After over 4,000 bouts and 400 events one thing is certain, The King of The Cage promotion understands how to book exciting mixed martial arts fights. Last night reinforced that position. Over the years KOTC owner Terry Trebilcock, has featured some of MMA biggest names. Fighters such as: Forrest Griffin, Quinton Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans, Krazy Horse, Keith Berry, Mac Danzig, Paul Buentello, Urijah Faber, Joe Stevenson, Diego Sanchez and Thiago Alves were all able to make a name for themselves under the KOTC banner. A banner that served them well by acting as the launching pad for those careers.

Taking place in a large banquet room at The San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Highland California, the fight card featured the promotions welterweight champion and rising star David Gomez in a title fight against Brad Burrick.  As well as KOTC stalwart, and crowd favorite Johnny ‘The Tattooed Terror’ Cisneros who pushed his unblemished record to 7-0 with an impressive unanimous decision win over former World Champion Brandon Hunt. Both fighters were able to land heavy handed shots, however ‘The Tattooed Terror’ was able to takedown Hunt almost at will.  Although consistently defending from bottom, Hunt was able to land a few big shots. One right hand seemed to stagger Cisneros who immediately shot in and took the fight to the mat. Everytime Hunt was able to get to his feet, Cisneros slammed him back down thunderously. Having controlled the entire fight Cisneros was awarded the 30-27 unanimous decision, thrusting him immediately into title contention.

Also featured was journeyman Tony Lopez who narrowly defeated Nick Rossborough via unpopular split decision. Lopez looked to establish his range early, but ate several big right hands from the much thicker Rossborough. Half way through the opening frame Rossborough timed a Lopez leg kick perfectly and countered with a right hand that dropped the heavyweight champion. For the rest of the round, it appeared Lopez was on rubber legs. For the rest of the fight, Lopez was able to dictate where the fight went, often pressuring Rossborough up against the cage as he delivered good shots to the body. However Rossborough continued to land the bigger shots. With the judges scorecards reading 29-28, 28-29, 30-27 in favor of Lopez, the entire room was wondering what fight one of those judges was watching. Terry Treblicock came over too press row immediately after the fight, blasting the decision and generously announcing that Rossborough was going to get his ‘win’ money as well.

Early on the card, both Joshua Aveles and Jason Walraven won in dominating fashion. Aveles systematically broke down a much stronger opponent Marcus Mowers with blood curdling leg kicks that echoed throughout the hall. After two rounds, Mowers was advised by doctors not to continue due to a obviously injured knee. Jason Walraven took control of Jason Ireland at the bell, utilizing his decided height advantage to land a vicious head kick, that he parlayed into a double leg takedown. Moving in and out of side control Walraven was eventually able to take Ireland’s back with both hooks in, Walraven secured the rear naked choke at 3:13 of the very first round.

Sam Liera 170 lbs contender secured his title shot with a big win over Scott Catlin. After being dropped early, Liera was able to utilize his dominant wrestling to control position clearly winning the first round. As the second frame began Liera was able to secure a single leg takedown, that he eventually worked to back mount. Once there a few left hands flattened out Catlin and the choke was applied. With the victory Liera immediately earns a title shot against David Gomez who completely dismantled Brad Burrick in less than two minutes. Utilizing his excellent wrestling pedigree Gomez was able to end the night, with a quick takedown and some vicious ground and pound that left Burrick near ‘dreamland’. With this impressive win, Gomez has secured himself as one of the promotions pound for pound champions.

With recent UFC fight controversies, and questionable match-ups it was refreshing to see a promotion that designs fights based on rankings and performances. In the UFC things don’t always make sense. Fights are based on popularity, and maybe even network ratings. The King of The Cage promotion in many ways makes more sense, fighters there have different motivations. Most are looking to make a name for themselves, to rise to the larger shows. Others are just trying to stay in the game, to remain relevant in some way. However they all seem to be loyal to Terry Treblicock, and to the promotion as a whole. That loyalty speaks volumes for the integrity of the business. In the vast world of MMA The King of The Cage is making incredible contributions to the sport, and has quietly become one of the most exciting promotions not just nationally, but globally.

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