Mark Ellis, 2009 NCAA Division I heavyweight champ for the University of Missouri, won his first professional mixed martial arts (MMA) match at ProElite I in Honolulu Saturday night.
Ellis, who turns 25 next week, got a submission by rear-naked choke over former Alaska high school wrestler and University of Hawaii fullback Jake Heun at 2:29 of the second round.
MMA website Sherdog.com described the match as an “exciting-if-messy heavyweight affair of takedowns, reversals, and near subs.” MMAMania.com said, “Ellis imposed his will at every turn” while MMAFrenzy.com had a completely different take, saying, “Mark Ellis did not have it as easy however, as the former NCAA champion’s inexperience showed up through out the fight against an energetic opponent. Despite picking up the win, Ellis was very unhappy with the win.”
Ellis, who has been training at the American Kickboxing Academy with the likes of former collegiate All-American wrestlers-turned-MMA-stars Daniel Cormier (an Oklahoma State alum) and UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez (Arizona State), took Heun down early and engaged in ground-and-pound in the first round. However, the former fullback was able to reverse things and attempted a guillotine choke. The two came to their feet, with Heun dropping Ellis to his back with a kick, but unable to capitalize.
In the second, Heun put Ellis on his back again, but the ex-Mizzou matman was able to reverse position, submitting his opponent.
Ellis, who weighed in at 244.8 pounds — nearly 9 pounds more than Heun, yet two pounds less than his official weight at the 2010 NCAAs (247) — is now 1-0 in MMA; Heun is 1-1 as a pro.
Want to see the match? Check out this YouTube video of the complete Ellis-Heun bout… and, for action photos, visit Sherdog.com.
Want to know more? For concise write-ups of the Ellis-Heun bout and other action at ProElite I, visit Sherdog.com, MMAMania.com, and MMAFrenzy.com. For a detailed play-by-play, visit MMAMania.com and BloodyElbow.com.
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