King of the Cage: No Mercy takes place tonight in Mashantucket, Conn., at 9 p.m. The card features a title bout between 135-pound champion Abel Cullum and Jimmie Rivera. Also, 145-pound champion Donald Sanchez will defend his title against Patrick McGreal.
King of the Cage: No Mercy quick results:
Jimmie Rivera defeats Abel Cullum by split decision
Myles Jury defeats Sam Oropeza at 2:55 of round 1 by submission
Donald Sanchez defeats Patrick McGreal at 2:27 of round 1 by submission
Jesus Martinez defeates Chip Pollard by unanimous decision
Noah Weisman defeats Sean Wilmot by unanimous decision
King of the Cage: No Mercy play-by-play
Ray Mercer update: As you’ve probably already heard, the Ray Mercer — Ron Sparks fight was scratched from the card. HDNet President Guy Mezger said that Mercer has refused to give any interviews or discuss the situation. But the official word is a vertebrae fusion surgery from 13 years ago didn’t look good enough on an MRI, and the commission doctors did not want to let him fight.
Abel Cullum gives a pre-fight interview and says he wants to get back to DREAM at some point. That’s his goal.
Sean Wilmot vs. Noah Weisman (155)
Round 1: Weisman goes for the greco clinch earlier, but Wilmot throws him off. After a couple of strikes from Wilmot, Weisman agains works the clinch, now against the cage. Uppercuts and knees to the body by Weisman, as he now works into the Thai clinch. Weisman, the taller fighter with the reach advantage, definitely looks more comfortable inside working with leverage. More knees to the body by Weisman are taking their toll. More uppercuts from Weisman. Not brutal, but he’s wearing Wilmot down against the cage. Wilmot sticks his tongue out like he’s having fun after getting kneed to the gut again. The fighters separate and Weisman throws some punches that miss, but the damage comes from a flying knee to the midsection that drops Wilmot. He’s throwing ground and pound, looking for the finish, but Wilmot is surviving and into the full guard. Wilmot looks for a heelhook, but Weisman counters. As the round comes to an end, Wilmot again goes for the heelhook. He looks to have it tight this time, but Weisman seems calm as the round ends. 10-9 round for Weisman.
Round 2: Not surprisingly, Weisman clinches and pushes Wilmot to the fence. More nice knees to the body from Weisman, with Wilmot doing nothing to better his position. Full Thai clinch on now for Weisman, but he delivers a pretty weak knee to the head. The strikes have come to a halt and the ref brings them out to the center. Wilmot tries to push Weisman into the cage for a change of pace, but Weisman circles and delivers a beautiful knee to the head that drops Wilmot. Again, like the first round, Wilmot gets full guard and hangs on. Weisman looking to pass and delivers a nice right hand. Weisman stands up and, with his reach, delivers another couple of nice punches. Weisman now seems to be playing it safe and throwing short punches instead of getting distance and punishing Wilmot. Nevertheless, impressive round, possibly 10-8 for Weisman.
Round 3: At the start of the round, Weisman again looks for the clinch. Wilmot fights it off, but Weisman lands some nice strikes from the outside, including a right hand and a front kick. Wilmot circles to the center of the cage and takes a knee to the head for his efforts. Once again, Weisman pushes him into the fence and works the body punches. Great knee from Weisman drops Wilmot yet again. Perfect timing on that. Either Wilmot is really tough, or Weisman needs to work on his killer instinct. Weisman in top position with Wilmot working a sort of butterfly guard that isn’t doing much. Weisman lets him get back up. Wilmot shoots for a takedown, but not even close. Back to Weisman’s version of standing ground and pound up against the fence as the round comes to an end. Another 10-8 round in my book.
They don’t read the scores, but all three judges give it to Weisman for a unanimous decision win.
Chip Pollard vs. Jesus Martinez (170)
Round 1: Martinez with a nice punch combo followed by a body kick. Now a nice lunging left hook that just misses form Martinez. Pollard throwing a couple of leg kicks, but Martinez counters aggressively, pushing forward and firing off that right hand, with Pollard just escaping. Great right hand from Pollard, but Martinez works in for a takedown and passes to half guard. Unlike Weisman, Martinez looks more comfortable on top looking for the finish. Martinez goes for the guillotine and it looks pretty tight, but Pollard keeps calm and works his way out and back to the feet. Once again, Pollard looking for the inside and outside leg kicks, after landing a couple of them, Martinez again shoots in for a well-timed takedown, this time into side control. Martinez tries to get to the mount, but Pollard counters well and slips out back to his feet where he lets Martinez back up. High kick from Pollard misses. Despite landing some nice shots earlier, Pollard is staritng to look more comfortable on the feet, and he follows up a leg kick with a nice straight right. And right as I say that, HUGE left hook from Martinez that drops Pollard. Luckily the bell to end the round sounds right as Martinez comes in to land some ground and pound. The ref breaks them up and Martinez thinks he’s won, but the ref tells him it’s just the end of the round, and Pollard looks a bit better. 10-9 for Martinez.
Round 2: Martinez is picking up right where he left off, countering a lazy leg kick from Pollard with a straight right down the pipe that drops Pollard, followed by some nice ground and pound punches. And we got time out for an accidental eyepoke by Pollard. You can hear Martinez saying some vaseline got in his eye, but the fight is set to continue after a few seconds. Another accidental poke, this time Pollard gets a warning. Nice right, left, right combo from Martinez, punctuated by another right up against the fence that lands clean. Martinez into Pollard’s half guard and working some elbows and punches. Now Pollard is on his side and Martinez is really punishing him with punches. Pollard has full guard but he isn’t controlling Martinez’s posture. Now Martinez slips into the mount with 90 seconds left. Pollard manages to use the fence to get back to his feet but Martinez gets him right back down. Back into the mount again and Pollard is hanging on. Somehow Pollard hangs on until the end of the round, a definite 10-8 for Martinez.
Round 3: A lead right hand from Martinez to start the round just misses. Pollard tries the superman punch that doesn’t land. During another flurry, Pollard again pokes Martinez in the eye, and this time it will cost him a point. Replay shows Pollard was trying to stick his hands out to push Martinez off as Martinez came charging in. After a break, back to the action. Martinez lands a nice overhand right. Pollard lands a few leg kicks in isolation, but he needs to show more urgency. We have another break in the action for an eyepoke, but the ref didn’t see it and neither did I. Oddly, Martinez backed away after plunking Pollard with another right hand. Two and a half minutes left, and Pollard still isn’t going for anything spectacular, which is odd since he’ll need a miracle at this point. He throws a leg kick and backs away without adding anything to it. Martinez isn’t as aggressive at this point either, perhaps knowing he has the fight won. After a right hand by Martinez, Pollard dives in for a single. Martinez sprawls out easily and throws some nice elbows to the head. After all of that, Pollard is on his back. With ten seconds left, the ref stands them up. Yet all Pollard does is throw a leg kick, which Martinez catches and counters with the hundredth straight right hand of the fight. 10-9 Martinez.
Yet again, no suspense as Martinez is given the unanimous decision win.
Patrick McGreal vs. Donald Sanchez (145 title fight)
Apparently McGreal comes from a background of…..track and field? We’ll see how the 1500M translates to the cage. Maybe he uses Kalib Starnes’s run-around-the-ring style.
Round 1: McGreal lands a few decent shots, but Sanchez closes the distance and gets the takedown and almost immediately gets McGreal’s back. Sanchez looks for an RNC, but McGreal fights it off. Now Sanchez has the RNC locked and a body triangle. McGreal stands up Pete Spratt-style, still holding on, but drops to the ground, and as soon as he does, McGreal taps out.
Sanchez wins by rear naked choke submission at 2:27 of round 1.
Myles Jury vs. Sam Oropeza (170)
Now we have a battle between two undefeated fighters. Jury trains with UFC vet James Lee and Oropeza is with Philadelphia Fight Factory, best known for producing lightweight standout Eddie Alvarez.
Round 1: Nice head kick from Jury early on, also lands a right hand. Oropez gets the over-under, but Jury gets off the fence. Now Jury locks him up with the over-under and looks for a takedown, which he gets. Oropeza is on his back and trying to use his long legs to look for a sub, but Jury is keeping his arms safe. Jury lands a couple of right hands, now postures up and drops a left. Jury moves from the mount and now has his back. Oropeza stands up as Jury looks for the rear naked. It isn’t under the chin yet. Or is it? Whatever it was, Oropeza, still on his feet but starting to lean to the side, taps out. Jury gets the submission win, and that’s two upsets in a row on this card according to the oddsmakers.
Jury wins by rear naked choke submission at 2:55 of round 1.
Asked what he has next, Jury says he’s fighting UFC vet Gideon Ray.
Jimmie Rivera vs. Abel Cullum (135 title)
Round 1: Cullum throws a body kick at the start, After a 1-2 from Rivera, Cullum pushes in for the takedown. Rivera does a great job with the over-under and fights Cullum off, and back they go to the middle. Accidental nut shot to Rivera…timeout. Back to action. Nice quick punch from Cullum knocks Rivera down, perhaps catching him by surprise. Rivera shoots up and they’re into the over-under, where Cullum is working the knees to the body. Nice left hook by Rivera, and Cullum counters with an inside leg kick. Rivera, oddly asked for another nut shot timeout, but the ref saw that it was a clean kick. Back to the over-under. Cullum is having a hard time taking this fight to the ground. Rivera seems to be outmuscling him in the clinch. Cullum tries for the outside trip from the overhook side, which, not surprisingly, doesn’t work. Both guys are trading the occasional knee and body punch, nothing too exciting. Cullum tries to spin and put Rivera on the fence, but Rivera spins right back out. Finally we’re back out to the middle. Round comes to an end with Cullum throwing punches well out of range. I’ll give Cullum the round barely, 10-9.
Round 2: After a brief exchange, Cullum throws a leg kick, which Rivera catches and almost drops Cullum with the straight right. Cullum shoots in for a takedown but doesn’t get it. Cullum has the body lock and he’s looking for the takedown still, changing levels. Cullum drops all the way down to his butt, but Rivera does an excellent job keeping his balance. Back into the over-unders with more body work from both guys, especially Rivera. Another leg kick from Cullum is countered by a left jab, and still Cullum throws another one without any set-up, this time eating a right and going to the mat. Cullum tries to entice Rivera into his guard, but Rivera isn’t biting. Another nice right hand from Rivera, now a left hook as Cullum tries to come in. Rivera really has the timing down. Rivera trips Cullum down from a leg kick. Cullum isn’t having his way at this point, that’s for sure. Cullum is again into the clinch trying to take Rivera down, but he isn’t even coming close. Nice elbow from Cullum as they separate. But again Rivera counters with a right after a Cullum leg kick. Cullum tries to pull guard, but Rivera stays up. Nice exchange of punches as the round ends, but Rivera takes it fairly convincingly.
Round 3: Rivera lands a nice left hook early on. A Cullum leg kick is welcomed by a 1-2 from Rivera, but Cullum just gets his head out of the way. Again, nice stiff jab from Rivera as Cullum throws a leg kick. Cullum is still stubbornly going for the body kick, and Rivera tags him with a nice left hook. Rivera sneaks in a nice head kick and Cullum shoots for the double leg. He’s in there pretty low, and tight, looking for a single or double, but Rivera isn’t giving an inch. Cullum briefly looks for a standing guillotine, but Rivera pops his head out. As they sircle, Rivera lands another nice hook, but Cullum throws a decent combo. It’s a close round so far. Rivera has landed a couple of nice power shots, but Cullum has been more active. And out of nowhere, excellent blast double from Rivera. Cullum turns for the armbar, but Rivera is out. It was a gutsy move going into Cullum’s world, but the takedown might’ve won Rivera the round. With the power shots from Rivera and Cullum’s activity leaving things pretty even, I’ll say Rivera’s takedown made the difference. 10-9 Rivera.
Round 4: Outside leg kick from Cullum and now an inside leg kick, unfortunately the inside kick caught Rivera square in the soft spot. Much needed timeout for Rivera. Cullum comes forward at the restart, lands a couple of body kicks. Now a 1-2 to a leg kick from Cullum, then an overhand right. Nothing brutal, but landing crisply. Cullum lands another 1-2 and an uppercut and Rivera gets the underhooks. Cullum works out fairly easily. Back to the center, Cullum looking for the 1-2 and Rivera trying to land power hooks. Right now, Cullum’s straight shots are landing first. A series of rights and lefts from Cullum, with Rivera responding with a knee. As Cullum fires back, Rivera scores a nice double leg takedown. Cullum jumps back up, but it’s getting interesting. Yet agian, Cullum throws a body kick and Rivera takes it to throw a straight right. One minute to go, and this round is as close as you can get. Rivera goes in for the takedown and can’t get it, but transitions to a couple of Thai knees on the way out. A bit of a boxing match breaks out near the end of the round, and Cullum is getting the better of it until a nice counter right from Rivera. I’ll give it to Cullum…barely, 10-9. He was much busier, but that could’ve gone either way.
Round 5: A body kick from Cullum that attracts a counter from Rivera. Now Rivera goes for an inside kick that hits Cullum in the junk. After a timeout, back in the center, Rivera is actually pushing Cullum into the cage, perhaps looking for a takedown or at least score points on the scorecards and slow the pace. Beautiful elbow from Cullum as the fighters separate. Cullum dives in with an overhand right that misses and back into the clinch they go. Rivera changes levels and…yep, he has Cullum’s back standing. Cullum looking for a kimura, but Rivera knows it. Cullum is really cranking the arm, Sakuraba vs. Renzo Gracie style. But Rivera is a tenacious young fighter, and he gets out of it. As they break, Rivera lands a nice knee to the face. With only 30 seconds left, Cullum might need something special. Right hand from Rivera…another right from Rivera to counter Cullum’s body kick. I give that round to Rivera 10-9.
I’ve got it three rounds to two for Rivera in an upset. The decider could be round one. Round four was close also, but Cullum’s activity level probably took that one.
And here comes the decision. 49-46 for Rivera, 48-47 Cullum, 49-46 Rivera. Jimmie Rivera pulls off the impressive upset and take the KOTC 135-pound belt.