One moment, it looked like Jon Fitch was finished. The next, he was picking up his first stoppage win in 10 years.
Fitch (29-7-1) survived powerful striking from Brian Foster (39-7) to battle back and score a second-round submission win. The contest served as the headlining bout of Friday’s Professional Fighters League debut event, “PFL: Daytona,” which took place at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The action, which aired on NBCSN, kicked off several hours earlier than expected when NASCAR’s Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, which was supposed to precede the fights, was halted due to rain.
Fitch looked to close the distance quickly in the fight but was stuffed by Foster, who latched the neck and secured an early guillotine attempt. However, Fitch patiently worked his neck free and set up on top, looking to strike. Foster turned quickly to an armbar that briefly threatened, but Fitch did work his arm free. From there, Fitch implemented his patented grinding attack until the bell.
Foster came out swinging in the second, landing a big right hand that hurt Fitch, who scrambled to try and get inside and slow down the action. Foster briefly thought about a choke but let it go in favor of holding top position, eventually retuning to the feet to continue striking. As he resumed the attack, something went wrong with Foster’s leg, and he dropped to the canvas and covered.
With the immediate change in momentum, Fitch was able to get on the back, not bothering with the hooks before latching his arm around the neck and finishing with a bulldog choke.
High, Markes pick up decision wins in sloppy cage
In a key welterweight fight, Jason High (21-6) got out to a quick start and earned a decision win over Caros Fodor (11-6).
High took the fight to the floor early, though the intense humidity made holding position difficult. High briefly took the back in a scramble, though Fodor quickly turned inside to defend. High also briefly held a guillotine, but Fodor was able to escape that, as well.
High had success on the feet to start the second, so Fodor elected to take the fight to the canvas. Eventually, though, High was able to work back to his feet, then reverse the position with his own takedown, where he stayed until the bell.
Fodor had his best round in the third, but it was too little, too late, and High was awarded a unanimous decision, 29-28 on all three cards.
In the night’s first fight, light heavyweight Ronny Markes (17-5) earned a grinding decision win over former WSOF heavyweight champion Smealinho Rama (10-3).
The pair traded leg kicks to open before Markes drove through for an easy takedown. Rama immediately countered, sweeping to the top, though he couldn’t keep his opponent on the floor. No matter, as Rama utilized a sharp jab to outwork his opponent for most of the frame.
The action took a quick break in the second, as a bit of water had pooled on the slick canvas. When the action restarted, Markes took the action there, as well, moving the fight to floor and maintaining top position until the bell.
Markes scored a takedown again quickly in the third, pinning his opponent to the canvas. Rama was granted a standup with one minute remaining but couldn’t capitalize on the feet, and Markes was awarded a unanimous decision, 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
“PFA: Daytona” results include:
- Jon Fitch def. Brian Foster via submission (bulldog choke)
- Herman Terrado vs. Joao Zeferino
- Jason High def. Caros Fodor via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ronny Markes def. Smealinho Rama via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
For more on “PFA: Daytona,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.
Filed under: News, WSOF
Source: MMA Junkie