Humble Civic Center hosted Garcia Promotions: Cage Combat 20 this past Friday. It was an amazing 15-fight card, full of wild back and forth amateur fights, with plenty of finishes.
The first three fights ended in a stoppage. To set the tone of the night, Alex Macedo put Jarik Yarbrough to sleep with a guillotine choke in the first fight. The next fight ended in a doctor’s stoppage. After a brief, wild exchange, Aaron Valdes landed a head kick that would leave a nasty cut under the eye of Phoung Biu. Tim Cormier completely dominated Michael Rodriguez from the opening bell, till Cormier locked in the rear-naked choke in the third round. Cormier used his superior wrestling to control the fight.
The fourth fight would be the first to go to a decision. Dominick Perez versus Giovanni Arce started off slow, both guys were looking to feel each other out. Once the fight hit the ground, Perez showed that he had the stronger ground game off of his back. The third round was the most action filled, and at the end of the round, Perez caught Arce in what looked to be a finishing armbar, but the bell saved Arce; the judges gave Dominick Perez the Decision.
Jose Quintanilla and Joe Lara was a stand up war, until Quintanilla put Lara on the defensive on the ground. Quintanilla caught Lara in a rear-naked choke to finishes the fight in the second round.
The next bout had Josh Wilson taking on the debuting fighter, Derrick Ageday. Ageday was a NJCAA wrestler, and you could tell. He used his limited striking to clinch up with Wilson and hold him down. Wilson landed the more effective strikes, but it was Ageday who would earn a split decision; the wrestling ability was the difference.
Santiago Guzman and Chantz Gibson were both making their MMA debuts, and both were looking to impress fans and get the knockout. Both fighters were slinging leather, each landing hard shots. Guzman was the more technical striker and opened up in the second round, landing hard, crisp strikes. After landing a flying knee and more unanswered strikes, the ref stepped in to stop the match, right as it seemed Gibson secured a takedown. Gibson protested the stoppage, but the safety of the fighters is most important.
Whenever someone fights Clarence Brown, it seems their main goal is to simply beat him up for all the trash talking he has done in the past; Alonzo Sanchez was no different. From the opening bell, Sanchez smothered Brown, and gave him an old fashion ass whooping until Brown would tap to strikes in the third round. It seemed as if Brown had suffered a shoulder injury during the fight.
The next two fights ended quickly. Craig Grove stalked Nick Ortiz around the cage before landing a right hand from ‘ginger hell’, the crumpled him to the canvas. Next, Stephen Pena submitted D’Neareon Seymore with a triangle choke. Then Jonathan Walker and Alex Tirado scrapped with one another, landing some nice shots on each other. Walker would get the fight to the ground and finish it in the second with some ground and pound.
Zach Henson and Jake Heffernan was to determine who would face Steven Vera for the 135 title. On the feet, both guys landed hard shots, hurting each other, but it was Heffernan’s grappling that would prove to be the give him the advantage. Henson was able to escape some dangerous positions in the first two rounds, but with 1 second left in the fight, Heffernan was able to get the TKO finish, and earn a shot at the champ, Steven Vera.
Dayron Vasquez and EJ Turner was also a title eliminator fight for the lightweight title. The winner would face the current champion, Leroy Vasquez in September. On the feet, both fighters showed good, effective striking, but it was Vasquez who had the better grappling. Vasquez would earn the decision win, and a shot at Leroy Vasquez and his title.
The co-main event featured two light-heavyweights, Danny Bennett and Jordan Zendejas, that fought at heavyweight. Danny Bennett, who has death in his hands, was looking to end the fight early, but Zendejas’ awkward style seemed to be confusing to Bennett. Eventually, Bennett got top position, and the fight was stopped in the second round due to strikes.
The main event featured two undefeated fighters, Ryan Connelly and Morgan Oriahi. Connelly was able to control the pace early on, but Oriahi landed a superman punch that floored Connelly. Oriahi would win via TKO.
Fight Night Awards
Fight of The Night: Jake Heffernan and Zach Henson
Knockout of The Night: Craig Grove
Submission of The Night: Alex Macedo