Gogo vs Castrejon, Borges vs Passmore, Huerta KOs Patel, Muaythai at it’s best

On Saturday evening March 11, 2017, World Championship Muaythai, returned to the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego.

People who enjoy watching a great sporting event, almost always have total recall of what made that contest special. From the first pitch, opening tip-off or sound of the starter’s pistol, it becomes etched in their memory. This reporter has more than a few extraordinary memories to store away from Saturday’s Muay Thai show at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego.


First up, in Bout #8 there was this battle between Bruno Borges from the Alliance MMA & Training Center, Chula Vista, Calif. and Clifford Passmore from Buhawe Muaythai USA, Fresno, Calif. who were fighting for the IAMTF Super Lightweight USA title. The taller and what looked to be heavier Passmore appeared to be the odds on favorite. Plus, this was Borges’, the former champion’s first fight back after a long absence. Borges had switched over to boxing. Then, as luck or bad luck would have it, Borges hurt his hand. Passmore, who couldn’t help but notice Borges’ painful expression, immediately went on the attack. The little guy with his hand hurting versus the big guy who nobody really knew. We’re not talking about one breath taking moment, a one punch knockout, a shot at the buzzer, we were talking about Borges in this lengthy survival mode and how on earth would he be able to survive. At first, he switched to mainly kicks to give the bad hand a rest. Then every time Passmore got a bit too cocky, Borges would hit him square with his injured hand. How Borges was able to survive the five round fight and on top of that win it, was simply amazing.

After hurting his hand early in round one, we see Bruno Borges (l) attacking his opponent, Clifford Passmore, with a combination of kicks and punches.

They say if you can’t land a punch on your opponent’s chin, then you aim at his chest. Passmore’s chest appears to be beet red from all of the punches and kicks he received from the mighty mite, Bruno Borges.

Bruno Borges finds himself at the end of another perfect day. Championship belt around his waist and the praise of his peers. How could it get any better?

Bout #9, between Joe Gogo and Anthony Castrejon, was another battle between athletes with different specialties. Just looking at Gogo’s ultra fit body, Castrejon must have understood his limitations. He had to use the full ring. He had to avoid any constraints. He needed to be a sniper. Land that one good shot, a windmill or roundhouse kick and keep Gogo, this physical phenomenon from cornering him and prevent any the toe to toe striking. Guys as strong as Gogo need to be outfoxed and then outworked. To his credit, Gogo never lost his composure or got to the point where he looked to the crowd for some self-aggrandizement or help in belittling his opponent’s strategy. Gogo never stopped coming forward in hopes of exchanging punches with his elusive opponent.

By the end of the third round, Castrejon had become this human tether ball with his circling of the ring and wind-up kicks. Entering the fourth round he finally slowed down. This development gave Gogo an opportunity to get in close and start landing his power shots. After Gogo finally reached Castrejon, down he went. Granted, Castrejon kept getting up off the canvas and by doing so showed amazing resiliency, heart, and determination. Anyone who missed this clash of styles or saw no value in it missed a great fight.

The combatants in Bout #9 meet for the first time at Friday’s weigh-ins. (l to r) Joseph Gogo and Anthony Castrejon. What would be your thoughts if you were in Castrejon’s shoes? Something like: ‘Oh great, I get to fight Mr. California or is he Mr. Universe? I must have lost my mind.’

Anthony Castrejon must be a serious dude and have a lot of pride in his ability. On Saturday he made his entrance wearing an Indian war bonnet which is traditionally worn by male leaders of the American Plains Indian Nations who have earned a place of great respect in their tribe.

Not to be smart or show any disrespect but one of the photos taken, (bottom, left) ended up implying that Castrejon has these “red devil” eyes. At the time he was looking across the ring at Joe Gogo, his opponent.

Wham! Anthony Castrejon couldn’t keep up his running for ever and finally slowed just enough for Joe Gogo to corner him and land this punch. Crack photographer Richard De La Cruz was the only one who was able to catch this amazing shot of Castrejon getting walloped by Gogo’s overhand right.

Joe Gogo (left) stands over the fallen Anthony Castrejon who at the time is sitting on the apron outside the ropes.

With his performance over, the entertaining Mr. Anthony Castrejon climbed up on the ropes and waved to the crowd. Photo: Jim Wyatt

After his victory, Joe Gogo (c) from the UFC Gym in Mission Valley posed for photos with the Show’s promoter Dennis Warner, plus his trainers Jhanex Alviz and Baby Joe Taimanglo, Gogo’s cousin.

“Knockout of the Night” has to go to David Huerta of Team Zarate from East Los Angeles, who caught Raj Patel from Team Oyama from Anaheim, Calif., flush on the chin in Bout #6. After getting up from the canvas, Patel somehow managed to convince the ref that he was alright and able to continue. Soon after he was issued a second 8-count and this time the referee could plainly see that his eyes were glazed and stopped the bout.  

Raj Patel, who went down after being clobbered, tries to get his bearing.

At the conclusion of his WCK featherweight contest, we see the winner David Huerta celebrating the second round TKO victory with his support group which includes his two, oh so proud, children.

Before the bout, both fighters, David Huerta (red gloves) from Team Zarate and Raj Patel (blue gloves) from Team Oyama went through their ritual dance, wai kru. The dance pays homage to their teachers, family and to bless themselves with victory in the ring. Each wai kru is unique to a fighter’s training camp and has been passed on to them from their teachers. Over time a fighter will slightly modify this wai kru by incorporating different techniques to personalize the ritual. Some of these techniques include stomping your foot in front of an opponent’s corner or imitating the shooting of arrows at your opponent; actions which are seen as a provocation, a show of confidence, challenge, and intimidation. Photos: Jim Wyatt

In Bout #1, an IAMTF Welterweight Ranking Bout, it was Ismail Iziz from the UFC Gym, San Diego scoring a second round TKO victory over Michael Ray from the Boxing Club, La Jolla, Calif. The key to victory for Iziz was to have his opponent fight while backpedaling.

(bottom) Bout #1 winner Ismail Iziz of UFC San Diego has his arm raised in victory by referee Dan Snell. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In Bout #2, you had Alexis Cardova from Carrillo Muaythai of Santa Ana, Calif. winning a split decision victory over Adrian “Savage” Diaz from Valor Muay Thai, National City, Calif. in an IAMTF Flyweight Ranking Bout. After Diaz took round one, back came Cardova to take round two. Then, even though Diaz was the more active of the two in round three, Cardova won the judges over by landing the more powerful punches and kicks.

(bottom) In Bout #2, it was Alexis Cardova (blue trunks) winning the close split decision victory over Adrian Diaz (red trunks) from Valor Muaythai.

In Bout #3 it was Jair Rocha from Steel MMA, San Diego, winning a majority decision over Demitry Lopez from Buhawe Muay Thai, Fresno, Calif. in their IAMTF Bantamweight Western Title bout.

The way this bout started it appeared Demitry Lopez was a shoe-in to win the match with his harder kicks and then Jair Rocha kept pressing to wear his opponent down with strikes not only to the head but also the body.

(bottom) After his victory, everyone wanted to be in the photo with Steel MMA’s newest champion to include fighter/coach Marvin Madariaga, coach/co-owner of Steel MMA Carl Gebhardt and fighter/trainer Shaun Shepard.

In Bout #4 it was Chad Berry from 8 Tribe who trains at the Undisputed Gym, in downtown San Diego winning a unanimous decision over the Russian Roman Lychenko from The Boxing Club, La Jolla, Calif. Plain and simple Berry made Lychenko look bad in rounds one and two with his kicks and punches to the head. Then, in the final round, Lychenko (blue gloves), knowing he was behind in the scoring, had to go all out to stop Berry to gain the victory. As a result, he did pull out all the stops with serious knee kicks to the head and chest. Lychenko took that final round, but it wasn’t enough to dent Berry’s insurmountable lead.

From the appearance of blood on both of these gents, Chad Berry (r) and Roman Lychenko (l), we can surmise their bout had been brutal.

Bout #5 was almost a repeat of what happened in Bout #4 with Lychenko and Berry as James Gregory dominating in both rounds one and two and then held on in the third round to earn his 29-28 unanimous decision victory over the taller, slow starting Ryan Rahimpour from the Art of Eight Training Center, Kearny Mesa, Calif.

(bottom) After defeating the slow starting Ryan Rahimpour, we see referee Dan Snell raising the arm of the victorious Sweet Baby James Gregory.

After his victory over Rahimpour, James Gregory posed for this photo with mates from the Art of 8 Gym to include fellow coach/fighter Mike Lemaire (l).

Bout #7: With Alyshia Madison’s original opponent pulling out of their contest at the last minute, Madison and the less experienced Paola Lopez from Valor Muay Thai, National City, changed Bout #7 from a war to an exhibition.

At the conclusion of Alyshia “Code Red” Madison’s Muaythai exhibition in the Bout #7 slot, the show’s master of ceremonies Chris Gregory surprised Madison by announcing to the crowd that it was Alysia’s 28th birthday.

In Bout #10, it was Jason Belangoy of Jhanex Muaythai winning a split decision victory over Angel Salazar from Buhawe Muay Thai, Fresno, Calif. Even though Salazar excelled in round one by delivering the harder and better-placed kicks and Belangov only concentrated on his combinations, by round two, Belangov had his opponent pegged and started making more headway in the scoring to secure the victory. Just as Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway did at the Academy Awards this year and Steve Harvey did in 2015 at the Miss Universe Contest, the wrong winner was announced. However, before the boxers left the ring, the problem had been resolved and Jason Belangoy got his proper recognition as the winner.

Make no mistake about it, Jason Belangoy of Jhanex Muaythai won bout #10.

In Bout #11, an IAMTF Welterweight Ranking Bout, they had Eddie Perez of Progressive Martial Arts in his debut going up against Kurban Kurbanov from the Boxing Club, La Jolla. In the end, it was Kurbanov winning a unanimous decision victory by virtue of his superior stamina and use of high knee kicks.

In the top photo, we see Kurban Kurbanov from the Boxing Club, La Jolla, Calif. landing one of the many solid shots to the head of Eddie Perez from Progressive Martial Arts of Orange County who was making his debut.

After his victory, Kurban Kurbbanov (c) was joined by mates/coaches from his gym, The Boxing Club in La Jolla, Calif. Photos: Jim Wyatt

In the final bout of the evening, Bout #12, it was Susan Wallace of Steel MMA versus Megan Tammadong of Oyama Muay Thai of Anaheim, Calif. In each and every exchange, Wallace was right there making certain that she got the best of each exchange. As far as accuracy goes, Wallace’s kicks and punches were right on target throughout the match to insure the victory in this IAMTF Women’s Flyweight Western Title match.

The ladies (top) Megan Tammadong from Oyama Muaythai and (below) Susan Wallace from Steel MMA make their way to the ring for Bout #12.

They are clapping f0r you, Susan. Susan Wallace from Steel MMA had one of the biggest cheering sections on record.

After Susan Wallace’s victory over Megan Tammadong, she was joined in the ring by the Tournament Director Sarinda Chaney, WCK promoter Dennis Warner and the oh-so-happy, oh-so-proud coaching staff of Steel MMA.

We have not yet received word as far as the date for the third of four Dennis Warner WCK Muay Thai Shows at this same venue but we will keep you posted.  

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