UFC veteran Marcus Davis stepped into the cage on Saturday night at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida, eyeing an opportunity to extend his winning streak to four after being released from the UFC in January. Wins over Curtis Demarce, Pete Spratt, and Travis Coyle this year put Davis in prime position to return to the Octagon for his swan song. Unfortunately, The Ultimate Fighter season thirteen contestant Chuck O'Neil may have made the dream an unfathomable reality.
O'Neil, who advanced to the reality series' semifinals after replacing Myles Jury because of an injury, used superior grappling skills and his natural length to edge Davis on the scorecards. Davis constantly worked for takedowns after his striking proved useless against O'Neil's long reach. Unfortunately, that worked right into O'Neil's hands, allowing him to threaten Davis with submissions.
In the third round, O'Neil swept Davis after an initial takedown, gashing him with an elbow to the forehead after gaining full mount. O'Neil moved to back control, threatening Davis' neck for the remainder of the round and securing the victory on two out of the three judges' scorecards. O'Neil improves to 9-4 with the win, his first since losing to Chris Cope at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale in June.
In lightweight action, EliteXC veteran James Edson Berto returned to the cage after a year-and-a-half layoff to take on 31-year-old Bellator and G-Force MMA veteran Luis Palomino. Palomino, despite what the W-1 commentary team conveyed, beat Berto standing for a majority of the fight, using speedy kicks and punching combinations to pick apart the bigger fighter. Palomino won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Team Link's John Manley improved to 7-1 after beating 22-year-old American Top Team fighter Sabah Homasi in welterweight action. Manley, as his name implies, manhandled Homasi, taking advantage of his porous takedown defense and controlling him to a decision win.
South Florida MMA Academy's Alan Arzeno weathered an early takedown clinic from Ontario-based fighter Tom Waters before unleashing a flying knee, punch combination that floored Waters. The win was controversial due to what looked like an eye poke that occurred during the flying knee, but it was unseen by the referee. Waters dropped to his knees, holding his hand up to signal the fight should be stopped due to the foul. The referee allowed the action to continue however, and Arzeno teed off, finishing Waters.
NCAA All-American wrestler Nathan Coy, who recently moved down to Florida to train at American Top Team, demolished 37-year-old Patrick Mikesz in welterweight action, grinding out the sixteen-fight veteran with brutal ground and pound and wrestling.
Clay Guida lookalike Kenny Moss improved his record to 4-2 with a shoulder choke submission of American Top Team's Bruno Reis Da Maria. Moss endured an opening frame of straight right hands to the chin to come back in the latter part of the round to land a stunning right hand counter. Maria, visibly hurt by the blow, was still affected by the shot in the first couple of minutes of the second. Even though he was able to takedown Moss early, Moss reversed the position, gained top position, and pressed his shoulder to Maria's throat, tapping him instantly.
The knockout of the night belongs to MMA Masters' Frank Carrillo. The 27-year-old brutally knocked out American Top Team's Joseph Watson at the 2:37 mark of the first round with one punch, an uppercut as Watson shot in for a takedown. Carrillo showed restraint after landing the blow, eyeballing Watson as he laid on the ground and walking away.
In women's action, American Top Team newbie Suzie Montero defeated the "famous" Kim Couture by unanimous decision. It wasn't a pretty win by any means, and BloodyElbow.com scored the bout a draw. But Montero did just enough to earn a 29-28 decision win across all scorecards.
American Top Team's Giovanni Brugnoni made quick work of James Wynn, submitting him in 0:57 second via guillotine choke. Anthony Garavito dominated Davaun McKoy in his professional debut, eventually sinking in a keylock submission in the third round. Michael Trujillo boxed his way to victory in his debut against Eric Raposo, landing a number of combinations before finishing him off at the 0:55 mark of the first round. Michael Quinones dominated Denis Sejdievski in the opening bout of the evening to win by unanimous decision.