Archive for amateur mixed martial arts

Eddie ”Ambien” Jackson, Tuff-N-Uff Welterweight Champion!

Posted in Legends MMA, Live Event Reports, Tuff-N-Uff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by jaytan716

By Jay Tan

Eddie "Ambien" Jackson on his way to the ring.

Some called him “Action Jackson.” He called himself “The Knockout Artist.” Going forward, people can call Eddie Jackson “champ,” as he claimed the Tuff-N-Uff 170 lb. championship on October 22 at Tuff-N-Uff’s latest installment at the Orleans Hotel & Casino.

“This is what I’ve been working hard for; this is what I’ve earned, and how that I’ve got it. . . .It’s a personal accomplishment for me. Even though it’s on the amateur level, I worked really hard for this,” said Jackson in his first post-fight interview.

“That was a lifetime performance. That was one of those things that, as a fighter, you always want to be involved in. I think it’ll totally stand the test of time,” beemed trainer Chris Reilly.

The Angelo match was in fact Jackson’s second title shot. In early 2009, Jackson went to the finals of a four-man tournament for the same title, losing by KO to Xtreme Couture’s Kenny Marzolla after catching an unexpected high kick in the first round.

“Everybody knows what happened . . . I promised myself that if I ever had a second opportunity for this, I wasn’t going to repeat history,” he lamented.

Since then, Jackson’s road to redemption had its triumphs and setbacks. He followed up the Marzolla loss with two first-round KO / TKO finishes in August and November. However, the first half of 2010 was spent rehabbing an arm injury that had him sidelined for over five months. Upon his return to action, in July, Jackson finally faced Bill Cooper, whom he was supposed to fight in the 2009 tournament finals before Cooper withdraw due to injury. Again, Jackson faced a first-round defeat, getting caught in a guillotine choke by the jiu-jitsu black belt.

However, for this second title shot, a very different Eddie Jackson wrote a very different story.

170 lbs. Tuff-N-Uff Championship– Eddie Jackson vs. Joey Angelo

Jackson and Angelo traded a few low kicks in the first minute of round one before Jackson tagged Angelo with an overhand right. Jackson rushed Angelo into the opposite corner and landed a knee from the Thai clinch before breaking apart. Angelo circled the ring’s perimeter and kept distance with a front kick while Jackson looked for an opening. Jackson got another clinch and threw knees, one of which slipped to the groin. After a break, Angelo was able to continue and pumped the jab. Amidst a flurry between them, Angelo got Jackson to the ground, but couldn’t keep him down. Jackson charged with another kick-punch combo and Angelo tried to force his own plumb clinch, but Jackson escaped. In the final seconds of round two, Angelo fired a superman punch, but Jackson took him to the ground and pounded away. Both men started swinging more wildly in the third round. Angelo controlled Jackson with several knees from a Thai clinch, from where Jackson fired lefts and rights. This exchange got a big pop from the crowd. Angelo tried a spinning backfist that also impressed fans. Jackson dropped Angelo with a short right and followed up with more punches on the ground. Angelo regained his composure and tried to set up a triangle choke, firing shots from the bottom. The crowd was ecstatic as the final bell rang.

The Joey Angelo match was the first time Eddie Jackson was pushed to the third round.

Judges awarded Eddie Jackson the win by unanimous decision, making him the new Tuff-N-Uff 170 lb. champion.

“Because he was southpaw, I had to keep staying on his outside foot, and just whip it. Just waiting for my time, struck him whenever I could. Try to hit him with combos, but he used his distanced pretty good. He stopped me from finishing it off.  It was a smart fight for both of us,” Jackson remembered.

For Reilly, by the third round, Jackson was clearly ahead, but that wasn’t enough for him to let Jackson coast through: “I was telling him ‘hey, you won two rounds fair and square, but we’re not counting on the judges up here. You need to go after that guy and knock him out’. . . He did such a sound job that I feel like he didn’t leave any opportunity for anyone to rob us. He did it so convincingly that they had to give it to us, even though I feel like they didn’t really want to.”

“The guy had an amazing chin, because Eddie hit him with shots that anyone else would have gone to sleep. That was certainly all I could ask of Eddie,” concluded Reilly.

Teammate Tommy Gavin also noted Jackson’s improved footwork, especially against a fighter whose reach and stance was unprecedented for the now-champion: “Eddie’s fight was a perfect example of how to cut the outside foot off, and stalk your opponent without leaving yourself open. Joey Angelo was fighting as a southpaw, and Eddie cut him off for the outside leg position for the entire nine minutes. I think that made the difference in that fight.”

“He put himself a step closer to a pro career, and that’s a big-time amateur title. I’m happy for him,” said Gavin in the days after the match.

In his fight against brain cancer, Dylan Woods inspired many in the Tuff-N-Uff community.

Unfortunately, the night’s events started on a sad but honorable note, as the announcement of thirteen-year old Dylan Woods’ passing was made. Woods, a local boy whose battle with brain cancer became a noted local story and cause that Tuff-N-Uff, Xtreme Couture, and several other fight camps championed over the past year. Woods attended several Tuff-N-Uff events as a special guest, and became a favorite among the fans, fighters, and staff.

According to a friend of the Woods’ family, Dylan would be buried with firefighter honors, as the Las Vegas Fire Department made him a junior firefighter just the month prior.

Tommy Gavin was also in action that night, as well as several fighters from Sean Bollinger’s 10th Planet Riverside team. Gavin lost by TKO moments before the end of the first round, which he was decisively winning in the striking game before being taken to the ground and kept down with a series of lefts and rights. Bollinger’s team went 2-1 for the night, with David Tompkins winning by split decision and Trace Gray earning a TKO win at the 0:30 mark of the first round.

Of Gavin’s performance, Reilly reassured “Tommy comes to fight every time. He always lets his hands go. I think his boxing has gotten a lot better. . . But making punches miss is an athletic ability that comes in different levels in people, and it’s something Tommy’s gonna have to really work on.”

Gavin echoed the sentiment, saying “I let that kid have the outside positioning. I’m a southpaw and I can’t do that.”

In other Tuff-N-Uff action that night:

160 lbs. – David Tompkins (10th Planet Riverside) def. Jason Rivera (Wand Fight Team) via split decision

135 lbs. – Roman Isbell (Striking Unlimited) def. Joseph Viola (Fasi Sports / Drysdale Jiu-Jitsu) via TKO, R2.

135 lbs. – Jesse Romero (Xtreme Couture) def. Gerald Vecco via submission, R1, 0:29.

135 lbs. – Autumn Richardson (Team Quest) def. Jessica Martinez (Henry’s TKD Combative Training Center)

170 lbs. – Lee Henry Lilly (Striking Unlimited) def. Rick Borden (10th Planet Riverside) via split decision.

170 lbs. – Guillaume Fricheteau (Wand Fight Team) def. Kenny Gray via submission, R1.

265 lbs. – Juan Chavarin (Xtreme Couture) def. Chrstiain Diaz via TKO, R1, 1:22.

125 lbs. – Tolin Garcia (Striking Unlimited) def. Shane Franklin (Battlegroundz / Las Vegas Muay Thai Center) via KO, R1.

155 lbs. Trace Gray (10th Planet Riverside) def. James Lanham (Xtreme Couture) via TKO, R1, 0:30.

145 lbs. – Rudy Morales (Knuckle Up) def. Carlo Fudolig (Striking Unlimited / Cobra Kai) via unanimous decision.

125 lbs. – Nikki Rae Lowe def. Latasha Marzolla (Wand Fight Team) via TKO due to injury, R1.

Legends MMA is sponsored by X-Pole. Tuff-N-Uff’s next event is November 12th at the Orleans Hotel & Casino.

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“Don’t Call It A Comeback!” – Legends performs memorably over Memorial Day weekend

Posted in Legends MMA, Live Event Reports, Tuff-N-Uff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2010 by jaytan716

Legends MMA won four out of five matches in Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend.

It was going to be a tough weekend, with five fighters competing on two different cards, only 48 hours apart, but Chris Reilly, Eddie Bravo, and Conor Heun led Alan Jouban, Eugene Marenya, Christian Palencia, Tommy Gavin, and Chris “Boulevard” Brady to an impressive series of wins at Tuff-N-Uff’s two-day amateur MMA showcase this past weekend.

“We had a great weekend. We had great coaching, and it’s good to pay them back for all the work they’ve put in with us with some nice wins,” said Gavin, who turned two consecutive losses around with an impressive, heavy-handed TKO in the first round.

Jouban, Marenya, and Palencia fought on Friday, May 28th, while Gavin and Brady had matches on Sunday, May 30th. Overall, the team went 4-1, with the only loss, Palencia’s split decision to Jimmy Spicuzza (Team Lethal), igniting a wave of controversy among fans, fighters, and even the promotion and sanctioning body officials who felt that Palencia deserved the victory.

“Christian had a great fight. That was just back and forth. . . And everyone here thought Christian won the first and the third, and gave the other guy the second,” commented Jouban.

As close as the match was, Palencia was able to see both sides of the coin, saying “to me, I was in offense. He was in survival mode when I had him in those guillotines. . . Also, when I was fighting him, it really felt like I was the one being the aggressor. But then, I guess, what can counter that is I guess him taking me down”

Always one to find the silver lining, for Palencia, even without his hand raised, the moral victory was his: “Overall, I felt pretty good about my performance. . . It’s been over a year since I fought, and [fighting in] the same month that I started training again and coming back from my injury – I feel good, coming back and still being able to perform. No fears or anything.”

Tuff-N-Uff Future Stars of MMA – Friday, May 28th

170 lbs. – Alan Jouban x Joden Sieders (Throwdown)

Alan Jouban finished off his opponent with this rear naked choke in the first round.

Jouban looked very composed for his second Tuff-N-Uff appearance, opening the round with a right kick and a flurry of punches, punctuated by a head kick that Sieders ducked. Sieders shot in for a clinch, but Jouban fended it off, slipping in a knee. From out of nowhere, Jouban landed a superman punch that immediately dropped Sieders. Jouban pounced, firing lefts and rights on the ground, before taking the back and sinking in a rear naked choke for the win.

Alan Jouban wins by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:16 of the first round.

“He’s already was really seasoned and composed. . . Everyone sees Alan being a Muay Thai fighter, but now he’s definitely an MMA fighter,” commented Palencia.

According to Jouban, the difference between this and his previous Tuff-N-Uff showings, despite them both being first round finishes, was vast: “I was so balled up in the first one. Just ready to explode. So much weight and pressure on me. And this one, I was very relaxed. I just remember going out there and seeing people in the crowd, and looking for my girl. I was just very aware of everything, and it had me a little bit worried that I was so relaxed.”

“Reilly said many times that it takes 10 fights to get to that level, before you go pro. And [I realized afterwards] that was my 10th fight. . . But I was told afterwards that people could see it in my body language – they said ‘you looked real relaxed. You were looking like you were trying to pick your shots, rather than just explode.’ So it felt great. I’m hoping that’s the feeling I get; Now that I’ve hit that level of certain fights.”

170 lbs. – Eugene Marenya x Mike Sutton (Fasi Sports / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu)

Eugene Marenya came close to finishing in the first round. He went on to win by split decision.

Round One: Sutton got a takedown early, but Marenya got to his feet with little problem, keeping the clinch and firing knees. After breaking apart, Sutton tried the stand-up game, but Marenya’s reach was too much. Sutton tried to take him to the ground with a clinch, but it was Marenya who ended up on top, punishing Sutton’s ribs with strong rights to the body. Marenya continued with the ground and pound to the round’s end.

Round Two: Again, Sutton charged in and tried for a trip takedown, but Marenya once more ended up on top, ground-and-pounding and passing guard. Sutton did spin around and get full mount in his own corner, landing some rights of his own, but Marenya eventually turned it around. They got into the ropes then fell into the corner, with Marenya on bottom. Marenya did get to his feet, but Sutton worked a guillotine choke to keep him grounded, and eventually took his back with hooks in, firing rights on Marenya from behind. If Marenya took the first round, this was definitely Sutton’s.

Round Three: Sutton went in for the takedown, and eventually did force a single leg, but Marenya got up and threw a knee to break it up. Marenya’s combos kept Sutton at bay. Another Sutton shot and another Marenya sprawl. Sutton tries to spin him to the ground, but Marenya was calm in defending. Sutton kept trying for takedowns, with shots and body clinches, but to no avail.

Eugene Marenya wins by split decision, off scores of 29-27, 29-27, and 28-29. All three judges were in agreement that Marenya won the first round, while Sutton took the second round. However, two judges awarded Marenya 10-8 scores in the first, while one gave a 10-9. The second round was 10-9 across the board, which still had Marenya ahead 19-18, 19-18, and 19-19 even. The same two judges who awarded 10-8s in the first gave 10-9s to Marenya for the third, while the final judge awarded Sutton the final round by 10-9.

“I felt that Eugene won because of his work to finish. I felt like he almost finished that fight a couple different times. . . And I also thought that the last 15 seconds of the first round was pretty ridiculous. He was sitting there pounding on that dude, and all the dude was doing was holding his hands up. And they let it go. I thought that fight should have been stopped then and there. Especially if they’re supposed to be stopping fights early,” said Brady.

“I think Eugene learned a lot in that fight. That he’s not always going to be able to use his strength and length and athleticism to his advantage. He’s gotta throw his technique in there. But we were all real proud of him. He toughed it out. It was a hard-fought fight. He pulled off the W and that’s all that matters,” said Jouban.

155 lbs. – Christian Palencia x Jimmy Spicuzza (Team Lethal)

Christian Palencia made a tremendous comeback after a year-long hiatus.

Round One: Palencia looked more determined than he usually does, which, once the bell rings, is extremely focused. Spicuzza’s vocal fan base clearly confirmed the hometown boy’s popularity. Spicuzza caught a right kick early, dumping Palencia to the ground. Engaging on the feet, Palencia stalked Spicuzza from the center, keeping him against the ropes and forcing him into the corner. Spicuzza grounded Palencia with a high takedown, but Palencia threatened for several minutes with a tight guillotine choke. Spicuzza did eventually pop out, but was ineffective from the top. Palencia should have won this round with the guillotine and more aggressive striking.

Round Two: Spicuzza continued to circle while Palencia followed him from the center. Spicuzza scored a takedown and side control, but let Palencia up after getting nothing on the ground. Palencia with a right low kick, and later charged in. Spicuzza worked for a clinch takedown, but Palencia instead slipped in a standing guillotine and jumped guard before round’s end.

Round Three: Spicuzza caught another kick and tried to dump Palencia again, but doesn’t. Palencia, however, did get a takedown off a kick. Spicuzza held him in closed guard, but Palencia was able to stand over him and almost pass guard. Palencia ended up in closed guard again, ground-and-pounding to the end of the round.

Judges award the bout to Jimmy Spicuzza by split decision.

In the days after the match, Gavin suggested that the match could have been quite different with three-minute rounds: “it would have been nice to see Christian and Jimmy – they’re both Tuff-N-Uff veterans – get the three three-minute rounds for the main event. I think that would have showed even better. But with the shorter rounds, sometimes that takedown and getting on top, is real big to the judges.”

Heun likewise echoed the sentiment: “[Spicuzza] wasn’t able to do anything, but they score takedowns very highly out there. . . I thought [Palencia] did more damage. I thought he was trying to finish the fight. Would I like the judging criteria changed? Yes. I think the fights should be judged on a whole.”

According to the scorecards, the difference was in the first round, when two judges awarded Spicuzza the round, while one judge saw Palencia winning. All judges agreed that Spicuzza won the second round and Palencia the third. The end result was scores of 28-29, 29-28, and 29-28 in favor of Spicuzza.

“I felt like I got the win. I think the judges just couldn’t tell how tight my guillotines were. The one in the first round, I thought I had that one. The one in the second round. . . it felt really tight, but when I dropped down, I somehow lost it. And then in the third round, I felt like I definitely controlled him on top, and was hitting him up on top. When he took me down, he wasn’t doing anything.”

In other Tuff-N-Uff action that night:

140 lbs. – Joseph Viola (Team Fasi / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu) def. Ramsen Merza (LA Boxing) via TKO, R3, 1:20.

160 lbs. – Lyle Rivera (Hard Knox) def. Carlos Caliso, Jr. (Team Spiritwolf) via split decision.

145 lbs. – Mac McNamara (Xtreme Couture) def. Johnny Parsons (Team Fasi / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu) via split decision.

185 lbs. – Chris Gates (Team Fasi / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu)  def. PJ Dombrowski (Xtreme Couture) via TKO, R3, 1:37.

145 lbs. – Justin Vadnais (Vadnais Fight Team) def. Jovon Lorenzo (Freestyle) via TKO / doctor’s stoppage, R2.

155 lbs. – Dustin Bredwick (Team Fasi / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu) def. Paul Blancaflor (Team Spiritwolf) via submission (rear naked choke), R3, 0:53.

155 lbs. – Jason Rivera (Wand Fight Team) def. Zac Chance (Xtreme Couture) via split decision.

160 lbs. – Chris Camacho Gameness Competition Team) def. Jon Gorton (Team Quest / Reign Training Center) via unanimous decision.

205 lbs. – Joseph Mengali (Team PFS) def. Tim Martyn (Freestyle) via TKO, R1, 1:10.

185 lbs. – Greg Gifford (Team Fasi / Drysdale Jiu Jitsu) def. Weston Duschen (Xtreme Couture) via ?? R2, 0:51.

Tuff-N-Uff 115 lbs. Women’s Championship –Ashley Cummins def. Gabriella Lakoczky (Wand Fight Team) via unanimous decision.

Tuff-N-Uff Future Stars of MMA – Sunday, May 30th

Only 48 hours later, in the same ballroom at the Orleans, Tuff-N-Uff promoted twelve more matches, with fighters coming from as far as New Mexico (Jackson’s MMA) and Missouri (St. Louis MMA). Though the crowd was somewhat “hungover in enthusiasm” at the onset of the show, having watched as many as 23 fights since Friday evening, the ballroom filled up quickly for the show, and was as heated for the main event as just about any other previous Tuff-N-Uff show.

170 lbs. – Tommy Gavin x Lee Henry Lilly (Striking Unlimited)

Tommy Gavin got to showcase his striking stylings with a first round TKO.

Having fought his last three fights at 155, Gavin moved up a weight class for this event. Being a lifelong wrestler, one would think that he would be extra sensitive to the 15 pound difference, but in fact, Gavin felt very comfortable, noting “I’ve got the strength and power of a 170-pounder. So I think I could fight at either weight class pretty comfortably. . . Not having to do that weight cut was nice for this one, but I don’t know if I’m going to make my home at 170 or 155. I think I’d like to go back down. “

Gavin and Lilly didn’t hesitate in going toe-to-toe with each other, immediately throwing heavy combos to the head. Gavin tried to take control of the pace with a Muay Thai clinch, then underhooks, as they vied for position. Gavin went for the trip takedown, but Lilly broke away with a knee. Coming in with a jab, Gavin caught a left from Lilly that threw him to one knee, but was quick to recover and drop Lilly with an overhand right. Gavin pounced and nailed Lilly on the ground with three more left hooks before referee Jason Tevino stepped in and stopped the match.

Tommy Gavin wins by TKO, R1, 1:06

“We told him not to wrestle so much, to believe in his hands, and he believed enough to put a kid to sleep,” summerized Heun.

For teammate Chris Brady, Gavin’s win hit a personal note, explaining “it made me really happy to see him finish his fight definitively, because we both were on the same track, and he fought before me. . . We had really talked before about snapping that losing streak that we’d gotten on and getting back on track. Back to winning.”

135 lbs. – Chris Brady x Maurice Senters (Striking Unlimited)

Fans saw the new, improved ground game of Chris "Boulevard" Brady.

Round One: Neither fighter had any problem firing combos from the get-go. Senters forced Brady to the ground with a trip takedown, but was trapped in closed guard and soon stuck in an oma plata, which Brady rode on him until scrambling to the feet, where Brady threw knees, holding a front facelock. Breaking apart, Brady got a lot more liberal with his kicks, landing multiples to the legs and body. Senters, to his credit, didn’t shy away from the offense, shoving Brady to the ground when Senters was stuck eating knees in a Muay Thai clinch. Brady worked a closed guard, then oma plata as the round closed.

Round Two: Both men came out firing legs. Senters caught a right leg and scored a trip takedown, but Brady again worked mission control and an oma plata from the ground position. Eventually, Senters escaped, bringing the fight back to the feet, but Brady had answers there as well, keeping on the attack with combos punctuated by kicks. Senters scored another trip takedown off a kick, but Brady worked for a triangle choke for the remaining time.

Round Three: More kicks from both sides. Senters tripped Brady off another leg catch, but opted not to follow to the ground. Brady kept Senters on the defensive, attacking with combinations punctuated by leg and body kicks. Brady took the fight to the ground with a modified side headlock, spinning Senters down and passing guard. Senters worked to his knees, but Brady stayed with him, riding his back with wrestling legs and a body triangle. Senters eventually did reverse, caught in Brady’s closed guard as the bell ended the match.

“That was a turning point for me – coming up and performing that way. I think my conditioning was a lot better. I was in way better shape . . . the fights before, I had some personal issues and things that were going on at the time. But what you strive for as a professional is to be able to go in there and do your job and do the best you can every time. No matter what happens in your personal life. That’s your job.  So I chalk that one up as a learning experience to keep your mind focused on what’s going on. So that you can always perform at your best, no matter what,” reflected Brady.

For Jouban, Brady’s performance on the ground was a larger declaration of how the team has improved, explaining “the Legends guys – you have to fear them on the ground, finally. You don’t want to fuck with us on our feet, but then this guy didn’t want any part of Brady on the ground. So I was real proud of that. That Brady would get him in his guard and the guy would try to back out. He didn’t want to even try to pound.”

In other Tuff-N-Uff action that day:

185 lbs. – Cody Clunas (Freestyle) def. Matt Brisky (Freestyle) via submission (rear naked choke), R1, 1:15.

170 lbs. – Damian Jackson (Hard Knox) def. Justin Bonner (Throwdown) via TKO, R2, 0:41.

265 lbs. – Ahmed Sanchez (TapouT Training Center) def. Phillip Hernandez via TKO, R2, 1:17.

185 lbs. – Jarred Hopkins (Wand Fight Team) def. Sedrick Sweet (One Kick Nick) via unanimous decision.

155 lbs. – Barry Prevost (Striking Unlimited) def. Zach Grossman (Wand Fight Team) via KO, R1, 0:14.

155 lbs. – Kalino Yap (Tapout Training Center) def. Alex Brooks (Hawaiian Fighting Arts) via unanimous decision.

145 lbs. – Jace Crawford (TapouT Training Center) def. Rene Flores (Wand Fight Team) via TKO, R1, 1:40.

135 lbs. – Emily Peters-Kagen (Jackson’s MMA) def. Autumn Richardson (Team Quest) via TKO / doctor’s stoppage, R1, 0:23.

265 lbs. – Kevin Absher (TapouT Training Center) def. Chris Simmons via KO, R2, 1:13.

Perhaps the icing on the cake for this weekend of top performances was the lengths from which the team turned things around, having struggled through their previous Tuff-N-Uff event. In fact, until this weekend, the amateur team’s combined record was a difficult 1-8-1 in 2010. “That previous card, where we went 1-4, I thought we had a tougher training camp. Sometimes you just can’t get the W, even if you train your butt off. . . This one, I was working my ass off. People had different things going on. . . It was tough, but we were able to pull together, stick together as a team,” commented Jouban.

With Heun, a Strikeforce fighter, coming back next Wednesday from a year-long hiatus to face former EliteXC lightweight champion KJ Noons, he looks to take the momentum and continue the turnaround: “I’ve been talking the talk to those guys for a long time.  And finally I’m going to be able to walk the walk, and let them see what I’m talking about. I think that spurred by the great victories last weekend at Tuff-N-Uff. And following my victory over KJ, I think it’s going to be the dawning of a new era for the Legends fight team.

Tuff-N-Uff returns to the Orleans Hotel & Casino on July 2nd.

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 http://www.camo-mma.org/events.

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 Sherdog.com.  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 http://www.camo-mma.org/events.

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 http://www.camo-mma.org/events.

Jouban wins debut, Bollinger blemishes Couture’s amateur graduation in controversy

Posted in Legends MMA, Live Event Reports, Tuff-N-Uff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2010 by jaytan716

By Jay Tan

Ryan Couture and Sean Bollinger fought to an inconclusive draw at the March 26th Tuff-N-Uff amateur MMA event in Las Vegas.

The friendly rivalry between Legends MMA and Xtreme Couture, best illustrated with the historic three-fight saga between Chris Brady and Jimmy Jones, wrote another chapter last weekend, as Sean Bollinger and Ryan Couture battled to a razor-thin draw, capping off a Tuff-N-Uff event which saw six members of the combined 10th Planet / Legends MMA gym face difficult but important moral victories.

The match, a title bout for the Tuff-N-Uff 155 lb. championship, was a back-and-forth battle of wits between two celebrated ground technicians, one of whom had quickly become an affable fan favorite, and the other an underestimated but dangerous dark horse.  Fans were calling it one of the most exciting matches in Tuff-N-Uff history, although several were up in arms that a title match would be allowed to end in a draw.

For Bollinger, the victory was, if nothing else, a moral one, as he said “this fight really showed me my heart.  It proved something to myself: nine minutes of straight war.  And I didn’t quit. . . It didn’t surprise me, but it showed me something.  We both took a beating.  I just need to see that in myself, to pursue this MMA career.”

Moreover, there was much debate over whether the match should continue into the third round,  as Bollinger trapped Couture in a triangle choke and by all accounts (including Couture’s), put the second generation star to sleep moments before or right at the bell.

Teammate Tommy Gavin noted “I think Bollinger clearly won the first two rounds.  He actually put the kid to sleep, so I think he won the fight. “

In a Las Vegas Sun article that ran the next morning, Couture told writer Hepi Mita that that he was put out, saying “He did have me asleep as the bell rang. . . It’s not every day you get to pass out and then still fight another round.”

Not to be outdone, Legends MMA / 10th Planet mainstay Alan “The Jedi Knight” Jouban finally made his MMA debut, winning with a highlight reel-caliber 14-second TKO over Dustin Chevalier (Striking Unlimited).  With an 8-0 record in amateur Muay Thai, Jouban’s MMA cherrybreaker came after a series of injury mishaps.  Ironically enough, Jouban was a last-minute replacement for Eddie Jackson, who himself withdrew from the event due to injury.

“I felt like I was more hungry for that fight than I was for almost anything in my life.  It was almost two years of being sidelined, watching my peers grow and get better in this sport, and me not getting to do it.  And once I kept building momentum, I get hurt again. . . Now that I think I’ve got that first hurdle out of the way . . . that’s my biggest goal right now – to stay hungry, to keep building a career,” explained Jouban.

“Alan was, what can you say?  He went out there and took the guy out quick.  He did exactly what he wanted to do and looked like an animal with his twelve-pack, the whole time,” said teammate and pro fighter Garren Smith.

155 lbs. – Tommy Gavin vs. Jon Gorton (Team Quest)

Tommy Gavin vs. Joe GortonGavin scored two trademark takedowns in round one, and Gorton worked for submissions from the bottom each time. The second takedown was a guillotine choke, which, while tight, offered little threat to the Upstate New York wrestler.  With credit to teammate Eddie Jackson’s pre-fight head-shaving tradition, Gavin had little problem popping his head out, working for a D’arce choke to the round’s end.  Round two saw Gavin and Gorton repeat the takedown / guillotine sequence from before.  Gorton got a takedown of his own, and although Gavin worked for the armbar from bottom, Gordon was able to pass guard to full mount, throwing lefts and rights until the referee ended the match at 0:42 of the second round.  Gordon was awarded the TKO victory.

Never one to get hung up on the past, Gavin saw a silver lining in the match itself, noting “one positive thing is I’m definitely getting better on my feet.  I believe I was winning the stand-up in the fight, and my coaches told me to keep it standing, but I kind of went back to the wrestler instinct.”

Teammate Jouban added “Tommy let his hands go.  He might have discovered something, that he’s got power in his hands.

170 lbs. – Takashi Munoz vs. Warren Roberds (Wand Fight Team)

Takashi Munoz vs. Warren RobardsThis match was three rounds of Roberds keeping the pressure on Munoz with jabs and wild overhand rights.  Fists flew right from the bell, as Roberds charged and cornered Munoz, who got caught up in the ropes.  Munoz was able to retard Roberds’ pace with over/underhooks and Muay Thai knees, but Roberds broke free with lefts and overhands rights, scoring a knockdown that threw Munoz under the bottom rope just as the bell rang.  Roberds again bullied Munoz into the corner in round two, but Munoz was able to slip in some knees from a Thai clinch, as well as mounting an offense of his own with kicks.

Munoz opened up round three with a perfectly-timed head kick that could have possibly knocked Roberds out, had he not gone with the momentum, but Roberds was able to clinch up and catch his bearings.  Up against the corner, Munoz threw a controversial leg strike which the referee ruled as an illegal knee to the head, penalizing Munoz with a one-point deduction.    Munoz threw more kicks and knees in this round than previous bouts, but that wasn’t enough to stop Roberds, who looked for the trip takedown and knees.  Munoz fired another head kick, but tripped to the floor as the final bell sounded.

In a very close differential, Warren Roberds takes the match with a majority (split) decision.

Like with his teammate, Munoz indicated that despite not getting the victory, the match added another block to his mental arsenal: “I found out a lot of things about myself in this fight. I realized I’m way tougher than I thought I would be . . . You know how there’s a saying – ‘how can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?’  In this fight, I now know that I’m ready to get hit, and I’m still going to come back at you.”

Discussing the point deduction, Munoz explained “[the referee] said something like ‘I told you there’s no knees to the head.’ And in my case, I was looking at him like ‘that was no knee.  That was the middle to the top of the shin.’  If he looks carefully, it didn’t even look like I was throwing a knee.  It was a kick.  A complete kick.”

185 lbs. – Rick Borden (10th Planet Riverside) vs. Zach Conley (Xtreme Couture)

Rick Bordon vs. Zach ConleyDespite this being Borden’s Tuff-N-Uff debut, the 10th Planet Riverside rookie is no stranger to the lights and big stage.  Borden went into the event 2-0 in amateur MMA, and previously played football at Eastern Oregon University.

After the first flurry of strikes and a takedown attempt by Borden, he and Conley circled and felt each other out.  Borden pushed Conley into the corner with a punch combination, throwing left body shots as Conley tried to mar the action with over/underhooks. During the scuffle, the corner pad came loose, which led to a brief stop in the action.  Upon the restart, the two traded combinations and vied for takedowns that neither got.

Both men engaged much more gingerly in round two, only throwing single or two-strike combinations.  Conley had a chance to capitalize off a slip by Borden, but didn’t.  Borden tried for another takedown towards the end of the round, but Conley stuffed it and held him at bay, landing a big knee.  In round three, Conley opened up with a wild right, then attacked with single left hooks and low kicks.  Borden fired combos to the head.  Conley scored a trip takedown off a body lock, but was unable to get out of Borden’s half-guard.

Judges awarded the match to Zach Conley by unanimous decision.

“I wish I could have got a little more takedowns and worked my ground game, because that’s what I’ve been working on.  My jiu Jitsu game is probably my strong point. . . I knew he was gonna be a pretty well-rounded fighter.  I knew he had a lot of experience on me, which obviously showed at the end of the fight,” Borden said after the fight.

135 lbs. – Chris Brady vs. Casey Johnson (Team Driven)

Chris Brady vs. Casey Johnson

This match was destined to be a barn burner from the entrance music, as Brady walked out to “A Country Boy Can Survive,” with Johnson emerging to Justin Moore’s “I Could Kick Your Ass.”  Johnson, making his Tuff-N-Uff debut, is the 145 lb. champion in the MMA Explosion promotion, with a 7-1 MMA record and training out of Jens Pulver’s Team Driven in Idaho.

Round one was a kicking battle, as both men traded a series of low shots, one of which Johnson used to trip Brady to the ground.  Johnson chose to keep it standing, however, knocking Brady down again with straight-ahead punches.  Brady got revenge by knocking Johnson down with a high kick, but got tied up in top position and almost caught in an armbar before the round ended.  The pair traded heavy leather and furious kicks and knees in the second round.  Brady neutralized Johnson on the ground with rubber guard and mission control.  Round three saw Johnson catch another kick, pushing Brady to the ground and in the corner, but Brady escaped and engaged on the feet, brushing off a Superman punch from Johnson.  They traded combinations until Johnson got another trip.  Brady had him in an armbar in the waning seconds of the match.

Judges awarded the match to Johnson by unanimous decision, but this was one of the closest matches in recent Legends MMA memory.

For Johnson, the slugfest took its toll, commenting “I tell ya, halfway through the second, all into the third, my ears were ringing. . . Chris Brady is a tough, stacked kid. . . I appreciate him taking the fight.  It’s a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to fight him, to go three rounds with him.  Hat’s off to Chris and hat’s off to Tuff-N-Uff.”

170 lbs. – Alan Jouban vs. Dustin Chevalier (Striking Unlimited)

Alan Jouban vs. Dustin Chevalier

Jouban and Chevalier almost instantly started throwing flurries at each other.  Jouban connected with left high kick to the head, following up with a right hook that dropped Chevalier.  With Chevalier on his knees, Jouban fired off several more punches to the head before the referee jumped in.

Alan Jouban won by TKO, R1, 0:14.

Ever the perfectionist, Jouban was surprisingly disappointed in at least one aspect of his match: “I was really actually kind of jealous of [my teammates’] fights.  All of them did things that I wanted to do in my fight that I didn’t get to do.  A 14 second knockout’s great, but all-in-all, the amateur league is to get the ring experience, which I feel like I’m not getting when I was with that dude. . .  Takashi went three rounds, Brady went three rounds.”

155 lbs. Tuff-N-Uff Title Match – Ryan Couture (Xtreme Couture) vs. Sean Bollinger

Sean Bollinger vs. Ryan CoutureThis match, along with the two other title matches of the night, were three-minute rounds.  The story of the match was that Couture, a noted armbar specialist, was facing his toughest submission challenge in Bollinger, who was only the second black belt under Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu system.  This was also Bollinger’s second amateur MMA fight.

Bollinger set the first round off with kicks, including an unexpected headshot.  Couture got Bollinger to the ground after engaging with a combo, but opted to keep it standing, which would be the theme of the fight for Couture’s ground strategy.  Conversely, Bollinger would pull guard whenever possible, and did secure Couture in tight mission control at one point, but Couture eventually escaped.  Bollinger didn’t shy away from stand-up engagement, however, holding his own with headwork, left hooks, and overhand rights.  Couture missed several overhand rights, but did his fair share of damage with low kicks to Bollinger’s left leg.

Round two opened with a longer feeling out period, as the two traded measured combos for the first minute.  Bollinger got double overhooks and pulled Couture down, trapping him with mission control and a triangle. The controversy really kicked in with eight seconds left, as Couture, still trapped in the triangle, tried to escape by stepping over Bollinger’s head.  Sensing it, Bollinger hooked the leg and held on to the ring of the bell.  Referee Joe Sullivan, not in position to stop the action right at the bell, made contact with the fighters 1-2 seconds after the ring, by which point Couture’s arm was visibly limp.

According to commentator Ron Yacovetti, Sullivan’s hand gesture could have been interpreted as the round ending or the match ending.  After a brief celebration by the Legends / 10th Planet corner, Sullivan informed them that the match was not over.

Going into round three, both men engaged.  Couture caught a Bollinger kick and tripped him to the ground, then followed up with combos, stepping away from Bollinger’s sweep attempt.  Couture kept the pressure on Bollinger, stuffing a takedown attempt and landing rights to the body and head.  Bollinger did briefly get mission control on Couture on the ground again, but Couture peppered the body with punches and escaped.  The two traded selective shots in the last few seconds of the round.

Judges scored the entire bout evenly, ruling it a draw.  Couture won the first round by a split, with two judges scoring it 10-9 for Couture and one judge scoring it 10-9 for Bollinger.  Bollinger took the second round unanimously, 10-9 on two judges’ scorecards and 10-8 on the third scorecard.  Couture walked away with the 10-9 for the third round on all judges’ cards, ending the match with one judge scoring it 29-28 for Couture, one judge scoring it 29-28 for Bollinger, and one judge scoring it 28-28 as a draw.

Fans were visibly upset by the decision, with loud chants of both fighters’ names, as well as “one more round.”

Afterwards, Bollinger spoke about the match being an opportunity to show that he wasn’t simply a one-dimensional fighter, saying “I’m just happy that I could go all three rounds, and I can display other talents than just the grappling.  I guess people kinda know where my hands are at.”

As for thoughts on a rematch, Bollinger said “Ryan was saying he didn’t want to fight a rematch, unless we went pro.  He said he didn’t want to do that for free again, is the actual quote he said.  But I’m down for a rematch for sure.  I definitely want to fight a couple more amateur fights.  I love Tuff-N-Uff.  I love coming here and fighting at the Orleans. I’d love to see him in the future.  Maybe on a UFC undercard or something.”

In other Tuff-N-Uff action that night:

170 lbs. – Joey Angelo (TapouT) def. Jesse Bowler (Team Hollywood) via sub (triangle) R3, 1:27.

135 lbs. – Jerry Shapiro (Cobra Kai) def. Victor Henry (Strike Sub Club) via sub (rear naked choke) R2, 1:57.

155 lbs. Jimmy Spicuzza (Team Lethal) def. Oron Kahlon (freestyle) via TKO, R3, 0:21.

185 lbs. Tuff-N-Uff Title Fight – Edmond Xhelili (Warrior Training Center) def. Tim Bowman (Striking Unlimited) via unanimous decision.

145 lbs. Tuff-N-Uff Title Fight – Andrew Alirez (Top Notch MMA) def. Vince Norica (Suffer Fight Team) via sub (arm triangle), R1, 2:41.

Tuff-N-Uff returns to the Orleans Hotel & Casino on Friday, April 23rd.  Legends / 10th Planet expect to send fighters.  Check back here for details.

Legends MMA is sponsored by X-Pole, Melee Fight Gear, HPE, Inc., and Stripper 101.

CA Amateur MMA Events Debut in 2009; 2010 launches in Santa Barbara

Posted in CAMO, Live Event Reports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2010 by jaytan716

Although November and December typically indicate the end of a calendar year, California Amateur MMA Organization, Inc. (CAMO) was in full swing, as the first three events involving regulated amateur MMA matches in California took place during that time.

Promoter Ed Holmes (All-Star Boxing / Ka-Boom MMA Promotions) has the distinction of hosting the first CAMO-regulated match, Jesse Crespin vs. Chris Deroma, which took place on November 20th. This and two other amateur matches made up the amateur portion of a pro-am event at the Quiet Canyon Country Club in Montebello.

“It was a great turnout, and at the same time, some of those amateur fights were as good as the pros,” said Holmes.

Match results from All-Star’s November 20th event were as follows:

180 lbs. – Jesse Crespin def. Chris Deroma (Champions Karate Dojo) via TKO, R1, 0:12.

165 lbs. – Jacob Rodriguez (Academy of Striking & Grappling) def. Ruben Gudino (West Coast Fight Academy) via TKO, R1, 0:43.

145 lbs. – Cooper Gibson (Team True Warrior) def. Anthony Jimenez (Adrenaline) via unanimous decision.

When asked his thoughts on the level of competition among California’s amateurs, Holmes was quick to point out two rising stars, “Jacob Rodriguez was one and the other was [Cooper Gibson]. I thought both those kids were pretty impressive as amateurs.”

The first all-amateur CAMO-regulated event took place the following week, November 28th, in Santa Maria, as promoter Jeff Restivo’s California Fight Syndicate presented “Battle at the Barracks,” at the Santa Maria National Guard Armory.

“I’m really excited, because it’s a piece of history, and I’ve been wanting this for a long time.” commented CA Fight Syndicate matchmaker Anthony Arria.

For Arria, amateur MMA is the crucial stepping stone that aspiring fighters need to prepare themselves and prevent a false-start to their pro careers. “It’s a perfect opportunity for kids to test themselves without getting thrown to the lions. . . With [amateur MMA], now they can let it all hang, and not have to worry about ‘oh, I might not get that big paycheck.’ Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening with pros. You’re getting these guys that are very one-dimensional, and are losing, because they didn’t have an opportunity to fight amateur,” he explained.

Match results from “Battle at the Barracks” were as follows:

155 lbs. – David Snell (SLO Kick Box & Submission Wrestling) def. Alvaro Corral (Paragon MMA) via TKO, R2, 1:46.

162 lbs. (catchweight) – Joseph Fernandez (independent) def. Jason Ordonez (Ventura MMA) via submission, R1, 1:11.

165 lbs.(catchweight) – Eric Prado (independent) def. Josh Passmore (independent) via TKO R3, 0:41.

145 lbs. – Tim Riscen (KnuckleHeadz Boxing) def. Camron Sewel (Paragon MMA) via unanimous decision.

155 lbs. – Joshua Ruehlig (SLO Kickboxing) def. Waldo Dominguez (Team Fresh) via split decision.

160 lbs. – Anthony Dakuras (Santa Maria USA STUD LIFE) def. Vincent Guerrero IV (Blue, Black, & Brown) via TKO, R3, 1:48.

180 lbs. – Michael Perez (KnuckleHeadz Boxing) def. Matt Lovato (independent) via unanimous decision.

163 lbs. (catchweight) – Michael Gahan (The Pit Fight Team) def. Bren O’Neal (independent) via TKO, R3, 1:04.

Heavyweight – Jason Quintero (Paragon MMA / SLO Kickboxing) def. Mike Brown (independent) via submission, R1, 0:39.

The final CAMO event of 2009 was “Conquest in the Cage 6,” another All-Star / Ka-Boom semi-pro event, this time at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The event was held on December 5th.

Match results for “Conquest in the Cage 6” were as follows:

140 lbs. – Jose Medina (Adrenaline) def. Reshan Sabaratnam (PKG) via TKO, R2, 1:46.

185 lbs. – Cody Silvett (Team Wardance) def. Fernando Barrera (Reyes Boxing Club) via split decision.

175 lbs. (catchweight) – Raul Ortiz (Destiny MMA) def. Jesse Crespin (CSW) via TKO, R2, 1:51.

172 lbs.(catchweight) – Lou Tapia (PKG) def. Brandon Weil (independent) via TKO, R2, 1:10.

This past weekend, on January 16th, CA Fight Syndicate held their first Pro-Am show. “The show was named ‘Heavy Hitters,’ and at that point it lived up to its reputation,” Arria said afterwards.

Arria went on to note: “the Michael Gahan vs. Anthony Dakuras fight, for me, was probably fight of the night. Even over the pros. Everybody said it was way better than any of the pro fights. Because these guys really went at it.”

Match results for CA Fight Syndicate’s “Heavy Hitters” were as follows:

193 lbs. (catchweight) – Robert Rud def. Shannon Good (S.B. Fighter / Paragon MMA) via decision.

156 lbs. (catchweight) – Juan Ferrer (SKS) def. Joseph Fernandez (independent) via TKO, R1, 1:56.

155 lbs. (catchweight) – Michael Gahan (The Pit Fight Team) def. Anthony Dakuras (Santa Maria USA STUD LIFE) via TKO, R2, 1:52.

185 lbs. – John Hackleman, Jr. (The Pit Fight Team) def. Sam Vargas (independent) via TKO, R1, 0:22.

286 lbs. – Makani Sarellano (S.K.S. Fight Team) def. Deldridge Jones (independent) via KO, R1, 1:18.

135 lbs. – Brandon Drucker (S.K.S. Fight Team) def. Daniel Garcia (SB Fighter / Violent Tendency MMA) via submission, R1, 1:21.

Explaining why he chose to do a pro-am show, Arria said “we have a bunch of pros in Santa Barbara, and some of them train with some of the amateurs. It really keeps that local feel.”

Upcoming events:

Northern California kicks into gear on January 22nd at the Sacramento Radisson, as Stand Up Fighters Promotions and Coaching Kids MMA present their first event of the year. Visit http://www.CoachingKidsMMA.org for info on tickets.

All Star / Ka-Boom returns to the Quiet Canyon Country Club on January 22nd with an all-amateur show, and then to the Westin Bonaventure Hotel on April 3rd.
Fight Academy Pasadena presents “Proving Grounds,” a 10-match amateur MMA event, on January 29th, at their gym on 491 S. Arroyo Pkwy. Visit http://www.FightAcademyMMA.com for ticket info.

The first CAMO-sanctioned Pankration event takes place on January 30th at the Rollerdome in Thousand Oaks, as T.O. Boxing / Performance Promotions presents “Fight Night 5.” Visit http://www.TOBoxing.net for details.