Unbeaten female prospect “Alpha” Cat Zingano maintained her spotless record in vicious fashion Saturday, slamming Takayo Hashi unconscious deep into their 125-pound title match at Fight to Win “Outlaws” in Denver’s National Western Complex.
Zingano, already owner of the Fight to Win 130-pound belt, took control of the fight late in the first period and never relented. The 28-year-old Coloradan bullied Hashi in the clinch for the bulk of the bout, punishing the Japanese journeywoman with knees, elbows and uppercuts against the cage. After nearly finishing with an inverted triangle choke in the third frame, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu titlist put on the most devastating display of her young MMA career.
When the visiting fighter attempted to jump guard with 20 seconds remaining, Zingano -- in a move reminiscent of Sarah Kaufman’s July 2010 slam of Roxanne Modafferi -- hoisted Hashi into the air and drove her head into the canvas. Hashi was out cold for the first time in her 17-fight career at 4:42 of the third round, three seconds shy of the Kaufman-Modafferi knockout.
The win upped Zingano’s record to 6-0 with five finishes, while Hashi fell to 13-4 with her third consecutive defeat.
The show’s co-main event saw Infinite MMA heavyweight Ryan Martinez blast “Big Man” Richard White with punches from the crucifix until the 6-foot-4 White tapped out at the 2:24 mark. Martinez moved to 4-1 as a professional and has pounded out each of his opponents since turning pro in January 2010.
In other action, UFC and Strikeforce vet Luke Caudillo knocked out Denver-based lightweight Steve Granieri with a brutal knee to the head at 1:04 of the second round; Nick Macias submitted fellow featherweight striker Angelo Duarte with an armbar 2:06 into the third; and the Thomas Denny-trained Josiah Callis wrecked Nick Buschman with a series of head kicks and follow-up knee strikes just 3:10 into their 145-pound affair.
Slovakian light heavyweight Attila Vegh put a stop to Finnish prospect Marcus Vanttinen’s 11-fight win streak Saturday with a unanimous decision win at Rock and Brawl in Kouvola, Kymenlaakso, Finland. Vegh left the Kouvola Hockey Arena with a record of 22-4-2, while the 23-year-old Finn dropped to 20-3.
Washington bantamweight “Hellbound” Jeff Hougland recorded his fourth straight submission win at Saturday’s Rumble on the Ridge 17 in Snoqualmie, Wash. Hougland, who returned from a four-year hiatus in July 2010 and recently tried out for “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14, jumped guard and slapped a guillotine on Craig Ross, coaxing a tap in just 66 seconds.
Quebec-based promotion Ringside MMA produced the third edition of its “Rising Star” series Saturday at Club Soda in Montreal, with debuting pro heavyweight Blake Nash earning a unanimous nod over Lenard Terrance in the headliner. Other winners included featherweight Seiji Sugiman-Marangos (third-round TKO of Brett Portieous), light heavyweight Todd Stoute (second-round TKO of Guillaume Vigneau) and Christ Franck (37-second TKO of Emmanuel Crevier).
King of the Cage 165-pound champion Tim “Dirty Bird” Means retained his gold Saturday, kneeing and punching challenger Cris Leyva to a referee stoppage in the headliner of KOTC “Fight to Live” in Santa Fe, N.M. The Fit NHB product secured his strap at 1:28 of the third round, moving his ledger to 13-3-1. Meanwhile, bantamweight wrestler Frank Baca slammed and Superman-punched Frank Morris for a TKO at 1:07 of round two.
John Maguire defended his Ultimate Challenge welterweight title in the main event of Saturday’s “Fists of Fire” card at the Troxy in London. The Tsunami Gym representative won his fourth straight by forcing Jamaine Facey to submit to a kimura at 4:23 of the second frame. Welshman Nathan Beer improved to 13-2 and lifted the Ultimate Challenge featherweight belt with a three-round unanimous decision over England’s David Lee.
Evolution Fighting Championships lightweight titleholder Tyson Steele made quick work of challenger Layne McTaggart on Saturday at Crystal Centre in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. The main event of EFC 9 ended when the Saskatchewan-based “Man of Steele” tapped McTaggart with a 56-second armbar, Steele’s seventh career victory and seventh first-round stoppage. Bantamweight Tyler Davis also impressed, ending a back-and-forth battle with Gary Espinar with punches at 4:10 of the second round.
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MMARising.com's Robert Sargent contributed to this report.