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Wilson Reis becomes first-ever EliteXC bantamweight champion at ShoXC

Since making his professional MMA debut during a regional Extreme Challenge show on July 28, 2007 in West Orange, New Jersey, Brazilian Wilson Reis has been adamant about his dream of winning a championship title.

During Friday night’s ShoXC event at the Chumash Resort & Casino in Santa Ynez, Calif., Reis’ dream became a reality following a five-round unanimous decision victory over King of the Cage flyweight (135 lbs.) champion Abel Cullum.

Reis, who originally had been slated to fight Bao Quach, relied heavily on his black belt jiu-jitsu skills in grinding out a decisive victory over Cullum, who entered the fight with an 11-1 record.

While the judges rendered their decision as unanimous, the fight proved to be a strong test for the 6-0 champion, as Cullum got the better of the limited standup exchanges between the two and staved off myriad submission attempts throughout the duration of the fight.

Cullum entered the fight planning on keeping the contest a standup affair, but Reis converted several kicks by Cullum in the first round into takedowns. The strategy earned Cullum an admonishment between rounds from his trainer and father, John Cullum, who pleaded with his 21-year old son to rely solely on his hands.

Cullum eliminated kicks from his arsenal in round two but Reis’ lightning fast shot proved too difficult to counter. After initially doing a good job of keeping Reis in his guard, Reis began to achieve separation and started to execute several passes.

Despite several advantageous positions, Reis was unable to finish Cullum with his numerous submission attempts. Cullum excelled at turning his back in order to get his hips on the mat, all the while still preventing Reis from being able to sink in a full rear naked choke.

As the fight wore on, both fighters gradually began to lose steam and Reis focused more on securing position as opposed to going for submission.

Despite vocal questions by Showtime commentators Mauro Ranallo and Stephen Quadros regarding Reis’ conditioning, the 23-year old transplanted Philadelphian maintained a healthy tempo throughout the fight and controlled position for the vast majority of the contest.

After the fight, Cullum told Quadros that he felt he may have underestimated Reis’ strength and his takedown ability. Meanwhile, a jubilant Reis thanked his corner and responded to Quadros’ question as to whether he had learned anything from the fight by saying that even though he felt his cardio was strong coming into the bout, he realizes it’s an area he can become stronger in.

The fight capped off a night of solid action that featured five fights in total.

In the opener, Erik Apple returned to active competition following a year and a half absence and improved his record to 10-1 following a rear naked submission choke at 2:04 of round 2 against previously undefeated Matt Makowski.

The second televised fight of the night saw another undefeated fighter sustain the first blemish on his record as jiu-jitsu master Giva Santana’s record fell to 11-1 following an split upset loss to 39-year Gladiator Challenge icon Jaime Jara.

In what has to be considered the unofficial “Fight of the Night,” Cesar Gracie disciple David “Tarzan” Douglas rallied from the brink of defeat and improved his EliteXC record to 3-0 following a TKO due to strikes against Muay Thai standout Malaipet Team Diamond at 2:51 of round 3.

And in a heavyweight attraction featuring two 4-0 fighters, Team Oyama fighter and WBC Muay Thai champion Shane Del Rosario improved to 5-0 after TKO’ing Samoan Carl Seumanutafa with strikes at 1:07 of round 2.

  • Joseph says:

    This was a really good card. Hopefully people were able to watch the show. Tarzan vs Malapeit, Jara vs Santana, and Reis vs Cullum were really good fights.

  • koolpaw says:

    Reis vs Cullum was great non-stop ground fight !

    damn. how many times did Cullum escape from dangerous positionand Reis`s sub?? whole 5 Rounds, they didnt stop at all and kept attacing to finish the fight. Reis is good champ but Cullum got a new fan now.

    i place this fight next to Torres vs. Maeda for the fight of the year. Amazing

  • Man these were good fights!! If Malipeit had any clue what he was doing on the ground he would be dangerous!

  • Jesse says:

    Wow. What a ground clinic. Cullum was a very game opponent too. Great fight and congrats Wilson!!!!

  • Brad says:

    great article, but i think the picture that is attached that is supposed to be Wilson, is actually Hector Lombard. Or someone else, but is not Wilson who is pictured on the thumbnail when you want to click on the article…maybe?

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    That was an entertaining card from top to bottom. I thought Reis v. Cullum was fight of the night, though. Malaipet v. Douglas was very entertaining, but the level of skill in Reis v. Cullum was higher, imo.

  • Venom says:

    I agree with all of you! This was a great event! EXC needs to have shows of this caliber on CBS so the casual fan can see that EXC isn’t just Kimbo and Gina!

  • HexRei says:

    It was a great set of fights, but in terms of draw putting this same card on CBS would be a flop. It’s already been demonstrated that cards without Kimbo or Gina but with relatively (at least moreso than Reis) guys like Lawler and Scott Smith still fall well short of acceptable viewership. Basically, they NEED kimbo and/or gina on their TV cards or they won’t be doing many more shows on CBS.

  • HexRei says:

    oops, that was supposed to say “but with relatively well-known(at least moreso than Reis) guys”

  • Robert says:

    The picture for this article is Hector Lombard who is suppose to fight for EliteXC if he ever gets his Visa issues straight,but Wilson Reis is a future star who did not look great in the fight before this but really returned to form in this fight.If a fight with Bao Quach happens in the future that should be a great fight.I also think Reis and Mark Oshiro would be a good fight.


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