BAMMA USA’s Badbeat 16 invades Commerce Casino
Summer is here in Southern California and with the high temperatures comes fast paced professional MMA action from BAMMA USA and their Badbeat series at Commerce Casino.
Thirteen bouts on the card guaranteed the packed house plenty of bang for their buck. Literally.
Here are the bouts, in reverse order:
Main Event: 155lbs: Chris Saunders (12-7) vs. Brandon Morris (3-2)
This is a title-eliminator bout (the winner fights for the BAMMA USA belt)
Chris Saunders got the early advantage in the stand up, getting Morris against the cage and pulling him into a guillotine. Morris escaped, but got caught in another guillotine attempt, which he also escaped. Separating, the two squared off and Saunders landed a nice head kick, which provoked a smile from Morris, who charged in, got Saunders against the cage and lifted and slammed him to the mat. Saunders scambled, and they faced each other standing again. Morris landed a nice slapping kick to the leg of Saunders, shot in and took him down again. Unable to hold the position, they stood up and boxed. Saunders soon got a Muay Thai clinch and landed a few solid knees. They were working from the clinch when the bell sounded, ending the round.
Round two: It seems like Saunders has the more polished stand up. Morris is a bit stiff and awkward, although he does manage to land a good number of punches. They clinch early in the round and Saunders attempts to take Morris’ back, but Morris is quick to get up and shake him off. Morris lifts and slams Saunders, but as they roll, Saunders gets top position and sinks in his guillotine, forcing the tap.
Winner: Chris Saunders, Submission (Guillotine Choke)
Co-Main Event: 155lbs: Christian Aguilera (4-0) vs. Danny Navarro (13-5)
The first round can be broken down into three parts: The first part had Aguilara controlling the center of the cage, as the two circled, although both landed single strikes and the occasional combination. Then, they clinched and out of that clinch the momentum seemed to change. Now it was Navarro who took control, stalking Aguilara down and landing slightly more strikes. You could sense that either fighter had the power to end things violently, but so far neither one committed.
The third and final section also came out of a clinch, and this time Aguilara re-took control. Backing Navarro up to the cage, but not clinching with him, Aguilara landed several punches, wobbling Navarro and moving in while Morris tried to move away, Aguilara stopped Navarro. Not TKO. KtFO.
Winner: Christian Aguilara, KO
170lbs: Andrew Ramm (3-2) vs Nick Reale (7-9)
Both guys came out showing respect for the other’s game, not taking big risks while striking, until Ramm clinched Reale in the middle of the cage and lifted and slammed him. After a short time on the mat, Ramm successfully got a Kimura, forcing the tap. It was a solid submission, with real, bone-breaking potential.
Winner: Andrew Ramm Submission (Kimura)
125lbs: Christina Marks (5-8) vs. Jessica Pryor (1-0)
These two came out with frenetic energy and really went for it—striking into clinch, working against the cage, lights out. No, really. Someone cageside accidentally unplugged the lights, and the room went dark quickly. Thankfully, quick thinking by many in the crowd turned their phones into flashlights and the main lights were turned on, the problem was discovered and after a quick break, fighting resumed. They didn’t lose a beat and immediately went right at each other. Marks seemed slightly more aggressive and may well have taken a close round one.
Round two saw both fighters come out with the same energy as they did in the first round. Aggressive striking leading to clinching against the cage. Takedowns were short lived. This time, Pryor seemed to be getting the best of the round, pushing Marks against the cage, getting her back standing and overall control. The round ended with a rush by Marks.
Round three and both look fresh as if they hadn’t just sprinted for two rounds, while being punched. The cardio is strong with these two. A full round of fast action. Hard to score this one…
Winner: Christina Marks, Split Decision (29-28)
149lbs: Darren Smith (6-5) vs. Daniel Aguiar (10-5)
Fighting Daniel Aguiar is like fighting a boa constrictor. A slow moving, easily punchable boa constrictor, but a boa constrictor nonetheless. You don’t want him getting you to the ground. Oh, and he has the best walk-outs of just about anyone I’ve seen.
Round one saw Smith showing a rather large advantage on the feet, as Aguilar is clumsy and awkward in stand-up striking. Smith dropped Aguilar early by landing a punch to the face as Aguilar jumped forward, catching him mid-air. But the ground is where Aguilar wants, no needs to be. Several times during the round, Aguilar tried to pull guard, trying to tempt Smith to come down and play, but Smith wisely avoided the trap. Until the end of the round, that is, when Aguilar was able to get Smith down and attempt a triangle choke on him… which was looking good until the bell sounded, ending the round.
Round two was more of the same, with Aguilar moving in to try to get the fight to the ground, even if that meant getting mounted. And several times he was able to get Smith to the mat. Each time, though, Smith escaped, usually after delivering some punishment.
Round three: Aguilar clinching and throwing knees. Smith punching and landing. Aguilar flopping to the ground. Smith refusing to go there. Subsequently, Smith’s superior striking skills succeeded.
Winner: Darren Smith, TKO (strikes)
105lbs: Alyssa Garcia (1-1) vs. Celine Haga (6-13)
They almost immediately went to the ground, and Haga found herself defending a triangle choke attempt, but Garcia couldn’t make it work and Haga ended up in Garcia’s guard, landing punches until Garcia could tie he up. Haga worked to half guard and eventually side control, using a side choke to quickly put Garcia to sleep.
Winner: Celine Haga, Technical Submission (Side Choke)
170lbs: Casey Greene (3-1) vs. Jesse Merritt (4-2)
Both men are all business from the start, with Greene landing the “splash” strikes, like loud, slapping kicks and swinging wildly. Merritt absorbed a lot of punishment in the first round, but was still standing and trading with Greene. Greene’s leg kicks took their toll on Merritt and he was limping toward the end of the round. When Greene got in close, Merritt would land solid counter punches, but at the end of the round got rocked, and tied up Greene until the round ended.
Round two saw Merritt aggressively pursue Greene, and it was effective until Greene got back into control and started landing kicks and hard punches and elbow strikes. Relentlessly attacking the legs, Greene sent Merritt to the mat with a nasty kick to the calf, and once he stood up, it was only moments before Merritt, unable to move well, became vulnerable to Greene’s attack. And Greene really poured it on, dropping Merritt and forcing the Ref to step in.
Adorable side note: After the results announcement, Greene was handed his child and carried her for the victory picture and out of the cage.
Winner: Casey Greene, TKO (strikes)
118lbs: Liz Tracy (1-0) vs. Ashley Yoder (2-1)
Tracy shot in early for a double leg and found herself defending a guillotine which she escaped from by picking up and slamming Yoder. She was unable to do much damage from top position and Yoder was able to get back to her feet. A quick takedown and scramble, followed by another slam and scramble, then a judo throw found Tracy doing well until Yoder was able to scramble to get Tracy’s back and attempt a rear naked choke. They battled on the mat until the end of the round.
Round two opened with Tracy getting the best of a brief stand-up exchange and taking Yoder down. Yoder escaped a deep arm bar attempt and was able to get top position from it. She worked at an arm bar attempt of her own, which Tracy escaped and used to take Yoder’s back. Working toward a rear naked choke, Tracy gave up at the ten-second tap and focused on landing punches to Yoder’s face. At some point in the round, a cut occurred to Yoder’s head, just above her right eye.
Round three, Tracy moved forward, striking, and despite a good counter punch landed by Yoder, was able to push Yoder against the cage and slam her down. Yoder’s cut re-opened and she scambled out with a Phantom of the Opera styled half-mask of blood. After fighting off an arm bar attempt, Tracy was able to regain top position as the round ended.
Winner: Ashley Yoder, Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
125lbs: Shai Lindsey (3-0) vs. Michael Reyes (1-0)
These guys came to scrap and went non-stop from the first bell! The first round looked pretty even, with both guys giving as well as they received. Reyes did seem to land the harder punches, but Lindsey often landed a kick before Reyes could finish his swing and sent him off balance. At one point in the fight, it appeared Lindsey rocked Reyes, but it looked like Reyes was going to recover. That is, until Lindsey landed a right head kick and left straight punch combination, sending Reyes to the mat. Lindsey pounced, raining down strikes and forcing the ref to step in.
Winner: Shai Lindsey, TKO (4:44 of round one)
105lbs: Kyra Batara (2-2) vs. Kaiyana Rain (0-2)
Batara spent almost the entire round circling Rain and occasionally feinting strikes, while Rain seemed content to allow her to circle from the center of the cage and countering on the few attempts to attack Batara made. Batara moved in and Rain sent her to the mat with a punch. Twice. Rain could’ve moved in but chose not to either time, allowing Batara to get up and begin circling again. At one point, Batara charged and got Rain against the cage, but paid for it by absorbing a few solid elbows.
Rain, no longer content to just be circled, came out much more aggressively in round two. Batara still attempted to stay away from the pocket, and made good use of movement to stay out of trouble, for the most part, but lost most of the exchanges. Batara was very active, however, and this could sway the judges…
With Rain seemingly two rounds up, Batara would have to open up much more in the third round, and came out aggressively. She did manage to get Rain down and work from top position in half guard while attempting to pass into side control. Batara eventually got mount, and landed some hard hammer fists to Rain’s face. Rain gave up her back in the scramble to avoid the hammer fists, and fought off a rear naked choke attempt. After another brief scramble, Rain found herself in the same position: Batara on her back and trying to choke her. As the 10 second tap sounded, Batara moved to mount and rained down fists until the bell sounded.
Depending on how the judges scored the second round, the fight could go either way…
Winner: Kalyana Rain, Majority Decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
125lbs: Kyle Estrada (1-0) vs. Richard Alarcon (0-0)
These guys are enthusiastic, and the beginning of the round shows promise for a quick paced stand-up fight, but soon Alarcon jumps on the back of Estrada and gets his neck. <cue dramatic slow motion video of Estrada slowly falling backwards as Alarcon chokes him>
Winner: Richard Alacon, Submission (Rear naked choke)
160lbs: Mike Segura (3-1) vs. Eric Steans Jr. (4-3)
First exchange of the fight Stearns moves in and throws but is dropped by Segura’s counter punch. Shooting in off the mat, Stearns gets Segura down and gets top position, stands up but is hit with a few upkicks before rushing back down into half guard. After a brief scramble, they square off, Stearns catches a kick and uses it to get another takedown. Segura scrambles back up but is thrown down after a brief clinch. Stearns gets side control and works for a crucifix position, landing a few punches to Segura’s face before Segura can tie him up. They stand back up and have a healthy exchange when Segura jumps onto Stearns looking for a choke as the round ends.
Round two: They stand much longer this round, Segura making sure to stay out of the pocket and use kicks to keep Stearns at bay. Segura is doing a good job of coming in, landing while mostly avoiding getting hit and getting back out of range again. Stearns is able to land a few strikes but not combinations and ends up getting caught in a triangle. A failed attempt to slam out of it just gets it deeper and he is forced to tap.
Winner: Mike Segura, Submission (Triangle Choke)
135lbs: Chris Walker (0-0) vs. Anthony Paredes (1-1)
Frustrating fight if you’re Chris Walker. During the few moments of stand-up each round, Walker showed some solid skills. Unfortunately for him, Anthony Peredes was able to take him down at will and almost totally dominate him on the ground. I haven’t seen the judges’ scorecards, but I wouldn’t be surprised if both of the first two rounds were 10-8 for Peredes. It didn’t last long in the the third before Peredes finally landed one of the submissions he was working toward.
Winner: Anthony Peredes, Submission (Kimura)
Once again, BAMMA USA drops into the Commerce Casino and rocks the hall with a full night of pro MMA fights. If you’re a fan of MMA (and if you’re not, why are you reading this?) get down to the next one (and get there early!) to witness it for yourself!
Badbeat 17 is set for October 2, 2015. Be there!