Lonestar Beatdown returned to the Arena Theater in Houston, Texas on Friday night, and what a return it was. With 14 fights on the bill, this was a stacked card with some of the best local amateur talent representing their gyms and showcasing their skills.
Carlos Jimenez and Manny Lozoya started the night off right with a fast paced battle that had the crowd on their feet from bell to bell. Carlos walked away with a close decision.
Justin Ordinario and Akira Smith were up next, and they also came out with fast paced strikes. At the start of the second round, Akira took the pace to another level with rapid fire kicks that left Justin on the mat with a broken arm from trying to block the onslaught. Watch out for Akira Smith, Houston. This kid is legit!
Craig Gardner and John Thibeault were up next. Craig was fighting out of his normal 170lb class, and John looked like he could have fought at 205 last night. He is a huge 185lber. The power advantage was obvious from the opening as John staggered Craig with a right hand. This fight ended up on the ground where John quickly took Craigâ€™s back and locked in the RNC. John is going to be hard to beat at 185lbs.
Frank Salinas and Alex Black were up next. Alex locked up this win with a deep triangle in the first. Frank continued to throw punches but had to eventually tap.
Andrew Musquiz and John Gorrell had the most controversial fight of the night as Musquiz won via submission by ref stoppage. Gorrell neither tapped nor went out, but the ref decided it was over. Hopefully, these two will meet again.
Alex Morono and Lester Batres ended quickly as Alex sunk in a deep guillotine to win in under a minute.
Edgar Verdin and Ray Burgos took longer to walk to the cage than the fight lasted. Edgar scored a huge KO win over Burgos. Edgar showed much improvement from his last fight, and look for Edgar to make a run at the 205lb title.
Gil Moreira and Kendrick Holloway went three great rounds with both fighters giving it their all. Gil escaped with a narrow split decision win.
Olya Syianbo ended the night for Mario Martinez 29 seconds into the first round with a stunning head kick that earned him KO of the night honors. Sam Hoger dubbed Olya the Anderson Silva of the south, and Olya seems to be a fearsome striker for anyone.
Chris Fisher put up a good fight, but eventually succumbed to Chris Avila via TKO in the second.
Shawn Pivonka controlled his match with Ivan Velasquez from the opening minute and earned a second round TKO.
Gerzan Chow and Jared Chaffee were up next, and they kept the crowd on their feet with a back and forth battle that had all of us wanting a 4th and 5th round . Jared earned the decision win and the fight of the night honors to share with Gerzan.
John Malbrough and Pat Bierschwale came to the cage next to put an end to their combative tie breaker. Pat won the first mma meeting between the two, and John won the Muay Thai fight. This was for bragging rights and the 185lb title. This night would belong to John as he used his reach in the first and locked in a deep guillotine in the second to secure the win.
Drew Ratichek and Josh Booty squared off in the main event for the HWY title. The first two rounds were mirror images of each other. Drew would land a few shots standing and Booty would take Drew down. On the ground not much damage was done by either till late in the second when Drew landed a ton of right hands as the round was ending. Both fighters looked tired heading into the third, but that did not stop Booty from taking Drew Down again. This time however Drew would reverse, take Bootyâ€™s back, and lock in the RNC to secure the win and the title.
Lonestar Beatdown always delivers a great night of fights, and this was no different. With six submission wins and two big knockouts, this card may have been the best amateur card in the Houston scene in a long time. Mick once again showed why Legacy/Lonestar Beatdown are the number one fights in town.