AUSTRALIAN submission ace Craig Jones took out a bizarre main event atop Sunday’s Submission Underground (SUG) 13 card, yielding a verbal submission after appearing to injure Vinny Magalhaes‘ ankle in a nasty heel hook. Elsewhere, ‘Mr VanZant’ Austin Vanderford pulled off a spectacular upset win over 10th Planet cult hero Richie Martinez, while Gabriel Checco consigned UFC veteran Jake Ellenberger to consecutive defeats inside the SUG cage to round out the main card. Check out all the results and fallout below in our card recap.
CRAIG JONES def. VINNY MAGALHAES via verbal submission, regulation
Jones’ undefeated submission grappling streak was extended, much like the ankle of Magalhaes in their main event match-up, with the Australian grinding out to a confusing conclusion in regulation time. The bout was paused thrice by the two men as they appeared to discuss whether they would continue, with the health of Magalhaes seemingly in question. After initiating the ground battle and getting into his customary half guard position, Jones twice worked tight heel hooks but did not yield a tap from the poker-faced Brazilian despite the position. As the action slowed with Vinny looking compromised, the pair decided to go no further and have the bout waved off.
AUSTIN VANDERFORD def. RICHIE MARTINEZ via arm triangle submission, overtime
In arguably the night’s biggest upset, Vanderford overcame Martinez’ experience and grade advantage to earn a submission victory in overtime. After appearing to frustrate the 10th Planet fan favourite throughout regulation time by maintaining his distance, ‘Mr VanZant’ won out with his aggression paying off in overtime and a clear gameplan looking to have worked. Having snapped out of Martinez’ offence at the top of overtime, Vanderford showcased his strength while defending his back, transitioning well to secure in a head and arm position on top as Martinez turned, and eventually locking in the arm triangle choke. There was a clear shift in momentum after regulation time, and Martinez’ swift threats from the bottom became a non-factor as they entered the latter stages.
Fallout: A massive win for Vanderford over a seasoned black belt. The undefeated MMA prospect looks to be the real deal and should be a prominent figure among the Bellator ranks pretty soon.
GABRIEL CHECCO def. JAKE ELLENBERGER via reverse triangle submission, regulation
Ellenberger suffered another defeat in SUG, his second in a row, against Checco to open the main card, again going down in quick time during regulation. The American MMA veteran brought the bout to the mat early and looked to get on top as ‘Zangief’ struggled to reverse the position and slip to the back. But with his legs up high in guard, Checco rode up to grab the triangle position, with Ellenberger unable to create space and eventually tapping despite no real fuss or panic.
ETHAN CRELINSTEN def. ANDREW ALEXANDER via submission, overtime
Late replacement, Alexander put in a great showing against Crelinsten in one of the night’s more technical bouts, eventually submitting in overtime with time well against him. In the regulation period, Crelinsten pulled guard early and looked to tie up Alexander’s legs, using the threat to get on top. Both men tied up and had their own moments throughout the rolling match, grinding out to overtime where Crelinsten would succeed upon his first defence.
DON STONER def. ALEX LARMEY via escape time, overtime
One of the night’s most entertaining and active matches saw Stoner narrowly defeat Larmey in overtime via escape time, proving the stronger of the two on defence. During regulation, Stoner swept early, only to see Larmey keep his balance well and eventually look to fly into guard on the ground. Larmey’s spacial awareness to post off the cage and flexibility from the bottom were impressive, and he pulled off a nice sweep to get top position and work a kneebar immediately. But Stoner proved strong in the face of Larmey’s activity, with Uncle Chael impressed by the back-and-forth. In the end, it was a bout that went all the way, but provided full entertainment. Both men seldom fail in that department.
JOE BAIZE def. NICHOLAS MAXIMOV via heel hook submission, regulation
Baize quickly brought a halt to the Maximov hype train with his swift regulation time submission of the Nick Diaz Academy product. While Baize, a wily customer looked to be stalling on the mat with Maximov refusing to bite at distance, he jumped on the heel hook submission quickly to wrap up the bout. Baize loves the leg lock submissions, and kept at the game despite having multiple arm drags stuffed.
CRIS LENCIONI def. GABRIEL DAFFRON via escape time, overtime
‘Sunshine’ Lencioni continued his impressive grappling run with another SUG win, this time over the plucky Daffron in overtime. Neither man gave in throughout the competitive match-up, with Daffron the first to pull guard and work off his back. Lencioni abided but found himself trapped as his opponent looked to attack from underneath. He survived, and began to push the aggression in the final two minutes before showcasing his tight body triangle in overtime to pull off the victory.
CHARLIE GILPIN def. JAKE SMITH via kimura submission, regulation
Gilpin notched an impressive victory over Bellator fighter, Smith via kimura in their undercard bout to put his name in lights. After a brief feeling-out period, Smith pulled in Gilpin and secured a body lock to land a big takedown but almost fell into a guillotine. Liking what he saw on the mat, Gilpin sucked Smith in to attempting another takedown, isolating an arm on Smith’s single-leg entry and sinking in a beautiful kimura grip as Smith submitted right as they hit the mat. Slick.
ERIC MCCONICO def. GORGE MARTINEZ via armbar submission, overtime
Martinez’ winning run in SUG came to an end against McConico, who pulled of an armbar submission in overtime. McConico stayed heavy on top for most of the regulation period, getting a nice trip to fall into half guard and maintain top position with Martinez struggling to create distance and sweep from bottom. McConico was then tasked with starting on defence in overtime and just as quickly as he escaped, he yielded a tap on offence for the win. Too strong.
CODY KENAGA def. JAKE HARGIS via toe hold submission, regulation time
Kenaga opened the night in impressive fashion with a toe hold submission over Hargis in regulation time, proving his worth as a SUG staple. The two clinched early with Hargis the first to pull guard, while completing a sweep to get on top. But it only played into a position where both men would look for leg locks, with Kenaga securing the heel hook as they rolled and eventually finishing with the toe hold for submission.
Next up: Lovato looks set to take on Jones as teased by Sonnen, with a bout between Ben Askren and Dillon Danis teased with the promotion set to return on May 31.