Fighting out of Kings MMA under Brazilian coaching icon Rafael Cordeiro, welterweight Artur Estrazulas made a strong case for himself to be given a spot on one of the main cards in a future appearance.
Esztrazulas, who was cornered by team mates Giga Chikadze and Beneil Dariush as well as Cordeiro, steadily broke Chris Bonilla down over the best part of three rounds before securing a stoppage at 2.20 of the final round by way of a jumping knee followed by a flurry of punches.
That jump knee had done solid work in the second round, staggering Bonilla more than once, and Estazula also did some heavy damage to Bonilla’s lead leg, leaving him looking in bad shape as they came into the third round.
Bonilla never stopped fighting though and on several occasions he landed counter right hands which found their mark and gave Estazula pause for thought. But as Estazula steadily broke him down the referee was starting to take a close look.
A knockdown in the early in the third only added to the referee’s concerns. Bonilla beat the count but the man in black was taking no chances and when Estazula landed that jump knee again and followed with punches, he dived in to separate the two fighters and wave the fight off just as Bonilla started to lose balance.
Jose Palacios took a decision win over Sovankesa Som in the opening fight of Preliminary Card.
Palacios, a two-time GLORY veteran, was judged to have done the better work over the course of three rounds, although a sizeable amount of spectators audibly disagreed with the decision.
Som did a lot of damage to Palacios’ lead leg but fought most of the bout moving backwards. Palacios had the better of the boxing for the most part and put together some great combination work over the course of what was a close fight.
Natalie Morgan and Gerrica Trias had a spirited battle and went at a frenetic pace for every second of the allotted time.
Morgan, fighting out of The Yard gym under former GLORY middleweight Joe Schilling, pushed forward throughout the bout while Trias looked to catch her coming in.
Morgan appeared to be the pace-setter for much of the fight but Trias did the cleaner work and the judges rewarded that with a unanimous decision in her favor.
The final fight of the Preliminary Card saw Alex Higley and Jermaine Soto engage in a high-energy battle.
Both fighters delved into their bag of tricks for spinning kicks, jumping knees and - in Soto’s case - a 720-degree tornado kick.
Higley took a page from the Cedric Doumbé playbook at times, showboating and mocking Soto, daring him to take a free shot, with Soto responding via furious rushes of aggression.
Things were close and the judges’ decision reflected that. After three rounds, one had it for Higley and the other judges had it for Soto, making for a split-decision win in his favor.