Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood Park Casino’

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

 

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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!

UFC Champion Ronda Rousey poses with a young fan! #ChaosAtTheCasino

UFC Champion Ronda Rousey poses with a young fan! #ChaosAtTheCasino

 

By Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Photos By Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com, Alex Linares and John Walsh The Clinch Report

Chaos At The Casino 5, was one of the most memorable fight cards in Southern California history. Future and Former UFC stars battled it out in the cage in front of a sold out crowd. Many UFC stars were on hand to watch the fights including UFC Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, Chris Beal, Josh Barnett and many others.

The card was headlined by former TUF finalist Karim Ghazi and highly touted prospect Dominic Clark. Clark was able to get Ghazi down early in the first round bout. Once there he quickly grabbed a modified guillotine and put Ghazi to sleep. The win moves Clark that much closer to the UFC, and also garnered him the ‘Submission of The Night’ bonus that was provided by 911 Tax Relief.

Thor Skancke also earned a bonus, for his devastating knockout over a very tough Matt Hagge. In a back and forth heavy handed showdown, both fighters had their moments early. However once Skancke was able to achieve top position, he was able to end the fight with some brutal ground and pound earning the “Knockout Of The Night” Bonus thanks to the Law Offices of Allen Saralou who sponsored the prize.

The “Fight of The Night” bonuses went to Christoper Fajardo and Paul Amaro. Both fighters gave as good as the received in this back and forth battle. Fajardo seemed to have Amaro heading for the exit on several occasions but he kept coming back. Amaro even turned the tide momentarily with some heavy haymakers that had Fajardo reassesing his approach. Ultimately Fajardo proved to be too much, and with Amaro hurt and down, the referee was forced to halt the action. The FOTN bonus was sponsored by Pain Away.

The biggest upset of the evening went to Amanda Bell, who was able to storm through Marina Shafir in the first round of their fight. Bell came out aggressive and landed some nice right hands, that had Shafir adjusting right away. A stiff right hand from Bell starched and staggered Shafir. Bell then swarmed her felled opponent and was able to secure the win with some ground and pound strikes that forced the referee to step in and stop the bout.

Heavyweight stalwarts Chase Gormley and Tony Lopez fought each other in a rather cautious fight that had neither willing to commit. Lopez started slow and was on his back for most of the first round, but was able to reverse the momentum in the second frame. Gormley appeared dominant at first, but then tired, as Lopez began to turn up the pressure. Late in the third frame Lopez attempted a head kick and his knee gave out from under him. Referee Mike Bell let him continue but repeated falls prompted a stoppage that immediately puts Chase Gormley back in the hunt for the UFC contract he so covets.

Also victorious at Chaos At The Casino:

Jay Bogan defeated Marcos Bonilla, Ruben Warr won a unanimous decision over Jordan Isordia, Vardan Sholinian out wrestled Mike Frear for the decision win, Jemyma Betrian decimated Hadley Griffith, and Joe Hernandez came back to TKO Arsen Galstyn.

Once again George Bastmajyan and his Lights Out Promotions team exceeded expectations. The well thought out matchups, and improved organization gave the show a very polished feel. The resulting amazing fights were presented properly in a quick fan friendly format. The event left fans asking as …”When is Chaos At The Casino 6 going to be?”

A very good question only time will answer.

 

KOTC TL22

For Lights Out Promotions Ticket Info: http://www.teamlightsout.com

 

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

At the end of the day the sun sets. “Time waits for no man” my teacher Mr Procacinni used to say. As an athlete your window of opportunity is limited. As a fighter, that window is even smaller.

At 40 years old Tony Lopez(34-14 MMA) should be looking back at his career with a margarita in one hand and his lovely wife in the other. Time would have you believe his best days were behind him, and maybe they are, but make no mistake Tony Lopez is not done fighting. He is motivated again, and that makes him a very dangerous animal.

More often than not hindsight is very cruel to the older fighter. Hanging on too long leaves bitter memories that are hard to shake away. Those cautionary tales are usually punctuated with a once granite chin now fractured. Guys like Chuck Liddell who once took a freight train to the jaw, now crumbled as if a button had been pushed.

You can’t paint Lopez with that brush though. Sure he has lost a few fights and those fights are the reason he is still lacing them up. “I have really messed up my career with the last few fights, and now I want to put together a win streak and end on a high note.” Lopez said. Refreshingly honest from a man who at one time was a fighter no one wanted to face.

At 6’5 and near 225 lbs, Lopez has fought in pretty much every weight class between 185 and super heavyweight. His fantastic stand-up, defensive wrestling, and iron jaw made him a nightmare of a prospect for even the most seasoned opponent. Lopez at one time held three King of The Cage Titles concurrently (Super Heavyweight, Heavyweight, and Light Heavyweight),  and has notable wins over UFC veterans Wes Combs, Kyle Kingsbury, Darril Schoonover, and Joey Beltran.

For Lopez his career is coming full circle. Now back with his original coach Colin Oyama, Lopez has his weight where he wants it to be, and appears to be in prime form. In his way is heavy-handed striker Chase Gormely.

Gormley is hungry and looking to get back to the UFC. A win over Tony Lopez would certainly be a feather in his cap. However Lopez is not ready to be a stepping stone, and if Gormely is gonna add his name to the win column he is certainly going to have to earn it.

“I know Chase, he is going to come out and bring the pressure from the start.” Lopez said. “He is gonna try to get me against the fence or take me down, so I have to remember not to give up good positions, and it should be my fight all the way”

For Lopez the chance to right the ship in his own back yard is priceless. His last fight in California although a victory was marred with controversy, when Lopez held a choke too long after the referee tried to stop the fight. A contrite Lopez accepted his suspension, paid his fine and re-applied for a license, which he was granted.

With his past transgression as his only blemish in a otherwise amazing career Lopez deserves this shot at redemption. A measured redemption. One not rewarded with gold belts, but with the honor and dignity that a warrior like Tony Lopez deserves. Who knows when his fighting days will end? He already has another fight lined up in Hawaii after this bout. With his chin intact, and his ticket selling striking style, Tony Lopez will continue.

Warriors like Tony Lopez don’t fade away into obscurity, they ride off into the sunset, of their own accord!

 

Tony would like to thank his wife, whom he credits as both his inspiration and his motivation.

 

Tony Lopez is Sponsored By:

Avengers Cycle

Iron Fist

Unbreakable Mouthguards

Reps For Life Gym

Tony is also available for MMA fighters looking for private lessons at his Gym Planet Krypton

Contact him on facebook for information

 

 

For Lights Out Promotions Ticket Info: www.teamlightsout.com

 

 

Marina Shafir

Marina Shafir

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

All Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

The Past:

Pedigree can only carry you so far. God given ability without a champions work ethic may get you to the dance, but it certainly is not enough to ensure your tenure at the top. Becoming the best is one thing remaining there however, is a completely different animal. One only tamed by embracing the grind that accompanies everyday training. Champions live, they don’t simply exist. They are fueled by a different fire, cut from a different cloth. Sacrifice their only constant, and pain their only guarantee.

For Marina Shafir, that sacrifice began long ago. As a world class Judoka, Shafir cut her teeth competing against some of the best judo players in the game. Along the way becoming very close friends (“sweat sisters”), with UFC Champion Ronda Rousey. Together they trained to become the best, along the way forming a bond that would continue as Ronda transitioned from Judo to MMA.

“I have seen her transition from an athlete to a machine” Shafir said. “We used to eat peanut butter whole wheat bagels, because that was all we could afford. Now each meal is planned and only the finest fruits and ingredients! Its overwhelming to think about how much she has evolved to become this champion!” Shafir said.

The gulf between hype, and champion is wide. The chasm is filled with the crushed potential of pretenders who although once promising,dared to contend. Proper preparation is the only way across this divide. Still, there is no guarantee. Walking the tightrope of expectation can be a daunting task even for the most confident.

However for Shafir the motivation is simple. She fights for her brothers, she fights for her mother’s brutal honesty. She fights for the gym in Moldova her father opened to keep kids off the street. “I am my mom, I am my dad, I am made from them! I fight for them, for the last name they gave me. Not to make me something, but to make our name something.” Shafir said. 

In a world where prize fighters fight for, well…the prize, Shafir’s take offers a fresh breeze in a rather stale locker room full of hyperbole.

The Present:

The past is a majestic world filled with accomplishments, and stepping stones that have led to this moment. Unfortunately the present for Shafir is a cruel bitch named reality. Sure the reasoning is pure. Yes, her camp is sexy. But without the wins nobody cares. The great WWF manager Jimmy Hart was once asked why he dressed the way he did and he said, “The minute I dress like everyone else, I’ll have to sit with everyone else!”

And although not a wiry weasel with a megaphone, Shafir is not unlike Hart, at least for now. Until its her turn, she is perfectly content playing her part. As long as she is still on the players side of the fence. To stay there Shafir must simply do one thing, win!

Without the wins, the ends just won’t justify the means. Justification resumes August 10. On trial, will be Amanda Bell. At only 1-2 Bell would appear like fodder for the touted Shafir, however a close look at Bell’s amateur career reveals a glaring TKO win over Shafir’s teammate Jessamyn Duke. So, the plot thickens…well…a little anyway.Bell a well known grappler is a tough test for Shafir, however she is confident in all aspects of the game.

“If she wants to stand and bang, we can stand and bang. If she wants to grapple, well thats fine too we can grapple.” Shafir said. “I have been training very hard on my striking with Edmond Tarverdyan and would like to showcase it[my striking], but you have to see where the fight goes.”

Wise beyond her years, Shafir has a patience that allows her to enjoy the ride, without taking anything for granted. A ride she is extremely grateful to be on. “I really want to thank my coaches and training partners (Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Jemyma Betrian), they all know who they are! My mom and dad, for making me, and George Bastmajyan for booking my fights.” Shafir said. “George goes out of his way for all the fighters, not just me. He is easy to fight for. I want to put on a good show for him!”

The Future:

Trusting in uncertainty is your best bet. At least it is when you are built fundamentally sound. Each building block serves as a stepping stone for the next. Each step rewarded with another waiting to be taken. The future is only a breathe away from the present, and moments from being in your past. Marina Shafir walks in some pretty big footprints, that carry high expectations. Unlike Rousey, Baszler and Duke, Shafir fights at 145 lbs. A weight class that doesn’t even exist in the UFC. However she believes its only a matter of time before it does. Maybe Shafir can serve as the defacto 145 lbs ambassador as Ronda did, to help usher in the new weight class. Maybe a stint in Invicta will be on the docket. Either way her patience and her surroundings never let the future blind her.

“I can never get lost in the shuffle, because of the people around me.” Shafir said. “You are the company you keep, and my company is pretty fucking cool!” Shafir said.

Wherever the future takes Marina Shafir, and whatever it holds for her, one can only make an educated guess. It may be here… It may be there.. However it will never be far from her past, and it will never be far from where she currently sits, whether on the brink or years past the break, Marina Shafir like her moniker claims, is a Supernova. The light from a distant burning star that can last long after the star itself fades.

It may not be set in stone, but it appears to be a ‘sure thing’, that in the sport of MMA Marina Shafir’s legacy will burn on, long after she is gone.

 

 

Marina Shafir trains at Glendale Fighting Club and is Sponsored by: Virus, Cucuone, Core Power

You can follow Marina Shafir on Social Media Here: Twitter, Facebook

All content is owned by The Clinch Report, LLC Registered with the State of Nevada. Any unauthorized use is prohibited. Contact us at news@theclinchreport.com for information regarding usage.

SSTAR-Top-Header2 (1)

SSWHITELOGO

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 6/20/2014
Spar Star MMA: Mixed Martial Arts Promotion

For Immediate Release:
Spar Star MMA has long been one of Southern California’s best MMA promotions. Since 2008, Owner Tony Padilla has been hosting both pro and amateur fights featuring some of the regions most notable names such as: Jay Silva (Bellator and UFC vet), Sevak Megakian (TUF contestant), Mario Navarro (Bellator), Karim Ghazi (Formerly Chris Saunders: TUF contestant and UFC vet), and most notably Ashlee Evans-Smith (WSOF, CFA) who is now 2-0 as a professional and will soon be carving her way through the World Series of Fighting ranks.

Although now fighting in one of the worlds biggest promotions, and on national television, Smith still thinks back to her days as an amateur…”These amateur shows, especially Spar Star are a great way for fighters to get wet behind the ears.” Smith said “Tony’s shows always have a professional feel, with a fun family environment.” Smith said. Ashlee Evans-Smith will face Marcia Allen (3-1) on 6/21/14. Smith will be fighting on the undercard, and will be looking to make another statement after her crushing win over transgender fighter Fallon Fox earlier in the year!

Smith will most certainly be in attendance for the Aug 9th show as Spar Star MMA returns once again to The Hollywood Park Casino. The crowd is always filled with MMA royalty such as: Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and Hall of Famer, Current Bellator MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin, Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Current Bellator Fighter Cheick Kongo, Bellator veteran Hector ‘Sick Dog’ Ramirez, UFC Fighter Michael Bisping. and many more.

Spar Star MMA always relies on the regions top MMA gyms which enables matchmaker Mel Valenzuela to pick from a talent pool that maybe one of the sports deepest, globally. California is still the world capital MMA. If you were at the last event you know, if you werent, by now you have heard. Spectacular fights were highlighted by a once in a lifetime intimate concert with Hip Hop Legend Dub C.

On August 9th, the ball continues to roll. With some of the best local gyms such as: Tapout LA, Systems Training Centers, UFC Gyms, 10th Planet Jujitsu, Team PKG, Dynamix MMA, The Body Shop, Blackhouse MMA, Kings MMA, Werdum Combat Team, DogPound MMA, Sweat Shop MMA,HBUTC MMA, NZT Pankration, and many others all ready to send some of their best fighters, the night will be filled with crushing body shots, and I.Q. changing head kicks.

As Spar Star MMA continues to gain momentum, keep an eye out for us in wonderful state of Texas! We are currently in works to put on events in several cities including Corpus Christi E Paso, and San Padre Island. We will continue to provide live streams of the events so you will be able to watch from the comfort of your home.This also gives us the opportunity to add television sponsors! Currently we are also in negotiation with a promotion in Australia as well! So hopefully soon, we can bring our brand of MMA down under!

While we continue to grow, and look forward to bringing our brand global, we still understand that Southern California is our home. We will continue to grow locally as well. Please stay tuned for Spar Star: “The Smoker Series”, as we return to the grass roots of MMA in a way that only that Spar Star can!

Make sure you get your tickets for the August 9th show way ahead of time, we have sold out 3 consecutive events, so get your ticket now!

Please continue to follow us on social media.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spar-Star-Promotions/101943773230504
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SparStarFights
Instagram: http://instagram.com/sparstarmma

Cali Love

Cali Love

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

Spar Star MMA once again took over the Hollywood Park Casino with not only a collection of amazing fights, but SoCal’s favorite son DUB C of the West Side Connection took over at intermission, and the place exploded! Locals saluted with their hands, and the performers responded in kind, as the intimate setting proved to be a unique fusion of entertainment that complimented each other well.

The fights were also extremely entertaining. The main event featured two highly skilled amateurs who are both making names for themselves as top MMA prospects. Tigran Martirosyan and Albert Morales squared off for the vacant 145 lbs Spar Star Title.

Morales and his teammates were all working with heavy hearts as their teammate Dee Boites was killed earlier in the week, the victim of a senseless criminal. Boites was crossing the street in Inglewood, when a criminal who was being pursued by the police, barreled through a red light and struck Boites with his car in the crosswalk. Boites later succumbed to his injuries. Morales fought with “Dee” written all over his equipment, as a tribute to his fallen training partner.

The fight was a back and forth battle with both landing heavy strikes, however the story was Morales’s grappling. Martirosyan was unable to counter the slick transitions by Morales on the ground. Once Morales exposed this weakness, he seemed to focus on bringing the fight to the mat. After several attempts at a submission with the arm, Morals was able to transition to the triangle. After a roll he ended up keeping it in the mount, where he secured the head, and the tap! The win brings Morales to 2-0 as an amteur, but the caliber of his opponent will certainly elevate him in the Camo ranks.

Spar Star Promotions provides a necessary element in MMA. They provide a stage for young fighters to test their metal. Spar Star separates the wheat from the chaff, the confident from the bragard, and the fighters from the frauds. They provide the pro ranks with a talent pool to choose from that has been battle tested, and crowd approved.

To Read more about Dee Boites please go to this site: http://www.systemstrainingcenter.com/systems-training-centers-loss-brother/

There is a link on that page to make donations to the Boites Family.

We would like to send our thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Dee Boites, and all of his training partners at Systems Training Center!

Sevak Magakian unable to walk, but still gets the win!

Sevak Magakian unable to walk, but still gets the win!

By:Jonathan King The Clinch Report
Photos By:John Walsh The Clinch Report

What makes a great mixed martial artist? If you were to create a sort of MMA ‘Frankenstein’ what characteristics would you start with? The myriad of skills that make up a fighter can be debated for ages, as to which is the most important. However, there is only one that cannot be taught: Determination.

There have been many instances where a fighter has simply refused to loose, despite injury or adversity. Team Hayastan fighter Sevak Magakian (13-4 MMA) is the latest artist to enter that pantheon of gritty, scrappers that make this sport such an enjoyment to watch.

Early in his fight with TUF Alumni Chris Saunders (10-6 MMA) at ‘Chaos in The Casino’ at Hollywood Park Casino, it became apparent that Magakian suffered a devastating leg injury. Later on the extent of the injury was revealed to be a dislocated ankle, and a broken leg! Not only was he able to finish the round, but with a double leg take down, and his counter strikes, Magakian was able to win the frame.

Once in his corner, a look of concern washed over everyone in the corner. Magakian told his coach Gokor Chivichyan the extent of his injury. However, quitting was not an option. So, into the second round he limped.

Once again Magakian was able to land the cleaner strikes, and again appeared to be building a clear advantage with points. Saunders who began attacking the injured leg, for some reason relented his assault, and ended up playing right into Magakian’s game plan.

Once the third round began, Saunders appeared to be in desperation mode, but a foot injury also hampered his efforts. Magakian was able to cruise to a unanimous decision victory, in a fight that will be remembered by all who watched as one of the most incredible displays of courage ever witnessed inside of a cage.

Unlike the cliche states, not every ‘win is a win’! In this case,  a win defines much more than a number in a column. In this case ‘the win’ represents the best in people. Magakian has a bright future ahead, one that will certainly place him on a larger stage, however this fight maybe the one that defines him best.

Lights Out Promotions also featured several Muay Thai and Boxing fights that evening as well, making it an all round combat sports card. Please check out the photo gallery bellow.

All images and content are the property of The Clinch Report, LLC registered with the state of Nevada.  Any unauthorized use of the images or content is expressly prohibited. Please contact us at news@theclinchreport.com for further information.

Spar Star MMA recently had a hotly contested title fight between Marcel Cyprian and Tanner Chapman that ended in a draw.
Judge for yourself, all three rounds are shown below.

Main Event Round 1

Main Event Round 2

Main Event Round 3