The Jackson’s MMA Series has become a staple for quality events featuring local talent highlighted by fighters from the highly accredited Jackson-Winklejohn gym. September 8th, 2012 will mark the promotions ninth event and will also be welcoming a new stomping grounds as the series makes it debut in Albuquerque’s Tingley Coliseum. In previous shows we have seen the Jackson’s MMA Series main evented by several formerWEC and UFC veterans, as the likes of Joey Villasenor, “Ox” Wheeler, Buddy Roberts and Julie Kedzie all attaching their names to the main event list of notables.
Jackson’s MMA Series IX will have a familiar face headlining the event, Frank Gomez (10-5MMA) will return 21-months after the Jackson’s MMA Series III event to take on late replacement Aaron Cerda (3-3MMA) of Tye, Texas in a bantamweight battle. This was to be the first figth at 135-pounds for Gomez as he puts his best foot forward towards rejuvenation in a career that saw him compete at featherweight for several years. Instead, with the late replacement the bout was a catch weight and Gomez for the first time hit the scales at just below 140 pounds.
Gomez is a World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) veteran, with an even 2-2 record under the promotion that would be absorbed into the UFC; Gomez would fight at the highest level against top grappler Wagnney Fabiano and title challenger Scott Jorgensen. Outside of the promotion, Gomez would also compile a 2-2 record with notable fights against veteran Tim Snyder and current UFC fighter Daniel Pineda.
Texas native Aaron Cerda will be coming in on late notice to replace Mikey Lovato after doctors failed to clear Lovato’s knee for the match up. Cerda was announced at the events weigh ins to be the replacement, filled with loads of energy and on weight just one day before the event. Cerda shows big heart and a great deal of confidence in his ability to perform against a top talent like Gomez with little preparation for the bout.
This match up will easily mark Cerda’s biggest fight to date. While filling in for the injured fan favorite Mikey Lovato, Cerda finds himself with a huge opportunity on his hands by answering the call to face a formidable foe in Gomez. While mixing up fights in Texas and Florida on the regional scene, Cerda has been gifted an opportunity to come into Albuquerque, New Mexico and play spoiler by defeating the Jackson-Winklejohn representative.
This match up will be completely different then that of the original scheduled bout between Lovato and Gomez. In the fight with Cerda, the sly wrestling prowess of Lovato becomes irrelevant and inserted is the grit and heart that Cerda has made his name upon. In three professional losses Cerda has never been finished via knock out or submission and two of his three victories have seen his hand be raised before a judge’s decision. It will be as stiff of a test as possible with limited time to scramble for a replacement and the fight becomes a dangerous one for Gomez.
Looking to put two straight losses behind him while starting fresh in a new division, Gomez finds himself at arguably the toughest point in his respectable career. While the sport of mixed martial arts keeps evolving, the need for success if at a very high point. With a loss Gomez will find himself at a cross road in his career, but with a win here we can see the rejuvenation process begin. Cerda on the other hand enjoys a favorable stance in this bout, a late replacement is always given leeway for shortcomings and a win here propels his name by defeating a WEC veteran.
In terms of the match up, Gomez should be able to utilize both his technical stand up and his powerful wrestling to gain the advantage. While Cerda has proved tough to finish, he has been known to get into slug fests in past bouts. Gomez has always been a very prolific technician in his stand up game and this should be enough to see him earn an eleventh pro victory. Gomez will also have a wrestling game to fall back onto, even though this bout is a catch weight contest Gomez will now enjoy size advantages over many opponents and that added to his exceptional position grappling can be utilized to ground and pound or submit his opponent.
Looking on the other side of the tracks, Cerda can always make this into dog fight and hope through a scramble or mental lapse will capitalize and find a heavy strike or a submission. Another interesting aspect is that Cerda has fought at bantamweight before and this will be the first attempt for Gomez to make the weight. Since it is the first time, nobody can anticipate how the cut effects Gomez as the loss in weight and process can take away strength, speed and most importantly cardio.
All signs point to Gomez as the favorite and there should be little doubt that the late replacement Cerda will be ready and willing to join Gomez in an exciting fight Saturday night in the Main Event of the ninth Jackson’s MMA Series.