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Lesser-named fighters show they are TUFF-N-UFF

Promoter says star power doesn’t equal staying power in amateur events

Future Stars of MMA

  • 135 lbs: Jamie Hernandez (West Coast MMA) def. Junior Gomez via submission (arm bar) Round One
  • Heavyweights: Abe Salazar (Throwdown) def. Michael Charles (Mizu Shin Tao) via referee stoppage
  • 125 lbs: Amber Stautzenberger (Arlington Fight Team) def. Maria Witt (Lions Den) via unanimous decision Round Three
  • 170 lbs: Bill Cooper (Paragon MMA) def. Kenny Marzolla (Xtreme Couture) via submission (triangle choke) Round One
  • 155 lbs: Odis Ruiz (Filipino MMA) def. Chaz Mulkey (Warrior) via submission (arm bar) Round One
  • 135 lbs: Chris Brady (Legends) def. Cory Jeffers (Xtreme Couture) via unanimous decision Round Three
  • 185 lbs: Paul Sang Joon Song (Chute Box) def. Andy Galvao (Xtreme Couture) via TKO Round Three
  • 170 lbs: Eddie Jackson (Legends) def. Joshua Morgan (Centenial Taekwondo) via KO Round One
  • 155 lbs: Christian Palencia (Legends) def. Tony Martinez (Team Madbeatings) via submission (arm bar) Round Three
  • 120 lbs: Ann Wyborny (3D MMA) def. Jessica Laubacker (Team MidSouth) via submission (arm bar) Round One
  • 205 lbs: Josh Peasley (Xtreme Couture) def. Brett Miller (Hard Knox) via submission (arm bar) Round One
  • 140 lbs: Andrew Holmes (West Coast MMA) def. Keeb Gonzalez (Xtreme Couture) via submission (arm bar) Round One
  • 135 lbs: Victor Henry (Legends) def. Billy Bull (Striking Unlimited) via submission (triangle choke) Round Two
  • 135 lbs: Takashi Munoz (Legends) def. Ernesto Martinez (West Coast MMA) via TKO Round One

Beyond the Sun

Jamie Hernandez didn’t care that his main event bout against Junior Gomez barely lasted two minutes Friday night at The Orleans.

“I’m just trying to go out there and get my job done as fast as possible, however I can do it,” said the Cal State Fullerton senior, whose first-round arm bar victory over Gomez secured him the 135-pound title at the TUFF-N-UFF Amateur Fighting Championships.

Is it a good thing to have a quick ending to the marquee event of an amateur card that already suffered local fighting celebrities withdrawing due to injury?

Sure, says TUFF-N-UFF President Barry Meyer.

“You can never anticipate injuries,” said Meyer, when asked if a small dip in attendance from Friday’s Future Stars of MMA show had anything to do with headliners Nick Fekete (involved with USA Wrestling) and Latasha Marzolla (posed in Playboy) not participating like originally planned.

“Obviously, in the amateur world you may not have as many marquee names ready to fill in, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of good fighters out there ready to step up. Plus, we’re not trying to market our events around any one fighter.”

Understandable, but Meyer also admitted that the last event was boosted by the big name recognition of Ryan Couture, son of legendary mixed martial artist Randy Couture.

“You definitely can’t bank on that kind of recognition every time out,” Meyer said. “But our goal is to establish this as the premier amateur brand around legitimate fighters, make it an affordable event, and entertaining with lasers, music and a cool atmosphere.

“I think each and every show, we build from the previous show and tonight was another example.”

Meyer also admits he’s lucky to be in the fight capital and have UFC stars like Frank Mir and Wanderlei Silva so willing to lend their presence to the event.

Hernandez agreed, and while he praised Meyer for taking care of the fighters and event personnel, he said fight fans just can’t get enough of the action.

“MMA is just catching on like a wildfire,” he said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of being able to host amateur shows yet in California. It’s like that in other places as well, so you have to come to Vegas.”

Hernandez didn’t waste any time during his second trip to Las Vegas, quickly mounting Gomez at the start of the fight and raining a series of hammer punches shortly thereafter.

While it briefly looked like the ref might jump in to stop the action, Hernandez quickly synched in an arm bar for the victory.

The former wrestler for the Titans said he wouldn’t mind if his third trip to Las Vegas was charming in another way.

“I might be ready to make the jump to pro,” said Hernandez, who improved his record to 3-0 in just seven months of practicing the sport.

“I’m gonna take a little time off and finish my senior semester and then really evaluate my next move.”

Andy Samuelson can be reached at [email protected] or 702-948-7837.

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