Jun 25, 2013

"Are you ready for WAR?!": A Night in Stockton with War MMA.

June 22, 2013 was an important day in MMA history for two reasons. The first reason is clear: it was the first event for Nick Diaz's new promotion: War MMA. The second reason is that it was first event It's MMAzing was invited to as a member of the press. Being that this was the first show for the promotion, I'm going to take you through what stood out from the event.

  • Let's just put this out on front street right now: Nick and Nate Diaz are Gods in Stockton. They spent the entire show standing near the ring taking pictures and signing autographs with fans. Despite the bad press they get (be it deserved or not), it is clear that outside of the cage, the brothers are very different people.
  • The crowd for the event was very hot. They were excited for what they were going to see and were eager to let the fighters and the referee know when they weren't satisfied with the action. They were especially harsh on the non-Stockton-area fighters, which was expected.
NICK DIAZ - Victor Jung, It's MMAzing
    • The first fight of the night had two fighters, Derek Brown and Aziz Rashid making their professional debuts. Despite both men being rookies, they showed a lot of promise and are definitely fighters to keep your eye on.
    • The doctor acted questionably throughout the night. In the Beau Hamilton v. Adrian Adona fight, the doctor chose to physically open up a cut that happened a round earlier (that had been closed) and determined that the fight needed to be stopped. That seemed a bit odd. More on the doctor later.
    • As I tweeted from the It's MMAzing Twitter account, I thought it was pretty great that Joey Cabezas attempted a mule kick in the middle of a MMA fight. 
    • I blatantly started cheering for Marcel Fortuna once I heard that he was from San Ramon, which is right by where I grew up. Integrity be damned.
    AZIZ RASHID - Victor Jung, It's MMAzing
    • Return of the bad doctor! This time featuring the questionable referee. In the middle of Dominic Clarke landing ground and pound on Chris Quitiquit, the referee stopped the fight to check on a cut. That was bad. The cut was on Quitiquit's cheek...and somehow the doctor stopped the fight based on that. I later heard from some corner men that they thought the doctor had never handled and MMA event before. I believe it. 
    • Roy Boughton's nickname is "Black Dynamite" and came out to the "Black Dynamite" theme

      song. He then won in about a minute and started doing flips. Great work all around Roy.
    • Watching Darin Cooley lose was rough given the sheer amount of support he had in the crowd.
    • DJ Linderman had some great hair. I'm talking some Alan Thicke level hair. Straight up sitcom-dad hair. Awesome.
    CHRIS QUITIQUIT - Victor Jung, It's MMAzing
    • My favorite part of the night: Clayton's McKinney's corner man is yelling obscenities and UFC Lightweight Nate Diaz yells from the other side of the ring for him to be quiet. Corner man takes his shirt off (it's on) and makes a beeline for Nate. Nate heads right toward the corner man. They had to be separated. This all happened while the fight was till happening. 
    • Caleb Mitchell and Evan Esguerra went to War (they felt the need to live up to the title). Just a fantastic fight. Mitchell had to be helped out on a stretcher so hopefully he'll be OK. 
    • Daniel Roberts and Justin Baseman had a fairly uneventful fight. It was very close and could have honestly been called either way. The fact that Roberts pushed the action in the 3rd while Baseman just tried not to lose made me think Roberts deserved it more.
    Overall, it was a great first show for War MMA. I think they can do a great job providing fights in Northern California, especially given the sheer number of gyms in the area (Cesar Gracie, El Nino Training Center, American Kickboxing Academy, Team Alpha Male, etc.). Hopefully they can keep it up. Thanks to Damian Gonzalez from War MMA for making us feel at home.

    Check out the some of the great pictures taken by our official photographer Victor Jung (we'll find him a cool handle too).

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