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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Kaitlin Young put on a show on Friday night in Minneapolis, bludgeoning Anna Barone for two rounds in the main event at Driller Promotions' "Downtown Showdown 2" at the Hyatt Ballroom, forcing doctors to stop the fight after the second frame.
With a partisan crowd very much on her side, Young utilized a smart, mixed attack during the ten minute fight to keep herself out of trouble and constantly keep Barone guessing. In the first frame, Young battered Barone with a series of brutal knees to the body in the clinch, and mixed in some really hard, damaging kicks to the body as well. That left Barone open up top, at which point Young mixed in some hard jabs and striking combinations that opened up a cut on on the side of Barone's right eye.
The cageside doctor allowed Barone to continue after the first round, but the assault would only continue in the second. Young busted up Barone's face with a stiff jab, short elbows in close, and combinations. But that wasn't all, as she nearly took Barone's lead leg out with a series of vicious leg kicks that had Barone limping.
Barone showed a lot of heart, continuing to try to engage with strikes while taking the punishment she did, but ultimately it was far too much, and the cageside doctor called a halt to things after the end of the second frame.
For Young, the win was her second straight, and a fight she was simply happy to get under her belt after having five fights fall through since July. She moved her career record to 7-5 overall.
--The co-main event of the evening saw another crowd favorite dominate the action, as flyweight Tony Belvedere nearly finished Jon Barker in the second round of a one-sided fight to earn a unanimous decision win.
Before his bout began, a painting of Belvedere in action brought some frenzy to the crowd, as the ring announcer turned auctioneer in the cage to auction it off for a local charity. The painting brought $650 after an entertaining back and forth between three tables of Belvedere supporters cageside.
In the fight itself, Belvedere's crisper and more accurate striking was the main story of the fight, as he found a home for his punches and avoided most of Barker's offense. He nearly cost himself the fight in a dominant second round, however.
After knocking Barker down and landing a few punches on the ground, he jumped over his opponent and celebrated. There was just one problem: the ref hadn't yet stepped in to stop the fight. It was his own Rousimar Palhares moment, and a minute later he wound up on his back with Barker throwing punches.
Barker then made a major mistake when he dove in on a grounded Belvedere and kneed him square in the groin. It wasn't intentional, but it did lead to a point deduction, and thus a 10-7 round on one judge's scorecard.
Belvedere coasted a bit through the final frame, knowing he was well ahead on the scorecards, and he secured a win with scores of 30-25, 30-26, and 30-26.
--The two other pro fights on the card went to the scorecards as well, both ending in a split decision with varying takes on the action presented during the respective fights. Nick Compton scored the only clear round in his fight with Damion Hill in the second frame, but the back and forth battle was anything but clear in the first and third, and Hill ultimately got the nod.
In the third bout between Brandon Buchholz and Craig Early, Buchholz's work in the first and second rounds earned him the split, despite one judge's feelings that he didn't do enough to take on of the early frames. It was a less spirited affair then their second meeting, one in come-from-behind fashion by Early, but it did have its moments. The first round saw Buchholz lock on a triangle choke, but a very cognizant early smartly defended for several minutes and stayed patient to get out of trouble. It wasn't ultimately enough to go ahead in their series, but it was a solid effort nonetheless.
--The night's five-fight amateur card was a mixed bag of action. The Driller Promotions Amateur Lightweight Title was on the line between Marcel Anderson and John Castaneda in the final non-pro fight of the evening, with Castaneda scoring a TKO to capture the belt - which was not in attendance on Friday - in the third after securing the mount and raining down punches, but Anderson had a good showing prior to the finishing sequence.
Mitch Field gave the debuting Kyle Waldvogel a rude welcome to the sport, dictating the pace for much of the fight before scoring a ref stoppage victory in the second.
Welterweights John Melina and Marsell McCullough certainly looked the part as amateurs, gassing heavily into the second round and putting forth one of the uglier displays you could see in the cage, with Melina eventually winning by verbal submission.
Brandon Bell ended James Clark's night early, forcing him to turtle up after a takedown and landing strikes as Clark could only cover up.
Finally, Jesse Wannemacher got the night off to a good start with an excellent second round. He locked on a triangle choke against Marcus Young, then rolled him over into a mounted triangle. He released some of the pressure, but unleashed a flurry of punches that Young wasn't able to defend all that well, scoring the win.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
STAFF COLUMNISTS: Shawn Ennis - Jason Amadi
Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
Chris Park - Matt Pelkey
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