Two fighters looking to get into the UFC used their fists, feet and elbows to argue strong cases in their behalf in the two main matches on Friday's Score Fighting Championships 7 show.
Jordan "Young Guns" Mein (26-8), a welterweight currently under contract to Strikeforce, and waiting to find out what that exactly means, finished former UFC fighter Forrest Petz (25-10) in just 1:29. Mein used an all-out barrage from the start of the fight at the Hamilton Place Theater in Hamilton, Ont., Canada.
Meanwhile, Jesse "The Body Snatcher" Ronson (12-2), a lightweight from London, Ont., used an arsenal of clean punches and kicks for three rounds to win a lopsided decision over Team Quest product Ryan Healy (23-12-1) on scores of 30-26, 30-25 and 30-27.
Mein, allowed by Strikeforce management to take the fight since Strikeforce hasn't been able to book him with two shows canceled, hurt Petz early and Petz never got untracked. He threw punches and knees until Petz went down, and followed with piston-like punches, and then knees and elbows, until ref Yves Lavigne stepped in.
"I had to respect his power, that's why I was sticking and moving a little, but once I landed a couple of elbows that I felt was hurting him, I kept attacking," said Mein.
When asked about what his future was with Strikeforce finishing up and no definite word on how many of its fighters will be absorbed into UFC, the 23-year-old Mein had no answer.
"I don't know yet," he said. "I was very thankful they let me out (to take this fight) and The Score put me in the main event."
A loss here would have greatly reduced the odds of him being brought into UFC. But if an impressive showing here was going to get him in, he passed that test with flying colors.
Ronson used his kickboxing style that doesn't include low kicks, a throwback to the old Pro Karate Association days, to dominate Healy, who took a beating but never broke mentally. Ronson dominated the stand-up game, but Healy continued to fight back until the end, even though battered, scoring several takedowns. Healy was still punching back until the bell rang to end the fight. Both fighters received standing ovations, Ronson for his clean technique and damage done, and Healy for toughness.
"I did throw everything, I wished I was a little more relaxed and I had a little more snap, but it did the job," Ronson said. "This guy is really harder than a copper nail. I want to know what he's made of. I want to see some doctor testing him. All I want for Christmas is a UFC contract, but who knows what's going to happen."
Ronson and Healy tore down the house even though they had to follow a Will Romero vs. Tristan Johnson standing war that would have been the best fight on 95 percent of major MMA shows. In the second meeting between the two fighters, Johnson won again, a split decision on scores of 28-29, 30-27 and 30-27.
The two Canadian featherweights battled nonstop for three rounds, going back-and-forth in a fight that could have been judged either way. Johnson (8-3), had the reach edge, but Romero (9-4) busted Johnson near the right eye in the second round and landed some big shots in the third. The second and third rounds were close. Johnson clearly won the first round, scoring the fights only knockdown early in round one with a right hook.
The fight was a rematch of a thrilling bout Johnson won via decision on the first Score Fighting Series show on June 10, 2011. The sequel was even better.
"Will's a hell of a fighter," said Johnson. "I respect all you guys over here because you stuck up for your hometown fighter. I love you guys even though you don't love me.
"I feel on top of the world," he continued. "I don't care what my face looks like, I feel great, baby."
Alex Ricci (6-1) won the second and third round through better striking to take a straight 29-28 decision over Kevin Morin (6-5) in a lightweight battle.
Jason Saggo (8-1) scored with a rear-naked choke submission over Iraj Hadin (6-5-1) at 3:41 of the second round in a lightweight battle.
In the main card opener, hometown favorite Ryan Dickson (5-0) won via choke submission over Brandt Dewsbery (10-2-1) at 4:50 of the second round in a welterweight fight.