By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 2, Joe ‘Daddy’ Stevenson is known for being one of the most resilient and relentless fighters in mixed martial arts history. A former King of The Cage Champion, Stevenson plowed through the UFC lightweight rankings.  Amassing a 5-1 record Stevenson earned himself a title shot against then  champion, now legend, B.J. Penn (Former 170lbs and 155 lbs champion, also a UFC hall of Famer). That fight will forever be remembered as one of the bloodiest battles ever witnessed inside of the Octagon. A shoe-in for the Hall of Fame.

Although Stevenson has yet to close the door on his fight career, currently he just doesn’t have the time. Himself the owner of a gym in Victorville, CA Stevenson is consistently coaching both in the morning and in the evening. For lunch he drives all the way to Los Angeles, where he works as the Fight Coordinator for the hit television series ‘Kingdom’, which by the way is currently number 1 on iTunes for television dramas.

‘Kingdom’ which airs on DirectTV is centered around a Venice Beach gym monikered “Navy Street”. Owned and operated  by former fighter played by Frank Grillo. ‘Alvey’ manages a roster of colorful fighters which includes his two sons played by Nick Jonas, and Jonathan Tucker. Jonas, plays a talented prospect trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations, while Tucker plays the hot headed renegade, who has yet to earn his pedigree. Matt Lauria plays the part of the gym protege, a legitimate contender fresh out of prison, looking for redemption.

Stevenson’s mark is not hard to notice. The show puts a heavy emphasis on creating a true-too-life gym atmosphere complete with the clashing ego’s, intense training sessions, which very often mirrors the constant conflict and reconciliations that accompany every families journey. The actors all regularly train with Stevenson, alternating between his gym in Joe Stevenson’s Cobra Kai in Victorville, CA and the one they built on set. “Everyone got better as a fighter between season one and two!” Stevenson said. “Matt Lauria is a better athlete than I am, Jonathan Tucker can out lift me, and Nick Jonas has amazing hand eye coordination.”  Stevenson said.

The efforts pay off in a true to life portrayal of a very difficult sport to capture on film. Jonas, Grillo, Lauria and Tucker all put forth eager performances that make the viewer feel almost involved with the characters lives. Watching the show, you can’t help but feel like you are part of the team. The realism, is perhaps what Stevenson prides himself on. “I train these guys to fight, not to act like they can fight.”

In fact, cast members of some other Hollywood shows better be careful as they enter the Highly competitive TV Celebrity Softball Circuit. Stevenson is prepared, perhaps criminally so…. “I wish we could fight other shows!” So take notice ‘Modern Family’, ‘The Daddy’ has no intention on sliding!

Brutally Honest Radio is hosted by Aaron Tru, Adrian Gallegos, and Jonathan King. The podcast is broadcast live each week from an undisclosed studio in Long Beach California. You can subscribe and download each episode on iTunes. Or you can listen on sound cloud.

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

You can also listen on Soundcloud here: Brutally Honest Radio Please Subscribe!

Mixed martial arts legend Phil Baroni called in to “The Brutally Honest Radio” show to talk about his upcoming fight(s) under the Rebel FC banner, and to discuss his future in the professional wrestling business. Baroni will participate in a several man, one night welterweight tournament in order to crown the promotions inaugural 170 lbs title Although the final details are still being worked out by the promotion, Baroni is already hard at work 8 weeks out from the fight.  Preparing at both Xtreme Couture and One Kick Gym, to old haunts very familiar to the ‘Best Eva’.

Until recently the ‘New York Bad Ass’ had considered himself somewhat retired, but the allure of winning a world title in a tournament that reminded him of his days fighting in Japan was just too tempting. “Its a Grand Prix tournament like Pride so Im stoked about it!.. so I pulled out my gloves found and mouthpiece and went to the gym!” Baroni said. Although the fight will only be broadcast in China, according to Baroni a webcast will also be available so make sure you check out http://www.rebelfightingchampionship.com for all the latest information on this Grand Prix tournament.

With Baroni set to return to the cage, we turned the tables on him to find out whats next for him in the ‘squared circle’ (Shout out to Gorilla Monsoon)? Recently Phil Baroni made his American professional wrestling debut, (See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNhJT6j7RAk ) and has since made several headlines confronting fellow UFC alum Chael Sonnen who currently commentates for Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling.

When asked about a future matchup Baroni seemed to all but guarantee an encounter although he left open the possibility of an alliance. “Who knows we might end up a tag team!” Baroni said. However Baroni made it clear he is not going to take any of the American Gangsters cheap shots, “If he hits me with a potato, I’m gonna hit him with one right back!” Baroni said. Then, “It will be on…i’ll shoot until I win!”

One thing is certain, I will be full potato in the front row watching!

Brutally Honest Radio is hosted by Aaron Tru, Adrian Gallegos, and Jonathan King. The podcast is broadcast live each week from an undisclosed studio in Long Beach California. You can subscribe and download each episode on iTunes

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By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Folklore has to start somewhere. Legends are born of actuality, rarely do they exist without some sort of merit based on reality. UFC 189 may still only be an infant as far as timeline is concerned,  but it ages, much like a fine wine, it will become widely accepted as the greatest night in not only MMA history, but it may have been the single greatest evening in combat sports history.

For 21 minutes the world was treated to a fight that will forever serve as the bench mark for excellence in mixed martial arts. UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and his vanquished foe Rory MacDonald engaged in a back and forth blood bath that had the entire arena on their feet the entire fight. Early on, the champion was in charge only to find himself virtually knocked out by the challenger late in the fourth round.

However in true champion form, Lawler emerged in the fifth and final round and quickly regained the momentum, cracking Macdonald’s severely damaged nose with a pinpoint straight left hand that had him instantly in survival mode. One more removed all of Macdonald’s motivation, as undoubtedly the pain in his shattered face began to over come his senses.

The fight, an instant classic came before a crowd that wasn’t even expecting, as the Irish flags can attest.

The UFC has long been building their Irish superstar, and it appeared to many that maybe they were making the mistake that many other promoters before them made. Simply put, many did not believe the hype. McGregor for all his bravado and bolstering was set to face a bulldozer in Chad Mendes, and at some point he was going to be tested.

Moments of uncertainty grew, and pundits became semi erect when Mendes grounded the striking assault of McGregor for the better part of the first and second rounds. A elbow inspired gash from a strategic Mendez elbow certainly reinforced those doubters. However McGregor then did what he does so well. He threaded the needle with a few pinpoint strikes, that exposed Mendez’s short camp, and quickly his gas tank empty. Repeated kicks to the body from McGregor increased the leak, and eventually the tank emptied and Mendes shut down.

The win for McGregor earned him the moniker as the UFC interim Champion in the featherweight division. A label he will be forced to wear until Jose Aldo is ready to compete in order to unify the titles.

These two fights may go down as the greatest one two punch in combat sports history. Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey are the biggest fighters in the UFC not because of the MMA fans, but because they translate outside of the sport. Love them or hate them, people have an opinion about them and they want to see them.

UFC 189 was full of casual fans who don’t necessarily follow the sport. Many people there like Anthony Macauley were brought there by friends, with no real expectations but instead had eye opening experiences that could make them life long fans of a sport they only casually knew about. “I went out to Vegas with some buddies and wasn’t even planning on going to the fight.” Macauley said. “I’ve always loved boxing but never got into the UFC.” After finally deciding to attend, Macauley was blown away by the event “The intensity in that arena leading up to the main event was unbelievable… I picked a hell of a first UFC event to attend, Im hooked for sure!” Macauley said.

These experiences are what will grow our sport to the next level. UFC 189 may be the night Conor McGregor earned the crown he claimed so long ago, but it will be remembered as the night Rory and Robbie went to war, and the rest of the world couldn’t help but watch!

 

Videoed and Edited By: Arin Ian

For those who witnessed the fight, Alfred Khashakyan vs. Anthony Paredes will not soon be forgotten. Not only was the underdog winning the fight, he was thoroughly dominating the bout. For the first two rounds, Paredes pretty much stifled Khashakyan with his relentless wrestling attack, grinding him down, slowly removing his will. At first frustrated, and later exhausted, Khashakyan could hardly muster the strength to answer the bell in the third round.

However he did, and what happened next was pure magic. A few minutes into the round, Khashakyan was able to land in succession to the body of his foe, forcing Paredes to retreat in an attempt to buy time to recover. Sensing blood in the water, instinctively Khashakyan stalked his prey before unleashing a barrage that left Paredes hugging the referee, removed of his senses.

What an amazing fight by both athletes, with an unbelievable ending that almost seemed scripted. A fight that stood out, on a card that was stacked from the beginning to the end.

Never a doubt? Paredes Hugs the ref!

Never a doubt? Paredes Hugs the ref!

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report and Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

‘Fight Night 3’ took place last Friday at The Sportsmens Lodge in Studio City California, and once again the event delivered. Fighters from throughout the region showed up in their best form, most dreaming of something bigger and better, while others once again simply enjoyed being in the mix.

The first fight of the evening also featured what many consider the Knockout of the Night. Veteran Johnny “Merc” Mercurio needed only :7 to dispatch journeyman Gabe Lopez with a nasty left hand that removed all of Lopez’s equilibrium, folding him instantly into a purely defensive posture, forcing the referee to step in and save him from further damage. The ferocious KO, definitely set the table for the fights that followed.

Next up local fan favorite Derion “DC” Chapman patiently waited for his spots, and found them in the third round when he finished his opponent Izic Fernandez with a nasty knee followed by a left hand that ended fight. Fernandez had success early in the contest, but seemed to fade just as Chapman began to pour it on.This was a Huge win for Chapman who now finds himself in the midst of a 2 fight win streak.

The third fight of the evening saw Chris Rodriguez survive an early assault from Levon Sargsyan, before he was able to ground Sargysan with a stifling wrestling game that eventually produced the rare ‘far arm’ choke finish at 2:25 of the very first round. Sargsyan look amazing on his feet but could not prevent the take downs, and eventually that is what cost him the win. Excellent showing for Rodriguez who withstood an early barrage enabling him to cinch up the win.

Talented 170 lbs prospect Anthony Hernandez needed only 2:28 seconds to destroy veteran Daniel McWilliams with I.Q changing elbows that brought the crowd to their feet. Hernandez quickly established himself has the more powerful striker, and appeared to be in control of the fight from the opening bell. The sheer violence of the finish will certainly put more than a few 170 lbs fighters in the area on notice!

The fifth scrap of the evening was also one of the most entertaining. Max Ceniceros was able to out last Dima Gerasimov in a back and forth donnybrook that saw both fighters land and absorb well beyond their thresholds should have allowed. The result; for three rounds the entire auditorium stood and watched with mouths agape, as these two warriors stood toe to toe in a fight reminiscent of Bonnar v Griffin I. Both men were battered, bloodied and bludgeoned, but in the end Ceniceros was able to pull out the unanimous decision on all cards. Great fight by two very courageous fighters who both refused to quit.

Bellator veteran Marcos Bonilla returned to the Lights Out Promotions and Bash Boxing cage, and also returned to his winning ways. Bonilla was able to swarm his opponent Adel Al Tamimi in the second round of their fight, TKO’ing him with some vicious ground and pound. The win is huge for Bonilla who returns to regional action after losing his Bellator debut to talented prospect A.J. McKee. With the win Bonilla may be just a few fights away from returning to the big leagues of MMA.

Undefeated prospect Matthew ‘The MOG’ Spencer remained untainted as a professional with a hard fought first round armbar victory over a very tough Jonathan Ferrell. Ferrell early on appeared to be in full control, staggering Spencer several times with pinpoint jabs, and cranium shattering elbows that appeared to momentarily stun Spencer. However Spencer quickly regained his composure, was able to return to his ground game base. Once he had the arm and went belly down, Ferrell really only had one legitimate option and he chose wisely. The tap forced the end to a very interesting fight that only lasted a total of 1:49, however this is a fight that gets no justice from the occasional viewer who briefly scans the results on Sherdog.

Next up, Muay Thai specialist Daniel Clark started off  his fight against savvy veteran Marlon Magee in classic fashion. Clark looked to set up his kicks with precise jab that kept Magee guessing, however it was the Alberto Crane jiujitsu pedigree that ended the fight. Clark was able to wrap up a rear-naked choke at 1:52 of the first round, ending another quick but very entertaining bout. The win moves Clark to 5-1 as a pro, and should be enough to get the attention of the larger promotions. If i was him, I would keep my phone real close.

The co main event of the evening was also by far the best fight of the night. For two rounds, the heavily favorite Alfred Khashakyan found himself down significantly to the relatively unknown Anthony Paredes out of Team Quest. Parades was able to take down Khashakyan at will, and with very little resistance. The tactic worked as Khashkyan for 2 rounds had no answer for the wrestlers attack. On his back for most of the fight, Khashkyan found himself down 10-9, 10-8 on most score cards, and appeared to be close to throwing in the towel. Instead exhausted, and bloodied he answered the bell in the third round and thank god he did! What came next was one of the most improbable comebacks in recent MMA history.

Late in the third round it appeared Paredes was gassing out, and that moment of weakness was all Khashkyan needed. Paredes ate a body shot that immediately paid divides for Khashkyan as he retreated to the cage in attempt to survive. Quickly Khashakyan closed the distance and unleashed a multiple punch combination that had Paredes covering up without offering any defense. A few more punches from Khashkyan found there target, and ended the night as referee Mike Bell had to stand in saving Paredes from further damage. The win a KO for Khashkyan may be the biggest of his career, but it will also serve as a wake up call. In this sport if you have a weakness, eventually it will be exposed.

The main event of the evening saw Los Angeles’s most popular regional fighter Thor Skancke defeat friend and former training partner Jason Cordero at 3:44 of the very first round. Skancke landed some nice leg kicks early that had his opponent thinking low, setting up his hands. Late in the round the fight found its way to the mat, where Skancke was able to establish position and quickly end the fight with some inspiring ground and pound. The win moves Skancke north of .500 as a pro, bring his record to 7-6, while Cordero drops to 5-7.

As always the violence was delivered, and everyone in attendance seemed to have a blast. If you have never been to a Lights Out Promotions/Bash Boxing event than you may want to reconsider. These guys put on affordable fights that thoroughly entertain, and consistently deliver highlight reel KO’s strategic submissions, and sometimes if your lucky,  you get a fight that just redefines your conception of the sport.

 

NOTE: GALLERY WILL BE EXPANDING THROUGHOUT THE WEEK AS MORE PHOTOS COME IN!

Fight Night LO 3.15-22

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

The 4th of July holiday may be in the rear view mirror, but Thor Skancke (6-6 MMA) saved his fireworks for July 10th. On that night Skancke will be taking on a very tough Jason Cordero (5-6 MMA) in the main event of ‘Fight Night 3’, and as always he promises to bring his own breed of fireworks.

“I am looking to put the pace on him early”, Skancke said. “He is not going to get past round 2. If he (Cordero) trained real hard his reward will be losing in the 2nd round, If he took me lightly he won’t last past the first!” Skancke said. At first the prediction may seem full of bravado but for Skancke its how he handles the reality of fighting.

Even though he sees his hand being raised, Skancke refuses to take anyone lightly. “I am physically and emotionally unable to take anyone lightly, anybody has a chance to beat me, so I train the same way every time.” Skancke said. “I come to knock you out quickly, I want to punch your teeth down your throat” Skancke said.

So although it may be an athletic contest Skancke makes no bones about his attitude when it comes to fighting!  “I don’t play games, I take every fight as a threat.”

Maybe that is why so many people come to watch him fight. Consistently one of the top draws on the local MMA scene for some reason Skancke translates to fight fans. Its not only his name that sets him apart, he truly is a showmen. From his entrance to his appearance, and his comical way Skancke is a guy you want to like. His fighting style reinforces that belief. Although he is awkward with the notion of popularity, he is not oblivious to his drawing power.

“People can tell when someone is the genuine article.” Skancke said. “I am a pretty exciting fighter to watch.  Many guys leave it ‘all out there’, but I handle business with a ferocity, and a reckless abandonment that most fighters lack, I have a kamikaze way about doing work, and I think thats why i put asses in seats.”

Skancke, a notorious brawler has spent the last year or so fine tuning his ground game. Recently under the tutelage of UFC/WEC veteran Gabe Ruediger, Skancke has made huge strides to increase not only his technique, but his confidence as well.

“My ground game has always been decent, I even won a few grappling contests, but for some reason in MMA it just wasn’t working. It took a new coach (Ruediger) to tie it all together, and to instill the confidence I needed in order to execute on the ground.” Skancke said. With his last win coming via submission it is difficult to argue with the results.

July 10th will be the test. In the end, the fight game may be cruel but its quite simple. Each fight produces a hammer and nail. For Skancke, the ends justify the means. The work will speak for itself, until then we can only anticipate. Until then we can only be satisfied with the fireworks we have seen, yet we can revel that their are still some more to come!

Thor Skancke Fights out of Tarzana Boxing Club/Systems Encino/10th Planet HQ

He is Sponsored By: Bottle and Pint, “The Hell and The Hunger” by  Mike Reynolds (In stores now), Pain Away, and Nutri Shop of Woodland Hills, and Ten Braves Apparel

He would like to thank his coaches Bernie Hopalian, Gabe Ruediger, Chris Buckner, and his manager George Bastmajyan. He would also like to thank all the fans that always come out in droves to support him. 

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Videoed And Edited By: Arin Ian Lights Out Promotions

Daniel Clark (3-2 MMA) Is one of Southern California’s most exciting young fighters, and he makes his return to the Lights Out Promotions and Bash Boxing Cage on July 10th at The Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City. Clark, a muay thai specialist returns to action after almost 8 months on the shelf due to nagging injuries.

Now fully healed, and with his edge as sharp as ever, Clark will be looking to make an example of the very well rounded Marlen Magee. Magee, currently in the midst of a 3 fight win streak, will be out to prove that he is nobodies stepping stone. The fight on paper could be an early candidate for Fight of The Night, so make sure you are in your seats early for this one!

For Tickets go to: http://www.valleyfightnight.com

 

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By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John J Walsh The Clinch Report and Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

The wait is almost over, the time is drawing near. ‘Fight Night 3’ returns to the Sportsmen’s Lodge courtesy of Lights Out Promotions and Bash Boxing. Following in the footsteps of previous ‘Fight Night’ installments, tickets are almost already sold out, and July 10, is still over a week away. For Tickets go to www.ValleyFightNight.com

The near sellout crowd is set to witness an absolutely stacked card, from ‘rooter to the tooter’, the card features a unique blend of battle tested veterans looking to punch their tickets back to the show, and hungry young predators looking to make a name for themselves as The City of Angels bears witness.

The main event features local legend, and avid face puncher Thor Skancke (6-6 MMA) who will take on the grappler Jason Cordero (5-6 MMA). The classic matchup of grappler vs. striker will be on display once again in this bout. Will it be a battle of transitions? Or will the lights go out in Studio City? A fight that cannot be missed!

The Co Main event features Alfred Khashakyan (4-1 MMA) vs Anthony Paredes (3-1 MMA). Khashakyan is arguably one of the top prospects in the area. His punches leave opponents unconscious, sipping their meals through straws. However this time, he may have finally found a rival with equal pedigree. Paredes comes in with a very well rounded striking game, backed up by a stifling wrestling game. If he can get Khashakyan to the mat, he may be able to maintain a solid advantage. This is another fight that could end being a marathon, or a sprint. Either way is another battle of top prospects you will eventually see fighting in the UFC.

The card also features the return of UFC and Strikeforce veteran Eddie Mendez (7-3). Mendez is looking to return to form, coming off of two very tough loses, one being his UFC debut the other being a title fight to now UFC fighter Kevin Casey under the RFA umbrella. He will be a facing a fighter very much in the same situation. Johnny Mercurio (5-6 MMA) is coming off of two tough losses himself, one of those being his Bellator MMA debut. These two veterans will be meeting head to head full speed, at a catchweight of 175 lbs. This one should be zero to sixty, in an instant. Put your seatbelt on!

Also on the Card:

Marcos Bonilla vs. Adel Al Tamimi (1-1 MMA) Both fighters are exciting strikers with very different styles. Bonilla has deadly accurate hands, that make a mess when he throws them around. Add in his footwork, and snapping leg kicks and he is a nightmare for anyone. Al Tamimi may be the perfect match. If he can keep his distance, and move in and out of Bonilla’s range, his karate style and hammering kicks can accumulate damage quickly, and his pace is always very measured. This fight could produce the *Knockout of The Night Candidate.

Ron Scolesdang (4-2 MMA) vs Paul Amaro (3-5 MMA) Both fighters are veterans of the ‘Fight Night’ series and always come ready to perform. What happens when a typhoon meets a tornado? This fight should give you the answer. Scolesdang is looking to build off his last ‘Fight Night’ performance, while Amaro is looking to end a five fight skid. With both fighters only knowing one speed, this fight should get the blood going.

Daniel Clark (3-2 MMA)vs Marlen Magee (3-2 MMA) This fight features two very well rounded tacticians, who have both been on the verge of the next level for quite some time. Clark may be the more well rounded fighter, but Magee is riding a 3 fight win streak, and will need to utilize his wrestling to neutralize the jiujitsu of his foe. Clark has all the tools for this game, however its been 8 months since his last fight. Ring rust is something Magee will certainly being looking to expose. This fight could produce the evenings slickest submission! *Submission of The Night Candidate

Dmitry Gerasimov (4-3 MMA) vs Max Ceniceros (6-2 MMA) Another early candidate for Fight of the Night. Ceniceros is currently riding a five fight win streak and standing in the way of his sixth, a one very tough Russian. Gerasimov’s karate pedigree and aggressive style coupled with Ceniceros explosiveness will make this fight one of the best on the card. *Fight of the Night Candidate.

Joe Bryant vs Joe Hernandez Whenever the heavyweights get locked in the cage you cannot afford to blink. This fight should come with that as a warning label. Both Bryant and Hernandez are both young, strong and extremely hungry. This fight could go either way, but it doubtfully will see a judges scorecard. Remember Don’t Blink. *Knockout of The Night Candidate

Levon Sargsyan (2-2 MMA) vs Chris Rodriguez (1-2 MMA) Intriguing bout that pits two talented prospects, cut from similar molds, in a fight that should deliver machine-gun action from the opening bell. Make sure you get to your seats early this is a fight that is certain to entertain.

Vardan Sholinian (5-1 MMA)  vs Anthony Hernandez (4-0 MMA) Hernandez undefeated atop a four fight KO pony, is risking his undefeated record against perhaps his toughest opponent yet. Sholinian one of the top young prospects emerging from Team GFC possesses heavy hands, a strong ground game and a granite chin. How is this not a main event? This one is worth the price of admission alone! *Knockout of The Night Candidate

Matthew Spencer (2-0 MMA)  vs Jonathan Ferrell (0-1 MMA) Ferrell making his ‘Fight Night’ debut will be looking to showcase his striking skills early. Spencer will be looking to utilize his strength and grappling skills to bring Ferrell into deep water, where he can drown him. Whoever wins, it should be a fun scrap to watch.

Izic Fernandez (1-0 MMA) vs Derion Chapman (1-2-1 MMA) How often does the curtain jerker actually have a chance to be Fight of The Night? This one does. Both fighters recently became professionals after extensive amateur backgrounds. This fight could end up being too close to call! *Fight of The Night Candidate

 

 

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Video and Edited By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report
Chad ‘The Savage’ George has been around the mixed martial arts block a few times. He understands the game as well as anyone. He first burst into the rankings while fighting for the now defunct WEC (Which was purchased by ZUFFA in 2008 and later absorbed in 2010). While under the Zuffa umbrella, George earned his first win over John Hosman before losing to Scott Jorgensen, and Antonio Banuelos. The latter of the two bouts was a title eliminator bout, a fight George lost by a close decision.

Leading up to his last fight in the WEC, George was the subject of a documentary called “Occupation Fighter” which received a huge following on Netflix. The movie documented his training camp leading up to the bout with Banuelos. The movie brought a lot of attention to George, and it looked as though the UFC would be calling. Shortly after his last fight in the WEC, the UFC absorbed the promotion, however they only created one new division, leaving George and a host of others without a job.

Not one to wait, ‘The Savage’ returned to the regional scene and quickly picked up 3 wins in a row. Once again on the precipice, George stepped up to face current UFC contender Joe Soto under the Tachi Palace banner. George started out doing very well until he made a mistake and got caught in a choke that cost him the fight.

A subsequent loss to UFC bantamweight Cody Gibson followed . Then the storms came. The normal struggles that plague fighters began to pile up on George, however they were happening all at once. Two losses in a row set back his aspirations of UFC gold, but the injuries that followed threatened to end his career. A back injury and other assorted ailments left George’s fight career in limbo, however through the turmoil George found another passion; coaching.

George split with the former gym and created his own brand in California Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness. In a very short period of time the CMMA team has left an undeniable mark on the Southern California fight scene. The wins continued to pile up for the team, and although the head coach was proud of his new family, something was missing.

While getting the gym prepared and his injuries tended too, George soon found himself scratching at the old itch himself. A win over Sam Rodriguez on the regional scene primed George for his return to the national spotlight. He found that opportunity inside the Bellator MMA cage.

During the fight his opponent Mark Vorgeas attempted a guillotine choke however George deftly passed to side control where he applied what has become known as a ‘Von Flue’ choke. (A shoulder choke, that is named after Jason Von Flue who used the technique often with success!) George, an accomplished grappler knew his opponent was in a precarious situation and could tell by his disrupted breathing that the end was imminent.

As Vorgeas drifted into a state of unconsciousness a rather bizarre discussion ensued. “He’s out!”, George stated as he postured up, ready to drop hammers that remained holstered. ‘No he’s not!’ the referee blindly countered. After a few weird moments the referee looked in and finally agreed waiving off the fight.

The win and perhaps the bizarre circumstances behind the victory again thrust George into the spotlight. This time not as young gun with pink hair, but as a seasoned veteran and a true ambassador for the sport. Normally fighters are taught to wait for the referee to pull them off before relenting their attack. Had George acted like most, the whole sport itself would have been colored with the barbaric brush once again.

Although his recent win for Bellator MMA grabbed them a ton of notoriety (which they most definitely exploited), for some reason they have yet to book him another fight. In George it appears they could have what the UFC lacks, a marketable 135lbs fighter that could translate to the masses outside of the cage.

Instead it appears Bellator would prefer to promote aging legends and ‘never have beens’ whose only relevance is in projected ratings on a piece of paper. However one thing is certain in the MMA world one man gathers what another man spills, and its only a matter of time before the UFC realize the earning potential a fighter like George can bring.

 

Video  —  Posted: June 6, 2015 in Combat Sports, UFC
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

By: Jonathan M. King

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

And Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

Jose Lopez looking for the finish!

Jose Lopez looking for the finish!

History sets the tone. It may not always give you an accurate depiction of the present, but the past tells the story. Yesterday is what makes us look forward to today. In the fight world, the past serves as a reminder as where you are, where you were, and most importantly how far you have come!

When Santiago Diaz (3-1) looks back at his still young amateur career he can see progress. After losing his first bout (a close decision), Diaz has rallied with 3 straight impressive wins, with two of those victories coming by way of  impressive knockout. The string of victories have vaulted Diaz up the state rankings, where he sits as the #5 Heavyweight.

His opponent Jose Lopez (4-0), is no stranger to Diaz. In fact it was Lopez who handed Diaz his first and only loss. Since that win, Lopez has only managed to fight once, a bout he won via disqualification. Unfortunately since no one will fight him, his inactivity has led to his current ranking as the #7 Heavyweight in the state, despite his win over Diaz.

History’s only flaw, is today. Today history has melted into the present, and currently we have two colossal men set to face off for the second time. Lopez looks to remain undefeated as an amateur, and a more confident Diaz will look to avenge his only loss while maintaining his current win streak.

This fight has the makings of being better than the epic first bout. Will Diaz’s new found success in the cage carry him over the undefeated Lopez? Will Lopez once again be able to vanquish his familiar foe? (Insert Batman Music Here)

There is only one way to find out! Come to the Hollywood Park Casino on May 30th, buy a ticket and enjoy the carnage! For tickets and information go to: www.SparStarPromotions.com