U of MMA Fight Night 2 at Club Nokia
The U of MMA provides amateur fighters the opportunity to not only gain experience fighting inside the cage, against well-matched MMA opponents, but with experience in some aspects of professional fighting that are often underdeveloped in professional MMA fighters: dealing with the Media and how to handle themselves professionally as public figures. Fights feature post-fight interviews and the environment in general is very similar to what they’ll encounter once they turn pro and fight in the large regional and national promotions.
Club Nokia LA Live played host to the event, Fight Night 2, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. The crowd was lively as usual for U of MMA events, with several fighters’ gyms in attendance to support and to the electric atmosphere brought on by three title-fights and two contender qualifying fights, Graced by the presence of MMA Legends Randy Couture, Bas Rutten, Josh Barnett and the inimitable Eddie Bravo, this promised to be a great event, and it delivered!
The action in the cage is refined: These may be amateur fighters, but they’re very developed—one gets the sense that many of them are just a fight or two away from their professional debut.
Laura Salazar vs. Stefanie Poque, 125 lbs.
Round One: Salazar gets the early takedown and presses her advantage, working to land punches and hammer fists, but leaves her arm vulnerable and Poque gets her in an arm bar Salazar lifts Poque up and presses her down, escaping the submission attempt and the two stand and trade. The round ends with a flurry of punches from both opponents.
Round Two: Poque uses her reach advantage to keep Salazar at a distance, but Salazar uses kicks and lunges in for a huge punch, sending Poque back. As they circle, Salazar lands again, which forces Poque to rush in, clinch and take Salazar down. The round ends with Poque on top, raining down punches.
Round Three: The round begins with a hard right cross from Salazar, which Poque answers with a right of her own. Poque gets the best of Salazar while they’re standing, and Salazar shoots in and pulls Poque to the ground. Poque sttampts a triabgle choke, and the round ends with Poque landing punches from the bottom, controlling salazar.
Winner: Laura Salazar, Split Decision
Hugo Lopez vs Ryan Lilley, 145 lbs.
Round One: Lilley begins the round with a huge outside leg kick, which produces a loud “thwack!” the gets the crowd going, but it’s Lopez’s straight right that has more impact, sending Lilley back. Throughout the round, Lopez seemed to get off first, until they got close in, when Lilley landed a right that momentarily dropped Lopez. These two aren’t afraid to stand in the pocket and trade, and each got their share of shots in.
Round Two: More of the same great stand-up action as Lilley moves forward and Lopez answers punch for punch. These guys are both fighting with urgency, until about haflway through the round, when Lopez noticeably tires. Lilley moves in and Lopez attempts to strike back to give himself some room but Lilley drops Lopez again, and pounces, causing the Ref to step in and save Lopez.
Winner: Ryan Lilley, TKO strokes
Brooksie Bayard vs Colbey Northcutt, 145 lbs.
Round One: After an initial exchange, Bayard takes Northcutt down but can’t hold her down and Northcutt stands back up and delivers punches. They clinch and battle in the center of the cage, eventually ending up with Northcut in a standing guillotine which Bayard tries unsuccessfully to convert to a traditional one, ending in Northcutt on top. The round ends with them on the ground.
Round Two: Bayard comes out with an urgency and pays for it, eating a straight right toteh face and a knee to the midsection before clinching with Northcutt. They battle in the clinch, both women against the cage at various times, but Bayard gets top position and rains down fists. The round ends with Northcutt attempting an armbar. Bayard is cut, but it hasn’t affected the bout yet.
Round Three: Bayard again comes out aggressively and Northcutt shoots for a double-leg takedown which Bayard stifles by getting her in a standing guillotine. They go to the ground with Bayard on top and grapple, with Northcutt attempting a triangle. Bayard excapes and ends the round on top.
A great fight put on by both women. Look for them to make some noise in their professional careers soon!
Winner: Brooksie Bayard, Split Decision
Austin Davis vs. Khalid Shannon, 145 lbs.
Round One: Both men moving forward, they clinch and exchange knees and punches as they move around the cage, trading positions against the cage. Shannon lands a low knee, and we have a brief pause in the action. They resume a furious pace, and both land punches. They go to the ground and Shannon gets in position to transition to Davis’ back, but Davis realizes this and adjusts, ending on top. Shannon works to get Davis into a triangle choke, and the round ends as Davis lifts Shannon up and slams him to the mat.
Round Two: Shannon gets the better of the stand-up, which makes Davis shoot in and take Shannon down. Active from the bottom, Shannon uses his legs to push Davis off of him and back to the center of the cage. Shannon rises, only to be taken down again. Davis stays on top, lands few fists and fights off an armbar as the round ends.
Round Three: The two clinch again, with Davis trying a double-leg takedown against the cage and getting it. Shannon locks in a triangle, but not tight enough and Davis escapes. Davis gets side control and lands a few fists, although Shannon does a good job of controlling Davis from the bottom. The round ends.
Winner: Khalid Shannon, Split Decision
Mike Martinez vs. Quincy Davis, 155 lbs.
Round One: Martinez has kicks and demonstrated that well against the body and legs of Davis. Davis, however, was quick to counter-punch and both caught a kick and later caught Martinez off balance from a kick, the latter resulting in Martinez hitting the canvas but quickly returning to his feet. A fairly even first round.
Round Two: Martinez came out aggressively to begin the round and stayed after Davis, knocking him down and landing solid ground and pound, ending the fight with a TKO.
Winner: Mike Martinez, TKO (Strikes)
U of MMA Lightweight Contender Bout
Daniel Shin vs. AJ Lavarias, 155 lbs,
Round One: An active round. Shin got the first big cheer of the bout when he threw a quick spinning kick that landed on Lavarias’ hands. Good stand-up displayed by both fighters, and when it went to the ground, they were both very active and well matched.
Round Two: Shin’s right lands on Lavarias and Lavarious responds by shooting. Shin slams Lavarious, providing another big cheering moment of the fight.Shin tries to fight off Lavarias’ sweep and they scramble. Ultimately, Lavarias is successful and lands on top but they stand and Shin lands a solid right. Lavarias clinches and takes Shin down, ending the round on top.
Round Three: Shin is often first to the punch and is accurate and explosive. A quick clinch battle ends with Lavarias throwing Shin and they wrestle on the ground as the round ends with Lavarias on top.
Winner: AJ Lavarias, Majority Decision
U of MMA Lightweight Contender Bout
Roman Todorovich vs. Erik Cruz, 155 lbs.
Round One: Roman came out, landed punches and moved Cruz back, clinched and immediately took Cruz down. The majority of the round was on the mat, with Roman on top, although he had to slam himself out of an arm bar, he ended the round on top.
Round Two: Roman took control early, getting Erik down and they fought on the ground for the majority of the round, with Roman having top position for the majority of the round. For a moment, Roman attempted a guillotine and it looked tight enough but Erik escaped and was able to stifle Roman enough for the ref to stand them up, where the round ended.
Round Three: They start striking, standing in the pocket and trading fairly evenly, until Erik shot for a takedown and Roman was able to reverse and end on top, where he finished the round.
Winner: Roman Todorovich, Unanimous Decision
U of MMA Light Heavyweight Championship
Jens Grau vs. Jerell Cephas
Round One: Cephas came to get this title and it showed from the moment the bell sounded. He came after Grau with devastating punches, rocking Grau. Grau recovered, gained a little distance and then launched forward, engaging Cephas in the pocket but getting the worst of the action. The ref stopped the action briefly to take a point from Grau for holding onto his opponent’s shirt, but the respite was too short for Grau to recover and once the action resumed, Cephas moved forward, dropping first rocking and then dropping Grau with punches. Pouncing, fists flying, Cephas took the belt when the ref stepped in to stop the fight.
Winner: Jerrell Cephas, TKO (striked)
U of MMA Welterweight Championship
Jarett Conner vs. Dean Bo Moskowitz, 170 lbs.
Round One: After a feeling out period standing, Conner shot in, grabbed Moskowitz and slammed him onto his back. Moskiwitz was determined not to end up on his back and after a scramble, Conner suplexed Moskowitz twice in a row, traveling the length of the cage. Eventually, Conner got Moskowitz in a guillotine, which Moskowitz fought his way out of, ending the round on top and raining down punches.
Round Two: Moskowitz began the round swinging and was almost immediately taken down. They scrambled, with Conner threatening a heel hook at one point and the two trading top position, ending the round with Conner on top.
Round Three: Conner is having little difficulty taking Moskowitz down, and does so in the first exchange, tackling him like a football dummy. He works a front head choke, as Moskowitz drives forward, and eventualy gets into a position to suplex Moskowitz again. (Is there a record for suplexes in a fight?). Moskowitz eventually works Conner into his guard and that’s how the round ends.
Winner: Jarrett Conner, Unanimous Decision
U of MMA Heavyweight Championship
Renardo Palmer vs. Joe Hernandez, 265 lbs.
Round One: Palmer seems to have the more developed striking, and the entire round was stand up fighting. Mostly boxing, hardly any combinations and few kicks. Palmer is swinging hard, but both men seem to be holding back a bit.
Round Two: Palmer is getting the better of the stand up, and Hernandez attempts to mitigate this by shooting, twice, and both times paid for it with knees to the gut. Hernandez catches Palmer with a punch, knocking him off balance, and jumps in, looking to take advantage but Palmer clinches and the round ends.
Round Three: The two stalk each other, throwing single punches and a few kicks. Hernandez telegraphs a spinning kick, which is easily avoided by Palmer. Herenandez seems to sense the urgency and goes on the attack, chasing Palmer around the cage and connecting on several punches but is unable to put him out before the amateur two-minute round ends.
Winner: Renardo Palmer, Unanimous Decision
155 lbs. – Jacobe Powell def. Gino Francisco via TKO, R2, 0:11.
COMBAT JIU JITSU: 160 lbs. catchweight – Nate Harris def. Jorge Pineda via submission, R1, 1:58.
155 lbs. – Derion Chapman def. Marvin Morales via TKO, R2, 1:40.
If you’ve been looking for a live, local MMA event in the LA area, the U of MMA Fight Nights are great ones. Their next event at Club Nokia will be August 25th. You should go. No matter where you live, go see live, local MMA and support the promoters and fighters!