Results from the CAMO State MMA Championships

As far as MMA clubs go, the 1on1 Fight Company of Santee is one of the most together, shoulder to shoulder groups in the sport. Photo: J. Wyatt

Saturday evening, the 2011 California State Amateur MMA Championships were decided. This year it was

Epic Fighting hosting the event in the grand ballroom of the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego.

Over 16 MMA Clubs were represented with half coming from up north and the other half locally from San Diego County.

Prior to the title fights, the show featured six very interesting warm-up bouts on the undercard.

Bout #1 winner Cordell Williams

Bout #1 in the middleweight division, had 29 year-old Cordell Williams (2-2) of Kong Submission Academy in Spring Valley winning a very quick, 20 seconds quick, submission victory over James Gomez (3-0) of The Arena MMA Gym in Point Loma, CA. After Gomez’s failed take down attempt, Williams pulled guard and soon ended the match with an infamous Anaconda choke.

Heinrich Wassmer (wearing red CAMO shirt) is joined by his support group. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #2 Oscar Ortega (R) has his arm raised in victory after defeating Andrew Borcher (L). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #2, in the welterweight division, featured 22 year-old Oscar Ortega (1-2) of the Escondido Fight Club, Escondido, CA going up against 34 year-old Andrew Borcher (0-1) of 1on1 Fight Company, Santee.

Ortega showed he was all business; especially when it came to his take downs which featured a little ground and pound. In the third round after a third takedown, he added the Arm Bar for the win.

Marco Neri (R) is overcome with emotion after his defeat of Heinrich Wassmer, Saturday night in Bout #3. Photo: J. Wyatt

Bout #3 featured two flyweights in their debut, 26 year-old Marco Neri of the Black House Team Nogueira Gym, San Diego, CA going up against 21 year-old Heinrich Wassmer of Mixed Martial Arts Fight Academy, Los Angeles, CA. 

In this hard fought battle, Neri managed to squeak out the decision. His advantage came in the second round after he managed to get top position and maintain it. In the third round, Wassmer had Neri in a rear choke but failed to capitalize.

Kyle Kleinschmidt (R) has his arm raised after getting the TKO victory over Odan Alvarez (L). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #4, in the light heavyweight category, had 29 year-old Kyle Kleinschmidt (3-1) of The Arena going up against the 28 year-old veteran Odon Alvarez (3-3) of Team Quest, Temecula, CA.

From the outset, Kleinschmidt demonstrated his superior strength and went right after Alvarez to get him on the ground. In that first round melee with it’s fierce yanking and twisting, Alvarez received an ocular injury. It was serious enough for the doctor to disallow the continuation of the fight. In the end, Kleinschmidt was awarded the suspended victory.

Oscar Gonzalez (L) has his arm raised in victory after defeating Rafael Nunez (R). Photo Jim Wyatt

Bout #5 featured Rafael Nunez of LA Boxing in his debut going up against 20 year-old Oscar Gonzalez (3-1) of San Ysidro, CA who works out at Victory MMA.

In Round #1, there were no takedowns, and the exchanges were pretty even with Nunez having the slightest of advantage when it comes to kicks and number of punches landed.

In Round #2 the pendulum swung back and forth. First it was Gonzalez with a takedown that had Nunez landing hard on his head and right shoulder. Nunez did even better with his takedown and managed to land a barrage of punches to the side of Gonzalez’s head. Back came Gonzalez with a takedown and with this one Nunez was noticeably shaken up.

The carryover effects from that last takedown must have helped Gonzalez because in the third round it wasn’t long before Gonzalez had Nunez back down on the canvas to secure the rear naked choke to secure the win.

John Morgan (R) has his arm raised in victory after defeating Erik Kapp (L) in Bout #6. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #6 featured heavyweights Erik Kapp of The Arena making his debut going up against 38 year-old John “the Beast” Morgan of 1on1 Fight Company, Santee, CA.

Morgan, the middle linebacker type, went right after the 6’5” giant, throwing roundhouses and finally caught Kapp with a big overhand right to knock him off his feet. The KO came early in round #1.

After an intermission it was time for the California State

Championship finals Northern Californian Champion versus the Southern Californian Champion

Badly shaken up in his MMA title fight, Francisco Castro (L) valiantly waits while the announcer proclaims Richard Parra (R) victorious in their featherweight duel. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #7 featured lightweights, 33 year-old Francisco Castro (5-3) of MCAS Miramar, the Southern Champion, going up against the Northern Champion Richard Parra (6-4) of “The Pit” in Oceano, CA who is 12 years younger. Aside from their age difference, the fighters were almost a mirror image of each other – same height, same physique, like abilities, even their hair was cut the same. It was like Castro was fighting a clone of himself.

Back and forth went the momentum with Castro likely taking the first round after getting a takedown and landing some punches to the head.

In Round #2 Castro got another takedown but this one was reversed and it was Parra landing the shots to the head. Back came Castro and then another reversal by Parra. This had all the markings of “Fight of the Night.”

Then in Round #3, Parra was on top again and this time Castro was in deep trouble after getting caught awkwardly then being pummeled on the side of the head. Once the referee saw that Castro was not defending himself, he called an immediate halt to the action.

After being helped up, it was feared Castro may have sustained a concussion. After about ten minutes the valiant fighter somehow collected himself, got to his feet and went to the center of the Octagon as the announcer read off the judges’ decision, that being that Parra had won the bout by TKO in the third round.

After the announcement, Castro was taken to a nearby hospital. Since the ring doctor left the premises with Castro, the rest of the bouts had to be delayed until the doctor returned.

California MMA State Championships (Highlight Reel) from 16×9 Studios on Vimeo.

The crowd applauds Lamar Reed (center) after his victory over Mike Flach in their C.A.M.O. California State MMA middleweight title fight. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #8 featured two undefeated middleweights, 24 year-old Mike Flach (5-0) of Millennia MMA of Chino Hills, CA going up against 22 year-old Lamar Reed (4-0) of the Last Stand Fight Team in Stockton, CA.

Bout #8 competitor, Mike Flach.

In the first round, Reed got himself a takedown but couldn’t do anything with it as the fighters found themselves in the clinches.

In both the second and third rounds, Reed again initiated the action with either a looping punch or a takedown and back came Flach with his reversals. In total the three rounds were very uneventful as Reed’s defense became the key to his victory.

Radames Garcia (L) has his arm raised in victory after defeating Keith Carson (R) in Bout #9. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #9 featured featherweights 28 year-old Radames Garcia (4-1) of Santa Clara going up against 19 year-old Keith “Quicksilver” Carson (6-2-1) of The Sports Academy in San Bernardino, CA.

Garcia won the match via submission in the first round with a slick move that had everyone guessing and everyone a bit incredulous. The rare Brazillian Jiu Jitsu move was so slick it even baffled Carson who was feeling so downcast, dejected by the quick loss.

Bout #10 winner Brandon Hester (L) has his arm raised in victory after defeating Adam Griffis in Bout #10. Photo: J. Wyatt

Bout #10 featured light heavyweights, 29 year-old Adam Griffis of the Black House Team Nogueira Gym of San Diego, CA going up against 25 year-old Brandon Hester of Tribal MMA in San Jose, CA.

Hester, who looks like he could bench press 500 pounds, got the win purely by way of brute strength. Griffis was on his back for most of the fight. After a while, the takedowns were more like throw downs and they became more forceful round by round.

Bout #11 winner Michael Ortega (L) has his arm raised in victory after defeating Nate Langelier (R).   Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #11 featured 25 year-old Nate Langelier (2-1) of West Coast Jiu-Jitsu, Oxnard, CA going up against 26 year-old Michael Ortega (2-0) of Cung Le’s American Kickboxing Academy, Milpitas, CA.

Langelier, an exceptionally good striker, usually wins his fights by punching his opponents lights out but Ortega would have nothing of this and from the outset attacked under Langelier’s jab to get the big guy off his feet. Down on the ground he took the top position and used head locks and choke holds.

As the second round began, Ortega was again on top and trying his best to do some ground and pound. Just before the round ended, Langelier got himself a reversal and ended the round giving Ortega a little payback.

In Round #3, Ortega was back in charge and spent three quarters of the round on top of Langelier’s back dishing out punishment. The win by decision for Ortega was never in doubt.

Trace Gray, the winner of Bout #12, is surrounded by his support group. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #12 featured lightweights 30 year-old Trace “Midnight” Gray (3-1) of 10th Planet in Riverside, CA going up against 23 year-old Anthony “Anthrax” Williams (6-1) of Showdown Training Center, Covina, CA.

What made this bout so interesting were the inclusion of thoughts from a gentleman at the adjoining table. As the night progressed he perhaps had a few too many brown bottles. To be more specific, by this time he was plastered. When he noticed I was keeping notes of the fights, he approached me to give his opinion.

“I’m willing to bet anything, that Gray wins,” he shouted.

I said, “Are you sure? Williams is good.”

At that point he shocked everyone within earshot by announcing, “I’m so sure Gray’s going to win, I’ll cut my testicles off if he doesn’t. That’s my boy. He’s… great!”

“You would?” I asked. “Damn straight!” he said.

As the fight began, there was an immediate takedown by Williams and it looked like Williams might have the upper hand. Gray answered with a sharp right cross that stunned Williams. Back and forth they went in what turned out to be a brutal first round.

Across from me was another gentleman of the press. His comment, “He’s going to make a mess on these white table cloths.”

Gray’s backer murmured, “He always starts slow.”

Trace Gray’s formidable opponent, Anthony Williams (C) made the best of his opportunity but just couldn’t pull off the upset. Photo: Jim Wyatt

As Round #2 started, Williams led off with a takedown, and soon after Gray took Williams down. After a hard punch by Williams, Gray countered with two of his own.

I looked over at the Gray fan and said, “Gray’s defense is a lot better, but you know anything can happen” He didn’t say a word.

Everyone was on the edge of their seats as the third and deciding round began. In the end, our friend was correct. Gray was money in the bank. Every time Williams threw a punch or landed a kick, Gray responded three fold. Right until the very end both fighters were swinging for the fences, both throwing potential knockout blows.

Even though it was clear Gray had done enough to get the decision, Williams was bouncing around the octagon with his hands raised as if he had won. At that point, I looked around for Gray’s most ardent backer and he was gone.

Former MMA great Bas Rutten (rear) helps secure the CAMO State title belt around Brandon Wilson’s waist. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Nick Bustamante (C) poses for a photo with his support group. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #13 featured welterweights 27 year-old Nick “The Brick” Bustamante (4-0) of American Kickboxing Academy, Clovis, CA versus 24 year-old Brandon “The Juice” Wilson (6-0) of Black Mat MMA in Whittier, CA.

At this point, with the delays throughout the evening, it was getting close to midnight and the people who remained were getting uninspired or maybe we should say weary.

Wilson, who’s a real cowboy and brings his hat to the ring, came out of the gate strong. Bustamante became the victim of two takedowns and several solid shots to the head.

In the second round, Bustamante made a comeback of sorts. Then in the third round, Wilson sealed the deal ending the final round with three solid blows to Bustamante’s head. In other words, the decision was never in doubt.

When the announcement came that Wilson had won, he showed as much surprise, if not more, as if he had just won an Academy Award. Out of his pocket came a list of people he wanted to thank, sponsors and the like. The only one he didn’t mention was his mail carrier.

In Bout #14, Leo Cantu (L), defeated James Wilson (R) by submission in Round #1. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Waiting in the wings were 30 year-old Leo Cantu (2-0) of The Pit Workout, Kerman, CA and 25 year-old James “The Cannibal” Wilson (5-0) of Bowman’s DOJO, aka The Hive Fighting Academy, Los Angeles, CA scheduled to face each other for the super heavyweight title. Bear in mind these two had been waiting without a meal for seven plus hours to compete. It’s possible that one or the other dropped into a different weight class. 

Soon after their introduction, Cantu made everyone except Wilson happy when he got a choke hold on Wilson for a submission victory in Round #1. The hall emptied so fast, you would have thought a fire alarm had sounded.

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