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Stann Can Do, Submits Massenzio in Three

Brian Stann scored the first submission win of his career Sunday night in a Fight of the Night battle with Mike Massenzio...

SAN DIEGO, August 1 – In pre-fight interviews, Brian Stann said he wasn’t worried about going to the mat against Mike Massenzio. In their middleweight bout tonight at the San Diego Sports Arena - Stann’s first at 185 pounds - he proved it as he scored the first submission win of his career via triangle choke in the third round.

With the win, Stann improves to 9-3; Massenzio falls to 11-4.

Massenzio was effective with his takedowns and a guillotine choke in the opening round, but Stann’s improved ground game was evident as he fought his way out of trouble and landing some hard strikes that reddened his foe’s face.

The second frame was almost a mirror image of the first one, complete with takedowns and a choke attempt from Massenzio and a ground and pound assault from Stann.

Early in the third, Stann rocked Massenzio briefly, and while he got taken down in the midst of his follow-up, when the two stood he was able to hurt the New Jersey native again. This time, his attempt to finish was foiled when he missed a kick to the head and slipped to the mat, and Massenzio took the opportunity to clear his head before getting back to his feet. Another Massenzio takedown followed, but this time Stann was waiting for him as he sunk in a fight-ending triangle choke at the 3:10 mark.

At the time of the finish, Stann led 20-18 on two scorecards and was even, 19-19 on the third.

Minnesota’s Jacob Volkmann made it two in a row in the Octagon, scoring a three round unanimous decision over the UK’s Paul Kelly in lightweight action.

All three judges scored it 30-27 for Volkmann, who improves to 11-2; Kelly falls to 11-3.

After battling it out on the feet for the first two minutes with varying results, Volkmann took Kelly to the mat and began working his ground and pound attack. Kelly took some shots and got back to his feet, but Volkmann brought him right back to the mat and took the Liverpool native’s back, finishing off the round with strikes to the head and an armbar attempt.

Volkmann’s takedown of Kelly came quicker in round two, and the Brit had few answers for the former All-American wrestler early on, but he kept pressing and eventually wound up in the top position as the second frame ended.

A takedown by Volkmann kicked off the final round, but Kelly reversed position and got on top quickly. After a few ground strikes, referee John McCarthy restarted the bout at the midway point, and Volkmann got another takedown of his foe. After a slick escape, Kelly landed with a flying knee and appeared to have hurt Volkmann, but the Minnesotan had the presence of mind to take the bout to the mat, where he clearly won the control game and ultimately the fight.

Welterweight prospect Matthew Riddle put together the best performance of his UFC career, halting veteran DaMarques Johnson in the second round of a battle between The Ultimate Fighter alumni.

After being stunned briefly in the opening stages of the bout by a punch to the head, Riddle bounced back in style and dominated the rest of the first round behind a punishing ground and pound attack.

The second played out much like the first, but despite being held in check for much of the stanza, Johnson was getting his licks in, especially a hard knee to the head as Riddle shot in. Riddle kept pressing though, and when he got Johnson back to the mat and took his back, the end came moments later as he fired off a series of ground strikes that prompted referee Jason Herzog to halt the bout at the 4:29 mark.

With the win, Riddle improves to 5-1; Johnson falls to 16-8.

Light heavyweight Igor Pokrajac secured his first UFC win in three tries tonight, and he did it in impressive fashion, as he used his standup attack to set up a slam and an eventual submission win over James Irvin in less than three minutes of the first round.

Pokrajac looked for the takedown almost immediately, and 35 seconds in he got it. In an ensuing exchange on the mat though, it was Pokrajac emerging with a cut as Irvin pounded away. The two rose moments later, and Pokrajac’s sharp strikes rocked Irvin. Next came a slam to the mat from the Croatian, and Irvin was just about done. A rear naked choke from Pokrajac followed moments later and Irvin tapped out at the 2:29 mark.

With the win, Pokrajac improves to 22-7; Irvin falls to 14-7 with 1 NC.

Unbeaten Brazilian Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira wasted no time getting acquainted to the UFC Octagon in his organizational debut, submitting Darren Elkins in less than a minute in lightweight action.

Elkins got the crowd into the fight immediately when he slammed Oliveira to the mat, but that’s just where the Brazilian wanted it, as he locked in a triangle choke followed by an armbar that produced a tap at the 41 seconds mark.

With the win, Oliveira improves to 13-0; Elkins falls to 12-2.

In the middleweight opener, veteran Rob Kimmons bounced back from a rough first round to score a close, but unanimous, decision win over Steve Steinbeiss.

Scores were 29-28 across the board for Kimmons, who improved to 23-5; Steinbeiss falls to 4-4.

Steinbeiss dominated the first round with a slow and steady attack of knees to the body at close range as well as solid takedown defense that kept Kimmons from taking the bout to the mat.

Kimmons went all in for the takedown attempt in round two, but when he did get the bout to the canvas, Steinbeiss quickly scrambled to his feet and went back to work against the fence. That all changed with a minute left, when a thudding slam from Kimmons appeared to knock the wind out of Steinbeiss, allowing ‘The Rosedale Reaper’ to ground and pound his way through the rest of the round.

With his head cleared by the between rounds break, Steinbeiss got back to business in round three, even attempting a flying arm triangle on Kimmons. With that move going for naught, Steinbeiss put his hard hat back on and worked on Kimmons against the fence until referee Jason Herzog restarted the fight after a lull in the action, Kimmons used the restart to reset and score a takedown, which allowed him to land some hard late strikes that sealed the victory.