Many of MMA’s top amateur stars and prospects were in action on Friday night in Las Vegas as Tuff-N-Uff showcased a 16-fight card pitting Xtreme Couture against 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu Riverside. In the main event, 10th Planet’s Trace “Midnight” Gray defeated Jake “Rorshach” Swinney.
The card was set to feature a trio of 145-pound women’s tournament bouts, but Tamikka “Boom Boom” Brents was disqualified from the tournament after weighing in close to ten pounds heavy. Tori Adams and Ashlee Evans-Smith both advanced on, and the winner will face Tay Stratford in the finals.
One of the big stories on the night was Olympic Judo Bronze Medallist “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey’s quick victory over Stratford, a 19-year-old top-ranked amateur prospect, in a fight billed as a semi-final matchup in the Tuff-N-Uff 145-pound women’s tournament.
Rousey wasted no time in getting the fight to the ground, as she used a textbook body lock trip to take Stratford down. Rousey was overzealous in looking to move to mount and lost the position, but used a double ankle pick to trip Stratford to the mat a second time. From there, Rousey regained top position and effortlessly transitioned into an armbar. Stratford gamely tried to roll forward to escape the hold and did not tap out, but referee Chris Tognoni believed that Stratford was in danger and opted to stop the fight. The official time of the Technical Submission stoppage was 24 seconds of round one.
Despite the victory, Rousey will not advance on to the finals of the eight-woman tournament, as she has opted to end her career as an amateur and turn pro in February. Stratford, who took the fight against Rousey on short notice due to a reshuffling of the tournament lineup, will advance to the finals despite suffering the first defeat of her burgeoning career.
In the first of two quarterfinal matches in the 145-pound women’s tournament, Ashlee “The Terminator” Evans-Smith upset Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke to punch her ticket to the semi-finals.
From the outset, Evans-Smith looked to take the fight to the mat and she did just that after fighting off a standing guillotine choke. From there, Evans-Smith employed impressive reversals to maintain top position and later threatened with a rear-naked choke that had Duke in serious trouble before the bell.
Rounds two and three were more of the same, as Evans-Smith controlled the action from the top in both side-control and mount. She scored with hard punches late in the second stanza and fought off a late guillotine choke from Duke in round three to take a Unanimous Decision win after three 2:00 rounds.
The second quarterfinal bout was changed to a non-tournament exhibition match after Tamikka “Boom Boom” Brents weighed in well over the 145-pound limit for her fight with Tori Adams. Brents would go on to win a contentious Split Decision, but was disqualified from the tournament for failing to make weight.
The fighters traded punches to begin the fight and Adams scored a takedown, but her nose began to bleed profusely from one of Brents’s initial punches. The fight continued and Adams punched from the top until the fighters were stood up. She landed a big right hook, but Brents took her down.
The second round would ultimately prove to be the deciding factor in the fight, as two judges favoured Brents’s top control over Adams’s submission work from her back. Adams appeared to be much more active in the round, but Brents remained on top for much of the 2:00 duration. Brents countered a head kick by taking Adams down in the final round and struck from the top. The judges’ scores were read at the conclusion of the fight and Brents took the win via Split Decision.
As a result of Brents’s failure to make weight, Adams received a Bye to the next round and will face Evans-Smith in the second 145-pound women’s semi-final. That fight is expected to take place on February 11th. The winner will then face Tay Stratford to crown the promotion’s first 145-pound women’s champion.
In the headlining bout, 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu Riverside reigned supreme as Trace “Midnight” Gray earned a razor-thin Unanimous Decision over Xtreme Couture’s Jake “Rorshach” Swinney after three rounds.
Gray scored with punches early in the fight and took Swinney down, but Swinney showed an active guard as he worked for a triangle choke and transitioned into a triangle armbar. Gray eventually managed to escape and punched from the top, but had to fight off more submission attempts as the round progressed.
Swinney looked to take the fight back down to the mat in round two, but Gray sprawled and punished him with punches. Swinney quickly moved to back control and tried for a rear-naked choke, to no avail. Gray fell while throwing a kick in the final round and Swinney took advantage by diving into his guard. However, Gray scrambled to his feet and took Swinney down, then rode out most of the round by punching from the top. A late rally and a takedown from Swinney weren’t enough, as all three judges awarded the fight to Gray.
In another featured bout, Matt “The Sleeper” Church rebounded from a shaky first round to take a close Split Decision over Kimo Yadao. Church struggled to find his range in the opening round as Yadao landed numerous kicks, but Church’s takedowns and ground control took over in the second round. Church landed punches and scored a takedown in the final round, which was enough to outweigh Yadao’s guillotine choke attempt and leg kicks on two scorecards.
Elsewhere, Lee Henry Lilly earned a one-sided Unanimous Decision victory over Joey Angelo, while Giovani Zavala stopped fellow MMA debutant Gabriel “The Fearless” Garzon with a punch at 1:33 of the opening round of their light heavyweight contest.
Full Tuff-N-Uff: “Xtreme Couture vs 10th Planet Riverside” Results:
- Trace Gray defeated Jake Swinney by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
- Ronda Rousey defeated Tay Stratford by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 0:24 of round one.*
- Matt Church defeated Kimo Yadao by Split Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
- Lee Henry Lilly defeated Joey Angelo by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
- Giovani Zavala defeated Gabriel Garzon by TKO (Punch) at 1:33 of round one.
- Cesar Campos defeated Josh Grevas by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
- Jon Gorton defeated Jonathon Rodeffer by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
- Tamikka Brents defeated Tori Adams by Split Decision after three 2:00 rounds.**
- Troy Remer defeated David Tompkins by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
- Ramon Hernandez defeated Tony Totero by Submission (Armbar) at 1:39 of round one.
- Shane Johnson defeated Rick Borden by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
- Ashlee Evans-Smith defeated Jessamyn Duke by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.***
- Jesse Romero defeated Raul Sandoval by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
- Junior Gomez defeated Jacob Rockymore by Unanimous Decision after three 2:00 rounds.
- Tyler Jeppesen defeated Joshua Morgan by TKO (Doctor Stoppage – Cut) at 0:28 of round one.
- Casey Picard defeated Cody Hamm by TKO (Punches) at 1:33 of round one.
* Rousey turning pro; Stratford advances to 145-pound women’s tournament final.
** Exhibition match; Adams advances to 145-pound women’s tournament semi-finals.
*** With the victory, Evans-Smith advances to 145-pound women’s tournament semi-finals.