Fight to Win returned to its usual stomping grounds, the National Western Stock Show Complex, for its Mardi Gras Brawl on Friday, Feb. 24. The event featured four professional bouts, as well as an eight-fight undercard of local amateur fighters. Both the professional and amateur featherweight straps were at play as part of the action.

Dollar retains belt with split decision win over Houghton

In the main event, former Ultimate Fighter combatant and Fight Factory product Cameron Dollar used a big third round to take home a split decision victory over Grudge’s Justin Houghton. In doing so, Dollar retained his Fight to Win featherweight championship.

Both fighters appeared tentative on the feet in the opening frame. Houghton scored frequently with leg kicks, but neither fighter truly established a rhythm.

The second round saw the pair trade single punches, looking for an opening. Houghton stuffed a takedown attempt from Dollar and would have likely taken the round had it not been for a big right hand that dropped Houghton in the waning seconds.

After connecting late in the middle stanza, Dollar found his confidence and poured it on in the final round. He scored repeatedly with his right hand, countering the jab and kick attempts of Houghton. With two minutes remaining, Dollar ducked under a punch and secured a violent takedown. He worked for a D’arce choke while the crowd taunted him. He responded by flipping off the crowd, perhaps costing him the finish.

When the scorecards were read, two of the three judges at cageside gave Dollar the victory. After the bout, Dollar called out fellow UFC veteran Tyler Toner for his next fight.

Holland gets revenge, knocks out Martinez

Chris Holland (R) battles Robert Martinez

The co-main event featured a rematch of a 2009 fight under the Fight to Win banner, as welterweights Chris Holland and Robert Martinez locked horns once again. This time, however, it was Holland who would come out on top.

Early in the bout, Martinez looked for a single leg takedown, but was reversed by Holland. Holland scooped up the 303 Training Center fighter near the fence and slammed him to the mat. Martinez was able to scramble back to his feet. As Holland again looked to bring the fight to the ground, Martinez clutched the fence and was deducted a point. With the fighters trading near the cage, Holland dropped Martinez with a right hand and connected with a flurry before the referee could halt the action.

Holland has now scored two straight wins and with his move to Factory X, he has put the rest of the Colorado welterweight division on notice. In his post-fight interview, he called out longtime veteran Thomas Denny, who now calls Colorado home.

Osheim stops Mumma in first pro appearance

Durango MMA’s Jeremy Osheim avoided the pitfall of the point deduction he earned in the first round to finish off Grudge wrestling specialist Cody Mumma in light heavyweight action.

Jereny Osheim (R) delivers a kick

Mumma scored early in the first round with a violent slam and moved to Osheim’s back. Osheim would regain his feet briefly, but was slammed to the canvas yet again. With Mumma working inside the guard, Osheim landed an elbow strike flush to the back of Mumma’s head and a point was deducted.

The second round started nearly identical to the first, but Mumma slowed down as the round progressed. Osheim took Mumma’s back and was able to secure both hooks with two minutes remaining. He rained punches, but Mumma was able to recover his half guard and survive the round.

In the final frame, Osheim dove for a quick takedown and landed in side control. He transitioned to Mumma’s back once more, flattening him out and forcing a referee intervention.

Stroup uses strong grappling to win pro debut

In a match-up of middleweights making their first professional appearances, Factory X product Adam Stroup was able to finish Black Dragon MMA fighter TJ Nunnaley in the final round.

Adam Stroup (L) attemps a flying knee

The pair traded early, and Stroup initiated the clinch along the fence. Stroup attacked with a standing guillotine, but Nunnaley escaped. A trip takedown from Stroup brought the fight to the mat and the round would end there.

Stroup scored an early takedown to start the second frame, but Nunnaley attacked with a triangle that Stroup defended. Near the midway point of the round, Stroup locked in a standing arm-triangle choke that led Nunnaley to fall to the mat. Fortunately for Nunnaley, he fell into mount and escaped the choke attempt. He then dropped strikes from the dominant position until the round came to a close.

The final stanza began with Stroup looking for a flying knee and Nunnaley scoring a takedown into Stroup’s guard. Once on his back, Stroup went to work and latched onto Nunnaley’s arm and forced a tap.

Amateur Undercard

Featherweight J Keven Hernandez wasted little time capturing the Fight to Win amateur belt by submitting Isiah Patzowsky. Patzowsky obtained top position off a missed kick by Hernandez, but Hernandez attacked with an armbar and then transitioned to the fight-ending triangle.

Toby Lopez and Nicholas Clem engaged in a back-and-forth fight for three rounds in their lightweight contest. Lopez got the better of the striking, while Clem showcased his grappling. In the end, two of three judges rewarded Lopez for his efforts.

Despite taking the fight on just 24 hours’ notice, heavyweight Bo Arbanas managed to score a TKO win over Chris Goetsch. The two engaged in a striking battle, with each fighter rocking one another. Arbanas put an end to the fight against the fence after Goetsch was wobbled.

In a lightweight affair, Andrew Katers battled through repeated takedowns from Nick Navarro to deliver a third-round stoppage. Navarro moved to mount multiple times, but Katers would escape. The final frame saw Katers toss Navarro to the mat and rain punches from the mount to earn the TKO.

Middleweight Nick Brown made sure that a loss of position for an illegal strike would not affect the outcome of his fight with Mark Taylor. Brown secured a takedown, effortlessly latched onto Taylor’s left arm and forced a tap.

Using his length to his advantage, featherweight Taylor Phillips scored a second-round triangle choke finish over Jovanny Valles.

In a bantamweight bout, Nick DeFiore survived an early takedown from Ray Robles and scored a vicious knockout while Robles had his head against the canvas.

Featherweight Jorge Dominguez maintained his undefeated record with a dominant grappling performance against Niko Gonzales. Dominguez locked in an armbar and then transitioned to a triangle to force the tap.

FULL RESULTS

Cameron Dollar def. Justin Houghton by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) (retains featherweight championship)
Chris Holland def. Robert Martinez by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 3:17
Jeremy Osheim def. Cody Mumma by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 2:54
Adam Stroup def. TJ Nunnaley by submission (armbar). Round 3, 0:56
J Keven Hernandez def. Isiah Patzowsky by submission (triangle choke). Round 1, 1:30 (becomes amateur featherweight champion)
Toby Lopez def. Nicholas Clem by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) (a)
Bo Arbanas def. Chris Goetsch by KO (strikes). Round 1, 2:38 (a)
Andrew Katers def. Nick Navarro by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 2:36 (a)
Nick Brown def. Mark Taylor by submission (armbar). Round 1, 2:30 (a)
Taylor Phillips def. Jovanny Valles by submission (triangle choke). Round 2, 1:27 (a)
Nick DeFoire def. Ray Robles by KO (punch). Round 1, 2:16 (a)
Jorge Dominguez def. Niko Gonzales by submission (triangle). Round 2, 1:51 (a)

(a) – Denotes amateur bout

Top Photo: Cameron Dollar (R) unleashes a right hand

All photos courtesy of Paul Kincaid/Sanskirt Photography

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