SCC 2.0 Recap: Ricci victorious, Woolley makes return
Substance Cage Combat held their sophomore event Friday night at the Herbert Carnegie Arena in Toronto, Ontario capped off by local favourite Alex Ricci earning a hard-fought decision victory over Bellator veteran EJ Brooks.
Ricci was stifled in the opening round but was able to open things up in the second and third rounds with his precision striking attack. His takedown defence seemed to get better as the fight went on and Brooks had no answer for him on the feet. In the end, all three judges saw the bout 29-28 for the Woodbridge native.
“I had to really pick my shots,” Ricci told MMAXposed after the fight. “If I started to over-commit, that’s when I was vulnerable to the takedown. I had to pick my shots carefully, I felt my kicks were very effective in this fight. It all changes with every opponent, for me it’s like finding the key to unlock the secret code to defeat my opponent.”
In the post-fight interview, announcer Robin Black told the crowd that Ricci had been offered a contract with US-based organization RFA, which has sent several fighters to the big show and views itself as something of a “feeder league” for Zuffa. Ricci remained non-committal on the offer.
“I want to be part of the UFC, that’s my main goal. I’ll do whatever it takes to get there and if that’s the route, then I’ll go there. I’ll fight whoever it is and that’s who I am.”
When asked about the rumours that Canada would be getting a second season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, Ricci was more definitive. “I’ll definitely be there. I was disappointed that I didn’t make the last show, but I’ll definitely be back if they do come around again.”
Adrian “The Bully” Woolley made his return to MMA after a two year absence and was able to celebrate with a spirited unanimous decision victory over Jeimeson Saudino. Woolley looked rusty in the first round and was tagged with some vicious shots, but found his groove in the second with some punishing body shots. Woolley rode out the third in top position to secure the victory in what many in attendance considered the fight of the night.
“It’s been a long, long detoured road,” Woolley said of his return to the sport. “It took me a lot longer on the way out to get back to where I wanted to be. Unfortunately, it was a little bit my fault with injuries and mishaps, a little bit of bad luck. But I’m glad that I got back in the cage, glad that Saudino came out and put on one hell of a fight and put it on me in the first round. I’m glad that I got a good opponent and I’m just glad I’m fighting.”
Kyle “The Monster” Nelson needed just 42 seconds to put Ainsley Robinson to sleep with a guillotine choke. The House of Champions product was flawless in improving his record to an undefeated 6-0 and let the MMA world know he’s hungry for more.
“I’d like to fight for a belt,” a victorious Nelson said after the fight. “Even in a smaller organization, I want to fight for a belt. I’m good to go, I could fight again tomorrow.”
Dirty tricks were no match for a lack of ground game as Todd Stoute found out against Jeremy Osheim. Stoute began the fight by swinging at Osheim as the Team Wildman product went to touch gloves and decided to go full Mike Tyson on Osheim later in the fight.
“I was on top in his guard, started elbowing and kind of slipped past him. Then he bit my ear.” Osheim relayed to Sportsnet.ca’s Adam Martin. “He held on to it for a bit and I was like ‘Hey man, what’s up? The ref saw it and he said ‘hey, none of that!’ but no point deduction, he let go.”
The chicanery proved to be all for naught as Osheim used a vastly superior wrestling attack to neutralize Stoute and take a 29-28 decision victory on all judges’ scorecards. Score one for MMA karma.
In other notable action on the card, Mike Malott landed a massive knee and followed up with punches to stop Allan Wilson in the first round. After the fight, Malott praised Wilson for stepping up on short notice and called out his original opponent Michael Karkula. Team Headrush’s Abdula Teymouri also had a vicious first round stoppage over Para Bellum MMA’s Julian Villanova that had everyone in the crowd take notice.
All in all, a fun night of fights and an all too rare occasion to see homegrown Ontario fighters get a chance to ply their trade in their home province.
Alex Ricci defeated E.J. Brooks via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Kyle Nelson defeated Ainsley Robinson via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:42 R1
Jeremy Osheim defeated Todd Stoute via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Adrian Woolley defeated Jeimeson Saudino via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Mike Malott defeated Allan Wilson via KO (knee & punches) at 1:29 R1
Abdula Teymouri defeated Julian Villanova via TKO (strikes) at 3:26 R1
Max Li defeated Rob Santos via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Ahmed Kakar defeated Omar Karami via unanimous decision (no scores given)