Tachi Palace Fights 12: Second ComingMar 13 2012, Posted in: Events
Tachi Palace Fights 12 took place at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, California on March 9, 2012.
The night was highlighted by an exciting MMA card filled with numerous finishes from the majority of the matchups, and several up-and-comers that have the brightest of futures in the sport of mixed martial arts.
The night opened up with a rematch between flyweights Edgar Diaz (2-3) and Alex Perez (5-2) at a 130-pound catchweight bout. Unfortunately for Edgar Diaz, history repeated itself as he found himself on the receiving end of a fight-ending kimura at just 2:33 of R1. As a result, Perez improved his professional mixed martial arts record to 5-2, while Diaz fell to 2-3.
In a competitive featherweight bout between up-and-coming standouts Art Becerra (4-3) and Anthony Avila (7-1), Avila showed the Lemoore crowd that he had the skills to back up his impressive record. In a flashy display, Avila opted to leave his hands down while he mixed it up and landed several looping punches and high round kicks. Avila’s ground game was equally as athletic, as he ended the fight via submission (guillotine choke) at just 4:08 of Round 1. We can likely expect to see many great things from one Anthony Avila.
The heavyweights also had a chance to shine as knockout artist Dave Huckaba (17-4) took on Liron Wilson (9-6) in the TPF 12 main card. Although Wilson created momentum in his favor in the first half of Round 1 with his ground savvy, the tides turned when Huckaba landed his own throw to gain ground control and end the rounds in a dominant position. Come Round 2, however, Wilson became completely hesitant and weary of Huckaba’s power. Huckaba capitalized, and scored a TKO victory at 1:05 of Round 2, improving his already impressive record to 17-4.
2011 NCAA wrestling champion and MMA lightweight Jesse “Bubba” Jenkins came across as perhaps the most athletically impressive fighter at TPF 12, scoring his second consecutive win in the Tachi Palace cage. Showing excellent fluidity in changing levels between striking and takedowns, the American Top Team fighter unleashed a fury of vicious ground and pound attacks on his opponent, Chris Gomez. Ultimately, Jenkins took his opponent’s back and secured a rear-naked choke for the win via submission at just 2:07 of Round 1. This victory is almost certainly a sign of more accomplishments to come from the collegiate champion turned MMA fighter.
The most memorable knockout of the night came from the hands of bantamweight Francisco Rivera (7-2) as he took on and took out game opponent, Antonio Duarte (15-4) in the performance of his career. Although Duarte fought gamely, Rivera’s punches seemed to consistently have more power behind them. Such was evident because at just 1:15 of Round 1, Rivera caught Duarte with a flush, overhand right that led to the TKO victory.
Former Ultimate Fighter 5 contest and UFC veteran Rob Emerson (12-10) returned to the cage after being out of MMA action for over a year to take on Savant Young (10-9) in a 149 lb. catchweight bout. Throughout three rounds, both fighters appeared to be hesitant in their standup exchanges, while exchanging takedowns in the process. Ultimately, however, Emerson won the ground battle at the tail end of Round 3 to secure a rear-naked choke for the submission finish. Following the fight, Emerson told the Lemoore crowd that he felt rejuvenated as a featherweight, and felt that his best days lied ahead.
In the main event of the evening, hometown favorite Casey Olson (14-3) took on the young Cody Gibson (5-3) in a bantamweight battle. The crowd was clearly behind Olson throughout the entirety of the bout, but Gibson refused to go away without a fight. Olson used his wrestling to control the entire match, en route to a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) to cap off the night. However, the dangerous Francisco Rivera now awaits Olson in the Tachi cage in the very near future.
In just a few years’ time, Tachi Palace Fights has now established a tradition for being one of if not the top-flight MMA league in the country outside the Zuffa banner. MMA prospects and veterans fight under this banner for good reason, and the promotion itself is sure to see many bright events in the years to come.
Stay tuned for plenty more to come from FightStylez.
Editorial by Alan Chang, FightStylez
Photos by Dave Fong, FightStylez