Archive for January, 2014

Live coverage of Spar Star MMA. From The Hollywood Park Casino

Fight #1: Eric Castodio (2-0) v Jacob Rosales (3-0) 145 lbs  3×2 min Rounds.

Rd1: Referee Miylan Ayers calling the action. Both fighters start with heavy punches and kicks, Rosales with he take down, and now looking for the choke. Castodio fighting the hands, and now gets ahold of Rosales’s neck momentarily. Rosales now back on top. Castodio controlling the posture well and lands a up kick on the break., Castodio again looks for the choke, but Rosales gets free and lands in the guard as the round comes to a close.

Rd2: Nice right hand from Rosales rocks Castodio, but he is able to instigate the clinch. Rosales again with heavy hands. Castodio with a nice leg kick but then eats some more punches from Rosales. Rosales now working in the closed guard.Rosales back to his feet for a moment before attempting to take the back. Castodio reverses position and finishes the round in top position.

Rd3: Rosales starts busy, landing with both hands, but Castodio still has plenty left. Rosales with a nice knee from the clinch, and lands with the right hand follow. Nice judo throw from Rosales has Castodio on the ground for a moment, but he bounces up and throws a nice leg kick that finds a home. Rosales plods forward with the jab, and finishes the round with a nice flurry.

Winner: 30-27 via Unanimous Decision Jacob Rosales 

Fight #2 Mario Lopez (0-1) v Carlos Chavez (0-0) 170 lbs 3×2 Min Rds

Rd1: Referee Larry Landless in charge of the action. Chavez with a nice leg kick, but Lopez counters with a push kick. Nice counter right hand from Lopez. Chavez with a lead left hook that finds a home, then a leg kick. Big right hand from Chavez drops Lopez, Chavez unable to capitalize, but then achieves mount. Now looking for the back, but the round comes to a close.

Rd2: Lopez flirts with the lead left, but eats a counter from Chavez. Lopez moving backwards, as Chavez looks for the big shot. Lopez pushes back the advancing Chavez with a push kick. Both fighters exchange counters. Low blow by Lopez prompts a stoppage. On the restart, both fighters exchange right hands, but then Chavez lands with a nice left that backs up Lopez. Nice body kick from Lopez as the round comes to a close.

Rd3: Lopez looks to be the busier fighter as the final frame begins. Nice side kick from Lopez. Chavez with a chopping leg kick. Lopez keeps switching stances, but eats a short left from Chavez. Nice right hand from Chavez, but Lopez answers with one of his own, followed by a leg kick. Both fighters going for it, Lopez eats a huge right and goes down right before the round ends.

Winner: 29-28 30-27 30-27 Carlos Chavez via UD

Fight #3: Jesse Fox (0-1) v Bryce Zarraga (0-0) 3×2 min Rds 155 lbs

Rd1: Both fighters touch gloves and we are underway. Fox moving well, but Zarraga able to land with the jab. Long feeling out process, but a huge left from Fox drops Zarraga. Fox now working in the closed guard. He postures up and lands some big ground and pound as the round comes to a close.

Rd2: Zarraga shoots for a take down, but Fox sprawls away. Zarraga relentlessly attacking the single leg, but Fox is able to defend. Nice knee to the body by Fox, as both fighters clinch. Nice leg kick from Fox. Zarraga ducks under a left and again shoots to no avail. Fox defending well against the take down but un able to provide any offense.

Rd3: Nice kick to the body by Fox, and now its Fox pressing Zarraga against the cage. Fox working in Zarraga’s guard. Zarraga looks to hit a switch, but Fox is able to take the neck. Front chancery from Fox, as he drags Zarraga to the mat. Fox looking for an arm, decides to finish the fight landing ground and pound.

Winner: Jesse Fox via UD 

Fight #4: Angel Gonzalez (1-0) v Tanner Grant (1-0) 3×2 min Rds 145 lbs

Rd1: The third man in the cage is again Larry Landless. Grant starts out snapping the jab. Grant able to get the back of Gonzalez, but unable to get in his hooks. Now he has both hooks in, but Gonzalez defends the choke well. Great job hand fighting from Gonzalez but he is still in trouble. Gonzalez is able to survive the round.

Rd2: Big kick from Gonzalez lands but Grant with a nice take down. Both fighters scramble on the mat, but Grant able to get top position. Grant in the half guard looking to mount. Gonzalez holding on, as Grant tries to posture up. Shoulder shrugs from Grant. Nice right hand on the ground from Grant. Both fighters too their feet as the round ends.

Rd3: Grant comes out strong again, and quickly gets to the back of Gonzalez. Gonzalez again defends the choke well. Big ground and pound from Grant breaks up the search for a submission. Both hooks in for Grant, as more right hands find the side of Gonzalez’s head. Round comes to a close.

Winner: Grant via UD

Fight #5: Dominick Reyes (1-0) v Tywone Cotton (0-0) 3×2 Min Rounds 205lbs

Rd1: Milan Ayers will call the action. Both fighters start and land with low kicks, Reyes using the legs to establish the distance, then closes with a multiple punch combination. Leg Kick from reyes. Reyes pumping the jab, cotton is in trouble and he goes down. That is it.

Winner: Reyes via TKO Rd 1

Fight #6 Henry Mendez (1-2) v Antonio Vazquez (1-1) 3×2 min Rounds 145 lbs

Rd1: Larry Landless the third man in the cage. Vazquez looks for a take down and gets it. Mendez closes the guard, as Vazquez looks to land. Referee stands them up. Vazquez again gets the take down. Mendez looks for a triangle, and has it deep, but Vazquez escapes. Now back in Mendez Guard, Vazquez looking to posture up as the round comes to a close.

Rd2: Vazquez again gets the take down, but the ref stands them up after no action. Vazquez again brings the fight to the mat, however Mendez reverses position.  Vazquez controls the posture as Mendez looks to start with the ground and pound but the round comes to an end.

Rd3: Mendez looks for another take down, but Vazquez able to defend. Only to be taken down a moment later. Vazquez able to tie up Mendez forcing the stand up. Mendez again with another take down. Vazquez closes the guard and looks for an arm before the round and the fight come to an end.

Winner: Vazquez via UD

Fight #7 Kevin Widdoes (1-0) v Jose Antonio Ahumada (0-0)

Rd1: Widdoes starts out pressing the action. Nice leg kick lands before the fight goes to the mat. Widdoes looking to mount from the 1/2 guard and he gets it. Big ground and pound from Widdoes, as the Ref looks in and that is it!

Winner: Kevin Widdoes via TKO rd 1

Fight #8 Derrick Martinez (0-2) v Lionel Mathews (0-0) 265 lbs 3x 2 min Rounds

Winner: Martinez via KO :22 Rd 1

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With the announcement that Keith Kizer, would be stepping down as the NSAC chairman it becomes apparent that this move will likely open the door for Vitor Belfort. Kizer has long maintained an ‘anti TUE exception’ stance for those fighters who had previously tested positive for steroids. Now over 40 years old, Belfort has received a therapeutic exemption in other states, and Brazil, but had avoided fighting in Vegas because of the refusal from the commission to allow his testosterone therapy.

Belfort recently stated he would fight without his TUE therapy, if he had too, although it would be “unfair”! Now that Kizer is out of the picture, it appears Belfort will at least receive consideration for his usage. The timing could not have been more perfect for the UFC (only a few weeks after naming Belfort the next in line for the 185 lbs title).

The debate will continue to rage as too the legitimacy of this therapy, but until a decision is made across the sports, it will probably toil around in a case by case basis. Allowing some, and refusing others will only fuel the fire. One way or another, the sport is going to have to commit eventually!

 

And Still......

And Still……

By: Jonathan King ‘The Clinch Report’

Photos By: John Walsh ‘The Clinch Report’

Not many are born into the UFC as professional fighters. Most rise through the regional rankings, fighting in front of half empty houses, and usually with very little that differentiates the scrap from a back yard brawl. UPC or “Up and Comers” is a promotion that offers the same grass roots level MMA, but with a much classier look and feel. 

The Agua Caliente Casino plays an amazing host, featuring a professional ‘in the round’ arena, that has stadium seating and atrium concessions, just like the big events in Las Vegas. Promoter Jason Weiner does an amazing job creating this environment, that really allows the fighter to feel like an athlete performing on a grand stage.

As a promoter, all one can do is set the stage, eventually though the fighters have to hold up their end. If you sign a contract to fight, the least you can do is show up! UPC  “Up and Comer’s 18”  was one of the oddest fight cards in recent memory. Only one fight went the distance, another ended early in the 2nd frame. All others, lasted less than 5 minutes. Among the winners were Jaime Sierra, Kyle Stewart, Chris Honeycutt, Everett Cummings, and Steven Swanson. 

Chris Honeycutt was able to defend his UPC Middleweight title while dominating his opponent throughout the first round. Although Jake Gallagher was able to defend at first, Honeycutt’s smothering attack and relentless pressure forced the TKO stoppage late in the first round. Honeycutt, now stands undefeated at 4-0, and continues to be one of the sports top young prospects.

The night, however belonged to TRU MMA. Although Troy Guerrero lost a close decision (to a very gritty David Lopez), Jaime Sierra and Steve Swanson were able to get the hometown crowd charged up, with exciting stoppages. Gareth De La Cruz, however was left without a fight, as his opponent never showed up. 

Also having a big night were the military fight team from Fight Club 29. Coach Mark Geletko’s marines had a great night, as both Kyle Stewart, and Marcus Baungard were able to secure dominating wins. Unfortunately, a few other fighters also lost their opportunity too fight, because again, opponents never showed up!

Not every card can be a memorable night of fights. The hurt business can be very unpredictable. Last second injuries, and replacements can mar a fight card and cause resentment with the fans. However, in this instance both the commission and the promoter were not too blame. This time unfortunately, unprofessional fighters are the reason. It comes down to being a man of your word. One can only imagine the opportunity that was taken from another deserving fighter.

By not showing up you disrespect the sport, the fans, your opponents, and the martial arts in general. 

 

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First Fight: Marcus Baungard v Levi O’Connell 135 lbs:

Rd 1: Brief exchange before Baungard lands a huge left right combo that drops O’Connell in a heap. Referee Maylan Ayers calls a stop too the bout.

Winner:Marcus Baungard via TKO Rd 1 :13

Second Fight: Jesse Basillio v Christian Santiago

Rd 1: Crafty hands from Santiago land several hard shots. Basilio able to take them and then reverses position on a takedown.  Both back to there feet. santiago rolls through and takes Basillio’s back. Choke looks deep as time is running out. Larry Landless sees the tap and halts the bout with only seconds remaining.!

Winner: Christian Santiago via RNC  1:49

Third Fight: David Lopez (1-0)  v Troy Guerrero (1-0)

Rd 1: Guerrero very loose with his hands, but Lopez staying tough and even lands a few of his own. Nice kicks from Guerrero but Lopez gets a leg and secures the take down. Lopez riding out the round in top position reigning down some serious Ground and Pound!

Rd 2: More aggression from Gerrero to start, and his takes down Lopez before letting him up. Nice combo before the clinch from Lopez, presses the action against the cage. Guerrero breaks free and lands a huge right hand.  Lopez hangs tough, and eats a few more hard shots from Guerrero. Lopez looks for a take down, but the round ends.

Rd 3: Busy legs from Guerrero, and a nice upper cut find there home.  Lopez leaking a little from his nose, as Guerrero gets the take down. Lopez looks for the neck, but Guerrero breaks free. Now looking for a leg, Lopez looking for the arm bar, but Guerrero roll through. Still has the arm, but Guerrero able to hold in until the bell.

Winner: David Lopez via UD (29-28) 

Fourth Fight: Chris Honeycutt v Jake Gallagher for 185 Lbs UPC Title

Rd 1: Deep leg kicks from Honeycutt, as Gallagher circles away. Honeycutt able to bring the fight to the mat, where he is able to obtain mount. Gallagher doing his best to stay alive, but punches are coming in bunches, and Larry Landless calls an end to the fight. Gallgher with the doctor for  prolonged period justifying a great stoppage by a veteran referee.

Winner: Chris ‘The Cutt’ Honeycutt via TKO Rd 1 and Still 185 lbs UPC Champion

Fifth Fight: Joe Cisneros v Everett Cummings

Rd 1: Nice take down from Cisneros as Cummings wraps up with the rubber guard, before closing the traditional guard. Nice roll through by Cummings, and he immediatley get an arm. Cisneros tries to break free but the tap comes quickly.

Winner: Everrett Cummings via Arm bar Submission And New UPC 205 Lbs Champion

Amateur Bout: Jeremy Barrett v Kyle Stewart

Rd 1: Kyle Stewart moving forward right away, a brief exchange leads to a clinch and Stewart tosses Barrett to the mat. Quick transition to the back from Stewart, and he pulls the RNC, forcing the tap/

Winner: Via RNC Kyle Stewart.

‘Lil’ Steven Swanson: “Organized Destruction” the Desert Breed.

 

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Watching ‘Lil’ Steven Swanson fight is eerily reminiscent to watching his younger brother, UFC Fighter Cub Swanson. Both have aggressive styles, that lead too entertaining scraps that rarely contain a wasted moment. Going back too last year, Swanson was 10-0, at the top of a burgeoning division, and admittedly even he was drinking his own cool aid!

Then after dominating his 11th opponent for most of the fight, a flailing triangle choke from bottom came out of no where, and cost him the fight and his undefeated status. A few months later another submission loss followed, this time an armbar not only ended the  night, but caused a serious injury.

“It wasn’t just the ground fighting, my cardio was gone as well.” Swanson said.”What I have come to realize, is that 90% of people need to feel the loss, in order too stay hungry.” Swanson said. The consecutive losses not only gave Swanson perspective, they pointed out glaring holes in his game. Holes not in technique or in skill, but in his general approach too the sport. “When I was 10-0 I was on top of everything, I wasn’t training as hard, and I let my ego kind of slip in.” Swanson said.

Now, Swanson has rededicated himself too his craft. With younger brother (UFC Featherweight contender) Cub Swanson in his corner, the elder Swanson has learned to harness and organize his ruthless aggression. “One of the hardest things for me is the controlled aggression, because I want to go in there and rip there heads off, but if you throw a few of those swings, then there goes your gas tank!” Swanson said. “I’ve learned how to control that,  and its a lot harder than people think…to be calm when someone is wailing punches at you.”

With him every step of the way is his brother, sometimes with just a word of advice. “Its sometimes difficult for me being the older brother taking advice from my younger brother, but he is so level headed and so its hard for me to argue.” Swanson said. “I can’t tell you how much he has helped me, and when I’m fighting its all business!”

That business is thriving in the desert. “We are a different breed in the desert!” Swanson said. With the Swanson brothers, Dionisio Ramirez, Jaime Sierra, Gareth de la Cruz, Troy Guerrero, Christian Santiago and the rest of his TRU MMA teammates, it would be difficult to argue. Together they have amassed one of the most impressive records on the regional scene, placing several fighters on the UFC and Bellator MMA’s  immediate radar.

Swanson will make his next appearance fighting under the UPC banner, at “Up and Comers 18” on January 4th at the Agua Caliente Casino. As of the interview, he still had not received his opponent yet. “Typically I just look at the record, and watch a little video, but I dont like too dwell on him.” Swanson said. “I’d rather concentrate on my own training.”

For Swanson, the return to the cage offers a chance to display his new found “organized destruction” in front of a large crowd and in a grand venue. “Not only is the venue absolutely beautiful, its in my home town, and my family is from that tribe so it makes it that much sweeter!” Swanson said.

A win in front of his family and friends will not only return the elder Swanson too his winning ways, but it might be enough to carry him to the next level.

Tickets for the event can be found here: http://bit.ly/18QWiAE

And information about the Promotion and Event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/552369111513557/