British Association of Mixed Martial Arts featherweight champion Tom Duquesnoy downshifted to 135 pounds and saw immediate results.
Viewed by some as the sport’s top prospect, Duquesnoy marched into hostile territory and knocked out Irishman Damien Rooney in the first round of their BAMMA 24 main event on Feb. 27 at 3Arena in Dublin. The 22-year-old Frenchman brought it to a close 1:22 into round one, as he improved to 12-1 and ran his current winning streak to three fights.
Rooney dropped the “Fire Kid” to a knee with a sneaky right hand during their initial standup exchange but only seemed to embolden him. Duquesnoy staggered the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship veteran with a mean left hook, lured him into the clinch and bloodied him with knees and standing elbows. The two men separated for a moment before engaging again. Duquesnoy trusted his hands, planted a left hook on the button and watched an unconscious Rooney collapse to the canvas.
Duquesnoy has compiled an 8-0 mark with one no-contest across his past nine appearances. Six of those wins have resulted in finishes.
Meanwhile, John Phillips dethroned Cheick Kone and took the BAMMA middleweight championship by force, as “The White Mike Tyson” knocked out the Frenchman 65 seconds into the first round. Phillips, 30, has posted three straight wins, all by knockout.
Volkov Captures Vacant M-1 Global Championship
Former Bellator MMA champion Alexander Volkov laid claim to the vacant M-1 Global heavyweight crown, as he submitted Denis Smoldarev with a third-round triangle choke at M-1 Challenge 64 on Feb. 19 at the Olympic Sports Complex in Moscow. Smoldarev conceded defeat 41 seconds into round three.
Volkov spent the majority of the first two rounds on his back, having yielded takedowns to the 6-foot-5 samboist. Smoldarev fed him a steady diet of short punches, elbows and forearm strikes from guard, as he appeared intent on cruising to a decision. However, his work came with a price. By the time the second round concluded, he was clearly winded and compromised.
Smoldarev secured another takedown at the start of round three, only to wander into a triangle choke. Volkov adjusted his legs from the bottom, tightened his squeeze and forced the tapout.
Meanwhile, former Bellator middleweight titleholder Alexander Shlemenko, in his first appearance since his stateside suspension for performance enhancers, took a majority decision from five-time combat sambo world champion Vyacheslav Vasilevsky. The 27-year-old Vasilevsky has lost two of his last three fights.
In Brief: Soares Retains Fight Time Title
Jason Soares looks like he could fly the regional coop at any time. The 26-year-old kept his perfect professional record intact and retained his Fight Time Promotions featherweight championship, as he submitted Danny Chavez with a fifth-round guillotine choke in the Fight Time 29 main event on Feb. 12 at the Magic City Casino in Miami. Chavez bowed out 2:32 into round five ... Fabricio Viegas Sarraff stunned previously unbeaten Astra Fight Team prospect Luis Rafael Laurentino, as he stopped him on a second-round technical knockout in the Aspera Fighting Championship 32 headliner on Feb. 20 in Curitiba, Brazil. Laurentino had begun his career 31-0 ... Team Tiger Schulmann’s Shane Burgos moved to 7-0 with his second stoppage in 20 days, as he put away Jacob Bohn in the first round of their Cage Fury Fighting Championships 56 encounter on Feb. 27 in Philadelphia ... Murad Machaev put his ninth straight win in the books when he took a three-round unanimous decision from Bellator Season 9 lightweight tournament finalist Alexander Sarnavskiy at Eurasia Fight Nights “Fight Nights Global 44” on Feb. 26 in Moscow ... Former M-1 Global champion Musa Khamanaev won for the eighth time in nine outings, as he struck Leandro Rodrigues Pontes into submission 51 seconds into the third round of their meeting at Absolute Championship Berkut 29 on Feb. 6 in Warsaw, Poland ... Bellator veteran Michail Tsarev improved to 30-5, as he needed less than a minute to submit Artem Reznikov in the Tech-Krep Fighting Championship “Battle in Serbia” main event on Feb. 12 in Novosibirsk, Russia. The end came 40 seconds into round one ... Team Quest’s Ian Loveland submitted Enoch Wilson with an armbar 1:59 into the first round of their King of the Cage “No Fear” main event on Feb. 6 in Lincoln City, Oregon. Loveland, 32, has gone 4-1 since being released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2011.