Results from Epic Fighting 13 at the Four Points by Sheraton

Guest celebrities in attendance (l to r) Mixed Martial Artists Jake Shields, Fabricio “Morango” Camoes, Dean Lister and Cristiano Marcello. Photos: Jim Wyatt

Not wanting to sound like a member of a high school booster club, all chirpy and the like, but the latest Epic Fighting MMA offering at the Four Points by Sheraton San Diego on July 13, 2012 was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. It had all the elements: from the flashy fighters to the glamourous hostesses, from the exciting entrances to the surprising finishes; the respectful crowd certainly got their money’s worth.

In Bout #1, Luther Small (blue jersey) upended Neftali Gonzalez (red jersey).

In Bout #1, in the 155 pound weight class, Luther Small, who trains at The Pit, Arroyo Grande, CA was able to counter the aggressive takedown style of 24 year-old Neftali Gonzalez of nearby Team Quest, Oceanside, CA to secure the victory.

Small, who features a distinctive Afro hairstyle, is 13 years older than Gonzalez. He earned the unanimous decision victory by landing more punches to the head and for a dandy reversal of a takedown. Both fighters were making their CAMO (California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization) debut.

In Bout #2, Matthew Spencer (red jersey) got the victory over John Alvarado (blue jersey) after Alvarado submitted after being held in a rear naked chokehold. Referee Jim Bears was there to call a halt to the action.

In Bout #2, in the 185 pound weight class, Matthew Spencer (0-1), unaffiliated out of Los Angeles, CA went up against John Alvarado, a Camp Pendleton Marine who is from Texas.

In this one, Spencer secured his first victory by referee stoppage (rear naked choke) in Round #1. For Alvarado (0-2), this was his second loss in less than a month. He lost in his first outing 19 days ago at the Orange County Fairgrounds against David Durant by submission at :48 of the first round.

Ben Wilde (blue jersey) got the win over Hector Morales (red jersey) in Bout #3.

Bout #3, in the 135 pound weight class, had Hector Morales (0-1) of Morales Otriad going up against Ben Wilde (2-0) of King Tiger Muay Thai of San Diego, CA by way of Racine, Wisconsin.

The 36 year-old Wilde remains unbeaten after getting a first round submission by way of quillotine choke. Wilde’s quickness and well rounded jiu jitsu skills had Morales at a distinct disadvantage.

J. W. Lee has his arm raised by referee Jim Blair after defeating Scott Morris in Bout #4.

Bout #4, in the 145 pound weight class, featured J. W. Lee, unaffiliated from Oceanside, CA going up against Scott Morris (0-1) of Fullerton, CA. Lee was pretty much in control from the outset and then lowered the boom on Morris by landing this solid left hook to Morris’ chin to get the second round knockout.

Like his buddy Alvarado, this was Lee’s second fight in 19 days. In his first, at the same O. C. Fairgrounds, he was involved in a draw with Daniel Valdez. Lee’s record goes to (1-0-1), while Morris drops to (0-2)

Ruben Covarrubias (red jersey) is joined by his support group after his successful showing against Gabriel Rodriguez in Bout #5.

Gabriel Rodriguez (blue jersey) is joined by his support staff after his rough match with Ruben Covarrubias in Bout #5.

Bout #5, in the 145 pound weight class, had Ruben Covarrubias (2-1) of Team Quest, San Jacinto, CA going up against Gabriel Rodriguez of Team Tiger, a striker/kickboxer with less experience and virtually no ground game.

In this one, Covarrubias won an unanimous decision victory. He reigned supreme after securing the initial takedown and then holding top position in both rounds one and two. After a quick check of his bio, you’ll discover Covarrubias likes to stay busy by fighting as often as he can.

Referee Ed Eckert raises the arm of David Judd (L) after his submission victory of Kris Bruno (R) in Bout #6 of Epic Fighting 13 held Friday evening, July 13, 2012 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #6, in the 155 pound weight class, had Kris Bruno of Spring Valley, CA and training at 1 on 1 Fight Company, Santee, CA going up against a six-footer, David Judd, from Right Cross MMA. Judd, now 1-1, got the win by submission at 1:03 of the second round while Bruno drops to 1-2.

From the start, this was a slugfest, and though the punches were landing, neither party showed any sign of being hurt. Then a bizarre thing happened. After Bruno took Judd down, he had him in an air restricting chokehold and it appeared Judd might tap out. At this point the timekeeper gave the signal to inform the fighters that 10 seconds remained in the round. When hearing the signal, Bruno immediately released his hold which allowed Todd to finish out the round.

Then in the second round, Bruno had Todd in trouble again – this time from a straight right to the jaw. Instead of going down, Todd grabbed Bruno and held him to recover. Seconds later he went for his own takedown and got into position for the winning rear naked choke. So, after twice having his opponent in trouble, Bruno gets the loss because he couldn’t finish.

In Bout #7, it was Jeremy Howard (blue jersey) getting the win over Zach Pate.

Bout #7, in the 170 pound weight class, featured Zach Pate of Winchester, CA and training with the American Top Team making his debut against Jeremy Howard (1-0) of Pro Am, Temecula, CA.

In this one, Howard scored his second win after landing a pile-driving left hook to Pate’s solar plexus. After determining Pate could not continue, the referee called for the immediate stoppage.

It was discovered later that Pate had injured his back when he hit his head on the cage and pinched nerves in both his neck and back.

In Bout #8, Andrew Lagdaan (blue jersey) got the win over Jared Laughlin.

In Bout #8, in the 160 pound weight class, Jared Laughlin (0-1) of San Marcos and training at Team Quest faced the veteran Andrew Lagdaan (3-2) of the So Cal Martial Arts Center in Chula Vista, CA.

Lagdaan wasted little time and soon had Laughlin in a rear naked choke hold. The referee immediately called for the stoppage at 1:09 of Round #1.

In Bout #9, it was the flashy Jordan Salvador (white shirt) of Victory MMA getting his second win. This time he beat Larry Price (dark blue jersey) of the U. S. Navy.

Bout #9, in the 155 pound weight class, had the highly touted Jordan Salvador of Victory MMA, Point Loma, San Diego, CA making his second appearance. His opponent, Larry Price of the U. S. Navy, was making his amateur debut. For someone making their debut, Price looked quite impressive and took Salvador the distance. In the end, Salvador came away with the not so easy unanimous decision victory.

In Bout #10, it was Martin Georges getting the win over Luis Ferrer.

Bout #10, in the 155 pound weight class, had two more debutants, 25 year-old Martin Georges of Team Quest, San Jacinto and 27 year-old Luis Ferrer of the King Tiger Muay Thai School, San Diego, CA. In this one, Georges got the win by an early referee stoppage in Round #1.

In Bout #11, it was Ben Fanjoy (blue jersey) getting the win over Ritchie Rodarte.

Bout #11, in the 170 pound weight class, had two more rookies, Ritchie Rodarte of Hemet, CA and training at Team Quest San Jacinto, going up against Ben Fanjoy of The Arena, Point Loma, San Diego, CA by way of Marlton, New Jersey.

According to his coach, Rich Power, Fanjoy is a very quick learner and secured an unanimous decision win after training for only six months. The on-top, ground and pound by Fanjoy in the first round set the stage for this one-sided affair.

In Bout #12, it was Codi Moses (R) getting the win over Jared Vanderra (red jersey).

Bout #12, in the 230 pound super heavyweight class, had Jared Vanderra (1-1) of Team Quest, San Jacinto, CA by way of Richland, Washington, facing Codi “Savage” Moses (3-0) listed as Unaffiliated but seen training with Chris Getz at the Black Tiger Gym on Miramar Road in San Diego.

This match, like his other three matches, didn’t last long. Moses won Friday’s contest by applying the Armbar and getting the early verbal submission.

At this point Moses has four wins and not one match went the distance. His victims: 6’3” Stanley Michaels, 6’1” Bobby Brown, 6’4” Norman Flores, and now 6’4” Jared Vanderra. It’s just a matter of time before we see him turn pro.

Now for the three Epic Fighting Title fights

In Bout #13, the 185 lb. Title Fight between Kyle Kleinschmidt (blue jersey) and Chris lloyd (red jersey) ended in a draw. In Bout #14, a Lightweight Title Fight between Sean Najjar (blue jersey) and Miguel Lavalle (red), Najjar had Lavalle submit after applying an Armbar.

Bout #13, for the 185 pound title, ended in a draw. The participants, Chris Lloyd of Victory MMA and Kyle Klienschmidt of The Arena fought as if they were a match set of bookends. Every time, Lloyd got hit, he made certain to deliver the same number of blows to Klienschmidt and vice-a-versa. When it came to a strength move or getting an opponent off his feet, both showed great defense. As a matter of fact the entire bout was a defensive struggle. I don’t mean to sound crass but I believe the two could fight ten times and the result might turn out the same … a draw.

Even though both have identical records, 5-1, CAMO, the state licensing commission, has Kleinschmidt ranked #9 in the state and Lloyd ranked #4. So much for the credibility of their ranking system.

Bout #14, for the 135 pound title, featured Miguel LaValle (5-1) of Victory going up against Sean “Shoo-shoo” Najjar (3-2) of Undisputed El Cajon. As expected this was an exhilarating match to watch. Both fighters moved about with the speed of that comic book hero Flash. Though both had their moments, it was Najjar getting the Submission win in the 2nd Round after getting in position for an Armbar.

Bout #15, a hard fought battle between Francisco Castro, the former 145 pound Title holder and David Lee, the present champion, ended in a draw. After the last bout, awards were given for the “Knockout of the Night” to J. W. Lee, “Submission of the Night” to Sean Najjar and “Bout of the Night” to the participants in Bout #15, Francisco Castro and David Lee. Also, Sal Arellano, Epic Fighting’s ring announcer was presented a cake to celebrate his birthday.

Bout #15, the hotly contested rematch between the former lightweight champion, Francisco Castro (5-5), and the present champion, David Lee (2-0) became the show’s icing on the cake. Both fighters and their fan bases were prepped big time for this one.

The momentum went back and forth in Round #1. Near the end of the round came the calculated onslaught by Castro. He delivered 8-10 unanswered blows to win over the judges.

In Round #2, Lee gained the judges’ favor when he backed Castro up and eventually knocked him off his feet. According to my calcualtions, each fighter had won a round.

Early in Round #3, Lee matched his earlier knockdown and had Castro scrambling to do everything he could to pull even. In the end, two judges thought Castro had done enough to pull even, while the third kept the faith and went with Lee. End result, the judges scores made the bout a majority draw. Lesson learned, all championship MMA bouts should go, at the very minimum, five rounds. Taking all that punishment for an unsubstantial draw has to be disheartening.

July 25, 2012 follow-up: It was discovered later that the combatants had agreed to a fourth and deciding round if a tie were to occur after three rounds. That option was never presented and as of this date, there is no talk about a rematch.

Great add on from Mariano Lorde shows the highlights from Friday night’s show:

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