UFC vets Efrain Escudero and Sean McCorkle capture bounce back wins at CFA 2
Looking to make a splash on the Southern MMA circuit, Florida based Championship Fighting Alliance held their second event at Miami's U.S Century Bank Arena over the weekend. Two veterans of the UFC, both in need of a win, Sean McCorkle (11-2) and Efrain Escudero (15-3) headlined the 12 fight card in the main and co-main events.
The heavyweight was originally booked versus Bellator FC vet Mike Hayes, but contractual obligations scrapped the fight in the middle of fight week. Late replacement Cameron Befort (6-4) was pegged to fight on McCorkle. In a brief heavyweight affair it was McCorkle who submitted Befort in a little over 70 seconds.
A punch from McCorkle sent Befort to the canvas. On the mat McCorkle worked fro submissions from Befort's half guard. The fight ending kimura lock for McCorkle came at the 1:12 mark in round one.
After an upset over Pride veteran Mark Hunt in his UFC debut, McCorkle was stopped in his next two Octagon appearances. In the perpetually thin MMA heavyweight division McCorkle could earn himself a second shot in the UFC or another big name promotion if he continues to pick off regional opposition so easily.
The loss for Befort snapped a four fight winning streak.
In the fight of the night Escudero defeated Mike Rio (6-1) by unanimous decision. The first round was competitive grappling match between the two lightweights as Escudero looked for chokes but was unable to corral the unbeaten Rio. In round two both let their hands go and swung for the fences, with both Escudero and Rio scoring with strikes.
Escudero closed out the fight with positional control off takedowns on Rio. All three judges cageside scored the fight in Escudero's favor.
The winner of the season eight lightweight Ultimate Fighter tournament, Escudero is now 4-1since being released by the UFC in September 2010. Only 25 years old and now working with Arizona's MMA Lab Fight Team, Escudero will remain on the UFC radar if he continues to pile up wins on the local MMA level.
For the Miami based Rio the loss was the first of his career and just the second time he fought the full 15 minutes. In order for the 30 year old Rio to get his call from a major league MMA promotion he will need to add a signature win versus a quality UFC level fighter on his resume.
In 205 pound prospect action Francisco "Kiko" France (7-3) was upset by Florida's Danny Babcock (8-4). A former 185 pound prospect Babcock moved up in weight to take on the BJJ black belt France. Babcock controlled the fight on the feet in round one and did not allow France to get comfortable. The end came midway into round two when Babcock struck France with a right-left punch combo the earned the 28 year old a clean knockout win.
The loss derails France's run to a UFC or Strikeforce promotional agreement. A former member of ATT, now working with Power MMA in Arizona, France remains a light heavyweight prospect to keep an eye on.
Babcock has now won back to back fights since suffering a defeat at the hands of current Strikeforce middleweight Derek Brunson.
Championship Fighting Alliance 2 results
Gabriel Verona def. Cesar Serje by TKO (Punches) 0:15 R1
Joseph Watson def. Leo Valdivia by Unanimous Decision
Chino Duran def. Pablo Alfonso by Unanimous Decision
Lazar Stojadinovic def. Tulio Quintanilla by Unanimous Decision
Ailton Barbosa def. Anderson Melo by Submission Triangle Choke 3:03 R2
Danny Babcock def. Francisco France by KO (Punches) 3:34 R2
Trent McCown def. Zach Juusola by Submission Guillotine Choke 0:26 R1
Patrick Cenoble def. Jerrid Burke by KO (Punch) 0:39 R2
Christopher Garcia def. Rock Georges by Submission Guillotine Choke 2:32 R1
Yoislandy Izquierdo def. Jayson Jones by Unanimous Decision
Efrain Escudero def. Mike Rio by Unanimous Decision
Sean McCorkle def. Cameron Befort by Submission Kimura 1:12 R1