VALPARAISO | Terry House vowed that he wouldn't be worried about going to the ground with Mike Santiago.
That doesn't mean that necessarily was where he wanted to be on Saturday night. Santiago put him there three times, and the third time it was for good when he submitted House in the main event of Hoosier Fight Club 15 at Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso.
"I really didn't come in here with a game plan," Santiago said after the fight. "I wanted to come in to fight. I just love the adrenaline of being in here to fight. He definitely rang my bell. He punches hard. He's not that big of a guy, but man he is so strong."
Which presumably is why Santiago wanted the fight on the canvas. The two threw hands early, but Santiago took House down twice in the first round. The second time, he was able to pass House's guard to side control, where he went after an arm-triangle choke. Though House survived the first round, it was a sign of things to come.
In the second, after scoring another takedown, Santiago was able to keep House on the ground, eventually sinking in a rear-naked choke that had the Gary resident out before he could tap.
The co-main event produced one of the louder events in HFC history between Belal Muhammad and James Fritz, whose rivalry goes back to their amateur days. Early in the fight, Muhammad landed a massive kick to Fritz's ribs that left an instant welt. Soon after, though, Fritz caught Muhammad with a big left hand.
Muhammad hit the mat and Fritz quickly was in to land punches. But Muhammad recovered and even took top position and got to side control before the round ended.
In the second, Fritz landed his second low kick of the fight and had a point taken away. But it wouldn't prove to matter. Muhammad got the fight to the ground after the restart, got both of Fritz's arms pinned and landed enough punches for the referee to shut things down.
Earlier in the card, promising Duneland Vale Tudo product Matt Hemry was clipped with a punch that cut him open, then ate a knee to the face moments later. He went on to recover for a second-round rear-naked choke submission win over Reggie Brown in one of the night's most exciting fights.
After the fight, Hemry said he's got bigger ambitions than just winning on the local scene.
"I'm going to keep dropping two pounds at a time and my goal is (flyweight) in the UFC," Hemry said. "And it's going to happen."
Hoosier Fight Club returns on June 1 for HFC 16 in Valpo with an expected headliner between Duneland Vale Tudo product and Bellator veteran Josh Shockley and "Ultimate Fighter" veteran Micah Miller. That bout was set to headline HFC 15 until Shockley had to pull out with an injury.