Five Ounces of Pain recently ran a prospect piece on Grudge MMA lightweight Justin Salas. This past weekend Salas competed in the main event of Full Force Fighting Volume 1 against UFC veteran Rob Emerson. As part of the prospect piece coverage, I will be providing a follow up on our featured fighters and provide a glimpse into the regional fight scene.
The Main Event:
A protege of Grudge MMA ace Trevor Wittman, Salas was able to control the pace and location of the fight in a tactical three round decision win. Salas used his collegiate wrestling background to score take downs in each round and was able to maintain top position for extended periods of time. Down two rounds going into the third Emerson began moving forward more with strikes in the final frame but was unable to land any damaging shots. With a win over a name opponent and a five fight win streak, the bigger organizations are on Salas‘ radar.
The Wave of the Future:
The card showcased two young talents who emphatically delivered. Twenty-year old Grudge MMA 155-pounder L.T. Nelson blitzed Ricardo McKinney in 14 seconds, initially dropping McKinney with right and again with a knee from the clinch. Not be out done nineteen year old Jeremy Kimball won by TKO over Bellator vet Aaron Romero. Both fighters have impressed on the local scene displaying knockout power and fight savvy far beyond their age.
Thomas Denny / Team Wildman:
Full Force Fighting was the debut promotion put on by former WEC, Elite XC, Shooto, and KOTC veteran Thomas Denny and Fight To Win promoter Seth Daniels. Denny moved to Colorado this past year, opening his gym, Team Wildman, and has now jumped into the fight promotion business. Team Wildman was heavily featured on the card, going 5-0 including wins by Kimball, as well as an impressive first round TKO by welterweight Josh Cavan.
Top UFC middleweight contender Nate Marquardt was in attendance cornering teammate Cody Donovan in the co-main event. The LHW Donovan took part in what many considered “Fight of the Night” in a back-and-forth contest with Xavier Saccamano. Donovan dominated early, but had to defend several deep Guillotine attempts before getting a submission of his own in the second round.
KO of the Night:
Grudge MMA middleweight Jason Lee made short work of the previously undefeated Todd Meredith. Lee landed a vicious knee from the clinch that left Meredith on the canvas for several tense minutes after the fight before leaving the cage under his on power.
Billed as a high end, limited seating engagement the event took place in the historic Paramount Theater in down town Denver. The unique venue had an old school feel with balcony seating and the cage featured on the stage.