King of the Cage “East vs. West” will be live inside the Sunshine Theater tomorrow night June 22nd and it will be the promotions first show within New Mexico in 2013. Amongst the notable storylines of the event include the Heavyweight Title fight between Cody East and Nick Rossborough and FIT NHB’s Tim Sosa making his professional debut. However, the card is full of so many talented local fighters including Albuquerque Kickboxing’s Jacob Espana and Santa Fe’s Jerome Rivera.
Representing the Judgement MMA gym in Rio Rancho, Rivera will not be alone on the fight card as he will be joined by several of his teammates. A few of which have their own intrigue tied into their MMA bouts.
Josh Todd (0-1) will be the third professional bout that is expected to kick off the professional card. While East and Sosa make up the main and co-main event, Todd is the third featured fight and he will take on Wyoming’s Terry “T.J.” Nunnaley (2-3). Representing Black Dragon Martial Arts, Nunnaley has an extensive MMA career spanning twelve amateur fights (5-7) and five professional fights.
This will be a rare instance where a fighter drops not just one weight class but two as Todd fought his pro debut back in March as a heavyweight. This bout will be contested at the 185-pound middleweight limit and will be a weight class where Todd will have a strength and power advantage. In his first bout back in March, Todd succumbed to a late second round submission after finding success in the stand up.
The Judgement MMA fighter is coached by Scott Marlowe who will also have another striking enthusiast on the fight card. Marlowe’s step-son John Rozema (2-0) will look to continue a successful 2013, as the featherweight takes on Independent fighter Vic Masayesva (1-2) of Albuquerque.
Earning a reputation as a power striker and knockout artist, Rozema has had two amateur MMA fights last about three minutes combined. His last outing was at the inaugural Triple-A-MMA event where he would kick off the start of the event with a bang. After Rozema’s opponent closed the distance and pressed him on the fence, it looked as if Rozema wouldn’t have the space to open up with his heavy hands.
One moment of opportunity later, Rozema would find an opening to land a short crisp strike and that was all the KO artist needed as he sent his opponent to the mat where he followed up with ground and pound forcing the referee stoppage. Clearly, the Marlowe trained fighter has the ability to take on the label of rising prospect amongst the amateur ranks in the New Mexico regional scene.
The fourth and final fighter to represent the Judgement MMA team will have a very different background then his striking based counterparts. Shannon Curlee (1-2) is ending a long hiatus away from mixed martial arts action and this time around he will be entering into the cage as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt. While Curlee has improved his stand up skills under Head Coach Marlowe, his most notable accomplishment since his last MMA bout was being awarded the Black Belt from Judgement MMA’s Jiu Jitsu Coach Randy La-Su Rodgers.
Curlee and his opponent Aaron Perls (3-0) from Santa Fe Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy will have some history entering into their match. The two fought earlier this year in a kickboxing smoker at Curlee’s home gym of Judgement MMA. In that bout, Curlee would get the judge’s decision over Perls and now the duo will stand in front of each other one more time this time with all facets of martial arts to use at their disposal.
With a knockout artist, a debuting middleweight and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt all entering the cage tomorrow night, Judgement MMA will be well represented at King of the Cage “East vs. West”. Stay tuned to SWFight.com for event updates, results and analysis. We encourage fight fans to come out to the Sunshine Theater tomorrow night to support all the local hard working athletes!