Knockout of the Weekend Happened at Wreck MMA, Not UFC 137 or Bellator 56
Bart Pasewlski was maybe awarded the Knockout of the night for his UFC 137 round 1 victory over UFC veteran Tyson Griffin. Roy Nelson might have retired Mirko Crocop at UFC 137 with his round 3 technical knockout of the former Pride champion. Finally, Bellator heavyweight Eric Prindle might have scored a knockout over Ron Sparks at Bellator 56 to secure his place in the heavyweight finals. All those knockouts aside, none of them compared to the slam knockout that happened at Wreck MMA's Unfinished Business this past Friday.
Wreck MMA is based out of Canada's national capital region, the fights were streamed by Canadian based sports channel The Score.
The co-main event featured a match between Canadian Bantamweight Nick Denis and Denver, Colorado based fighter Nick Mamalis.
Denis was making his return to competition after a layoff that spanned more than a year.
"I haven't been fighting, but I've been training hard the entire time so it doesn't really feel like I haven't been fighting," Denis told Leon Horne of Bleacher Report (see original interview here).
The hard training at Tri Star gym and Ronin MMA certainly paid off despite the layoff from competition.
Mamalis, a former Bellator competitor who trains at the well known Grudge Training Center in Colorado expected to utilize his collegiate wrestling base to hold the Canadian down and inflict damage from the top.
Things worked out great for Mamalis early on as he landed a slam in the opening sequence of round 1 and proceeded to control and dominate Denis in the clinch and on the ground throughout the remainder of the round.
Round 2 started out just as bad for Denis. The Canadian was in a rear naked choke and was trying to pass and escape the submission attempt by Mamalis. In the process of escaping Denis made it back to his feet and ended up taking Mamalis' back. In position for a slam of his own, Denis landed one of the most devastating belly to back suplex knockouts in recent history.
The slam was reminiscent of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's multiple highlight reel slams during his Pride days.
Don't take my word for it though, watch the knockout for yourself at the 1:40 mark of The Score's Wreck MMA Wrap and you be the judge.
It took a bit of time for Denis to shake off the "ring rust", but once again this up and coming Canadian Bantamweight not only improved his record to 10-2-0, but added another highlight reel knockout to his repertoire.
Of Denis' 10 wins, 9 have come by way of knockout, an impressive feat no doubt and hopefully fans will get a chance to see whether or not Denis can translate that killer instinct to the next level.
"It's [making the UFC] something I am obviously striving for, but I won't be too happy until I get there," Denis recently told Bleacher Report.
Denis wants to crack the UFC bantamweight roster and with knockout wins like the one he had on Friday his shot shouldn't be too far off.
Denis was ranked as the number 1 bantamweight in Canada prior to his layoff and with the win he is definitely back in to the top 3. One would imagine that one or two more solid victories would result in the UFC extending him an offer to fight and don't expect to wait long for those wins to come.
"I want to get my wins in, everything I need to do to get in the UFC as soon as possible, ideally before the New Year," Denis said.
Let's not predict the future and let's wait and see how things play out for this young Canadian. In the meantime, Denis' slam knockout over Mamalis was impressive to say the least. It was the kind of knockout that some fighters, even those fighters at the highest level, may never achieve during an entire career.
Leon Horne is a writer for Bleacher Report and is part of the B/R MMA interview team, Follow @Leon_Horne
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