BAMMA USA Badbeat 13 Commerce Casino
It was the first cool night of Fall in Southern California as BAMMA USA brought it’s exciting Badbeat series of fights to the Commerce Casino. Filling to ballroom to capacity, the crowd was live and into the fights, making their presence felt. Between bouts, you’d see people taking selfies with MMA fighters in the crowd—not that there was much time between fights! BAMMA USA runs a tight schedule, and aside from an injury in the cage, puts on a fast-paced show. As soon as a fight ends, they are setting up for the next match. Once the fighters leave the cage, the music starts and the next match begins their walk-outs. There are no prima donna’s here—they keep the action going as close to non-stop as regulations allow.
The lights dim, the music stops and the announcer begins… it is time to throw down!
Bantamweight Title: 135lbs: Terrion Ware (11-3) vs. Jeff Martin (10-10)
Terrion Ware is BAMMA USA Royalty, at least since Chris Beale left for the UFC… He’s the champ for a reason—he’s been trouble for his opponents in every minute of every round he’s fought for BAMMA USA, and come out on top. In the first round, Martin gave Ware all he could handle, confidently standing with the champ and working his ground game, getting Ware in all sorts of dangerous positions.
Round two saw Ware own the cage, stalking Martin, landing kicks and punches (and taking a few, but only a few)… Not a lot of fast-paced action, but tense nonetheless. Martin spent the better part of round two running from Ware, and by the end of the round, fatigue was beginning to set in.
Round three brought more of the same, with Ware on the hunt and Martin, breathing heavy, looking to evade and hope for an opening. Ware began to turn up the heat after two minutes, and Martin sought to pull guard, but Ware made him stand back up. Ware has a decided speed advantage against most opponents (the reason he walked out in a Flash (DC) shirt, but against a tired one whose cardio is no match for his own, he is a dangerous man… Martin shot in a few times, but Ware made him pay, landing shots to Martin’s torso and backing up, forcing him to fight in Ware’s world. The round ended with Ware deciding to engage on the ground, dominant on top, landing fists to Martin’s head.
Now, we’re in “the Championship Rounds” and Ware’s cardio advantage is significant. Clearly attempting to minize the damage he would take, Martin took a defensive posture, eventually falling back into guard, and turtling. It only took a few strikes for Herb Dean to step in a put a stop to the bout.
Winner: Terrion Ware, TKO, 1:37 of Round Four
170lbs: Nick Reale (7-8) vs. Eddie Jackson (4-1)
Nick Reale took every opportunity to rush in and take Eddie Jackson down, seemed to be outmatched when striking, while Jackson spent most of the round in dominant position on the ground, eventually landing enough unanswered strikes to force the Ref to step in a save Reale.
Winner: Eddie Jackson, TKO (ground strikes) 3:04 of Round One
135lbs: Melanie Lacroix (3-1) vs. Christina Marks (4-7)
I wish I could tell you something about these fighters after witnessing the first round. Something insightful, or at least significant. What I can tell you is that Marks has some wicked knees, and knows how to use them in the clinch, which is how they spent the vast majority of the first round. The second round began the same way, with Lacroix pressing Marks up against the fence, and dirty boxing. Both women landed knees, locked in each other’s grip. The rounded ended in a solid ten second flurry from both fighters, from the ten second mark until the bell. Marks seemed to get the better of the action, but Lacroix got her shots in.
The third round saw Lacroix clinch Marks and clinching and working their way across the cage, separating and exchanging, with Marks landing the more solid strikes. Lecroix seemed to use her stand up as a way in to clinch Marks, and by the end of the round Marks seemed to more actively look to counter this technique by pushing Lacroix away and circling out, but the bell sounded, ending the round. This might be a difficult one to judge, depending on how high a priority the judges value clinch work over pure striking.
Winner: Christina Marks, 29-28 Decision
170lbs: Ozzie Alvarez (4-2) vs. Xavier Stokes (4-4)
After a few moments of stand-up action, they went to the ground, with Ozzie on top, working, pummeling on Stokes’ ribs and face, and after minutes of both control and unanswered strikes, Ref Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the bout.
Winner: Ozzie Alvarez, TKO (ground strikes) 3:03 of Round One
158lbs: Darren Smith (4-4) vs. Jason Williams (4-6)
These guys were well-matched. Darren Smith took it on five days’ notice, and personified the “always ready” motto, taking it to Williams the entire fight. They traded fairly evenly, and grappled across the cage, each landing occasional knees and taking the lead. An errant knee caused a pause in the action, but the round was quickly resumed. They grappled, separated and clinched again. It wasn’t until Williams got caught, and dropped, that Smith took control, fighting for and eventually getting the RNC.
Winner: Darren Smith, Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 3:21 of Round One
170lbs: Daniel McWilliams (11-26) vs. Chris Costello (3-2)
Costello had a tall order for his sixth pro bout: the massively experienced Daniel McWilliams. Granted, he lost more than two-thirds of his professional MMA fights, but McWilliams still had a 32-fight experience gap. Costello looked good in the opening seconds of the round, landing a few hard shots, but McWilliams caught his foot on a kick and was able to get him down. Using his hand to move his fingers into the cage and briefly grip it, McWilliams was able to avoid an escape from Costello and get into position to sink in a rear-naked choke. After initially fighting it off, Costello found himself in it once again, and this time had to tap.
Winner: Daniel McWilliams, Submission (tap due to Rear Naked Choke) 51 Seconds into Round One
155lbs: Mike Segura (2-0) vs Chris Pena (3-2)
Peña’s experience showed in the first part of the first round. His level of cage comfort, along with fakes and feints and some creative kicking made him appear initially to be a total veteran. As they moved arond the cage, he often threatened level changes and gave Segura a lot to think about. Landing several leg kicks, Peña was looking good when a kick dropped him and he fell again while attempting to stand while Segura stood two feet away. He complained about a low blow and got a time out to recover. Upon returning to action, Peña seemed determined but took a right fist to the head which allowed Segura to follow up with a takedown. It wasn’t long before Peña was on top landing hammerfists as the bell sounded, ending the round.
Round two began with a strong attack from Segura, landing a kick to Peña’s ribs and a follow up punch but it allowed Peña to get inside and grab Segura. When Segura attempted a Judo throw, Peña overpowered him and ended up on top. While working on the ground, Segura was able to secured a Kimura. A viscous Kimura that forced Ref Herb Dean’s hand and although it didn’t appear that Peña was tapping, the bout was stopped.
After this performance, I would expect big things from both of these guys.
Winner: Mike Segura, Ref Stoppage/Submission, 1:42 of Round Two
155lbs: Eric Steans Jr. (4-2) vs. Christian Aguilera (2-0)
Christian Aguilera kept his foot on the gas and never let up! Stearns Jr. was a game opponent and looked good in flashes, especially on the ground but his problem was that he kept trying to get up. You see, Aguilera wouldn’t let him get up without paying a price and kept his fists moving, pressing the attack as Stearns was rising. The first time it happened, Stearns escaped major calamity. The second time it happened, Aguilera landed a massive uppercut and ended the fight.
Winner: Christian Aguilera, KO, 51 seconds of Round One
110lbs: Misha Nassiri (1-2) vs. Alyssa Garcia (0-0)
Alyssa Garcia walked out to massive cheers from her large contingent of fans in attendance, making her the local favorite. I love it when a good crowd comes out for a fighter—it sets up so much potential for the crowd to explode if they win in impressive fashion, and also for the other fighter to play the spoiler, also with devastating potential. Misha Nassiri coming out to Rob Zombie set the stage perfectly. This is looking good!
The first half of the first round was a wild, wide-ranging affair, with the fighters separating, striking nad engaging, all the while moving all over the cage. You might give the advantage to Nassiri, until Garcia took her down. Nassiri was able to work her way up through her use of striking from the bottom, but when they separated, Garcia was able to engage and use a judo throw to take Nassiri down and get on top.
Round two started with Garcia bouncing, and Nassiri looking ready to knock Garcia’s block off. They engage early and grapple against he cage, with Garcia getting Nassiri down and in full mount. While attempting to escape, Nassiri found herself in Garcia’s half guard taking elbows. Defending against the elbows from Garcia, Nassiri opened herself up for an arm bar. Pouncing on the opportunity, Garcia got position and submitted Nassiri. The room went wild!
Winner: Alyssa Garcia, Submission (Tap to Arm Bar) at 2:04 of Round Two
125lbs: Tim Riscen (2-0) vs. Adrian Gutierrez (0-0)
Gutierrez is clearly the sharper stand-up fighter, and it doesn’t appear all that close in the first round. Landing shots against a flailing Riscen, Gutierrez finds himself being taken down several times in the round. He counters with a guillotine each time, but each time takes a little ground and pound. In the second raound, Gutierrez stalks Riscen, and leaves himself open for a few well-placed shots. Riscen takes him down early in the round and lands some good firsts and elbows before Gutierrez is able to escape. Both men are showing signs of fatigue, and Riscen takes the opportunity to shoot in and take Guttierrez down. Dominating him, Riscen gets Gutierrez into a Von Flue choke, and Gutierrez goes to sleep.
Winner: Tim Riscen, Submission (Von Flue choke), 2:18 of round two.
115lbs: Maria Rios (1-0) vs. Ashley Yoder (1-0)
These two are scrappy, and after the briefest of feeling out periods, engage and throw shots. It seems that yoder is the better stand-up fighter, and gets Rios against the cage early in the first round, but Rios isn’t about to be held against the cage and out muscled—as soon as there’s a speck of separation, she kicks and forces Yoder to retreat. Round two seems to reverse the momentum, with Rios being the aggressor, and landing well in the stand-up and ending up on top on the ground. The third round went back and forth, with both women opening up with Rios focusing on punches while Yoder attempted to fend off the attack with kicks. Rios landed several solid shots to Yoder’s face and and took the round.
Winner: Mario Rios, Decision
205lbs: Jose Rivas Jr. (1-0) vs Chris Schommer (1-0)
125lbs: Michael Reyes (0-0) vs. Levon Sargsyan (0-0)
It was another action-packed BAMMA USA event—fun crowd, great fights—the thirteenth in the Badbeat series. They continue to put on quality professional MMA events. This is some of the best the sport has to offer, in a great venue, with great sightlines and fun people. Keep an eye out for Badbeat 14, January 9th, 2016—and if you’re in the LA area, come out for a great night! Support live, local MMA.