LAS VEGAS – Tito Ortiz elbowed his way to a quick victory over nemesis Ken Shamrock in a light heavyweight grudge match and Tim Sylvia held on to his heavyweight title at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Saturday.
In the rematch between the two bitter rivals, Ortiz (15-4) immediately threw down Shamrock, 42, and pounded him with several elbows that forced referee Herb Dean to halt the non-title light heavyweight contest.
The crowd booed the referee’s quick stoppage. Shamrock was stunned.
“He hit me right here,” said Shamrock (26-11-2) pointing to his forehead. “I wasn’t hurt.”
Ortiz pretended to dig a grave immediately after the stoppage that caused Shamrock to charge him, but the security guards stopped him.
“I was hitting him with unanswered blows,”said Ortiz, 31, who trained in Big Bear for the fight. “If Shamrock wants to do it again we can do it again.”
A heavyweight trilogy between Belarussia’s Andrei Arlovski and Sylvia of Maine turned into a tactical event that saw few exchanges, but those that took place saw the taller American bloody his rival’s eyes.
“I definitely saw myself winning the fight,” said Sylvia, who knocked out Arlovski last April in Anaheim to recapture the title. “We wanted to keep the angles to keep away from his overhand right.”
The first round saw Sylvia nearly knock Arlovski down, after that the former champion refused to commit to any exchanges and lost the fight.
The judges scored it 48-47 twice and 49-46 for Sylvia.
In a middleweight battle Josh Burkman outpointed Josh Neer after three rounds. Burkman slammed Neer three times in the third and final round.
“I was hoping to knock him out, I didn’t,” said Utah’s Burkman who won by 29-28 twice and 30-27.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir (9-2) struggled to win a three-round decision over California’s Dan Christison (8-5). The third round decided the contest when Mir brought Christison to the ground and battered him with punches. The Californian’s nose bled throughout the round. The judges scored it 29-28 for Mir.
“I need my confidence back,” said Mir, who was out of action for more than 14 months due to a motorcycle mishap.
Lightweight contender Joe Stevenson (30-7) met southpaw striker Yves Edwards (29-11-1) of the Bahamas and took the heavy puncher to the ground. From the beginning
Stevenson used his ground attack along with his sharp elbows to open up cuts on Edward’s bald head. Blood poured out forcing a stoppage to check the damage in the second round. The fight resumed but at the end of the round referee Joe McCarthy stopped the fight due to the severity of the cuts.
“I feel I can do anything at this weight,” said Stevenson who moved up a weight class. “It was slippery. I couldn’t get a hold.”
Number one heavyweight contender Jeff “The Snowman” Monson (24-5) at 240 pounds proved he’s ready for a title shot with a first round knockout over Brazil’s Anthony Perosh (5-2). The Brazilian jujitsu fighter who weighed 225 pounds was stunned with a left jab. Then Monson landed a right cross that dropped Perosh and he immediately pounced on him with both fists. Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 2:42 of the first round.
“I know Sylvia and Arlovsky are tough, but once I get them on the ground it will be over,” said Monson, who hopes his chance comes soon.
Brazil’s Hermes Franca (15-5) needed three rounds to figure out the defensive puzzle laid out by Kentucky’s Jeff Jordan (16-2-1) in a lightweight bout. But after firing effective right hands and a stunning double knee to the chin, it opened up Jordan’s guard at the end of the second round. In the third round, mindful of Franca’s punching, Jordan was taken down and manipulated into a triangle choke by Franca. He tapped out at 27 seconds of the round.
“He was a tough guy,” said Franca, 31, who fought last month in Highland, California. “My standup was good but my jujitsu was better. Jujitsu forever.”
Welterweights Kurt Pelligrino (13-2) and Drew Fickett (30-4) struggled for three rounds on the ground with both trying to get an advantage with various holds. For two rounds Pelligrino repeatedly succeeded in getting takedowns. In the third round, once again Pelligrino brought Fickett down again, but this time the Arizona fighter twisted out of the hold, managed to get behind his opponent and slipped a rear naked choke on Pelligrino. The Florida fighter tapped out at 1:20 of the third round.
France’s Cheick Kongo (18-2-1) used his elbows, fists and knees to stop Arizona’s Gilbert Aldana (5-2) at 4:13 in the first round of a heavyweight contest. A punch opened up a wide cut on Aldana’s right eye forcing referee Yves Lavigne to stop the fight on the advice of the ringside doctor.