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Thursday, Jun 15, 2006

“razor” Mccullough Sharp At Wec 21

"Razor" McCullough Sharp at WEC 21
Report by Loretta Hunt – Photography by Daisy Rosas

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., June 15 — If tonight stood as "Razor" Rob McCullough’s litmus test as to if he’s ready to step up to a bigger stage, the results came back a resounding positive.

According to San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino’s estimate, approximately 1,500 (out of a 1,700 maximum occupancy) turned out to watch McCullough and others for the WEC’s twenty-first offering and its first time outside of central valley Lemoore since 2002.

From an opening barrage of steady inside low kicks, it was clear McCullough’s speed would make the difference against the taller Ryan Healy, of Northwest Elite. A two-time WEC vet who’d shown some solid hands and seemed unafraid to engage the Razor, Healy realized quickly his reach on McCullough was more of a detriment than anything else. The former kickboxing champion landed a succession of stabbing kicks freely from outside range that forced Healy inside where he unloaded his first solid combination along the fence. McCullough wisely circled out and backed away, and the pair reset to center canvas. A small trickle of blood rolled down from the corner of Healy’s left eye.

Rob McCullough (left) vs. Ryan Healy
Rob McCullough (left) vs. Ryan Healy

Again Healy pressed in, this time for a takedown the Californian amply redirected into a throw to get Healy to the ground. The closest man to the action, referee Herb Dean then intervened, summoning cageside physician Dr. Beaird in to inspect Healy’s cut. The video screens revealed a three-inch slit through Healy’s left eyelid, and after a brief exchange with the pleading fighter, Dr. Beaird shook his head and the fight was called. The crowd growled at the stoppage, not necessarily in reaction to the assessment, but because the 1:52 bout had been an explosive one that deserved a longer run.

It is obvious McCullough’s meld of his kickboxing into MMA has evolved past his initial foray into fighting four years ago. McCullough’s next outing in July 22’s WFA will serve as his coming out; the question if his ground game has caught up to anywhere near to his dangerous striking remains unanswered.

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Galbraith Ready for Francois at Sunday’s KOTC Canada; Cote to TUF 4?
By Kelsey Mowatt

Travis "The Gladiator" Galbraith (9-3) will meet Ricardeau Francois (12-5) this upcoming weekend, Sunday, June 18 in Edmonton, Alberta, at the Northlands Agricom Arena, for the King of the Cage Canada Light Heavyweight Championship. Galbraith is coming off a recent win over Chris Peak in February at King of the Cage "Anarchy" in Prince George, BC, where he secured this upcoming title shot by defeating Peak with a first round guillotine choke. Despite being plagued with injuries and ailments that had prevented him from fighting Art Santore in January at the Apex/ Freedom fight event, Galbraith still managed to make his return to action in February a successful one.

"I had to drop out of that fight because I ended up having a hairline fracture in my knee," says Galbraith," it was pretty banged up, bloody and bruised, I had also come down with pneumonia so I was pretty messed up. By the time the fight with Peak came up I was still hurting but hungry for the fight, when they told me the winner would get a shot at the title I would have fought with a broken neck. It went the exact way we expected, I threw a couple of high kicks at him and he came in to close the distance, I took him down and had him pinned up against the fence, hit him with some really good shots and got the guillotine."

That same February 11 evening, Patrick Cote defeated Bill Mahood to win the KOTC Canadian LHW title, and in defeating Peak to secure the No.1 contender spot, Galbraith believed he would eventually fight the UFC veteran in Cote, and not Francois, in this upcoming title shot. Since then, Cote also defeated Jason Macdonald for the Maximum Fighting Championship Middleweight title and is rumored to have secured a position in the upcoming fourth season of "The Ultimate Fighter," which will feature veteran UFC fighters.

"I have no idea on what happened with Patrick," Galbraith maintains. "I’ve heard so many different things that I really don’t know, I heard that it was because of TUF 4, that it was because of those commitments, that there were other issues with TKO, I really don’t know."

King of the Cage Canada promoter Keith Crawford confirmed to FCF this week that indeed, because of other contractual obligations, Cote would be unable to defend the promotion’s LHW title.

"We wish Mr. Cote success in his future with TUF 4 and the UFC," Crawford tells FCF. "That is truly every fighters dream. Unfortunately we need him to defend his title and because of contractual obligations with UFC he cannot. It was a pleasure having Mr. Cote as our Champion. We just wish it could have been for a longer term. He is a class act and a great fighter."

In any case, it will be Ricardeau Francois that will meet Galbraith come Sunday night, a fighter who since defeating Wes Sims in September of 2004, has only won 3 of his last 7 fights. In an interesting side not however, Francois looked impressive in his narrow loss to Patrick Cote at TKO 19 in January of 2005, dropping a controversial split decision to the former KOTC Canada LHW Champion. Galbraith comes into the fight having won three in a row, defeating the aforementioned Chris Peak, Todd Seyler and Chris Wilson since losing to Jonathan Goulet in May of 2004. Galbraith has been training with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and noted instructor Rodrigo Munduruca, at his affiliated gym "Let’s Roll" in Sherwood Park, which is headed up by his student Kyle Cardinal. "The Gladiator" will give up a considerable reach advantage to the 6’6" tall Francois, and is preparing a game plan with Munduruca to nullify the lanky fighter’s striking game.

"Rodrigo came up to Edmonton and has been basically living with me getting me ready for this fight," says Galbraith. "We’ve put together quite a team at "Let’s Roll" and I’m feeling really good. He’s been really working on my conditioning, I’ve been trying to work on that a lot in the last couple of years, I used to go into a fight really under conditioned, I feel really good, I could go five, 5 minute rounds if I had too. He’s (Francois) so tall and lanky, I expect him to try to kick me from across the ring really, so I think he’ll want to keep it standing. I’ve been working on my stand up a lot too, but I have scary ground and pound right now so that’s what I’m thinking. Try the standing, and take it down. I’m going to take him down and ground and pound him until he opens up and I’ll submit him, I’m going to say in the first round."

Other notable fights that this Sunday’s card will showcase include Garret Davis looking to extend his 5 fight winning streak against veteran journeymen Shannon Ritch, and Team Sniper instructor Mike Yackulic will meet Jason Zazelenchuk.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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