Titan Fighting Championships 17: "Lashley vs. Ott," which took place at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, is officially in the books. And while it wasn't a major show on par with the big dogs like UFC or Strikeforce, the Titan crew typically provides a fun night of action when they get the boys together to sling some leather.
Tonight was no different.
In the main event of the evening, heaving heavyweight Bobby Lashley put his reputation on the line against glorified middleweight John Ott. The former WWE "star" was last seen being wheeled out of the Toyota Center in Houston back in Aug., 2010 following a technical knockout loss to Chad Griggs.
His hospital visit wasn't due to damage received in that bout, but rather a severe case of dehydration.
That wasn't supposed to be a problem tonight, however, as he was fighting a much smaller opponent. He actually came in with about a 37-pound weight advantage. It was evident during the fight, as well, almost comically so.
It didn't look like he would need to worry about his gas tank, though, at least not at first, as Lashley went all vintage Tito Ortiz and smashed Ott with punches and elbows from full guard. John was game as hell, though, and somehow survived to the second frame.
Bobby, already sucking air to start the second, put on a repeat performance of the first round, albeit in what appeared to be in real-time slow motion. It was the final frame where things got interesting.
Lashley answered the call to start the third, gasping for breath like he was having a heart attack. Ott, meanwhile, was relatively fresh, bouncing and weaving in and out. With the entire crowd behind him, chanting his name, the Grindhouse MMA product unloaded with everything he had, rushing his larger foe with a barrage of punches.
Alas, it was not to be, as he was taken down and ground out until the final horn had announced his defeat. A valiant effort, but Ott's career record will nonetheless fall to a mediocre 8-8 because, after all, moral victories mean little in the cold world of mixed martial arts.
The promo's played on the HDNet broadcast touted "Hurricane" for his stunning victory over Big Timmay but also asked the question -- is he for real?
Apparently, convincingly taking out a former UFC heavyweight champion doesn't hold as much weight, pun intended, as a win over Aaron Rosa, a man who normally fights at 205-pounds but, as he put it, simply "just got fat," which led to his accepting this bout.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Perhaps the production team had a crystal ball, though, as Wagner looked out of his league in all of the five and a half minutes this contest lasted.
Rosa, who had won three straight heading into this fight with his last loss coming at the hands of former Strikforce Light Heavyweight Champion Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante, was more than willing to stand and trade with the former Ultimate Fighter contestant, getting the better of the exchanges and taking one to give one when necessary.
That strategy proved most effective early in the second frame, as he landed a crushing left hook that sent Wagner crashing to the mat like a ton of bricks. The follow up ground-n-pound simply opened Abe up and it wasn't long after that "Big Red" had locked in a rear-naked choke to force the tap.
While Wagner wasn't exactly at the helm of a rolling hype train, any hopes he had of making his way back to the big show were likely dashed when he cried Uncle.
Speaking of former UFC employees, everyone's favorite "Bad Ass" from New York was back in action for the first time since his latest release by Zuffa, taking on Nick Nolte in a middleweight contest.
No, not THAT Nick Nolte. I mean, come on.
He was, however, the hometown boy and Phil Baroni would find no loving support among the "KC" crowd. That didn't stop him from going out and, perhaps for the first time in his storied career, executing a winning gameplan, as he (gasp) went away from his trademark lightning hands in favor of a grappling heavy attack.
Part of that was by design, as evidenced by Josh Thomson's insistence of as much to the ringside commentators, but also likely due to Nolte showing no aversion to trading blows with Baroni and basically getting the better of him.
The result was two and a half rounds of what some fight fans may call "lay-n-pray."
I say two and a half because Baroni, infamous for his notoriously leaking gas tank, was running on empty by the third and hanging on for dear life while Nolte played target practice on his face.
Undeterred, Baroni, who was reppin' American Kickboxing Academy, came hard steppin' and finished the bout with one final takedown that he rode all the way to the judges scorecards, where they awarded him the unanimous decision win.
The crowd, unhappy with the result of the contest, let their voice be heard during the post-fight interview, to which Baroni stated he would be more than willing to give Nolte a rematch.
Something tells me it's not going to happen.
In other action on the card, Aaron Derrow and Alonzo Martinez put on what was undoubtedly the "Fight of the Night." Derrow, who fittingly goes by the nickname "Daddy Long Legs," spent the majority of the first two rounds doing what he could to take his opponent down so as to play to his strengths.
Martinez wasn't cooperating, though, and based on his solid takedown defense, to go along with his superior striking throughout, earned himself the first two rounds on the scorecards.
Which led to the thrilling conclusion in the third, that saw Derrow, knowing he was down on points, go balls out for the finish he so badly needed. He nearly accomplished this by way of both knockout and submission, as he caught Alonzo with more than a few big shots, one of which dropped him.
When the ensuing hammerfists weren't enough for the ref to call a stop to the contest, Derrow, using his jiu-jitsu prowess, sunk in what appeared to be a deep rear-naked choke with mere minutes remaining in the bout.
With the crowd on their collective feet in anticipation of the tap that was surely to come, Martinez showed his grit and determination by pushing off the cage and escaping the hold to survive to the final horn.
The question then became whether or not Derrow was dominant in that final round to merit a 10-8 score, which he very well could have been.
As it turned out, only one judge saw it that way, with the other two calling it 10-9 to give Martinez the majority decision win. Disappointing for Derrow, highly entertaining for fight fans.
Rounding out the action on the night, James Krause, who fought twice with the now defunct WEC and lost both times, registered the only knockout on the night, with a devastating head kick that destroyed Nathan Schut's chin. Anthony Gutierrez put on a submission clinic against Jon Hollis, while Eric Marriott more or less ran circles around Willian De Souza.
That's it for us. Time for you to give us your thoughts on the show, Maniacs.
For complete results and detailed fight recaps of Titan Fighting Championships 17: "Lashley vs. Ott" click here.