Newman ignites crowd by turning the tables
Amateur fighter Damian Newman's intangibles were on full display Saturday at a Fight Hard MMA event at the St. Charles Family Arena.
First, after taking a straight right hook to the chin from bantamweight opponent Levi Rose, Newman showed the ability to recover.
His heart and technique shown through next, as he squirmed his way out of Rose's full mount and a rear-naked choke attempt.
Then Newman put into action his ability to finish, reversing position to Rose's back and unleashing a series of strikes to the head, forcing a referee's stoppage at 1:09 in the first round.
While the fight didn't last long, Newman's reversal of fortune was stunning.
"I knew he (Rose) was looking for a war," Newman said. "He's strong, he's fit, he's got a six-pack, which I don't really have. But I have heart and willpower.
"He landed a solid punch. Honestly, I don't know if it dazed me or if my adrenaline just took over. Then I fought off the choke, and it was deep. Once I was able to settle into my body we switched over, I started landing punches to where he couldn't defend himself and the ref called it."
Newman, a St. Louis native and 2008 Seckman High graduate, improved his amateur record to 10-2-1 and expects to be booked at Fight Hard MMA's next show at the Family Arena on Nov. 10.
Sanchez grapples Cobb into submission
There was much chatter between Darryl Cobb and Andrew Sanchez leading up to their middleweight bout as the co-main event of the evening.
Originally slated to settle the score at the Cage Championships 39 card in Sullivan, Mo., the Cobb/Sanchez fight was moved to St. Charles at Cobb's request. Reluctantly, because of his prior commitment to fight at Cage Championships, Sanchez agreed to the change of venue.
Sanchez capitalized on the chance to back up what he's said all along: that Cobb can't match up with his superior wrestling skills. By grappling his opponent at every turn, Sanchez neutralized Cobb's stand-up game before locking in a rear-naked choke and winning by submission at the 4:33 mark of the first round.
"I can stand and bang, but I took the safe route," said Sanchez, a two-time NAIA national wrestling champion who improved his professional record to 2-0. "I feel like I could stand up with him but the grappling difference was so big that I just wanted to take him to the ground. I was a little surprised - his ground game was better than I remembered. But I kept working him, tiring him out and came in with the game plan to take him down. It's second nature to me. It's my world when we're on the ground."
And while there was no love lost between the two fighters, they shook hands and exchanged a humble gesture as the official outcome was announced.
"I respect the guy a lot," Sanchez said of Cobb. "Yeah, we talk shit and try to get in each other's heads. But I've always respected the guy and at the end of the day that's still there. I saw his interview with (Knuckle Junkies) and I thought it was disrespectful some of what he was saying. But he's a good guy."
Lobosco cruises, improves pro record to 6-0
In the evening's main event, Hazelwood native Nicky Lobosco made quick work of fellow middleweight Dustin Hill. The 2003 CBC graduate countered Hill's takedown attempt with a guillotine choke, forcing Hill to tap out just 39 seconds into the match.
"When you shoot doubles, you usually want to get out to the side and stay away from that choke and he didn't do that," Lobosco said of Hill. "It was a mistake that cost him."
More results from Fight Hard MMA
AM - Tony Souders def. Travis Courter; TKO by way of strikes at 2:55 of first round
AMW - Molly Welsh def. Katy Hahler; win by submission (front choke) in 2nd round
AM - Daniel Baynton def. Andrew Zangaro; win by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:09 of first round.
PRO - Jeff Escobar def. Thomas Haney; TKO by way of strikes in first round
PRO - Robert Washington def. Bailey Trent; TKO by way of strikes in first round
PRO - Chris Parris def. Wayne Cole; first round KO
Ameristar Casino, Kansas City, MO
Fight Hard MMA | Sat, March 9th
Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, MO
Shamrock FC: 316 | Fri, March 15th
River City Casino, St. Louis, MO
Shamrock FC: 317 | Sat, April 6th
Ameristar Casino, Kasnas City, MO