COLUMBUS, Oh. - It was hot and sticky inside the JD Equipment Coliseum at the Ohio State Fair, but the fighters didn't disappoint and left fans amazed once they hit the cage for "UVC 20: Clash at the Coliseum." A raucous crowd was in attendance to support the best fighters that the Buckeye State has to offer.
The UVC has its first professional champions, as Luke Zachrich and Lance Palmer walked away with hard fought victories in the evening's main events. Zachrich survived a grappling battle with Indiana's Nick Kraus in the headliner, as the jiu-jitsu brown belt and Pan Am Games medalist consistently used his grappling to reverse the former collegiate wrestler. Kraus spent much of the fight fending off submission attempts from Zachrich, and at the end of the fight all three judges scored it for the Columbus native, making him the first professional middleweight champion in UVC history.
Former four-time Ohio State All-American wrestler Lance Palmer stayed unbeaten as a professional fighter, as the Team Alpha Male product used leg kicks and timely wrestling to claim a unanimous decision over Columbus native Jon Washington.
Washington repeatedly switched to a Southpaw stance to mirror Palmer, and Palmer used outside leg kicks to place a nasty welt on the right thigh of "The Beast." Washington was aggressive in the first round, even securing a takedown against the All-American, but Palmer remained calm and eventually landed a takedown of his own in the third round. All three judges scored the fight for Palmer, who becomes the first professional featherweight champion in UVC history.
Longtime UVC veteran Jeremy Kitts made his return to Ohio's top organization, and he picked up a rear naked choke in his first UVC appearance since 2010. Kitts landed a straight left hand to drop Doug Kulbis, and then locked in the submission to force the tap midway through the first round.
The night's first professional bout featured a back-and-forth battle, but it was Rob Hanna who was able to remain undefeated by forcing Nate Clark to submit to strikes in the second round. Clark appeared to have the victory in the bag with a rear naked choke early in the second round after dropping Hanna, but the Dayton MMA product was able to recover to eventually make his way to full mount to finish the victory.
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