Fight Time 19: Battle of the Brave is in the books and the eight-fight card was full of action-packed bouts, and a few surprises. None of the fights went the distance, so fans of finishes got their money's worth.
Here's a full recap of the card.
Marcos Gomes (American Top Team/Coconut Creek) vs. Mike Hamman (0-1, Imperial Martial Arts/Boca Raton)
Gomes weighed in at 124.8 and Hamman missed his mark coming in at 127.8 pounds. A slow first round saw Gomes take down Hamman midway through, gain control and land a few elbows. Gomes hooked an armbar in the final seconds but Hamman held on until the bell. Round 2 saw Gomes showcase a tough chin, eating a couple of straight rights by Hamman. Both fighters remained cautions until Gomes hit another takedown, landed on top again, took the right arm of Hamman and cranked the armbar to finish the fight.
WIN: Marcos Gomes by submission (2:38, R2) via armbar
Bennett Balcer (Pro debut, American Top Team/Coconut Creek) vs. Myles Gilbert (1-0, Moncaio Bros. BJJ/Boca Raton)
In his opening video, Gilbert said to pay attention. Then he came out and immediately threw a solid left cross, kicking off the most action-packed, non-stop round that fight fans witnessed all night. Balcer threw a flurry that rocked Gilbert twice followed by a series of suplexes. This wild round had combos and wild exchanges with Gilbert taking a punch to the throat at one point. Both fighters started throwing hands in the final 20 seconds, and Balcer nailed Gilbert to drop him and score the KO victory.
WIN: Bennett Balcer wins by KO (4:51, R1) due to punch
Orlando Santana (American Top Team/Miramar) vs. Jason Fitzhugh (Gracie Martial Arts/Stuart)
Fitzhugh is a former staff Sgt. in the military and a veteran of the Iraq war.
Low leg kicks by Santana to start the fight as he waited for Fitzhugh to counterpunch, then scored the takedown. An inadvertent low blow by Santana gave Fitzhugh some time to recover. As the action resumed, Santana unloaded a barrage of kicks, then took the action against the cage and hooked a tight guillotine to force Fitzhugh to tap.
WIN: Orlando Santana by submission (3:48, R1) due to guillotine
Kester Mark (RFLX MMA/Dania Beach) vs. Chris Thorne (5-8, American Top Team/Coconut Creek)
Thorne closed the distance and got the takedown but Mark ends up landing on top. "The Question" rained down punches and elbows on Thorne, and when the onslaught became uncontested, the fight was stopped.
WIN: Kester Mark by TKO (2:06, R1) due to strikes
Niko Price (American Top Team Cape Coral) vs. Mikerson Lindor (Warrior Ways/North Miami Beach_
Price got the early takedown, but it was back and forth until late in the round when Price had Lindor In a full mount and showered him with punches and methodical elbows, finishing the fight just before the round ended.
WIN: Niko Price wins by TKO (4:59, R1) due to strikes
Miguel Restrepo (MMA Masters/Miami) vs. Ace Panlasigui (Twin Dragons/Miami)
"The Magic City Mauler" Restrepo found the early takedown and the fight stayed on the ground for the better part of the round , as Restrepo opened up his opponent over the eye with some sharp elbow shots. After they battled to the end of the first round, referee Jorge Alonso stopped the fight before Round 2 due to the damage and swelling on the right eye of Panlasigui.
WIN: Miguel Restrepo wins by injury TKO (5:00, R1) due to referee stoppage
JP Reese (American Top Team/Coconut Creek) vs. Jason Soares (5-0, FFA/Miami)
Soares is a very promising featherweight who has finished all five of his opponents, most of them by RNC. This time, he and Reese combined on the fight of the night.
Soares broke Reese's nose early on a right hook, and Reese desperately tried to push through the first round and succeeded. Former UFC fighter Mike Brown, who was cornering Reese, did a fine job stopping the faucet of blood between rounds but Soares undid the patch job in Round 2 by hooking a submission attempt on Reese and squeezing his neck.
Reese responded, however, maybe even winning the round thanks to a few takedowns and hooking Soares in a guillotine in the final seconds of the round.
It was all Soares in Round 3. Reese, who was bleeding profusely, still landed a takedown but Soares scored the sweep and transitioned to the RNC to finish it.
WIN: Jason Soares wins by submission in Round 3 via RNC
After the fight, Fight Time CEO Howard Davis Jr. entered the cage to congratulate Soares, and declared that Soares' next fight would be for the inaugural Fight Time Featherweight Title.
Mike Rio (American Top Team & Zen Jiu Jitsu/Miami) vs. Avery McPhatter (3-4, Gracie BJJ/Riverview)
This was arguably the most anticipated fight of the year for South Florida fight fans, and Rio had a a great deal of pressure on him to win this fight after coming out of the UFC on a three-fight losing streak.
Rio didn't waste any time, scoring a signature takedown after only a few seconds. Rio wore down McPhatter from there, securing the D'arce choke to defeat McPhatter.
WIN: Mike Rio by submission in Round 1 via D'arce choke
Knockout of the night: Bennett Belcer
Submission of the night: Mike Rio
Fight of the night: JP Reese vs. Jason Soares
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