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    Sunday, August 20, 2017-9:22:10A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Guam’s ‘Super Saiyan’ submits legendary ‘Fireball Kid’

FRANK “The Crank” Camacho was not the only one whose fight ended in a bittersweet outcome in Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night 111 in Singapore on Saturday.

Jon “Super Saiyan” Tuck, of Guam, submits legendary Japanese lightweight and former Pride FC champion Takanori “The Fireball Kid” Gomi by rear naked choke at UFC Fight Night 111 in Kallang, Singapore.  Photo Credit UFC
Camacho’s friend, fellow Marianas son and undercard occupant, Jon “Super Saiyan” Tuck of Guam scored the biggest win of his career courtesy of a 72-second first round rear naked choke.

However, it came at a price.

Tuck submitted a true legend of mixed martial arts and one of his heroes in former Pride FC champion Takanori “The Fireball Kid” Gomi.

Even more impressive was that Tuck made it look virtually effortless.

In the eighth fight of the Fight Night 111 undercard, Tuck and Gomi squared off in a lightweight contest that resembled a clash between anime super heroes—“Super Saiyan” vs. “The Fireball Kid.”

At the height of his prime, Gomi was ranked as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in MMA. However, for this match, most odds makers had put Tuck as the favorite due to his world class Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills, Gomi’s known susceptibility to submissions and the fact that the Japanese fighter was on a three-fight losing streak. The 38 year old Gomi has not won a fight since 2014.

Nevertheless, Tuck did not take his foe lightly.

They say the last thing to fade for an aging striker is their punching power and Gomi, who sports 13 knockouts in 35 career wins, is notorious for his dynamite fists. If Gomi was going to win, it would have to be by KO and Tuck was well aware of this. Despite his immense respect for Gomi, Tuck knew he could not give the latter any quarter. It was simply too risky.

As soon as Round 1 kicked off, Tuck pressured Gomi with a series of heavy front kicks. One of the kicks got through the Japanese slugger’s guard and hit his liver. Gomi did his best to shrug it off but Tuck noticed how badly his opponent was hurt and swarmed with more strikes.

Tuck eventually secured a takedown and instantly took Gomi’s back, establishing all hooks. Within seconds, the Abu Dhabi submission grappling champ sunk a deep rear naked choke leaving Gomi no choice but to tap or nap.

Afterwards, Tuck showed a tremendous amount of class and respect towards the defeated legend, repeatedly bowing to and embracing Gomi and thanking him for the opportunity. With the victory, the Guam native improved to 10-4, while Gomi dropped to 35-13. 54-percent of Gomi’s career losses have come by way of submission.

Tuck, who has been fighting in the UFC since 2012, maintained a very business-like approach all throughout the moments leading up to his fight with Gomi. Based on the professional calmness and composure Tuck exhibited at weigh-ins, one would never have guessed just how ecstatic he really was to be fighting the Japanese icon.

The truth is, Gomi is one of Tuck’s favorite fighters and significantly influenced the 32 year old Chamorro’s decision to pursue a career in MMA. The sentimental effect of beating such a legend was evident in Tuck’s facial expression and voice during his post-fight interview.

Even if Gomi’s best days are behind him, Tuck’s win is huge and a landmark victory for Marianas MMA in general. He faced one of the most famous names in the history of the sport, on the biggest stage and won in dominant fashion.

Other results

While Tuck and Camacho were the only Marianas-born fighters on the Fight Night 111 card, they were joined by other veterans of Guam’s Pacific Xtreme Combat promotion.

   Former PXC standouts Russell Doane and Kwan Hwo Kwak duked it out in a bantamweight affair. Hawaii’s Doane caught the Korean fighter with a devastating combination against the cage and won by TKO at 4:09 of Round 1. Doane snapped a four-fight skid in the process. The once undefeated Kwak remains winless in the UFC since signing with them last year.

Filipino featherweight Rolando Dy was deemed unfit to continue due to damage to his eye, in his clash with seasoned UFC veteran Alex Caceres.

The bout was ruled a TKO victory for Caceres by way of eye injury in the second round.

   In the UFC Singapore main event, former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm defeated perennial contender Bethe Correia by sensational Round 3 head kick KO.

   Polish heavyweight prospect Marcin Tybura decisioned former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski; American welterweight Colby Covington also won via decision against Korea’s Dong Hyun “The Stun Gun” Kim; former lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos, of Brazil, made a successful welterweight debut decisioning Belgian Tarec Saffiedine; American heavyweight Walt “The Big Ticket” Harris knocked out Frenchman Cyril Asker at 1:44 of the first; Japan’s Yuta Sasaki beat rising American flyweight star Justin Scoggins via come-from-behind second round RNC; and Lucie Pudilova and Naoki Inoue decisioned Ji Yeon Kim and Carl John De Tomas respectively.