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Veterans and prospects victorious in Saturday action

While major national promotions took Saturday off, several regional promotions held fight cards throughout the continental United States. Several veterans affiliated with major promotions won their respective bouts, as well as several prospects who are on the cusp of joining them in the “Big Leagues.”

One of those prospects is former NCAA wrestling champion Phil Davis. Davis, a light heavyweight training out of the LionHeart fight gym in State College, PA won his professional MMA debut by winning a three-round unanimous decision over Brett Chism in Plymouth, Mass.

Davis, a graduate of Penn State University, elected to go pro after compiling a 3-0 amateur record and decided to debut against a quality opponent in Chism, who holds an MMA record of 8-2.

“It’s nice to get this first professional win under my belt,” Davis was quoted as saying following the victory. “My training’s been paying off. I’m happy with my pace of my transition from college wrestling into MMA. I just want to keep improving and become the best fighter I can be.”

After having begun his MMA career with a perfect 4-0 record in amateur and pro fights, it might not be long until the larger promotions come calling.

Three other fighters that could be receiving calls from national promotions all competed on the campus of George Mason University last night in Fairfax, VA during Ultimate Warrior Challenge’s “Confrontation” event.

Welterweight LeVon Maynard, who has been sponsored by for several of his past fights, improved his pro record to 4-2 following a dominant TKO over Toby Johnson at 3:40 of round 1.

Johnson, who trains out of Albuquerque, N.M. with WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit, is considered a strong prospect in his own right and is known for having strong jiu-jitsu. However, he was no match for Maynard, who ended up in top position after Johnson clinched him up against the cage and failed in an attempt to score a trip takedown.

A poised and patient Maynard pressed Johnson against the cage and began to connect with short elbows before opening up with some vicious strikes that forced the referee to call a stop to the fight. For Maynard, it was his second consecutive win. Facing former EliteXC light heavyweight John Doyle this past August during a Combat Sports Challenge event in Colonial Heights, VA, Maynard won via first round submission just minutes into the bout.

Despite an 8-1 record as an amateur, including a WKA tournament championship in 2006, Maynard has yet to compete for a major national promotion. We’re not exactly sure why no one has picked up on him yet but it’s only a matter of time. Sources indicate that Maynard could try out for a spot on the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter later this month and if he were to try out, he’d not only be considered a favorite to make it onto the cast, but a favorite to win the show’s welterweight tournament.

Also winning at “Confrontation” were Team Lloyd Irvin bantamweight prospect Mike Easton and former TUF 8 light heavyweight competitor Antwain Britt.

Easton improved his record to 6-1 following a controversial split decision over Greg Jackson’s John Dodson while Britt also improved to 6-1 in the show’s main event following a first round TKO over Terry Cohens just 31 seconds into the fight.

For Easton, many had speculated that a win over Dodson would garner him a contract with a promotion such as Zuffa-owned World Extreme Cagefighting. While that remains to be seen, it won’t be long before he receives a chance to compete on bigger shows.

Easton would also be a good fit for EliteXC’s bantamweight (140 lbs.) division but after competing last night at 132 lbs., is probably more of a true 135’er. There’s also the fact that EliteXC’s bantamweight champion, Wilson Reis, trains out of two Lloyd Irvin-affiliated schools in Philadelphia.

As for Britt, TUF viewers will recall that he won his qualifying match on the show in impressive fashion and was only dismissed from the show due to injury. Last night’s impressive showing could prompt UFC officials to take a second look at him. A promotion such as EliteXC, which is still looking to build out its 205 division, would be wise to try and sign him immediately.

While several prospects got the job done last night on the East Coast, a few veterans showed their stuff out West at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas during “Night of Combat II.”

Former IFL welterweight champion Jay Hieron, who had been scheduled to fight Drew Fickett on the same date and at the same venue during Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” before the card had to be postponed, took on regional fighter Chris Kennedy.

Kennedy stepped in as a last-minute replacement for Bryson Kamaka, who was pulled from the card by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after failing a pre-fight drug test. Despite fighting on almost no notice, Kennedy managed to go the distance with Hieron but eyewitnesses indicated to Five Ounces of Pain that Hieron still won in dominant fashion.

Another Affliction welterweight who trains out of Xtreme Couture with Hieron, Mike Pyle, was victorious as well. Pyle, who dominated J.J. Ambrose during Affliction’s July debut, submitted former UFC and WEC veteran Brian Gassaway with an armbar at 4:21 of round 1.

John Alessio, another former UFC and WEC veteran who is now contracted to EliteXC, recorded a first round TKO over ex-UFC fighter Gideon Ray when the fight had to be stopped due to strikes just 45 seconds into the contest.

In a clash of two more former UFC veterans, Josh Haynes submitted Sean Salmon with an Achilles lock at 2:49 of round 2.

The second bout of the show also showcased a strong showing from one of Xtreme Couture’s top prospects, the 115 lbs. Elena “Baby Doll” Reid. Reid, a former female boxing champion, improved her pro MMA record to 2-0 with a first round knockout over Stephanie Palmer.

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