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Ryan Couture fights to a draw in last amateur title bout

Ryan Couture vs Sean Bollinger

155 lb Title Fight: Ryan Couture (4-1-1) and Sean Bollinger (1-0-1) Draw.

145 lb Title Fight: Andrew Alirez (4-0) def. Vince Norcia (2-1) via submission (arm-triangle) round 2, 0:41.

185 lb Title Fight: Edmond Xhelili (4-0) def. Tim Bowman (2-1) via unanimous decision.

115. Gabriella Lakoczky (1-1) def. Sarah Goodlaxson (2-2) via TKO round 1, 1:18.

155. Jimmy Spicuzza (4-2) def. Oron Kahlon (2-1) via TKO, round 3, 0:21.

135. Jerry Shapiro (4-0) def. Victor Henry (3-1) via submission (rear naked choke) round 1, 0:50.

170. Alan Jouban (4-0) def. Dustin Chevalier (3-1) via TKO round 1, 0:14.

135. Casey Johnson (8-1) def. Chris Brady (4-6) via unanimous decision.

185. Zach Conley (3-0) def. Rick Borden(2-1) via unanimous decision.

170. Warren Roberds (8-1) def. Takashi Munoz (1-2) via unanimous decision.

170. Joey Angelo (4-2) def. Jesse Bowler (2-3) via submission (triangle choke) round 3, 1:27.

155. vs. Jon Gorton (3-1) def. Tommy Gavin (1-2) via TKO round 2, 1:40.

Fight results

Neither the fighters nor judges could agree on a victor in Friday’s Tuff-N-Uff 155-pound title fight at The Orleans, as the highly anticipated match between Sean Bollinger and Ryan Couture ended in a draw.

“I would have given it to me, of course I’m a little biased,” Couture said. “I think he will be the one hurting the most in the morning.”

One of the judges also saw it that way, scoring the fight 29-28 in Couture’s favor.

Couture (4-1-1) scored with leg kicks throughout the fight and ended the first round with a powerful flurry.

Bollinger, meanwhile, thought he won the fight, and one of the judge’s scored the fight 29-28 in his favor.

“I think I won that fight,” Bollinger (1-0-1) said. “My leg is a little banged up, but he went to sleep in the second round and I think I landed more punches than he did.”

Bollinger came close to an upset victory in the dying seconds of the second round when he used the vice-like grip of his legs to sink in a triangle chokehold on Couture.

“I had him in the triangle for the last 15 seconds,” Bollinger said. “I was just squeezing. He just held on to the very end of the round. I let go when the bell rang and he was out; his eyes rolled into the back of the head.”

Bollinger celebrated.

“I got up and I thought I won,” he said. “My coach came in and lifted me up and I just thought I had the fight, but I guess not.”

The referee ruled Couture passed out after the round ended, and the fight went on for yet another round.

“He did have me asleep as the bell rang,” Couture said. “It’s not every day you get to pass out and then still fight another round.”

Couture bounced back, stuffing Bollinger’s takedowns and setting up some heavy ground-and-pound.

The third judge saw the fight as a 28-28 draw, a result that neither fighter was displeased with.

“It’s is not as good as having the belt in my hand, of course, but I’m glad I got to go all three rounds and got to display a little more talent than just my ground game,” Bollinger said.

The disappointment of not capturing the belt was the one thing the fighters could agree on.

“I’m more or less happy,” Couture said. “I would have loved to have the win and the belt. I was really looking forward to finally having that thing back. We’ve had at least two of our guys fight for that belt [from Xtreme Couture] and come up short.”

It was an odd ending to Couture’s amateur career, who looks to turn pro this summer.

“I saw from myself what I needed to, and I think I can compete at that level, so I might as well take that next step,” Couture said. “I could change my mind over the weekend; it’s still pretty fresh. But I still feel like I’m ready to make that transition.”

Both fighters are planning on a rematch in their professional careers.

“I’m ready to go again,” Bollinger said. “Down the road when we’re both pro, I’m sure somebody would want to hold [the rematch].”

Couture wasn’t the only fighter looking to begin his professional career after Friday night’s fights.

Andrew Alirez looks to turn pro after winning the Tuff-N-Uff 145-pound title with a second-round arm-triangle submission victory over Vince Norcia.

“The belt goes to the gym, but that’s just material for me,” Alirez said. “I’m looking to go to the pros and to try and get the W’s there.”

Alirez hopes to sign a deal with the WEC by May.

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