Sean Strickland remains unbeaten and John Cottrell nabs win number 10 at KOTC
At the Riverwind Casino in Norman Oklahoma the traveling MMA road show known as King of the Cage made a pit stop for an event titled Steel Curtain. A pair of prospects under the age of 22 stole the show on a night with nine pro fights booked. California's Sean Strickland (9-0) took on four year pro Brandon Hunt (8-3) in the card's main event.
In a three round middleweight scrap Strickland brought the fight to the ground and made quick work of Hunt. With his opponent pressed up against the cage Strickland calmly worked to improve his position on Hunt. A flurry of punches forced Hunt to roll away to escape but in the process Strickland ceased his back.
With Hunt flattened out Strickland opened with more power punches until the referee stopped the action less than four minutes after the bell sounded for round one. The official time of Strickland's TKO win came at the 3:48 point of round one. As a pro Strickland has stopped seven of his nine opponents.
A 20 year old from Corona, CA Strickland is a breath a fresh air for the constantly thin MMA middleweight division. With a perfect record and the ability to put on exciting fights inside the cage it would be a big shock if Strickland does not earn a call up to the UFC or Strikeforce sometime in the first half of 2012.
Competing at 185 pounds Strickland has not earned a signature win on the local scene and still may need some seasoning, but in a weight class in flux he may get time to develop more while competing on a Zuffa owned promotion's undercard.
Featherweight prospect John Cottrell (10-2) pulled off a minor upset with his win over Thomas Schulte (20-9). An Oklahoma fighter, Cottrell bloodied and battered Schulte over the course of their three round fight. With two scores of 30-27 and one 29-28 from the judge's cage side Cottrell earned a decisive victory over a fighter with both WEC and Bellator experience.
The 22 year old Cottrell is in the midst of an eight fight winning streak. The last four fights have been particularly impressive for Cottrell as he knocked off Oklahoma stalwarts Josh Pulsifer (16-7), Johnny Carson (9-5) and now Schulte on his way to double digit wins. With his hot streak Cottrell has assured himself looks from both the Bellator and UFC organizations in 2012.
King of the Cage Steel Curtain results
Isaiah Reyes def. Anthony Kellen by Submission Punches 2:21 R3
Noah Zamora def. Rowdy Wilbourn by Submission Guillotine Choke 0:51 R1
Rico Cato def. Marciano Wilson by Submission Rear Naked Choke 1:28 R1
Scott Bear def. Michael Casteel by Submission Rear Naked Choke 1:52 R1
Garrick Landis def. Rickey Bowen by Unanimous Decision
Carl Perry def. Tim Papp by TKO (Punches) 1:26 R1
Codale Ford def. Brian Grinnell by TKO (Doctor Stoppage Eye Injury) 5:00 R1
Johnny Cottrell def. Thomas Schulte by Unanimous Decision
Sean Strickland def. Brandon Hunt by TKO (Punches) 3:48 R1