penn at UFC 137 on Oct. 29 in Las Vegas (versus Nick Diaz), Reagan Penn looked to redeem the fmaily name and keep his MMA record perfect as he took on Evan Cutts in a welterweight contest.
The tough month for the Penn family just got tougher.
Cutts was able to take down B.J.'s liitle brother, almost at will. Surprisingly, Penn's jiu jitsu was almost completely futile against Cutts, who bludgeoned him with ground and pound for most of the fight.
Several times, Cutts looked close to getting a submission but was unable to secure it.
The judges scored the fight in favor of Cutts, 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.
Back to the drawing board for the youngest member of the Penn family's fighting stable.
Experience proved to be an issue in this fight as Ellis just did not have the skill set to compete with Martinez, the former prison inmate turned professional fighter.
Ellis looked uncomfortable in the stand up from the very beginning. You'd think a wrestling champion of Ellis' caliber should be able to land a takedown, pretty much at will.
You'd be wrong.
Ellis shot time after time, only be easily stuffed on every attempt. After realizing that he was not going to be able to take Martinez down, Ellis was rendered helpless, only able to circle uselessly and get repeatedly clipped every time he wandered in.
Martinez did a great job of totally nullifying Ellis' grappling and put on a clinic on how to control the center of the cage.
Bad loss for Ellis, but he's still very young in the sport. He trains out of one of the top camps in America in American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) and will hopefully be able to overcome this bump in the road.
In his last Pro Elite appearance, former University of Hawaii football player Jake Heun was unable to overcome the wrestling of Mark Ellis. At ProElite 2, Heun sought to prove that he belongs as a mixed martial artist and move forward in the Pro Elite heavyweight grandprix with a win over fellow heavyweight Ed Carpenter.
Heun was able to weather the initial storm from Carpenter who used his grappling to get dominant position and wear on Heun, who was unable to escape for almost two full minutes.
Finally, Heun was able to find a hole and get back to his feet. Almost immediately, Heun landed a left high kick to the head and followed it up with a combination of punches, sending Carpenter to the floor.
The former linebacker pounced on his staggered adversary and was able to secure the TKO (strikes) victory at 3:17 of the first round.
With the win, Heun stays alive in the grand prix and showed MMA fans that he is still improving and maturing as a fighter.
In the second Pro Elite hevyweight grand prix match up of the night, Cody Griffin faced off against Justyn Riley for the right to advance to the next round of the tournament.
For the first two rounds, this one was all Riley. For ten-plus minutes, Riley backed Griffin down, took him down and hung all over him, brutalizing him with ground and pound. At the end of the second round, Riley very nearly got the finish by way of a rear-naked choke.
Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
Griffin isn't good at a ton of things. "Quitting" appears to fall into that category.
Needing the finish, Griffin came out in the third looking to land a punch that would keep the fight from going to the scorecards of the judges. He was able to do just that.
Griffin was able to clip Riley with a straight punch to the face that wobbled him. Griffin wasted no time, using a flurry of punches to send his opponent to the ground. He instantly pounced on him, causing the referee to call a stop to the action at 0:32 of the third round.
The victory came by way of a TKO (strikes) as Griffin will move in grand prix bracket. Big win for Griffin. Fairly devastating loss for Riley who let this one slip away.
The Pro Elite heavyweight grand prix opened up with a bang as Richard Odoms brought his perfect 5-0 record into the cage against the 4-1 Rodney Housley.
From the get-go, the size differential was glaringly apparent. Odoms was far too big and far too strong for the outmatched Housely.
For three rounds, Odoms used his jab, his power and his weight advantage to lean on Housely and bludgeon him.
Never was there a point where a finish looked likely, but the fight was also never close. Odoms won the unanimous decision (30-27 by all three judges) and will now move on to the next round of Pro Elite's heavyweight grand prix tournament.
For complete ProElite 2 results and detailed blow-by-blow commentary of the televised main card fights click here.