U of MMA Fight Night 8 takes the stage at Club Nokia!
It was a perfect August day in Los Angeles—warm, bordering on hot, but with a nice breeze blowing, keeping things California cool… and it was going down at Club Nokia at LA Live as the University of MMA held their 8th Fight Night. The crowd was raucous and very supportive of the fighters they’d come from all over Southern California to see. The fighters, amateurs at the beginning of their careers, were full of fire and determined to push the action in the U of MMA cage!
1) 150 lbs. catchweight (3 x 2 min., shin guards) – JULIO LOPEZ (Ruckus MMA) vs. KURT ‘THE HURT’ EBERHARD (Nelson’s Boxing & MMA Club) Eberhard came out aggressive, landing a couple of straight punches as he advanced, but Lopez, the fan favorite, used Eberhard’s aggressiveness against him, clinching and then working to get the takedown. Quickly transitioning to full mount, Lopez landed some solid ground and pound and sunk in the choke to get the tap. Winner: Julio Lopez, Submission (Rear Naked Choke), 1:26 of the first round.
2) 145 lbs. (3 x 2 min., shin guards) – JOSH TRAVAGLIO (R1 MMA) vs. LANCE ‘VANQUISH’ LEE (Hayastan MMA) I think, having witnessed the first round, that Travaglio is a wrestler. He shot and shot and shot but Lee successfully sprawled each time, and for most of the round, Lee held Travaglio in north-south position, threatening a choke, but Travaglio eventually worked his way out of it. Round two brought more of the same. Almost exactly. At one point, Lee’s coach said, exasperatedly, “I can’t believe you cannot choke this guy—he’s giving you a present!” but Travaglio escaped each time. There were a few quick exchanges on their feet before Travaglio shot in again and they were in the same north-south position. Just when it looked like the third round was about to shape up the same, Travaglio finally got a takedown. He wasn’t able to hold Lee down, but for a moment there, there was something different. The crowd came alive. Then, once Lee escaped, they stood and traded. Lee seemed more confident in his stand-up and landed more, but it wasn’t long until they were in that familiar position again… the fight ended with both men on their feet, throwing fists. Winner: Lance Lopez, Unanimous Decision
3) 125 lbs. (3 x 2 min, shin guards) – HUGO ARANDA (House of Champions) vs. GILBERT NAKATANI (Sampa BJJ / Sityodtong LA) Aranda landed a front kick to the face that caused Nakatani to pause momentarily in the beginning of the fight, but Nakatani was quickly moving forward again, dropping Aranda with a straight right punch and Nakatani pounced, keeping top position and landing vicious ground and pound until the ref stopped it. Winner: Gilbert Naatani, TKO, 23 sec of round one.
4) 145 lbs. (3 x 2 min, shin guards) – JUAN ORTA (Lightning MMA) vs. JUAN VASQUEZ (Dream Killer Fight Team) Orta is 1-0 with his one win coming by way of knock out. He displayed some well developed striking in the first round, stunning Vasquez and forcing him to shoot in for a takedown a few times during the round. A few times, Vasquez would fall back, in an attemtp to get Orta into his guard, but Orta wasn’t falling for this and forced him to stand up. Round two: Orta is clearly the more advanced striker, and this round brought more success for him in the the stand-up, although Vasquez showed some nice kicks. Again, Vasquez attempted to “pull guard” but Orta wasn’t playing that game. The third round brought more time on their feet, and both guys landed some decent shots. Vasquez would fall back a few times, but was denied the ground match he obviously wanted.
Winner: Juan Orta, Unanimous Decision
5) 145 lbs. (3 x 2 min, shin guards) – ALBERT VELOZ (Cage Combat Academy) vs. SERGIO ‘SURGE THE KID’ PEREZ (Hayastan MMA)
Veloz immediatly shot in but Perez clinched him and ended up being the one taking Veloz to the ground. It didn’t take long for Perez to work his way to Veloz’ back and sink in the choke.
Winner: Sergio Perez, 53 seconds of first round, Rear Naked Choke
6) 195 lbs. catchweight (3 x 2 min, shin guards) – MICHAEL ‘LAZER’ REYES (10th Planet Van Nuys) vs. CHRIS ‘BABY BEAR’ RODRIGUEZ (Gracie Academy / Team Victory Muay Thai)
Reyes was confident but Rodriguez was game—they traded early, then Reyes got Rodriguez against the cage, landing knees forcing Rodriguez to work to circle off of the cage but even with his lower center of gravity, he couldn’t keep Reyes there. Reyes is a well developed striker and took little damage while delivering punichment to to Rodriguez. Absorbing punches, Rodriguez fell against the cage and the ref jumped in to save him.
Winner: Michael Reyes, TKO, 1:57 into the first round
7) 155 lbs. (3 x 2 min, shin guards) – ANTONIO LOPEZ (Saekson Muay Thai / Gooch Training Academy) vs. CRAIG ‘GRASSHOPPER’ PLASKETT, JR.
Lopez seems like he’s a weight division or two smaller than Plaskett, Jr. but swings above his weight, landing a couple of haymakers early in the round, causing Plastkett, Jr. to shoot in and take him down. They battled on the ground, and Lowez eventually worked his way up and shook off Plaskett, Jr. They were on their feet as the round ended.
Round two saw Reyes shooting in and eventually going for a standing guillotine. Plaskett Jr. shot in and they grappled. Lopez escaped, and landed a straight right causing Plaskett, Jr. to shoot in again, taking Lopez down against the cage as the round ended.
After a few moments on their feet, they clinch with Plaskett Jr. getting Lopez against the cage and eventually taking him down. It was Lopez though who got top position and pounded him out.
Winner: Antonio Lopez, TKO, 1:44 of round three
8) 135 lbs. (3 x 2 min., shins guards) – MILTON ARGUELLO (10th Planet Van Nuys) vs. JULIO SANTA CRUZ (Systems Training Center)
Through the first two rounds, this would be a difficult bout to judge, as both guys are trading and grappling fairly evenly. There hasn’t been a real defining moment. Enter the third round, and Santa Cruz’s knee dropping Arguello momentarily. Santa Cruz decides not to engage on the ground and they rise. Arguello eventually gets Santa Cruz against the cage but it is Santa Cruz who ends the round with a volley of strikes, sure to impress the judges…
Winner: Julio Santa Cruz, Unanimous Decision
9) 145 lbs. (3 x 3 min., no shins) – RYAN ‘THE LION’ LILLEY (Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA Gym) vs. A.J. BRYANT (XFit)
Bryant looked to be the aggressor early, walking Lilley back to the cage, but Lilley displayed composure and poise in countering and moving forward himself, eventually getting Bryant against the cage and then on the mat, getting Bryant’s back and sinking in the choke.
Winner: Ryan Lilley, 1:20 of first round, Rear Naked Choke
10) 170 lbs. (3 x 2 min., shins guards) – SCORPIO SKY (The Guild) vs. JOSE JOVEL (Dream Killer Fight Team)
Scorpio Sky dominated this bout. He took Jovel down, quickly transitioned into mount and maintained top position until the very end of the bout, when Jovel finally reversed position, only to end up in an arm bar.
Winner: Scorpio Sky, TKO, Arm Bar
UNIVERSITY OF MMA FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
11) 145 lbs. (3 x 3 min., no shins) – TOMMY ‘THE SPANIARD’ AARON (Elite Training Center) vs. CAMERON UNDERHILL (Aguirre’s Fighting Systems)
Aaron seems to be the more developed fighter in all areas, bettering Underhill in their feet and on the ground. Underhill refuses to give up and keeps coming forward. He’s a grinder and you get the sense that he believes that if he keeps at it, he’ll get the takedown, but in the first round, he has no luck.
The second round, however is a much better round for Underhill. He gets Aaron down early, and against the front of the cage (which really riles up the crowd) and they battle on the ground, with Underhill getting the better of it.
With seemingly two rounds each, the third round takes on extra significance—the title is on the line. They stand and trade, Aaron the more aggressive striker and Underhill attempting takedowns which he eventually gets, and is able to control Aaron for a while until Aaron works his way up. They throw a few punches before clinching again, and to the ground they go… with Aaron ending the round on top.
Winner, U of MMA Featherweight Champion: Tommy Aaron, Decision
UNIVERSITY OF MMA LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
12) 205 lbs. (3 x 3 min., no shins) –DOMINICK ‘THE DEVASTATOR’ REYES (Cage Combat Academy) vs. SHANE ‘HUGGY BEAR’ MERVAU (West Coast Jiu Jitsu)
Reyes dropped Mervau with his first punch, then pounced, landed a few ground strikes and the ref jumped in.
Winner, and STILL Champion: Dominick Reyes, TKO, 1st round
UNIVERSITY OF MMA WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
13) 170 lbs. (3 x 3 min., no shins) – ROMAN ‘THE GLADIATOR’ TODOROVICH (Elite Training Center) vs. SHOHEI ‘KEJI TORA’ YAMAMOTO (CSW)
Todorovich is the current champion and uses his takedowns and ground control to nullify his opponent’s skillset. Yamamoto swings hard. I mean, everyone swings hard but Yamamoto punches like you insulted his mother! He can land on Todorovich, but Todorovich has a chin, and even though he telegraphed every shot, he was able to get yamamoto down every time. The first round saw his take Yamamoto down several times, although Yamamoto caught him with a few solid strikes. The second round saw more of the same, except he got caught in a guillotine and that ended it.
Winner, and STILL Champion: Roman Todorovich, Submission (Guillotine Choke), round two
What a great night of MMA action at U of MMA Fight Night 8! These guys bring it every time!
Keep your eyes peeled for Fight Night 9, and if you’re in the LA area—Go! Support local MMA!