The mix of boxers and mixed martial artists featured at "March Badness" — a hybrid event that played host to both sports on the same card courtesy of former boxing champion and promoter Roy Jones Jr. — got their chance to shine at last night's pay-per-view (PPV) event that took place at the Pensacola Civic Center in Pensacola, Florida.
Former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley co-headlined the MMA portion of the show opposite Jason Guida. In just the second fight ever of his career, Lashley out-muscled the TUF 8 dropout to take the unanimous decision victory -- though his performance was nothing to write home about.
Lashley (2-0) was in control for most of the bout, but was unable to finish the stingy veteran and nearly fell victim to a third-round guillotine choke. Lashley admitted post-fight that he had to "dig deep" to fight off the submission and that Guida's pre-fight smear campaign had him in the "wrong frame of mind."
Guida now falls to 17-20, but probably takes home the moral victory after surviving a bout that many "experts" (including Nostradumbass) predicted him to get demolished in -- especially after filling in on super short notice when Ken Shamrock was forced out of the bout because of a positive test for steroids.
A second heavyweight showdown featured in the main event pitted UFC veteran Jeff Monson against IFL standout Roy Nelson in a less-than-riveting affair that saw "The Snowman" score a controversial unanimous decision win.
Monson (28-8) spent much of the first round defending against the surprisingly agile Nelson (13-4). "Big Country" also nailed two takedowns in an uneventful second, but Monson was a little busier in the third with his strikes, including a big shot to open the round that had a winded Nelson on rubber legs.
Still, it seemed like Nelson had done enough to take the decision until the judges came back in favor of Monson. The former UFC heavyweight number one contender admitted post-fight that the decision "could have gone either way" while BC claims he "got robbed."
Another former UFC veteran on the card was Din Thomas -- though "Dinyero" wasn't taking any chances with the judges. The one-time Zuffa lightweight made quick work of fellow featherweight Gabe Lemley courtesy of a fight-ending knee delivered via Thai clinch towards the end of the first round.
Thomas improves to 24-8 while Lemley drops to 13-9.
In an attempt to rebound from a 16-month steroids suspension, former Matt Hughes nemesis Denis Hallman (40-12-2) impressed with his wrestling and staunch submission game by dismantling and choking out Danny Ruiz (5-4) in just under two minutes.
As for the boxing portion of the card, Roy Jones Jr. didn't disappoint in his return to the ring. Using superior speed and skill, Jones Jr. picked apart an outmatched Omar Sheika to capture the vacant NABO light heavyweight title via fifth round technical knockout.
Here are the official results for March Badness:
Mixed Martial Arts:
Bobby Lashley def. Jason Guida via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jeff Monson def. Roy Nelson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Din Thomas def. Gabe Lemley via TKO (strikes) -- 4:13--R1
Dennis Hallman def. Danny Ruiz via submission (rear-naked choke) -- 1:50--R1
James Freeman def. John Mowry via knockout (punch) -- 2:38--R1
Roy Jones Jr. def. Omar Sheika via TKO -- 1:45--R5
B.J. Flores def. Jose Luis Herrera via unanimous decision (98-92, 99-91, 99-91)
Eric Clinton def. Richmond Dalphone via unanimous decision (38-37, 38-37, 38-37)
Kieyon Bussey def. Robert DaLuz via majority decision (57-57, 58-56, 58-56)
Kelvin Price def. Kevin Howard via majority decision (57-57, 58-56, 59-55)