Written By: AJ Hoffman
Photos By: Barry Laminack
The IXFA took their show on the road to Nutty Jerry’s in Winnie, TX for their 7th installment. Despite losing the main event on the card due to some injuries, the event did not disappoint. Jimmy Flick and Humberto DeLeon battled 5 rounds for the 135 lb. title. Gerzan Chaw and Cody Williams put on one of the best fights we have seen in 2011 so far. Last but not least, “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell was in the building.
Below you will find a quick recap of each fight. For the full play by play from the event, click HERE.
[Photographers note: Sorry about the the lighting in some of the pics, the lighting and smoke was tough all night!]
YOU CAN CLICK ON A PICTURE TO SEE A LARGE VERSION OF IT.
Lester Batres vs. Evan Cutts
Two debuting fighters in this one. Lester Batres looked huge at 170 lbs., but it was Colleyville, TX native Evan Cutts who would come out on top in this one. Cutts used strong wrestling to put Batres on his back, and was quick with his transitions game. He eventually moved to Batres’ back and sunk in a rear naked choke to notch his first professional win in just over two minutes.
Mark Garcia vs Alden Herbert
Mark Garcia stepped up once again on 24 hours notice, and once again it seemed to work against him. Herbert was the stronger grappler, scoring multiple takedowns in the first round. Garcia landed some good shots when the fight was on the feet, but Herbert was intent on keeping this match on the mat. Herbert landed a solid punch early in the second before scoring the final takedown. Herbert had his hand raised after 56 seconds of second round work after sinking in a rear naked choke and forcing a tap from Garcia.
Rashon Lewis vs. Justin Murray
Rashon Lewis tasted defeat for the first time in his pro career, and Justin Murray scored what might be the most satisfying victory in his young career. While the fight did go to a decision, it was far from boring. Most people expected Murray to try and keep this fight on the ground, but he was willing to exchange punches with the heavy handed Lewis. Murray did score takedowns when necessary, and had a couple of good submission attempts. Lewis landed heavy leather a few times, but Murray weathered the storm en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Joshua Foster vs. Edgar Verdin
This was definitely the surprise of the night. We were all anticipating a slugfest, but Josh Foster had different ideas. Foster landed a huge takedown, but was swept when attempting to mount. Foster stayed calm though and threw up a triangle choke. Verdin looked like he was going to escape it, but he threw a punch downward at Foster and gave him the opportunity to sink it all the way in. Verdin was forced to tap as Foster showed he was more than just a TKO machine.
Lane Yarbrough vs. Rey Trujillo
In one of the more back and forth fights of the night, Lane Yarbrough walked away with a win, and according to Mike “The Truth” Jackson, walked away from his MMA career afterwards as he retired during our post fight interview (look for it later in the week). Yarbrough and Trujillo exchanged takedowns, knees punches and slams throughout the fight on the way to a split decision. 2 of the judges saw it 29-28 for Yarbrough, while the third judge gave all three rounds to Trujillo. If Yarbrough truly is hanging up the gloves for good, he does so with a final record of 11-8. Trujillo drops his 3rd fight in the last 4, after starting his career at an impressive 7-1.
Dale Mitchell vs. Rakim Cleveland
This was a battle of two really, really big men. Mitchell controlled the first round, holding Cleveland down for nearly the entire round. There was a lot more action on the feet in the second round, with both guys trading haymakers. Overhand rights from Mitchell, head kicks from Cleveland. The third round drew the ire of the crowd, as both the big boys were pretty well gassed by the time it got into the final frame. Cleveland waited for Mitchell to attack, and Mitchell seemed content to wait on Cleveland. Late in the round the two traded punches and knees, and Mitchell scored with a late takedown. It wasn’t enough in the eyes of the judges though, as Rakim Cleveland walked away with a split decision victory.
Cody Williams vs. Gerzan Chaw
Cody Williams stole the show in his pro debut, as the American Top Team- Beaumont rep wowed us with his striking and slams. Chaw had an advantage early on, as he dropped Williams with a good right hand. Williams fought his way back in, and never looked back. The end of the first round saw Williams hit a suplex that looked like it belonged more on Monday Night Raw than an MMA event. The second round saw more of Williams working his striking and wrestling. In the third round he was able to get Chaw’s back and slap on a rear naked choke to finish off an impressive first victory. Expect to see a lot more of Cody Williams.
Brian Lightfoot vs. Jared Taylor
Each round in this fight was pretty close to the one before it. Lightfoot would score a takedown and get top control, but Taylor would do everything he could to neutralize the attack. That said, Lightfoot held dominant positions throughout the fight and landed enough in the way of ground and pound to earn a unanimous decision victory, 30-27 across the board.
Justin Ledet vs. Lex Pappas
The shortest fight of the night earned Justin Ledet his third win in as many tries. Pappas landed a leg kick and quickly shot for a double leg takedown. It wasn’t there, and as he changed to a single, Ledet locked on a nasty guillotine. Pappas let go of the leg to fight the choke, but Ledet had it locked in tight. Pappas was forced to tap just 26 seconds into the fight.
Humberto DeLeon vs. Jimmy Flick
Humberto DeLeon proved that he remains one of the toughest guys in Houston to finish off, but in the end it was Jimmy Flick who proved that he is a force to be reckoned with at 125 pounds. He controlled every round with great wrestling and smothering top game. He nearly finished the fight several times, most notably with a head and arm choke at the end of the third round. DeLeon fought off every submission attempt and lasted the entire 25 minutes. Flick earned the unanimous decision victory though, and was awarded his title belt by Chuck Liddell himself.