Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

MMA: Edwards looses in Hawaii

Albuquerque MMA light heavyweight Christian Edwards, unable to cope with the raw power and wrestling skills of Denver’s Grant Neal, lost by unanimous decision Friday night on a Bellator card at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.

Edwards lost for the second time after winning his first five fights. Neal, a Colorado state high school wrestling champion and a football star at CSU-Pueblo, is 7-1.

All three judges scored all three rounds for Neal, 30-27.

Edwards was hoping to use Friday’s fight as a springboard to enter Bellator’s light heavyweight rankings and regain his up-and-comer status after an upset, first-round knockout loss to Ben Parrish in September.

It wasn’t to be.

After a close first round — scored for Edwards on the Journal’s card — Neal scored a takedown late in the second that swung the round in his favor.

The third round was all Neal, with the 6-foot-5 Edwards unable to defend against the burly (5-11) Neal’s takedowns and unable to escape until the damage on the scorecards had been done.

Edwards, an Oklahoma native, trains at Jackson-Wink and had the JW brain trust — Greg Jackson, Mike Winkeljohn, Joey Villasenor — in his corner Friday night.

There was nothing they could do from behind the fence to derail the Neal freight train.

FULLER WINS: Albuquerque MMA welterweight Jalin Fuller (6-1) defeated Gage Saunders (8-5) by first-round submission (rear naked choke) Friday on an LFA card in New Town, North Dakota.

Fuller trains at Duke City MMA.

BLENCOE-CYBORG: In Honolulu, Arlene Blencowe, an Australian who trains in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink, will take another shot at Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino Saturday night.

Justino’s Bellator featherweight title will be at stake.

Blencowe (15-8) lost to Justino (25-2) by second-round submission (rear naked choke) in a challenge for the same featherweight title in October 2020. She earned another shot with victories over Dayana Silva and Pam Sorenson.

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