twitter google

Weekend Update: Baroni, Daley, and Grove all victorious during weekend MMA action

Phil Baroni, making his debut as a welterweight for the Cage Rage promotion in the UK, scored what is being described as a highlight reel first-round knockout over “Contenders” (Cage Rage’s feeder promotion) graduate Scott Jansen.

After the fight, Baroni was described as approaching the fallen Jansen in order to check on his condition, but that he received a headbutt for his troubles from someone in Jansen’s corner. Baroni reportedly backed off and didn’t try to escalate the situation.

Also at Cage Rage 27 in London last night, heavyweight Neil Grove TKO’d Robert “Buzz” Berry in the second round. Grove made his Cage Rage debut at Cage Rage 22 in July of last year. Competing as a virtual unknown at the time, he recorded a stunning upset when he knocked out James Thompson just 10 seconds into the fight. He followed up his strong debut with a TKO over Berry following the first round at Cage Rage 24 last December but last a majority decision to Rob Broughton at Cage Rage 25 in March.

You might recall Berry as the fighter that knocked out Ken Shamrock at 3:26 of round 1 during Cage Rage 25. The loss to Grove drops him to 0-2 in head-to-head meetings with him with his overall record now standing at 12-7.

The outcome of Grove vs. Berry II is of interest because there have been some rumblings that the winner of last night’s fight would be awarded a shot to fight Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson during the third installment of “Saturday Night Fights” on CBS. However, EliteXC has yet to make an announcement of any kind regarding the matter.

In other Baroni-related news, the President of the Palace Fighting Championships announced via that Baroni will be fighting on the promotion’s Sept. 26 in Lemoore, Calif. card against Olaf Alfonso. On the same card, Brian Cobb is also scheduled to defend his PFC lightweight title against Lance Wipf. Also scheduled to appear are WEC veterans Antonio Banuelos, Charlie Valencia, and Del Hawkins.

In other Saturday fight news:

Paul Daley formally ended his short-lived retirement last night during a Cage Warriors event in Nottingham, England last night. Facing undefeated Bojan Kosednar at the Harvey Haddon Sports Centre, Daley reportedly recorded a knockout at 4:53 of round 1. Indications are that with the win, Daley’s next fight is expected to take place in the U.S. under the EliteXC promotional banner.

— In a celebrity boxing match held in Atlantic City, former Philadelphia Eagles kick returner and current local sports anchor Vai Sikahema defeated former baseball player Jose Canseco via first round TKO after the referee called a stop to the fight. Sikahema weighed in at 205 pounds for the fight while Canseco, who claimed that he had MMA aspirations, weighed in close to 250 pounds.

— Our own Matt Cava was also in Atlantic City for BattleCage Xtreme 5 at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino. According to Cava, former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro offensive lineman Carlton Haselrig lost his BattleCage Xtreme heavyweight title and suffered the first loss of his pro career when he was submitted by Joe Abouata via rear naked choke in the first round. LeVon Maynard, no stranger to readers of 5 Oz., also fought on the card as well. He dropped a unanimous decision to Mike Medrano. According to reports, both fighters looked good and put on a great fight for the fans in attendance.

— EliteXC fighter John Doyle, who has not fought since accepting a fight on short notice against Rafael Feijao during EliteXC’s “Street Certified” this past February, stepped in with a day’s notice for last night’s Combat in the Cage show in Delaware after Tim Williams’ opponent backed out. Doyle and Williams competed in a three round Muay Thai exhibition that was immediately followed by a four-minute grappling match. Because it was an exhibition, the judges did not score the bouts. Neither fighter was knocked out or submitted. Both looked very good, as Williams, who competes as an amateur in MMA and is the CITC cruiserweight champion, appears ready to turn pro.

Doyle looked very good in his return to action and appeared much lighter from when he competed previously. His camp revealed to Five Ounces of Pain that Doyle has been training hard for his eventual return to EliteXC and intends to do so as a welterweight. He had been competing almost exclusively as a light heavyweight. At 170 pounds, he is definitely someone capable of challenging the winner of the Jake Shields vs. Nick Thompson EliteXC welterweight title match on July 26 down-the-line.

EliteXC has some strong welterweight prospects now with Doyle, Matt Makowski, Tiawan Howard, and Yosmany Cabezas. Eric Bradley would normally be on that list, but it looks like his career is in a holding pattern following some legal trouble. It’s uncertain if he’ll ever compete for EliteXC again.

Takafumi Otsuka defeated Rafael dos Anjos via split decision during Fury FC 6 in Brazil last night. Sherdog has full results of the card.

Follow 5OZ