Things got started on Thursday with Tachi Palace Fights 22, which featured Sherdog's TJ DeSantis in the commentator's booth. How long has that been going on for? Big ups to the old Sherdog "Beatdown" theme. Big ups to the sometimes entertaining, sometimes eye-ball-scratchingly awkward chemistry between DeSantis and Josh Gross.
Anyway, early in the evening, Enoch Wilson (19-9-0) scored the biggest win of his career after taking a unanimous decision over Diego Saraiva (22-18-1, 0-3 UFC, 0-1 Bellator).
Wilson has never made it to the big show, but was featured in a 2007 MSNBC documentary series called "Warrior Nation," the opening installment of which focused on the weeks leading up to a fight between him (then 8-1-0) and Urijah Faber (then 13-1-0). Wilson has continued to plug away on the regionals since then, during which time he defeated TUF vet Brian Geraghty, fought to a draw with former WEC champ Chase Beebe, and dropped fights to Steven Siler and Andre Fili. With his victory over Saraiva, Wilson has now won three straight, his longest such winning streak since 2009. Saraiva is 1-4 in his last five.
Also on the card, former UFC welterweight David Mitchell (18-4, 1-4 UFC) continued to plow his way back to the big stage with a first-round submission of Angel DeAnda (12-5, 0-2 WSOF). Mitchell, fighting Thursday at middleweight, gave the brawler DeAnda little space to throw hands as he shot for the takedown early and, after a break, promptly pulled guard and transitioned to the back, where he softened DeAnda up with punches before sinking in the rear-naked choke.
Mitchell is an impressive 6-0 since he was released from the UFC in 2013. DeAnda falls to 1-1 since his last appearance in WSOF.
Mitchell vs. DeAnda can be seen here. Fight starts at 1:45.
Big-show alumni had a rough go of it at Friday's Fight Time 23 in Miami, beginning with TUF 5 competitor Corey Hill (6-9, 1-2 UFC) who lost his fifth bout in a row. The loss came against Jose Caceres (9-5-0) after Hill couldn't answer the bell for the second round.
Alexis Vila (14-6, 1-2 WSOF, 2-2 Bellator) suffered a similar fate, succumbing to a body kick and punches from Marcel Adur (8-3-0) late in Round 1. Vila, who in 2011 surprised fans with a prompt TKO of champion Joe Warren, is 3-4 since 2013.
Meanwhile, in Salt Lake City, Utah, at SteelFist Fight Night 31, UFC vet Brock Jardine (10-5, 0-2 UFC) found victory for the first time since his 2013 release from the UFC with a TKO over Joe Rodriguez (6-3-0). Jardine is now 1-2 since he was cut.
And at HFC 23 in Indiana, Ryan Thomas made it two in a row with a third-round TKO of William Hill (22-29-0). Thomas, who went 0-2 in the UFC and 1-3 in Bellator, improves his overall record to 19-8-0.
And at Fight Night MMA 16, Nah-Shon Burrell (12-5, 1-1 UFC, 3-1 Strikeforce, 1-2 Bellator) put himself back in the win column with a first-round TKO of an overmatched Ryan Hodge (6-9-0). Burrell, who recently dropped two straight in Bellator, improves to 3-2 since his UFC release.
In Atlantic City, at CFFC 45, inaugural Bellator champion and former TUF hopeful Lyman Good (17-3, 8-3 Bellator) took the promotion's welterweight title with a rear-naked choke of late-replacement Micah Terrill (5-4-0). Good, whose previous shot at the title ended in a no-contest against Jonavin Webb, is undefeated in four contests. Perhaps a turn in Scott Coker's new Bellator is forthcoming.
Finally, we have Sunday's Grandslam 2 out of Tokyo, where Masakazu Imanari (29-14, 0-2 PRIDE, 4-3 Dream) went to work on Kenichi Ito (12-13-0), finishing him in the second round. The eccentric Imanari, known for his submission prowess as well as for being at the wrong end of a spectacular walk-off KO, secured the win not by a trademark leglock but via rear-naked choke. He's 2-3 since 2014.
And in the night's main event, former top-ranked bantamweight Masakatsu Ueda (18-4, 0-1 Bellator) suffered a somewhat surprising loss to Victor Henry (9-1-0), tapping to a kneebar mid-way through the third. Ueda, who's beaten the likes of Eduardo Dantas, Akitoshi Tamura, Royler Gracie, and Kyoji Horiguchi, has now lost two fights in a row for the first time in his ten-year career; he was previously defeated by Bibano Fernandes in a bit for the One FC title last November. As for Henry, he's now won three straight, dating back to his appearance on the inaugural Grandslam card, where he put fan-favorite Hideo Tokoro away with punches.