A pair of former UFC heavyweight champions were in action on Saturday night in Moline, Illinois, and both of them won. But neither looked particularly impressive in the process.
Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski were both victorious at Saturday night's ProElite event, yet save for one high kick from Arlovski at the very end of his fight, it was a dreadful affair all around.
Sylvia took a unanimous decision over Andreas Kraniotakes, 30-27 on all three judges' cards. The fight consisted of a lot of clinching from Sylvia, and the crowd loudly booed at the end of the fight and again as Sylvia got his hand raised in the cage afterward.
Arlovski knocked out Travis Fulton with a shocking head kick with one second remaining in the third round of a fight that had been, up to that point, a dud. HDNet announcer Michael Schiavello accurately described the fight as "a cure for insomnia" heading into the third round, but Arlovski finally got busy in the third, and when the opportunity arose just as the fight was coming to an end, he threw a left high kick and landed his shin perfectly against Fulton's jawline, knocking him cold.
Reagan Penn, the brother of B.J. Penn, looked even worse than Sylvia and Arlovski in losing a unanimous decision to Evan Cutts, 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27 on the judges' scorecards. It was the second pro fight of Penn's MMA career, and it's hard to see any reason he'll have a third fight.
And in the first round of ProElite's eight-man heavyweight tournament, four men advanced to the semifinals:
-- Ryan Martinez handed Mark Ellis the first loss of his career, winning by unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three judges' cards. It was an extremely disappointing showing from Ellis, who entered the cage as a heavy favorite but left with the crowd loudly booing his lackluster performance.
-- Jake Heun brutalized Ed Carpenter, knocking him down with a kick-punch combination and then finishing him off with ground and pound for a first-round TKO.
-- Cody Griffin was losing the fight after two rounds but came back on fire at the start of the third, battering Justyn Riley, knocking him down and finishing him with punches on the ground to win a third-round TKO.
-- Richard Odoms beat Rodney Housley by unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring it 30-27. The fight wasn't particularly competitive or particularly compelling -- which meant it fit in well with this disappointing fight card.