Ares FC 15 results: Dominant title win highlights action-packed night in Paris
PARIS - Budding French promotion Ares Fighting Championship delivered an entertaining display of mixed martial arts at its 15th event Thursday at Dome de Paris.
The card featured 11 fights - eight were finishes - and was capped off by a dominant, grueling performance by bantamweight champion Demarte Pena. The Angola native earned a unanimous decision win over hometown favorite Mehdi Saadi in his first title defense, earning scores of 49-46, 49-46, and 50-45.
"I want to go to the UFC, man," Pena said in his postfight interview. "I'm tough as hell."
Pena called out Frenchman Taylor Lapilus for a fight at the rumored UFC Paris event in September.
The 33-year-old didn't give the crowd much to cheer about in the featured bout, mostly relying on his grappling game to control Saadi, who trains in Paris. Many of the roughly 4,000 people in attendance chanted Saadi's name all fight, even with one minute left when Pena was on top and it was clear Saadi needed a miracle to mount a comeback.
But when the final whistle sounded, many of the fans who remained in the arena poured out, not even waiting for the official decision to be read.
French fighters experienced mixed results throughout the show. They went 5-8 overall, and just 1-4 in matchups that involved one French fighter. Among the standout performances, undefeated Jordan Zebo took out Mickael Marie Sardi with a brutal head kick in the third round, earning him a €10,000 postfight bonus.
The co-main event ended early when Egyptian fighter Alaa Mansour appeared to suffer an injury, giving France's Amin Ayoub the TKO victory 58 seconds into Round 1.
Felix Klinkhammer, who trains out of Germany, was one of the night's other big winners. He cruised to an arm-triangle submission victory over Frenchman Christopher Jacquelin in less than four minutes, lifting his professional record to 9-0.
After the fight, Klinkhammer said he either wants an Ares FC welterweight title shot or a fight on Dana White's Contender Series. He was scheduled to compete in the UFC's feeder league last year but had to withdraw from his bout.
Ares FC honored bantamweight Felipe Colares at the start of the main card. Colares, who fought six times in the UFC and last competed in February under the Ares FC banner, was hit by a bus and killed last week in Brazil. He was 29.