BAMMA USA Badbeat 14: The Storm is Coming
BAMMA USA Badbeat 14, January 9, 2015, Commerce Casino, Commerce, California
BAMMA USA puts on some of the best professional MMA events in Southern California. Their Badbeat series is now at 14, and I can honestly say that they’ve never disappointed.
It was a beautiful Southern California winter night, with temperatures in the high 60s as the ballroom of the Commerce Casino filled up to standing room only with fight fans, and the lights went down to introduce the first of what would be many great fights…
In reverse order:
Main Event: 170lbs: Greg Parker (4-0) vs. Andrew Ramm (2-1)
Parker is the clear hometown favorite, as the crowd loudly chants his name as he enters the cage, and his crowd is not limited to one section or even one side of the cage—the place is getting loud for the main event!
These guys are really getting after it! From the opening bell, they charge at each other and begin striking—both guys land, although Parker has the early advantage in the stand up. Ramm gets Parker against the cage, but it’s Parker who takes Ramm down and has a brief moment landing fists to Ramm’s face. Ramm gets up and they clinch. Once again, Parker ends up on top, in Ramm’s “Mission Control” until he is able to escape and stand up. Once again, they’re at it like brothers fighting over a toy. And not just any toy—a really cool one both want to play with. Sorry, a little from my childhood sneaks in once in a while…
Anyway… the clinch, and work while each attempts to gain an advantage. They separate, and Parker moves in, punching Ramm while Ramm defends with his back to the cage. They come off the cage and spin in the center and go to the ground. Ramm gets Parker caught in an arm bar and works to bring the arm to his body as the bell signals the round’s end.
Round two: both guys meet in the center of the cage. Ramm is the aggressor here and lands a nice kick before Parker is able to get him down but finds himself under Ramm this time, and the crowd now changing “Andrew! Andrew!” (because one syllable makes for a terrible chant…) until the Parker contingent answers back louder… Oh—they’re still battling in the cage, of course, and they work the ground game until Ramm catches Parker in an arm bar, succeeding this time. WITH THREE SECONDS LEFT IN THE ROUND.
Winner: Andrew Ramm, submission (arm bar), round two
Co-Main Event: 185lbs: Mike Jasper (7-2) vs Justin Vasquez (3-6)
Mike Jasper has been a solid BAMMA USA fighter, always performing from the first bell until the end of the bout. Justin Vasquez, well, took the fight on three days’ notice.
Winner: Mike Jasper, Submission, 34 seconds of round one (Rear Naked Choke)
135lbs: Christina Marks (5-7) vs. Sarah D’Alelio (7-6)
You ever have one of those days when you make one mistake—one mistake—and it haunts you for the rest of the day? All of a sudden your whole day turns on that one moment and you have to suck it up and deal with it until its over?
Christina Marks made a mistake like that. One moment she was moving forward to strike with Sarah D’Alelio, the next D’Alelio was on top of her, controlling her and working for a choke.
Winner: Sarah D’Alelio, Submission, round one (Rear-Naked Choke)
135lbs: Corey Grant (4-2-1) vs. Ruben Warr (4-4)
These guys are nicely matched: Grant is the more natural wrestler but Warr is no slouch in the clinch. Warr is the more technical and accurate striker, often catching Grant on his way in and stifling Grant’s takedown attempts. In the first round, Warr caught Grant with a nice uppercut, looked good standing but got taken down. Warr eventually worked his way back up but very likely lost that round. Round two saw mostly stand up, although Grant did land some surprising straight rights but was unsuccessful taking Warr down. I say that Grant’s straight rights were surprising because he was not having great success attempting to strike with Warr. At the end of the round, Warr landed a nice but short-lived takedown.
Entering the third round, it could easily be 19-19 on the judges’ scorecard, it initially looked like Warr wanted it more as they worked their way around the cage, just out of striking range. Then a charge by Grant and a takedown seemed to turn the tide in his favor. Getting Warr’s back, and then throwing a body triangle on him, Grant spent the majority of the round either attempting to get the rear naked choke, or landing punches from above, depending on Warr’s attempts to spin out of the position.
Winner: Corey Grant, Unanimous Decision
155lbs: Kevin Bostick (4-4) vs. Daniel McWilliams (12-26)
McWilliams is 12-26. 12. and 26. I’m not gonna do the math, but I’m pretty sure that’s more fights than the rest of the card, combined. And I would imagine 12-26 comes with a certain freedom in the cage. After all, there’s not much any particular opponent can do that you haven’t seen before. Maybe kung fu Hamster style…
As expected, McWilliams let loose from the start, throwing kicks, landing a nice spinning back fist and looking very comfortable. Unfortunately, 12-26 is earned, and Bostick quickly sunk in a triangle, eventually transitioning to an arm bar.
Winner: Kevin Bostick, submission (arm bar)
125lbs: Tim Riscen (3-0) vs. Eric Rios (0-0)
Watching these guys walk in, get announced and begin the first round, you get an impression of each guy: Rios, making his Pro debut, is that guy who took martial arts as a kid, trains hard, and is confident in the completeness of his striking. Sure, he’s got a couple of tattoos. Riscen: he’s the guy you party with. He trains, sure. He puts his time in and can grind. Tattoos? Riscen’s tattoos laugh at Rios’ tattoos, if they even make the effort to acknowledge them. He’s a tough guy. Can punch. Can take a punch. Can take you down…
Round one has both guys pretty much confirming my suspicions about them. Riscen looks to take Rios down, wants to punch him. Rios takes advantage of any space he can get to throw kicks, display his range. He’s a solid striker. But Riscen grinds him against the cage. The crowd on the East side of the cage chants “Rios! Rios!” and is subsequently drowned out by the West side of the cage chanting “Riscen! Riscen!”
Round two sees them settle into these identities: Riscen shoots in but is largely handled by Rios, who takes advantage of the space he can get and throws impressive kicks.
Round three and Riscen is sick of Rios’ shit and rushes in a takes him down immediately. Controlling Rios from half guard, Riscen works to free his leg and pass to side control. Rios does a good job of controlling Riscen, and looks like he’s about to shrimp into a reversal attempt when Riscen scrambles and re-establishes his control. Riscen throws an occasional elbow but is spending the majority of the time holding Rios down and working to free his leg.
Winner: Tim Riscen, Unanimous Decision
155lbs: Brandon Morris (2-2) vs Mike Segura (3-0)
Coming out to Flogging Molly and rocking a “Connor McGregor” hair cut, Morris set himself up for easy mocking. Makes you wonder if he’s one of those guys who have to put barriers in their own way to overcome in order to feel like they’ve accomplished something… Sorry, got a little philosophical there…
Anyway… If the fans were prepared to enjoy his bubble burst, he left them disappointed. First landing a nice left hook that stunned and wobbled Segura, then following up totally professionally (in other words, stalking purposefully, but not rushing in and getting caught), Morris eventually found the opening he wanted and landed a pair of rights, with the second one finding home completely and putting Segura down. This time, Morris pounced and took care of business. Haters, shut up.
Winner: Brandon Morris, TKO, round one
125lbs: Chantalle Castellanos (2-2) vs. Jessica Pryor (0-0)
This is Pryor’s pro debut, but you wouldn’t know it from how comfortable she is in the cage. Displaying dynamic striking and solid clinch work, Pryor dominated the first round. Castellanos came to fight, however, and would rally in the next two rounds. A takedown, ground control and good old fashioned “big sistering” of Pryor in the second almost brought an end to the bout, but the Pryor fought through and eventually worked into a much better position by the time the round ended.
The third round was a war—back and forth, all on their feet and a strong case could be made for a draw. Both of these women displayed true warrior spirits. I look forward to seeing how their careers develop.
Winner: Jessica Pryor, Majority Decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27)
115lbs: Ashley Yoder (1-1) vs. Misha Nassiri (1-3)
Another quick one: Yoder pulls guard early in the first round, getting the arm bar quickly, and it was only a matter of time before Nassiri tapped.
Winner: Ashley Yoder, Subission, round one (arm bar)
125lbs: Keenan Lewis (2-3) vs. Adrian Gutierrez (0-1)
Full Disclosure: Last week, my favorite NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, got eliminated from the playoffs. One of the reasons was a roster error they made, to let a talented cornerback named Keenan Lewis leave in free agency to the New Orleans Saints instead of pursuing a long term deal with him. This Keenan Lewis is not the same athlete, and I’ll try not to hold it against him. Still, ugh. Just sayin’.—Jimmy
Round one: Lewis, the significantly taller fighter, started off using his length well in the stand up but a few hard punches from Gutierrez and he decided to forego his reach advantage and take the shorter man down. It didn’t seem to require much effort to achieve this, as he got in fairly easily under a Gutierrez swing and took the fight to the ground. They spend the majority of the round on the mat, with Gutierrez reversing position once but quickly put on his back.
The next two rounds were “rinse and repeat” for Lewis: A punch or two, take Gutierrez down and dominate him there. Frustrating for Gutierrez, a winning formula for Lewis.
Winner: Keenan Lewis, Unanimous Decision
145lbs: Kristopher Gonzalez (0-0) vs. Isaac Velasco (0-2)
Velasco stunned Gonzalez with a right straight punch, followed up with a knee to the jaw, knocking him back and pounced to get the stoppage. First two fights and we’ve had less than 45 seconds of total fight time…
Winner: Isaac Velasco, TKO, round 1
150lbs: Derion Chapman (0-1) vs. Erick Gonzalez (0-0)
Fresh faces opened the card, and Erick Gonzalez opened up on Chapman’s face early in the first round, getting him to the ground and getting the stoppage.
Winner: Erick Gonzalez, TKO, round 1
Once again, BAMMA USA pulled off a fantastic night of professional MMA fights, with good matchmaking (the 3 day notice guy gets a pass) and tons of fast martial arts action! Guests in attendance included several Pro MMA fighters as well as legend Ken Shamrock.
That wasn’t intended to be a slam on Shamrock. He was a nice guy in person, taking pictures with fans and talking about his upcoming bare knuckle fight in April, as well as his performance beverage, Shamrock Slam, brought to you by Jugular! (Their exclamation point)
If you haven’t been to a live MMA event, you seriously need to go to one. If you’re in the greater LA area, you should check out a BAMMA USA event. They’re seriously well produced, fast paced and everything you look for in live combat sports. Set your calendar now for Badbeat 15 on Friday, April 10 at the Commerce Casino. You will love it!