World Combat Series 8 ResultsDec 28 2012, Posted in: Fighters
The eighth edition of the World Combat Series took place on Saturday night, December 15, 2012 at the San Jose Civic Auditorium.
The event featured the crowning of several new 2012 California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization (“CAMO”) champions, as well as a “Superfight” between two top-ranked featherweight amateur fighters on the cusp of their respective professional debuts.
The fourth bout of the night was one of the night’s most memorable, but not in a good way. The catchweight matchup was between Eric Huggins (2-1) of MMA Elite Fighting and Justin Davis (2-4) of TriBull MMA. Huggins appeared to have the advantage in the striking department, but was largely unable to keep the fight standing. Despite a decided size disadvantage, Justin Davis remained determined and scored double-leg takedowns in all three rounds following only brief exchanges on the feet. Huggins was generally unable to mount much offense from off his back, but did attempt a kimura towards the tail end of round 3.
When all was said and done, the Huggins/Davis bout went to the judge’s scorecards and resulted in a split-decision in Huggins’ favor. The first two judges scored the fight 29.5-29 Davis, and 28.5-29 Huggins. However, longtime UFC referee and MMA stalwart “Big” John McCarthy handed down the third and most peculiar score, which was 27.5-30, scoring each and every round in favor of Eric Huggins. In light of this controversy, representatives from TriBull stated that they were strongly considering filing an appeal with the California State Athletic Commission.
The first knockout of the night came from Matthew Ramirez of the Xtreme MMA team who made his amateur MMA debut in the bantamweight division against Anthony Do of the American Kickboxing Academy. Following a frenetic pace from the opening bell, Ramirez displayed some very crisp and effective kicks to Do’s head and body. At just 1:05 of the first round, Ramirez connected with a flurry of strikes while Do was pressed against the cage, causing a halt to the bout via standing TKO.
Next up was an amateur “Superfight” between number-one-ranked Colorado featherweight J. Keven Hernandez (7-1) taking on the top-ranked amateur featherweight in California, Joe Neal (8-0) of Crispim BJJ.
Both competitors appeared a bit hesitant throughout the bout, but patience appeared to be the key in victory, which ultimately went in Neal’s favor. While Hernandez attempted to press the action, Neal was able to consistently respond with counter punches and takedowns, and thus mounted slightly more offense in each round. Although a finish was never in sight, it was Joe Neal who held onto his undefeated amateur record heading into his professional debut, and he took home the Colorado amateur championship belt for his troubles.
Richard Parra (8-5) showed in his CAMO championship bout that the size of the fight in the dog can topple the bigger dog in the fight. Richard Parra, at 5’6” and 145 lbs, took on the much taller, longer, and bigger Benjamin Sample (4-2) who stood at 6’0” despite making the 145-pound featherweight limit.
Showing his scrappiness, Parra took the fight to Sample, and was able to land strikes from inside the pocket and execute effective takedowns on his larger foe. Although Sample attempted to use his long legs to his advantage with triangle submission attempts off his back, Parra eventually made his way back to his feet where he had a clear advantage. Just a minute into Round 2, Parra landed a heavy left hook that dropped Sample to the ground, where he proceeded to finish him off at 1:13 of Round 2 by TKO. With the victory, Parra not only became a giant killer of sorts, but also won the CAMO featherweight state championship for the second year in a row.
One of the most standout performances of the night came in the light heavyweight championship fight between John Loftin (2-2) of BJMUTA who took on the 2011 CAMO light heavyweight champion Brandon Hester (9-2) of Undisputed Gladiators. Throughout the bout, Hester showed excellent offensive and defensive wrestling skills to consistently control Loftin to his advantage. After two-and-a-half decisive rounds in his favor, Hester opted to go for the finish instead of riding the bout out to a decision. At 1:40 of Round 3, Hester saw an opening and caught Loftin in a deep armbar, earning himself a submission victory and winning the 2012 CAMO light heavyweight state championship belt. This marked the second time Hester won the CAMO amateur title, and representatives from Undisputed Gladiators have indicated that Hester’s pro debut is right around the corner.
Another year has come and gone, and the 2012 CAMO state MMA champions were once again crowned. No matter the size of the show or the name of the fighter, the sport of MMA continues to embody the purest form of one-on-one competition.
Names that now dominate the professional MMA world championship landscape, including Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones, have their origins in amateur regional scenes before those big breaks came around. For all we know, the next big star may be getting his or her feet wet in an amateur promoter’s cage. With that said, in 2013, be sure to keep showing support for your local amateur MMA leagues, and those fighters who are willing to train, compete, and take on repeated gut-checks all for the sake of this great sport. Somebody you see fighting today may very well be the next big thing.