International spotlight: Canadian grappling ace Misha Cirkunov picks up career win number three at UGC 26
The development of light heavyweight prospect Misha Cirkunov (3-1) took another step in the right direction on the undercard of Ultimate Generation Combat 26. A Pan-American Games gold medalist and ADCC Trials champion Cirkunov was matched-up with Montreal's Ricardeau Francois (14-10).
Cirkunov, a judoka by trade, planted Francois in the opening moments of their fight. On the ground Cirkunov high level grappling abilities were on full display. From the top position chose to pound out Francois with a flurry of punches until the bout was halted. The official time of the TKO stoppage came just 56 seconds into round one.
All three of Cirkunov's career MMA wins have come via TKO due to punches in the first round. In his three wins Cirkunov has needed just 2:33 of actual fight time to finish off his opponents. While Cirkunov has torn through lower levels of the Canadian MMA scene, a loss to 22 year old prospect Roy Boughton in June 2010 still raises questions about the Xtreme Couture trained light heavyweight's gas tank and striking.
Only 24 years old and with grappling credentials that could fill up a small town's phonebook, Cirkunov's progression as a MMA prospect is taking a steady track. Cirkunov would be best served with a couple of fights that take him into deeper waters and past the one round blowouts seen in his MMA wins.
Cirkunov is a clear cut four star prospect who is ranked number 47 in the current edition of the ULTMMA50; a pound for pound listing of the top 50 unsigned MMA prospects. Cirkunov also checks in at number six in the ULTMMA.com light heavyweight prospect rankings.
Ultimate Generation Combat 26 results
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Matthew Spisak def. Benoit Guionnet by Unanimous Decision
Misha Cirkunov def. Ricardeau Francois by TKO (Punches) 0:56 R1
Cory MacDonald def. Chris Vorano by Submission Triangle Choke 2:12 R1
Michael Imperato def. Jonathan Belair by Submission Rear Naked Choke 0:34 R1
Ali Nestor Charles def. Tim Skidmore by KO 4:14 R2