Victor victorious

JASON HILLS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

Victor Valamaki's boxing training is starting to pay big dividends inside the octagon.

Making his mixed martial arts homecoming return last night at Rexall Place, Valamaki was out to prove that he could stand inside the cage and bang.

The Edmonton fan favourite did just that with a decisive KO victory over Nick Hinchliffe in the main event on King of the Cage: Excalibur in front of about 2,000 fans.

Valamaki picked apart Hinchliffe like a seasoned surgeon, stopping him at 1:46 of the second round.

JABS

"I was hitting him with the jabs and some really hard shots, and after I cracked him pretty good you could see in his eyes that he didn't want to stand with me anymore," Valamaki said afterwards.

"I don't consider myself a great boxer by any means, but it's coming along.

"I think MMA standup is a little bit behind boxing. For the majority of MMA guys, their standup is not exceptional, so if you can hang with pro boxers, it will really start to show in the octagon."

Valamaki was uncharacteristically the more aggressive fighter in the bout. He landed some heavy blows, but it was a relatively harmless looking exchange that did the most damage.

"You can hit a guy with a monster shot and he can stand there and smile at you," said Valamaki.

"It's the punch that you don't always expect that does that damage - and that was what happened.

"I caught him and I almost had to stand there and take a snapshot of him going down.

"Once I realized that was what was happening, I just pounced on him."

Hinchliffe, from Nanaimo, B.C., was the heavy underdog going into the fight against the former UFC veteran Valamaki, but he stood and traded blows from the opening seconds.

Valamaki's experience seemed to be the difference, as he steadily landed hard right hooks and jabs that cut Hinchliffe's face.

STABS

"If you look at any of the cuts in my face, they are all from stabs in the face or pokes in the eye," said a disappointed Hinchliffe.

"He was using his fingernails. I was telling the ref that he was sticking me in the eye on every second or third jab.

"He beat me fair and square, but I am definitely hungry to come back.

"This is two losses in a row for me and it's time for some re-evaluation. I think when I come back, you may see a skinnier and leaner Nick Hinchliffe."

Valamaki knows far too well about pokes in the eye. He received one last August from Roger Hollett en route to losing the Maximum Fight Championship light heavyweight title.

"It was a straight hook that I caught him with. I would have to see the replay, but if I did catch him, I didn't realize it," Valamaki said of Hinchliffe's complaint.

"If I did, I would give him a rematch no problem.

"He's a tough guy, and I respect him."

In the featured prelim, Ottawa's Nick Denis defended his King of the Cage bantam weight title with a devastating knockout of Edmonton's Josh Kyrejto in the second round.

The KOTC heavyweight title fight between Edmonton's Tim Hague and Josh Strickland was cancelled because Strickland sustained a head injury earlier in the day.


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