Josh Barnett and Karo Parisyan, two MMA fighters who have struggled with U.S. athletic commissions took a step toward reviving their careers today by picking up wins in the fledgling Impact FC promotion's debut event in Brisbane, Australia.
InfiniteMMA has the complete results.
Barnett beat Brazilian heavyweight Geronimo "Mondragon" Dos Santos, a fighter who had built up a little bit of hype by beating UFC vet Assuerio Silva last October, although he'd gone 3-3 since that fight -- before losing to Barnett. Barnett won via TKO from the mounted position at 2:45 of the first round.
Parisyan struggled with Ben Mortimer before getting a rear naked choke in the second round. After the fight, Karo said he'd never been hit as hard before.
Other well known fighters on the card picked up wins as well, including Sokoudjou who beat Joaquim Ferreira (the owner of the only win over UFC heavyweight title contender Junior Dos Santos) in the first round. Jeff Monson took a decision over Bira Lima and Brian Ebersole beat Carlos Newton via decision.
Sherdog was on the scene:
Barnett got a takedown to full mount within 10 seconds of the opening bell, and it looked like the bout wouldn't even see 30 seconds. Though "Mondragon" made it back to his feet, Barnett finished another takedown, again straight into full mount, and exploited the Belem native's nascent ground skills by posturing up and pounding away.
Dos Santos turned away from Barnett, who hammered right hands into the Brazilian's earhole. After a salvo of clean rights, referee "Big" John McCarthy stopped in to halt the bout at 2:35 of the first frame. Dos Santos complained to McCarthy that the bout was stopped too early. As Dos Santos reached his feet in protest, the hulking Brazilian was rubber-legged, zig-zagging across the cage.
For the better part of two rounds, Parisyan's oft-praised judo dominated proceedings, as he notched four throws that landed him firmly in side control. Parisyan looked to have victory secured twice in the first round, as he spun for far-side armbars from side mount, but Mortimer escaped both, and even landed some sharp right hands on Parisyan's face.
In Parisyan's fourth trip to side control in the second round, Parisyan threatened with a kimura that forced a scramble. In said scramble, Parisyan rode Moritimer from the side and locked up a Caol Uno-style rear-naked choke. After securing the choke, Parisyan then sunk his hooks and coaxed the tap at 4:18 of the second round.
Sherdog also reported that Parisyan's fight opened the show rather than being the co-headliner as advertised because the Armenian-born fighter requested to fight early. Parisyan has struggled with panic attacks and pulled out of his last two scheduled UFC bouts at the last minute.
More on next week's Impact FC Sydney card in the full entry.
Next week Impact FC will be back with an event in Sydney that will be broadcast. BE hopes to be able to cover that event as it happens.
Here's that card:
Ken Shamrock VS Pedro Rizzo
Paul Daley VS Daniel Acacio
Bob Sapp VS Soa Palelei
Paulo Filho VS Denis Kang
Murilo "Ninja" Rua VS Jeremy May
Murilo Bustamante VS Jesse Taylor
Peter Graham VS Jim Yorke
Glover Teixeira VS Marko Peselj
Richie "Vas" Vaculik VS Glenn Taylor-Smith
Shane Nix VS Manuel Rodriguez
I'm excited to see an attempt to run a mid-tier MMA promotion in Australia although Impact's strategy of signing high profile (and high cost) international veterans rather than building Australian fighters is a dubious path to success.
It's interesting that they seem to be providing work for virtually all of the exiles of American MMA -- in addition to Barnett and Parisyan, they're giving work to Paul Daley, Ken Shamrock, and Paulo Filho -- all fighters who are verboten in the States for one reason or another. Even referee "Big" John McCarthy made an appearance.