Two of the four semi-finalists in the Tuff-N-Uff 145-pound amateur women’s tournament were decided tonight on an excellent MMA card in Las Vegas, Nevada. Olympic Judo Bronze Medallist Ronda Rousey and unbeaten teen prospect Tay Stratford both advanced on with quick submission wins.
Competing in just her second mixed martial arts bout, Rousey made short work of Tuff-N-Uff veteran Autumn Richardson, while Stratford moved to 6-0 by defeating newcomer Shauna Dugger. The two now await their semi-final opponents, who will be determined at an upcoming Tuff-N-Uff event.
Stratford opened her brief bout with Dugger with hard punches that stunned the Team Quest member, then took the fight to the mat. She landed in full mount position and teed off with punches that forced Dugger to roll over and give up her back. More punches followed for Stratford and she secured a tight rear-naked choke late in the opening two-minute round. Dugger had nowhere to go and was forced to submit to the choke at 1:45 of round one.
After making a successful MMA debut in August, decorated judoka Rousey made it two for two tonight with a picture-perfect performance. Wasting little time, Rousey took Richardson down with a judo throw and maintained a headlock that kept Richardson in place. Rousey then moved to mount, unleashed a flurry of punches and effortlessly transitioned into an armbar that elicited a fight-ending tap. The official time was 0:57 of the first round.
With the victories, Stratford and Rousey will move on to the semi-finals of the Tuff-N-Uff tournament, which will crown the promotion’s first female champion at 145 pounds. Though first thought to be facing each other in the next round, Stratford and Rousey will instead have to wait to find out whom they will face next. The remaining quarterfinal bouts will take place at an upcoming event.
In a third women’s bout on tonight’s card, cancer survivor and mother of seven Mia Hayes battered Brittany Griffin with wild but effective punches before finishing the fight with a standing guillotine choke midway through round one. Hayes, who received considerable applause from the crowd, rushed forward aggressively with a series of punches right away. She locked on the choke and backed Griffin into a corner. With no way out, Griffin tapped out at 0:59 of the opening stanza.
The main event featured a number one contender’s bout for the Tuff-N-Uff Middleweight Championship. Talented wrestler Greg Gifford of FASI Combat Sports outworked fellow Las Vegan Matt Dahlkemper of Wand Fight Team en route to a Unanimous Decision victory. Gifford stifled Dahlkemper’s offence with takedowns and scored with a barrage of big punches late in the second round. Short of some knees to the body in round three, Dahlkemper never got anything going and Gifford was awarded a well-deserved victory after three 2:00 rounds.
Other highlights on the card included a come-from-behind victory for 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu representative Eddie Velasquez and a devastating knockout for hard-hitting heavyweight Glen Ili.
Velasquez rallied after a tough first round in his bantamweight bout with Colton Bowler and took control of the ground battles as the fight wore on. Velasquez pulled guard with a tight guillotine choke early in round three. Though he tried to hold out for as long as possible, Bowler had no choice but to submit. The official time was 0:32 of the third and final round.
Ili, meanwhile, opened his bout against Marlon Williams with punches that backed his opponent up. Another onslaught of punches and a knee followed for Ili as Williams wilted near the ropes. As Williams fell to a knee, Ili connected with a punch to the body and a vicious right hook to the temple that left his opponent face-down on the mat. Williams was attended to by ringside medical personnel but left the ring under his own power. The time of the knockout was 1:03 of round one.
In the opening bout of the evening, Ramon Hernandez got the crowd cheering with a first-round technical submission victory over Jason Mussay. Hernandez took Mussay down early in the fight and transitioned to back control. From there, he worked for and secured a rear-naked choke. Mussay refused to submit, but was choked unconscious and the referee stopped the fight at 0:43 of the opening round.
Full Tuff-N-Uff “Future Stars” Results:
– Greg Gifford defeated Matt Dahlkemper by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
– Ronda Rousey defeated Autumn Richardson by Submission (Armbar) at 0:57 of round one.*
– Nikko Cataline defeated Shane Johnson by Majority Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
– David Jordan defeated Jonathon Rodeffer by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
– Trace Gray defeated Zac Chance by Split Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
– Tay Stratford defeated Shauna Dugger by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:45 of round one.*
– Eddie Velasquez defeated Colton Bowler by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:32 of round three.
– Troy Remer defeated Jimmy Like by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
– Glen Ili defeated Marlon Williams by KO (Punch) at 1:03 of round one.
– Mia Hayes defeated Brittany Griffin by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:59 of round one.
– Derek Imig defeated Mike Green by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 1:47 of round one.
– Kenny Lawrence defeated Carlo Junio by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
– Ramon Hernandez defeated Jason Mussay by Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 0:43 of round one.
*Tuff-N-Uff Women’s 145-Pound Tournament Quarterfinal Bout