Shields Submits Ford in First; Bundrage Regains Title from Molina; Jermain Taylor Takes IBF Middleweight Crown

shields vs foprd
Jake Shields Choke Submits Ryan Ford for First-Round Finish in WSOF 14 Headliner
By Brian Knapp
www.sherdog.com

Jake Shields had not stopped an opponent in more than five years. Enter Ryan Ford.

Shields made a successful World Series of Fighting debut, as he submitted Ford with a first-round rear-naked choke in the World Series of Fighting 14 headliner on Saturday at the Edmonton Expo Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Ford (22-5, 1-1 WSOF) conceded defeat 4:29 into round one, giving his 35-year-old counterpart a finish for the first time since June 2009.

Ford enjoyed a brief moment of success before reality set in, dropping Shields with a stout left jab in the middle of the cage. The former Shooto, Strikeforce and EliteXC champion recovered quickly, struck for a takedown and slid to full mount from side control almost instantly. From there, he forced Ford to surrender his back and went to work on the choke. Shields (30-7-1, 1-0 WSOF) remained patient, distracting the Canadian with punches before delivering on the submission.

Rama Whips Mehmen, Takes Heavyweight Title

Smealinho Rama took care of Derrick Mehmen with first-round punches in the co-main event, as he captured the vacant World Series of Fighting heavyweight championship with surprising ease. It was over just 51 seconds after it began.

Rama (9-1, 2-0) softened the Hard Drive MMA representative with stinging leg kicks before staggering him with a crisp two-punch combination. The Canadian swarmed with punches, kicks and elbows that had the “Caveman” ducking for cover. Rama briefly attempted a standing rear-naked choke before abandoning the maneuver in favor of a fight-ending barrage of flying fists.

The defeat halted a six-fight winning streak for Mehman (18-6, 3-1 WSOF).

Horodecki Grinds Downs Huete

World Extreme Cagefighting, Bellator MMA and International Fight League veteran Chris Horodecki utilized repeated takedowns, a stifling top game and occasional ground-and-pound in securing a unanimous decision over Luis Huete in a featured matchup at 145 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Horodecki (21-5-1, 1-0 WSOF).

Huete (6-2, 0-1 WSOF) spent too much time on his back, his frustration growing with each passing moment. Horodecki executed takedowns in all three rounds and seemed content to operate in full guard and half guard, piling up points with short punches and elbows. Huete offered nothing of significance from the bottom.

The 27-year-old Horodecki has posted three wins in his past four appearances.

Hamman Wrecks Harris, Snaps Skid

Jared Hamman picked up his first win in more than three years, as he dispatched Canadian grappler Luke Harris with first-round punches in a light heavyweight showcase. Harris (10-3, 0-1 WSOF) succumbed to the blows 2:27 into round one, a crushing right hand to the jaw bringing him to his knees.

Hamman (14-6, 1-0 WSOF) kept the fight standing, shutting down the clinch game of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Before long, Harris was bleeding above the right eye. A multi-punch burst set the 37-year-old on shaky legs before Hamman sealed the deal with one last shot to the head.

Prelims: Heavy Hague Thrashes Hudson

UFC castaway Tim Hague (19-9, 2-0 WSOF) stopped Craig Hudson (4-5, 0-1 WSOF) on punches 2:55 into the third round of their heavyweight battle; Hakeem Dawodu (3-0, 3-0 WSOF) put away Mike Malott (4-1, 0-1 WSOF) with a volley of punches and elbows 4:13 into round one of their featherweight encounter; Matt Baker (11-7, 1-3 WSOF) submitted Cody Krahn (15-10, 0-1 WSOF) with an armbar 2:28 into the first round of their catchweight clash at 195 pounds; and Hayabusa Training Centre export Roger Alves (2-1, 2-0 WSOF) captured a unanimous verdict from David Swanson (2-1, 0-1 WSOF) in a three-round lightweight tilt, earning 30-27 scores from all three judges.

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cornelius brundage

“K9” Bundrage Decisions Molina to Regain Title
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

 

Cornelius “K9” Bundrage scored two knockdowns and rolled to a clear, unanimous decision victory against Carlos Molina to regain a version of the junior middleweight world title on Saturday night at the Grand Oasis resort in Cancun, Mexico.

Bundrage got off to a strong start and wobbled Molina early in the first round before knocking him down with a clean right hand on the chin later in the frame. Bundrage maintained control the rest of the way, and the judges rewarded him with winning scores of 117-106, 116-109 and 115-110. ESPN.com also scored the fight in Bundrage’s favor, 115-111.

Bundrage continued to work Molina over in the second round and nearly dropped him again near the ropes. Molina appeared to eke out the third and fourth rounds, but Bundrage, who was the harder puncher, was soon back in command. He caught Molina with several solid, overhand rights and also landed to the body.

In the eighth round, Bundrage once again had Molina in some trouble. Molina was on the ropes, and Bundrage was nailing him to the body, but when they were in a clinch and Bundrage landed a shot behind Molina’s head, referee Kenny Chevalier took a point from Bundrage.

Bundrage (34-5, 19 KOs) rocked Molina (22-6-2, 6 KOs) with an uppercut in the 10th round and had him pinned on the ropes as he banged away. He landed a powerful right hand that staggered Molina and then, moments later, landed another right hand that dropped Molina for the second time in the fight and seemed to salt away the points victory.

Molina, 31, a longtime Chicago resident from Mexico, was making the first defense of his 154-pound title, but it was coming after a long layoff. Molina had not fought since he won the title 13 months ago on a split decision against Ishe Smith on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez undercard in Las Vegas.

Molina had been due to make his first defense against undefeated Jermall Charlo on the Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo undercard March 8 in Las Vegas. However, Molina was arrested in Vegas a few days before the fight on an outstanding warrant for failing to register as a sex offender in Wisconsin in a case from years ago, and the fight was canceled. While Molina was incarcerated, police discovered he was in the United States illegally, and he was eventually deported to Mexico.

Unable to fight in the United States and with the mandatory defense due, Warriors Boxing promoter Leon Margules, who represents Molina, made a deal with promotional free agent Bundrage, 41, of Detroit, to fight Molina in Mexico.

Bundrage, a former participant on “The Contender” reality series, initially won the belt from Cory Spinks by fifth-round knockout in 2010 and made two successful defenses before he lost it to Smith by majority decision in February 2013. Smith then lost the title to Molina in his first defense.

Bundrage earned a second shot at the belt when he easily outpointed Joey Hernandez on Jan. 24 in a title eliminator to become Molina’s mandatory challenger.

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jermaine taylor 14

Jermain Taylor nabs world title
By Brian Campbell | ESPN.com

 

Jermain Taylor beat Sam Soliman by unanimous decision to win the IBF Middleweight title.
Former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor found himself in a surprising place Wednesday night: once again challenging for a world title.

Taylor, 36, made the most of his opportunity. He scored four knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision victory over Sam Soliman at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Taylor (33-4-1, 20 KOs) captured Soliman’s title by scores of 116-111, 115-109 and 116-109.

“I heard it before,” said Taylor, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, in regard to hearing his name announced as a world titlist. “And I’m hearing it again.”

Taylor, who ended Bernard Hopkins’ historic middleweight title reign in 2005, fell on hard times following four defeats over a five-fight stretch from 2007 to 2009, including one in which he suffered a small brain bleed.

He passed a number of rigorous medical tests entering Wednesday’s fight, but aside from health concerns, many questioned whether he should be allowed to fight at all. Taylor was charged with a pair of felonies in August after allegedly shooting his cousin multiple times during a domestic dispute.

While Taylor’s journey back to a title fight was improbable, there’s little question he benefited from a knee injury suffered by Soliman in Round 7, which proved to be the turning point in a close fight.

“[Soliman] is a warrior. He did the same thing I would have done,” Taylor said. “You have to keep fighting in this sport.”

The injury left Soliman visibly limping and unable to plant his right leg for the remainder of the bout. Although the Australian native showed heart in making it to the final bell, he suffered four official knockdowns due mostly to a lack of balance. In addition, he fell to the canvas repeatedly over the final five rounds.

Soliman (44-12, 18 KOs), who won his first world title in May at the age of 40, refused to blame his injury.

“I [injured myself] a little bit in training and I nearly had to pull out of the fight,” Soliman said. “Absolutely no excuses because if he wasn’t as good of a fighter as he was — a former undisputed world champion — I would have been able to come away with the goods.

“[Taylor’s] performance — you can’t take that away from him. The knee was fresh and fine as I was fighting so it wasn’t an old injury that came back because of bad luck.”

The victory was the fifth straight for Taylor, who began a comeback in 2011 after more than two years away from the sport.

The first half of the fight was dominated by holding and mugging on the inside from both fighters as neither was able to establish control. But things changed quickly in Round 7 when Taylor scored his first knockdown as Soliman appeared to slip after absorbing a jab.

Soliman was knocked down again the following round as his leg gave out after Taylor landed a right hand in close. Taylor scored his third knockdown in Round 9 by catching Soliman flush with a right hand as he was backpedaling, which caused referee Bill Clancy to have the ringside doctor examine Soliman’s knee.

By Round 11, Soliman was in survival mode. He was ruled down a fourth time after a right hand appeared to land on the back of his head, disrupting his balance again.

The victory puts Taylor in position to land a big fight, likely against one of two former middleweight titlists who seated ringside: Hassan N’Dam, who became Taylor’s mandatory challenger by defeating Curtis Stevens on Oct. 1, or unbeaten Peter Quillin, who vacated his title.

Quillin, like Taylor, is managed by powerful adviser Al Haymon.

“I just thank God and Al Haymon,” Taylor said. “Thank you Al Haymon! We did it, baby! We coming home with the belt. Who is next?

“I want whoever Al Haymon puts in there. Whoever Al Haymon says, that’s who I am going for. I have never dodged anybody in my career.”

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