This time, there was no controversy.
In an inspired and impressive performance, once-beaten light heavyweight Jared Hamman (11-1) got his revenge against Po’ai Suganuma (9-2), winning by 2:34, first-round TKO in a fast-paced, exciting main event on ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series Friday on SHOWTIME at the Table Mountain Casino.
The crowd-pleasing mixed martial arts fight card, presented by Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.’s live fight division, EliteXC, aired on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT. It will be replayed on SHO 2 this Tuesday, Aug. 19, at 10 p.m. ET/PT and will be available On Demand from Monday, Aug. 18-Sept. 14.
In other SHOWTIME fights: talented lightweight contender Fabricio “Morango” Camoes (11-4) of San Diego submitted (rear naked choke) Sammy Morgan (19-11) of St. Paul, Minn., at 0:47 of the opening round; comebacking Cyrille “The Snake” Diabate (15-6-1) of Rueil-Malmaison, France, scored a dominant unanimous decision over game but outgunned Jaime Fletcher (9-4) of San Bernardino, Calif., at 205 pounds; Rosi Sexton (9-1) of Manchester, England, won an entertaining, hard-fought split decision over Debi Purcell (4-2) of Laguna Hills, Calif., in a women’s match at 140 pounds, and Ray Lizama (6-5) of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., registered an upset 2:15, second-round TKO (strikes) over King of the Cage middleweight champion Keith Berry (7-3) of Las Vegas in a non-title affair.
In non-televised bouts: Katrina Alendale (1-2) of San Francisco registered a hard-fought three-round unanimous decision (30-27 twice and 29-28) over Melanie La’Croix (1-1) of Redondo Beach, Calif., in a women’s 140-pound fight; in a battle of unbeatens at 150 pounds, Roberto Vargas (3-0) of San Bernardino took a three-round split decision (29-28 twice and 28-29) over Ralph Lopez (3-1) of Fresno, Calif. at 150 pounds; Jesse Brock (7-3) of Sacramento won a unanimous decision (30-28, 29-27, 29-28) over Josh Rave (8-5) of Fresno at 140; Lucas Gumaza (3-0) of Stockton, Calif., scored a split three-round decision (30-27 twice and 28-29) over late substitute Kenny “The Poet’’ Johnson (1-1) of Redondo Beach, at 170 pounds; and David “Tarzan’’ Douglas (5-1) of Antioch, Calif., scored a 1:12, first-round TKO (corner stoppage) over William Jacobson (0-2) of Los Angeles at 155 pounds.
The fights were scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds with the exception of Sexton-Purcell and Alendale-La’Croix, which were slated for three, 3-minute rounds. Pre- and post-fight interviews were shown only at ProElite.com. Fighter pages are below.
Suganuma dealt Hamman his lone loss in a controversial fight that lasted all of 15 seconds on April 5, 2008, at the Table Mountain Casino on ShoXC. Shortly thereafter, Hamman quit his day job – as an assistant football coach at the University of Redlands (California) – to devote himself to MMA.
“I will coach again, but for now I am committed to being the best I can be in mixed martial arts,’’ said Hamman, who’s won all 11 of his MMA fights by stoppage – nine by TKO and two by submission. Hamman has yet to have a fight enter the third round.
“It feels good to get revenge. But I feel bad for the guy. I respect him as a fighter and as a person. Po’ai didn’t have to take this fight. Others probably would have moved on without giving me a rematch. But he did and I appreciate it. He gave me a rematch. If that’s what they want, I’ll do the same for him.’’
Suganuma had a four-fight winning streak end.
Camoes, who has won six in a row, was sensational again as he made short work of Morgan, who seemingly is always matched tough.
“I came to the United States to fight for the belt and that’s what I want to do,’’ said Camoes, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who won his EliteXC and U.S. debut on the Hamman-Suganuma undercard last April 5 with an eye-opening first-round TKO (strikes) over Joe Camacho on ShoXC.
“My job is to work hard and win fights. KJ Noons is the EliteXC lightweight champion. I would fight him. I would fight anybody. I am willing to fight whoever they want and do whatever it takes to get me closer to fighting for the belt.’’
Diabate, who was making his EliteXC debut and first start since April 21, 2007, gave the hard-trying Fletcher a brutal beating en route to winning by 30-27 on the three judges’ scorecards. At six-foot-six, Diabate used his height, reach, skills and ability to batter, bruise and bloody Fletcher.
“I felt a little ring rust, but I should be 100 percent for the next fight,’’ the Muay Thai striking specialist said. “I’ll fight anybody. A fight with the Brazilian, Rafael Feijao, would be a great match. But it doesn’t matter who I fight. It felt good to fight again and I am looking forward to fighting again soon.’’
Sexton won the first women’s 130-pound fight in EliteXC history by 30-27 twice and 28-29.
“I have nothing but respect for Debi Purcell and it was an honor and a privilege to fight her,’’ Sexton said. “I look forward to fighting the best in the EliteXC’s women division.’’
Purcell, who was appearing before a paying audience for the first time since Feb. 15, 2006, offered no excuses.
“I am very disappointed but I can’t blame inactivity or anything else,’’ she said.
In an excellent opening televised bout in which both were rocked and wobbled, Lizama roared back from a first-round knockdown to shock Berry.
“This win erases anything I have done before,” said Lizama, who was making his second ShoXC start. “I always felt in there that I could match his handspeed and punch with him. This was a tough guy. I got away from my game plan and got hit a couple times.
“I give him credit for staying up for as long as he did. I was hitting him with some good shots. If he wants a rematch with his title at stake, I would fight him, but those kinds of decisions are made by my manager. I will fight whoever he says.’’