ShowFight 20 took place last night (Sat., June 16, 2012) from O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Missouri.
The upstart promotion had previously been an all-amateur fight league and it decided to go big with its first ever card that featured professional bouts. The overall event showcased 20 Pride, Strikeforce, UFC and Bellator veterans, with quite a few surprising results.
The main event of the evening was a welterweight attraction pairing off former UFC standout Karo Parisyan against ex-UFC lightweight John Gunderson. Gunderson moved up a weight class for the opportunity to beat "The Heat," and he actually did.
Parisyan took the fight to the ground early, but Gunderson escaped danger and got back to his feet. After a few brief exchanges, Gunderson landed a huge knee flush to Parisyan's jaw which hurt the Armenian badly. Once Parisyan was hurt from the knee, Gunderson locked up a guillotine choke and pulled guard, falling to his back and forcing a quick tap.
Parisyan's string of rough performances continues.
There was a plethora of recognizable talent in action, We've got the recap after the jump.
In the co-main event of the evening, former winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season three, Kendall Grove, took on Strikeforce standout prospect Derek Brunson. Grove was originally slated to face Terry Martin, but Martin was not given his license to fight and the undefeated Brunson stepped in on just one week's notice, and there was some controversy.
Brunson seemed to control the fight early, slamming Grove repeatedly to the canvas in the first two rounds. On the feet and in the clinch, he had trouble dealing with Grove's length, eating punches and occasional short knees, but his wrestling, guard passes and ground and pound were always the proper answer.
In the third round, Brunson slowed down and while he still scored some takedowns, Grove was very effective in the stand-up and actually clipped him pretty hard right at the end of the fight.
Most viewers had it 29-28 for Brunson, but the judges sided with Kendall Grove via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27) in one of the stranger scorecards in MMA this year, handing Brunson his first career loss.
In lightweight action, Strikeforce veteran Lyle Beerbohm took on UFC veteran Marcus Aurelio. Beerbohm dominated Aurelio with his wrestling over the course of three rounds, avoiding submissions and landing big ground and pound, even opening up a huge cut in the second round with an elbow. Aurelio's only offense was an illegal pair of upkicks to a downed opponent in the third round in which he had a point deducted.
In the end, Beerbohm was easily handed a 30-26 clean sweep across the boards for a unanimous decision.
Heavyweight Mike Wessel utilized his wrestling to dominate Matt Kovacs, who's only defense was to briefly get back to his feet only to be taken down time and time again. By the second round, Kovacs was exhausted and Wessel finally overwhelmed him with punches and knees on the ground, forcing a TKO stoppage.
The quickest fight of the evening was a lightweight bout between UFC veteran Drew Fickett and Jonatas Noavaes. The Brazilian blasted Fickett with a right head kick early in the fight and then followed up with big ground and pound to force referee intervention.
Lastly, in the opening bout of the main card, UFC veteran Roli Delgado took on Chris Greutzemacher in a very exciting lightweight bout. Both men had their moments as Delgado utilizes his length early while Greutzemacher worked to get inside and land big short strikes.
By the third round, Greutzemacher overwhelmed Delgado's defenses and pummeled him with big knees, elbows and punches, finally forcing the referee to step in and put a stop to the onslaught with 96 seconds remaining in the bout.
ShowFight 20 Results
John Gunderson def. Karo Parisyan by submission (guillotine choke), 2:04 of round 1
Kendall Grove def. Derek Brunson by split decision
Lyle Beerbohm def. Marcus Aurelio by unanimous decision
Mike Wessel def. Matt Kovacs by TKO (strikes) at 4:50 of round 2
Jonatas Novaes def. Drew Fickett by TKO (strikes) at 51 seconds of round 1
Chris Greutzemacher def. Roli Delgado by TKO (elbows) at 3:24 of round 3
Sevak Magakian def. James Reese by unanimous decision
Chris McDaniel def. Charles Bennett by submission (triangle choke) at 2:52 of round 1
Sam Alvey def. Lucas Lopez by TKO (strikes) at 1:37 of round 1
Dustin Phillips def. Allen Gibson by unanimous decision
Matt Lucas def. Lucas Overcast by unanimous decision
Mike Brazzle def. Karen Darabedyan by TKO in round 1
Jacob Ritchie def. Robert Saborudden by TKO in round 3
Jason Ignacek def. Gary Michaels via unanimous decision