Archive for the CAMO Category

Palencia & Zavala advance in CAMO tournament in a challenging weekend

Posted in CAMO, Legends MMA, Live Event Reports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2010 by jaytan716

Christian Palencia and Gio Zavala, who advance in the first annual CAMO (California Amateur MMA Organization) state tournament, shine brightly as the two stars of an otherwise difficult weekend for Legends MMA. The event took place on September 11th at Siren Studios in Hollywood, under the Total Fighting Alliance (TFA) banner.

Palencia and Zavala were two of six Legends fighters scheduled to enter the tournament. The other entrants were Chris “Blvd” Brady (135 lbs.), Tommy Gavin (155 lbs.), Eddie Jackson (170 lbs.), and Eugene Marenya (170 lbs.). The roster dropped to five when Marenya was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to injury. However, pending a medical clearance, Marenya will be the alternate in the next round of the tournament, scheduled for October 2nd at the Fight Academy in Pasadena.

For Zavala, the advance to the next level was bittersweet, as his win came by forfeit after his opponent, Tom Kemp of TapouT, withdrew within minutes of the scheduled fight. According to backstage reports, Kemp was warming up with his trainer, doing some light jiu-jitsu, when he re-aggravated a previous knee injury.

The news was beyond disappointing to Zavala, who had one of the largest fan followings in attendance that day. Promoter Todd Meacham brought Zavala out to the cage to explain the situation. On the upside, Zavala automatically advances to the same October 2nd show as Palencia and Marenya.

“I just wanted to thank everybody that came out to watch me. I trained for this fight. I’m really sorry. I trained really hard. I know this guy’s a good fighter, but, you know, things happen, man,” said the disheartened light heavyweight.

135 lbs. – Chris Brady vs. German Balthazar (Big John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy)

Brady looked to set the pace of the match early with low kicks and combos. Balthazar circled and offered some low kicks of his own, knocking Brady down with a right and clinching up against the cage. Toward the end, Brady shot in for a takedown, but Balthazar caught it and turned it into a trip takedown of his own.  The second round saw Brady stay on Balthazar with kicks and combos. Balthazar scored another takedown off a body kick, but opted to keep the fight standing and backed away. They continued to trade low kicks throughout. Brady was quick to press and clinch up in round three, grabbing double overhooks on Balthazar, who turned it into another trip takedown. On the ground, Brady threw punches from “double-bagger” guard before kicking Balthazar off. They clinched on their feet, giving Balthazar the opening to take Brady down again via hiptoss. Brady was immediately back on his feet, but Balthazar then scooped a double-leg takedown. Brady tried to push him back with upkicks, but Balthazar crowded him and threw rights to end the round.

Judges awarded the match to Balthazar by split decision, off two scores of 29-28 for Balthazar and one 30-27 score for Brady.

155 lbs. – Tommy Gavin vs. Paul Blancaflor (Spiritwolf MMA)

Both men sized each other up for a while, with Gavin charging in with pawing shots, that Blancaflor sidestepped. Gavin shot in from afar for a double let takedown and was caught in Blancaflor’s guard. Blancaflor kept control of his neck and closed the guard, sitting up and rolling into top position before Gavin was forced to tap at 1:31 of the first round.

170 lbs. – Eddie Jackson vs. Bill Cooper

Cooper refused to touch gloves at the onset, which got a rousing chorus of boos. Both men were careful to engage at first, as Jackson circled form the outside. Cooper charged in with a combo, throwing Jackson off balance to the ground. As Jackson got up and reached for a single-leg, Cooper grabbed a guillotine choke and jumped guard. Jackson tried to fight out of it, but was forced to tap out at 1:21 of round one.

155 lbs. – Christian Palencia vs. Shane Watts (TFA Fight Crew)

Palencia fired the first blows with a jab-kick combo, but Watts retaliated with punches that pushed him back to the cage. Palencia came back with a two-punch combo that bounced Watt into the cage, and caught him with another knee as Watts fell to the ground, prompting the referee to immediately stop the action at 0:14. Palencia was awarded the win by TKO.

Unfortunately, Legends’ woes continued on two other shows this weekend as well. On this same night, in Pueblo, CO, light heavyweight pro Adriano Camolese lost to Eliot “The Fire” Marshall via unanimous decision (29-28 for all three judges) at Bring the Thunder MMA. On Thursday, September 9th, middleweight Matt “Lion of God” Horwich lost a frustrating split decision to Eric Schambari at Bellator 28 in New Orleans, LA on Thursday night.



Jouban & Marenya explode at ‘Ground Zero’

Posted in CAMO, Legends MMA, Live Event Reports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by jaytan716

Alan Jouban (left) and Eugene Marenya

Welterweights Eugene Marenya and Alan Jouban kept Legends MMA’s win streak alive-and-kicking this weekend with a pair of victories at Combat Fight League’s “Ground Zero” amateur MMA event, held at West Coast Jiu Jitsu in Oxnard.

In the main event, Jouban was put in the invader’s role, as he faced West Coast Jiu Jitsu’s star Mose Aieti, who has made waves this year in the SoCal amateur MMA scene. However, Jouban proved to have answers for the hometown hero’s questions, winning by unanimous decision. As the winner of what was declared the Match of the Night, Jouban was awarded a Polanti luxury watch.

“Tough dude. Good fight. It was a fight that I wanted, too. Because I’d been saying I don’t want a quick finish or anything. I want a war. . . I haven’t been out of the first round in my last three fights. So to get to go to a three-round decision, and to kick a guy in the head and have him come back wanting more, it was good,” commented Jouban after the fight.

Marenya, who fought at a 160 lb. catchweight in transition to welterweight, was particularly anxious to get in the cage. He was originally scheduled to fight Anthony Olivas of Bloodbank MMA the week prior, and, ironically, was the main event on that show. However, when rowdy and drunk fans in the crowd started their own fight during the match before Marenya’s, El Monte police and CAMO officials were forced to immediately shut the show down, leaving he and Olivas frustrated and unfulfilled.

“I was pissed off last week. And all that built up into this week, and I put it out there in the ring. I did my thang. Did what my coaches told me, and I banged,” said the North Carolina native.

Legends MMA's winning team

Also worthy of note about ‘Ground Zero’ was teammate Chris Brady, taking the cornerman reins for the night, covering for head trainer Chris Reilly. Along with Amir Rahnavardi and 10th Planet brown belt Victor Webster, ‘Boulevard Brady’ was chief second for both Marenya and Jouban. With two successful fights, Brady was praised for his leadership, which, not surprisingly, resembled his longtime mentor’s.

“Brady is like a Little Reilly,” noted Marenya. “He really knows his stuff. He knows the advice to give you. Watches the fight really well. Amir is just a great guy. Great coach. One of the most experienced guys we got. I could hear Vic [Webster] advising. So I basically had all three in my corner, and I really appreciated all of them.”

Jouban noted that having Legends’ more experienced fighters corner their teammates not only helps them grow, but also brings the team itself closer together: “I think not only for me, but for my teammates, I think that it builds their confidence as well. In bringing fighters to fights, [cornering] them, warming them up. That way, we can work together as a team, like an actual cohesive unit. Where, if Reilly can’t make it, I could corner my buddy. I can warm them up. We know that we can all rely on each other.”

160 lbs. – Eugene Marenya vs. Marcus Aven (Right Cross)

Eugene Marenya blocks a double-leg shot from Marcus AvenAven spent a good part of the first round working for a takedown, crowding Marenya against the cage and trying a trip, but Marenya fended it off incredibly well, sprawling and stuffing the double-leg shot, quickly escaping when they did finally get to the ground. Marenya opened up with lefts and rights, and then fended off another shot with overhooks and knees. Aven charged and did get Marenya on the ground, peppering him with lefts and taking his back, but Marenya pivoted around and was stacking Aven from above as Aven worked for an armbar as the round ended. Aven was determined to get the takedown in round two, trying to pull in Marenya’s legs against the cage for well over half the round. After breaking apart, Marenya landed a high kick that rocked Aven, who instinctively changed levels and grabbed for a single-leg, which he did score as the round ended. Marenya came alive in the third round, opening with a a low right kic and attacking with lefts and rights to the head, pushing Aven back against the cage until referee Ray Rothfelder stopped the match. Marenya was awarded the victory via TKO.

Marenya’s growth as a fighter, from his first West Coast match back in April, was markedly obvious, not just in his takedown defense, but, according to Jouban, his punches and kicks: “I think Eugene’s striking is really starting to come along. You could see the progression in his last three fights, leading up to this. It really showed because he landed the head kick. . . The guy wore himself trying to take him down. But the striking was the difference-maker. The guy didn’t want any part of the striking, but he had no choice. Eugene had the more dominant reach, and just athleticism.”

“I’ve been working with a lot of the good wrestlers at the gym. I’ve been working with some of the good jiu jitsu guys. Working on little tricks to defend the takedown. And it paid off,” said Marenya.

175 lbs. – Alan Jouban vs. Mose Aieti (West Coast Jiu Jitsu)

Alan Jouban was all chill backstage.

Aieti was active on the attack, taking Jouban down off a combo and working from inside Jouban’s guard. Jouban muted Aieti’s options by pulling mission control. Aieti tried a short slam to no avail. Once referee Ray Rothfelder stood them up, Jouban landed several Muay Thai knees, kicks, and punches to end the round. Both men were more cautious in engaging in round two, throwing selective kicks before Aieti charged in. But Jouban caught him with two more Muay Thai knees before being taken to the ground, where Aieti kept the fight. In round three, Aieti shot in for a takedown that Jouban caught with a front headlock, slipping in an underhook and several strong knees. Jouban let go and tagged Aieti with a right kick, then charged in with kicks and punches.  Aieti dropped Jouban with an overhand right and pounced, but Jouban caught him in a triangle choke that he held to round’s end.

Judges awarded Alan Jouban the match via unanimous decision, off scores of 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27.

Marenya had nothing but praise for the always-poised Jouban, commenting “aw, man. Superman! Great fight. . . He outworked the kid. . . I guess people now know not to stand-up with Legends guys. ‘Cuz Chris Reilly, Muay Thai. It’s just showing how great our stand-up reputation is. No one wants to stand with us.”

In other “Combat Fight League: Ground Zero” action that night:

135 lbs. – Juan Aguilera def. Juan Estrada via TKO, R2.

185 lbs. – JJ Mortimer def. Sid Sidberry via submission, R1.

150 lbs. – Francisco Estrada def. Peter Mostawa via submission, R1.

205 lbs. – John Hernandez def. Jarrod Huggins via KO, R1.

145 lbs. (female) – Ronda Rousey def. Hayden Munoz via submission, R1.

Legends MMA is sponsored by X-Pole, Melee Fight Gear, and MMA Elite.

CAMO Event Round Up for 4/30/10 to 5/2/10

Posted in CAMO, Live Event Reports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2010 by jaytan716

Capital Fighting Championship returns to Sacramento

Fresh off the main event  of what many fans are touting as the best MMA event thus far of 2010, Urijah Faber , with his Capital Fighting Championship team of Matt Fisher and Tabrez Ansari, promoted another “Friday Night Fights” CAMO event at their Ultimate Fitness Mixed Martial Arts Training Center downtown location. The standing-room-only event featured some of the top MMA teams in Northern California.

“I know we were turning some people away. We were pretty much at capacity. So it was a great turnout . . . Urijah twittered it. Our fighters twittered it. Sean from Fulsom and especially Overcome MMA, out in Cameron Park . . . they always have their communities support them,” reported matchmaker Ansari.

By all accounts, the night featured some furious knockdown, drag-out barnburners, with consecutive KO / TKO finishes in the first four matches, as well as a highly competitive draw in Eric Smith vs. Adam Corrigan, and a thrilling main event, McLean Obichere vs. Jerry Gates, which Ansari didn’t hesitate to anoint as Fight of the Night:

“As far as back and forth, yeah, it’s the heavyweight fight. Obichere came out 30 pounds lighter, and Jerry is a big guy. Very athletic. He rocked Obichere a couple times. Then Obichere came back and rocked Jerry a couple times. . . Those punches were so hard, it’s hard to imagine how it feels.”

Match results from Capital Fighting Championship on 4/30/10 are as follows:

160 lbs. – Mike Lowder def. Jay Koch via TKO, R3, 0:44.

160 lbs. – Mario Soto def. Eugene Ivanov via TKO, R1, 1:27. Ivanov was put on suspension.

155 lbs. – Eric Perrault def. Chaz Sanchez via KO, R2, 0:25. Sanchez was put on suspension.

205 lbs. – Mikhail Venikov def. Jeff Prescott via TKO, R1, 0:31. Prescott was put on suspension.

170/175 lbs. – Ryan Dressel def. Anthony De La Cruz via unanimous decision.

185 lbs. – Erik Betancourt def. Ben Alderman via disqualification. Betancourt was put on suspension.

205 lbs. – Eric Smith drew with Adam Corrigan. Smith was put on suspension.

135 lbs. – Diamond Templeton def. Pao Vang via unanimous decision.

170 lbs. – Alex Ivanov def. Richard Rigmaden via unanimous decision.

160 lbs. – Idres Rahmani def. Steve Cartwright via submission (verbal), R1, 0:55. Cartwright was put on suspension.

265 lbs. – McLean Obichere def. Jerry Gates via TKO, R3, 0:39. Gates was put on suspension.

With two events now under their belts, and a long-established community of Team Alpha Male / Ultimate Fitness supporters behind them, Ansari felt strong enough to pinpoint several names as promising up-and-comers.

“There is a kid by the name of Alex Ivanov, from Overcome MMA. That kid’s gonna be the real deal when he gets out. His coach, Jim West, has really got him dialed in. Jim’s doing a great job with the guys out there. They’re all very skilled fighters,” he noted.

Ivanov, along with his older brother / teammate Eugene, are second generation fighters, as their father is a noted boxer and kickboxer from Russia.

“They’re very level-headed, put together kids.”

Ansari also spoke proudly of his teammate Mario Soto, who earned his second win that night, ironically enough, against Eugene Ivanov.

Back for more in the Pasadena “Proving Grounds”

The following night, in Southern California, John Bostick, David Dunn, and Savant Young also held their second CAMO show of the year. Entitled “Proving Grounds,” the amateur MMA showcase series had made such a splash with their initial event that they ended up moving this installment to an expanded area.

“With the larger size, we were able to get a higher occupancy rating on the building and sell some more tickets.  It worked out real well,” explained Bostick.

Likewise, Fight Academy founder David Dunn noted improvement with the fighters’ overall performances, saying “I think we had better fights this time around than we did the first time. Savant [Young] does an amazing job with the matchmaking. The fighters came out and did what they were supposed to do.”

Among the highlights was a heavyweight slugfest between Moses Murietta and Jesse Escobedo, who made his CAMO debut last month in a three-round slobberknocker against Kipeni Luto, and Trevis “Tre” Sims, who impressed his Fight Academy coaches with a hard-fought victory against the very dangerous Tony Kolakov.

“Tre had a heck of a fight [against] a real tough opponent. Guy was a purple belt in jiu jitsu, and had quite a bit of skills,” said Bostick.

But it was Kenny Hwang and Jonathan Garcia who set the high water mark for the night in terms of electricity and excitement.

For any debuting fighter, being in the main event position would naturally add pressure, but Hwang and Garcia gave fans their money’s worth with three rounds of intense action.

“They both went out and gave amazing performances, showed heart, and did what fighters were supposed to do to put on a show – dig deep and pull out stuff you don’t pull out when you’re in the gym. And I think that that’s what we got out of them,” commended Dunn.

“Aaron Miller’s gym, Blood Bank. Those guys are great. Aaron always brings guys that are in shape and ready to go,” added Bostick.

For their efforts, Hwang and Garcia were both awarded “Fight of the Night” plaques.

Match results from Fight Academy Pasadena’s “Proving Grounds” on 5/1/10 are as follows:

135 lbs. – Rocky Morales def. DJ Holden via submission, R1, 1:14.

130 lbs. – Quac (Johnson) Thatch def. Jay (Elijah) Villena via TKO, R2, 1:20. Villena was put on suspension.

130 lbs. – Ryan Barela def. Kelvin Martell via submission (kneebar), R2, 0:54.

160 lbs. – Anthony Olivas def. David Hah via split decision.

185 lbs. – Trevis Sims def. Tony Kovalov via submission (rear naked choke), R3, 0:38.

140 lbs. – Oscar Torres def. Cameron Harris via unanimous decision.

170 lbs. – Vince Borquez def. Derek Johnson via submission (rear naked choke), R2, 1:21.

265 lbs. – Moses Murrietta def. Jesse Escobedo via TKO, R2, 0:24. Escobedo was put on suspension.

175 lbs. – Kenny Hwang def. Jonathan Garcia via unanimous decision.

Capital Fighting Championship installment will be June 25th, while Fight Academy Pasadena anticipates their next “Proving Grounds” to take place in early to mid-July.

For more info on upcoming amateur MMA action, visit

CAMO Event Round Up for 4.21.10 to 4.25.10

Posted in CAMO, Live Event Reports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by jaytan716

No Limits to Where MMA Can Go

Certainly, combat sports are among the last types of entertainment one would expect to see at a country club mid-week, but that didn’t stop the Shady Canyon Golf Club and No Limits MMA from teaming up on April 21st for a four-match Pankration event, which was held right in the club’s main banquet hall.

“The country club was looking for some type of excitement to bring their members together and kick start the season’s events and golfing tournament,“ explained No Limits head trainer / matchmaker Juliano Prado.  “I feel it was a great experience. The event gave an opportunity for the fighters to experience MMA in a safe and controlled environment. I feel like the crowd was pleased,” he added.

In fact, this was the second go-round for the two unlikely groups. Last year, No Limits brought a five-match amateur boxing card to kick off 2010 Talon Cup Golf Tournament, which is hosted at the club annually.

However, this was the first venture into Pankration for Prado, a noted Jiu Jitsu master with a 4-2-0 pro MMA record, according to  With each match featuring a No Limits amateur fighter, the team went 2-2 in competition.

“I coached guys in the UFC before, and I’ve been to PRIDE before, and done numerous Jiu Jitsu tournaments, but I’ve never been to a Pankration event. So I would approach the striking as a very different manner. So as a coach, it was also a new experience for me and I was glad to be a part of it.”

Match results from No Limits 4/21/10 Pankration at Shady Canyon Country Club are as follows:

196 lbs. (catch weight) – Andre “Priest” Holmes def. Nolan Newbury via split decision.

130 lbs. – Ronald Henderson def. Anthony Cendejas via submission, R1, 0:47. Henderson was medically suspended, contingent on a subsequent medical check-up.

175 lbs. – Tim Leach def. Fred Cheatham via submission, R3, 0:55.

155 lbs. – Ivan Arevalo def. Kurtiss Neilsen via submission, R1, 0:52.

In the wake of his event, Prado is even more convinced that Pankration, like Jiu Jitsu, is a valuable part of the early training process for any aspiring MMA fighter

“I think the way to go is jiu jitsu tournaments, which would be the first step, because it doesn’t have any type of striking. Then you can move on to Pankration style of fighting. Then you can go to amateur MMA and pro MMA. I think that either that or doing [an exhibition] – kickboxing, would be, depending on your background, would be the natural and safe way to go.”

International Fight Showdown (IFS) kicks off 16-man lightweight tournament

That same weekend, Red Scorpion Promotions, known for their Muay Thai events, held the opening round of their 2010 International Fight Showdown, a 16-man lightweight (155 lbs.) MMA tournament that continues bi-monthly throughout the year.

“Everything was in order and well organized.  The fighters were focused and were very professional and respectful in our IFS event. . . Everyone at the event was happy with the quality of the matches as well,” said Red Scorpion promoter Master Shawn Shilati in an email reply.

The group is also promoting a lightweight Muay Thai tournament on alternating months.

Shilati was particularly impressed with the wide array of faces and martial arts schools that participated, noting several school representatives inquired about participating in future IFS events.

“A well deserved thank you to Gloria Casella, Event Manager of IFS.  We have been working together for the past 8 years and she is a wonderful asset.  I also would like to thank our wonderful volunteers and IFS staff for putting their amount of time and effort to make this IFS events possible. . . We are looking forward to the better and bigger IFS shows,” he added.

Match results from IFS tournament quarterfinals 4/21/10 event at Knott’s Berry Farm Resort Hotel are as follows:

155 lbs. – Christopher Fajardo def. Evan Richards via TKO, R1, 0:57.

155 lbs. – Richie Placencia def. Nick Kim via unanimous decision.

155 lbs. – Reshan Sabaratnam def. Albert “Beto” Rodriguez via unanimous decision.

155 lbs. – Sergio Guerrero def. Morgan Ramirez via submission (choke), R2, 0:57.

155 lbs. – Takayuki Hirano def. Chad Conte via TKO, R2, 1:04.

155 lbs. – Ron Scolesdang def. Jimmy Chavez via split decision.

165 lbs. (non-tournament match) – Brad Kirk def. Robert Anderson via unanimous decision.

155 lbs. – Richard King def. Alex Castellanos via TKO, R2, 1:07

Quarterfinal pairings are expected to be made public imminently, According to Shilati, should any of the eight quarterfinalists be unable to continue in the tournament, a losing fighter from this weekend’s event will be selected to return, based on the fighter’s record and previous IFS performance.  Likewise, replacements for a semifinalist will be drawn from the pool of losing quarterfinal fighters.

County Cage Fighting in Yucaipa

On that same night, a mini-show dubbed “Country Cage Fighting” took place at Angie’s Roadhouse in Yucaipa.

Match results from County Cage Fighting 4/24/10 in Yucaipa are as follows:

145 lbs. – Ben Weilein def. Jacobo Martinez via submission, R2, 1:41.

170 lbs. – John Blandi def. Frank Zaragoza via submission, R2, 1:23. Zaragoza was suspended for 180 days.

180 lbs. – Brock Paggan def. Bill Burley via submission, R1, 1:30. Burley was suspended for 60 days.

The quarterfinals of the International Fight Showdown are scheduled for June 5th, with the semi-finals on August 28th and the finals on October 23rd. No Limits will also be promoting an all-amateur MMA event on June 5th, at the No Limits Martial Arts & Fitness Center in Irvine.

For more info on upcoming amateur MMA action, visit

CAMO Event Round Up for 4/7/10 to 4/11/10

Posted in CAMO, Legends MMA, Live Event Reports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2010 by jaytan716

“Fight Night to the Mansion” by way of San Diego

MMA fans were privy to some mid-week excitement in San Diego when Undisputed Promotions held a mixed kickboxing and MMA event at the On-Broadway Events Center.  All MMA fighters were making their CAMO debut.

“It’s an out-of-body experience when you’re inside the ring,” said Sample about the night. “Try to embrace this time. I’ll never get it back. My first MMA fight experience. Just try to soak it all up, let it all in,“ he lamented.

Titled “Fight Night to the Playboy Mansion,” the evening’s matches were part of the annual National Indian Gaming Association conference and trade show.  The semi-private event consisted of three MMA and four kickboxing matches, and featured a ring girl competition and guest Playboy Bunnies.

The Playboy-branded “Fight Night to the Mansion” series is a traveling pro-am MMA and kickboxing event which tours throughout the Western U.S. and Canada.  Winners on these traveling shows are earmarked by the promoters to appear on a fight card at the Playboy Mansion later this year.

Match results from “Fight Night to the Playboy Mansion” on 4/7/10 are as follows:

165 lbs. – Paul Blancaflor def. Eugene Marenya via TKO, R3, 0:38.

155 lbs. – Carlos Caliso Jr. def. Ben Sample via unanimous decision.

205 lbs. – Donny Camp def. Eddie Mendoza via TKO, R1, 0:32.

Return of the Dragon in San Francisco

Later that weekend, Nor Cal was treated to a hot night of competitive combat when Dragon House MMA held their second event, a 12-bout full-amateur card that, according to promoter / matchmaker Zhong Luo, exceeded the fight standards set by the previous show.

“The skill level was definitely much higher than the last show. Guys were much more prepared,” noted Luo.

Among the back-and-forth standouts were Stacie Seidner vs. Jaimelene Nievera, which almost stole the show, and Sasha Montgomery vs. Bryan Cook.  In the main event, Greg Ulatowski, traditionally a ground specialist, tested his striking skills against Cody Orrison, reputed to be tricky striker with a very unorthodox style.

But the highlight reel moment of the night was Lamar Gosey’s 13-second TKO of Leon Big Leggins, which Luo described as being one of the most shocking fights he’d ever seen. Especially given his experience level (four months), Gosey’s aptitude was apparent.

“He came out and performed better than a lot of pros, honestly. He came in, dominated with really fast speed, really quick hands, and was very aggressive,” said Luo.

Match results from Dragon House MMA on 4/10/10 are as follows:

135 lbs. – Jordan Felix def. Miguel Castillo via TKO, R2, 0:12.

155 lbs. – Christian Safranek def. Patrick Jernigan via unanimous decision.

140 lbs. – Andrew Hansen def. Brian Liu via unanimous decision.

140 lbs. – Chris Buron-Navarro def. Christopher Spencer via unanimous decision.

185 lbs. – Sasha Montgomery def. Bryan Cook via split decision.

160 lbs. – Frank Flores def. Tauheed Safi via TKO, R1, 1:18.

265 lbs. – Timothy Palengat def. Tim Miller via TKO, R2, 1:58.

130 lbs. – Stacie Seidner def. Jaimelene Nievera via unanimous decision.

205 lbs. – Lamar Gosey def. Leon Big Leggins via TKO, R1, 0:13.

210 lbs. – Justin Vizcarra def. Steven McGough via unanimous decision.

160 lbs. – Antonio Amaya def. Pardaise Vaovasa via TKO, R1, 1:14.

170 lbs. – Greg Ulatowski def. Cody Orrison via unanimous decision.

With nine matches on the previous event and twelve matches on this night, Dragon House MMA intends to create a promotion whose philosophy towards working with regional gyms is “the more the merrier.” Luo himself explained that his open-arms approach is partially to offer experience opportunities to fighters, but also to foster a camaraderie among coaches and trainers that might otherwise never develop.

“A lot of schools really isolate themselves. Regardless of competition between schools in the same town, coming to an event like this brings all the schools closer to each other. And coaches get to know each other. The more competition like this, you just get the skill level much higher. Amateur fighters need practice much more,” he noted.

Of course, the issues of ticket sales is of paramount concern for any promoter, which underlines the notion that cooperation and inclusion fuels the show, the fans, and the fighters. “The schools help to sell tickets. I couldn’t do this without all the teachers, and different gyms. All the schools have been really supportive. They always fill up the weight classes and help me to put up a good show.”

Among the teams  that competed on this show were Team USA, El Nino Training Center,  Charles Gracie, as well as gyms in Union City, San Jose, and Humboldt, whose team endured a seven-hour drive to participate.

Playboy’s “Fight Night to the Mansion” returns to California, and on June 26th, Dragon House MMA expands their show to the larger Kezar Pavillion in San Francisco. According to Luo, two female matches will be among the highlights of the event.

For more info on upcoming amateur MMA action, visit

CAMO Event Round Up for 4.16.10 to 4.18.10

Posted in CAMO, Live Event Reports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by jaytan716

Total Fighting Alliance expands to amateur ranks

With the floodgates of amateur MMA in California wide open and flowing freely, it’s ironic that one of California’s most senior officially-licensed promotions, Todd Meacham’s Total Fighting Alliance (TFA), didn’t hold their first amateur MMA event until this past weekend.

But TFA 17, which took place at the Hawthorne Athletic Exchange (HAX) at Hawthorne Airport, marked another milestone for the three-year old regional promotion, as it creates a breeding ground from which Meacham can nurture talent for his pro shows.

“This was the easiest show I’ve ever done, and I’m gonna do more of them because of that,” beamed TFA matchmaker Todd Meacham, adding “you might not see me pay $1,000 to hold my license for the pro level anymore. All’s I might do is CAMO shows, period. And watch what I do with it. I’ll blow the UFC out of the water.”

The nine-match amateur MMA show was highlighted by furious heavyweight action.  The last match of the night, Danish strongman Jens Grau vs. Danny Radovic was a frantic battle of behemoths, but it was Jesse Escobedo and Kipeni Luto who claimed credit as showstealers of the night.  Their wild back-and-forth clash, which went halfway into the third before Escobedo caught Luto by submission, was touted by fans as the match of the night.

“They were both trying to showcase their skills, but at the same time, they were both going back to what they knew, and that’s street fighting. . .  I thought that roof was going to come down in that building, because of so much excitement,” Meacham lamented.

One pairing that Meacham will likely look to rematch is Rocky Bice vs. Michael Morrow, which ended rather abruptly. What was expected to be a knock-down-drag-out battle concluded 23 seconds into the first round, when Morrow slipped on the mat, giving Bice the window to pounce and earn a TKO victory.

In the days following the fight, an article on the TFA website suggested plans for a rematch, which Meacham, who strongly believes in Bice’s abilities and star power, confirmed as a possibility, saying “I feel that they need to fight again. I don’t think that Michael Morrow got to do what he’s capable of . . . I think that they can a have a back-and-forth fight.”

Match results from TFA 17 on 4/17/10 are as follows:

165 lbs. – Joey Guevara def. Justin Rodriguez via decision.

160 lbs. – Jason Gonzales def. Brian Jimenez via TKO, R1, 0:32.

145 lbs. – Craig Cook def. Juan Estrada via TKO, R1, 1:53.

158 lbs. (catch weight) – James Distler def. Edward Chavez via split decision.

170 lbs. – Bradley Crihfield def. Ryan Escobedo via submission, R1, 1:43.

240 lbs. (catch weight) – Jesse Escobedo def. Kipeni Lutu via submission, R3, 0:54.

160 lbs. – Brandon Anderson def. Shane Watts via submission, R3, 0:54.

195 lbs . (catch weight – Rocky Bice def. Michael Morrow via TKO, R1, 0:23.

235 lbs. (catch weight) – Jens Grau def. Danny Radovcic via TKO, R1, 1:09.

Although his website lists June 19th as the next TFA date, Meacham also suggested doing a co-promote show with his previous promotion, sometime in July.  Regardless, Bice and Grau, dubbed ‘Todd’s Golden Boys of TFA,’ are confirmed to be featured attractions.

“They sell a lot of tickets, they put on a good show, people like to see them, they’re both successful businessmen, and those are the people I like to sell tickets to,” he explained.

For more info on upcoming amateur MMA action, visit

CAMO Event Round Up for 4.2 to 4.4

Posted in CAMO, Live Event Reports on April 5, 2010 by jaytan716

Conquest in the Cage VII / Civic Disobedience 2 Event Results

All-Star Promotions / Ka-Boom Productions held the seventh installment of their “Conquest in the Cage” pro-am MMA series at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The event, entitled “Civic Disobedience 2,” featured three highly-competitive amateur matches, and another six pro bouts.

Chris Golz faced his highest-profile match to date, against Andre “Priest” Holmes, the younger brother of Kansas City Chiefs running back Priest Holmes. Golz, an undefeated fan favorite out of Gauntlet Jiu-Jitsu, traded heavy shots and several big takedowns with the younger Holmes, but in the end, walked away with the unanimous decision.

“To me, that was all about just cardio. Who has the best cardio? And I think Chris was in better shape,” said promoter Ed Holmes (no relation).

Opening the show, Ryan Barela and Chris Westrop locked horns standing and on the ground, with plenty of transitions, for a compelling and razor-thin split decision.  Westrop’s Black Mat MMA teammate, Brandon Wilson, making his CAMO debut, made a fierce impression with fighters and fans alike, winning in bulldozer-like fashion via first round TKO.

Match results for the amateur portion of Civic Disobedience 2 on 4/3/10 are as follows:

1XX lbs – Ryan Barela def. Chris Westrup by split decision.

190 lbs. – Chris Golz def. Andre Holmes via unanimous decision.

140 lbs. – Brandon Wilson def. Brandon Weil via TKO, R1, 0:42.

Having run shows on a regular schedule since late last year in two different locations, All-Star / Ka-Boom have created a solid reputation for establishing an exciting setting for amateur fighters to compete, and for their fans to cheer. With that kind of atmosphere, it would be easy for fighters to get caught up and presume themselves ready for the “Big Time.”

However, Holmes is quick to note the importance of allowing fighters time to establish themselves with more than just a few matches, and not to assume that one or two rising stars indicate that everybody is on the fast track to pro status: “There’s guys that, man, I think they could be a pro already, but there’s guys there that that’s exactly where they belong: with the amateurs. And that’s what we’re trying to do, is make that good. Not put these guys in over their head, because it doesn’t make good for anybody. It should be a fair fight.”

Amateurs bring the noise and rock the boat at Rebel Fighter in Placerville

Farther north that same day, Enrique Perez’ Rebel Fighter promotion held their first-ever pro-am event, drawing a packed crowd to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville.

For Perez, adding amateurs to the card was a test he doesn’t regret taking: “This was our 10th event so far. We had always done pros, and I decided to experiment with some amateurs.  I’m really glad I did, because the amateur commission was great to work with. . . I believe one of the amateur fights was Fight of the Night.”

Match results for the amateur portion of Rebel Fighter on 4/3/10 are as follows:

155 lbs. – Eddie Mccleary def. Jacob Preston via TKO (referee stoppage), R1, 1:31.

160 lbs. (catchweight) – Brandon Smith def. Michael Lowder via split decision.

170 lbs. – Jose Quinonez def. Jesse Roberts via unanimous decision.

170 lbs. – Alex Ivanov def. Dave Odlin via submission, R1, 1:14.

According to Perez, Quinonez vs. Roberts was the show-stealer, as the two ground specialists duked it out for three rounds, thrilling the crowd with heavy trades of leather.

“It really surprised me, because Jose Quinones, he’s an awesome jiu Jitsu fighter. Jesse Roberts, he took fourth in state in wrestling.  Both have really good ground credentials, but they decided to stand up and bang it out. . . It was toe-to-toe through the whole fight. There was not a dull moment through the whole deal,” he said.

Perez was impressed not only with the level of competition and skill among the amateurs, but also their fan followings, noting “I think that probably 40-50% of the crowd were there to see the amateurs. They brought their grandmothers, sisters, brothers, whole family and friends.  The loudest [applause], and the most noise that they made were for the amateurs.”

For more info on upcoming amateur MMA action, visit

CAMO Event Round Up for 3.26 to 3.28

Posted in CAMO, Live Event Reports on April 1, 2010 by jaytan716

Fight Night Triple Threat for Amateur MMA

MMA fans weren’t at a loss for live action on Friday night, as three different shows took place in California.

Nor Cal fans were treated to another Strikeforce Challengers pro-am event, this time emanating from the Save-Mart Center in Fresno.  The night’s pro bouts featured stars such as Andre Galvao, Ron “Abongo” Humphrey, Miesha Tate, and 2004 wrestling Olympian Daniel Cormier.  The main event saw Lavar Johnson return to MMA action after being the victim of multiple gunshot wounds in July 2009.

As for the untelevised amateur portion, three CAMO-sanctioned bouts opened the event.

Match results from Strikeforce Challengers on 3/26/10 are as follows:

145 lbs. – Avery KayKeo def. Chris Buron-Navarro via split decision.

170 lbs. – Ricky Jackson def. Trinidad Valdez via KO, R1, 1:59.

?? lbs. – Paul Ruiz def. John Chacon via unanimous decision.

Pryme Time runs first amateur MMA event in Oxnard

March 26th proved to be the right time for Rene Carranco’s Pryme Time promotion, which ran their first CAMO event at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center

“The event went great. We sold out, so I can’t complain with that,” Carranco immediately noted. “I’ve always been speculative about putting on amateur shows, only for the sake of not knowing. All my shows, whether they were boxing or MMA, have always been professional fights. But I was surprised on how the amateurs related to it. In other words, their demeanor. The professionalism is what I really liked about that.” He then added “and the crowd loved it too. The kids did as if they would if they were [professional] fighters.”

This being his first amateur MMA event, Carranco deferred the matchmaking work to colleague Brian Espinoza, explaining “Brian’s very knowledgable. He’s done amateur shows. . . I gotta give him all the kudos on that.”

Taking nothing away from the faith in his partner’s skills, the evening’s first bout had Carranco slightly shaken, as a first round KO had him second guessing the caliber of amateur fighters, recanting “it was really abrupt, and it kind of threw me off a little quick. The first thing that pops into any promoter’s mind is ‘is the matchmaking quality?’ I’m second guessing myself at that particular point. After that particular fight, the fights went on as normal, and I was pleased with the end result by the end of the day.”

Match results from Pryme Time on 3/26/10 are as follows:

145 lbs. – Francisco Estrada def. Jimmy Chavez via DQ, R1, 0:13.

170 lbs. – Guillermo Mondet def. Marc Terre via TKO, R2, 1:45.

135 lbs. – German Baltazar def. Santiago Raigoza via TKO, R3, 1:59.

185 lbs. – Mose Aieti def. JJ Mortimer via unanimous decision.

170 lbs. – Daniel Shin def. Justin Rodriguez via submission (triangle choke), R1, 1:34.

152 lbs. (catchweight) – Rueben Almanza def. Rob Gooch via unanimous decision.

“The good thing about this is that it actually sets the stage for [amateur fighters]. A lot of people are going to remember these kids, and it gets them ready, it gets them prepared to get prepared for the pros. I really like that fact. . . “We need to portray that in this business. We want to make sure that everything is done professional and with the utmost respect for the sport itself.”

CA Fight Syndicate runs Pro-Am event at Ventura Fairgrounds

That same night, Jeff Restivo & Anthony Arria returned to the Santa Barbara area, at the Ventura Fairgrounds, with their CA Fight Syndicate series.  Titled “Battle of the 805,” the event consisted of four amateur and three pro bouts, including wins for Jesse “Powder” Newell, Joe Pearson, and Tony “El Cucui” Ferguson.

Match results from CA Fight Syndicate on 3/26/10 are as follows:

206 lbs. (catchweight) – John Hernandez def. Bruno Casillas via TKO, R1, 1:33.

138 lbs. (catchweight) – Tim Riscen def. Angelo Crinzi via unanimous decision.

185 lbs. – Shannon Good def. Mike Perez via unanimous decision.

155 lbs. – Michael Gahan def. Scotty Robbins via TKO, R1, 1:55.

Pryme Time plans on having their next pro-am MMA event on June 4th at Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, and is working on the possibility of an all-amateur show sometime in July.  CA Fight Syndicate is scheduled for June 19th at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara.

For more info on upcoming amateur MMA action, visit

CAMO Event Round Up for 3.19 to 3.21

Posted in CAMO, Live Event Reports on March 22, 2010 by jaytan716

All-Star / Ka-Boom returns to Quiet Canyon in Montebello

Whether you were in Nor Cal, So Cal, or somewhere in between, MMA fans did not starve for live action this weekend, as three amateur events took place in the Golden State.

Friday night, March 19th, All-Star Promotions returned to the Quiet Canyon Country Club for a night of pro-am MMA action. Three matches, including fan favorites Chris Golz and John Chacon, set off a night of 10 firework fights, with all three matches finishing in exciting fashion.

“I’m excited about the amateurs. . . All the kids have been doing really good with the tickets. . . Right now, in today’s economy, it’s really tough to really cover and all-pro show. It’s expensive. You’re looking at $35,000-plus. So the amateurs have really helped us out a lot.”

Golz and Chacon have both been featured on the past several All-Star / Ka-Boom events, but any thoughts these young talents have become promotion darlings come with a caveat, as Holmes explains: “They’re special guys, so we’re trying to make special fights. Not just give them the win.”

That said, Holmes is proud of the synergy he’s found with the regional teams, noting “we like what they’re doing and they like what we’re doing. It seems like [the fighters] really enjoy the venue, versus what was illegal, prior to CAMO. . . At least now they have some place that they can really proud to bring people to.”

Match results from the amateur portion of All-Star MMA on 3/19/10 are as follows:

265 lbs. – Chris Golz def. Mycal Osborne via TKO, R1, 0:50.

145 lbs. – John Chacon def. Jose Medina via submission, R3, 1:46.

135 lbs. – Steve Ramirez def. Jose Huerta via submission, R1, 1:06.

Fighters Stand-Up in South Sacramento

Up north, Stand Up Fighters debuted in a new location, the Lord’s Gym at South Sacramento’s Cal Skate, with “Retribution.” This amateur caged MMA event featured 13 matches, with Derek Formoso vs. Kyle Burnett toplining the night’s festivities.  Formoso was crowned the “Best Fighter in Northern California” at the previous Stand-Up event, earning him the opportunity to main event his next fight at Stand Up Fighters.

However, this night’s “Best Fighter in Northern California” honors went to Chaz Sanchez, who emerged victorious against David Durham. Together, the two combatants won “Fight of the Night” honors, with the both of them given Stand Up Fighters varsity jackets.  For Sanchez’ victory, he received an in-house title belt and is expected to main event the next Stand-Up Fighters bout in which he competes.

Promoter Gary Shurley was especially proud of the standout bout, stressing how closely competitive it was before ending early from a nasty cut.

“That was up and down, a lot of standing. It could have gone either way. What stopped that fight was that David took a bad shot to the head, and he got the front of his head split open. . . It took six staples.”

“We had one fight that went the distance. People got knocked out, TKO, or they got submitted. People really enjoyed the fights. There was a lot of action,” said Shurley of the night’s results.

As with Shurley’s previous show, fans were treated to a female MMA bout, as Charlene Gellner and Jenelle Gomes battled in a short-but-thrilling match that all but stole the show.

“Charlene was from Bay Area Fight Academy. Man, she’s tough. I see that girl being a really good pro. . . She overwhelmed her opponent. Took her out in the first round,” he noted.

Match results from Stand-Up Fighters “Retribution” on 3/19/10 are as follows:

145 lbs. – Derek Formoso def. Kyle Burnett via TKO, R1, 1:05.

250 lbs. (catchweight) – Karl Stallcop def. William Butler via TKO, R1, 0:17.

170 lbs. – Ryan Guzman def. Frank Sanchez via TKO, R2, 0:14.

118 lbs. (catchweight) (Female) – Charlene Gellner def. Jenelle Gomes via submission, R1, 1:15.

140 lbs. (catchweight) – Freddie Patino def. Raymond Aguilar via submission, R1, 0:54.

210 lbs. (catchweight) – Thomas Ballard def. Robert Acuna via verbal submission, R1.

125 lbs. – Zach Smith def. David Catano, Jr. via submission  (armbar), R2, 0:59.

155 lbs. – Nicholas Balestra def. Jerry Ribeira via KO, R2, 0:20.

150 lbs. (catchweight) – Brett Mulkey def. JJ Nguyen via submission (armbar), R1, 1:44.

165 lbs. (catchweight) – Marqus Betancourt def. Michael Herrera via KO, R1, 0:10.

160 lbs. (catchweight) – Chaz Sanchez def. David Durham via TKO doctor’s stoppage, R3, 0:35.

170 lbs. – Levi Temple def. Dan D’Angelo via TKO, R3, 1:35.

140 lbs. (catchweight) – Larry Fernandez ef. Edgar Torres via unanimous decision.

Central Coast Throwdown’s debut event a big success

The next night, in Salinas, Central Coast Throwdown made their CAMO debut, featuring 11 matches that sold out the Chieftain Dome at Palmas High School. This event proved to be among the biggest all-amateur events in CAMO history.

“The success of the show was based on good preparation. . . Keeping in contact with the fighters and their coaches.  Everybody knew they were fighting a month and a half before the show, which was key,” noted promoter Michael Macneill.

“Friends and family came out and saw their fighters fight. No one walked out displeased. It was a balls-to-the-wall type of fight. And that was exactly what I was expecting from the guys,” he added.

“I gave a speech in the locker rooms, before we went out, and I said ‘this is the time to shine. This is no different than your last two games in your senior year of football. Or whatever sport you played. The scouts are watching, and you get out there, and you give it everything you got. Win or lose.’ And they bought into it and they want out there and executed.”

Match results from Central Coast Throwdown on 3/20/10 are as follows:

160 lbs. – Fernando Lopez def. Eddie Morales via submission, R1, 0:40.

Michael Ellis def. Evan Rodriguez via submission, R1, 1:12.

Angelo Henry def. Lucas Oliveira via TKO, R2, 0:32.

175 lbs . – Christian Barber def. Dustin Mouser via KO, R1, 1:19.

145 lbs. – Richard Delfin def. Daniel (Max) Fraley via unanimous decision.

205 lbs . – Keith Cutrone def. Andres Alcantar via unanimous decision.

185 lbs . – Jared Hess def. Robert Valenti via TKO, R2, 1:35.

265 lbs. – Steven Dickey def. Mat Painter via TKO, R3, 0:22.

175 lbs. – Marco Orozco def. Matt Lovato via TKO, R1, 1:23.

165 lbs. – Eric Prado def. Giacomo Gomiero def. split decision.

125 lbs. – Jose Marin def. Josh Sanchez via KO, R1, 1:07.

Despite California’s notoriety as a hotbed for grooming fast-rising MMA fighters, Macneill believes that it’s crucial not to rush talent, noting “the Central Coast is untapped. A lot of fighters training but not enough fighting and competing. . . But it’s going to take a little bit of time to develop these key fighters. . . I have a couple right now that we’re grooming up, and taking it slow. We travel out to the Mid-West and compete out there. I would give it the next year to two years that we start developing some key fighters, which are going to be out there, actually, with big names. And ranked.”

Of the stars that shined that night, Macneill was quick to point out “Steven Dickey, out of Frank Shamrock’s gig in San Jose. Heavyweight, 240-pounder, he fought a 6’7”, 260-pounder, and he won by TKO. I can see him going pro in the next 4-5 fights. You had Jared Hess, out of Salinas. He did really well. Mike Ellis, and there’s two other guys from Santa Maria that did really well.”

Central Coast Throwdown expects to product their next show at the Chieftain Dome on July 17th, then hopes to produce shows regularly every two months after that. Likewise, Stand Up Fighters is targeting July for a return date. All-Star Promotions / Ka-Boom Productions returns to Quiet Canyon Country Club on May 10th.

For more info on upcoming amateur MMA action, visit

CAMO Event Round Up for 3.11 to 3.13

Posted in CAMO, Live Event Reports on March 15, 2010 by jaytan716

Young Guns throw down in Coaching Kids Pankration Event

Coaching Kids MMA started their 2010 schedule with a pair of charity Pankration / MMA events in late-February and mid-March at the Sacramento Radisson Hotel. The two events complemented each other in format, as the February 26th show consisted of seven Pankration bouts and a single MMA fight, while the following show, two weeks later, featured six MMA matches and one Pankration match on the bill.

“Everything went good, other than that we probably threw the shows too close together. We need to space them out, because there’s a lot of amateur shows. . . I’d like to sit down and throw seven to eight shows per year,” said promoter / Coaching Kids head Allen Garcia.

The second event, which took place on March 12th, also included the induction of California veteran fighter Jaime “El Cucui” Jara to the MMA-KO Hall of Fame. As Garcia explained, Jara’s volunteer connection to Coaching Kids dates back several years, when Garcia ran an amateur boxing youth program.

“I ran around with Jaime for about two years, and after he got off on his feet, throwing and everything, I started this amateur program. . . Instead of a getting a part of their purse, for helping them, they give back to our program, helping young kids out,” said Garcia.

Match results from Coaching Kids MMA on 2/26/10 are as follows:

124 lbs. (catchweight)  – Joseph Morales def. Anul Pina via submission, R3, 1:41.

152 lbs. (catchweight) – Tyler Harris def. Chris Tabaldo via split decision.

158 lbs. (catchweight) – Sam Wooten def. Ian Freeman via unanimous decision.

174 lbs. (catchweight) – Matt Swanson def. Matt Davis via unanimous decision.

265 lbs. – Arturo Rodriguez def. Josh Peterson via submission, R3, 1:00.

186 lbs. (catchweight) – Charles Wilson def. Aaron Hamilton via unanimous decision.

127 lbs. (catchweight) – Brianna VanBuren def. Delecia Velasquez-Stump via unanimous decision.

159 lbs. (catchweight) – Emelio Gonzalez def. Jerry Ribeira via unanimous decision.

Match results from Coaching Kids MMA on 3/12/10 are as follows:

205 lbs. – Gary Luisi def. Angelo Henry via DQ, R1, 1:55.

185 lbs. – Aaron Hamilton def. Matt Grigorian via TAPOUT (SUBMISSON?!?), R1, 1:18. lbs.

155 lbs. – D’Alexander Davis def. Brandon Hafer via TKO, R2, 2:00.

170 lbs. (Pankration) – Allen Garcia III def. Sam Wooten via split decision.

265 lbs. – Antonio VanBuren def. Josh Peterson via TKO, R1.

145 lbs. – Jesse Henderson def. Faustino Quinones via TKO, R1, 1:05.

175 lbs. (catchweight) – Jose Quinonez def. Matt Swanson via TKO, R2, 2:14.

Despite the name on the marquee, Garcia says that his amateur promotion transcends age, noting that his program gets hopeful trainees of all ages, from 15 to 35.

“There’s all kinds of different people coming out of the woodwork. Not just kids. . . Grownups come with their kids, and they want to participate in the amateur program that we’ve got going on. I think it makes a difference because I go through probably, I would say, 400 kids in half a year, who want to try MMA. And they try fighting, they think they can fight. Once they get their feet wet, once they get in the cage, they change their mind. It kinda humbles them.”

Von Flue brings Future Valley stars to Fresno

That same weekend, a new promotion, Valley Future Cagefighting ran their inaugural event at The Big Fresno Fair.

“I’ve never been so stressed out in my life. I almost hyperventilated four or five times,” joked company frontman (and “Ultimate Fighter” / UFC alum) Jason Von Flue, adding “but on the other hand, what was cool was [CAMO] was really easy to work with, and the guys basically told me that the show would take a life of its own once it gets going. And they were right.”

VFCF’s first outing was also a mixed format event, with three MMA bouts to complement a three-man heavyweight round-robin Pankration tournament.  Von Flue originally wanted a four-man single-elimination tournament, but after one fighter dropped out and Von Flue couldn’t find a suitable replacement, VFCF and CAMO agreed to alter the format to accommodate the remaining three combatants.

“And with a lot of help from JT [Steele] and from this guy’s manager, we got it squared away. And again, even with the three-man round-robin tournament, no injuries. So very successful in that aspect,” commented Von Flue.

Jacob Hallmark came emerged as champion for the night, going 2-0 against Jerald Apps and Robert Pinon.

Match results from Future Valley Cagefighting on 3/13/10 are as follows:

265 lbs. – Jacob Hallmark def. Jerald Apps via unanimous decision.

170 lbs. – Matt Foster def. Dustin Mouser via DQ, R2, 0:15.

205 lbs. – Thomas Perkins def. Erik Betancourt via submission (triangle choke), R2, 1:28.

265 lbs. – Jerald Apps def. Robert Pinon via unanimous decision.

135 lbs. – David Catano Jr. def. Diamond Templeton via split decision.

170 lbs. – Trinidad Valdez def. Michael Rosati via TKO, R1, 0:51.

265 lbs. – Jacob Hallmark def. Robert Pinon via TKO, R2, 0:55.

145 lbs. – Angel Lopez def. Anthony Torres via unanimous decision.

155 lbs. – Kris Williams def. Andrew Von Flue via unanimous decision.

The main event was a family affair, as younger cousin Andrew Von Flue faced wrestler Kris Williams, battling back and forth for three rounds, with Williams getting the better of the scorecards.

“I thought it was just a great match. I thought the fans really enjoyed it too.  I was really proud of that match,” said Von Flue.

“Williams, for only doing any MMA for a short period of time, was actively trying to finish.  He was working ground-and-pound and trying to change positions, and actually got on Andrew’s back a few times. And tried for an RNC. Andrew, when he dropped him and went after him really hard, worked for a D’arce choke at the very end. . . I really felt that both guys were actively trying to finish, and the right guy won that night.”

Coaching Kids MMA anticipates announcing their next date for the Sacramento Radisson Hotel very soon.  Valley Future Cagefighting returns to The Big Fresno Fair in mid- to late-June.

For more info on upcoming amateur MMA action, visit