It was a rough night for two of the three former amateur wrestlers competing at Bellator 210 at WinStar Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. Friday night, with two-time U.S. Olympic freestyle alternate Shawn Bunch defeating former Greco-Roman mat champ Joe Warren in their bout ... while Chris Honeycutt, two-time NCAA All-American for Edinboro, came out on the losing end of a split decision.
In the battle of former international wrestlers, Bunch struck Joe Warren into submission at 1:42 of the first round of their bantamweight (135-pound) bout. In addition to his freestyle wrestling accomplishments, Bunch -- like Honeycutt -- was a two-time NCAA All-American at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
Here's MMAmania.com's brief live-action write-up on this equally short match: "Bunch is single minded in landing a right cross over and over. Bunch backs Warren up to the fence and starts landing combos and hurts Warren badly with a left that causes Warren to turn and physically surrender. It is ALL OVER. Warren is holding the left side of his neck and just said 'I can't feel my hands.' He's still standing but that's scary to hear from a fighter."
With the win, the 35-year-old Bunch improves his mixed martial arts record to 8-3 in a career he launched six years ago ... while Warren, seven years' older than Bunch, is now 15-8 in a pro career going back nearly a decade.
In a middleweight (185-pound) match-up, Chris Honeycutt -- a 2012 NCAA finalist for the Fighting Scots -- lost a split decision to Costello van Steenis, with one judge giving it to "the Cutt" while the other two awarded the decision to "the Spaniard", 28-29, 29-28, 29-28.
As a possible indicator as to how close the bout was ... in its live play-by-play coverage, MMAmania.com had awarded two of the three rounds to Honeycutt.
The 30-year-old Honeycutt -- who started his pro MMA career in June 2013 -- is now 11-3 ... while van Steenis, 26, has built an 11-1 record since turning pro in April 2014.