By Jay Tan
Although November and December typically indicate the end of a calendar year, California Amateur MMA Organization, Inc. (CAMO) was in full swing, as the first three events involving regulated amateur MMA matches in California took place during that time.
Promoter Ed Holmes (All-Star Boxing / Ka-Boom MMA Promotions) has the distinction of hosting the first CAMO-regulated match, Jesse Crespin vs. Chris Deroma, which took place on November 20th. This and two other amateur matches made up the amateur portion of a pro-am event at
the Quiet Canyon Country Club in Montebello.
“It was a great turnout, and at the same time, some of those amateur fights were as good as the pros,” said Holmes.
Match results from All-Star’s November 20th event were as follows:
180 lbs. – Jesse Crespin def. Chris Deroma (Champions Karate Dojo) via TKO, R1, 0:12.
165 lbs. – Jacob Rodriguez (Academy of Striking & Grappling) def. Ruben Gudino (West Coast Fight Academy) via TKO, R1, 0:43.
145 lbs. – Cooper Gibson (Team True Warrior) def. Anthony Jimenez (Adrenaline) via unanimous decision.
When asked his thoughts on the level of competition among California’s amateurs, Holmes was quick to point out two rising stars, “Jacob Rodriguez was one and the other was [Cooper Gibson]. I thought both those kids were pretty impressive as amateurs.”
The first all-amateur CAMO-regulated event took place the following week, November 28th, in Santa Maria, as promoter Jeff Restivo’s California Fight Syndicate presented “Battle at the Barracks,” at the Santa Maria National Guard Armory.
“I’m really excited, because it’s a piece of history, and I’ve been wanting this for a long time.” commented CA Fight Syndicate matchmaker Anthony Arria.
For Arria, amateur MMA is the crucial stepping stone that aspiring fighters need to prepare themselves and prevent a false-start to their pro careers. “It’s a perfect opportunity for kids to test themselves without getting thrown to the lions. . . With [amateur MMA], now they can let it all hang, and not have to worry about ‘oh, I might not get that big paycheck.’ Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening with pros. You’re getting these guys that are very one-dimensional, and are losing, because they didn’t have an opportunity to fight amateur,” he explained.
Match results from “Battle at the Barracks” were as follows:
155 lbs. – David Snell (SLO Kick Box & Submission Wrestling) def. Alvaro Corral (Paragon MMA) via TKO, R2, 1:46.
162 lbs. (catchweight) – Joseph Fernandez (independent) def. Jason Ordonez (Ventura MMA) via submission, R1, 1:11.
165 lbs.(catchweight) – Eric Prado (independent) def. Josh Passmore (independent) via TKO R3, 0:41.
145 lbs. – Tim Riscen (KnuckleHeadz Boxing) def. Camron Sewel (Paragon MMA) via unanimous decision.
155 lbs. – Joshua Ruehlig (SLO Kickboxing) def. Waldo Dominguez (Team Fresh) via split decision.
160 lbs. – Anthony Dakuras (Santa Maria USA STUD LIFE) def. Vincent Guerrero IV (Blue, Black, & Brown) via TKO, R3,
180 lbs. – Michael Perez (KnuckleHeadz Boxing) def. Matt Lovato (independent) via unanimous decision.
163 lbs. (catchweight) – Michael Gahan (The Pit Fight Team) def. Bren O’Neal (independent) via TKO, R3, 1:04.
Heavyweight – Jason Quintero (Paragon MMA / SLO Kickboxing) def. Mike Brown (independent) via submission, R1, 0:39.
The final CAMO event of 2009 was “Conquest in the Cage 6,”
another All-Star / Ka-Boom semi-pro event, this time at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The event was held on December 5th.
Match results for “Conquest in the Cage 6” were as follows:
140 lbs. – Jose Medina (Adrenaline) def. Reshan Sabaratnam (PKG) via TKO, R2, 1:46.
185 lbs. – Cody Silvett (Team Wardance) def. Fernando Barrera (Reyes Boxing Club) via split decision.
175 lbs. (catchweight) – Raul Ortiz (Destiny MMA) def. Jesse Crespin (CSW) via TKO, R2, 1:51.
172 lbs.(catchweight) – Lou Tapia (PKG) def. Brandon Weil (independent) via TKO, R2, 1:10.
This past weekend, on January 16th, CA Fight Syndicate held their first Pro-Am show. “The show was named ‘Heavy Hitters,’ and at that point it lived up to its reputation,” Arria said afterwards.
Arria went on to note: “the Michael Gahan vs. Anthony Dakuras fight, for me, was probably fight of the night. Even over the pros. Everybody said it was way better than any of the pro fights. Because these guys really went at it.”
Match results for CA Fight Syndicate’s “Heavy Hitters” were as follows:
193 lbs. (catchweight) – Robert Rud def. Shannon Good (S.B. Fighter / Paragon MMA) via decision.
156 lbs. (catchweight) – Juan Ferrer (SKS) def. Joseph Fernandez (independent) via TKO, R1, 1:56.
155 lbs. (catchweight) – Michael Gahan (The Pit Fight Team) def. Anthony Dakuras (Santa Maria USA STUD LIFE) via TKO, R2, 1:52.
185 lbs. – John Hackleman, Jr. (The Pit Fight Team) def. Sam Vargas (independent) via TKO, R1, 0:22.
286 lbs. – Makani Sarellano (S.K.S. Fight Team) def. Deldridge Jones (independent) via KO, R1, 1:18.
135 lbs. – Brandon Drucker (S.K.S. Fight Team) def. Daniel Garcia (SB Fighter / Violent Tendency MMA) via submission, R1, 1:21.
Explaining why he chose to do a pro-am show, Arria said “we have a bunch of pros in Santa Barbara, and some of them train with some of the amateurs. It really keeps that local feel.”
Northern California kicks into gear on January 22nd at the Sacramento Radisson, as Stand Up Fighters Promotions and Coaching Kids MMA present their first event of the year. Visit www.CoachingKidsMMA.org
for info on tickets.
All Star / Ka-Boom returns to the Quiet Canyon Country Club on January 22nd with an all-amateur show, and then to the Westin Bonaventure Hotel on April 3rd.
Fight Academy Pasadena presents “Proving Grounds,” a 10-match amateur MMA event, on January 29th, at their gym on 491 S. Arroyo Pkwy. Visit www.FightAcademyMMA.com
for ticket info.
The first CAMO-sanctioned Pankration event takes place on January 30th at the Rollerdome in Thousand Oaks, as T.O. Boxing / Performance Promotions presents “Fight Night 5.” Visit www.TOBoxing.net