Paul Buentello

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Paul Buentello
Born (1974-01-16) January 16, 1974 (age 42)
Amarillo, Texas, United States
Other names The Headhunter
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 204 lb (93 kg; 14 st 8 lb)
Division Heavyweight
Light Heavyweight
Reach 76.0 in (193 cm)[1]
Fighting out of San Jose, California, United States
Team Grudge Training Center
Years active 1997–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 50
Wins 34
By knockout 21
By submission 9
By decision 4
Losses 16
By knockout 3
By submission 8
By decision 5
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Paul Anthony Buentello (born January 16, 1974) is an American professional mixed martial artist currently competing in the Light Heavyweight division of Legacy FC. A professional competitor since 1997, Buentello has also formerly competed in the UFC, Bellator, Strikeforce, Affliction, King of the Cage, Shark Fights, and is the former King of the Cage Heavyweight Champion.


Paul grew up in Tulia, Texas, and went to school with former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner. In high school, Buentello played baseball and football, and then began Tae Kwon Do after graduating. Buentello received the nickname "The Headhunter" due to his propensity, in his early years of martial arts training, to axe kick his opponent's faces.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

In his debut in the UFC, he had an impressive win over Justin Eilers with a KO in 3:34 of the first round for his debut fight in UFC 51: Super Saturday on February 2, 2005. His next fight was against Kevin Jordan on UFC 53: Heavy Hitters on June 4, 2005 where Buentello won with a neck crank submission at 4:00 of the first round. He lost a title shot against the heavily-touted #2 ranked Heavyweight fighter in the world Interim UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski at UFC 55 on October 7, 2005, Arlovski knocked Buentello out in 15 seconds setting a UFC record for the quickest title fight in UFC history. Following his devastating loss to Arlovski, he faced off against Gilbert Aldana at UFC 57 where he won via TKO due to strikes.[2]


After leaving the UFC, Buentello fought for Strikeforce, winning 3 straight against K-1 Kickboxer Carter Williams, UFC veteran Tank Abbott, and experienced journeyman Ruben Villareal, before losing to Alistair Overeem in a bout for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship.


Buentello moved to a new major organization, Affliction, where he won his first two bouts.[2] His third fight was set to be against Gilbert Yvel at Affliction: Trilogy on August 1, 2009, but the entire event was ultimately cancelled due to complications arising from heavyweight Josh Barnett's inability to receive a California State Athletic Commission licence.[3] Affliction Entertainment became defunct as a Mixed Martial Arts promoter shortly after.[4]

UFC return[edit]

At a press conference held July 31, 2009, it was announced that Buentello was one of several former Affliction fighters to sign with UFC.[5]

Buentello was expected to face Todd Duffee at UFC 107,[6] but Duffee was forced off the card with an undisclosed injury.[7] Buentello instead faced 6'11 Stefan Struve[8] and lost a majority decision.

Subsequently, Buentello lost to Cheick Kongo on UFC LIVE: Vera vs. Jones where he surprisingly tapped due to elbows to the right thigh in the third round. After losing both bouts in his return to the UFC, Buentello was released from the promotion.[9]

Independent promotions[edit]

Buentello continued his MMA career at the Texas-based Shark Fights promotion, defeating the previously unbeaten (6-0) Bryan Humes via Unanimous Decision.[10]

Buentello fought former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia at Powerhouse World Promotions: War on the Mainland on August 14. In a very one sided fight, Sylvia defeated Buentello via KO due to an uppercut in the second round.[11]

Buentello was scheduled to face Kerry Schall at Nemesis Fighting: MMA Global Invasion on November 13, 2010[12] but the event was postponed to December 10, 2010 to avoid a tropical storm. He won the fight by unanimous decision.[13] Buentello, like the other MMA fighters on the card, did not receive his contracted pay.[14]

His next bout was a non-title fight against decorated amateur wrestler and current Bellator Heavyweight Champion Cole Konrad at Bellator 48 on August 20, 2011. He lost the bout via unanimous decision.

On March 31, 2012, Buentello faced former Shark Fights Heavyweight Champion, and The Ultimate Fighter 10 alumni Darrill Schoonover WMMA 1: McCorkle vs. Heden. Buentello lost by unanimous decision.

Buentello was scheduled to face Marcus Sursa at Legacy Fighting Championship 22 on August 23, 2013, however, the bout was scrapped after Sursa was denied a license by the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration.[15] He instead faced James McSweeney at the event.[16] He won the fight via TKO in the second round.

Buentello faced independent prospect Myron Dennis on March 15, 2014, at Legacy FC 29 for their vacant Light Heavyweight championship.[17] Buentello lost the back-and-forth fight by split decision.[18]

Buentello fought Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the Heavyweight class on October 3, 2015 in Abu Dhabi, UAE at Abu Dhabi Warriors Fighting Championship 3. Buentello won the fight via KO with punches in the third round. [19]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 34–16 Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou KO (punches) Abu Dhabi Warriors 3 October 3, 2015 3 3:21 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Loss 33–16 Myron Dennis Decision (split) Legacy FC 29 March 15, 2014 3 5:00 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States For Legacy FC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 33–15 James McSweeney TKO (punch to the body) Legacy FC 22 August 23, 2013 2 2:44 Lubbock, Texas, United States Light Heavyweight debut.
Win 32–15 Igor Kostin Decision (unanimous) Federation of MMA of Russia: Star Fight 15 May 30, 2013 3 5:00 Vladikavkaz, Russia
Win 31–15 Mike Cook KO (punch) IFC: Warriors Challenge 29 December 8, 2012 2 2:08 Oroville, California, United States
Win 30–15 Igor Kostin KO (punches) Vologda Fight Festival: Head Hunting October 12, 2012 3 3:59 Vologda, Russia
Loss 29–15 Darrill Schoonover Decision (unanimous) WMMA 1: McCorkle vs. Heden March 31, 2012 3 5:00 El Paso, Texas, United States
Loss 29–14 Cole Konrad Decision (unanimous) Bellator 48 August 20, 2011 3 5:00 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Non-title bout.
Win 29–13 Kerry Schall Decision (unanimous) Nemesis Fighting: MMA Global Invasion December 10, 2010 3 5:00 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Loss 28–13 Tim Sylvia KO (punch) Powerhouse World Promotions: War on the Mainland August 14, 2010 2 4:57 Irvine, California, United States For PWP Heavyweight Championship.
Win 28–12 Bryan Humes Decision (unanimous) Shark Fights 11: Humes vs Buentello May 22, 2010 3 5:00 Odessa, Texas, United States
Loss 27–12 Cheick Kongo Submission (elbows to the thigh) UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones March 21, 2010 3 1:16 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Loss 27–11 Stefan Struve Decision (majority) UFC 107 December 12, 2009 3 5:00 Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Win 27–10 Kirill Sidelnikov TKO (doctor stoppage) Affliction: Day of Reckoning January 24, 2009 3 4:18 Anaheim, California, United States
Win 26–10 Gary Goodridge Decision (unanimous) Affliction: Banned July 19, 2008 3 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States
Loss 25–10 Alistair Overeem Submission (knees to the body) Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives November 16, 2007 2 3:42 San Jose, California, United States For Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship.
Win 25–9 Carter Williams KO (punches) Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni June 22, 2007 2 0:10 San Jose, California, United States
Win 24–9 Ruben Villareal TKO (corner stoppage) Strikeforce: Triple Threat December 8, 2006 2 3:57 San Jose, California, United States
Win 23–9 Tank Abbott KO (punch) Strikeforce: Tank vs. Buentello October 7, 2006 1 0:43 Fresno, California, United States
Win 22–9 Gilbert Aldana TKO (punches) UFC 57 February 4, 2006 2 2:27 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 21–9 Andrei Arlovski KO (punch) UFC 55 October 7, 2005 1 0:15 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States For UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 21–8 Kevin Jordan Submission (neck crank) UFC 53 June 4, 2005 1 4:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 20–8 Justin Eilers KO (punch) UFC 51 February 5, 2005 1 3:34 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 19–8 Bo Cantrell KO (punches) KOTC 44 November 14, 2004 1 0:45 San Jacinto, California, United States Defended King of the Cage Heavyweight Championship.
Win 18–8 Lloyd Marshbanks TKO (punches) EP: XXXtreme Impact December 28, 2003 1 2:57 Tijuana, Mexico
Win 17–8 Bobby Hoffman Submission (verbal) KOTC 30 November 2, 2003 2 N/A Pala, California, United States Won King of the Cage Heavyweight Championship.
Win 16–8 Andy Montana KO (head kick) Rumble on the Rock 4 October 10, 2003 1 2:09 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Loss 15–8 Bobby Hoffman Decision (unanimous) KOTC 27 August 10, 2003 3 5:00 San Jacinto, California, United States For King of the Cage Heavyweight Championship.
Win 15–7 Mike Kyle KO (punches) KOTC 18 November 1, 2002 2 1:24 Reno, Nevada, United States
Win 14–7 Roger Neff KO (head kick) KOTC 14 June 19, 2002 1 3:04 Bernalillo, New Mexico, United States
Win 13–7 Jimmy Westfall TKO (punches) USWF 19 September 25, 2001 1 N/A Amarillo, Texas, United States
Win 12–7 Gary Marshall TKO (punches) IFC Warriors Challenge 15 August 31, 2001 1 4:53 Oroville, California, United States
Loss 11–7 Nate Schroeder Submission (heel hook) IFC Warriors Challenge 13 June 15, 2001 1 4:10 California, United States
Loss 11–6 Sam Sotello Submission (punches) IFC Warriors Challenge 12 April 11, 2001 3 3:22 Friant, California, United States
Loss 11–5 Ricco Rodriguez Submission (kneebar) KOTC 7 February 24, 2001 2 4:21 San Jacinto, California, United States For King of the Cage Heavyweight Championship.
Win 11–4 Larry Parker TKO (punches) IFC Warriors Challenge 8 June 14, 2000 1 5:06 Friant, California, United States
Loss 10–4 Gan McGee Submission (punches) IFC Warriors Challenge 7 May 3, 2000 1 2:44 Fresno, California, United States
Win 10–3 Rocky Batastini Submission (armbar) IFC Warriors Challenge 7 May 3, 2000 1 3:47 Fresno, California, United States
Win 9–3 Jason Godsey Submission (punches) IFC Warriors Challenge 7 May 3, 2000 1 6:06 Fresno, California, United States
Win 8–3 Jimmy Westfall TKO (corner stoppage) Amarillo Fights December 4, 1999 1 0:59 Amarillo, Texas, United States
Win 7–3 Denny Mathias Submission (punches) World Class Shootfighting November 20, 1999 1 N/A McKinney, Texas, United States
Win 6–3 Gilbert Duran Submission (punches) World Class Shootfighting November 20, 1999 1 N/A McKinney, Texas, United States
Loss 5–3 Todd Broadaway TKO (doctor stoppage) Extreme Challenge 24 May 15, 1999 1 6:00 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Win 5–2 Larry Parker KO (knee) USWF 9 June 20, 1998 1 0:30 Amarillo, Texas, United States
Win 4–2 Shane Saavedra TKO (punches) USWF 9 June 20, 1998 1 2:15 Amarillo, Texas, United States
Win 3–2 Dustin Heronemus Submission (rear-naked choke) USWF 9 June 20, 1998 1 0:20 Amarillo, Texas, United States
Loss 2–2 Dan Severn Submission (headlock) USWF 6 August 16, 1997 1 2:55 Amarillo, Texas, United States
Loss 2–1 Evan Tanner Submission (rear-naked choke) USWF 4 April 12, 1997 1 2:20 Amarillo, Texas, United States
Win 2–0 David Davis Submission (choke) USWF 4 April 12, 1997 1 7:35 Amarillo, Texas, United States
Win 1–0 Derek McGill Submission (guillotine choke) USWF 4 April 12, 1997 1 6:00 Amarillo, Texas, United States


  1. ^ "Paul "The Headhunter" Buentello's Profile". Retrieved January 1, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b - Paul "The Headhunter" Buentello MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography, and More -
  3. ^ "Affliction Releases Official Statement on Cancellation". The Fight Network. 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  4. ^ "Affliction Owner Resigns". Sherdog. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  5. ^ "Multiple former Affliction fighters confirmed to the UFC during Dana White conference call". MMA Torch. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  6. ^ "Returning Paul Buentello to get heavyweight Todd Duffee at UFC 107 in December". 2009-09-20. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  7. ^ "Todd Duffee Off UFC 107; Struve, Russow Possible Opponents for Buentello". Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  8. ^ "Stefan Struve replaces Todd Duffee, meets Paul Buentello on UFC 107 main card". Retrieved 2009-11-11. 
  9. ^ "Paul Buentello cut from UFC". Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  10. ^ "UFC vet Paul Buentello dominates, wins in Shark Fights 11 main event". Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  11. ^ "Tim Sylvia vs. Paul Buentello headlines "War on the Mainland"". August 9, 2010. 
  12. ^ "MMA 'Global Invasion' featuring Keith Jardine, Paul Buentello, Dean Lister and more on Nov. 13 in Punta Cana". Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "the Sursa mystery why marcus was pulled from legacy fc 22". 2013-05-05. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  16. ^ "James McSweeney Replaces Marcus Sursa, Faces Paul Buentello In Legacy FC 22 Main Event". 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  17. ^ "Buentello vs. Dennis title fight, Brookins vs. Fuller top Legacy FC 29 card". January 28, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Legacy FC 29 results: Myron Dennis wins light heavyweight title vs. Paul Buentello". 2014-03-21. Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  19. ^ "AD Warriors 3 - Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou Vs. Paul Buentello (Video)". arabsmma. 2015-10-04. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 

External links[edit]