MMA pioneer Jose "Pele" Landi-Johns just turned 41 last week, and he marked the occasion the following Saturday with a headlining fight against Anatalio Goncalves in Samurai FC 11.
Johns began his career in 1993 in the no-holds-barred Brazilian MMA scene. He would become widely known and feared for a multifaceted, ferocious game and, though he would spend little time in MMA's best-known promotions (he went 0-2 in PRIDE) he would nevertheless contend with some of MMA's toughest, including Evangelista Santos, Pat Miletich, Matt Hughes, and Alexander Shlemenko, all of whom he beat, all (with the exception of Shlemenko) by TKO. Most of the opponents Landi-Johns have bested in the last few years have had sub-.500 records, but given the mileage on a body that's been taking and dishing out punishment for over twenty years, I figure he's doing just fine. Case in point: this past weekend, against Goncalves, Landi-Johns emerged victorious with a tidy first-round submission. The win moves his record to 29-15-0, while novice Goncalves falls to 0-2-0.
Also this weekend, returning from a year-long hiatus, submission specialist and journeyman extraordinaire Joe Doerksen (51-16, 2-7 UFC, 2-0 IFL, 2-0 Sengoku) squared off with Tony Lopez (34-16-0) in the main event of King of the Cage: Madness (KOTC keeping it real with those event titles). After three rounds, Doerksen, who moved up to light-heavyweight for the fight, had earned himself a unanimous decision for his fourth consecutive win. Lopez, meanwhile, drops his second fight in a row.
Former Top 10 heavyweight Brett Rogers (16-9-1NC, 1-1 Bellator, 2-3 Strikeforce) continued his tour of the Eastern European circuit, fighting Denis Goltsov (12-4-0) in the main event of the latest Tech-Krep FC. Rogers would once again be unable to build on the momentum from his previous win, dropping a unanimous decision to the young Russian. Goltsov has won seven in a row, while Rogers's mark for the year stands at 2-3.
And in Switzerland, would-be UFC fighter Benjamin Brinsa (14-3-0) lost by TKO in a middleweight contest against Cheik Kone at SHC 10. Brinsa's UFC debut was cancelled following apparent Neo-Nazi ties. Interestingly, after an undefeated start to his career, Brinsa has, since that cancelled debut, gone 1-3-0.
At Ring of Combat 49, Jeff Lentz (9-4-1, 1-0 Bellator) who lost to Alex Caceres on TUF 12 and who more recently bested former Bellator contender Anthony Leone, dropped a split-decision to Andre Harrison (7-0-0) in a contest for the vacant ROC featherweight title. Lentz is 0-2 this year after returning from a two-year layoff.
Recent UFC castoff Jose Maria Tome (34-5-1NC, 0-2 UFC) rebounded from his November 2013 release with a rear-naked choke of the formerly undefeated Roberto de Souza (6-1-0) at Circuito Talent de MMA 12. Tome was brought aboard on the heels of a monstrous 16-fight unbeaten streak that saw him finish all but three of his opponents but was cut after TKO losses to John Lineker and Dustin Ortiz.
And finally, at Prestige FC 6 in Alberta, Canada, Tim Hague (18-9, 1-4 UFC) made it two in a row with his first-round KO of Dwayne Lewis (15-10-0). It's the first time in two-and-a-half years that Hague has won consecutive fights.