Results from Friday’s Epic Fighting 8 at the Sheraton

1 on 1 Fight Co. supporters celebrate the victories of Brian Pate (C) who not only won his bout but "Knockout of the Night" and Francisco Castro of the U. S. Marine Corps Team who continued his winning streak.

As is the norm, on Friday night the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego was packed with MMA fans and the various support groups of the fighters from all over Southern California.

The voice of Epic Fighting, Salvador Arellano got the proceedings off to a rousing start with, “Are you ready San Diego?”


After their battle in Bout #1, Miguelle Lavalle (L) was declared the winner over Jaime Reyes (R).

At the close of his fight with Miguelle LaValle, Jaime Reyes is joined by his support group.

Bout #1 in the 135 pound featherweight division featured Miguelle Lavalle of Victory MMA in Point Loma going up against Jaime Reyes of the 1 on 1 Fight Company in El Cajon.

After a very energetic first round both fighters were even on the standup battle and since Reyes scored two take downs you would think he got the favor of the judges.

In Round #2, Lavalle came out of the shoot as if he had been given a good tongue lashing from his corner. He was much more physical and controlled on the ground game for an extended period and gave Reyes some hard shots  to the head.

After doing battle with Jaime Reyes, Miguelle LaValle (R) is joined by his support group.

Therefore, Round #3 would be the decider.  In Round #3 Lavalle controlled his opponent against the cage before getting another take down and he finished with a strong attempt at a Triangle choke. The decision which went to Lavalle was never in doubt.

After defeating Sean Marsicane in Bout #2, Oscar Ortega is interviewed by Tom Plunkett. Photo: Jim Wyatt


After defeating Sean Marsicane in Bout #2, the referee raises the arm of Oscar Ortega.

Bout #2 in the 155 pound welterweight division featured Oscar Ortega of the Escondido Fight Club versus Sean Marsicane of Pit Bull Dangerous.

Round #1 was a mixed bag with Marsicane getting an early take down and controlling Ortega with some ground and pound. Then Ortega returned the favor and was able to stand toe to toe with Marsicane.

In Round #2, Ortega, who got more than a few good strikes in early, found himself in trouble after Marsicane suddenly turned it around and got another take down. Once on top, Marsicane began to hammer his opponent.

In Round #3, Ortega tried but failed on a superman punch while Marsicane responded with solid leg kicks and several attempts at a take down. On his final attempt Marsicane came flying at Ortega like a middle linebacker. His missed tackle led to a world of trouble as Ortega rocked Marsicane with a couple of solid punches. Soon Ortega was on Marsicane’s back and delivering even more blows to the head. Before he knew it Marsicane was being finished off by an arm bar.

At the end of Bout #3, Carlos Ortega (C) is joined by his support staff. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Larry Stroud (C) is joined by his support group after his victory over Carlos Ortega. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #3, in the 170 pound, middleweight division, featured Carlos Ortega of the Escondido Fight Club going up against Larry Stroud of Team Quest in Temecula.

In Round #1, Ortega kept using these weak leg kicks, and Stroud answered with a mean left hook. Despite the disparity in the force of each blow, Ortega was able to keep shaking them off. Then Stroud followed up with a take down that Ortega was able to defend and get back to his feet. Even though Stroud’s leg kicks were higher and had more velocity, Ortega was able to grab one and take Stroud down.

The referee raises the arm of Larry Stroud (R) after his victory over Carlos Ortega. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Round two was just as exciting as the first with Ortega landing a round house to the body. Stroud picked it off and pushed Ortega back against the fence where he ended up getting a take down. Once again, Ortega was able to defend himself as they rolled about on the canvas both trying to get a submission by the twist of a leg or getting a heel hook. Ortega was just fine as a wrestler/grappler but he was losing the battle every time they were trading blows in the stand-up.

Content to finish the fight standing up, Stroud continued to be the aggressor and out-boxed Ortega in Round #3. A vicious uppercut and two more left hooks insured the victory by an unanimous decision.

Grant Harkinson (L) salutes the cheering crowd after his victory over Cory Wilson.

Bout #4 in the 170 pound, welterweight division had Cory Wilson of Victory MMA in Point Loma facing Grant Harkinson of Grandmaster Soto Martial Arts Physical Fitness Center in Santee.

In Round #1, after Wilson took Harkinson down with a ferocious take down, Harkinson was able to reverse it and take top position. With the full mount, he took Cory’s back and attempted a rear naked choke.

Former MMA great, Dean Lister (L) is shown consoling Cory Wilson (R) after his defeat at the hands of Grant Harkinson. Photo: JIm Wyatt

Then it was Wilson who came back and took top position. He finished out the round by punishing Harkinson with a heavy ground and pound.

In Round #2, Wilson was again the aggressor and got an early take down. They finished the round in the stand up position with Wilson landing the cleaner and harder shots.

In Round #3, Harkinson controlled the early action while pinning Cory against the cage. After getting the take down he landed in the full mount position and took his back. The punishes were coming in bunches, swift, hard and right on target to the head. In order to protect the fighter, the referee soon jumped in to stop the bout and award Harkinson the win by technical knockout.

The combatants in Bout #5, Brian Pate (R) the eventual winner and Joseph Wagaman (L) await the judges decision. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #5, in the 155 pound, lightweight division, featured Joseph Wagaman of Team Quest facing Brian Pate of 1-on-1 Fight Company.

Before each show, the fighters are permitted to make a request for the song they want played upon their entrance. Pate’s choice was slow and boring. In contrast, Wagaman requested a piece with vim and vigor from the classical composer Basil Poledouris. So, before the fight even started Wagaman was one up on his opponent for having the better taste in music. Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into the preparation for a fight than just music.

Both the referee and fight doctor look over the fallen Joseph Wagaman who was KO'ed by Brian Pate.

In Round #1 both fighters came out swinging for the fences. It appeared as if someone wanted to go home early. Then, the madness was interrupted when the referee stopped the action to issue a warning to Wagaman for a kick in the groin area.

After allotting himself enough time to recover and apparently reflect on his next move, Pate got up slowly and seemed to be wincing from the injury.

Whether it was subterfuge or not, only Pate can say. Wagaman, figuring this was his golden opportunity to finish off his opponent, advanced with reckless abandonment. With Wagaman’s hands down, Pate put everything he had into an overhand right and pow, right on the kisser. Wagaman’s head buckled and just like that his lights went out. Pate, the latest knockout artist, had registered his first KO at just 35 seconds of the first round.

Ryan Barela (C) is joined by his support group at the end of Bout #6.

Keith Carson (in the hands wraps) is joined by his support staff after the completion of Bout #6.

Bout #6 in the 135 pound, featherweight division featured Keith Carson of The Sports Academy/Aguirres going up against Ryan Barela of Operation MK Ultra.

Tournament Groupings

This was the first of seven bouts involving the remaining qualifiers hoping to be in the Epic Fighting CAMO California State Championship Finals which are to be held December 3, 2011 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, CA.

The only “Operation mind control” I can think of is the CIA Mind Control Operation MK-Ultra which is defined as the use of propaganda or other psychological means to influence or confuse the thinking, undermine the morale of an enemy or opponent. It’s obvious, Barela and his dojo are into some pretty deep ####.

Round #1 was one of those nothing rounds. The ones where the fighters remained on their feet, throw punches into the air, a few kicks into the air and nothing happens.

Round #2 was another uneventful, close to the vest, stand up round with one unsuccessful take down attempt by Carson near the end of the round. However, the punches were getting closer, and a few kicks did land.

By Round #3, the nervous energy had disappeared. Carson took Barela down early in the third but he managed to get back up and remain on his feet for the rest of the round. Carson, who was the busier of the two throughout, won by decision.

Anthony Williams (C) is joined by his support group after losing to Trace Gray in Bout #7. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #7 in the 155 pound, welterweight division featured Anthony Williams of Showdown Training Center going up against Trace Gray of Eddie Bravos’ 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu in Riverside, CA.

In Round #1, Gray showed off his superior quickness and made an early attempt at a guillotine choke. Just as quick, Williams turned it around and got the take down.

Round #2 turned into a stand up round with Williams hitting Gray with some solid shots to the head and getting a take down. Gray defended himself and made a valiant attempt at a Triangle Choke before the round ended.

After defeating Anthony Williams (L) in Bout #7, Trace Gray has his arm raised in victory. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In Round #3, Gray began to control the bout with his superior striking and then just when you thought you’d have no trouble deciding the winner, back came Williams almost pulling out the victory at the very end with another take down. In the end, the decision went to Gray.

In Bout #8, in the 205 pounds or more, cruiserweight division, we saw Nate Langlier of West Coast Jui Jitsu go up against Odon Alvarez of Team Quest.

Odon Alvarez (C) is surrounded by his supporting cast after competing in Bout #8. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In my opinion Alvarez is like the guy who’s always looking around for another impossible task, a taller mountain to climb, another Mt. Everest. Well, Mr. Alvarez found that mountain in the personage of Nate Langlier, a very big man who is at least a head taller and 30 solid pounds heavier.

In Round #1, all stand up, Langlier controlled the fight with his reach advantage and fired away at his much smaller opponent.

Round #2 was more of the same and it appear Langlier might be able to go the distance by just landing the hard, quick punches from the outside. After getting hit by more than a dozen of these solid shots to the head, it appeared from all indications that Alvarez was resigning himself to another loss. Thats the way most people saw this fight panning out. They were unaware of or forgot about his track-record in past fights where he showed unbelievable mettle, tenacity and persevered until the end. Simply put, Alvarez is too legit to quit. All along the wily veteran was setting his opponent up, measuring him.

By the time the bell for round three sounded, Alvarez was ready. He got inside Langlier’s reach and started landing the left hooks and the straight rights. The crowd, always on the side of the underdog, began to cheer for Alvarez. It didn’t take long before everyone could see Langlier was in trouble.

Both Nate Langlier (L) and Odon Alvarez (R) await the judges' decision for Bout #8. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Langlier must have figured his only defense was to take Alvarez down on the mat and that’s what he did. Alvarez was ready for this tact, and quickly turned it around to take top position. If the fight had gone an additional two rounds, who knows which fighter would have prevailed.

Since, Langlier had controlled both round one and two, he naturally received the nod over Alvarez. And what did Alvarez do? He won over the crowd.

At the close of Bout #9, Joel Mundt of The Arena MMA team await the judges' decision.

Bout #9 in the 170 pound, middleweight division featured Brandon Wilson of Black Mat MMA going up against Joel Mundt of The Arena, The MMA Gym in San Diego’s beach area of Point Loma.

Brandon Wilson (wearing the Cowboy hat) and his group of supporters pose for a photo after he defeated Joel Mundt in Bout #9. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In Round #1, Wilson got an early take down and did well controlling Mundt on the ground. After gaining the full mount he started punishing his defenseless opponent. Then he took position on his back and made an attempt to gain the rear naked choke. He may have succeeded but Mundt was saved by the bell.

In Round #2, Wilson wasted no time taking Mundt down. But then he got sloppy and Mundt grabbed an arm to attempt an arm bar. Wilson struggled but did manage to get Mundt to release his arm. Now it was Mundt who ended on top with control.

It appeared Round #3 would decide the winner. Wilson came back with a vengeance was soon back in charge. By gaining two take downs and controlling the final stanza, he was able to defeat Mundt by an unanimous decision.

After their close battle in Bout #10, James Wilson (L), the eventual winner, and Gibran Alvarez pose for a photo together. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #10 featured two heavyweights, James Wilson of Bowmans Dojo/The Hive going up against Gibran Alvarez of Victory MMA.

Round #1 went to Wilson who caught Alvarez with more than a few solid shots to the head. In Round #2 Alvarez looked a lot better but the round could have gone either way, especially after Wilson almost had Alvarez in the infamous guillotine choke.

In Round #3, Alvarez made a valiant effort to pull out the victory but fell short after Wilson closed out the round with a flurry of unanswered blows. In the end, Wilson got the split decision victory over Alvarez.

Mike Flach (L) is shown awaiting the judges' announcement that he has defeated Kyle Kleinschmidt (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #11 in the 185 pound, light heavyweight division Mike Flach of Millenia MMA was going up against Kyle Kleinschmidt of The Arena MMA Gym. In Round #1, Kleinschmidt was relentless with his take down attempts and finally got himself a take down but Flach quickly did this amazing reversal which eventually gave him the full mount position. However, it appeared Kleinschmidt did more than enough to take Round #1.

In Round #2, Flach again had Kleinschmidt down and got on his back to pound away and eventually secure the rear naked choke. Flach secured the win after Kleinschmidt tapped out.

Francisco Castro (R) salutes his well wishers after defeating Chris Bonilla (L). Phot: Jim Wyatt

Bout #12 featured lightweights Francisco Castro (4-3) of the U.S. Marine Corps stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar going up against Chris Bonilla of the Paragon Fight Team. This was another bout where you figured the smaller man had little chance against the bigger guy. As a matter of fact, Castro surprised everyone by the way he continually grabbed Bonilla, lifted him up and threw him down on the canvas.

Francisco Castro (L) is joined by his supporting cast after defeating Chris Bonilla. Photo: J.Wyatt

Castro appeared stronger, quicker and better schooled than his foe from up north. On August 26 of this year, Bonilla (5-1) beat a 25 year old with a triangle choke. Castro, not allowing himself to be caught off guard for one of these Brazilian Jiu Jitsu choke holds, he dominated his opponent to get the win.

Henry Soto who participated in Bout #13 poses for a photo after his loss to Adam Griffis.

Bout #13, the Main Event of the evening, featured cruiserweights Henry Soto of Undisputed Fitness & Training Center in El Cajon going up against Adam Griffis of the Black House Team Nogueira Gym on Miramar Road in San Diego.

Adam Griffis (wearing the gloves) is joined by his group of supporters after defeating Henry Soto.

In Round #1, Griffis appeared to be quicker and soon mounted Soto and began landing the harder blows. Round #2 also went Griffis’ way as he used his reach advantage to land his punches almost at will. Griffis’ dominate performance continued in Round #3 to secure the easy victory.

The large group of hostesses gathers around the two boxers, Brian Pate (out front) for "the KO of the Show" and Keith Carson (R) for his participation in the bout of the night. Phot: Jim Wyatt

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