returned to the cage on Friday night for the first time since being released by Strikeforce
, and it did not go well. At the end of a dull three-round contest, the judges awarded Eddie Sanchez
a split-decision victory.
The fight could have gone either way, and neither fighter did enough to really earn a victory. For most of the bout they were gasping for air, sweating profusely and not looking like they were in very good shape, but someone had to win and two judges scored it 30-27 for Sanchez, while one judge had it 29-28 Rogers.
After the fight, Sanchez did his best to talk up what had been a relatively uneventful fight.
"He caught me a couple times," Sanchez said of Rogers. "He does have some power."
Sanchez landed a number of leg kicks on the flat-footed Rogers, and eventually it was Sanchez who looked the worse for wear from all that leg-to-leg contact: Sanchez had a deep cut on his right shin and a swollen right foot from landing all those kicks to Rogers' lead leg. But Sanchez said afterward that the injury to his lower leg hadn't affected him.
"I really didn't notice it," Sanchez said. "It split open, I think, in the second round. With the adrenaline rush you don't really feel it."
Rogers, the former Strikeforce fighter who was released by Zuffa following three losses and an arrest on domestic violence charges, may not have anywhere to go from here. He has now lost four of his last five fights, he has been involved in trouble out of the cage, and his recent fights have been snooze-fests that left the fans booing. Those are three big strikes against him: Rogers' career has just about hit rock bottom.
The Sanchez-Rogers fight took all the energy out of the building after what had been shaping up as an entertaining Titan Fighting Championships card. Some of the energy returned, however, when Dakota Cochrane turned in a solid showing in upsetting former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner. Of particular note on the Titan Fighting undercard, Andrew Whitney got things started on the HDNet broadcast with a sensational flying knee knockout of Laramie Shaffer. After Shaffer had won the first two rounds, Whitney exploded with a knee to Shaffer's face at the start of the third, knocking him cold in one of the highlight-reel knockouts of the year.
It was disappointing that Sanchez and Rogers couldn't provide such fireworks.