Epic Fighting 10, first local MMA show of 2012

January 20, 2012 No Comments

Keith “Danger” Carson receives Epic Fighting’s “Knockout of the Night” trophy after stopping Sean Najjar in Bout #4. Photo: Jim Wyatt

On Friday evening, January 20, 2012, Epic Fighting, the popular San Diego MMA organization, had their 10th show and first of the new year at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, CA

After his exciting win, Marvin Madariaga of the Black House Team Nogueira Gym is interviewed. Photo: Jim Wyatt.

In the main event, Marvin Madariaga (4-0) a student at Platt College who trains at the Blackhouse Team Nogueira Gym was scheduled to face Francisco Castro, a U. S. Marine stationed at MCAS Miramar (7-6) to battle in a rematch of their December meeting for the California State Welterweight title. In that last fight, a memorable battle, Madariaga caught Castro with three successive blows to the head to secure a dramatic TKO victory.

Because of their contrasting styles and tremendous respect for one another, both men were looking forward to the rematch. Then, just days before their weigh-in, Castro had to seek help for a bothersome shoulder injury and couldn’t get the doctor’s clearance to perform.

Daniel Valdez (L) of Wolverine MMA became a last minute replacement to fight Marvin Madariaga after Francisco Castro was forced to bow out. Photo: Jim Wyatt

To replace Castro in the main event, Epic Fighting’s matchmaker, Joe Snell, brought in Daniel Valdez from Team Pinnacle of Wolverine MMA in Highland, CA. Last year, Valdez lost to Cody Clark of Sitra Masoon in a bout for the IFS Cup Muy Thai Super Welterweight Title.

In Friday’s bout, both fighters came out swinging for the fences and each delivered what you’d have to call knockout blows. In other words, both fighters proved they could take a punch. It was Madariaga’s accumulation of hard blows that dictated the referee’s early stoppage. This was Madariaga’s third win inside the first round.

Even before the festivities began, Matt Fort, a well known MMA fighter/instructor from the San Diego Combat Academy participated in an exhibition sparring match against Tiffany Van Soest, a Muay Thai/MMA champion who at this juncture appeared to be getting the best of Fort. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Before the festivities got started, Epic Fighting warmed up the crowd with two exhibitions. The one that drew the most interest featured MMA and Muay Thai champion Tiffany Van Soest of the Black House Gym on Miramar Road who took on Matt Fort, a well known Mixed Martial Artist/Instructor from the San Diego Combat Academy.

This bout featured many quick and classy maneuvers as neither fighter wanted to be embarrassed. Of course over the regular crowd noise you could hear several females screaming, “F… him up!” which had the male patrons chuckling.

In the past, male boxers and mixed martial artists have been approached by promoters to fight a female counterpart. The smart ones tell the promoter:  “Why would any guy ever want to fight a women when he has nothing to gain. If he wins, he is forever remembered as the reprehensible bloke who couldn’t compete against men so he had to resort to beating up a lady. If he loses, he is forever remembered as the guy who lost to a women.

Likewise, Dale Malensek (C), George Hernandez’s opponent, appears to be leaning hard on the shoulders of his supporters. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In Bout #1, light-heavyweight, 6 foot 3” Dale Malensek (5-0) of The The Arena MMA Gym won a tightly contested match over lefty George Hernandez (0-2) of Fit Athletic in San Diego’s downtown. The match was so close that a second round takedown by Malensek may have been the deciding factor.

At the end of Bout #1, George Hernandez (C) appears to be leaning heavily on the shoulders of his supporters.        Photo: Jim Wyatt.

Oscar Gonzalez (R) has his arm raised after being declared the winner of Bout #2 over Jared Laughlin (L). Photo: Jim Wyatt

In Bout #2, welterweight Oscar Gonzalez (5-2) of Victory MMA defeated 28 year-old Jared Laughlin (0-2) of San Marcos, a six-footer from Team Quest, Temecula.

In this one Gonzalez appeared determined to do his best Nick Diaz impression. At times he stood directly in front of Laughlin sneering at him with his hands down. By Round #2, all the fun and games had disappeared and Gonzalez took the bout by means of a rear-naked choke. It was Laughlin’s second straight submission loss.

At the end of Bout #3, Guillerma De Lima was joined by his support group from the Victory MMA Gym in Point Loma. Photo: Jim Wyatt

After his victory over Guillerma De Lima, Kyle Kleinschmidt (C) is joined by mates from The Arena. Photo: J. Wyatt

Bout #3 featured Kyle Kleinschmidt of The Arena MMA Gym going up against Guillerma De Lima of Victory MMA, a gym that’s less than a mile away.

In Round #1, it appeared the more experienced Kleinschmidt had this bout sewn up, especially after the three successful takedowns and the pounding he was delivering to De Lima’s head.

Then right after the third takedown, De Lima did a reversal and had a formidable choke hold on Kleinschmidt that almost turned the match around. De Lima’s problem? It came in the final seconds of Round #1.

In Round #2, Kleinschmidt reasserted his dominance and twice took the younger, taller De Lima down.

Then, between rounds, De Lima’s corner must have told him he was in need of a knockout or a submission because he came out with even more intensity. After a high knee kick from De Lima failed to connect, Kleinschmidt, the stronger of the two, kept De Lima close and down he went again for what must have been his seventh takedown.

Following the takedown, Kleinschmidt caught De Lima with a left hook followed by a straight right and down he went for the eighth time. The nonstop battle was very entertaining, especially for the patrons who were pulling for Kleinschmidt the eventual winner.

Keith Carson (L), the eventual winner, and Sean Najjar (R) await the judges’ decision from Bout #4. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #4 featured a rematch between two featherweights (135-145 lbs.) with lightning fast reflexes, Keith “Danger” Carson of San Bernardino, CA who works out at the Sports Academy/Aguirre’s fighting system in San Bernardino and Sean Najjar of La Mesa, CA who works out at the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center in El Cajon, CA.

Carson was hoping to rebound after his loss in December in the Southern California State Championship finals to Radames Garcia (6-1).

The best way to describe this match? It was like watching a rebroadcast of a fight where the person handling the remote control is constantly playing everything back in fast forward. The kicks and punches came so fast, I’m certain it was difficult for the judges to keep score.

Carson’s advantage became more pronounced after he got on top of Najjar to deliver multiple hard blows to the head. Najjar got just one lone takedown at the end of the round.

You would think Carson would have slowed somewhat in Round #2, but that wasn’t the case. Before long, he had another takedown and was landing his punches at will; enough punches that the referee decided to stop the carnage at 1:42 of the second round and award Carson the TKO victory. Carson’s record improves to (7-4) while Najjar’s record falls to (1-2).

Bout #5, the Main event, was covered earlier.

After his victory in Bout #5 over Daniel Valdez, Marvin Madariaga (C) was joined by his coaches, (L to R) Alex Palma (Muay Thai), Lawrence Madariaga (Striking) and Ludwig Madariaga (wrestling/grappling). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Winner of Bout #5, Marvin Madariaga (R) and opponent, Daniel Valdez (L)         await the judges’ decision.                                                Photo: Jim Wyatt

Jason Stewart (far left), Epic Fighting’s CEO, along with the show’s hostesses get ready to present the winning trophies at Friday’s show. Photo: Jim Wyatt

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