A pair of fighters trying to establish themselves, Heavyweights anxious to throw hands, female fighters ready to represent, a clash of styles for the Light Heavyweight belt, and two experienced, technical strikers with identical records, one walks away with his second loss, the other gets to call himself the 915 MMA Lightweight champion. All of this past Saturday's match ups were intriguing in their own way, and with four of the five fights finishing early and the only fight that went all three rounds being the most exciting fight of the night, all 5 fights delivered.
For the first fight of the night, we finally got to see Fabian Salas fight again. Though the match up wasn't ideal, with Andres Cervantes being a lighter class fighter, the results for Salas were. After quickly closing the distance, getting a takedown, getting reversed, and then standing up, Salas started a wild exchange of which he came out the winner. Cervantes, not liking the bombs that were landing, hastily shot for a takedown which Salas countered with the fight ending guillotine.
Fabian Salas def. Andres Cervantes via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:49 of the 1st round
Up next was the big boy's turn at bat, as Marco Huerta took on Jorge Alvarez. Alvarez immediately took the center of the cage. Huerta just threw a leg kick and circled. Alvarez seemed the bigger, more powerful and aggressive fighter but none of that mattered once Huerta connected. That first good shot dazed Alvarez, which Huerta followed with the fight ending barrage of strikes.
Marco Huerta def. Jorge Alvarez via TKO (strikes) at :31 of the 1st round
For the third fight of the night, it was the female's turn to impress in a bout between Maria Mendez and Jessica Bennett. Bennett came out flat footed and it was Mendez's lightness on the feet and movement that allowed her to pepper Bennett with shots. Though Mendez was clearly winning throughout the whole fight, Bennett's confidence never wavered, as she kept coming forward the whole time. Mendez proved to be better standing, and in the clinch, but it would be vicious strikes to the head of her downed opponent that would signal the end of the fight.
Maria Mendez def. Jessica Bennett via TKO (strikes) at 1:24 of the 2nd round
For the Co-Main Event, it was a fight for the Light Heavyweight belt between Richard McCall and Phillip Schoonover. The difference in size was obvious immediately. McCall was the much larger fighter and in a fight where his opponent's game plan seemed to be to wrestle him down, that size difference would be key. The stand up was very even, with McCall getting a punch in the face every time he threw a leg kick. Most of the fight, however, was contested grappling, where McCall gained dominant position from stuffing Schoonover's slightly telegraphed takedowns. The fight was ended in an impressive, and peculiar, manner, with McCall taking Schoonover's back and somehow securing a triangle choke from that position.
Richard McCall def. Phillip Schoonover via submission (inverted triangle choke) at 1:49 of the 2nd round
For the Main Event, it was Oscar De La Parra VS Jesse Jaramillo for the Lightweight belt in what would prove to be the most exciting fight of the night, a very technical bout contested mostly on the feet that went all three rounds. Neither went in trying to blast his opponent. Instead, they stayed on the outside, felt out the distance and timing of their opponents, waited for openings, and set up their strikes with feints, which made for a very interesting fight. Both were evenly matched in their kickboxing. Where De La Parra had the advantage in the kicking department, throwing crescent kicks, front kicks, all very flashy stuff, Jaramillo made up with his crisper boxing. At the end of the fight, some thought De La Parra took it, others thought it was Jaramillo. It would be Oscar who would get the nod, and though I agree with the decision, the fight was still very close. The judge that scored it 30-27 obviously knows nothing of the sport. That, or he was at a very, very bad angle.
Oscar De La Parra def. Jesse Jaramillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)