From the parking and the venue, to the food and drinks, and of course the fights themselves; I.E. Fight Night runs like a well-oiled machine. The company’s latest offering, Melee, was no different.
Melee took place on Saturday, April 20th in front of a packed house in Ontario, California. I.E. Fight Night is growing at an astonishing rate since consistently putting on events starting in late 2017. Last year was there breakout year and this year is shaping up to be a crucial one for the young organization. They are quickly becoming one of the most reliable organizations out there in terms of audience experience and MMA action.
The crowd was treated to 14 fights on Saturday, with three of them being championship bouts. The night was capped off by a featherweight title bout between Xavier Vines and Christopher Hernandez. In the co-main event Zev Powell and Alexander Cruz fought for the welterweight championship. The night’s third title fight was between Juber Andino and Dillon Menard for the light heavyweight crown. All in all it was an action packed night that saw eight of the fights end by way of knock out or submission. The knockout of the night belonged to Jaime Jimenez of Millennia MMA as he only needed 5-seconds to knockout out his opponent Brandon Nash. Jimenez connected with a punch right on the chin of Nash. Nash was out before he hit the canvas. The crowd all rose to their feet as Jimenez celebrated in the cage.
The night’s first title bout was the light heavyweight bout between Juber Andino and Dillon Menard. In an interesting side note, both of Andino and Menard’s original opponents were last minute drop outs. I.E. Fight Night CEO’s David Bramlette and Lorenz Larkin quickly paired Andino and Menard together and what the crowd received as a gritty three round affair. Menard was able to control most of the fight but the highlight was the final 10-seconds of the bout when both men started swinging for the fences much to the crowds delight. Menard would walk away with a unanimous decision victory and the I.E. Fight Night light heavyweight championship.
The night’s co-main event between Zev Powell and Alexander Cruz was a one-sided affair for the welterweight title. As the bell sounded Powell approached Cruz but was quickly slammed onto the ground. What followed was a barrage heavy hammer fists from Cruz. The shots echoed throughout the building. Cruz’ fists bounced off the side of Powell’s head and a relentless pace. To Powell’s credit he tried his best to cover up and grab a hold of Cruz’s arm but amazingly Cruz did not gas out. The referee gave Powell every opportunity to escape but the onslaught from Cruz was too much and the fight was stopped. The fight lasted less than two minutes but it seemed like Cruz was landing those hammer fists for an eternity.
The main event saw Christopher Hernandez overcome early adversity to defeat Xavier Vines for the featherweight championship. As the fight started Vines was clearly the aggressor. He bombarded Hernandez with strikes to get in close and sink in a muay thai clinch. Once Vines had the clinch he went to land knees to the body of Hernandez. Hernandez did a good job of blocking the knee strikes of Vines but one of the knees landed below the belt. It was a hard shot and one that garnered many groans from the men in attendance. Hernandez immediately went down to the canvas in pain. After he rose back to his feet the referee told him he had five minutes to recover. Hernandez took nearly the entire time to get his bearings back. He stomped his feet several times and jumped in the air to deflect some of the pain he was sure to be experiencing. Before the action started the referee deducted one point from Vines. As the fight resumed Vines went back to his pace. He threw punches and kicks in bunches. Hernandez seemed content with picking his shots rather than matching the pace of Vines. As Vines attempted another clinch, Hernandez was able to tackle him to the ground. Vines tried to scramble out of the clutches of Hernandez but it was too late as Hernandez had an armbar locked in. Vines tried to muscle his way out of it but it was already too late and he was forced to tap.
Below are the full results from I.E. Fight Night Melee:
- Manuel Flores def. Bryce Novoa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Daniel Garcia def. Roderick Antrey via submission (guillotine) in Round 1 at 1:16
- Kaliq Hatcher def. Jason Allen via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jose Beatriz def. Anthony Taufi via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ismael Moyers def. Carl Argueta via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
- Aaron Garcia def. Joshua Dell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
- Jamie Jimenez def. Brandon Nash via KO in Round 1 at 0:05
- Andrew Lopez def. Antonio Sepulveda via submission ( rear naked choke) in Round 1 at 1:20
- Light heavyweight Title: Dillon Menard def. Juber Andino def. unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Brandon Dwyer def. Mike Flores via submission (rear naked choke) in Round 3 at 1:26
- Christian Zahler def. Jared Valdez via doctor stoppage in Round 1 at 3:00
- Yvania Foley def. Ashely Fernandez via submission (rear naked choke) in Round 1 at 1:47
- Welterweight Title: Alexander Cruz def. Zev Powell via TKO in Round 1 at 1:18
- Featherweight Title: Christopher Hernandez def. Xavier Vines via submission (armbar) in Round 1 at 2:05
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