After a two-fight stint in the UFC, James Bochnovic made his Shamrock FC debut in the main event of SFC 309 at the River City Casino Friday night.
The Wisconsin-based Bochnovic faced Shamrock stalwart Adam Cella in a middleweight clash and improved to 9-3 with a first-round submission.
Cella (9-9) had won three straight coming into the fight and looked as physically strong as he ever had. And he used that strength in a scrappy start to bully Bochnovic around and press the action against the fence. The two mixed and matched punches before it got to the ground late in the round, Cella slammed through a solid submission attempt but Bochnovic then got the better of a scramble and Cella gave up his back and Bochnovic smelled victory, getting the rear naked choke finish at 4:38 in the first round.
In all, there were thirteen bouts on the card, 11 MMA and 2 amateur kickboxing, and 10 finishes. For video interviews with several of the winner, check back tomorrow at knucklejunkies.com.
A more mature, well-rounded Cort Wahle took care of Travon Crawford in the co-main event. After a muddy scramble to start the fight, Wahle, controlled Crawford’s posture, and was patient working a triangle before getting the tap at 1:31.
“I’ve learned so much, especially with my new camp,” Wahle said. “I always think too much when I fight. When I spar, when I move around I just flow, I do so well with anybody, the best in the area. Then I come out here with not the best of talent and they can just catch me. I’ve been building my confidence and relaxation has been the key.”
Wahle improves to 4-3, his second straight win and first since training full time with Watson Martial Arts.
Antonio Atkins tried to thwart the big pro debut of Evan Elder. Backed by a boisterous, supportive crowd and a more versatile tool belt, Elder was able to withstand a sluggish start to get the TKO win late in the first round.
“I didn’t get to land a whole lot of elbows, it was significantly harder than I anticipated,” Elder said. “I definitely have room for improvement everywhere especially after that one. The five minute rounds were super cool. It gave you plenty of time to relax and work. Those three minute rounds go fast.”
Elder representing Finney’s MMA looks to have adjusted to the pro ranks effortlessly and notches a first round finish.
Kicking off the main card was Colin Parr versus KJ Jones, both making their pro debut. Jones put the pressure on early and was landing with his hands and pushed Parr to the fence before he inexplicably took Parr to the ground, where Parr is known to thrive.
Within a matter seconds, Parr secured a belly-down armbar and got the submission at 36 seconds into the first round.
“We’ve been working that (armbar) in class all day,” Parr said. “When I go for the armbar, people always posture up with their foot. All you have to do is underhook that, and it just works.”
In the featured bout of the all-amatuer undercard, Chuckie Brooks, known for his knockout pop, faced Max Choriev.
Choriev got two early takedowns and avoided some big swings from Brooks in the first. Choriev then went to his jiu-jitsu. After an armbar attempt didn’t take, Choriev’s mounted triangle landed him in a dominate position and Brooks couldn’t budge. Choriev got the tap to stop the fight at 1:57
The comeback story for Dustin Ventimiglia ends with a late submission victory for the second generation fighter from the War Room. Ventimiglia, who overcame a horrific accident a little over a year ago which you can read about HERE, used constant ground pressure in the first to keep his opponent Arvin Mills on his back for most of the round. The second saw more of the same with Mills staying out of trouble while unable to mount any offense. Ventimiglia nearly finished the fight with some ground and pound in the final moments of the second. Mills finally wilted in the third as Ventimiglia got the rear naked choke submission.
In a kickboxing match-up, 52 year-old Jon Leach showed there’s still plenty of fight left in the old dog. Leach and opponent Toby Gvillo traded leather for three action-packed rounds before the fight went to the judges. After the scorecards were read, it was Leach who picked up a unanimous decision.
Despite a ton of pre-fight build-up, the match-up with Devin James and Cory Tinnon ended quickly and anti-climatically. Only seconds into the first round, Anderson received an accidental eye-gouge during a scramble on the ground causing a break in the action and the bout to be ruled a no contest.
In a lightweight bout Tim Eschenfelder landed a nasty submission, dislocating the shoulder of Zach Burcham in the process. The two put on an exciting back and forth round in the first that was heavy on the submission attempts, but it was Eschenfelder who came out on top just 30 seconds into the second round.
Late replacement Chiavy Rith came out blazing with a combination of body punches that had Nathan Stearns on the defensive. Stearns shook off the early offense, then went to work with a smothering ground game. Stearns got the fight to the ground off a high crotch takedown, passed the guard into mount where he landed punches from the top forcing Rith to turtle. From there Stearns landed the rear naked choke submission, getting the win and snapped a two fight losing streak.
Troy Shaw, representing the War Room in Woodriver, IL used well-timed kicks and knees to the body to slow down and drop his opponent, Dan Boyer, on the way to a unanimous decision victory in an amateur kickboxing bout.
Former Lindenwood wrestling standout Jesse Martinelli punched out a first round TKO with only 20 seconds left. After a feeling out period, it was obviously Martinelli wanted to get the fight to the ground, and late in the round it happened. Martinelli landed a high single to get Stevenson to his back where he worked his ground pound forcing Stevenson to turtle, and a referee stoppage shortly after.
Josh Jessie submitted late replacement EJ Wall with at triangle at 1:54 in the first.
Shamrock FC returns to River City on November 2nd.