Archive for June, 2016

CXF Clark Vs Chavez-23

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Merriam-Webster defines the term ‘Proving Ground’ as “a place where things or people are tested or tried out for the first time.” The sport of Mixed martial arts in many ways needs a proving grounds. A place for pedigreed fighters to face other well rounded scrappers in matches that are crafted to test each participant. A place where each win is earned, a place where the wheat is separated from the chaff. This is the CXF: Proving Grounds

The first bout of the triple-headed main event featured 3x Bellator MMA veteran Curtis Millender and 7x Glory Kickboxing veteran Casey Greene in a 5 round fight for the vacant CXF Welterweight Title. The intriguing matchup of strikers did not disappoint.

Early on in the fight Millender began to lead the dance working well behind his jab. Starching the charging Greene with every advance before circling away without damage. In the second round, the blood began to flow as Millender’s trip hammer jab instigated a leak above the eye and the nose of Greene. However Greene kept charging, and seemed to get stronger as the fight wore on. Even after a Millender spinning heel kick sent him across the cage.

Battered, bloodied and down on the cards Greene came out in the fourth round a much different fighter. Perhaps sensing he needed a knockout, he stalked Millender who continued to score but more in retreat as he countered his aggressive opponent. In the fifth round the Saeksons Muay Thai product came out even more aggressive, winning the round on many scorecards however Millender’s early investments were at that point already safely in the bank, and he cruised to a unanimous decision win.

Curtis Millender defeats Casey Greene for the CXF Welterweight Title via Unanimous Decision 

The second title fight of the evening featured Emilio Chavez and Dominic Clark in a lightweight showdown to crown the 155 lbs king of So Cal. However the excellent matchup quickly became a one sided affair.

After a short feeling out process, Clark was able to duck under a Chavez advance scoring with the takedown.  Once horizontal, Clark scooted Chavez to the cage and patiently looked for his opening. Chavez did an excellent job defending, however a untimely transition attempted exposed his back and Clark transitioned in a flash, taking his back and sinking both hooks. After softening Chavez up with a few shots, Clark was able to thread his arm under the neck and secured the tap at 4:35 seconds of the very first round.

Not only did Dominick Clark end up with the CXF Lightweight Title, but during his post fight speech he dropped to a knee and proposed to his longtime girlfriend, and she said yes! Congratulations to the Clarks!

Dominick Clark defeats Emilio Chavez for the CXF Lightweight Title via Submission (RNC) 4:25 Rd: 1

The final title fight of the evening saw Alfred Kashakyan defend his CXF Bantamweight strap against a very tough Anthony Perales normally a flyweight, Perales took the bantamweight title fight on short notice and in the champions backyard. The fight started out rather slow, with both opponents clearly respecting each others skills. But it wouldn’t take long for the crowd to be on there feet.

Perales tried to score with a takedown, however Kashakyan kept his footing and immediately went in pursuit of of his opponents chin. After a few brief exchange, Perales aggressively charged the champion missing with a combination who staggered the challenger with a left hook, right uppercut chaser that turned the lights out, leaving Perales unconsciously supine against the cage. The devastating knockout win should have Kashakyan on a short list of bantamweight prospects heading to the UFC.

Alfred Kashakyan defeats Anthony Perales Defending his CXF Bantamweight Title via KO (punches) :45 Rd: 1

The undercard:

Michael Quintero defeats Andril Vasylenko 3:28 Rd: 2 via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

Leon Shahbazian defeats Eric Johnson 3:48 Rd: 1 via Submission (modified Guillotine)

James Acosta defeats David Duran 4:17 Rd: 2 via Knockout (punches)

Georgie Garcia defeats Gary Michaelyan 2:14 Rd: 1 via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

Rob Gooch defeats Paul Amaro 1:17 Rd: 1 via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

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Christos -6

Seizing the day, The Spartan Delivers

Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow!”- Horace

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Going into his fight with Karen Darabedyan at RFA 38, Christos Giagos appeared as as calm as the day is long. Waiting for his walkout music, he patiently paced back and forth, pausing for a moment to acknowledge a few fans in the crowd. He didn’t seem concerned in the least, instead the young fighter appeared oddly at peace. Almost tranquil, it appeared as if the Spartan already knew the outcome. For the day was at hand, and Giagos appeared as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

Did he know that this was perhaps the most important fight of career? He had to know that Dana White, his former boss, was in the building filming ‘Looking for a Fight’, (a show that showcases White’s search for emerging talent that airs on the UFC network Fight Pass). If not he was certainly aware of the danger before him.

His opponent Karen Darabedyan is one of the fiercest grapplers in the division. If you make a mistake against him, you can loose an arm, a leg, or end up asleep looking up at the lights wondering what the hell just happened. However as soon as the fight started it became clear The Spartan’s calm almost ‘laissez-faire’ approach was the result of proper preparation.

As Darabedyan bounced in and out Giagos countered with a crisp jab, cross combination that sharply snapped the head of Darabedyan back. A few moments later, after eating a sharp jab from Giagos, Darabedyan charged in looking to engage in a fire fight, but instead walked into a three punch combination from Giagos that clipped his chin, sending him to the canvas. A few ground and pound strikes later and Giagos finally came to life.

Running towards the cage, ‘The Spartan’ ran a flip off the cage, and then began screaming with all his might, for the first time all night he appeared uncomfortable. He didn’t know what to do. For months, this moment was all that was on his mind. Now having seized the moment, the raw emotion simply took over.

The fight ended up producing one hell of a MMA equation. The fashion of the victory, multiplied by the caliber of the opponent equaled UFC President Dana White saying ” This last kid was in the UFC, and tonight he looked like he should be back in the UFC.” (interview with Ron Kruck on Inside MMA). How about that for some MMA math?

Where Giagos fights next remains to be seen, however he has certainly proved he belongs in the UFC. In his first run with the promotion, Giagos compiled a 1-2 record, with the win splitting the losses. When he was cut, it seemed odd, as he had not lost consecutive bouts, and the last loss to Chris Wade ended up being an extremely entertaining fight.

Not only was Dana White impressed with his performance but UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby was in the building as well and appeared extremely interested as well.  So it appears all the stars are lining up for The Spartan’s return to the UFC. However making it to the UFC is one thing, but staying there is a completely different animal. If Giagos hopes to remain, he will have to continue to conquer each day, as if it is his last.

 

All photos and content are owned by The Clinch Report, LLC. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. Email news@theclinchreport.com for licensing. 

 

Albert Morales needs only 20 seconds to leap beyond the RFA cage and inside the UFC Octagon.

Albert Morales needs only 20 seconds to leap beyond the RFA cage and inside the UFC Octagon.

By: Jonathan M. King

Photos By: John Walsh

 

“Isolated, with no before or after, But a lifetime burning in every moment…” Thomas Stearns Elliot

Last night lightning struck, the moons lined up and everything went according to plan for Albert Morales now (6-0). After losing an earlier scheduled opponent ‘The Warrior’ needed an opponent. Fights fall off, its just part of the game. However the only fighter willing to accept the bout on short notice was a much more seasoned opponent. Mario Israel came into the bout with a (10-1), a world of experience and he was also on a short list of fighters UFC President Dana White and UFC Matchmaker Sean Shelby were there to witness.

It took Albert Morales 20 seconds to spoil there plans. It took Albert Morales 20 seconds to silence his doubters. It took Albert Morales 20 seconds to secure his place in the UFC! However, the moment was years in the making. Morales has been steadily improving as a fighter. From his days as Spar Star MMA champion, to his pro debut and win under the Bellator MMA banner, Morales continues to rise to every challenge put in front of him. Now his greatest challenge ahead.

Now a part of the UFC roster, Morales will certainly face his toughest test yet. Getting to the UFC is like graduating high school, the big fish leaves the little pond, for the big sea but quickly they realize they are swimming among sharks!

Weather or not Morales continues to find the same success at the next level will as always depend solely on his effort. The path before him has been blazed and continues to be by great men and women. The formula is not a secret. Hard work, and effort will define or its absence will sink any ship that floats in the UFC sea. As talented as Morales is, he cannot rely on that alone. Every horse that runs in the UFC is a thoroughbred. Only time will tell if ‘The Warrior’ is ready for the stakes, but if last night is any indication, it is obvious ‘The Warrior’ is capable of burning a lifetime in any moment.

Check out the Image gallery bellow from Last night, and some other Albert Morales “Moments”