Vital to any MMA scenes growth is new talent. Last night at USACA’s Lonestar Beatdown fight fans got a glimpse of the future of Houston MMA, and the future looks good. Mick Maynard and the crew provided those in attendance with no less than 13 action packed fights. There was a little bit of everything last night including knockouts, submissions, upsets, new champions and a successful title defense.
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Knockout of the Night
The night got started with a bang when Ellis Boyd took just 12 seconds to knockout his heavyweight counterpart Davis Fleming. The KO earned Boyd our Knockout of the Night honors and makes him eligible for our end of year awards.
Submission of the Night
The next fight on the card also produced another award winner when Colin Wright was able to tap a tough Carlos Jimenez via arm bar and earn TheCageDoor.net Submission of the Night award. The win moves Wright to 2-0 with both victories coming by way of submission in under 60 seconds. It also put Wrights name on the radar as one to watch at 135 in the coming months.
Next up was a battle of two 1-0 fighters as Shelby Sheehan took on Corey Garcia. The fight was back and forth for 3 rounds with Garcia having several chances to submit Sheehan but ultimately having to settle for a decision victory. Toward the end of the fight Sheehan’s corner could be heard complaining to the ref about what they felt where illegal reinforced knees from a Muay Thai plum by Garcia. No word on what the final ruling was, but it did not effect the outcome of the fight.
Aaron Croon and Jacob Kugler fought next. An interesting note about this fight is that Croon has cross trained at Kugler’s gym on several occasions, so the two were familiar with each other going into the fight. Kugler has heavy hands and a boxing background and came out with a good mix of kicks and punches. Croon settled down after fending of a quick flurry by Kugler and was able to use he noticeable reach advantage to work his jab effectively. After eating several leg kicks from Kugler, Croon was able to catch one and follow that with a straight right that knocked Jacob down. Croon pounced, worked his way to mount and once he wrapped his long legs around Kugler it was only a matter of time before referee Joe Solis had to stop the fight with Croon in mount.
Martin Garcia and Joe Trevino would climb into the cage next. The two fighters met in the center of the ring and waisted no time getting to work. The first round was packed full of action and Garcia showed an outstanding chin as he withstood a barrage of strikes from Trevino. About a minute into the second round (1:03 to be exact) Trevino would catch Garcia in a guillotine and force the scrappy Garcia to tap. Trevino looked impressive in the fight and looks much more seasoned than his 2-0 record. Expect to see him make some noise in the 125lb division here in Houston.
Up next, Scott Buzzaird and David Armes did battle for three rounds. Buzzaird, a natural 125’er, seemed to have a tough time with the strength of the bigger Armes, but that didn’t stop him from stalking Armes for most of the three rounds. Every time that Buzzaird would press Armes against the cage, Armes would reverse and strike. Buzzaird showed an amazing chin as he continued to press forward round after round, all the while receiving a steady dose of strikes. In the end, Armes’ strength and reach would prove to be to much for The Buzzsaw and Armes won a unanimous decision over Buzzaird.
After intermission, Jose Martines and Zack Fade did battle for the fans of H-town. After a close first round in which Fade somehow escaped a deep guillotine, Martinez did not make the same mistake twice and was able to get Fade to tap to another guillotine at 1:05 in the second round.
Kaileb Cummins returned to the ring after a 7 month layoff to face a debuting fighter in Jeremy Hunter. Kaileb showed outstanding stand up for all 3 rounds but Hunter was up to the task as well. The first round was back and forth and Cumming dominated the second round but was unable to put Hunter away. Finally at 1:44 in the third Cummins was able to get the TKO stoppage and spoil Hunters debut.
One of the closer fights of the night saw John Gorrel earn a unanimous decision win over James Gonzalez. Gorrel tried several times to finish with arm bars in the third but was unable to get Gonzalez to tap. With the win Gorrel evens his record at 1-1.
The final non title fight of the night would see Brett Landriault square off against Andrew Musquiz. After an awkward opening sequence that would see Musquiz whiff on a head kick and fall down, landing on the mat next to Landriault who slipped and fell avoiding the kick, both fighters would settle down and take the fight the distance. Most of the fight was spent on the mat where Musquiz showed flashes of promise in the fight but didn’t have enough to put Landialt away. Landriault went on to earn the first win of his amateur career, a split decision victory.
Fight of the Night – Lytle wins USACA 155lb title
With all of the non-title fights in the books, it was time to pass out some hardware. The first of the three scheduled title fights would pit Austin Texas’ Michael Lytle against hot Houston MMA prospect Ola Siyanbola. Mick Maynard said this fight was the one to watch, and he was proven right as both fighters put on show; so much so they earned our coveted TCD.net Fight of the Night honors. Ola came out and pressed immediately, but Lytle was up to the task and fired back, showing flashes of a Capoeira style of fighting. The round was back and forth but Ola seemed to get the better of Lytle and win the round.
Round two opened with both fighter trying to establish their jab and another Capoeira style sequence of strikes from Lytle. The middle part of the round was spent against the cage with both fighters posturing for an advantage. The round ended with with suplex by Lytle after Ola had unleashed a flurry of punches.
Both fighters spent the first minute of the round three on the outside, but then Ola stunned Lytle with a jumping knee to the face and followed it with several punches. The fight made its way to the ground with Ola spending the majority of that time in control as the round ended with both fighters on the mat holding on to each others leg and resting.
After another exciting exchange to open round four, Lytle slammed Ola and would eventually work to mount. Lytle would spend a significant amount of time in mount until he saw an opening and took Siyanbola’s arm. Ola tapped at 1:53 in the 4th and a new 155lb Lonestar Beatdown champion was crowned.
Morono outlasts Sprajc to win vacant 170lb title.
Pete Sprajc and Alex Morono faced each other in the cage for the Lonestar Beatdown Welterweight title. The first round of what was otherwise a stand up battle was spent on the ground. Morono had an impressive guard but was unable to finish Sprajc. The majority of the next four rounds saw both fighters measuring and exchanging a barrage of strikes. Morono would finish the fight in dramatic (all be it odd) fashion as he pointed to his corner and then tried to drop kick Sprajc like a WWE wrestler. Morono would later say that the move was a bet/promise to a friend and that he meant no disrespect by it at all. Despite the failed drop kick Morono earned a unanimous decisions victory over the tough Croation.
Malbrough retains title
The final fight of the night saw John Malbrough defend his Lonestar Beatdown Middleweight title against the man they call Rudy, John Thibeault. Rudy waisted no time flexing his muscle as he used a double leg to pick the champ up over his head and slam him to the mat. Rudy would work on the ground until Malbrough made his way back up to his feet. That didn’t last long as Rudy once again took Malbrough to the ground. Malbrough remained calm despite the much bigger Rudy having mount and raining down punches in succession. Malbrough would reverse Rudy and begin delivering punches of his own. Not long into the second round Malbrough was able to get Rudy’s back and eventually sink in a rear naked choke, forcing the tough 4oz fighter to tap.