Wednesday, April 27, 2011
For the Main Event, it's UFC superstar and Welterweight Champ Georges 'Rush' St. Pierre set to defend his title once again, this time against Strikeforce Middleweight/EliteXC Welterweight/Shooto Middleweight/Rumble On The Rock Welterweight Champ, Jake Shields. Though kind of unknown up until recently (to most people, at least), Jake Shields is the solid Number 2 at Welterweight. He's got some of the best jiu jitsu in the world and unlike most JJ players who cross into MMA, Shields has the wrestling to force the fight to his world. Regardless of punching power, wrestling background, or even ground expertise, Shields always takes his opponent to the mat and works them, and if he doesn't get a submission, his awesome control and seamless transitions to dominant positions guarantee him the decision. GSP is the most well-rounded fighter known to man. He's got arguably the best wrestling in MMA, great jiu jitsu, awesome striking, speed, explosiveness, and a great mental approach, which really leaves no holes in game. Shields is on a 15-fight win streak. GSP has successfully, and dominantly, defended his belt 5 times. Jakes Shields is more than worthy of his shot but GSP is just on another level and it's Shields streak that's going to come to an end. GSP says he's not afraid to go to the ground with Shields but GSP isn't known for fighting to his opponent's strengths, and the huge difference in the stand up between Shields and GSP is going to be what loses Shields the fight. Just like with Koscheck, I see GSP putting a stand up clinic on Shields and without the threat of an explosive, powerful right hand, he'll probably finish this one by TKO.
For the Co-Main Event, it's deadly Jose Aldo defending his UFC Featherweight belt against fellow striker Mark Hominick. Jose Aldo is super flashy and super exciting. He's got nasty kicks, KO punching power, crazy accurate flying knees, and the takedown defense and ground game needed to use his striking effectively. Mark Hominick is a decorated striker who has won several kickboxing tournaments, and though Aldo has never really faced a striker as technical as Hominick, I still see Aldo as the better striker. Hominick is going to put up a better fight than people expect and an upset wouldn't really surprise me but I think things are going to happen almost as they should and Aldo finishes the fight in the 3rd or 4th.
It's the return of 'The Dragon' as Lyoto Machida faces Randy 'The Natural' Couture in his last fight in the Octagon. Machida is coming off a 2-fight losing streak but he's still as dangerous as people thought he was when he knocked out Rashad Evans. He's fast, accurate, elusive, and super technical with his striking. Couture is the master of the upset, an expert at "imposing his will." His striking is above average and he uses it effectively to close the distance and work his greco-roman wrestling and dirty boxing. Couture is great at executing gameplans and I'm pretty sure he wants to press Machida up against the fence and work for the take down while doing damage but Machida's sumo background makes him hard to get a hold of. Add to this Machida's speed and high-level striking, and it's going to be a horrible last fight for Randy Couture. I never go against 'The Natural' but Machida is Machida and I say he finishes with a 2nd round TKO and gets on his way back to his belt.
Also on the Main Card, Jason Brilz takes on Vladimir Matyushenko. Both are mirror images of each other, alright stand up with good wrestling and solid ground game, but Matyushenko is on his way out while Brilz is barely getting started and I see Brilz being able to edge a decision. Ben Henderson makes his UFC debut against jiu jitsu whiz Marc Bocek, and though both are well-rounded, Henderson's superior wrestling and stand up get him the win.
On the Spike TV televised Undercard fights, it's young prospect Rory Macdonald facing dangerous Nate Diaz. Both are young guys who go out and bring the fight and I'm split. It's a fight that could definitely be fight of the night, and one that I give the super slight edge to Diaz, just based on experience. Jake Ellenberger takes on Sean Pierson on short-notice and though Pierson is a solid fighter, I think Ellenberger is the future and his aggressive, well-rounded approach, a mix up of takedowns and power punches, gets him the win
The rest of the undercard fights are going to be aired on Facebook, so you don't have to miss a single fight come Saturday if you're a hardcore fan.
915 Sports Bar & Billiards, located at 4025 N. Mesa St, is the place to watch all the UFC action. For more info, you can contact 915 Sports Bar & Billiards at (915)542-3134. Don't forget this event and every event from now on airs an hour earlier than usual.
Masters No-Gi Advanced:
1st Tony Delgado – High Altitude
2nd Jerald Wisdom – Los Vatos
3rd Gabriel Criswell
4th Eric White – ABQ BJJ
Men No-Gi Advanced 140lb:
1st Ray Martinez – Jackson’s
2nd Michael Chupa – Hayashi’s
3rd Eric Buck – Rogers/Machado
Men No-Gi Advanced 155lb:
1st Brian Green – Jackson’s
2nd Alexander Chilton – SF BJJ
3rd Eric White – ABQ BJJ
4th Thomas Cordova – Relson Gracie El Paso
Men No-Gi Advanced 170lb:
1st Matt Young – Durango MA
2nd Daniel Martinez – Mean 1
3rd Steven Hanna – Durango MA
4th Michael Orchowski – Fitness Kicks
Men No-Gi Advanced 190lb:
1st Henry Martinez – Undisputed
2nd Shane Wilson – Team 4 Corners
3rd Michael Ames – Gracie Barra
4th Wesley King – Gracie Barra
Men No-Gi Advanced 215+lb:
1st Jeremiah Osheim – Durango MA
2nd Miguel Ordonez – Undisputed
3rd Tuuau Pleasant – ABQ BJJ
4th Eric McElroy – Halo 8
Teen No-Gi Advanced 140lb:
1st Ray Borg – Cullum Ground Fighting
2nd Ernesto Salvidrez – SF BJJ
3rd Jesse Tafoya – Mean 1
4th Orion Dominguez – Gracie Barra
Teen No-Gi Advanced 160lb:
1st Jose Cueto – Smack
2nd Bronson Mitchell – Team Fierce
3rd Anthony Trujillo – Gracie Barra
Teen No-Gi Advanced 190lb:
1st Michael Perez – Concrete Jungle
2nd Zach Nez – Team 4 Corners
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Wow. This past saturday, I was able to make the trip up Rio Rancho, NM to watch Grapplefest IV and the level of competition there was impressive. I was personally invested in the 140 lbs youth advanced no-gi grappling division since my younger brother was competing in it, and despite being for the underage, the guys in that division were slick, all of them with at least 3 years of experience and several medals and awards from other grappling competitions, all of them throwing out submissions and sweeps like crazy, 'power' guillotines, textbook triangles, flying armbars. Within that division, Roy Borg came in 1st place, Ernesto Salvidrez in 2nd place and Jesse Tafoya in 3rd place.
A lot of grapple-savy El Pasoans went out as well, amongst them local professional MMA fighter Mike Chupa, who placed 2nd place in his division. We'll have video of some of the grappling as well as the results for all the Advanced No-Gi divisions. Grappling competitions are becoming a favorite of mine and I can't wait for the next Hayashi tournament and Southwest Grapplefest V.
Southwest Grapplefest V is going to have an MMA expo that's going to include MMA, Boxing, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Grappling, and, according to the flier, demos throughout the day from world renowned martial artists in Capoeira, Fillipino Stick Fighting, Kettle Bells, Les Mills Combat Fitness and more. With not just the Southwest Grapplefest but an MMA expo too, the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, NM is the place to be July 30th. For more info on the event, visit www.combatsportsclub.com.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Coming off a really close fight with Martin Kampmann where he got the win, we got to talk to Diego Sanchez about when he plans on returning to the cage, if he would be willing to fight fellow Welterweight teammates, and if he has any opponents in mind.
Though he has yet to announce an opponent, several people have already called him out. Johny Hendricks, who got a win at UFC Fight Night 24, started asking for a fight with Sanchez though Sanchez said Hendricks needs some high profile wins before he can start asking for a fight with Sanchez. Because of the controversial nature of the fight, Kampmann has been saying he'd like a rematch but those talks seem to be going nowhere since all they so is talk crap to each other about how each thinks he won the fight.
Regardless of who people think won the fight, Sanchez got the win and win over Kampmann is a huge one, so I expect Sanchez to get a big fight in his next outing. He considered filling in as a late replacement for Brian Foster but it was Jake Ellenberger who stepped in to fight at UFC 129. With Kampmann already scheduled to fight John Howard, Dong Hyung Kim taking on Carlos Condit, Thiago Alves fighting Rick Story, Fitch and Koscheck injured, and a rematch with Penn a little uninteresting at the time, Sanchez has little options for top fighters unless he waits until the dust settles. Nick Diaz, who Sanchez beat a while back, is a match Sanchez is interested in but a Strikeforce vs UFC match seems unlikely right now. Out of all the fights Sanchez has been campaigning for, former UFC Welterweight champion Matt Hughes seems the most likely to happen, and even then, Hughes has yet to talk about a return to the octagon since his loss to Penn. I, for one, would like to see Diego Sanchez vs Jake Ellenberger if Ellenberger wins at UFC 129. No matter what, with how stacked the Welterweight division is, Sanchez is bound to get an interesting match up.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
There was a lot of hype behind this event and it delivered. Aside from the promised MMA stars, Tim Kennedy, Paul Buentello, Mike Van Arsdale, and Rich Clementi, Rashad Evans also joined the crowd, taking pictures with everyone. Because the fight was for the troops, the fighters went all out to entertain and it made for an awesome event, packed with submissions, TKOs, 3 round battles, and the barnburner that was Schoonover/Jones.
For the Main Event, it was Rich 'No Love' Clementi versus Josh Hinkle, and though Hinkle didn't walk away with the win, he proved worthy of the big status fight he was given. Hinkle won the first round with a combination of kicks and to my surprise, takedowns, but after the end of that first round, it was a classic Clementi performance. It was no land slide. Hinkle put up a good fight, continuing to land strikes and occasionally ending up on top, but Clementi did what he does best and outgrappled Hinkle to a 29-28 win, setting it all up with some prey solid striking.
Rich Clementi defeats Josh Hinkle via Unanimous Decision
For the Co-Main Event, it was hometown boy Darrill 'The Boss' Schoonover taking on Esteves 'Quiet Riot' Jones on a 4 day notice for what ended up being fight of the night. Both are known to be heavy handed but neither came out gun-shy. It was a really close fight that went back and forth. Schoonover was the crisper striker. He dropped Jones' several times using straight punches to counter Jones' looping ones and looked great in the clinch, landing nasty knees to Jones' body when the chance arose. Jones' striking was a little more wild but when he landed, he landed big, also dropping Schoonover a couple of times. Jones didn't look for the takedown but took advantage of positioning when he stuffed Schoonover's takedowns, staying on top and in control for minutes at a time. The fight was a three round war so close, it was hard to judge. Darrill dropped Jones. Jones dropped Schoonover. Still, Jones was on top for the grappling portions of the fight and that's probably what edged him the decision. Jones said this was by far the toughest fight he's had and is sure to come out even better in his next fight, where he's set to defend his King of the Cage belt against Nick 'Afrozilla' Gaston. Even with the short notice, Schoonover almost got himself a win against a King of the Cage champ and hopefully his heart and willingness to take this fight on 4 days notice gets him a big fight in his next outing and gets the proper time to prepare for it.
Esteves Jones defeats Darrill Schoonover via Unanimous Decision
Lance Evans returned to the cage for the first time in 2 years, taking on decorated wrestler Jeremy Rosales. Both fighters came out tentative, and though neither ever seemed to be able to measure out his opponent, Rosales was the more aggressive fighter of the two and landed a little more than Evans throughout the three rounds, which got him the win. Evans landed his share if strikes but never really seemed to get into the 'groove' of things, which might have been a result of the ring rust and with his first fight in a long, long time out of the way, hopefully he gets a win in his next outing. Rosales kept the fight standing despite having the credentials to take it to the mat, and was able to walk away with the win. With the skill to win a fight standing and the ability to take it to the ground should he not be doing so good flinging strikes, Rosales is a threat everywhere inside the cage.
Jeremy Rosales defeats Lance Evans via Unanimous Decision
Flashy striker Oscar De La Parra made his long awaited professional debut against then 1-0 grappling specialist Thomas Soto. It was a classic striker versus grappler match and wrestling bested kickboxing for two of the three rounds. Though it was already expected, Soto made it clear within seconds of the fight what he was there to do, to put De La Parra on his back, take him out of his comfort zone, and work him. For two rounds Soto went for successful single leg after successful single leg, almost always getting his takedown. Still, De La Parra never gave him anything more than guard or half guard, and time after time used the fence to wall walk to his feet, but time after time, Soto took him down. Maybe it was the chants of 'Oscar, Oscar Oscar' that inspired him, who knows, but De La Parra never seemed to break, determined to get back up despite not having success at staying up, and in the third round, that determination paid off. Soto got an early takedown but seemed to be fading. De La Parra got to his feet and took over. Soto shot in for another single but De La Parra stuffed him and used the north-south position to punish Soto, which was the story of the third round. Despite still having gas to keep going and getting big momentum in that third round, De La Parra just took over a little too late and lost his debut in a 29-28 decision. The fight showed De La Parra needs to go back and work on his takedown defense. It also showed De La Parra's heart, cardio, determination and a lot of other traits needed for the fight business and like every other young fighter, he's bound to come out a better fighter in his next one. Soto moves to 2-0 and shows a lot of promise. He threw virtually no punches in the fight, but didn't need to, and it'll be interesting to see if he can make his striking as good as his wrestling game as he continues to win because you need to be able to do it all to compete in the big shows.
Thomas Soto defeats Oscar De La Parra via Unanimous Decision
Wrestling stud Willie Parks took on Justin Gonzalas and showed a whole other side of him. Parks came out in the first his usual self, a wrestling powerhouse. Gonzalas threw a kick and though Parks barely even got ahold of his ankle, he still tossed him to ground with ease. Once there, Parks showed a more aggressive approach to his ground and pound than his last fight, landing big shots from the top. Gonzalas threw an armbar attempt at some point in the first round, but Parks just shrugged it off and took the round decisively. With his wrestling dominance established in the first, Parks came out wanting to throw hands and a punch he threw was a punch he landed. Within seconds of the second round, Parks had Gonazalas wobbled and after dropping Gonzalas with a punch, he followed him to the ground with the fight ending barrage. Gonzalas didn't get to show much, but that's just cause Willie Parks is on another level than most fighters not fighting in the big promotions. His world-class wrestling alone would probably get him to the big leagues but he seems to he adding weapons to his arsenal with each fight he has and we're excited to see more from him.
Willie Parks defeats Justin Gonzalas via TKO (strikes) at :23 of the 2nd round
Submission specialist Enrique Rios took on Paul Moreno and did exactly what he said he would. Before the fight, he promised a submission and after throwing a low kick, he got to work. He dropped under Moreno's punch, shot for.the takedown, got it, took Moreno's back and got an armbar, all with done with methodical precision. Moreno shows his submission chops in his debut and starts his professional career with his right foot.
Enrique Rios defeats Paul Moreno via submission (armbar) at 1:20 of the 1st round
Relson Gracie instructor and MMA pioneer Shawn Pretat took on Isaiah Reyes and though it was Pretat that came in with the freestyle wrestling and submission grappling background, it was Reyes that walked away with a submission win. Pretat caught everyone, including his opponent, by surprise by coming out swinging. Pretat landed a couple of punches and caught Reyes' kick to get the takedown. Once in Reyes' guard, Pretat dropped for a heel hook but once he saw he didn't have it quickly scrambled back to top position. Just when we were waiting to see how else Pretat would attack, it was Reyes that through up a triangle and after seconds of adjusting, tapped the grappling ace. With the credentials Pretat has, a submission win over him is a huge feather in Reyes' cap.
Isaiah Reyes defeats Shawn Pretat via submission (triangle) at 1:13 of the 1st round
In the first fight of the night, Corey Edwards took on William Moore. Moore came out with really nice wrestling, changing levels seamlessly. Moore got a takedown right off the bat and though Edwards got up, Moore took him down again. Moore quickly took Edwards' back the second time around and sunk in a.rear naked choke.
William Moore defeats Corey Edwards VIA submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:33 of the 1st round
One of the main guys went in the cage at one point and promised us another big MMA show in the near future. He then went on to say, "We love you San Antonio!!!" Hopefully he just got confused with the name of the city and didn't just fill my heart with hope for nothing.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Well the event starts in a little bit but I just have to get my opinion in on it. Aside from having two titles on the line and just great match making on the card, tonight is a highly anticipated event because it is the first major Strikeforce event under Zuffa (pretty much, the UFC), and it'll be interesting to see the changes made in the production, commentating, graphics, entrances, and I'm pretty sure they're gonna get rid of the lame pyro-technics. Still, the fights is what it's all about, and Strikeforce busted out a lot of the top names for this one.
For the Main Event, it's Strikeforce Welterweight champ Nick Diaz defending his belt against KO artist Paul Daley. Diaz is the superior and more well rounded fighter. He's got that awesome, weird 'Diaz boxing,' a lot of pitter patter shots with perfectly placed power shots in between, and some high level jiu jitsu to go with that boxing for when he gets taken down. Paul Daley is a power striker. He's got good takedown defense and hands that'll drop whoever chooses to trade with him. That's exactly the style needed to beat Diaz (that or a strong wrestler with good sub defense, but that's a conversation for another day). Just like Sotiropolous and Dunham, Diaz has an awesome jiu jitsu game but lacks the wrestling to force it to the mat. Add to that the fact that I think Diaz is stubborn enough to stand and trade with Daley. He chose to stand with boxer KJ Noons just to prove a point, and unlike KJ Noons, Daley can rattle him with one shot. Diaz might attempt a takedown, but he's an avid believer of bringing the fight and he's too proud to struggle for a takedown, and Daley will definitely make him struggle for it. Diaz comes in as the favorite, but I smell an upset.
For the Co Main Event, it's Strikeforce Lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez defending his belt against Tatsuya Kawajiri. Melendez is a fast paced wrestler with good striking that, like Jake Shields, has been beating everyone outside of the UFC. Kawajiri is pretty good, but shouldn't be fighting for the title. Melendez is a big fish in a small pond and wins this decisively. Hopefully with the Zuffa buyout, we can see more interesting matches for Melendez, maybe a Clay Guida or an Evan Dunham.
Also on the card, Keith Jardine takes on striker Gegard Mousasi on really short notice. Mousasi is one of the best strikers around but showed a complete lack of wrestling in his fight with Mo Lawal. Jardine is an awkward striker that has won and lost against some of the best. He looks thinner, and says to expect some surprises. His wrestling has always been under-rated and hopefully he's gonna use it a lot more in this fight, because Mousasi is the better striker. I'm torn on this one. Mousasi has a cool style and I'd like to see him advance but Jardine is always game and i love that. Mousasi probably takes this but hopefully Jardine gets rewarded for taking the fight on short notice and he gets a fight against a top Middleweight. Shynia Aoki fights Lyle Beerbohm. Aoki is one of the best grapplers around but I smell an upset on this one too. Beerbohm is gonna stuff the takedowns and outstrike Aoki, like Melendez, just not as dominant.
The way the UFC events are presented is awesome, more of a sports competition than a strong man show. Strikeforce has always had good fights but the presentation has also always been kind of lame and hopefully Zuffa fixes this. Pretty exciting stuff.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
It seems hand injuries are the curse of this card. Originally scheduled to fight slugger Paul Buentello, Esteves Jones' opponent was changed to Word Class wrestler and high profile fighter Mike Van Arsdale due to Buentello suffering a hand injury. Now Arsdale, too, has suffered an injury. Luckily, El Paso is home to 'Ultimate Fighter 10' alumni and Texas MMA king, Darrill Schoonover, who barely found out about the fight on Monday but is excited to fight in front of his hometown regardless of the situation.
Darrill Schoonover is as well-rounded as they come. With 5 of his 10 wins coming VIA KO/TKOED and the other 5 by submission, he has shown to be equally as dangerous on the mat as he is standing. Owner of the XFC light heavyweight belt, the Freestyle Cage Fighting heavyweight belt and the Shark Fights heavyweight belt, which is sanctioned by the state of Texas as the official champion of Texas, Schoonover comes in with a slight experience advantage but because he just took the fight on Monday (4 day notice), does not come in with a full training camp. Esteves 'Quiet Riot' Jones is a King of the Cage champ with heavy hands and brings the fight, as shown by his 15 second KO in his last fight. Unlike Schoonover, Jones did go through a full training camp but might be affected by the short-notice change as well. In Arsdale, he had a wrestler with a 1-dimensional approach, and because of the high level of Arsdale's wrestling, Jones might have spent a lot of time preparing for stuffing single and double leg takedowns. He now faces a guy with a Judo blackbelt, who takes his opponents down with trips and throws more than with traditional wrestling takedowns, though he has the wrestling background to shoot in if need be. Add to this Schoonover's big right hand and solid stand up and it makes for a radical change in opponents for Jones.With only a 4 day notice on the fight, it's not an ideal situation for Darrill Schoonover. Still, Schoonover has been dying for a chance to fight in his hometown, so win, lose, or draw, you know he's going to bring the fight and make it a memorable one for his fellow El Pasoans.
Shawn Petat now fights Isaiah Reyes instead of tall order, Matt Leyva. Rich 'No Love' Clementi is still a go for his bout. The rest of the card remains virtually unchanged. Rogue Warrior Championships takes place April 8 at the El Paso County Coliseum. The first fight starts at 8pm. Tickets start at $20 and are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations. For more information, go to www.texascagefighting.net.
Heavyweight Bout - Esteves Jones vs Darrill Schoonover
Welterweight Bout - Josh Hinkle vs Rich Clementi
205 lbs - Lance Evans vs Jeremy Rosales
205 lbs - Enrique Rios vs Paul moreno
185 lbs - Justin Gonzalas vs Willie Parks
135lbs - Shawn Pretat vs Isaiah Reyes
170 lbs - William Moore vs Corey Edwards
155 lbs - Oscar De la Parra vs Thomas Soto
We'll bring you any updates if more changes are made to the card. For more information on Darrill Schoonover's accomplishments, including his run on the 'Ultimate Fighter' alongside Kimbo Slice and Roy 'Big Country' Nelson, check this article out, www.daily4mma.blogspot.com/2010/10/darrill-schoonover-putting-el-paso-on.html
Though the Main Attraction fights have huge names and Tim Kennedy and Paul Buentello are going to be in the crowd, it takes more than 2 good fights and cool special guests to make a good fight card, and whoever put together Rogue Warrior Championships seems to have already known that, packing the rest of the card with top talent, from the next big thing out of Jackson's MMA Willie Parks to 'Ultimate Fighter' contestant and brother to Rashad Evans, Lance Evans, as well as the professional debut of local amateur bad ass, Oscar De La Parra.
'915 MMA' Amateur Lightweight Champ Oscar De La Parra makes his professional debut against 1-0 Thomas Soto. Soto is also new to the professional fight scene but a quick :38 second finish by submission in his first fight let him know he can hang with the pros. De La Parra used his technical kickboxing, more importantly his wide array of kicks, to become one of the more popular local MMA fighters and looks to see if all those crescent and push kicks will do as well at the professional level. With a professional win already under his belt, Soto is a solid first test for our very own Oscar De La Parra.
Willie Parks, the next big thing at Middleweight, takes on El Paso's own Justin Gonzales. A successful collegiate wrestler who did so well he got the Olympic Team's attention, Parks now looks to bring that success streak to the cage, and, at 4-0, seems to be doing just that. Greg Jackson says he's the man to look out for at 185, and when the guy who has trained GSP, Rashad Evans, Diego Sanchez, Jon Jones, and many others makes these sorts of allegations, you know they're for reals. Justin Gonzales is a US Army Specialist fighting out of El Paso and though the Army has prepared him for a lot of things, I'm pretty sure Olympic-level wrestling wasn't one of them. It's pretty early in both of their professional fighting careers, but with the kind of hype Willie Parks brings with him, it seems the chips are stacked against Gonzales. Still, if Matt Serra taught us anything, it's that anything can happen.
'Ultimate Fighter 8 cast member' Lance Evans (yes, Rashad Evan's older brother) takes on Sacramento wrestling champ Jeremy Rosales. At 4-3 with only 1 of those fights not finishing by KO/TKO, Evans seems to be of the 'knock out or be knocked out' mentality. Evans was unable to compete on 'TUF' due to a rib injury, so aside from being related to Rashad Evans, remains relatively unknown. At 2-1, Rosales doesn't have too much experience but comes in with a solid wrestling background. Rosales might be able to take Evans down, but Evans goes all out every time, and based on his record, win or lose, Evans won't let the fight go all 3 rounds.
US Army Staff Sergeant Shawn Pretat, who fights out of El Paso, takes on Jackson's MMA fighter Matt Leyva. Leyva, at 7-2, has lost to only one of his eight opponents and though it's his wrestling that got him started, he prides himself in being well rounded. Pretat is an Army hand to hand combat certified Level 4 instructor as well as an experienced grappler with a background in freestyle wrestling. Both seem to have a solid wrestling base, but with both of Leyva's losses coming via submission and Pretat's jiu jitsu skills, expect Leyva to emulate his personal MMA hero, Dan Henderson, using his wrestling to keep it standing and throw bombs.
El Paso fighters also include US Army Sergeant First Class Enrique Rios meeting US Marine Sergeant Paul Moreno.
Even without the special guests and the UFC veterans, this fight card is still stacked and quite relevant in the regional MMA world. Luckily, the UFC veterans and special guests are part of the package, making Friday night the biggest MMA event in El Paso to date. Add to that the fact that the event benefits the Stars and Stripes Foundation, which aids wounded troops and their families, and you've got a show you can't miss. Rogue Warrior Championships takes place April 8 at the El Paso County Coliseum. The first fight starts at 8pm. Tickets start at $20 and are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations. For more information, go to www.texascagefighting.net.
Friday night, it's another huge step in El Paso becoming an 'MMA city' as the El Paso County Coliseum hosts a huge night of fights. Because the event benefits the Stars and Stripes Foundation, which aids wounded troops and their families, it has attracted a lot of the top fighters with military background in MMA. Aside from 2 UFC veterans, the King of the Cage champ, and several of the top regional names, the event will also have as guests Paul Buentello, a veteran of the sport who has fought for both the UFC and Strikeforce heavyweight belt, and Tim Kennedy, Strikeforce Middleweight contender who bounced back from a loss to Strikeforce Middleweight champ Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza with a win over feared striker Melvin Manhoff.
For the Main Event, it's decorated wrestler and UFC veteran Mike Van Arsdale up against King of the Cage champ Esteves 'Quiet Riot' Jones. Of Jones' 6 wins, 5 were by way of KO/TKO, with his latest trip to the cage lasting all of 15 seconds, so it's no mystery he wants to go in there, swing away and punch his opponent unconscious. Arsdale is the complete opposite, a highly-decorated, world-level wrestler with a knack for submitting his opponents once he takes them to the mat. With a record of 8-5, one would think there's nothing special about Arsdale but when you take into consideration the losses came to the likes of Randy Couture, Wanderlei Silva, Renato 'Babalu' Sobral, and Matt Lindland, you realize it takes an elite-level fighter to give Arsdale a loss. On paper, Arsdale should have no problem taking the fight to the ground and working his game but things rarely go how they should, and if Jones can make Arsdale struggle for the takedown, his heavy hands could get him the win like they've done many times before.
For the Co-Main Event, it's tough, battle-tested, former UFC fighter Rich 'No Love' Clementi versus Warriors Challenge Welterweight champ Josh Hinkle. With over 50 fights, Clementi has been around for a while and, with wins over guys like Sam Stout, Melvin Guillard, and Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson, has shown he can beat just about anyone on any given night. Though a well-rounded fighter, Clementi's style is more grapple-oriented, using his striking to help close the distance and set up takedowns. Clementi's all about top control and uses his ground and pound more for improving position and setting up submissions than actually pounding someone out. He dominated his last opponent for 3 rounds, so confident in the bout that he was kissing his right glove right before punching his opponent only to get submitted with a minute and a half to go, so he should come in refocused and ready instead of treating this like just another fight. Hinkle is the Warriors Challenge champ, and though the promotion isn't too well known, being the champ anywhere means fighting the best competition the region has to offer. Having almost as many TKOs as he does submissions, Hinkle has shown he can do it all but how well he can do it is the question at hand. With all his experience, Friday night is just another day at the office for Rich Clementi, time to get in the cage, press his opponent up against the cage, take him down, rough him up and possibly submit him. Hinkle needs to avoid being on his back, and if he does end up there, he needs to not let his will get broken by Clementi's top game.
Esteves Jones and Josh Hinkle know little about losing and have been making a name for themselves in the regional promotions. Mike Van Arsdale and Rich Clementi have fought in the world's top promotion and look to fight their way back to the big show. Veterans and Up-and-Comers collide and regardless of the outcome, it's bound to be exciting. Rogue Warrior Championships takes place April 8 at the El Paso County Coliseum. The first fight starts at 8pm. Tickets start at $20 and are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations. For more information, go to www.texascagefighting.net.