High Fives: ‘Afro Monkey’ Business

By Guy Portman Jun 18, 2018
Even without an Ultimate Fighting Championship or Bellator MMA event during the weekend of June 15-17, there were pivotal matchups taking place across three continents. Here are five of the highlights:



CHOKE ARTIST … A new CES MMA bantamweight champion was crowed at CES 50 on June 15 in Lincoln, Rhode Island. The clash between southpaws Andre Ewell and Dinis Paiva was closely contested in the first and second rounds. Early in the third, Paiva shot unsuccessfully for a takedown. Ewell immediately seized a hold of his rival’s neck, applied a brabo choke and kept squeezing, forcing Paiva to tap 36 seconds into Round 3. In victory, the “Afro Monkey” improved to 13-4; Paiva slipped to 11-7.



FRACTURED … In the M-1 Challenge 94 main event on June 15 in Orenburg, Russia, M-1 Global lightweight champion Damir Ismagulov squared off against Artem Damkovsky. The fight ended prematurely in the first round, where Damkovsky threw a wild right hook to his opponent’s head and broke his own forearm in the process. Damkovsky signaled to the referee that he could not continue. With the win, Ismagulov moved to 16-2 and retained his title; Belarus’ Damkovski dropped to 22-11.



SHOULDERING THE LOAD … In other action at M-1 Challenge 94, lightweights Roman Bogatov and Raul Tutarauli went head to head. Much of the first round took place on the mat, where Bogatov attempted several submissions. Tutarauli enjoyed some success on the feet. In the middle stanza, Bogatov secured a shoulder choke from side control and rendered his Georgian adversary unconscious. The finish came at the 3:05 mark of Round 2. Bogatov remains unbeaten at 6-0, while Tutarauli fell to 18-5.



MAJORITY RULES … In the Absolute Championship Berkut 88 headliner on June 16 in Brisbane, Australia, light heavyweight Karol Celinski faced off against Luke Barnatt. Their match was contested primarily on the feet. Both fighters had their moments, but the 37-year-old “Cebula” saw his hand raised by majority decision. With a fourth consecutive victory, Celinski improved to 16-6. England’s Barnatt, who fell to 14-6, has lost three of his last five fights.



CAPTAIN HOOK … Absolute Championship Berkut also hosted a much-anticipated lightweight clash between Australian Callan Potter and Polish leg lock specialist Marcin Held. It was no surprise when Held dragged the fight to the floor. The UFC and Bellator veteran immediately transitioned to a heel hook, which had Potter screaming in pain. The end came 1:09 into the first round. Held upped his record to 24-7, while “The Rockstar” dipped to 16-7.

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