In what could only be described as an embarrassing performance that was amplified by incredibly poor judging, Canada's top light heavyweight prospect Ryan Jimmo somehow narrowly edged Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou to retain his MFC strap in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on Saturday night. The bout was one of the most boring in recent memory, featuring entire rounds in which both men rarely pressed the action. In fact, the first round was a rarity in mixed martial arts. Almost no offense was produced.
Fortunately, the action picked up in the second round as Sokoudjou pressed Jimmo into the ropes, took him down for a split second, and uncorked a knee to the forehead of the champion. Jimmo was cut wide open, forcing a stoppage to check his wound to make sure he could continue. He was cleared to do so, but things didn't get any better for him.
The third was fairly even, but Sokoudjou landed a couple of solid combinations in the fourth along with a sustained attack along the ropes with knees to Jimmo's legs. The fifth was a staring contest, although it might have gotten exciting if the ring didn't become an ice rink due to the excessive amounts of sweat on the canvas. The fight was stopped twice to wipe up, one of those instances coming at the very end of the fifth round.
The fight was scored in favor of Sokoudjou by most fans who were watching and tweeting during the fights, but the fight was so close that any score was possible. The event was also scored under a half-point system, making matters a bit worse. Jimmo retained his title on all scorecards (49-48.5, 49-48.5, 49-48), although I highly doubt he won himself any new fans or a shot in the UFC.
Oddsmakers didn't do their homework on Tristar fighter Kajan Johnson. Despite his 18-10 record, Johnson has amassed 7-1 record in his last 8 fights, including a mauling of WEC veteran Ryan Healy at MFC 27 in November. He entered tonight's bout at a 2-to-1 underdog to his opponent, Richie Whitson. One wouldn't have known it from watching the fight unfold.
Johnson dominated Whitson every step of the way, outstriking him early before outplaying him in a chess match on the ground. Every move Whitson made to escape Johnson's clutches, the 'Ragin' Kajan countered, threatening Whitson with submissions on multiple occasions as both men scrambled for position. Inevitably, Johnson found a way to sink his arm underneath Whitson's neck, choking him out at the 3:52 mark of the opening frame.
The knockout of the night goes to 33-year-old Californian Adam Lynn. He demolished Canadian fighter Curtis Demarce with a short right elbow to the jawline after Demarce danced circles around Lynn for a majority of the first round. Demarce came out quick with his footwork, moving around the ring, flashing leather, and escaping the range of Lynn. Lynn didn't respond with anything significant until he was able to back Demarce toward the ropes. In that small window of opportunity, Lynn struck, knocking Demarce out cold and ending the fight instantly.
Muay Thai strikers went head-to-head in a lightweight bout as Sabah Fadai faced off against Mukai Maromo. Maromo dominated the Iranian-born Fadai, destroying his lead left leg over the course of three rounds. He constantly swept Fadai's legs out from under him after catching kicks, and he punished Fadai along the ropes with better technique in the clinch. Maromo won every round on the judges' scorecards, extending his streak to three.
UFC veteran Terry Martin put himself back in the win column, dominating Allen Hope in middleweight action. Hope didn't have much hope, no pun intended, as he came in as a late replacement after touted prospect Dhiego Lima withdrew from the contest due to injury. As expected, Martin made quick work of Hope, barreling through him with heavy strikes both on the feet and on the ground. Martin took the fight to the mat after a few aggressive exchanges on the feet, then crushed Hope to a referee stoppage with elbows and punches on the ground, all inside the first frame.
In the opening bout of the evening, Cody Krahn came back from being pummeled by Ryan Chiappe to win by guillotine choke. The two fighters, who fought at a catchweight of 175 lbs. after both failed to make weight, came out hard early, but Chiappe gained the upper hand with an early takedown that put Krahn into a bad position on his back. Chiappe used superior strength to unload on Krahn. Unfortunately, Krahn escaped after Chiappe gave him a narrow window along the ropes.
After Krahn shook off a desperate armbar attempt, both men settled in at the center of the ring before unloading on one another in a brief moment of chaos. Chiappe, clipped during the exchange, shot for a takedown to escape damage, only to put his neck into prime position for Krahn to lock in a guillotine choke. Krahn bucked his legs up and held on tightly, falling to the ground as Chiappe tried to escape his clutches. Chiappe tapped, putting Krahn back in the win column after losing to Andreas Spang at MFC 30 in June.
Ryan Jimmo def. Rameau Sokoudjou via unanimous decision (49-48.5, 49-48.5, 49-48)
Kajan Johnson def. Richie Whitson via submission (RNC) at 3:52 of Round 1
Adam Lynn def. Curtis Demarce via KO (standing elbow) at 1:38 of Round 1
Mukai Maromo def. Sabah Fadai via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Terry Martin def. Allen Hope via TKO (strikes) at 2:13 of Round 1
Cody Krahn def. Ryan Chiappe via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:45 of Round 1