To salute Friday’s top performers, Epic Fighting’s CEO Jason Stewart (l) and the show’s Master of Ceremonies Carlos Kremer (c) went into the cage to present the Epic Fighting special achievement awards to (l to r) Brandon Fields who shared the Submission of the Night trophy with Spike Carlyle and Julio Aguilera who was declared the Fight of the Night Champion.
On Friday evening, the Epic Fighting Mixed Martial Arts group was back at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego to showcase the 33rd installment of their mixed martial arts promotions company. In front of another packed house, 34 MMA fighters representing 21 proud, sometimes boastful gyms in 17 highly competitive matches, four of which had championship implications. Amongst the exuberant, sometimes rambunctious crowd, you had some of MMA’s biggest names, Baret Yoshida, Dean Lister, Joe Duarte andChris Leben just to name a few. Nick and Nate Diaz and Connor McGregor were busy elsewhere.
In Fight#1, they had Mark Poitevien (0-1) from the UFC Gym Rosemead, Calif./The Guild taking on Rafael Guzman from The Arena MMA in Point Loma.
At the end of Bout #1, Marc Poitevien (r) posed for photos with two of his mates from the UFC Rosemead California Gym.
After the final bell, the battle worn Rafael Guzman (c) was joined by The Arena coaches Vince Salvador (l) and Charles Martinez (r).
At the conclusion of Bout #1, veteran referee Jim Blair raises the arm of Rafael Guzman (r) after his victory over Marc Poitevien (l).
In Bout #2, it was 21-year-old Jobani Herrera (1-0) of the 10th Planet HQ Fight Team taking on 20-year-old Carlos Morales (2-0) from the White Tiger Gym.
Jobani Herrera (c) is joined by his coaches at the conclusion of Bout #2.
After the announcement of his victory, referee James Beard raised the arm of the victorious Carlos “Too Pretty” Morales from White Tiger Martial Arts.
At the close of Bout 3, the blood smeared Devin Ochoa (c) was joined by his support group from Team Quest, Temecula which included Smilin’ Sam Alvey who as a professional has 30 victories and fights for the UFC.
In the blue corner, Tamahau Mc Comb (c) who was joined by his support group, Raihere Dudes, the current CFL 155 lb. champ & former 145 Epic Fighting champ (l) plus Charles Martinez their coach at The Arena.
Awaiting the judges’ decision, we see referee Jason Herzog standing between Bout #3 combatants Devin Ochoa (l) and Tamahau McComb (r).
After being awarded his unanimous decision victory, Tamahau McComb (r) was interviewed by legendary Pro fighter Chris Leben.
Bout #4 featured 21-year-old Edwin Esquivel (0-1, 5’9″ tall, weighing 145.6 lbs.) from 10th Planet HQ going up against 25-year-old Zach Tenorio from The Arena, 5’6″ tall and weighing 139.2 lbs. in his debut.
At the conclusion of Bout 4, it appears Edwin Esquivel (l) was having some problems and needed an assist from referee Jim Blair.
After the judges’ decision was announced, we see referee Jim Blair raising the arm of the victorious Zach Tenorio of The Arena MMA gym.
Bout #5 featured the ladies, 19-year-old Laurynn “the Iron Butterfly” Garcia making her Amateur MMA debut going up against 35-year-old Lacy J. “Law” Lodes (1-2).
At the conclusion of Bout #5, we had 19-year-old Laurynn “Iron Butterfly” Garcia and her support group from Excel Jiu-Jitsu MMA & Fitness pose for a photo. How about this smile? The young lady can really turn on the charm.
Not to be outdone, the lovely Lacy J. “Law” Lodes who also turns heads. Check out her support group. These gents from Silverback MMA look like they can handle themselves and likely bench press Ms. Lodes with one hand.
After learning of her split-decision victory, an elated Laurynn Garcia from Oceanside, Calif. jumps for joy. Later, referee James Beard mentioned that Ms. Garcia had almost pulled his arm out of its socket.
In Bout #6, it was 37-year-old Joseph “Mighty Joe” Young from Spirit Wolf MMA, in his debut, taking on Alexis Esquivel (2-1)from the 10th Planet Fight Team. Alexis Esquivel vs “Mighty” Joe Young
After his dramatic, rear-naked choke submission victory of “Mighty Joe” Young, Alexis Esquivel (r) was interviewed by UFC veteran Chris Leben.
After the early second round stoppage of George Vasquez (l) from the One Training Center, Spring Valley, we see Ryan Hazinski from The Arena MMA Gym having his arm raised in victory by referee Jim Blair.
After his destruction of “Curious George” Vasquez, Ryan Hazinski was interviewed by Chris Leben who just happens to hail from the same gym.
At the conclusion of Bout #8, Julio Aguilar (c) is joined by his support group which includes famed MMA coach Manolo “Hurricane” Hernandez.
After Julio “Overtime” Aguilera’s rear-naked choke submission victory over Julio Becerra (l) we see referee James Beard raising Mr. Aguilera’s arm.
At the end of the night, Julio Aguilera was brought back into the cage to receive the “Bout of the Night Champion” award. Photos: Jim Wyatt
(top left) You talk about your dazzling entrances, on Friday night Spike “The Alpha Ginger” Carlyle made his entrance dressed as Jason from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Who knows why. He might just have money invested in their upcoming movie. Carlyle’s opponent, “Jazzy” Jeff Creighton from the nearby Arena MMA Gym left his Halloween costume at home. Creighton was all business in his attempt to win the Welterweight State Title.
You talk about momentum swings, in this one, it was Jeff Creighton and not Spike Carlyle who got off to the fast start. Then Creighton got careless and Carlyle took advantage by reaching out and grabbing Creighton’s arm and then pulling it back for the armbar submission. (top, photo) Creighton lies motionless on the canvas while the fight doctor looks at his injury. (below) Carlyle looks up into the heavens to thank God for his victory.
After climbing the cage to acknowledge his supporters, things got a bit hairy for our beloved Power Ranger. Leaning down to shake the outstretched hands of supporters, it’s said Carlyle had come mighty close to losing his balance.
Referee Jason Herzog and the new California State Welterweight Champ Spike “The Alpha Ginger” Carlyle await the announcement of his victory.
In Bout #10, it was Ashlee Coffey, the blonde starlet from the San Diego Combat Academy coming away with the dramatic victory over Helen “The Big Bad Wolf” Williams. Her interview after the fight was given by one of her stablemates from the San Diego Combat Academy Gym Donny Molina, a welterweight contender.
Addendum: A few days later, the Epic Fighting MMA organization drove out to Ms. Coffey’s gym, the San Diego Combat Academy in Mission Valley to present her the trophy for “Knockout of the Night.”
(bottom left) At the conclusion of Bout #11, Carlos Sutton (l) and Elijah Harris (red trunks) line-up with referee James Beard to await the decision.
(bottom) After receiving his Light Heavyweight Title belt, Carlos “The Pitbull” Sutton had his two sons come up into the cage to share the joyous moment.
Just in case any of the fighters in the audience were entertaining thoughts of taking the belt from the new Light Heavyweight champ, Carlos “The Pitbull” Sutton posed for one last photo. All photos: Jim Wyatt
(bottom photo) After Schreel’s decisive win in Bout #12, we see referee Jason Herzog raising the arm of victorious Steven “The Real Deal” Schreel. From the indifferent, blasé look on his face, it appears Schreel is thinking, ‘No big deal.’
After his victory, we see Steven Schreel being interviewed by Chris Leben.
Daniel “Diehard” Gonzales (top, left) was like a machine, a perpetual in-your-face attack dog, who outworked Trevor Wells. As a result, the referee stopped the bout to award Gonzales the TKO victory.
At the outset, it looked like a complete mismatch as the more muscular Jeremy Fattorusso started lifting the much thinner Brandon Fields up off his feet as if he were as light as a feather, in order to flip him like a flapjack. This bullying tactic continued throughout the first round and began again in the second round. Then, out of the blue, Fields successfully pulls off the surprise triangle choke to end the bout. Thanks to Fields’ Brazillian Jui-Jitsu training, Fattorusso’s fate went from complete domination to embarrassing loss.
After his come-from-behind, unexpected victory in Bout #14, the Brandon Fields backers were all smiles. Below we see the Jeremy Fattorusso fight team and they resemble a time bomb set on a very short fuse.
After Jeremy Fattorusso (r) tapped out in his Welterweight Title Fight, we see Brandon Fields (l) having his arm hoisted skyward by referee James Beard.
(bottom) After his defeat of Cody Halleman, Julian Baez was asked for his thoughts by Donny Molina a fighter from the San Diego Combat Academy.
After defeating Christian Leon, Chris “Coco” Cocores appeared unmarked as if he had just completed another sparring session at the Escobar Training Grounds in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
(bottom, right) After his battle with Chris “Coco” Cocores, Christian Leon was joined in the cage by his coaches Vince Salvador (l) and Charles Martinez (r).
Everyone was asking, “What just happened?” The reply: “Joe Williams caught (Bruce) Smith with a big overhand right, down he went. Then Williams got in position to get a rear naked joke.” If they didn’t already know it, that had to be one of the shortest title fights ever. It ended just 29 seconds into round one.
Turn out the lights, the party’s over. We’ll see you again on May 12th, 2017, same time, same location for Epic Fighting #34.
Jim Wyatt, a 1970 graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has written weekly sports features for several Military newspapers, WCKMuayThai.com, SportofBoxing.com and Examiner.com as their San Diego Boxing Examiner. He was one of the four "Wise Guys" who predicted winning football selections versus the Vegas spreads. Some of the people he enjoyed meeting: Earvin "Magic" Johnson, WWF Wrestler Lita, LaDainian Tomlinson, Nate Kaeding and Darren Bennett of the Chargers, Tony Gwynn and Jake Peavy of the Padres, soccer stars Shannon MacMillan and Julie Foudy, Mixed Martial Artists Cris Cyborg, Junior Dos Santos, the Nogueira brothers plus the many great people involved in boxing and Muaythai.
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