Heath Rud (right) took home the Driller Promotions amateur welterweight championship by defeating Melvin Cruz (right) on all three judges' scorecards.
This fight was for the Driller Promotions amateur welterweight championship. As an amateur bout, the five-round fight utilized three minute rounds.
Cruz landed four straight leg kicks before he got answered by one by Rud. Superman punch missed by Cruz, then he pushed Rud into the cage. From the clinch, Cruz looked for an opportunity to bring the fight to the mat. Rud landed punches to the body with his back against the cage. He wasn't doing enough damage, though, and the referee broke things up. Leg kick from Cruz before he shot in again and put Rud against the fence. Cruz looked for a single and got Rud to the ground, but not in a dominant enough position and Rud stood right back up before the round ended.
Bleacher Report Unofficial Score: 10-9 Rud
This was a very close round that probably could have gone either way as Rud did land more strikes even though his back was against the fence through most of the round.
Leaping front kick missed by Rud, but he followed it up with a nice body kick. Rud’s hands looked to be opening up a bit more. Body kick attempt from Rud but Cruz caught it and pushed him against the cage. Rud looked for a standing guillotine choke but Cruz wasn't close to tapping. Rather than use all of his strength on a submission that wasn’t going to happen, Rud let go. The fighters went to center cage again. The round came to an end without either fighter really looking truly dominant.
Bleacher Report Unofficial Score: 10-9 Cruz (19-19 overall)
This was another very close round, but Cruz's control of the action probably earned it for him even though he didn't land many strikes.
Rud went for another body kick, but this time when Cruz caught it, Rud yanked it away rather than get clinched again. Nice left hook from Rud and Cruz seemed to think it hit him in the eye. No stoppage though and the fight continued. Nice jab from Rud as he began to take over in the striking game. He then connected with left hook. Cruz answered back with a string of his own punches, but nothing that landed with much power. Rud moved in and clinched Cruz as the round came to an end.
Bleacher Report Unofficial Score: 10-9 Rud (29-28 Rud overall)
Both fighters looked to be in good shape as we headed into the championship rounds.
Body kick attempt from Cruz got caught and Rud shot in, taking the fight to the ground just seconds in. Rud moved to side control, but Cruz got back to his feet from there. Rud stayed on him and threw a combination of punches, but none of them landed cleanly. Nice left jabs from Rud and a big hook. Cruz landed a leg kick. Grazing head kick from Cruz, but Rud kept moving forward and jabbed him again. Cruz with a leg kick. More punching combinations from Rud. Cruz shot in for a takedown, but couldn’t get it before the round ended.
Bleacher Report Unofficial Score: 10-9 Rud (39-37 Rud overall)
Rud’s striking appeared to be really catching up to Cruz as he finally just decided to rush in and throw with a little more urgency rather than get picked apart. It allowed Rud to take him down, though, as he didn’t land much in his fury of punches. Cruz got back to his feet after taking minimal damage on the ground and landed a solid right hand followed by two leg kicks to Rud’s lead left leg. Cruz continued to throw big leg kicks and Rud finally started to show the effects as he tried to check them. Great left hand from Cruz landed and Rud looked tired. Cruz shot in for a takedown before the round came to an end, but he might not have gotten it before the bell rang.
Bleacher Report Unofficial Score: 10-9 Cruz (48-47 Rud overall)
Official Result: Heath Rud defeated Melvin Cruz by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46) to become the Driller Promotions Amateur Welterweight Champion