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Lineker takes title; Jungle Fight photo gallery

Lineker wielding his deadly hands / Photo: Carlos Ozório

This time Jungle Fight set up shop in Brazil’s biggest city, São Paulo. The crowd that filled the Mauro Pinheiro gymnasium was treated to hard-fought battles and eye-pleasing knockouts and finises. The promotional flyweight title fight, between John Lineker and Iliarde Santos, exceeded all expectations of what a main event should be. Excited after fastening the belt on the new champion, promoter Wallid Ismail couldn’t contain himself, true to style: “It was the fight of the year!”

Indeed, it was a crowd-pleaser among the best to feature at Jungle Fight in 2011. Lineker came close to ending the encounter with a knockout in the first round, pounding away and punishing his guard-playing opponent. Referee Paulo Borracha considered stepping in, he would later admit. But he made the right choice in letting the action play out. The two rounds that followed were evenly matched, both fighters having their moments, some dramatic, with an intense firefight on the feet throughout. Iliarde fell back on the experience that has yielded him 22 triumph but it wasn’t enough, with John Lineker taking the title by split decision. Bringing his win streak to 13, the nineteenth of his career (with five losses), the standup specialist from Paraná state is now biting his lip hoping to be called up by no less than the UFC.

Wallid straps on the belt. Photo: Carlos Ozório.

Another awaiting his chance to fight abroad is Neilson Gomes, who notched his eleventh positive result. The USA’s Jeremy Franklin managed to use his wrestling to good effect early on by latching on to the Brazilian’s leg and landing the takedown. But Neilson’s Jiu-Jitsu prevailed, getting him the sweep, back mount, and concluding with a rear-naked choke, all in just 2:15 minutes.

Wendell put on a fine standup display. Photo: Carlos Ozório.

In another of the night’s most heavily anticipated matchups, Wendell Negão followed his cornerman and coach Clayton Mangueira’s orders. Facing local fighter Thiago Passos, the Rio de Janeiro native unleashed flying knees and surprised his opponent with pinpoint strikes. Following a knockdown in the opening round, a stiff jab resulted in a knockout and his eighth back-to-back win. “I feel sorry for the punching bag, I practiced jabs so much. But I’ve also got a potent right,” he joked.

Speaking of knockouts, the quickest of the night was Charles Michael’s on Paulo Rodrigues, who fell in just seven seconds, following an intense striking exchange. With two bombs to the chin, Michael brings his knockout tally to three in three fights. Bruno Capelosa was patient in escaping a tight spot and went on to land some solid kicks. His opponent, Dirley “Mão de Pedra”, pulled out in the third round. Now Douglas Silva put his Jiu-Jitsu to work against João Paulo. He got the takedown, mounted, and persisted with an armbar until João finally tapped.

Check out a photo gallery with all the action and complete results from the event below:

[flickr set=72157627655070082]

Check out the complete results:

Jungle Fight 32
Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo
Saturday, September 10, 2011

John Lineker (Emporium Team) defeated Iliarde Santos (Ulisses Pereira Team) via split decision;
Neilson Gomes (Champions Team) submitted Jeremy Franklin via rear-naked choke at 2:15 minutes of R1;
Charles Michael (Miguel Repanas Team) defeated Paulo Rodriguees (Machida Team) via TKO at 0.07 minutes of R1;
Wendell Negão (Gracie Fusion/Mangueira) defeated Thiago Passos (Bolado Team) via KO at 3:36 minutes of R2;
Bruno Capelosa (Gracie Fusion/Veras TK) defeated Dirley “Mão de Pedra” (Mão de Pedra) via desistance at 2:46 minutes of R3;
Douglas Silva (X-Gym Team) defeated João Paulo de Carvalho (Chute Boxe/Bauru) via armbar at 3:54 minutes of R1.

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