Trigg edges Babcock, Martin upset by Cummings at XCF
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Feb 14, 2009 at 11:20 pm ET
UFC veterans Frank Trigg (19-6) and Terry Martin (18-7) each went the full 15 minutes in their respective featured bouts at Saturday night's "XCF: Rumble in Racetown" in Daytona, Florida.
And while both fights saw bright spots for each fighter, it was only Trigg that would leave the cage a victor.
Neither fighter left Florida believing they had a future in the middleweight division.
Trigg opened his main-event bout with Danny Babcock (5-2) in style, utilizing dirty boxing in the clinch and working ground-and-pound after throwing his opponent to the floor with a hip toss. The action of the round was vintage Trigg, but the result was an apparently winded athlete with his hands resting on his knees between frames.
The second and third rounds established themselves as boxing sessions. Babcock threw the occasional high kick as he retreated, but it was his counter-punching that was the more effective tool. Babcock's reach advantage caused problems for Trigg as he pushed the action. While Trigg remained the more active fighter as he continually pushed forward, Babcock seemed to land the stronger blows.
The third opened the same as the second, and Babcock looked re-energized. The mood only lasted briefly, and Babcock quickly relented on any meaningful offense. Trigg continued to push the action for the final frame, and a flurry as time expired dropped Babcock and sealed the deal.
Following the bout -- and echoing statements he made in the cage with to the gathered crowd -- Trigg told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he was determined to make the move back down to the welterweight division.
"That was probably my last fight at 185 pounds," Trigg said. "The size of the guys that are coming into the sport now, along with the skills they are picking up so quickly, is making it so that I need to drop back down to the proper weight for a guy my size, and that's 170 pounds."
Trigg has now won four-straight fights, while Babcock was defeated for just the second time in his young seven-fight career.
While undefeated middleweight Zak Cummings (9-0) entered his bout an underdog to UFC and Strikeforce veteran Martin, his poise throughout a difficult first round set the tone for the remainder of the fight.
Martin appeared to earn the first round with a combination of defensive wrestling skills and effective counter strikes. The six-year veteran wouldn't be so lucky in the second.
Cummings worked twice to mount position in the second frame, and twice to Martin's back. Martin remained calm and worked free from the positions, but the tide had certainly turned. A dominant second round for Cummings gave way to a much slower and much closer third round, but two of the three judges in attendance believed the up-and-comer had done enough.
Following the bout, Cummings gave praise to Martin.
"[Martin] is a tough guy man," Cummings said. "Strong. Quick. I just wanted to come out here and give you guys a show."
The young fighter also admitted he hoped to use the win as a means to move on to tougher challenges.
"Just keep bringing on the bigger and better guys," Cummings said. "I don't want easy fights."
Cummings remains undefeated through his first nine fights while Martin falls to 2-5 in his past seven bouts. The "XCF: Rumble in Racetown" announcing crew later said that Martin is also eying a drop to 170 pounds.
Former cast member of "The Ultimate Fighter 7" Jesse Taylor (9-3) used his impressive wrestling and ground-and-pound skills to earn a second-round win over Gert Kocani (1-1).
Taylor immediately took Kocani to the ground in both frames. Kocani tried valiantly to work in arm bar and triangle choke attempts from the bottom, but the onslaught of punches and elbows from the top proved too much. Kocani rolled to his belly to avoid additional damage and Taylor locked in a fight-ending rear-naked choke at 4:45 of the second round.
The win was Taylor's third-straight at 170-pounds. The 26-year-old's post-fight speech was equal parts Taylor and "JT Money."
"I'm ready for anybody at 170 pounds," Taylor said. "But I think it's time for Daytona Beach to party."
Former NFL defensive lineman Marcus Jones (4-2) immediately brought the fight to Jesse Juarez (7-6) in their heavyweight contest. Jones wasted little time in opening a gash over Juarez's left eye and nearly brought him to the floor with a well-defended judo toss.
Juarez answered with a few stiff shots of his own before the action slowed briefly when the fighters clinched. Jones paused only momentarily before finding the separation he needed end the fight.
A right hand wobbled Juarez, and a two-punch combo dropped to him to the floor. Jones hovered over his downed opponent, but held back on any additional offense while allowing the referee to halt the bout.
Jones, who dedicated his win to Corey Hill, said he felt good about the win but knew his transition from the NFL to MMA was far from complete.
"I felt good," Jones said. "I just want to keep working hard and improving. I know I'm just getting started."
Frank Trigg def. Danny Babcock via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Zak Cummings def. Terry Martin via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jesse Taylor def. Gert Kocani via submission (rear-naked choke) -- Round 2, 4:45
Marcus Jones def. John Juarez via TKO (punches) -- Round 1, 1:39
T.J. Cook def. Scott Harper via KO (punch) -- Round 1, 1:37
Todd Cutler def. Jeremy May via TKO (punches) -- Round 1, 4:07
Gilbert Burgos def. Chris Thorne via TKO (doctor's stoppage) -- Round 1, 1:17
Ryan Keenan def. Blake Bowman via TKO (strikes) -- Round 1, 4:29