The IXFA returned to the Verizon Wireless theatre on Dec 4th for their second show in 3 months. This stacked card was highlighted by not one, but two title fights. Upstart Phenom Marc Ramirez would square off against the city’s (and arguable the states) pound for pound number one fighter in Adam Schindler for the IXFA Leightweight title. The other title fight would feature two of Houston’s top four Leight Heavyweight veterans in Brian Lightfoot and “Hurricane” Ike Villanueva.
The guys over at IXFA picked up where they left off as the opening fight between Domingo Pilarte and Gerzan Chaw was the leader int he clubhouse for fight of the night. As the night progressed, fight fans were treated to 9 more stellar fights, including perhaps one of the 3 best fights to take place this year here in Houston as Adam Schindler and Marc Ramirez went the distance in a five round war that fight enthusiast are still talking about almost a week later.
If you didn’t get a chance to make it out to the event, do yourself a favor and get out to the next one. If it’s only half as good as the first two IXFA event’s you’ll more than get your money’s worth.
Below is a quick recap of each fight along with some pictures of the action. If you want a more detailed account of the fights, you can visit our live coverage page here and get a round by round account of each fight.
This fight was on it’s way to winning fight of the night until the Schindler/Ramirez. That should be no surprise to astute fight fans as Chaw has won multiple Fight of the Night awards this year. Domingo came out and promptly dropped Gerzan with straight left. Gerzan would quickly recover and go on to win the round. Round two started a bit slow but quickly picked up and was going at a frantic pace until Pilarte caught Chaw in a double arm bar and induced the tap.
This was a battle of old school Houston fight veterans. Cook came in looking to get this one to ground early and he did just that. Most of round one was fought on the ground with Cook in mount. Davila was game but saved by the bell, unfortunately the bell couldn’t save his nose from being broken. Round two would mirror round one, only this time Cook would force the referee to stop the action before the bell. Rumor is that Cook will be facing Villanueva for the IXFA 205 title in February.
Garcia came into this fight looking to bounce back from tough loss against Rashan Lewis at IXFA in October, while Murray was riding high after submitting Patrick Hutton at Legacy in November. Both fighters brought their A game as the action would be back and fourth for almost 2 solid rounds. Some of the highlights from the fight includes a big flying knee from Garcia that failed to connect, Murray running out of time in the first round after locking in a rear naked choke, and Murray finally getting the tap via keylock 2 minutes into the second. Look for Garcia to bounce back and for Murray to continue his evolution as he takes another step up in competition to fight Jordan Rivas at Legacy FC in January.
Many thought going in this was going to be a cake walk for Andrew Craig, who is considered by many to be one of the better fighters in Texas. Josh Foster had other ideas and would show that is one tough customer as he took Craig the distance in the fight. Craig was never really in trouble in the fight dominating each round on his way to a unanimous decision victory, but couldn’t seem to put away the scrappy Foster. Look for Craig to get a title shot soon.
Lee Higgins vs Gilbert Jimenez
Jimenez too the fight on Short notice and would be a big test for Higgins who is still early in his pro career. Higgins was patient in the fight, letting the fight come to him rather than forcing the action. After taking his back, Higgins would use elbows to soften up Jimenez enough to slide his arm in and sink an RNC on the way to his second victory in 3 months.
This is one of those fights that you get a little nervous for both fighters just before it starts because you know both guys can do some serious damage. Sullivan was all business as he paced in the cage, while Ledet had a smile on his face the entire time. He must have know what was about to happen because Ledet wouldn’t let this fight get out of the first round as he would mount Sullivan and force the referee to stop the fight. The problem was Ledet didn’t really stop and the referee was quick to get in his face and chastise the fighter, even going as far as pushing him into the cage; an unfortunate turn of events in an otherwise impressive victory.
The two fighters came into this fight with a combined 32 pro fights. The fight was back and forth for all three round with both fighters unable to close out the other. Both fighters showed good striking and solid ground games. Thought not talked about like some of the other fights, this was one of the more entertaining fights of the night. In the end, Yarbrough would earn a unanimous decision and notch the 10th win in his career.
The thought going into this fight was that Gipson would want to keep it standing, where he had the best chance to defeat Shelger, who is a highly regarded former NCAA national wrestling star. But, as it has been proven time and time again, you can throw out logic in an MMA fight. Gipson was able to survive an early onslaught by Shelger and would eventually catch him in a triangle early on in the third round.
No recap could ever do justice to this fight. This was one for the ages as the young but hungry (and confident) Marc Ramirez was looking to make a name for himself against a fighter who many feel has a great chance to burst onto the national scene in Adam Schindler. Ramirez would take it to Schindler for 5 straight rounds winning the stand up battle, but losing the ground battle and ultimately the fight via split decision. It was a close one, but Schindler’s wrestling and take downs would prove to be the deciding factor in the fight.
Both fighters came into this fight with the opportunity to not only win a title at 205, but to also most likely vault to the top of the rankings in Houston. On paper the ground advantage would go to Lightfoot and Villaneuva would get the nod in striking. In the end, it would be a failed shot that would decide the fight as Villanueva would force the referee to stop the contest due to strikes and become the new IXFA Light Heavyweight champion. There was some controversy in the fights as Lightfoot’s corner was complaining about blows to the back of the head. None the less, Villanueva wins the title and will probably defend it against Chad Cook at the next IXFA event in February.