With an elite striker like Daron Cruicshank and a high-level grappler like Mike Rio, this fight had all the ingredients to be a stalemate. The beginning stages of the first round proved that hypothesis to be right, but both fighters started getting comfortable and opened up towards the end of the first.
Rio’s night almost ended in the first round where he was knocked down by a head kick and nearly submitted, but he was saved by the bell. As a result of the near stoppage, Cruicshank’s confidence sky rocketed in the second round. He loosened up and started to throw jumping spinning back kicks and these shots would land powerfully.
Cruicshank was doing well against Rio but oddly decided to take the fight to the ground. The decision almost backfired as Rio slapped on a leg lock that could have ended the fight. After getting his leg torqued on, Cruicshank stepped over and escaped the submission attempt with ease. Cruicshank would then opt to stand back up and bring the action back to the middle of the octagon.
Cruicshank threw a wheel kick and knocked Rio silly with it. The balls of his toes landed on the chin of Rio, so Cruicshank did not get all of it. He was quick to follow up with shots, however, and Herb Dean had no choice but to stop the fight.
Darin Cruicshank stated he can “Do this every fight” during his post-fight victory speech.
Daron Cruicshank def. Mike Rio by way of TKO (Kick and Punches) 4:56 of Round 2