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Heden shocks MMA world (Updated article)

"It's the upset of the century!"

Those were the words proclaimed by the MMA television analyst after Frazee's Brian Heden pounded down heavy favorite Sean McCorkle of Indiana in the main event of the inaugural Worldwide MMA card Saturday in El Paso, Texas.

Heden scored a technical knockout at the 2:14 mark of the second round, after he landed 47 hammer-fists to McCorkle's skull to end the MMA fight.

It was a win in which could propel Heden's MMA career to new heights, as he is already on the docket for another WMMA fight in Brazil in the near future.

The triumph took the 8,000 El Paso fans inside Don Hoskins Center by surprise, with the 6-0, 255-pound Heden giving up a big advantage in size to the 6-7, 270-pound McCorkle.

But the Frazee hammer put the "size does matter" adage to rest.

"Everyone was shocked after the fight," Heden said. "No one gave me a chance because of the size difference. But I was the better fighter on paper and I proved my point."

Heden looked to be in trouble midway through the second round (rounds last five minutes each).

McCorkle, who has won most of his 16 fights by submission or knockout, took Heden down to the mat at the 4:09 mark.

But as Heden kept pointing out before the fight, McCorkle's cardio was limited and it showed through the entire second round.

In fact, McCorkle isn't used to going into the second round, with 14 of his 18 fights ending in the first round.

Not this time.

McCorkle failed to use any offense on Heden while having him pinned to the mat, landing just a couple of elbows and uppercuts.

The big move by Heden came with 2:50 left in the second round, when McCorkle lost his leverage and went too high. Heden was able to flip the 6-7 beast over his shoulder and make a nice reversal.

With Heden on top of the exhausted McCorkle, he made his final move.

"I tried to roll him to his stomach and was able to hook his left arm on his side," Heden described the waning moments of the fight. "Then I just started hammer fisting him so much, I started to get winded myself."

McCorkle was unable to put up much defense on Heden's hammer blows, and 47 fists to the head later, the referee stopped the fight.

"I knew once I started landing my hammer fists, he was giving up," Heden said. "I didn't see him after the fight at all. He must have felt like an idiot with all the talking he did before the fight."

But the win didn't come without some consequences of pain for Heden.

With 33 seconds left in the first round, McCorkle landed a big left roundhouse to Heden's face. The blow split Heden's upper lip in half, but the Frazee fighter was able to withstand the windfall of hits the final 30 seconds to the bell.

"He got me pretty hard," Heden said. "I saw a lot of blood after that and when I reached the corner and my corner man (Paul Bowers) took my mouthpiece out, I thought, 'OK, here come the teeth.'"

But no teeth followed, just a split lip which was cut all the way through.

"Paul threw some Vaseline in there and I went out for the second round, looking to keep landing my over-hand strikes."

One of Heden's big blows in the first round landed directly on the side of McCorkle's head, which ended up blowing out his eardrum.

But both men endured into the second, with Heden looking the spryer fighter.

"Ninety seconds into the fight, he was gassed and I was still feeling fresh," Heden said. "By the second round, he didn't look like he wanted to be in there."

Before the fight, officials from the WMMA told Heden if he came out victorious, he would be asked to fight on a Brazilian card.

"After I won, they said, 'Get ready for Brazil,'" Heden stated. "It will probably happen in about three to four months."

Heden's win skyrocketed his MMA world ranking, as well. Before Saturday's fight, he was ranked No. 160. By the time he left the ring, he shot up to No. 96th overall in the world.

The win raises his record to 24-11, but more importantly, he has introduced himself on the big stage to the MMA world.

"This is a win which could take Heden to the next level," added the MMA analyst during the Pay Per View broadcast.

It's exactly what Heden is counting on.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.