Posts Tagged ‘#UPC18’

And Still......

And Still……

By: Jonathan King ‘The Clinch Report’

Photos By: John Walsh ‘The Clinch Report’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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