Epic Fighting 12 featured several dramatic finishes

Featured in Friday’s Epic Fighting 12 MMA Show were Ben Wilde (L) who received the trophy for “Submission of the Night” plus Lena Hellqvist (C) and the gal holding the gigantic trophy, Kaiyana Rain (L). The ladies battled it out in the Main Event. Also shown here are the vivacious Epic Fighting hostesses and dancers.

On Friday, May 4th, the Epic Fighting Series returned to its roots, the Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Hotel in the Kearny Mesa community of San Diego. As in the past, the venue was packed with fun-filled, diehard MMA fans and of course a plethora of gorgeous women. 

Kaiyana Rain (L) has her arm raised in victory by referee Josh Herzog after it was announced she had defeated Lena Hellqvist (R) in Friday night’s Main Event for the Epic Fighting Female Flyweight Title. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Kaiyana Rain of Kings MMA raises the trophy that was presented to her for participating in the “Fight of the Night,” Friday evening at the Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Hotel. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Lena Hellqvist is joined by her support group after doing battle against Kaiyana Rain in the evening’s Main Event. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Kaiyana Rain (C) is joined by her support group after doing battle with Lena Hellqvist on Friday night at the Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Hotel. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In the Main Event, 38 year-old Kaiyana Rain Tan of Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, CA was being challenged by 28 year-old Lena Hellqvist of Victory MMA in Point Loma. The winner was to be declared the Epic Fighting 115 pound, Female Flyweight Champion.

Both gals were coming off victories in the last Epic Fighting show on March 23, 2012 at the 4th and B Concert Theatre in San Diego’s downtown. Rain defeated Tamara Iglesias to improve her record to 2-1 while Hellqvist got a TKO victory over Debbie Micev of Undisputed El Cajon to even her record at 1-1.

In Friday’s contest, with it’s three-two minute rounds, it was extremely difficult to decide the winner. Rain took Round #1 based on the two extra power punches that landed flush, the couple extra kicks and two additional knee kicks.

In Round #2, the momentum swung back and forth with the gals spending the majority of their time in the clinches.

In Round #3, Hellqvist got her first takedown and Rain followed with one of her own. The punches stats were almost identical. So, the picking of the winner must have been like splitting Doll hairs for the judges who in the end awarded Rain the victory.

David Lee (R), the eventual winner, and Francisco Castro (L) await the judges’ decision for Bout #10. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Mixed Martial Artist David Lee poses for a photo with his support staff at Friday’s Epic Fighting 12 MMA Show. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Francisco Castro

Francisco Castro (C) is joined by his support staff at Friday’s Epic Fighting 12 MMA Show. Photo: Jim Wyatt

The decision in the Co-feature, a 145 pound Featherweight Championship bout between 27 year-old David Lee (1-0) of Undisputed, North Park and the crowd favorite, 33 year-old Francisco Castro (5-4) of the nearby Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Fight Team, was even more difficult.

In Round #1, Castro went right after the takedown and soon had Lee off his feet. Lee held on to Castro in what I’d describe as a reverse piggyback. He held on so tight that Castro must have felt as if he were being hugged by a Kuala bear. For the longest time he was powerless. A stopwatch should have been used to track the time of this posturing.

After an inordinate amount of time, the takedown finally occurred and once again, Lee prevented Castro from landing any meaningful blows.

Just seconds into Round #2, it was Ground Hog Day all over again. Lee was off his feet and doing some serious tree hugging. You would have thought the referee would have stepped in and put a stop to this tactic but he didn’t. I doubt if we’ll ever see it in the UFC.

In Round #3, Castro and Lee went full bore, with aggressive kicks and looping KO punches. Then it was Lee who got his own takedown but failed to capitalize.

In the hands of the judges, this bout could have gone either way. That’s just what happened. One judge saw Castro winning and the other had Lee winning. Since announcers are apt to heighten the drama by taking their time to announce that third score, the groaning when Lee got the decision was quite harsh.

Even though Castro and his supporters were visibly upset by the decision, Castro offered Lee his congratulations.

Truth be known, the fight was too close to call. When this happens in boxing, the judges rely on their escape clause and declare the fight a draw. That’s exactly what should have happened here.

What’s next for Lee? Plans had already been set in motion to have the winner of this match face the current champion Marvin Madariaga in an upcoming event to decide the undisputed 145lb champion.

On the Undercard:

Bout #1 winner Mike Andaya (R) of Battle Asylum has his arm raised after defeating Julio Aguilera (L). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #1, featured welterweights, 23 year-old Mike Andaya of Battle Asylum in Escondido in his debut defeating 23 year-old Julio Aguiera of the Team Quest, Temecula, who now drops to 0-3.

After defeating Hector Morales (L) in Bout #2, Eric Wilson (R) has his arm raised in victory by referee Josh Herzog. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #2 featured featherweights, 27 year-old Eric Wilson of the Boxing Club in Kearny Mesa and Victory MMA getting the win in his debut over 21 year-old Hector Morales of Morales Otriad in El Centro, CA.

Despite his early troubles with completing the guillotine choke hold, Wilson controlled the entire first round and did land an impressive takedown.

Then in Round #2, after a second takedown, Wilson completed the choke hold and had Morales tap out.

Kris Bruno (R) has his arm raised in victory after defeating Howard L. Ruble. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #3 featured two middleweights making their MMA debuts, 26 year-old Kris Bruno, Unaffiliated, of Spring Valley, CA going up against 25 year-old Howard L. Ruble, an Independent from the Ocean Beach area.

This was one of the most bizarre opening rounds ever. After a quick takedown, Brown was on top of Ruble who stood there on all fours, almost motionless, taking these punches that came in a windmill style with the rights followed by the lefts to Ruble’s unprotected head. Even the referee was incredulous as he watched Ruble take punch after punch without wincing or making even the slightest attempt to cover up.

Jeremy Howard (R) has his arm raised in victory by referee James Blair after he defeated Nick Horne (L) in Bout #4. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #4 featured lightweights, 24 year-old Jeremy Howard of PRO AM MMA going up against 20 year-old Nick Horne of 1 on 1 Fight Co in El Cajon, CA. Horne is the younger brother of Richard Horne, one of the most accomplished fighters in Epic Fighting.

Twice, in both rounds one and two, Horne failed to get Howard to submit after he had him in the guillotine choke hold while the final seconds ticked off the clock.

Howard finished strong, especially in Round #3 after getting the takedown and then commanding top position right up until the horn sounded. In the end, the decision went to Howard.

Jaime Reyes (L), the eventual winner of Bout #5, awaits the judges’ decision with his opponent Terrence Hublard. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #5 featured featherweights, 22 year-old Jaime Reyes (2-3) going up against 25 year-old Terrence Hublard (0-3) of The Arena in Point Loma and the Miramar Fight Team.

As you watched this fight, you could see Reyes was so determined that no development would alter his course to victory. After opening round one with a high kick to Hublard’s head, a takedown followed which Hublard reversed.

Not to say Hublard didn’t have his moments, but there was no stopping Reyes’ determination on this night. In the end, Reyes won an unanimous decision.

Chris Lloyd (L) of Victory MMA has his arm raised after defeating Will Weed (R) of the USMC Fight Team.

Bout #6 had Will Weed (1-0) who trains with the MCAS Miramar Fight Team, a 25 year-old light heavyweight, going up against the 31 year-old veteran Christopher “The Outlaw” Lloyd (4-1-0-1) of Victory MMA in Point Loma, CA.

Weed is a bit of a jokester and since he’s currently not affiliated with any team, he had them announce, “In the Blue Corner, we have Will Weed, of My Back Yard.”

His joking around ended as soon as that referee shouted, “Are you ready, fight!” and the big guy, Lloyd approached with bad intentions. Lloyd had just now returned to the sport after finishing up on some schooling. It didn’t take him long to assert himself.

From the outset, you could tell Lloyd was just that much stronger than Weed. Even after Weed got a takedown in Round #2, Lloyd had little problem reversing it. By Round #3, it was Lloyd scoring the takedowns and finishing on top with the hammer punches.

Emilio Teran (C) is shown being informed of the “No Contest” ruling in Bout #7. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Joe Mello (C) is shown getting an assist from the Octagon by a member of his support group after getting hit behind the neck by Emilio Teren. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #7 featured two middleweights making their MMA debut, 24 year-old Joe Mello (Unaffiliated) going up against 28 year-old Emilio Teran of Unorthodox Training.

In this one it was clear Teran was in control of the fight and then all of a sudden, he caught Mello with a punch behind his head, call it a rabbit punch. Like in boxing, these types of blows are illegal and when Mello went down it appeared he was really hurt by the blow and had no chance of continuing.

The referee, James Blair, was in position to see what had occurred and called for an immediate stoppage to rule that the fight must be declared a “No Contest.”

Don Murphin (L), the eventual winner, and Victor Rosas (R) await the announcement of the referee stoppage in Bout #8. The stoppage that gave Murphin the victory. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #8 featured featherweights, 23 year-old Victor Rosas of Battle Asylum making his MMA debut against 31 year-old Don Murphin (0-1) of Undisputed North Park.

Like the preceding match, this one ended on a controversial note. Rosas had complete control in the early going and had to be winning on all three score cards. On three separate occasions he landed solid right hands that rattled Murphin’s cage. It was amazing that Murphin wasn’t flat on his back.

Round #2 ended with Rosas landing a hard kick followed by an overhand right. The combination sent Murphin to the canvas and had Rosas on top punching away.

As the fighters rose from their stools to begin Round #3, nobody in the place gave Murphin a shot at finishing the fight. As they say, ‘He looked like he had run his course.’

As the third round began, Rosas had his opponent backing up and then suddenly he caught Murphin with a glancing blow, a short left hook. Murphin dropped to the canvas.

Rosas probably figured it was time for some ground and pound and the referee would soon be stopping the fight.

Rosas soon discovered Murphin’s dropping to the canvas was subterfuge. Moments later, Murphin had Rosas controlled by an Armbar and within seconds of seeing Rosas arm being yanked back, the referee, Jason Herzog called for an immediate stoppage.

Of course the Rosas corner objected and the crowd groaned. The fact Herzog saved Rosas’ arm from being broken or in a sling from a should separation should be the prime consideration.

Bout #9 winner Ben Wilde (R) has his arm raised after defeating Frank Perez (L). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #9 featured two bantamweights making their MMA debut, 36 year-old Ben Wilde of King Tiger Muay Thai/MMA going up against 19 year-old Frank Perez, an Independent

The disparity in their experience level was noticeable from the outset. It was man versus boy and Wilde’s weapon of choice was the guillotine choke in Round #2.

Ben Wilde (C) is joined by his corner people after defeating Frank Perez in Bout #9. Photo: Jim Wyatt

After noting Wilde’s expertise and quick finish, his performance was selected as, “Submission of the Night.”

Mike Andaya of Battle Asylum, who KO’ed Julio Aguilera in Bout #1, was chosen to receive the trophy for, “Knockout of the night.”

The “Fight of the Night” trophies went to the gals, Kaiyana Rain and Lean Hellqvist  


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