As is the case with most regional shows, not all of the locals fans can make the time to attend the event. Whether people have job obligations or just have other obligatory events going on, it is hard to make each and every show. SWFight.com makes every effort to bring fight fans the best coverage for fans in attendance and those not in attendance. When someone misses a regional fight, it is very difficult to find results or any sort of updated avenue to follow their local fighters. SWFight.com has attempted to consistently bring live updates via social media as well as having a round by round or fight by fight results article available for anyone to view. However, to add to our content and coverage we are adding a feature to the site called “The Next Day Perspective” where we have an opportunity to talk about the highlights and interesting aspects of the previous night’s events.
In this instance, we have King of the Cage “East vs. West” which was hosted by the Sunshine Theater in Downtown Albuquerque. The event filled up most of the venue and inside the theater environment, the crowd got very loud in support of their favorite local fighters. The event had several finishes and even in the judge’s decisions the fights had several moments of excitement.
- Starting off with the main event of the evening, Los Lunas representative Cody East captured the King of the Cage Heavyweight Title in a five round Judge’s Decision over Jeremy Horn trained Nick Rossborrough. This was the second opportunity to capture promotional gold for East and he took full advantage of it. Despite being tired and even exhausted through the course of twenty-five minutes, East consistently found success with a power double leg takedown scooping Rossborrough to the mat landing in side control or half-guard each time.
- While Rossborrough hung tough during the fight, his heart was the only thing keeping him from being finished as Referee Robert Romero nearly stepped in on several occasions to stop the fight. Rossborrough was valiant in defeat, nearly locking on a leg lock late in the fight that looked to hyperextend the knee of East.
- East spoke of a title unification bout to which the King of the Cage President announced East would fight the winner of the Cruiserweight Title Bout between Wes Combs and Tony Bonello. While I was more interested in a East vs. Tony Lopez rematch, the idea of Bonello or Combs being back in active competition is intriguing and would be formidable foes for East. Both fighters only have less than a handful of losses between them and nearly forty victories. Regardless of who is up next for East, he has a tough test ahead and needs to really work on improving his cardio to compliment his explosive wrestling and powerful kicks and punches.
- East brought out some of the premier talents from around New Mexico as UFC Fighters Travis Browne, Tim Means and Bubba McDaniel were spotted in the crowd. Also in the crowd supporting teammates, Angelo Sanchez and Ray Borg who will headline the upcoming Triple-A-MMA show were in attendance as well as Bellator’s Adrian Cruz and Joshua Montoya. Former Champ Nick Rossborrough also brought some MMA culture with him into Albuquerque as MMA veteran and former UFC fighter Jeremy Horn worked Rossborrough’s corner.
- Tim Sosa’s opponent Curtis Johnson was unable to make it to the event as he had obligations as a firefighter to help with the fires in Socorro. While fight fans couldn’t see a fan favorite in Sosa, we must comment Johnson for having his priorities in the right place as a career that can save lives should precede a mixed martial arts bout. Sosa will be in action in September although it is unclear at the moment if it will be against Johnson.
- Rounding out the pro card, Judgement MMA’s Josh Todd succumbed to a stoppage with one second left in the first round. The stoppage was a little early but Todd was taking some damage from the ground and pound of Nunalley. The out of state fighter made an impression on the Albuquerque crowd as he was nearly finished by Todd before being able to reverse position. Todd landed the highlight strike of the fight, a spinning back kick to the chin that rocked Nunalley after Nunalley attempted the same maneuver that just caught air. Todd will look back on the bout and assuredly will work on his defensive grappling skills.
- The undercard of the event was exciting and full of memorable moments. One of those was John Rozema’s fight finish, the step-son of Judgement MMA’s Head Coach Scott Marlowe. Now 3-0, Rozema has added to his reputation that if he touches an opponent, they go down. Opponent Vic Masayesva looked to close the distance early but succumbed to a knee from in range and when the fight hit the ground after a takedown attempt, the strength of Rozema allowed him to stick to Masayesva like glue landing ground and pound very solidly regardless of which way Masayesva tried to escape. Rozema now has three stoppage victories in just as many outings this year and is looking like one of the areas fighters to keep an eye out for.
- Speaking of fighters to keep an eye out for, how about the youth movement in Jacob Espana of Albuquerque Kickboxing Academy and Jerome Rivera of Judgement MMA/Alchemy BJJ. Espana and Rivera both finished their fights in under two minutes and both did so impressively and thoroughly. Espana would land a superman punch to clinch takedown and would immediately grab onto a kimura. Espana stepped over the head leaving little room for escape and would get the tap out. Rivera would escape an early guillotine and unleash some of the most brutal ground and pound of the night and maybe by any debut amateur fighter I have seen in a while. He landed with composure, accuracy and bad intentions. When his opponent had enough of the power of Rivera, he gave up his back and Rivera wasted no time in sinking in a rear-naked choke.
- The event was a rough one for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belts as late replacement Tim Valdez of New Era lost a decision to Dorian Dixon and Shannon Curlee was submitted by Santa Fe Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s Aaron Perls. Dixon wore out a tiring Valdez, ending the final round with back mount threatening a choke and Perls would catch Curlee early with a triangle choke that looked as if Curlee would escape. Perls would remain persistent and get the tap out.
- In what was probably the round of the night, Albuquerque BJJ’s Mike Manning threw down with Los Vatos fighter Dominic Valencia. Aggression would be the key component in this fight as Valencia nearly finished Manning seconds into the fight after landing a powerful hook on a pressing forward Manning. Manning would recover but would sport a very nasty gash near the eye. Manning would look to stay busy landing his own offense until a superman punch landed for Valencia and dropped Manning. When the fighters went to their corners after the round ended, the ringside doctor halted the bout due to Manning’s cut.
In all, the event was an entertaining regional card full of our hard working local fighters. Several of the events participants have made a name for themselves to become anticipated fighters for upcoming events. The Sunshine Theater was loud on Saturday night and hopefully regional fight fans bring that passion and those roars of support to the next regional show which looks to scheduled for July 31st inside the Santa Ana Star Center for Bellator 97. Stay tuned for more fight news, coverage and breakdowns and a huge thank you from SWFight.com to everyone supporting our pursuit of innovative, fun and thorough coverage for all of our local fighters and events.