SANTA YNEZ, CALIF. (Oct. 27, 2007) – On a night when Tito Ortiz’s protégé Aaron Rosa suffered his first loss to undefeated Jared Hamman, Javier “Showtime” Vazquez shocked the Mixed Martial Arts world by announcing his retirement Friday on ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series on SHOWTIME.
“I am better suited as a coach than I am as a fighter,” said Vazquez (12-2) following a 1:15, first-round victory by way of submission (rear-naked choke) over JC “Crayola’’ Pennington (14-4-1). “When the sport feels like it’s a job and you’re clocking in, then it is time to go.
“Win or lose, I knew this was going to be my last fight. I signed for this fight about a month ago. But I actually knew before that this would be it. I just wanted to give myself one more chance to make sure that I was doing the right thing.
“To train everyday, as opposed to having to train everyday, are two different things. I don’t know, maybe one day my feelings will change. But the time feels right, and now I can focus on my life. My camp and family knew what I was up to about a month ago. We have a second child on the way.
“Right now, I am retired,” added Vazquez (javiervazquez.proelite.com), 31, of Pomona, Calif., who was one of the top Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and most explosive and dynamic grapplers in the world. “I am still going to go to the gym every day. I am a master teacher, and I feel I will produce better fighters than me. I think I have made a lot of 145-pound fighters happy.
Gary Shaw, EliteXC Live Events President, was caught totally off guard by Vazquez’s announcement.
“This came as an absolute surprise,’’ Shaw said. “I had no clue that he was even considering retiring. I give Vazquez a lot of credit for doing what he feels is right for the good of the sport.”
In other televised bouts presented by Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.’s Live Fight Division, EliteXC, that aired at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from Chumash Casino Resort: Malaipet (3-1) outpointed Kaleo Kwan (8-7) at 155 pounds; Mushin Corbbrey (12-2, 1 NC) rallied to defeat Bobby McMaster (8-2) at 155 pounds; and Shayna Baszler (10-4) submitted Jennifer Tate (4-1) at 135 pounds.
In results of contests streamed live on ProElite.com, the Internet’s premier MMA social networking and entertainment site, that began at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT: Unbeaten 135-pounder Chris Cariaso (6-0) scored a unanimous decision over Rick McCorkell (6-4); undefeated 185-pounder Giva Santana (10-0) submitted Jaime Fletcher (8-3) in the first round at 2:46; and Shane Del Rosario (3-0) submitted Amedeo Viola (0-1) in a triangle choke 2:27 into the first round of their 225-pound bout.
“This was truly another great ShoXC cage fight card,” Shaw said. “I really believe that ShoXC continues to do for MMA what ShoBox has done for boxing. Tonight’s card featured a lot of great, exciting fights and offered a bit of everything.
“Jared Hamman was awesome. Shayna Baszler exemplified that women do indeed have a place in MMA and with this win may have earned a fight with Gina Carano. Malaipet possesses a ton of talent. I know Kwan’s legs are going to be sore in the morning. Corbbrey continues to demonstrate a ton of skills.
“The fans in attendance, the viewers on SHOWTIME and ProElite.com all received a couple hours worth of quality, competitive, exciting fights. I am very happy for everybody involved.”
As surprising as Vazquez’s retirement announcement was the performance of Hamman (10-0), who dominated Rosa (10-1) en route to triumphing by way of second-round submission (rear naked choke) at 1:46. Hamman, a college football coach, has yet to have a fight enter the third round.
“This is definitely the biggest and most important win of my career,” said Hamman (jaredhamman.proelite.com), of San Bernardino, Calif., who used a series of body slams to eventually render control over Rosa (aaronrosa.proelite.com). “Fighting on SHOWTIME really added more pressure. But what’s cool is that all my players (at the University of Redlands) were able to see me fight and win.
“I don’t know what is next, but for now this is very exciting. Rosa was definitely tough.”
Rosa of San Antonio, by way of Del Rio, Texas, conceded afterward he was not at full strength.
“I don’t make excuses, but I was not 100 percent,” he said. “I got sick recently and it totally messed up my cardio. I got tired in there. I would definitely love to fight him again.”
Pennington (jcpennington.proelite.com), of Slidell, Louisiana, is hopeful of getting another shot on a ShoXC fight card.
“I fought a guy in Vazquez who was naturally much bigger and strong than me,” he said. “I knew Vazquez was tough. I look forward to fighting again soon and regaining my winning ways.”
Baszler (shaynabaszler.proelite.com), of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, made quick work of Tate (jennifertate.proelite.com), of Lodi, Calif., by way of Stockton, Calif. Baszler triumphed by way of submission (arm bar) 44 seconds into the first round.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect it to go that quickly,” Baszler said. “I slipped a punch, the take down was there and I took it. I did what I trained to do.
“I love fighting on SHOWTIME. I know all of my family and friends were watching. I didn’t get a lot of airtime, but I am very happy with this win. I’ve fought the best and I am ready to fight anybody.”
Offered Tate, “I am really disappointed that the fans didn’t get to see the real Jen Tate tonight. I am a much better fighter than I showed and I hope EliteXC and SHOWTIME give me another chance.”
In a fast-paced, one-sided war, Malaipet registered a unanimous decision over Kwan.
Kwan landed a left hook and a series of gyrating jabs, drawing blood over Malaipet’s right eye in the opening round. But Malaipet dominated the fight with a series of thunderbolt low kicks and flying knees to Kwan’s face.
“I am happy with my performance,” said Malaipet (malaipet.proelite.com) of Upland, Calif., who was victorious by the scores of 30-26 and 30-27 twice. “But I guarantee I will be faster, better and swifter next time. I was not 100 percent for this. But once I sign for a fight there is no backing out.”
Said Kwan (kaleokwan.proelite.com) of Waimanalo, Hawaii, “I caught him with some good left hooks, but I didn’t pressure him enough. I think I only tried to take him down once. But I am Hawaiian. You hit me, I hit back. I wanted to test myself. I lost, but I know I’m not that far behind the best.
In the opening telecast of the evening, Corbbrey of Bluffton, S.C., was dominated by McMaster until rallying to win by way of submission (guillotine) at 4:49 of the opening round.
“He was tough as nails. Tougher than I thought, and I knew he was going to be tough,” Corbbrey (muhsincorbbrey.proelite.com) said. “This was a great fight. I was able to show my Jiu-Jitsu and ground skills. This wasn’t the way the fight was supposed to go. He had me down a long time, but I kept moving my head. He never caught me with a solid, great punch.”
Said McMaster (bobbymcmaster.proelite.com), “I am not disappointed. This was my first fight at the master level, and I thought I beat him pretty good for the whole round. I will know next time what not to do. I’m not happy because I lost but these are the rules of the game.”
The executive producer of the telecast was David Dinkins, Jr. with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
EliteXC returns to SHOWTIME Saturday, Nov. 10, when “EliteXC: Renegade,’’ presented by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, makes its highly anticipated debut in Corpus Christi, Texas, live at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). Calling the action will be Mauro Ranallo and Stephen Quadros.
The main event will showcase an EliteXC world title fight in a brand new weight class – 160 pounds -- between talented, crowd-pleasing Nick Diaz (15-6) of Stockton, Calif., and exciting, hard-hitting KJ Noons (5-2) of San Diego, Calif.
An eagerly awaited match will mark the EliteXC debut of Kimbo, the legendary underground bare-knuckle fighter who became an overnight pop-culture sensation when his fighting videos were posted on various video host sites throughout the Internet. On YouTube, Kimbo’s videos have been downloaded in excess of seven million times – and counting.
Kimbo, of Miami, Fla., will face six-foot, 275-pound veteran Mike “The Rhino’’ Bourke.
A compelling Nov. 10 co-feature will match a Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu against an Xtreme Couture fighter when streaking, world-ranked welterweight, Jake Shields faces Mike “Quicksand” Pyle.
In another televised fight, Kyle “KO’’ Noke (13-3-1), the bodyguard of the late “Crocodile Hunter’’ Steve Irwin, will make his EliteXC debut in a 185-pound fight against Seth “Mass Destruction’’ Kleinbeck (8-3) of Ozark, Ark. A fifth television match is expected to be announced in the near future.
For more information on ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series, EliteXC and other MMA-related stories, including bios, videos, photos, stats and much more, please visit ProElite.com and EliteXC.com.