November 9, 2019 – Great Falls, MT
Fusion Fight League’s Rising Stars 2, saw SBG Idaho athletes Almir Talic and Riley Timmons earn titles at lightweight and featherweight, respectively, while Noah Shultz defended his flyweight championship. In the evening’s professional main event, Ben Hollier suffered his first loss as a professional. Results are as follows-
Almir Talic (4-0 MMA, 1-0 FFL) winner over Ryder Small (4-2 MMA, 2-2 FFL) via submission (triangle choke), 00:56 Round 1
Both fighters take center and exchange, with Small landing a short left hook. Talic fires a headkick and Small ducks under, securing a rear waistlock. Talic rolls away and quickly composes his guard, threatening with an armbar. Small frees his arm, but is quickly ensnared in a tight triangle. Talic makes a few small adjustments, and Small is forced to tap just a minute into the first round. Beautiful performance from Almir, who has finished all of his fights inside the first round!
Riley Timmons (5-1 MMA, 2-0 FFL) winner over Barb Cuellar (4-2 MMA, 2-1 FFL) via TKO, 2:21 Round 2
Timmons immediately takes center, pressing forward and cutting the cage off on Cuellar, who circles the outside. Strong punches for both fighters land before Timmons closes to the clinch. Head position for Timmons leads to knees and short punches. Cuellar looks for a guillotine against the cage, but Timmons defends and secures a double leg. Inside of Cuellar’s closed guard, Timmons gains posture and lands progressively stronger ground and pound until the round ends. Round 2 sees Timmons come forward aggressively, but eats a sharp right hand from Cuellar that drops her to a knee. Timmons pops up immediately and clinches, pinning Cuellar against the cage, and securing a bodylock takedown. Timmons postures up inside Cuellar’s halfguard, before advancing to mount where she postures up and dishes out punishing ground and pound until the referee is forced to intervene. Fantastic performance from Riley, who picks up her first title over a worthy opponent!
Noah Shultz (5-2, 2-0 FFL) winner over Jared Braun (4-2-1 MMA, 0-1 FFL) via submission (rear-naked choke), 2:59 Round 3
Shultz takes center-cage peppering Braun with a sharp jab, lead right hands, and timely kicks to the legs and body. Braun is game, and attempts to close the distance, but Shultz utilizes deft footwork and counter-punching to avoid damage and keep Braun off balance. Round 2 sees Braun come forward with greater urgency, swinging hard and driving Shultz to the cage where he scores a strong bodylock takedown. Shultz closes his guard and immediately looks to isolate Braun’s arm. Braun maintains strong posture and avoids Shultz’s submission attempts while landing strong punches from top until the round ends. Round 3 begins with Shultz outlanding Braun in the striking department before Braun takes the fight to the ground with another strong bodylock against the cage. Shultz again closes his guard, but Braun successfully defends the submission attempts and lands strikes from top. Shultz transitions to halfguard and executes a beautiful back take off a wide punch from Braun. With time running out in the round, Shultz secures the neck and gets the tap with only one second remaining! Outstanding performance from Shultz who retains his title in dramatic fashion over his toughest test to date!
Ben Hollier (3-1 MMA, 0-1 FFL) lost to Tommy McMillen (1-0 MMA, 1-0 FFL) via submission (rear naked choke), Round 1
Both fighters begin moving around the outside, getting a feel for the other. McMillen back Hollier up with a low kick and Hollier responds with a nice shot entry. McMillen counters well and reverses Hollier. Hollier is stuck in an awkward halfguard position where he absorbs some short elbows from McMillen before releasing the leg and coming to his feet. A quick scramble ensues and McMillen manages to secure Hollier’s back. McMillen has his arm deep under the chin of Hollier, who shows great heart in managing to escape. McMillen maintains control and switches to the opposite arm. The choke is deep and Hollier is forced to tap. Despite the loss, 2019 has been a successful year for Hollier, who earned three dominant victories before this setback.
As always, we are incredibly proud of all of our athletes for the dedication, courage, and class they display every time they step in the cage. Win or lose, everyone shows tremendous growth as both a martial artist and person! Special thanks to all training partners and coaches for your commitment to helping our athletes reach their goals!
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