The Inland Empire tends to get lost in the shadow of Los Angeles and Orange County. It is something the residents who live there have grown accustomed to. But ask anyone form there and they will tell you they do not mind it at all. As over population and high housing costs effect both Los Angeles and Orange County, there is a spill over into the Inland Empire, which consists of San Bernardino and Riverside County. As the I.E. continues to grow, so does its appetite for good mixed marital arts action.
Current Bellator standout and former UFC fighter, Lorenz Larkin is a proud product of Riverside County and has recognized the hunger I.E. fight fans have for a good night of action and entertainment. Larkin, along with David Bramlette have created I.E. Fight Night. The company’s fourth event, “Engage”, took place on Saturday July 28th in front of a lively crowd at the California Education and Performing Arts Center in Ontario, CA.
I.E. Fight Night is quietly becoming one of the premiere amateur mixed martial arts organizations in Southern California. They have done so by having a fan friendly venue, exciting fights, and a clear vision as to how the see the organization growing. A sign of their vision is that they have yet to have any championship bouts during their events. That will change however, as their next event in October will have their first title bouts. They have taken the time to see which fighters are consistent enough to put in the title spotlight. With the potential of being in a future championship bout it made all the fighters step up their game and put on impressive performances on Saturday night.
“Engage” was the company’s fourth event and it was but all accounts a very successful one. The fights were exciting and entertaining, there was plenty of food and drinks for the fans, and the venue was clean and had a terrific audio and visual display. Fans who sat in the back could keep up with the action thanks to the two giant big screens that sat over the cage. It was everything a fan of amateur mixed martial arts could ask for.
As previously stated the night was filled with action. Of the nine fights only two went the full distance and one of those fights was an action packed barn burner. Ashely Allen took Edgar Ramos to the extreme limit in their epic three round war. Allen was non-stop with his offensive onslaught but Ramos took everything he had and more. The crowd erupted in cheer after the final bell and though Allen was awarded the victory, both men came out as winners.
The night’s main event lasted all of 17 seconds as the heavy hitting Fred Colbert made it look easy when he defeated Efren Guerrero with a first round TKO. Below you can read a round by round recap of each fight.
Main Event: Fred Colbert def. Efren Guerrero via TKO in Round 1 at 0:17
Round 1: Fred Colbert must have had somewhere to be on Saturday because he wasted little time dispatching Efren Guerrero in the night’s main event. As the bell sounded Colbert came out charging and missed with a wild over hand right. Even though the punch missed it still sent Guerrero backing up against the cage. Colbert charged forward with another over hand right and this time it connected. The shot sent Guerrero down to the canvas and Colbert pounced on him with a series of punches and the fight was stopped. Colbert was very humble in his post fight speech and he gave all credit to his team and coaches. The crowd in attendance erupted at the quick finish and was sent home happy. Do not be surprised is Colbert is one of the fighters given a title opportunity at the next IE Fight Night event.
Christopher Hernandez def. Chris Fluke via TKO in Round 2 at 2:43
Round 1: The first round started off with a long feeling out process between the two fighters. Both men threw a high number of strikes but could not figure out their range. Fluke was the first one to land a hard shot but Hernandez was quick to answer with an even harder leg kick. Hernandez possesses very long limbs and uses them to his advantage. His strikes seem to come from all types of angles and seemingly out of nowhere at times. Both fighters were very active in the first round by throwing a high volume of strikes but neither one was able to land anything of real significance.
Round 2: Hernandez came out a bit more aggressive to start the second round. He was able to find the range for his leg kicks and landed a good amount in the early part of the round. Midway through the round Hernandez decided to change things up and went in for the clinch. He was able to get Fluke to the ground for a bit but Fluke was able to get back to his feet. Hernandez stayed on him and maintained control in the clinch. Fluke was able to break away from the clinch and get a little distance from Hernandez. As Fluke moved in on Hernandez he was met with a hard right hook. The punch sent Fluke straight to the canvas and the fight was stopped.
Obi Ukoha def. Yonatan Alvarado Mendoza via submission in Round 3 at 1:23
Round 1: Ukoha was able to land kicks and knees in the early part of the fight. Ukoha had a significant height advantage against Mendoza and had little trouble landing all of his kicks. Mendoza was quick to reconzie that he needed to get inside and close the distance on Ukoha. Mendoza was able to close the distance by catching one of Ukoha’s legs and landing a big slam but Ukoha was able to get right back to his feet. Mendoza was able to stay close to Ukoha as he rose to his feet and pushed the fight up against the fence. The round ended before Mendoza could land any strikes while having Ukoha pinned up against the fence.
Round 2: Ukoha comes out and lands more kicks and knees. Whenever Mendoza tried to come in and close the distance he was met with the knees of Ukoha. Mendoza showed persistence and grit as he kept moving forward and eating the knees. Mendoza finally gets in close enough to get his hands on Ukoha and pushes the fight back to the fence. The referee stops the fight after a few moments of inactivity but that only allowed Mendoza to get a takedown. Ukoha manages to get back to his feet but Mendoza stays on him and presses him up against the fence. Mendoza is again a victim of bad timing as the round ends before he could inflect any real damage to his opponent.
Round 3: Mendoza must sense that he is behind in the scorecards because he comes out swinging and catches Ukoha off guard. Mendoza manages to get his hands on Ukoha and lands another big takedown. Ukoha gets back up and gets enough space to throw a striking combination. Mendoza counters with one of his own combos and the two take part in a wild exchange in the center of the cage. Mendoza landed another big take down but Ukoha holds on to his neck. Once on the ground Ukoha tightens his grip on the guillotine choke and Mendoza is forced to tap.
Michael Green def. Jasper Sandoval via submission in Round 1 at 1:19
Round 1: Both men come out swinging and trade blows to start the fight. Green is able to get in close and grab ahold of Sandoval and attempts a guillotine choke. Sandoval is able to pop his head out and push Green to the fence. The move slowed down the pace of the fight. Sandoval was not able to land much while having Green up against the fence.
Round 2: Sandoval lands a hard right hand to start the second round. He follows the strike up with a takedown attempt but gets caught in another guillotine choke. Sandoval is able to escape once again but before he can get far Green lands a nice head kick. The kick pushes Sandoval back for a second and he decides to take the fight to the ground. Sandoval stays busy while on top by throwing a high volume of punches. Green stays just as active from the bottom by throwing punches of his own. A fun exchange of strikes on the ground takes place before the round ends.
Round 3: Green looks calm and composed to start the third round. Sandoval charges forward and the two take part in a brief exchange. After a brief break apart Sandoval again charges forward looking for a takedown but instead gets caught in yet another guillotine choke. Green remains on his feet and sinks in the standing guillotine choke and Sandoval is forced to tap.
Elder Cruz def. Haik Chknavoryan via submission in Round 2 at 1:46
Round 1: Cruz comes out strong and lands a takedown to start the round. Chknavoryan manages to get up and the two men take part is a wild striking exchange. Chknavoryan grabs ahold of Cruz and takes him down to the ground. Curz easily reverses his position and winds up on top. Cruz maneuvers himself to attempt a rear naked choke but time runs out of the round.
Round 2: Cruz gets a takedown early in the second. Cruz is clearly a very good wrestler and has strong grappling skills. He seems most composed while on the ground. Chknavoryan tries his best to escape from under but the wrestling of Cruz is too good. Cruz positions himself towards Chknavoryan upper body and started to reach for his arm. Cruz grabs ahold of Chknavoryan’s arm and attempted an armbar but Chknavoryan was able to fight it off. Cruz remained calm and persistent and decided to go for a kimura. Cruz’ strength was on display as he pulled Chknavoryan’s arm backwards. Chknavoryan had no other option but to tap.
Ashley Allen def. Edgar Ramos via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Round 1: Allen comes out and charges toward Ramos. Ramos is caught off guard and backs up towards the fence. Allen goes off with a wild flurry of punches. Ramos has no place to run and is stuck up against the fence. Allen continues his insane pace of strikes. Fight fans should recall the flurry of punches Rafael Dos Anjos landed on Robbie Lawler back when the fought in the UFC back in December of 2017 if they want a good reference of what Allen was doing to Ramos in the first round. Allen was non-stop with the punches and Ramos did his best to dip and dodge. After what seems like an eternity the bell sounds and Ramos survived the onslaught of Allen.
Round 2: Allen comes out like he was shot out of a cannon to start the second round. He immediately pushes Ramos up against the fence and starts to tee off exactly like he did in the first round. Ramos does his best to avoid the strikes of Allen but there are so many that a few of them are hitting their marks. Allen is giving no breathing room and pushes Ramos up against the fence. Once he has Ramos up against the fence he sinks in a very tight standing guillotine choke. Ramos tries to muscle his way out but is unsuccessful. In a final move of desperation Ramos trips Allen and falls on top of him. Allen manages to hold onto the choke but Ramos is able to pop his head out. Ramos tries to position himself in the guard of Allen but is hit with a hard up kick. Since Ramos had both his knees on the ground it was an illegal blow. The referee takes away one point from Allen and Ramos is allowed time to recover. As the action resumes Allen continues with aggressive onslaught and pushes Ramos up against the fence and starts throwing punches in bunches. Ramos again dips and dodges the best he can until the round ends.
Round 3: Round three plays out much like the first two rounds for Allen. His cardio is something to be amazed of. His ability to throw such a high volume of strikes and not drop down in exhaustion is something spectacular. Ramos’ ability to survive and not give up should be met with equal amazement. Allen continued his pace for the entire third round. Ramos tried for a few takedowns but was brushed off by Allen. This was definitely the fight of the night and both men made a lot of fans; Allen for his persistence and killer instinct and Ramos for his heart and unbelievable grit.
Mitch Hauser def. Roderick Antery via TKO in Round 3 at 2:48
Round 1: Hauser comes out and lands an early takedown near the fence. Antery tries to cage walk his way back up. Hauser is able to get him back down and kept him there for the majority of the round. Antery tried to score points from the bottom by throwing strikes but none of them did any real damage.
Round 2: Antery lands a hard kick to the side of Hauser’s head but Hauser eats it and lands a takedown! The sweat from Hauser’s head could be seen flying off as the kick landed. The crowd in attendance was in shock that Hauser was able to keep moving after that. Hauser stays busy while on top but Antery stays equally as busy by attempting submissions from the bottom. After a few failed attempts of an armbar, Antery has the beginning stages of a triangle choke in place. Hauser, who is built like a tank, picks up and slams Antery three times! Hauser’s freaking strength was on full display in this round and the crowd was really behind him.
Round 3: Hauser comes out and lands another takedown. Antery looks very frustrated from the bottom as most of his success in this fight has come from his striking. Hauser starts to pepper Antery with punches as he postures up a little. Hauser’s blows start to become heavier and harder as Antery covers up. Hauser flattens Antery out and lands hard punches to the side of the head. Antery has no answer and the referee stops the fight.
Elaina Pajimula def. Danielle Walters via submission in Round 1 at 1:29
Round 1: Walters comes out and looks for an early takedown but Pajimula is able to shake it off. There is a bit of a feeling out process for both fighters. Pajimula remains in the center of the cage while Walters circles around her. Walters charges forward and pushes Pajimula up against the fence. Pajimula remains calm and is able to move her hands in position for a guillotine choke. Pajimula tightens her grip on the choke and Walters is forced to tap from the standing guillotine.
Michael Reddemann def. Salvador Rodriguez via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Round 1: After a brief exchange Rodriguez clinches up with Reddemann. Reddemann is able to break free but Rodriguez follows it up with a takedown. Reddemann stays busy while at the bottom with various submission attempts. Reddemann manages to get back up but Rodriguez grabs ahold of one of his legs and takes him back down.
Round 2: Reddemann shows more aggression on the feet but the grappling of Rodriquez is something he cannot handle. Rodriguez takes Reddemann down again and starts to pepper him with punches. Reddemann does not stay down for long and gets back to his feet. Rodriguez closes in on Reddemann and gets a standing guillotine. Reddemann takes him down but is quickly reversed and Rodriugez is back in control on the ground. As Reddemann tries to get back to his feet Rodriguez stays on top of him and forces Reddemann to wear him like a backpack for the remaining seconds of the round.
Round 3: Reddemann comes out and lands a nice spinning back kick. The crowd cheers in approval of the nice move. Rodriguez however gets in close and takes the fight back to the ground. This time he is less active and the referee stops the fight due to inactivity. Reddemann takes advantage of the stoppage and lands a big takedown of his own. He follows up the takedown with a flurry of punches but gets reversed. Reddemann does not let the reversal get him down as he remained busy and continued to throw strikes until the round ended.
Article By: Alex Ramirez FiveRoundMMA- Head Writer / FightBookMMA Correspondent
Photo Credit: Maggie Soto