Epic Fighting 19, Friday, July 12, 2013
There are still a lot of shows left in 2013 for Epic Fighting MMA but Friday night’s clash at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel between, Bruno Machado (2-0-1) from Victory MMA, Point Loma, by way of San Paolo, Brazil, the defending 170 pound champion, and Thomas Watson (3-0) of The Arena MMA, Point Loma, should be high on the list of fights being considered for “Fight of the Year.”
From the outset, Machado, not to be confused with the professional MMA competitor with the same name, appeared to be in full control. After all he had the broader shoulders, a two inch height advantage and appeared to have more power behind, not only his punches, but these hard, debilitating kicks which eventually got Watson off his feet. After two left hooks landed, Machado sent Watson to the canvas for the first time.
After surviving Round #1, Watson showed true grit by ignoring those hard kicks and pressed forward to land these straight strikes to the head. From that point, the tide must have turned at least six times until finally Watson, the striker, pressed forward and hurt Machado, the Jiu Jitsu artist, who went down.
Back and forth they went in the third round with Watson showing more consistency by way of landing those punches to the head. After Watson went down for the third time, Machado missed a golden opportunity and only landed these harmless hammer fists on Watson’s back.
Once Watson got back to his feet, he went 100% striker.
From that point on, the accumulation of blows to Machado’s face had him backing up. This development swayed the three judges who eventually ruled Watson had won by a point, a razor-thin unanimous decision.
Two additional factors that we should consider: It was discovered later that Machado, the Brazilian, had taken some time off and only trained two weeks for this fight. Watson, on the other hand, who’s father is in the Military (an Army Sergeant Major stationed in New York), was more focused since he knew his family (father, mother and two brothers), would be visiting from New York to see his fight.
As close as this match was, you can be certain the promoter will be working hard to get the same fighters together for a rematch. On Friday, September 13th, Epic Fighting 20 will be at the same venue hosting the CAMO (California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization) Southern California Finals. That would be the ideal time for this Watson versus Machado rematch.
Now for the rest of this exciting fight card
Bout #1, in the 115-124 pound weight class, featured southpaw Gregory “The Truth” Huth (1-1) of the San Diego Combat Academy’s Team Hurricane Awesome going up against Chris Kirk (1-2) of Victory MMA’s Team Jhanex MMA.
With this one was dead-even after two rounds, Kirk pulled out all the stops in the final round. After catching his opponent with a solid left hook, Kirk backed Huth up against the cage. This exercise, plus a strong takedown just seconds before the final bell, won over the judges.
Bout #2, in the 135-144 pound weight class, featured 5’6” J. W. Lee (2-2-1) of Oceanside, CA going up against 5’6” Ruben Covarrubias (2-2-1) of Team Quest, San Diego, CA by way of New Jersey.
In this one, Covarrubias was the better striker but overall Lee held top position longer and shined in all facets.
Bout #3, in the 135-144 pound weight class, featured 5’11” Cameron Toor (1-0-0-1 no contest) of Swift Kick Martial Arts taking on 5’9” Razul Ware (0-0) a U. S. Marine stationed at MCAS Miramar making his MMA debut.
After the bout, Ware’s coach Francisco “Panchito” Castro described his protege as quick and explosive. That he was. After a lightning fast takedown, Ware picked Toor up several times to thump him against the canvas; ground & pound followed until the referee called for the stoppage.
Bout #4, in the 145-154 pound weight class, featured 5’ 10” David Fabian (2-0) of Adrenaline Combat Sports, Redlands, CA going up against 5’11”, 23 year-old Tyler Sidders (2-0) of The Arena MMA, Point Loma, CA by way of Atlanta, Georgia.
After Fabian got punched by Sidders, down he went and before you knew it, Sidders was applying an Armbar for the Submission victory.
Bout #5, in the 155-169 pound weight class, featured 5’7” Jacobe “The Problem” Powell (3-1) of Van Nuys, CA who trains at Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA gym. He took on 21 year-old David Judd (2-2-2 no contest) of Right Cross MMA, El Cajon, CA who stands six-foot tall.
This was a strange one when you consider their difference in height. Judd’s punches went to the midsection and chest while Powell worked himself inside to land his shots to the face. Before you knew it, Judd had been knocked off his feet.
Bout #6 featured the women, southpaw, 5’7” Ashley Yoder (1-4) from Team Quest going up against 5’2” Diana Manzanares (1-2) of Adrenaline MMA, San Bernardino, CA.
The much shorter Manzanares was fighting for the 125-134 pound title when she normally fights in a lower weight class.
With Manzanares being so much smaller, this one didn’t last long. After gaining top position, Yoder saw her opportunity to grab Manzanares’ arm and secure an Armbar submission.
Bout #7, in the 145-154 pound weight class, featured 5’11” southpaw, Julio Aguilera (1-4) of Murrieta, CA and training at the Team Quest MMA gym in Lake Elsinore, CA taking on 5’11” Joey Bryant-Sowka (1-4) of Swift Kick MMA in Escondido, CA.
With both fighters completely spent at the end of round three, this one went to the scorecards. It appeared Aguilera had taken Round #1 by the slimmest of margins, lost Round #2, but finished stronger in Round #3 to get the victory.
Bout #8, in the 155-169 pound weight class, had 5’11” Manuel Garcia (1-0) of La Mesa, Ca, a member of Team Hurricane Awesome at the San Diego Combat Academy in San Diego, taking on 5’ 10” Tony Bugno, an Independent from San Diego, CA by way of Pittsburgh, PA who was making his MMA debut.
This one was never in doubt as Garcia was on top for most of Round #1 and then after engineering another takedown in Round #2, he began to windmill his punches to Bugno’s head until the referee Ed Eckert mercifully stopped the bout.
Bout #9, in the 170-184 pound weight class, featured 6’ tall Hector Saldana of Hemet, CA who trains at Team Quest, Murrieta, CA going up against 5’9” Cody “Little Monster” Sons (3-0) of the One Nation Fight Team in Bakersfield, CA.
Like his nickname, Sons came out of the shoot like a monster, a madman and it appeared his momentum, his superior strength would prove to be too much for Saldana. Then, all of a sudden, even with Sons holding top position, Saldana managed a Triangle Choke to get Sons to submit.
Bout #10, in the 155-169 pound weight class, featured 5’9” Armando Acosta of The Arena MMA in Point Loma, CA, making his MMA debut, going up against 5’10” southpaw George Hernandez (1-2) from Team Hurricane Awesome at the San Diego Combat Academy, San Diego, CA.
Hernandez, a transplant from Santa Rosa, CA, dominated early, it wasn’t long before referee James Beers deemed it necessary to step in and stop the bout.
Bout #12, in the 155-169 pound weight class, featured two six-footers Joel Lott (3-1) of Team Quest MMA of Murrieta, CA going up against Paul J. Newbury from Team Hurricane Awesome at the San Diego Combat Academy, San Diego, CA, who was making his MMA debut.
This one was another striker (Lott) versus the grappler (Newbury) battle and the lighter Newbury managed to do more to edge out Lott and gain the victory. At times, it appeared Lott could not miss.