"Hi. We were told that we were supposed to get wristbands. Our son is fighting today."
After being greeted by a swarm of San Jacintos infamous flies all I could think about was how much I hated waiting in line in sunny humid weather. That is
until I started eavesdropping on the conversation in front of me.
"Were Mr. and Mrs. Alessio, John Alessios parents. I even brought his gear." She gestured to a plastic bag filled with his fight garb.
My grimace turned into a smile. Whether youre a third grader or a professional fighter, your moms always going to be close behind holding a fresh pair of shorts. The only problem is that when youre in third grade, your mom wont have to sit and watch as you get your face kicked in. "Lets just hope Johnny comes out on top tonight," I thought to myself. It would be a pity for them to come all the way out here to San Jacinto-where inhaling flies is called normal breathing and you have to pay two dollars for a taco-only to see him get walloped. Besides, blood doesnt wash out easily.
Pretty soon things were moving and I got my wristband only to end up standing for the entire three-hour event. Every seat on the floor was taken leaving my friend and me to stand in the aisle with a group of other seatless individuals. As people screamed in my ear and spilled beer on my leg, I did my best to stay attentive to what was going on in the ring.
The undercard consisted of seven fights. The first four were somewhat disappointing. After the lackluster beginning, there followed a few notable bouts. Charles Bennett, for instance, tossed William Siryapai around the cage in the fifth bout of the night utilizing some of the most amazing throws and takedowns Ive ever seen. While Bennett controlled Siryapai throughout the entire two rounds, Siryapai got one good kick to Bennetts head during an attempted takedown that I thought ended the fight for sure. Bennett recovered well from the blow and pounded Siryapai all the way to a unanimous decision.
Joe Camacho earned a decisive victory with a knockout over Juliano Prado in the following match. This was definitely surprising being that Camacho came out of Aloisio Silva BJJ/Submission Factory and Prado from Team Oyama. After watching the Liddell-Couture fight this past June though, Im learning more and more that irony is a close cousin to Mixed Martial Arts.
There were no surprises in the fight between Wes Combs and Tony Petarra. Combs continued his winning streak against Petarra in typical "Combs"-style-with a big K O.
The featured fights as a whole were pretty good. "Wildman" Denny TKOd Jason Dolder after getting knocked down by a straight punch. In the title fights,
Charlies Valencia showed us why he was the champ with his well-rounded arsenal of strikes, takedowns, and submissions. Though a cut opened up above his right eye, Valencia stood strong the second round finishing Greg Mayer with an impressive heel hook.
In the first main event of the night, it was clear that James Lee was no match for the slippery Dean Lister. We were reminded once again why Dean Lister holds the Abu Dhabi open weight title. He transitioned from submission to submission until he locked in the armbar just half-way through the first round giving him a quick and easy victory.
In the fight everyone was waiting for, John Alessio also took an easy win against his opponent, Ronald Juhn. Juhn (and Alessio, I should say) was too timid to fire away the "machine guns" while standing and suffered takedown after takedown at the hands of Alessio. Alessio took Juhn down at will and controlled him on the ground, while Juhn continually pulled open guard. They were stood up several times but we got much of the same over and over again. No big shots were thrown throughout the entire three rounds and the unanimous decision was given to Alessio-not the match everyone wanted to see.
One of the most exciting fights of the night actually came from one of the unlikeliest of places. Jeff Newton put on a Karate clinic against his opponent Dustin Arden in the fight preceding the main events. Arden, a skinnier, more lifeless version of Tank Abbott, played punching bag for the entire fight (wait, maybe hes not that different from Tank Abbott
). Punch after punch landed each time right on the button. The only time Newton wasnt punching Arden was when he was kicking him. Newton also showed us that he knew a little bit about a thing called grappling by taking Arden down at one point and finishing him with a rear naked choke. Not the most technical of fights, but hands down the most entertaining of the night.
As built up as the Alessio-Juhn fight was, the fight of the night went to a Karate practitioner by the name of Jeff Newton. Thats not to say that Alessios victory was to be overlooked. He came in with a strong gameplan and he came out to win-and win he did indeed. There was no question about who the better fighter was that night and best of all, he made mom and dad proud. I wasnt able to see whether Alessio came out and publicly thanked his parents after the fight, but Im sure that he mustve sometime during the night. That would only seem right. After all, you cant throw the shots, if you dont have the shorts. So in case he went up to his room without showing the proper appreciation: Mrs. Alessio, if youre out there, on behalf of your son, John Alessio, we thank you. We at MMA Ring Report know its not easy being a mom. Besides, not only will you be carrying his shorts around, now you got that big ol belt to lug wherever he goes.
Richard McCorkel defeats Jayson Dickson (taps out to punches in the first
Richard Solis defeats Alex Rickards (Guillotine choke in first round)
Buddy Clinton defeats Michael Penalbar (Rear naked choke in first round)
Thomas Kenny defeats Paul Cid (Referee Stoppage from elbows in the second round)
Charles Bennett defeats William Siryapai (Decision)
Joe Camacho defeats Juliano Prado (Knockout in first round)
Wes Combs defeats Tony Petarra (Knockout in first round)
Joe Crilly defeats Javier Cosio (Referee Stoppage in first round)
Thomas Denny Defeats Jason Dolder (Referee Stoppage in first round)
Charlie Valencia defeats Greg Mayer (Heel hook in second round)
Jeff Newton defeats Dustin Arden ( Choke in first round)
Dean Lister defeats James Lee (Armbar first round)
John Alessio defeats Ronald Juhn (Decision)