How does that U. S. Postal Service creed go? “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” It’s only a matter of time before someone writes an anthem to the Mixed Martial Artist. Despite Friday night’s nasty weather and most everyone suffering from the flu epidemic, the Epic Fighting Series went on as scheduled and as usual 30 fighters did their best to entertained another packed house in the Main Ballroom of the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego.
Bout #1 featured Bantamweights, Chris Kirk (0-1) of Team Jhanex from Victory MMA, Point Loma, San Diego, CA going up against Jose Manuel Huerta (2-1) of the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. This was an extremely even match aside from the closing seconds of both the second and third rounds when Kirk gained an upper hand by landing several unanswered blows and then gain top position to deliver some ground and pound late in the third round.
With the mixed decision win, Kirk improved his record to (1-1) while Huerta drops to (2-2).
In Bout #2, it was Wayne Collier (1-0) of The Compound in Oceanside, CA, making his debut a success with an unanimous decision victory over Odon Alvarez De La Campa (3-8) of Team Quest, Temecula.
With his reach advantage, Collier was able to maintain the proper distance and clobber Alvarez from afar. By Round #3, Collier had the match in cruise control and closed out the fight with some powerful uppercuts.
Note well: After winning his first three fights convincingly, the always tough Alvarez has now lost eight in a row.
Bout #3 featured featherweights Troy Percy (0-1) an Independent from Highland, CA going up against Joshua Kilpatrick of Team Quest, San Jacinto, who was making his MMA debut.
This was one of those fast and furious matches and before Percy knew it, Kilpatrick had him in a Triangle Choke hold and put him to sleep for a Submission victory at 1:13 of the first round.
Bout #4 was a rematch between David Judd of Right Cross MMA, Point Loma, CA and Martin Georges (3-1-1) of Team Quest, San Jacinto, CA. Back on November 10, 2012, these two gents fought to a draw.
On Friday night, Georges clearly took Round #1 after landing solid shots to the head along with two decisive takedowns. After Round #2 became far too calculating (not much action) many wondered if another draw was in the making. That feeling remained right up till the closing seconds when Judd landed a final flurry of punches on Georges. Once again, the three judges ruled their bout a draw.
Bout #5 featured two first-timers James Pou of Team Hurricane Awesome of the San Diego Combat Academy, Mission Gorge, S. D., CA going up against Greg Mooney, an Independent from Murrieta, CA.
In this one, Pou had a lot of striking success and ended up with the TKO victory at 1:30 of Round #3.
Bout #6 featured two 155 pounders, Don Murphin of Victory MMA going up against Luther Smalls of Austin, Texas who trains at The Pit.
While Murphin looked impressive with his high leg kicks, Smalls negated that advantage by getting him to the ground for a little ground and pound. The end came in the second round after Smalls caught Murphin with a flurry of unanswered strikes to the head which had the referee calling for a stoppage.
Bout #7 featured middleweights Roberto Lerma of American Top Team, Temecula, CA (1-1) going up against Carlos Garcia of the So Cal Martial Arts Academy, Chula Vista, CA who was making his MMA debut.
This one featured more momentum swings than any of the previous bouts. Garcia started things off with a hard strike to the head, then Lerma took the advantage with some ground and pound. Then it was back and forth with the knee kicks in Round #2. In the end, the judges decided Garcia had been the busier and more accurate fighter.
In Bout #8, it was lightweight Joey Bryant-Sowka (1-1) of Swiftkick MMA, Escondido, CA. going up against Tim Quiroga (2-0) of Team Quest, San Jacinto, CA.
Bryant-Sowka got himself in trouble by being wide and off the mark with his punches which left him open for Quiroga’s straighter counters. The end came at the 1:41 point of Round #2 after the referee called for the early stoppage. Quiroga gets the TKO victory.
In Bout #9 it was southpaw Julio Aguilera (1-4) of Team Quest, San Jacinto, CA. getting his first win, an unanimous decision victory over Chris Fluke (0-3) of Puminator MMA, Temecula, CA. After a ton of action early, things slowed considerably but with Aguilera always in control.
Bout #10 featured first-timer, lightweight Tyler Sidders of The Arena MMA going up against Ritchie Rodarte (1-1) of Team Quest, San Jacinto, CA.
After getting off to a slow start, Sidders got a takedown near the close of Round #1. In both Rounds #2 and #3, the fighters went tit for tat, matching blows, matching kicks, to make this one close. In the end, all three judges had Sidders ahead.
Bout #11 featured two more rookies, Benny Borjon of Victory MMA in Point Loma, S. D. versus Paul Wentworth an Independent from Wildomar, CA.
In this one, Borjon dominated throughout but Mr. Wentworth showed a tremendous amount of heart as he hung in there after each takedown, after each big shot to the head. The way Wentworth stood his ground, he could have easily been auditioning for the next Rocky movie. At the close of the evening Borjon received the trophy for “Fighter of the Night.”
In Bout #12, Thomas Watson of The Arena MMA defeated Jimmy Melendez from Team Quest, San Jacinto, CA via submission at 1:12 of Round #3.
Watson controlled the action early on and took Round #1 with his striking ability. It was more of the same in Round #2, as Melendez barely escaped a rear naked choke. The tap out came early in the third round.
Bout #13 was a 140 pound title match between Eric Wilson of Victory MMA and the always tough Ruben Covarrubias of Team Quest, San Jacinto, CA. You could see the crowd was anxiously awaiting this match.
Then, don’t blink your eyes, the big KO punch was thrown by Wilson dropping Covarrubias at just 20 seconds of the first round. At the close of the show Wilson received the trophy for “Knockout of the Night.”
Bout #14 was an exciting 170 pound title match with the majority of the bout being contested on the canvas. Matthew Spencer from Los Angeles (3-1), an Independent, was going up against a local favorite Benjamin Fanjoy (4-0) of The Arena MMA in Point Loma, San Diego.
While on the mat, Spencer ended up getting the talented Fanjoy in trouble twice with Armbar attempts. Fanjoy miraculously got loose from the first, but couldn’t get loose in the final round. The submission by Armbar came at 2:06 of the third round.
Spencer was later awarded the trophy for “Submission of the Night.”
Rules are rules. With the clock ticking ever so close to the bewitching hour of 12 midnight, the final match could not be completed in time to meet the CAMO deadline. After just one round, the decision went to the scorers' table. The one round decision went to Bruce Smith from City Of Champions Team 9 MMA over Daniel Valdez of Camp Wolverine.