Veteran heavyweight Jeff Monson topped IFL and EliteXC veteran Roy Nelson via controversial unanimous decision in the MMA main event of Square Ring Promotion’s “March Badness” at the Pensacola Civic Arena in Pensacola, Florida.
Nelson controlled the pace of the fight and was dominant on the ground throughout, leading commentator Seth Petruzelli and most observers to score the fight in favor of “Big Country”. However, Monson’s more effective striking stole the second and third rounds on the judge’s scorecards, allowing him to walk away the winner with triple 29-28 scores. Monson is now 28-8 with four-straight victories while Nelson falls to 13-4.
“I wanted to go on the ground,” Monson commented. “I kept right with him. It was a big win. Roy’s a tough guy.”
“I got robbed,” said Nelson after the contest. “It was a boring fight on the ground, but I was controlling the fight and that usually determines the winner. Only in Florida does Roy get robbed (referring to his controversial loss to Andrei Arlovski last year in EliteXC).”
In the anticipated co-headliner, heavyweight Bobby Lashley looked like the inexperienced mixed martial artist that he is, using his unpolished, wrestling-influenced game to smother and pressure Jason Guida for three full rounds, doing just enough in each to pick up a unanimous decision with 30-27 scores across the board. Despite all the pre-fight hype and predictions of an easy victory, Lashley showed he still has a long way to go before potentially jumping up to the big leagues and joining fellow former professional wrestler Brock Lesnar in the UFC. Lashley’s inability to finish Guida despite landing several big punches and combinations almost cost him the fight, as he nearly fell victim to a deep guillotine choke in the final frame before escaping. Lashley improves his record to 2-0 with the victory while Guida falls to 17-20 with the short-notice loss.
“He had (the guillotine) on tight and deep,” Lashley remarked. “But I held on and got out. I didn’t use all of my wrestling skills. This is a sport where we’re gentleman and fighters. His talk got to me a little but my corner helped me keep my mind strong. I’m going right back to the training room.”
In other main card MMA action, Din Thomas defeated Gabe Lemley via first-round knockout with a string of punches and a knee to the face while Dennis Hallman picked up a win over Danny Ruiz with a submission midway through the opening round.
“I set him up with my punches. I had a lot of fun here; I love Pensacola,” said Thomas. “Boxing is a major part of MMA and was glad to be part of this. I took advantage of my experience. I can fight in a cage, ring or parking lot – I don’t care…About that whole Chris Brown-Rihanna situation, it’s not cool to put your hands on a lady. So Rihanna, if you need someone to help you, I’ll kick his ass!”
“I guess the layoff didn’t hurt,” Hallman said after the fight. “It took a few seconds for me to get going, but once he hit me I knew I was in a fight and got going.”
On the boxing portion of the hybrid card, Roy Jones Jr. battered Omar Sheika to earn a fifth-round TKO in the evening’s main event while BJ Flores topped Jose Luis Herrera via unanimous decision in the boxing co-headliner.
The event’s official results were:
- Jeff Monson def. Roy Nelson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Bobby Lashley def. Jason Guida via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Din Thomas def. Gabe Lemley via TKO (strikes) — Round 1, 4:13
- Dennis Hallman def. Danny Ruiz via submission (rear naked choke) — Round 1, 1:50
- James Freeman def. John Mowry via knockout (punch) — Round 1, 2:38
- Roy Jones Jr. def. Omar Sheika via TKO — Round 5, 1:45
- B.J. Flores def. Jose Luis Herrera via unanimous decision (98-92, 99-91, 99-91)
- Eric Clinton def. Richmond Dalphone via unanimous decision (38-37, 38-37, 38-37)
- Kieyon Bussey def. Robert DaLuz via majority decision (57-57, 58-56, 58-56)
- Kelvin Price def. Kevin Howard via majority decision (57-57, 58-56, 59-55)