No brag, just fact – San Diego County is and will likely remain one of the world’s hotbeds as it pertains to producing the world’s top Mixed Martial Artists, male and female. To support this claim, just take a gander at the number of MMA fighters now signed by the major fight organizations – UFC, Invicta and Bellator.
On the March 14, 2014, Bellator MMA Championship Tournaments, Bellator 112, will feature 5’11” War Machine (14-5-0) from San Diego who trains with fellow Bellator fighter Herman Terrado at the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center at the Downtown and North Park locations. Together with Nic Barnes of the Und1sputed/Purebred MMA Team, it seems these guys are always preparing for a big fight.
The 32 year-old War Machine will be facing the 23 year-old Nah-shon “The Rock-N-Rolla” Burrell (9-3-0) in an opening round match of the new 170 pound Welterweight Tournament. Burrell, who stands 6’1″ tall is from Philadelphia, Pa and trains at Fight Firm.
Of War Machine’s 14 victories, eight came by way of knockout and six by way of submission; his losses, one by way of decision and four by submission. He’s never been knocked out.
The breakdown of Burrell’s matches – six wins by knockout, five by decision; his losses, once by knock out and twice by decision.
The following week, on their March 21st show, Bellator 113, they’re featuring two more locals, lightweights (155 lbs.) Patricky Pitbull (10-5) of San Diego who trains at the Black House Team Nogueira Gym on Miramar Road taking on 25 year-old David “The Caveman” Rickels (15-2) out of Wichita, Kansas where he trains at Janjira Muay Thai.
On the same night, they have the recently signed, 23 year-old Derek Anderson (10-0) of Team Explode, Escondido, CA who lives in Carlsbad, CA. Anderson, who will be making just his second appearance on Bellator, is set to face Terry Etim (16-5) a 28 year-old, a UFC veteran who is from Liverpool, England and trains with Team Kaobon.
As far as experience level, both Rickels and Pitbull are seasoned veterans and no doubt it should be a competitive fight. The match we should be concern about is this Anderson versus Etim fight. The breakdown of Etim’s 21 fights: he has two KO wins, 12 submission wins and two of his fights were won by decision. His five losses – one by TKO, one by submission and three by decision.
Over the past couple years, this roving reporter has watched Anderson, a product of the XAFS (Xplode Amateur Fight Series) and then the XFS (Xplode Fight Series pro level), fight a great many bruisers who not only outweighed him but had a ton more experience. The majority of time, this amiable, fearless, good-natured, tattoo-less youngster surprised his opponents. But this coming match-up might be pushing the envelope.
Additional Bellator fighters from San Diego include: Michael Chandler who became the lightweight champion at Bellator 97. The incomparable Joe Duarte, who trains at The Arena in Point Loma, has a record of 10-3.
Okay, that covers Bellator. If we were to start naming the fighters from San Diego area gyms who are performing in like organizations, we could be at it all day. Not to be a name dropper, but we could mention Cris Cyborg Santos, Liz Carmouche, Carla Esparza, Tiffany Van Soest, Mike LeMaire, Marvin Madariaga, Dominick Cruz, Walel Watson, K. J. Noons, Joseph Benavidez, Alexander Gustaffson, Brandon Vera, Phil Davis, and so on and so forth. The latest UFC signee from the area is Danny “The Little Gremlin” Martinez from the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. I believe we’ve made our point.