XAFS, the Xplode Amateur Fight Series, aligned with the Xplode Fight Series, got off to a rousing start Saturday night, February 25, at the Pavilion in Valley Center on the grounds of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians. The new amateur MMA format has been set up to be a stepping stone for the fighters who want to join the professional MMA circuit.
The 2,000 plus patrons who attended Saturday’s event saw one awesome bout after another; several will never be forgotten. All told there were 19 bouts showcasing submissions by ArmBar, high knee kicks, sleeper holds, you name it.
RHEJONALD JAMES of FIGHT UGLY defeated JONATHAN MELCHER of FIVE STAR MMA
Bout #1 in the Teen Division, featured 14 year-old Jonathan Melcher (2-3) of Five Star MMA going up against 17 year-old Rhejonald James.
To protect the youngsters, the teens have to wear head gear and they are restricted from striking with their knees or elbows.
Sitting next to the corner people as they shout their words of encouragement can be a trip. Once inside the Octagon, James, who appeared to be in much better shape, was going through his regular warm-up routine when his corner shouted, “Remember, it’s all fun, relax!” Then just before the referee called for the fighters to, “Fight!” that same coach yelled, “It’s dinner time!”
James, who is lightning quick, made quick work of Melcher who didn’t come out for the second round. Melcher may have been the same weight, but he had no business being in the cage with James.
After his win, the excitable James leaped high on top the cage to celebrate.
135 pound division – DYLAN BARRALES of XPLODE MMA defeated AHAMED JEROME of FIGHT UGLY
Before starting Bout#2, Jerome’s corner told him, “Handle business!” The puzzling remark did little to help. It was Barrales who took care of business and at 1:02 of the first round he got himself a submission victory. Barrales wasted little time and was soon on Jerome’s back to apply the rear naked choke.
135 pound division – TERRY HUBLARD of the MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR FIGHT TEAM defeated NICK KALUZA of THE COMPOUND
In Bout #3, Kaluza was considered the veteran since he had been a Mixed Martial Arts student for a year while Hublard trained for only four months with the instructors at The Arena MMA in Point Loma.
From the outset, Kaluza did appear to be the more polished of the two and it seemed like it was just a matter of time before he had Hublard in some pretzel like wrestling or Jiu Jitsu hold to end it. And then it happened. Kaluza, with his head up, walked right into a perfectly thrown left hook to knockout Kaluza.
145 pound division – DERYK ORSAT of XPLODE MMA defeated J. T. CRUZ – INDEPENDENT/YET RECEIVING AN ASSIST FROM THE PEOPLE OF 1ON1 FIGHT CO OF EL CAJON
In Bout #4, Orsat got a takedown and was soon in a full mount to deliver his windmill like ground and pound to the head of Cruz. Seeing that Cruz was in trouble, referee Ben Lagman jumped in to halt the match.
170 pound division – MARCOS RUBIO, another INDEPENDENT defeated JOSH LEFFLER of XPLODE MMA
Bout #5 was exciting from the git-go. Either Leffler or Rubio would get a takedown and then almost immediately there would be a reversal. The punches to the face and momentum swings had everyone on the edge of their seats.
Then in the third round, Leffler landed three hard left hooks to Rubio face. On the second he actually fell back against the cage. Then, as if unaffected by the shots to the head, Rubio grabbed Leffler and flung him down on the mat as if he were spiking him. Moments later Leffler was taping out. It was an amazing turn around.
185 pound division – JOEL LOTT of TEAM QUEST defeated MILLIARD LUTA of TEAM PUNISHMENT
Lott was almost always in control of Bout #6, but he kept failing to put Luta away. Just before Round one was ended, Lott had the dominate position but couldn’t get Luta to tap.
Round two was almost a duplicate of Round one. When the horn sounded to end that round, Lott had Luta in a triangle choke. Whether it was an Armbar or a choke hold, the very tough Luta would not submit.
135 pound division – LUIS RUVALCABA of XPLODE MMA defeated BEAU HART an INDEPENDENT
Bout #7 was another exciting bout as Ruvalcaba kept going for and getting the takedowns, while Hart tried to get in close and kick the legs out from under Hart.
Round two was a bit of a mixed bag with constant reversals of fortune.
The scoring on this one was never in doubt as Ruvalcaba got the 88-84 decision. With the fight so close, Ruvalcaba came out firing in Round three to outwork his opponent with the power punches and use his knees in close.
170 pound division – CHRIS BEEBY of THE ARENA MMA defeated WAYNE PHILLIP of THE COMPOUND
Bout #8 featured another comical exchange. However, this one ended up being a three way between Beeby’s MMA coach, Pat Speight, a Jiu Jitsu Black Belt with years of Wrestling and Muay Thai experience, Beeby, plus Beeby’s opponent Wayne Phillip.
Speight has always told his students to keep these MMA fights going on his side of the cage so he can give them instructions. Beeby had done just and was on top of Phillip just inches away from his MMA coach.
While instructing Beeby how to apply a choke hold on Phillip, Speight mentioned to Beeby, “He’s going out!”
Phillip responded, “No I’m not!”
Even though Phillip was the better striker, Beeby won this match going away – that is with an assist from his coach.
125 pound division – MARTIN DAVILA of TEAM QUEST defeated RYAN ROJAS of TEAM JHANEX/ VICTORY
Bout #9 was won by Davilia who had the better technique in both striking and kicking. Eventually, the bout ended with an Armbar.
150 pound division – MATT SAYLES of the ALLIANCE TRAINING CENTER defeated DOMINICK GRIFFEN of XPLODE MMA
At first Bout #10 featured a lot of scrambling and no one really took charge. Round #2 told a different tale as Sayles awesome kicks began to land. Soon he was pressing forward and managed to get Griffen down on the canvas and secure a rear naked choke for the win.
Roy Nickerson and Ken Sells Jr. were the matchmakers. Judges for the show: Michio Grubbs, Robert Nickerson, special/celebrity judges included Kris Armbrister, Dean Lister and Steve Perkins, Jr. Ring Girls on this rather chilly evening included Cassandra Desiree, Christina Smith and Deby Seveallo. Ben Lagman, a Mixed Martial Artist himself, refereed all 19 matches. The Ring Announcer/Master of Ceremonies was Joe Guy.
For Bouts 11 thru 19 go to the article: XAFS Fight Series results from Valley Center Part II