Fight Hard: Ellington vs Rosener - Recap
Fight Hard MMA crowned thre new amateur title holders in its featherweight and bantamweight divisions Friday night at the Family Arena.
In the main event, and for the men's 135-pound strap, Jon Rosener's slick submission game tried to slow down the explosiveness and power of Eric Ellington.
Rosener did a nice job implementing that game plan early, landing some solid leg kicks and once on the floor, controlled Ellington's posture with his guard play while isolating a shoulder. When the fight returned to the feet, Rosener entered wildly and Ellington made him pay with a solid right that sent him to the floor.
"The lead kick he kicked me with, my leg went numb," Ellington said. "I went to the ground and let my leg recover and when it did I stood it back up."
Throughout the fight, Rosener enticed Ellington to dive into some ground and pound offense but Ellington patiently chopped away landing repeated combinations and heavy head kick in the second round. Once Ellington established his range and power, Rosener was hesitant to throw combinations and Ellington eventually snuffed out the TKO finish.
"Every time I came in to attack, he dropped his head and tried to take me down or would fall to the ground and try to get me down there." Ellington said. "My main focus right now is to finish fight. It's kind of hard to do that on top against a guy who's trained with jiu-jitsu. I wanted to finish the fight, but I'm still thankful and happy with the win."
The win improved Ellington's record to 11-1, with a hint of a pro debut in September.
"I got the W, that's the main thing," Ellington said. "As my amateur goes on my main focus is to work on my stand-up. I knew my opponent was good on the ground. We got down there, but once I felt I was in danger I got it back up and wanted to work what my team has been teaching me."
Savannah Shahan stormed across the cage and landed a barrage of punches to win the 135-pound women's title in 17 seconds over Tina Brown. Brown tried to slow Shahan down with some clinch work but Shahan even punched through that to overwhelm and earn the quick stoppage victory early in the first.
In the closest bout of the night, Rodney Cotton pitted his submission skills against the muscle-bound explosiveness of Alex Macias for the 145-pound title.
Accidental low blows slowed the action early before Macias was able to grind through and get a late takedown to end the first round. Cotton was getting the better of the exchanges in the second round before Macias changed the momentum of the fight with a blitzing attack that pushed Cotton backwards to the fence. The third was highlighted by a nice takedown by Macias, who delivered damage and was extremely active while there. After three rounds, the judges gave a split decision victory to Macias.
Ellington and Macias earn the championships vacated by Erion Zekthi. Shahan wins the belt that was held by Michelle Royer, who makes her pro debut on Friday on the Bellator157: Dynamite 2 undercard. Fight Hard MMA announced its intentions to bring pro MMA back to the Family Arena on September 17.
In other action, Colin Parr showcased relentless pursuit in getting the win over Aaron Lake. Parr jumped his back, sank in a deep rear naked choke to get the finish in the second round.
Jimmy Sievers had a quick and effective shot that had Tyler Madding working off his back for most of the first round. That approach eventually spelled out his end. As if he loured Sievers into his web, Sievers shot early in the second and Madding, who just turned 20-years-old, cinched up an impressive power guillotine to get the submission win just moments into the second.
Kicks landed early for Andrew Terhune in his fight with Fred Freeman before Freeman closed the distance and pressed the action against the cage. Freeman got to top position off a scramble and peppered strikes, eventually opening up a nice cut on Terhune. After a quick doctor's check, Freeman resumed his ground and pound ways to close out the round.
A couple of low blows by each fighter caused a temporary break in the action.
"It didn't bother me, I've already been kicked in the dick a lot and a lot harder than that," Freeman said. "My corner told me to take my time so I took my time. When I kicked him I was trying to finish him with a leg kick but he moved, karma."
In the second round, Freeman knocked Terhne to the mat. Once back up, Freeman landed a short right and jumping knee to end the fight with a TKO.
"I knew if I took my time he was going to make a mistake," Freeman said. "I felt like I should have finished in the first round. I was trying to counter him and then finish him. If a guy doesn't have good stand-up I know he is going to make a mistake and I can counter him."
Juan Molina and Clayton Whaley had a nice back and forth over two rounds. As Whaley started to tire, Molina pressed on, getting the better of the scrambles and exchanges before getting the rear naked choke in the third for the win.
Corbin Howard showcased the most polished skillset on the card. Howard, via Jefferson City, won with a second round submission over Nick Martin, and impressed many with his lightning quick transitions on the ground.
Steven Coleman nearly got the finish in the first round but came through in the second with some nice ground and pound over David Johnson.
"When I first started my ground was a little stronger than my stand-up," Coleman said. "So we took some time to focus on my stand-up. Lately we're been working on my ground more to get positions, ground and pound better and end the fight."
Coleman, who turned 25 last Saturday, improved to 10-1 with the win.
"I had a couple opportunities to end the fight," Coleman said. "It's just one of those things where it was the heat of the moment. After it happened I kind of kicked myself in the rear end after I seen those missed opportunities, but I'll be back at the gym at the AOC training to fill those holes."
Look for a pro debut from Coleman early next year.
Jacob Cruzen simply starched Jon Graves seconds into the first round in the second bout of the night. Aaron Fahr sank in a tight rear naked choke to get the victory over Eugene Swartz in the first round.
Fight Hard returns September 17th and will be bringing back professional fights.
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Range Photography