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Hidden Talent MMA Rocks Lake County with 10 Finishes in 11 Fights


Hidden Talent MMA: Who's Next 3

by Matt Lo Cascio

Hidden Talent MMA rocked the Lake County Fairgrounds Saturday night with three title fights, an array of spectacular finishes and a raucous crowd for “Who’s Next! Round 3”.

The main event featured a rematch between Jason Belyew and Tim Phinney for the Hidden Talent MMA light heavyweight title. IMMA’s Belyew scored a TKO win over Phinney last April in Rockford, and this time a belt was on the line.

Phinney came out aggressively, looking to push the pace and take the fight to Belyew. He briefly had Belyew up against the cage after an opening exchange, but Belyew was able to get Phinney to the ground, take his back and choke him out at 1:38 of the first round.

“First and foremost I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for changing my life. None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for Him,” Belyew said. He also told cage announcer Ray Flores that he does plan on defending the belt at the next Hidden Talent MMA event.

Jarreau Mobley needed just ten seconds — and one big punch — to knockout Counterstrike MMA’s Andrew Potapenko and capture the Hidden Talent MMA welterweight title.

Matt Arnst took home the lightweight title by attacking Adrian Ortega early in round one and getting him to the ground. He sunk in an airtight rear naked choke and Ortega had no choice but to tap. “I’m going to keep doing this until someone tells me I can’t anymore,” Arnst said.

Mundelein’s John Quinlan made his MMA debut behind huge support from his hometown fans. Quinlan started fast and got into an all-out brawl with Death Squad’s Matt Crowley. Late in round one Quinlan dropped Crowley with a right hand, took his back and pounded him out. Crowley got his money’s worth if not the win; Quinlan had a huge hematoma over right eye that was bleeding.

“It was a dream come true. I got hurt, I fought through it and got my hand raised,” Quinlan said.

Just one of the eleven fights went the distance, an exciting back-and-forth bout between Team Curran’s David Sorensen and Team Energy’s Michael Hayden.

Sorensen was able to consistently score from inside Hayden’s guard in round one, and landed a slick outside trip to take Hayden down at end of round. Hayden bloodied Sorensen’s nose, but Sorensen took the round.

During round two, Hayden got a point deducted when he connected with a knee to Sorensen’s head, which is not allowed in amateur MMA. Hayden also landed a spinning back kick that hit Sorensen’s head, and Sorensen gave him a thumbs up. The crowd roared in approval.

Sorensen came back and delivered two liver kicks, then landed two right hands that stunned Hayden. He took Hayden back to the ground and that’s where the round ended. With the point deduction it was a 10-8 round for Sorensen.

Hayden started the final round by landing a push kick and then a nice combo, but Sorensen was again able to get him to the ground, right in front of his corner and coach Doug Mango. Hayden tried for a shoulder lock but couldn’t get it. Sorensen never lost top position as the fight ended and he took the win via unanimous decision.

Tyler Dempsey of Team Energy handed Gracie Barra’s David Santiago his first career loss in an outstanding performance. Dempsey is a huge 170-pounder with great power and dynamic striking. He cut Santiago open with a kick to the face in the first round and also landed a number of significant, heavy shots. Santiago worked an effective jab, but Dempsey was too powerful for him in the round.

Dempsey landed a thudding right cross that dropped Santiago early in round two and immediately got to mount and pounded him out. Santiago got up and spit a stream of blood on the mat, his face wearing the effects of Dempsey’s work.

Prince Miles showed his strength and power during his battle with Joel Yepiz. He actually lifted Yepiz off the ground with a standing guillotine attempt in the first round. In the final frame, Miles delivered a hard right hand that dropped Yepiz, and followed that up with some hammerfists to finish him.

Click here for complete results from Hidden Talent’s MMA’s Who’s Next! Round 3.

About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is the former play-by-play announcer for the XFO and other organizations, and he has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided, and more.

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