Archive for November, 2014

The History Making Liver Kick

The History Making Liver Kick

By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Spar Star MMA Thanksgiving edition was another well balanced mixed martial arts event featuring some of Southern California’s top young talent. Mel Valenzuela carefully crafted an intricate fight card that show cased some of the best gyms in the area. Tapout LA, 10th Planet, DogPound MMA, BJMUTA, Systems Training Center, NZT MMA, The Sweat Shop, and Chad George’s new CMMA are just a few of the teams that were represented.

Farren Romero made MMA history when she captured the inaugural Spar Star MMA Bantamweight title, after she was able to fell a very tough Danielle Mack with a cirrhosis endusing liver kick. Mack did her best to retreat and recover, but her efforts only fueled Romero’s advance as she flurried with straight punches that went unanswered. After the volume of strikes continued from Romero, the referee stepped in to save her from further damage. The victory for Romero was certainly sweet, however each title carries with it a target. With a cadre of young hungry fighters coming through the amateur ranks, Romero will have to continue to improve is she hopes to retain that new shiny belt!

In the evenings co-main event, Tapout LA’s Daniel Rodriguez took on Hayastan/Defiant Gym’s Hakob Ter Petrosyan. Petrosyan looked to establish his range early on however Rodriguez had other plans. A nice left hand from instigated a lazy take-down attempt from Petrosyan that was stuffed easily. Once Rodriguez cleared the legs the ground and pound came raining down. After a few more unanswered shots referee Frank Trigg stepped in to call a halt to the bout. Rodriguez maintains his unblemished record (6-0) as an amateur and is looking to hopefully parlay this latest win into a shot for a pro contract.

Rodriguez like the rest of the Spar Star roster of amateurs are certainly in the right spot. Just a over a year ago Systems Training Center’s Albert Morales captured Spar Star gold, now after completing his amateur career Morales is set to make his debut on one of the grandest of stages. Morales will be fighting for Bellator MMA in January against fellow Spar Star MMA Champion Fabian Gonzalez. Gonzalez and Morales are just the latest Spar Star Alumni to make graduate to the next level. They now join Ron Henderson and Jonathan Santa Maria as the latest fighters to make the leap from the local So Cal fight scene.

Spar Star is more than just a promotion. Or maybe they just properly define the term. Simply put Spar Star MMA promotes fighters. If you can do well in their cage, odds are you will do well in any cage. Promoter Tony Padilla has created a juggernaut, a snowball rolling downhill gathering steam, soaking up talent and spitting out stars. The Morales, Henderson, Santa Maria, and Gonzalez signings to Bellator are a direct result of his work. In other words, as a promoter, he promotes. Not just his show, or his brand but the fighters themselves as well. And not only when they fall under his umbrella, even after the a fighter has outgrown the Spar Star playground, Padilla stay invested. Padilla says it best himself when he says “Spar Star is a family!” As the head of that family, nothing gives the father more pride than seeing his children succeed!

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By:Jonathan M King

Watch Live at http://www.pugilpixtv.com

Fight 1: Anthony Nealy vs. Kosmas Galatsis  3×2 rds 185 lbs

Round 1: Belongs clearly to Anthony Nealy. Kosmos Galatsis spent most of the round backed up in Nealy’s clinch.

Round 2: Again lands in Nealy’s corner. He controlled the range with effective striking, and stifled every take down attempt from Galatsis.

Round 3: Galatsis threatened late with a deep armbar, but lacked the finishing technique. Another round for Nealy. We have him winning all three rounds.

Winner: Anthony Nealy via UD (30-27 x2, 30-26)

Fight 2: Roman Puga vs. Walter Alfaro 3×2 rds  145 lbs

Round 1:

 

 

 

 

Sparstar 10.11.14-10

 

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Saturday November 29th brings everyone a unique opportunity to witness MMA history. Months ago candidates for a women’s bantamweight tournament were selected to square off in an attempt to crown the first ever Spar Star MMA champion. That title would be the first of its kind under the CAMO sanctioning body.

Last month the four semi finalists were set to earn their spots, however a last minute withdrawal left Danielle Mack without a fight. Since she was ready to go, and on weight, Mack received a first round bye. Her opponent in the finals Farren Romero had to earn her spot in the traditional way. Romero choked out her opening round opponent in the second round of their fight, punching her ticket to meet Mack in the finals.

With Hollywood Park Casino as the backdrop, once again the Spar Star Cage is in place and ready to absorb all the punishment the fighters can dish out. Many of these men and women will be using this platform as launching points for their burgeoning pro careers. So we can expect a high level of output from some very eager brawlers. Several of the fighters on the card have fought here before, a testament to both the quality of the show, and the character of those who run the operation.

The Nights first fight is scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm, with doors opening an hour earlier at 5:00 pm. As always this event is for all ages. Beverages and snacks will be available for purchase. A few tickets may still be available so make sure to contact any of the fighters on the card for tickets.

Support your local Fighters!

The entire Fight Card is scheduled as followed.

Antony Nealy vs. Kosmas Galatsis 181 lbs (Catchweight)

Roman Puga vs. Walter Alfaro 145lbs

Russell Beatley vs. Sergey Martirosyan  165lbs (Catchweight)

Tigran Grigoryan vs. Mateuz Grudziaz in a 175lbs

Nicholas Duran vs. Richie Meister   135lbs

Tizoc Froese vs. Javel Mckenzie       125lbs

Sincere Freeman vs. Mario Lopez   155lbs

Tanner Grant vs. Julio Rios   140lbs (Catchweight)

Jonathan Quiroz vs. Antonio Vasquez   145lbs

Eric Berganza vs. Jacob Sandoval   135lbs

Erick Gonzalez vs. Jonel Kimbrough 155lbs

JaShonna Owens vs. Selena Longo 145lbs

Hakob Ter-Petrosyan vs. Daniel Rodriguez 176lbs (Catchweight)

Danielle Mack vs. Farren Romero 135lbs

*Card is subject to change!

Some of Southern California’s best gyms will be represented including Hayastan, Tapout LA, 10th Planet, Main Event Gym, UFC Gym Fullerton, Systems Training Center, PKG, DogPound MMA, NZT MMA, The Sweat Shop, Defiant MMA, Team Sweet Science, and many more.

As always the stars will certainly be out, you never know who you may run into at a Spar Star show.

Check out some of our photo from the past Spar Star Events!

 

 

 

Bellator 131-38

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Scott Coker has been around for a while. Very few have a greater understanding of the ins and outs of MMA. So his hiring by Viacom to replace Bjorn Rebney as the head of Bellator MMA  seemed like the best choice. As the last of the tournaments under the old regime wouned down, a lame duck period ensued which showed very little difference. The look and feel had not changed, the faces were the same, and the results reflected the lack of interest.

That lame duck period came to an end with Bellator 131, In fact that period came to a screeching halt! Bonnar vs. Ortiz provided the perfect stage for Scott Coker and Viacom to unveil there re-branded image. The fighters now entered the cage via a long walk way, reminiscent of the old Japanese promotions. Some fighters like King Mo, Joe Vedepo, Tito Ortiz, and Stephan Bonnar came complete with entourages to escort them to the cage. The added pomp may not add to the excitement of the fight, but it certainly does improve the image of a promotion that was in desperate need of one!

The fight card itself may not have had title implications for anyone outside of Michael Chandler and Will Brooks, but it was very well matched as even the preliminary bouts provided a good show. The fights simply made sense. King Mo and Joe Vedepo faced off in the curtain jerker that opened the Spike broadcast. King Mo overwhelmed Vedepo from the opening round in what proved to be a one sided match although an entertaining one.

In perhaps the best fight of the evening, Glory alums Joe Schilling and Melvin Manhoef engaged in a back and forth war that saw both fighters nearly finished before a short right hook from Schilling ended the affair. Half way through the second frame Manhoef appeared to have to edge on the scorecards. In the first round Manhoef had Schilling on his back and in trouble as the ground and pound rained down. However Schilling was able to roll out of trouble, establish his guard, and ride out the round before ending the fight with one punch.

Mike Richman made perhaps the loudest statement of the night when he knocked out Nam Phan in under a minute. He then proceeded to challenge title holder Joe Warren who was cage side providing commentary for the fight. ‘The Marine’ has looked extremely impressive since he dropped down in weight, and with the win he finds himself on a short list of fighters who deserve a shot at the title.

When Michael Chandler and Will Brooks entered the cage to battle for the then interim lightweight title, everyone expected a war. The first round was a back and forth battle for position, similar to their last engagement. Brooks and Chandler battled for 3 rounds with Brooks appearing to get the better of Chandler.

Then in the fourth round Brooks cracked Chandler with a right hand that left the former champion struggling to find his senses. He appeared to ask for a stoppage, at first it appeared as if Chandler was poked in the eye, however replays confirm that he was on queer street and the punch’s effects had him essentially saying ‘No Mas’! The win for Brooks solidifies his claim as the legitimate world champion, while Chandler must find a way to rebound from his third consecutive loss.

Skepticism is fickle. Once the cage door is closed the hype disappears and performances are defined. I like most at first, felt like watching through interlaced fingers, the fear of having to witness a fraud unfold motivating me to vaguely hide my eyes. Fortunately both Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar removed that fear just seconds into their entertaining 3 round fight.

Both guys played to their strengths, as Tito Ortiz looked to ground the superior striking of  Stephan Bonnar. Early on Ortiz stalked the ‘American Psycho’ and blasted through his legs with quick single leg take downs, and later a power double that kept Bonnar grounded for most of the fight. The fight appeared to be a 30-27 clear cut win for Tito Ortiz, however one judge saw the fight 29-28 for Bonnar, awarding Ortiz with the split decision win.

The evening ended up being a return of sorts. After speaking with Scott Coker  it is obvious that Bellator MMA is heading in the right direction. The open minded leader referred to the possibility of tournaments in the future, they make sense as long as you are not beholden to them. The idea is to create an environment where fighters want to fight, to create an experience that the fans feel a part of and not just witness too. Last night an old idea forged in the spirit of martial arts was unveiled to an audience that wants to be a part of something.

The idea to return to the once a month format seems to make sense. The sport is currently over saturated, causing the growth rate of the sport to slow. With Coker on board the Viacom-Bellator MMA conglomerate seems destined to succeed. Hopefully the symphony created as a result  between Coker and Viacom carries a tune we can all dance to for a while. In a world where the UFC is practically rammed down our throats it will be nice to have a viable alternative.

 

Bellator 131-8

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

If you have watched a Joe Schilling fight once your hooked. As a fight fanatic I find him to be the combat sports equivalent of heroine. Each fight leaves you craving another. His Glory days always satisfied my voracious habit, because I knew he was fighting at least three times that night! Schilling possesses tremendous skill but there is something else about the man that makes you love the fighter.

Making his transition back to mixed martial arts from kick boxing, Shilling changes his venue as well, from the ring to the cage. Welcoming him in his transition was Melvin Manhoef. A man who has made a career out of switching back and forth between disciplines. Manhoef came out hot and landed right away. Schilling appeared tentative at first, but weathered the first barrages from Manhoef.

Manhoef somehow brought the fight to the ground where he looked to drop some heavy fists. Schilling was very close to being stopped as several blows prompted the referee to move in close. However, Schilling survived by rolling through and closed his guard around Manhoef who could not seem to break posture.

The second frame began with both fighters trading back and forth. Then as if a switch were thrown, the lights went out and the fight was over. Schilling after eating a few punches appeared to tense up before unloading a IQ changing right hook that removed Manhoef from consciousness as he fell prone to the ground. Referee Mike Beltran dove in to prevent further damage but Schilling had already walked off, himself a witness too the big KO.

The win not only reestablishes Schilling as a mixed martial artist, it also comes at a very difficult time for the young father of two. Leading up to the fight, Schilling lost his father to cancer. A fighter to the end, Joe’s father found redemption in his son and pride in his forgiveness. The loss echoed Schillings thoughts leading up to the fight. As if that grief was not enough, Schillings cousin also passed away tragically before the fight.

Joe Schilling has a long way to go before establishing himself as a mixed martial artist. However he showcased in this fight a competent guard, and an understanding of how to neutralize his opponents attacks from the bottom. Granted Melvin Manhoef is not know for his grappling pedigree, still Schilling’s instincts got him out of a very tough situation.

In a night where many fighters put on their best efforts, Schilling’s star shined brighter than them all! He may be in the early stages of development but his star power is undeniable.

131

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

We will be on site, and reporting live from the Valley View Casino Center for tonight’s Bellator 131: Bonnar vs. Ortiz

Please tune in for our fight by fight coverage on live analysis. Photos will be uploaded tomorrow.

Main card (Spike TV at 9 p.m.)
Tito Ortiz vs. Stephan Bonnar
Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks
Mo Lawal vs. Joe Vedepo
Melvin Manhoef vs. Joe Schilling
Nam Phan vs. Mike Richman

Undercard
Kyle Bolt vs. A.J. Matthews
Ron Henderson vs. Jonathan Santa Maria
Jordan Bailey vs. Alex Higley
Nick Garcia vs. Matthew Ramirez
Andy Murad vs. Bubba Pugh
Rolando Perez vs. Mark Vorgeas
Ian Butler vs. Joao Faria

Costumes and Carnage: Hollywood Fight Night 8.

By: Jonathan M King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Videoed and Edited By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

I guess you could say Matthew Spencer has been reborn in every sense of the word. Spiritually and Physically it would be difficult to find a more legitimate role model. Spencer works several full time jobs to support his family and still has time to train religiously! Not only physically, but spiritually as well. Spencer is an active member in his church and often provides spiritual counsel to younger fighters.

As an amateur, Spencer had become somewhat recognized as a pedigreed fighter with a well rounded skill set. After all, he trains with some of the best in their respected disciplines. Most fighters in the sport of mixed martial arts prefer to find a home. A one stop shop for all their training needs. Super camps like American Top Team in Coconut Creek Florida, or American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose California, and even Jackson’s MMA in Arizona provide this ‘all in one’ fight camp that  resonates with some of the best fighters in the world. Like those fighters, Spencer receives the same training, in mixed disciplines. However unlike most, Spencer calls three gyms home. ‘The Yard‘ Muay Thai, ‘Tapout‘ Los Angeles, and Eddie Bravo’s ‘10th Planet Jiu Jitsu‘ can claim a piece of Spencer, as he represents sort of a three headed monster created by all 3 labs.

That Franken-Fighter, assembled from parts strewn around LA, made his pro debut at Hollywood Fight Night 8 presented by Lights Out Promotions and Bash Boxing, and all went according to plan. His opponent Gabe Lopez proved to be pretty tough, powering out of a deep arm bar, before Suplexing Spencer on his head. Spencer held on to a guillotine choke that in hind sight he probably should have let go! Even still Spencer quickly recovered without ever sacrificing position, and eventually he was able to secure  the rear naked choke at the end of the first round.Lopez fought off several attempts, but once the forearm was under his chin he was forced  to tap.

The win, his first may have been expected. However the journey to the destination has been full of road blocks. Life presents several challenges in everyday life. Spencer is no different in this regard. How he handles these issues, however is what separates this man from the rest. His approach to fighting and to life remain the same. His faith is his armor, and his family his heart. His allegiances may be between three different teams, but that loyalty is stronger than most fighter who call one place home. He may be late to the dance, in terms of age, however after all he has overcome to get where he currently is, with the faith he has, I wouldn’t bet against him!

For  more on our Exclusive coverage please check out our full report at:

https://theclinchreport.com/2014/10/31/costumes-and-carnage-hollywood-fight-night-8/