Cholish won his sixth straight match on Saturday night (Photo courtesy of John Cholish).
Rising Lightweight Forces Second Round Submission of Marc Stevens
You would never know that lightweight John Cholish (6-1) spends an excess of 50 hours a week on Wall Street after seeing his absolutely dominating win over Ultimate Fighter veteran Marc Stevens on Saturday night. In what was his promotional debut under the Strikeforce banner, Cholish rolled to a sixth straight victory in impressive fashion, forcing Stevens to tap out from a second round knee bar.
“It’s just stuff we work on every day,” Cholish said after the victory. “Coach John Danaher and everyone over at Team Renzo Gracie are really big on repetition. Any move we drill, we drill over and over again. It just shows that if you do something enough, it will eventually work.”
The maneuver in which he is referring occurred after Cholish put in five fantastic minutes in the first round. With the Cornell University graduate controlling the pace once again in the second frame, Stevens was able to temporarily gain back control, only to see Cholish pull off an incredible reversal that forced his opposition to the canvas in an extremely vulnerable position. Without any hesitation at all, Cholish snatched his leg and locked in a tightly gripped knee bar that forced Stevens to tap out and end the fight.
“Marc was able to get my back,” Cholish recollected. “He is a very tough opponent. He was giving me a tough fight. When he did (get my back), I went to attack his leg by rolling through. His leg was luckily below my hip, and I was able to apply pressure and finish him with a knee bar.”
Cholish looked outstanding in a variety of positions over the course of this fight, from scoring every takedown and controlling the ground game, to looking very impressive in the Muay Thai clinch. The humble lightweight credited his team for the great performance.
“The Renzo Gracie Academy is a staple. The name is a staple in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts,” he stated. “The level of talent we have in there – Frankie Edgar, Georges St. Pierre, Ricardo Almeida, Renzo – the names go on and on. It’s a very, very great place for me, especially right over the river in New York, where hopefully MMA is going to be legal soon.”
As for what is next for this rising star who has the MMA world buzzing?
“Whatever Strikeforce wants to give me,” he commented. “I’m here to fight, and I’m ready to come back and put on a show for the fans.”
If the show goes on like it did tonight in East Rutherford, New Jersey, expect Strikeforce to want to give him a lot more fights and an extended contract. Very soon.