Shane Del Rosario headed into his Strikeforce Challengers 9 encounter with Lolohae Mahe knowing that a win would secure him a promotion to the bigger stage next time out.
He wasted no time in ensuring that was going to be the case, showing his superior speed and striking early on with a fluid selection of punches, kicks and knees with Mahe offering little in return.
During an exchange in the center of the cage Del Rosario connects with a left hand to the chin of Mahe that appears to hurt him, forcing him to retreat backwards.
Del Rosario pursues and presses him up against the cage and starts landing knees to the body. Mahe is still somewhat dazed, and pays the price for hanging his head a little too low as Del Rosario crashes a knee into it. He follows up with more knees to the body but the damage has already been done and the Hawaiian sinks down to the canvas, forcing the referee to call a halt to the fight.
In just 2.48mins of the first round Del Rosario claimed the tenth win of his undefeated MMA career and proved beyond any doubt that he’s ready for a step up in competition.
After the fight commentator Andrei Arlovski’s name cropped up as a potential next opponent for him.
“He’s a great fighter. I’ve always been a fan of him,” Del Rosario stated. “That would be the ultimate test for me. I’m down for it.”
I’m not so sure Arlovski will relish a fight with Strikeforce’s rising heavyweight star though given that he’s currently on a three fight losing streak.