“ProElite: Big Guns” was the second show put on by ProElite and marked the inaugural night for the promotion’s heavyweight tournament.  The event was held at the iWireless Center in Moline, Ill., and was culminated by a main event between former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia and Andreas Kraniotakes. In addition to the headlining bout, the co-main event of the evening featured another former UFC heavyweight champion in Andrei Arlovski taking on Travis Fulton.

Sylvia Earns Decision

In a three-round bout between two heavyweight giants, Tim Sylvia was able to do just enough to earn the decision victory.  From the opening bell Sylvia came out, closed the distance and imposed his will on Andreas Kraniotakes.  By no means was this an exciting fight, but it was the exact type of outing that Sylvia needed to get back to his winning ways.

Sylvia leaned on Kraniotakes and pressed him up against the cage for three rounds sucking the life out of him and did everything that he needed to do to win the fight.  Kraniotakes could offer very little against Sylvia’s size and was forced to fight Sylvia’s fight. He was never able to find his range or get the fight to the ground.

Arlovski wins by knockout

Andrei Arlovski finally looked like the “Pitbull” of old…at least for a second anyways.  In the co-main event of the evening, Arlovski took on a very tough competitor in Travis Fulton.  In what was a very slow and lackluster fight for almost three full rounds, Arlovski gave fans a glimmer of hope that he might be back when he landed a head kick that knocked Fulton unconscious immediately upon impact with one second left in the fight.

For the majority of three rounds, both fighters were tentative and did not offer much in the way of offense.  Arlovski often times looked like he was fighting not to lose instead of being the aggressive striker that fans have grown to love.  Fulton also offered very little offense, seemingly content with the slow pace of the fight.

As the fight came to an end, and with fans booing loudly, Arlovski charged in and landed a kick that immediately sent fans to their feet.  For a fight that was very slow, the head kick knockout by Arlovski made up for it.

Penn loses first fight

Reagan Penn, younger brother of B.J. Penn, continued to look to make his own name as he took on Evan Cutts.  Cutts proved to be too much for Penn to handle though, as he was able to grind Penn down and earn the decision victory. Cutts was able to use his superior conditioning to push the pace in the later rounds and control the fight both in the striking game and on the ground.

By the time the third round came, Penn could barely stand due to exhaustion and Cutts made him pay.  He completely dominated rounds two and three and was able to earn the victory.

Martinez dominates Ellis, moves on to semifinals

Ryan Martinez came into his fight with Mark Ellis as a heavy underdog and left the fight as the new tournament favorite.  For three rounds, Martinez controlled the center of the cage and dominated Ellis in the striking game, forcing him to fall back on his All-American wrestling.  The problem for Ellis however was that his wrestling did not work either.  Martinez was able to stuff every takedown attempt by Ellis as well as punishing him in the process.

For the entire fight Martinez looked like he was fighting his younger brother and completely schooled Ellis in every aspect of the fight game. At the end, not only did Martinez get his hand raised, but he is now the favorite by many to win the tournament.

Heun moves on with win over Carpenter

Jake Heun was able to weather an early storm from Ed Carpenter before getting the finish.  Carpenter came out quick and looked to take the fight to Heun immediately, but Heun stayed patient and calm and was able to eventually get the knockout.

After being taken down early, Heun looked to be in a bad way, but with instructions from his coach Jeremy Horn he was able to stay composed and intelligently defend himself, work his way back to his feet and get the highlight reel finish.

Griffin comes from behind to get the victory

For two solid rounds, Justyn Riley completely dominated Cody Griffin, but that is why they fight for three rounds.  In the first two rounds, Riley completely dominated the fight.  He was able to use his reach to out-strike Griffin and he was able to use his size and superior ground skills to control Griffin on the ground.  The first two rounds were all Riley.

In the third round things changed.  Griffin came out and knew that he had to get a finish if he wanted a victory and that is exactly what he did.  Griffin clipped Riley with a beautiful right hand that put Riley to sleep.  Griffin showed great heart and determination in this comeback victory.

Odoms wins lackluster decision

In the opening bout of the heavyweight tournament, Richard Odoms took on Rodney Housley.  Housley took this fight on a week’s notice and his performance showed it.  Housley looked to be a little slow and out of shape, however Odoms was not really able to capitalize on this.

For three rounds these fighters pawed at each other, never pressing the action. For the majority of this fight fans booed and really only cheered when the bell sounded the end of the third round.  When it was all said and done it was Odoms that had earned the victory.

Main Card
  • Tim Sylvia def. Andreas Kraniotakes via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Andrei Arlovski def. Travis Fulton via KO (head kick) – Round 3, 4:59
  • Evan Cutts def. Reagan Penn via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ryan Martinez def. Mark Ellis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – heavyweight-tourney opening round
  • Jake Heun def. Ed Carpenter via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:17 – heavyweight-tourney opening round
  • Cody Griffin def. Justyn Riley via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 0:32 – heavyweight-tourney opening round
  • Richard Odoms def. Rodney Housley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – heavyweight-tourney opening round
Preliminary Card
  • Waylon Lowe def. Floyd Hodge via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00
  • Todd Monaghan def. Richard McCraw via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 0:29  (heavyweight-tourney reserve bout)

Photo: Andrei Arlovski has his hand raised in victory after knocking out Travis Fulton (ProElite)