IRVING - As fans watched Gladius Fights put on its first Mixed Martial Arts event Saturday at the Cattaraugus Sports Complex, they couldn't help but be impressed with Desmond Green's performance.
The former University at Buffalo wrestling star improved his professional MMA record to 5-0 to go along with his 3-0 amateur record following a unanimous decision victory over Matthew DiMarcantonio. All three judges scored the bout, 30-27.
It was Green's eighth fight in a nine-month span and was a match which showed his maturation from his first career fight when he defeated his opponent in just 1:29 of the first round.
Photo by Chris Conti
Desmond Green, left, defeated Matthew DiMarcantonio on?Saturday at Gladius Fights at the Cattaraugus Sports Complex. Green is hoping with a few more wins, he can make it to the UFC.
In that match, Green stormed out from his corner and took it to his opponent at an incredible pace. On Saturday, he was more reserved and allowed the match to come to him.
"That was my first fight ever," Green continued. "I was fresh off my wrestling career. Everything is forward, forward. I went into the match like a wrestling match. I was pushing the pace. I have been putting wrestling on the backburner and working on my standup and controlling the fights. I can't keep that pace up for five minutes."
And while Green demonstrated his Muay Thai leg kicks and few strong hooks and jabs, he still proved why he was in the top three in the nation for takedowns as a collegiate wrestler with several hard slams of DiMarcantonio.
Green began to take the sport serious after his first fight. After Bombsquad coach Ryan Ciotoli invited Green to Ithaca for a weekend to train, Green quickly packed his bags and moved to Ithaca to train full time.
"I train two or three times a day, seven days a week," Green said.
"He trains like a pro," Ciotoli added. "I think he has a lot of room to grow. To be 5-0 as a pro is pretty impressive. He is not afraid. He will fight anyone any time and will fight on short notice. You want those guys on your team and on your promotion."
And in just nine months, he is becoming a fan favorite. He sold 70 tickets alone for Saturday's bout and is scheduled for a title fight Nov. 17 in Maine. And Green certainly isn't shy about what his goal is.
"Within a year, I want to be in the UFC," he declared. "I am 5-0 right now. Hopefully with three or four more wins I will get a call from (UFC President) Dana (White) and get on the undercard. I'm taking this as a full-time job right now."
Ciotoli doesn't plan on getting in Green's way.
"We got Jon Jones to the UFC in three months time," Ciotoli said of the current UFC light heavyweight champion who began his career at Bombsquad. "Not everyone is built like that. It takes extreme dedication. (Green) surely has confidence and the work ethic to do something like that. I'm not saying his striking or Jiu Jitsu level is where it needs to be. His wrestling is excellent. He will win enough fights with his wrestling and improve in other areas as his career goes on. I have seen a change in his style, his conditioning and commitment. He is a great athlete, but more importantly, he is very intelligent kid. You see a lot of guys who come from the college atmosphere, they are more mature than a lot of athletes. They know what to expect. He is open minded enough to get these skills and athletically have success."