U of MMA Rocks Club Nokia! (Recap & Pics)

With the Kings, Clippers and The Tour de California bringing people to LA Live, there was a big party atmosphere all around as the U of MMA brought it’s live cagefighting event to Club Nokia for the first time (previous events were held at LA’s Avalon).

Not only would this be the first MMA event at Nokia, it also marked the debut of “”Combat Jiu Jitsu”—no gi jiu jitsu with punches allowed on the ground. Developed with Eddie Bravo, it allows for Jiu Jitsu fighters to transition to full MMA while gaining experience with a limited striking set. It promised to be an interesting and exciting event: It delivered!

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U of MMA from Club Nokia, Sunday, May 20th RESULTS:

1) 185 lbs. – ARTURO BASULTO (Team Oyama) vs. OLIVER KAUFMANN (Dynamix Martial Arts)
Rd one: Oliver is the aggressor, seems much more confident in his stand-up. This was mostly a feeling-out round, with Oliver landing the more significant strikes and stuffing Arturo’s takedown attempts. Rd. Two: Arturo came out on fire—got the takedown and transitioned nicely into the mount, landing some nice ground-& pound. Oliver escaped and got to his feet, only to get kneed in the pills by Arturo. Once action resumed, Oliver came out swinging and once again took charge of the stand-up action. Rd. Three:Oliver came out sharp standing up but a ducked hook let Arturo take him down, where he was clearly at an advantage. The match ended with Arturo delivering blows to Oliver. Winner: Arturo Basulto, Unanimous Decision

2) 145 lbs. – DANIELLE MACK (Sweet Science Boxing & MMA) vs. BROOKSIE BAYARD (FightworX)
Both fighters came flying out at each other, with Bayard having the advantage striking and taking Mack down, ending on top delivering punishment. Round 2: Bayard clearly the better striker, landing several power punches and knocking Mack down, getting the stoppage. Winner: Brooksie Bayard, TKO (strikes)

(Hayastan MMA) vs. KENNETH HWANG (Fight Academy Pasadena)
Rd One: They clinched early, with Edgar getting Kenneth in a neck hold, but had to let it go when it wasn’t doing much and Kenneth was threatening to get around to his back. Once striking again, Kenneth showed superior aggressiveness, landing several shots to Edgar’s face. Rd. Two: Once again, Kenny showed superior accuracy and aggressiveness, charging at Edgar, leading with his fists and dropping him, earning the stoppage.
Winner: Kenneth Hwang, TKO (strikes)

4) 155 lbs. – ROB FERNANDES (PKG) vs. MIKE FRAUSTO (10th Planet Van Nuys / Defiant Muay Thai)
Rd One: The two seem pretty evenly matched standing up, with Frausto attempting the takedown twice and Fernandes stuffing both of them. Both guys are very active in the clinch with the round ending with Fernandes pressing Frausto against the cage and delivering punches and knees. Rd. Two: Frausto came out aggressively, taking the fight to Fernandes. Unfortunately, he also landed a shot to the pills, and the bout took a quick time-out. Fernandes came out with a renewed vigor, and took Frausto down, keeping him there for the majority of the round. Rd. Three: Fernandes landed a kick, which provoked Faustas to shoot for a takedown. Fernandes stuffed it and turned him into the cage. Clinching and moving, the fighters traveled around the cage, reversing, landing knees and the round ended with Fernandes and Fausto hitting the ground, fighting for position as the horn sounded.
Winner: Rob Fernandes, Unanimous Decision

Rd One: Detwiler took advantage of his longer reach to dominate the stand-up and when the fight went to the ground, also ended up on top. Rd Two: Detwiler got the takedown, although Reyes popped up twice. Reyes was throwing powerful punches which Detwiler answered, and got the clinch, taking Reyes’ back and slamming him to the ground to end up on top as the horn sounded. Rd. Three: Back and forth striking and clinch.. This time, the round ended with Detwiler in a choke by Reyes after Reyes managed to get Detwiler’s back but Detwiler was able to hold on until the horn.
Winner:  Andrew Detwiler, Majority Decision

RENARDO PALMER (Bowman’s Killer Bees) vs. AMIR ALLAM (10th Planet Jiu Jitsu / Legends MMA)
Rd One: It didn’t take long for Allam to get Palmer to the ground, land some G&P, get Palmer’s back and work some more strikes by the horn. All Allam. Rd Two: Palmer landed early, knocking Allam to the canvas. Palmer followed him down and the two battled on the ground. Palmer got the best of Allam this round, setting up a climactic Rd. Three: Palmer came out charging to begin the round, but Allam’s fists slowed his progress. Allam shot and they went to the ground, they rolled and at one point Palmer attempted to get up but Allam’s grip on his heel pulled him back down. They stood up and again ended up on the ground, this time with Palmer delivering hammer fists and punches from top position.
Winner:  Draw

7) 155 lbs. – JOSE ESTRADA (Brian Espinoza’s West Coast Jiu Jitsu) vs. JOSEPH WAGAMAN (Team Quest)
Estrada, California Fight League champion) set the crowd on fire with a knock-out of Wagaman at 1:17 of the first round. They both came out hurtling at each other and at first went around the cage with the two clinching and striking until Estrada landed a straight left followed by a straight right and Wagaman went down, falling backwards to the mat. Estrada pounced and the ref jumped in.
Winner: Estrada, KO

KRISTOPHER GONZALEZ (Kings MMA / Checkmat) vs. ERIK CRUZ (10th Planet Jiu Jitsu / Legends MMA) (three minute rounds)
A worthy debut for the new variant. First, a brief comment by creator Eddie Bravo, introducing the sport and displaying the gold belt the two were fighting for, followed by 2:58 of relatively high-level grappling, with fist strikes. Gonzalez got top position halfway through the round and delivered some solid striked but Cruz got up, shot and took Gonzalez down, getting his back and sinking in the rear-naked choke, getting the tap with only two seconds left in the round. I would have liked to see a few more bouts to really establish this new wrinkle to Jiu Jitsu, but this one didn’t disappoint and left me looking forward to the next one.
Winner: Eric Cruz, Rear-Naked Choke Submission

9) 225 lbs. – JENS GRAU (Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA) vs. MICHAEL BETTIS (Alexander’s Dungeon)
Lots of action immediately here: no feeling-out period for these guys! Lots of striking from the beginning and with big guys, you know where that leads…
Winner: Jens Grau, TKO Strikes (10 seconds into round one)

WALTER MORALES (Old Town Fight Club / Cia Paulista Jiu-Jitsu) vs. MICHAEL VENTURELLA (10th Planet Van Nuys)
Rd One: Morales proving to be a very evasive fighter for Venturella to hit with punches, and in the clinch, Morales provided some nice knees while Venturella held him against the cage for most of the round. Rd Two: Venturella coming out hard, charging and punching Morales, ending up against the cage trying hard for a takedown but not achieving, being separated by the ref. One more takedown attempt deftly defended by Morales, who showed good balance. Rd. Three: the two clinch again, and again, being separated by the ref twice. Morales is much more comfortable striking, but Venturella is doing a good job staying in there with him.
Winner: Walter Morales, Split Decision

11) 170 lbs. – DEAN BO MOSKOWITZ (House of Champions / Aziz MMA) vs. DARIEN MATHEWS (Brood 9 Martial Arts)
This match served as the best reminder of the axiom: Don’t blink. Moskowitz dropped Mathews almost immediately after the round began, then refused to stop when the ref stepped in, earning the disqualification.

RUSSELL TUPPER-BROWN (Cia Paulista Jiu-Jitsu / Rampage Fitness Academy) vs. DREW MICHAELSEN (Valhalla ETC)
Before we get into the action, and there was some incredible action, hats off to Tupper-Brown, who entered the cage to the Imperial March and let out a battle-cry upon entering the cage… Rd One: big guys hit hard, and these two were no exception. Both landed solid strikes before Tupper-Brown picked Michaelson up in the air, spun him and slammed him down, getting side control and transitioning into mount. Tupper-Brown’s jiu jitsu is strong and he got Michaelson’s back, but was unable to sink in the choke before the round ended. Rd Two: Tupper-Brown ran forward, hands swinging and got nailed with a punch, stunned, Tupper-Brown grabbed Michaelson and pulled guard. Unfortunately, he pulled Michaelson into a full mounted position. Landing strikes from the top, Michaelson was swept by Tupper-Brown and ended up next to him, but he had Tupper-Brown’s arm and was able to complete the Omoplata and got the tap.
Winner: Drew Michaelson, Omoplata Submission, Round Two

CHRIS BONILLA (Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA) vs. GEORGIE GARCIA (10th Planet Van Nuys / Saekson Muay Thai)
After a fight card full of good action, the potential was there for a let-down in the Main Event championship fight, but tonight would not end in disappointment as both combatants displayed solid striking and jiu jitsu skills. Rd One: After a brief striking exhibit, in which Bonilla took advantage of his longer range and Garcia looked like he would be frustrated for the entire fight, Garcia got Bonilla down and Bonilla immediately started looking for a submission, almost completing a triangle choke. Garcia escaped and ended up on top. Rd. Two: Garcia is determined to find his range and lands an overhand right that knocks Bonilla down. Garcia jumps on top and rains down strikes but Bonilla recovers and gets out of trouble. Rd. Three: The two were willing participants, but it appeared that Bonilla gassed, having taken that overhand right that dropped him in the previous round followed by his vigorous defense. He just didn’t seem to have enough to keep Garcia off of him, although he was skilled, and showed enough to think he could have won with a little more in the tank.
Winner: Georgie Garcia, Unanimous Decision

Overall, a great event packed with exciting, well-matched fights (no small feat when it comes to amateurs). Club Nokia was a good venue, although the open floor allowed for a little pushing and scuffle by the end, as there were multiple fight teams pumped up by the action within easy reach of each other, and lots of beer was consumed. That being said, the security team handled it before things got out of hand and I wouldn’t hesitate to return to this venue because of it. Check U of MMA’s site for more information on future events held in the greater Los Angeles area.