Posts Tagged ‘Bellator MMA’

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Edited By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

The Sportsmen’s Lodge was once again the scene of the crime, as Lights Out Promotions and Bash Entertainment once again put together an amazing card of fights, as California Xtreme Fighting continued it’s running streak of standing room only shows. Currently the only pro mixed martial arts show in the San Fernando Valley, CXF 7 featured three title fights that sat atop one of the most entertaining under card in recent memory.

Taylor Alfaro (1-1) defeated Milton Arguello (0-1) via unanimous decision 135lbs

Setting the tone for the evening with an extremely exciting fight, Taylor Alfaro and Milton Arguello wasted very little time engaging each other almost as soon as the bell sounded. It appeared Arguellos strategy was to stay at range and land with his heavy kicks to the body of Alfaro. However Alfaro proved to be on to the plan, catching multiple kicks before countering with straight punches. The standing exchanges were quite even, but it was the ground attack of Alfaro that swayed the fight in his direction. Consistently able to bring the fight to the mat, Alfaro methodically and effectively wore away his opponent and the clock, cruising to a unanimous decision victory.

Edmen Shahbazian (2-0) defeated Dearmie Street (0-1) via TKO 3:16 Rd 1 185lbs

Picking up where the first fight left off, middleweights Edmen Shahbazian and Dearmie Street also came out throwing heavy leather, and after an early back and forth exchange the fight found its way to the mat, where Street was able to transition out of a few very dangerous arm bar attempts from Shahbazian. Once they both were standing, again they traded punches with Shahbazian clearly taking control. Late in the first round a quick combination forced Street to the mat. Smelling blood in the water Shahbazian swarmed and forced referee Mike Bell to call a halt to bout, after some IQ changing ground and pound.

Mike Jasper (12-4) defeated Jonathan Rivera (4-2) via TKO 4:57 Rd 3 170lbs CXF Welterweight Title Fight

Defending his title for the first time, CXF welterweight champion Mike Jasper came into the event looking to add legitimacy to his strap. However early on his opponent Jonathan Rivera quickly gained control with a surprisingly effective ground based attack. Once on the mat Rivera transitioned to the back of Jasper and looked to steal the title with a rear naked choke, but Jasper defended and was able to even turn the tables in the next round by taking Rivera down. However, unlike Rivera, Jasper selected to strike in the dominant position, softening up the challenger for a majority of the round. In the third round, the roundabout continued as Rivera again was able to gain top position before transitioning to the back of Jasper. Looking for the submission at one point, Rivera torqued Jasper’s leg like a banana split, but Jasper was able to escape the hold, and wound up on top. With seconds to go, Rivera again attempted a submission, this time a leg lock, but again Jasper was able to get free. Once out of the hold, the champion uncorked a barrage of strikes that rocked Rivera in the waining moments prompting the referee to stop the bout at 4:57 of the final round. Although he was able to defend his title, Jasper was injured in the final moments of the fight, apparently tearing his hamstring.

Chris Saunders (16-8) defeated Derion “DC” Chapman (4-7) via Unanimous Decision 155lbs

In the next bout Derion Chapman moved up in weight to take on perhaps his biggest challenge yet, in the form of UFC veteran Chris Saunders. For Saunders, this marked his first bout in over a year, but both proved extremely prepared as the early exchanges quickly had the crowd on their feet. In the second round Saunders looked to implement his jiujitsu pedigree, and almost had a guillotine before Chapman freed his head and got back to his feet. The third round was equally entertaining, as the two continued their tango, before Saunders again brought the fight to the mat. Once there, Saunders was able to control his opponent for most of the round. The effort was enough to convince the judges that Saunders was the winner, much to the chagrin of many of those in attendance.

Gabriel Green (4-2) defeated Matt Hagge (7-6) via Submission (rear-naked choke) 3:20 Rd 1 Catchweight 166 lbs

Former Bellator MMA veteran Gabriel Green was looking to make an impressive statement in his CXF promotional debut, and he certainly did deliver. After an early exchange between the two, Hagge quickly brought the fight to mat however Green quickly swept him, and took his back. Locking in the body lock, Green began setting up the choke with some punches to the side of his opponents head. While defending, Hagge for a moment exposed his neck, and Green quickly locked up the choke inspiring the tap at 3:20 of the very first round

Chase Gibson (5-2) defeated Sergei Minasyan (7-10) via Unanimous Decision 145lbs CXF Featherweight Title Fight

In the co-main event of the evening, Chase Gibson and Sergei Minasyan faced off in a very evenly matched three round war. In the first round, the fighters seemed content to stand and trade, with both fighters having their moments. In the second frame, Chase Gibson began to secure opinions, relying on his ground game to neutralize Minasyan on the mat. However, Minasyan was able to survive the onslaught. Halfway through a pretty even third round, Gibson again found his opponents back after Minasyan moved away from the clinch. Again Gibson was able to bring the fight horizontal, and although he was unable to find the finish, his control on the ground proved dominant, and the judges awarded him the fight and the vacant CXF featherweight title.

Terrion ‘Flash’ Ware (17-4) defeated Jared ‘The Jackhammer’ Papazian (21-13) via KO :20 Rd 3 135 lbs CXF Bantamweight Title Fight

In the third installment of one of southern California’s most memorable trilogies, Terrion Ware and Jared Papazian went face to face in the CXF cage in the main event, to settle their three-fight vendetta once and for all! With the vacant bantamweight title on the line, the fierce rivals met in the center of the cage, and immediately they picked up where they had left off. Both fighters landed nasty shots in the first round however, a late combination from Ware staggered Papazian as the round came to an end. In the second round, Papazian still hurt, showcased his tremendous heart looking to trade with Ware again. Utilizing his speed, Ware moved effectively in and out of range, surgically picking a slowing Papazian apart. Between rounds an exhausted Papazian could hardly sit on his stool, collapsing to the mat. However he refused to quit, answering the bell for the third and final round. However it was only a matter of time. Ware immediately pounced, and again rocked Papazian, felling him face first for the KO victory. The win earns Ware not only the bragging rights in the grudge match with Papazian, and the CXF title, it also almost certainly assures Ware of his long awaited chance to fight for the UFC.

Richard Leroy (4-0) defeated Marlen Magee (4-5) via Submission (rear-naked choke) 3:11 Rd 1 Catchweight 162 lbs

Returning to action after over a year off due to injuries, Richard Leroy looked better than ever, dominating his opponent in route to a first round submission victory. After dominating the standing exchanges, Leroy quickly took Marlen Magee down out of the clinch and immediately asserted himself from the top position with some nasty ground and pound. The relentless assault forced Magee to give up his back where Leroy swiftly threaded the choke and secured the tap, and the victory.

California Xtreme Fighting continues to grow, and the next event is scheduled for June 17th 2017. Make sure you follow CXF on Instagram to keep track of all the latest details. For ticket information to future events check out www.mmatixx.com.

 

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“Preserve, within a wild sanctuary, an inaccessible valley of reveries.” -Glasgow

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh and Bob Fisher

Growing up on La Brea between Hollywood and Inglewood, Chase Gibson (4-2 MMA) wandered for much of his youth, pulled between the two worlds his parents separately inhabited. Somewhere in the middle, Gibson began a downward spiral, where he danced with many demons that would ruin most of his teenage years. The story seemed destined for a bad ending, when a mirror image opened a rather odd door to redemption.

That image was both literal and figurative. Cooper Gibson (6-2 MMA), Chase’s identical twin brother ended up finding a path that kept him out of trouble, and soon led him to gaining quite the name in the sport of mixed martial arts. “Cooper cleaned up his life before I did”, Gibson said. “Watching his success in the sport inspired me to start seriously training. “Not surprisingly, like his twin brother, Chase quickly took to the sport as a natural, but then old injuries and old demons came knocking again! “Early on in my training I had some previous injuries that came back, and I sort of used that as an excuse to start messing up again”, Gibson said. Quickly Gibson was able to right the ship, and as soon as the injuries subsided he was back on course.

The long road to redemption for Chase Gibson may have started somewhere near mid city, however oddly enough, he would finally satisfy that search locked in a cage. Facing some rather stiff competition, Gibson cruised through the amateur mixed martial arts ranks with a stellar 5-0 record. Undefeated as an amateur, Gibson made his pro debut and true to form he continued hs winning ways, finishing his opponent in the very first round by rear-naked choke. At this point Chase Gibson appeared to be on cruise control, but then the wheels fell off.

First a split decision loss to Andrew Natividad under the King of the Cage banner spoiled his undefeated streak, then a razor thin unanimous decision loss to Derion Chapman followed. Gibson quickly found himself on the wrong side of .500 for the first time in his career. “That was a tough place to be”, Gibson said. “Especially since I think I won both of those fights.” As unfamiliar as losing was, it certainly was not enough to let those demons back in. “It was a very rough time, but as rough as it was at no point in time did I say f&ck it! I just got back in the gym, and made some adjustments”.

One of those adjustments was learning how to cut weight properly. After the two losses, Gibson noticed a weakness in his game that he correlated to his weight cutting procedures. So he fixed the wheel. “I actually sought out people who do this for a living, and it turns out I was doing it all wrong” Gibson said. The results were obvious.

In his first bout under the CXF banner, Gibson needed only 1:05 seconds to lock up a Brabo choke over a very tough AJ Bryant. In his next bout Gibson picked up perhaps his most notorious win, when he knocked out Far Mohammed with a highlight reel head kick that quickly went viral on the internet. In his next bout Gibson outworked a very game Adam Calderon cruising to a unanimous decision victory.

The impressive win streak has earned Gibson a seat at perhaps the most prestigious table of his career. Standing across from him will be a very violent Serob Minasyan (6-8 MMA), between them the CXF Featherweight Title will await the winner. With so much at stake you can bet the CMMA team and Chase Gibson have been doing their homework. “He’s a tough strong wrestler”, Gibson said. “He has a decent shot, and he throws heavy, but I don’t think he has ever fought anyone like me.”

Even though a title hangs in the balance, for Gibson there is a lot more at stake than a shiny gold belt. Recently married, Gibson also found out he will soon be a father. “We found on my birthday.” Gibson said. With a child on the way, the win means more than any other before. And although it may add some anxiety, that uncertainty gets crushed by the motivation to feed his family.

For Chase Gibson, a win and a CXF title would certainly bring him some validation. “I think CXF is one of the best regional shows in the country by far, the challenges they put up are amazing, they have some great fighters here, and a win really means something.” However it would also go a long way to justify the faith this young man has put in himself.

Redemption can be quite elusive for the lost. Constantly searching to find yourself can often lead down a very dark path. The luckiest of us emerge in the light on the other side. Finding the path to the light is never guaranteed, and what works for some may not for others. For years Chase Gibson chased his redemption, only when he stopped running did he find it within.

 

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By Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Photos By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

On March 4th, Lights Out Promotions, in association with Bash Boxing, will present a reincarnation of sorts. California Xtreme Fighting has dusted off their banner of war, and once again it will be flying over the warriors inside of a cage. We are proud to present CXF: The Return, which will be held March 4th at The Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City.

Many of Southern California’s top fighters have cut their teeth under the CXF Banner including: Joe Schilling, Jared Hamman, Tony Ferguson, Joe Condon, Jared Papazian, Francisco Rivera, Aaron Miller and many others. Since CXF’s last event many have tried to fill the void, but none have been able.

“The Return” of CXF has one purpose. The combat gods have short memories, so we will jog their recollection by putting together one of the best fight cards of the year. CXF:”The Return” will feature some of southern California’s top mixed martial arts talent, all of them looking to move one step closer to the promise land. The main card will feature a mix of seasoned professionals, and talented young ‘up and comers’ that will end up being future champions in this sport. This is an event that cannot be missed, so get your tickets early. This event is certain to sell out.
Go To: www.valleyfightnight.com  to purchase tickets.

The Main Event:
Pablo Sabori (6-2 MMA) vs Karen Darabedyan: (10-5 MMA) 155 lbs
Both fighters have well decorated pedigrees, and they both come from outstanding teams. Sabori a native Brazilian will be bringing his well rounded striking game into the cage, looking to turn lights out early. Darabedyan a grappler by trade, is also not one to shy away from a fire fight. He too has explosive hands with excellent footwork, so a toe-to-toe war is a possibility. However, he has been inactive in MMA for a little over a year. Will the ring rust be an issue? Sabori is currently riding a 4 fight win streak, and a hot horse is always tough to bet against. This fight could go either way, making all who witness the only sure fire guaranteed winners! Both of these guys are highly skilled, so this fight may produce any one, or maybe all of the performance bonuses! Buckle your seat belt and enjoy the ride.

The Main Card:
Shohei Yamamoto (2-0 MMA) vs Erick Gonzalez (4-1 MMA) 155 lbs
This is a very intriguing fight. Both of these fighters had absolutely stellar amateur careers, which resulted in success early on as professionals. Erick ‘The Ghost Pepper’ Gonzalez a spicy striker with power in both hands, has deadly Muay Thai strikes. He is extremely precise with his striking, and on the mat he has some explosive jiujitsu. Shohei Yamamoto is a well rounded fighter with knockout power in both hands. He also maintains a CSW pedigree which could make him a nightmare if he secures top position. Both of these guys are on the rise, what a treat to see them compete this early in there careers. Experts always claim styles make fights, and this one is not different. This fight may end up being the Fight of The Night.

Mosses Murrieta (1-0 MMA) vs John Gendron (1-0 MMA) 185 lbs
What a matchup! Both of these guys seem to enjoy throwing their hands, and when they do, they tend to make a mess. Murrieta destroyed his last opponent via KO early in the first round, while Gendron recently slugged out a decision in his pro debut. Both of these guys can end the fight with one punch. Very often when you have that kind of power facing off, you end up getting a back and forth war. This fight could produce either Knockout of The Night, or Fight of The Night, or dare we dream both?

Matthew Spencer (3-1 MMA) vs Idris Wasi (1-3 MMA) 185 lbs
Both of these fighters are hungry. Losses can be motivating that way, they are tough to stomach. Idris Wasi is cardio machine, who went the distance in his last fight, his debut under the Bellator banner. However he ended up on the wrong side of a judges decision. Now looking to punch his ticket back to the big leagues, Wasi must first ply his craft at CXF: The Return. His opponent Matthew Spencer is also coming off a disappointing loss, and is flat out chomping at the bit to get back in the cage. In Wasi, Spencer sees dinner, one he must first hunt himself. Spencer a jiujitsu purple belt with heavy hands has fought here before, and is banking on the hometown support. Both fighters are excellent athletes so this one might end up a going the distance in a back and forth war.

Bobby Sanchez (8-27 MMA) vs Derrion ‘DC’ Chapman (1-4-1 MMA) 145 lbs
Sanchez comes in off a win, and brings over 10 years experience as a professional fighter. In his career he has fought UFC veteran Cody McKenzie, Bellator MMA and WEC vet Chad George, Bellator MMA veteran Mark Vorgeas, and WEC legend Manny Tapia. He will need to rely on that experience as he is set to take on the always entertaining Derrion Chapman. Chapman returns to our cage for the 4th time and is looking to put an end to a 2 fight skid. Both of these guys are pretty quick, so don’t blink.

Taylor Alfaro (0-0 MMA) vs Kyler Phillips (0-0 MMA) 145 lbs
Both of these fellas are making their professional debuts after stellar records as amateurs. Neither has tasted defeat before, going a combined 10-0 as amateurs. With 8 of those fights ending decisively, by either submission or knockout this is a fight you will not want to miss. Two young guns looking to make a name at the others expense. This fight could go either way, and may end up producing a future champion.

Chase Gibson (MMA) vs A.J. Bryant (MMA) 145 lbs
Chase Gibson burst on to the professional scene as an undefeated amateur with a whole bunch of eyes on him. Three fights into his career he finds himself in the midst of his first losing streak. Losing 2 of his first 3 bouts via decision, Gibson is certainly looking to getting back to his forte, which is knocking people out. In his way talented youngster A.J. Bryant who is making his professional debut. Bryant, a heavy handed scrapper, is eager to start his pro career the way his amateur one ended with a victory.

Brad Robinson (1-1 MMA) vs Andryii Vasylenko (3-0 MMA) 220lbs
Training out of Hayastan MMA, Andryii Vasylenko enters the professional ranks with one hell of a pedigree behind him. The concrete fisted grappler can end any fight in an instant, either with his vicious hands, or on the mat with his stifling grappling. At 6’5 Bradley Robinson will be the first opponent Vasylenko won’t be able to dominant with sheer size. If Robinson can utilize his reach he should be able to keep the fight at a range where only he can score. This fight is going to end being a battle of will, look for both fighters to assert themselves early in this battle.

Keith Cutrone (0-0 MMA) vs Edgar Khachatryan (0-0 MMA) 170 lbs
Both of these fighters are making their professional debuts. Cutrone, a submission expert has won all three of his amateur bouts via the tap, is looking to parlay that success into a debut win as a professional. His opponent Edgar Khachatryan also making his debut fights out of the famed Hayastan Academy, where he trains under grappling gods Gokor Chivichyan and Gene Lebell. With those guys leading your camp, you can expect a well prepared fighter ready to go to war. Keep in mind these guys are middleweights, so pay attention. Both of these guys throw bricks!

Tigran Grigoryan (0-0 MMA) vs Joshua Jones (0-1 MMA) 170 lbs
Both Grigoryan and Jones had extensive amateur careers. Jones is getting back into the cage for the first time since 2014 and is looking to bounce back from a loss in his pro debut. Grigoryan 4-1 as an amateur, is entering the pro ranks riding a 4 fight win streak, with 2 of those wins coming via submission. Grigoryan may maintain a slight edge on the mat, however Jones has much more time in the cage, and that experience could prove to be the difference maker. Also, both of these guys have the gas to go the distance, so keep a score card on this one, it could end up being that close.

In an Amateur Showcase, Jonathan Quiroz from CMMA will be taking on Leon Shahbazian from Glendale Fighting Club at 170 lbs. In case you missed any of our events check out the image gallery below.

 

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Undefeated welterweight prospect Chris ‘The Cutt’ Honeycutt (6-0 MMA) is set to take on Paul ‘The Gentlemen’ Bradley (22-6 MMA) in the second act of a fight that was originally halted due to an accidental eye poke. Although Bradley maintains a healthy experience advantage however, Honeycutt’s dominant wrestling pedigree make him a nightmare for any opponent.

In the main event English slugger Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley (37-12-2 MMA) will take on Andy ‘Stunner’ Uhrich in another welterweight bout that could have future title implications. Uhrich, is stepping up as an injury replacement for Josh Koscheck who was unable to compete due to an injury.

Editorial Note:We would not be surprised to see the winners of these two bouts face-off in the near future in a title qualification bout!

Make sure you tune in to the weigh ins below which begin at 5pm PST.

 

Bellator 148 Weigh Ins Stream:

IMG_8356By: Jonathan King

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Photos By: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

Once again the unholy union that is Lights Out Promotions and Bash Boxing, will take over the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City California for one of the most competitive fight cards they have ever put together. They leave you salivating for more fights and often, but you understand the time between cards when you see the match ups that take place. It truly is a proving grounds of MMA. For young fighter this is the place to find out if you have what it takes, for those veterans who find themselves in the midst of a transition, this is the perfect cage to keep balance to a name on the brink.

The records are according http://www.mixedmartialarts.com

Eddie Mendez (7-3-1 MMA) vs Curtis Millender (8-2 MMA)

At a catchweight of 175lbs Former UFC grappler Eddie Mendez is set to take on former Bellator MMA striking specialist Curtis Millender in what should be a classic matchup that puts style versus style, with a little extra flavor. Both fighters really need this win to earn a spot on a big card for their next fight. A win here, certainly will carry some momentum, while a loss would be a major setback! With all that is on the line, the fight could be an candidate for Fight of The Night. Who wins the lance or the ram?

Alfred Kashakyan (5-1 MMA) vs Juan Archuleta (3-1 MMA)

What a treat this fight is going to be! It is rare when you get to see two fighters at this early stage of their perspective careers face off on the regional scene. Both of these two fighters are shoe-ins for the UFC, so buckle up! Two superstars in the making. In one corner Ronda Rousey’s training partner, in the other corner one of the stars of the hist TV show ‘Kingdom’. This is going to be a fight you will not forget! The explosive hands of Kashakyan, the stifling wrestling game of Archuleta, who wins you ask? You do! Early candidate for Fight of the Night!

Dmitry Gerasimov (3-4 MMA) vs Julian Shore (3-1 MMA)

This fight features two very exciting 145lbs warriors that have been no secret to the Southern Californian fight scene. Shore who fights out of CMMA is a beast of an athlete who returns to the SoCal scene after winning fights under both the Legacy FC and Titan FC banner! He is welcomed by Fight Night veteran ‘Dima’ Gerasimov. If you have never seen a ‘Dima’ fight, he’s sort of a whirling dervish that stops occasioning to punch you in the face (Just ask Chinzo Machida). He always moves forward, and to his credit can take a ton of damage. Another fight that could end up earning fight of the night honors.

Kim Thinghaugen (2-1 MMA) vs Derion DC Chapman (1-3-1 MMA)

In one corner you have a well rounded fighter from across the pond, who has never been tested inside our battle dome! In the other you have a well travelled warrior who has fallen on hard luck but stood firm in the face of battle. Its sort of cliche and over written, but that is what you have. Thinghaugen is a talented grappler from across the pond, with power and promise. Chapman is quick handed savvy veteran who despite only 5 fights as a pro, had quite an extensive record as an amateur. Even though his record doesn’t show it he improves every time out. If the new guy leaves his chin out, you can bet ‘DC’ will be looking to check it back to LAX.

James Acosta (0-4 MMA) vs Levon Sargsyan (2-3 MMA)

Some of you will remember the last time these two fellas squared off. If you don’t, let me remind you. It was one hell of a donny brook. Some thought Acosta clearly won, some thought Levon was able to piece out a decision, eventually the judges agreed. Now they get to do it again, all for our entertainment!  Acosta is a durable tank, while Sargsyan is more of a darting viper. He needs to find his mark often and early. Acosta is built for the long haul so he could very easily drag this fight into deep water, gator roll it, and save it for later. Another candidate for Fight of The Night.

Brandon Michels (2-8 MMA) vs Mike Quintero (Pro Debut)

You have to love when the big boys throw. Usually you can time there punches with a calendar and measure their falls with the richter scale. Not in this case. Mike Quintero making his pro debut is a beast of man. He throws with hate on every punch, not like he hates you, but like he hates you and your mamma! But here is the issue. Dude has technique. So its scary. Not like your drunk Uncle Joey. Brandon Michels has strong Muay Thai, and has been around a long time. Quintero is not going to show him anything new. That doesn’t mean won’t be able to land! Should be a fun fight to watch.

Thor Skancke (7-5 MMA) vs Nick Vanderpool (4-0 MMA)

This fight has the ear marks of either making or breaking your hearts. Nick Vanderpool brings a strong wrestling background, and an unblemished record.His heavy hands, bad intentions are looking to knock any opponent out on Oct 23rd. For Vanderpool the veteran of more than few Gladiator Challenge events this marks a big step up in competition, however the objective remains the same. Skancke however has been here before and this is his den; Perhaps Vanderpool just walked in front wearing a big old juicy t-bone. Hopefully this dog can hunt, cause I know that wolf can! Either Stand back, let the hounds bay cause we are gonna have a fight on our hands!

The evening will also feature some of the top young amateur talent taking part on the preliminary card as well.

Check out our Gallery from Fight Night’s Past!

Bellator 131-33

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Weight can be a finicky burden. Sometimes you don’t realize how heavy something is until you let it go. For the better part of 15 years Tito Ortiz carried a good portion of the load. Weather his former employers are willing to admit that or not, weather his detractors are willing to admit that or not, it is undeniable he was one if not the, torch bearer for a long time.

However that weight started to take its toll. Years of fighting injured, and ‘answering the call’ to duty had left the former Champion adrift in the rankings, injured and without any real love from the house he helped build. So he left. And it appeared the sun was setting on a former UFC Champion and UFC Hall of Famer. However, Tito Ortiz just didn’t feel ready to call it a career yet. And once again, the sun began to peek above the horizon.

So, he signed with Bellator MMA and after an initial fight with Rampage Jackson fizzled out due to an Ortiz neck injury, it seemed Tito would ride out the rest of his days in quasi relevancy appearing from time-to-time. However then they announced his first fight.

Ortiz debuted against former 185 lbs champion Alexander Shlemenko (51-9 MMA) and quickly dispatched him with a head and arm choke. Although the much larger man, Ortiz looked the part putting the smaller striker to sleep before digging his grave in the center of the cage, in classic Ortiz fashion.

Then he went on to systematically beat the tar out of an aging Stephan Bonnar (15-9 MMA). Again although Ortiz’s opponent didn’t look up too snuff, Ortiz certainly did. His wrestling looked as explosive as ever, and his gas tank never emptied. That win, although not against a top contender, led him to this title shot against current champion Liam McGeary (10-0 MMA). In McGeary, Ortiz not only faces the Champion but his toughest test since switching companies.

The champion McGeary on paper presents a ton of challenges, mainly his freakish reach. Ortiz not know for his boxing will somehow have to find a way inside in order to impose his will. If he ends up going backwards, or flailing for a takedown it could be long night, (or a short one) for Ortiz. However if Ortiz can bring the fight into his own neighborhood he certainly has the power and ability to end the fight himself. the one outcome that is assured is greatness! Greatness is bound to happen, either McGeary becomes bonafide, or Ortiz shocks the world, how can you not watch?

Win or loose Ortiz has already said his fighting career will continue, and from the way he has looked in the cage and in training who can argue? His performance against McGeary may steer some opinions one way or the other, but one thing seems certain, the sun may have set on the Huntington Beach Bad Boy, but its only rising for the ‘Peoples Champion’.

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Tito Ortiz took a second to talk with Aaron Tru from The Brutally Honest Radio Show about his upcoming fight, his journey for another world title, and about cementing his name in history. Plus his lovely girlfriend Amber Nicole also has a few things to say about how the ‘People’s Champion’ prepares. Check out the video below:

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

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.

 

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

 

IMG_5954 (1)

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Since Scott Coker has taken over Bellator MMA has survived a lame-duck transitional period of uncertainty only to emerge in a more tenable situation than ever before. The new regime has not only updated the drab promotional image by polishing the broadcast with elaborate entrances, but they have also updated an antiquated roster as well. Coker and has team have signed a diverse group of veteran fighters with name recognition to go along with some of the sports top prospects. The move ensures the future, while staying current with relevant big name fighters headlining televised events.

Two of those prospects are Michael Page (7-0 MMA 3-0 Bellator MMA) and Curtis Millender (7-0 MMA Bellator MMA Debut) who are set to square off in January as part of the promotions series of fights titled ‘The British Invasion’. Page has been highly touted as one of the best young fighters in the welterweight division, while Millender has remained under the radar for the most part. A trend the man they call ‘Courteous Curtis’ plans to reverse with an explosive debut.

In Page, Millender finds his toughest opponent too date. Essentially he will be fighting his mirror image. Both fighters are exactly the same size, at 6’3 they tower over the rest of the division, and both are known for their electric striking. However if the fight were to find its way to the ground, Millender would be comfortable as well. “Let’s just say I am more than comfortable on the ground, and if it does end up there, he is in trouble!”, Millender said.

The fight will be Millender’s first bout outside of the confines of ‘The OC Fight Club Hangar’, a place he has called home for all of his 7 professional fights. A trend that is a direct result of his ability. Once promoter Roy Englebrecht and manager Mel Valenzuela saw ‘Curtious’ in action they knew they had discovered a gem. They locked him up to a contract and then they realized Millender’s main problem. No one wanted to fight him!

Much like Pat Cummins who also trains at Reign MMA, Millender presents a nightmare for most fighters to match up against. His reach and striking prowess make him almost impossible to hit, and even harder to avoid! With opponents heading for the hills, Englebrecht and Valenzuela had to fly in opponents with well known pedigrees to test Millender. The only problem was, he walked through them too!

So now here we are set to witness two of the sports best young welterweights fight each other in the Bellator MMA cage. Even though Millender predicts a victory, he realizes he may see Page again, as this may be an emerging rivalry. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to beat him again!”, Millender said. However he doesn’t see a need for a third! “We are both young and I could see myself having to beat him again, but I don’t think a third time will be necessary!”

The problem facing a prospect is that at some point he has to shed that moniker in order to take on that of a contender. For Millender this journey started long ago. The countless hours of preparation are starting to pay off. However the hard work is just beginning. Although Bellator MMA currently only has 23 current welterweights on the roster, the depth of talent makes it one of the toughest divisions in the promotion. With current champion Douglas Lima scheduled to fight British slugger Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley, the winner of this bout could find himself on a short list of contenders for the 170 lbs title.

Curtis Millender (7-0 MMA) is signed to Bellator MMA and  is represented by Mel Valenzuela. Millender would like to thank his family, and friends, and coaches for supporting his career, but especially wants to thank anyone who “ever gave [him] a ride to the gym”. He would also like to personally recognize Roy Englebrecht and his manager Mel for supporting his efforts.

Curtis Millender is currently sponsored by: Everlast,  Via Diamond Termite, Nu Image Marketing, Kolor Splash of Anaheim, and JP 23 BBQ , and Grand Casino Bakery of Culver City.

Millender trains out of UFC Gym Fullerton and Reign Training Center

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!