CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Las Vegas’ Octavian Trumbo fought for two rounds against a St. George fighter to be crowned the new Tuff-N-Uff world lightweight champion during Saturday night’s unpredictable “Mayhem in Mesquite XVIII.”
The Casablanca Resort Hotel Event Center was once again filled to capacity to watch the “Tuff-N-Uff: The Future Stars of the MMA” in a night of surprising finishes, with four TKOs, four unanimous decisions, one split decision and three matchups ending by tap out.
Five brawlers from Southern Utah made the night’s final fight card of 24 fighters.
In the night’s main event, Fusion MMA’s undefeated Zane Darlington from St. George faced-off against Las Vegas fighter Octavian Trumbo, with a record of four wins and one loss. Darlington wasted no time getting getting to work, taking Trumbo to the mat in the opening seconds of Round 1.
After a minute stalled wrestling and working his way back to his feet, Trumbo unleashed a series of hits that caused referee Mark Smith to pause the fight. Trumbo began to celebrate, as it appeared the battle was over, but within a few moments Darlington rose and retaliated with a second takedown to Trumbo’s legs, and the pair finished the round trading jabs and pinning each other to the floor.
Round 2 began with Darlington charging, but a failed kick to Trumbo’s rib cage dropped him to the mat and had the crowd cheering. He quickly recovered, and then Trumbo began to unleash a number of key knee shots to the body as the pair remained gripped near the cage. After only 22 seconds, Smith called a stop to the fight. Trumbo was declared victorious by TKO, improving to five wins on his record and becoming the new Tuff-N-Uff world lightweight champ.
Fight of the night went to the 125-pound division featuring Christian Clary and his opponent Eraj Aliev from Las Vegas. Both men entered the cage undefeated. They began trading punches and a few missed kicks until at 20 seconds, when Clary lunged for Aliev and dropped him to floor. Aliev was able to stand for moment, but 30 seconds later, Clary flipped him for a punishing slam back down to the mat. They finished the round sharing jabs.
Two quick kicks had Clary rushing to pull down Aliev to begin Round 2, but he saw the assault coming and threw Clary to the mat for a couple more rapid leg strikes. Back and forth, from feet to floor the pair clutched each other trading jabs, when suddenly after taking one too many taps to the head, Aliev flipped Clay across his back like a doll and dropped dozens of furious punches to Clay’s head and body, keeping him mostly off guard and on defense for the rest of the round.
Clary refused to give in and once again charged Aliev’s body to start Round 3, but repeated punches to the head and torso never let him get strong footing. Aliev kept him leg locked, as referee Joe Sullivan awaited a tap out until the ringing of the final bell. Judges went to the scorecard, and by unanimous decision, Aliev won, improving his record to 5-0 and becoming the new flyweight champ.
Following is a recap of the rest of the night’s action.
Lee, 1-2, vs. Gilbert, 1-5
The super heavyweight division was the usual expected slugfest, but just 11 seconds into the start of Round 3, the referee was forced to stop the fight as Trent Lee pummeled Ryan Gilbert down to the floor of the cage. Lee, an independent fighter out of Las Vegas, proved to be too much for Gilbert, who lost by TKO and now sits at six losses and one win.
Sili, debut, vs. Dubovoy, 1-2
Heavyweight Spencer Sili from St. George couldn’t hold up in his debut fight against Florida’s Mark Dubovoy. The referee had to stop the fight only 1:18 seconds into Round 1. Dubovoy won by TKO.
Valenzuela, debut, vs. Udabe, 1-0
After holding out for three hard-fought rounds, rookie Manuel Valenzuela from Sonora, Mexico, won the first fight of the night by unanimous decision against Empire MMA’s Roger Udabe from Cedar City, who was making his Tuff-N-Uff debut. Udabe’s record falls to 1-1.
WIlliams, 1-0, vs. Dye, 1-2
Las Vegas’s Brandon Williams was no match for Sin City neighbor and fellow independent fighter Nate Dye. He was forced to tap out when Dye forced him into submission with a throat choke hold, halfway into the first round.
Arroyo, debut, vs. Gallegos, 0-1
In his debut fight, Venom MMA fighter Allenn Arroyo from Las Vegas went three full rounds with Arizona’s Marcos Gallegos, but after judges tallied the cards, Gallegos was declared winner by unanimous decision.
Drake, 1-0, vs. Ruffin 2-1
Dustin Drake held on against the fence for two rounds, but after a barrage of punches from Kris Ruffin to begin Round 3, the referee ended his punishment at 58 seconds, and he fell to a 2-2 record with a TKO loss.
Meltzer, debut, vs. Barzilay, 0-1
Hailing from Venom MMA Las Vegas, Jake Meltzer’s debut fight didn’t go as planned. A rear naked choke hold by Ilay Barzilay, also from Las Vegas, forced him to tap out in the first round.
Demarsh, 0-1, vs. Honsvick, 3-2
An accidental kick to the face of Cedar City’s Brandon Honsvick resulted in the loss of two points for Vegas Combat Sport’s Richard Demarsh. After a brief pause for a medical check, they resumed, and after three highly charged rounds, judges went to the scorecards. Honsvick won his third appearance at Tuff-N-Uff by unanimous decision.
Arnett, 3-1, vs. Ragges, 1-1
The lady brawlers had one of the shortest fights of the night. Closing out Round 1, an arm bar by Alannah Arnett forced Antinicia Ragges to verbally tap out, and the fight was called by referee Joe Sullivan at 1:58.
LeBaron, 2-2, vs. Min, 4-0
St. George’s Hyrum LeBaron and Chris Min came out trading kicks and swinging for the head, but by the final round, Min could still be seen smiling. Not for long, however, after a three round war, LeBaron emerged victorious by split decision.
Select fights from Saturday’s event will air Dec. 27 at 8 EDT/5 PDT on beIN SPORTS USA.
Ed Note: An earlier version of this article misreported which round ended the night’s final fight. St. George News has corrected the text to reflect that the fight ended in the second round instead of the third.
Written by ANDREW PINCKNEY, St. George News.
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