Thursday, April 19, 2018

SteelFist results, Raddon, Kelton fight this weekend

Although the poster says April 7 in Everett, Wash., an amateur title bout between Nasona Johnson and former Utahn Kaecy Rraddon for the Sparta Combat League 155-pound title is actually this Saturday in Denver. Several fighters with Utah ties are on the card (MMA bouts here). Besides Raddon and Nasona, Hayden Brown, an amateur who fights out of One Hit MMA, battles Joshua Cordova, and Allie kane fights Megan Winick.

Also competing in a kickboxing bout against Brandon Taylor is Top of Utahn Jarrett Kelton. Besides having compiled a career in MMA, Kelton is a highly regarded kickboxer, as is Raddon, who compete in WAKO-sanctioned bouts. I chatted with Jarrett recently about his career and the upcoming Sparta card.

KELTON: "I'm just training at ONEHITMMA, teaching Bangmuaythai two days a week. I have a pretty busy (schedule), working full time (at) Juvenile Justice at Mill Creek Youth Center, teaching, training and raising my 17-year-old son, Rhett Kelton . We travel out to LUDWIG Martial Arts (in Colorado) every other month to dial in skill sets With Duane Ludwig, Bangmuaythai drills. I am the Bangmuaythai affiliate coach for Utah. Aldo Oreggia Owner/Head Coach At ONEHITMMA, has been great to work with over past years . He is great coach and friend. Myself, Allie Kane , Hayden Brown and KC Raddon will be fighting This Saturday in Denver for Spartan Combat League."

The Sparta card starts at 1 p.m. and should be livestreamed at their site. The Facebook page is here.

STEELFIST: Results from last week's SteelFist card is at Fighting Out of Utah MMA News Facebook page. In the main pro bout, former UFCer Clay Collard handed Carson Gregory his first loss via a second-round stoppage. That was for the 170-pound belt. In another pro bout, 145 pounds, Bryce Edminister stopped Karl Grace in round one. Winning in amateur title belts were Lehi Dominguez and Bryce Scanlon.

-- A couple of pro boxing notes: Bladimir Estrada plans to return to the ring in June and Francisco "Cisco" Alcantara, who is also a pro MMA fighter, plans to box on May 26 in SLC.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Collard versus Gregory highlights SteelFist MMA card

There's a lot going on locally in MMA and other combat sports ... Thomas Hughes plans to fight soon, as does Rowdy Akers, as well as Jarrett Kelton. And in a submission-only card in Davis County, John Valentine will compete. In boxing, Jose Haro's next televised fight is pushed back a week to May 19. But today we'll focus on the Friday the 13th MMA card in SLC from SteelFist. There's a terrific main event, a promotional welterweight pro title bout between former UFC competitor "Cassius" Clay Collard, and undefeated Carson "The Perfect Storm" Gregory. It's scheduled five rounds.

Over the course of a year in 2014 and 2015, Collard fought four UFC bouts and acquitted himself well, winning one, losing two via decision and being stopped in round three by Max Hollaway. He took two years off before returning to action on a SteelFist card, stopping a tough fighter, Troy Dennison.

Gregory, 5-0, has been very impressive. He last win was over an excellent pro, Mike Jones, which he ended in round two. He's improved a lot since I first saw him outslug and eventually submit Kade Lindstrom in SLC a year ago. Gregory had only one loss as an amateur, a majority decision several years ago against Thomas Hughes.

On paper Collard would be the favorite; a lot depends on how good Gregory is at this stage in his career. If he beats Collard, he likely rapidly moves into a higher echelon of competition. Even if he were to be defeated, he would still be considered an excellent prospect. Collard, obviously, moves farther away from the UFC orbit if Gregory wins.

I chatted with Carson Gregory, asking him for comments on training and preparation for the bout, and what it's like to step into the cage with a veteran such as Collard. He was kind enough to provide these thoughts:

GREGORYClay it's just like any other opponent! I respect everyone the same in the ring because everyone has a fighting chance! Therefore, I treat every fight as if it's a championship for the world. I'm constantly upping my training no matter who is in my way. I believe the true enemy is within ourselves. When we beat the enemy within, then we are ready to face any challenges that lie ahead of us.

I think the biggest challenge has been trying to stay true to my morals. There have been a lot of things said over social media that definitely pushed my buttons during this camp, but I had to remind myself that I am not the judge. I am merely a man and have made mistakes and said things that I regret in the past, so why would it be any different with any other man? I feel the calm before the storm, I'm ready for this fight. Friday night is my night! Friday night The Perfect Storm will arrive and destroy anything in its path!

Here are some of the other scheduled bouts on the SteelFist card that I find intriguing. I wish all the fighters the best. The entire card is here.

-- Bryce Edminister versus Karl Grace, 135 pounds: Edminister is returning to SteelFist as a professional. He had success here as an amateur. He trains out of KOA in Davis County, scheduled three rounds.

-- Lehi Dominguez will attempt to defend his 170-pound SteelFist amateur belt against Ului Papanue, scheduled five rounds.

-- Two undefeateds meet with Bryce Scanlon trying to wrest away Ranu Meah's amateur promotional heavyweight title belt, scheduled five rounds.

-- Two amateur middleweights, Ogden's Eric Munoz, and Cole Shafer, meet in a scheduled three rounder.

Card is at Union Event Center in Salt Lake City. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Bryant, Alvarez among Golden Gloves champs

This week's Utah Fight Game blog was late because we wanted to get a lot of the info from FitCon reported after it happened. There was an MMA card and the Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves championships, with open winners moving on to nationals.

Those moving on to nationals include Jon Bryant, (top photo left) a repeat winner, from Lights Out gym in Clearfield, in the 152-pound division. Also, Diego Alvarez, (bottom photo left), a repeat winner from Los Gallitos gym in Ogden, is champ at 132 pounds. Alvarez was the national Golden Gloves champ in 2016. Ismael Milo Guttierez, of Herriman, is the 141-pound champ; Billy Wagner, of Montana, is the 165-pound Rocky Mountain champ after defeating Utah's Heneli Paea; Utah's Marquise Bowman is the 201-pound champ; Kendra Reeves, of Idaho, is the women's 152-pound champ; and Stephanie Mendoza, of SLC, is also moving on after winning Saturday. Boxers who moved through via walk overs to nationals include Northern Utah's Michele Maya.

Most of the boxers, including Bryant, Alvarez and Gutierrez, had to win on Friday and Saturday to move to the national Golden Gloves championships, held in May in Omaha, Neb.

There were a lot of "show" bouts on both days, that were not part of the Golden Gloves semifinals and finals. Some results: On Saturday, Dylan Bahena of Lights Out defeated Daren Cafero (Montana), 65 pounds, and James Cox, Lights Out, defeated Donel Velorde, Montana, 75 pounds. At 95 pounds, Colin Tuilevuka, Northern Utah, defeated Elijah Willet, Ogden. Both are talented amateurs who have fought three times recently with Tuilevuka getting the nod in competitive bouts. Also, Saul Gamino, Brigham City, defeated Ozmanny Sanchez, at 70 pounds. Both Willett and Sanchez are trained by Victor Palafox.

In Friday "show" bouts, results include: Cox defeated Cafero at 70 pounds; Bahena defeated Velorde at 65 pounds; and Tanner Gurule (Fullmer Bros gym) defeated Andrew Lopez, (Louie's gym). Some amateur boxers received $2,000 Golden Gloves scholarships. Santana DeCarlo, who fights out of All Heart Boxing Gym, was among the recipients.

MMA card:

There was an MMA card at FitCon as well. In the main event, professional 205-pound fighter Jarome Hatch defeated Ben Robinson via third round stoppage. In another fight, Northern Utah fighter Destiny McCubbin, who trains and lives in Las Vegas, won the promotion's 115-pound belt with a 5-round decision over Lauren Chidester, of Hidden Valley gym in Sandy. Jeffrey Dutcher, of Fighting Out of Utah MMA News, said "These girls were bloody and left it all in there; a great fight."

In a pro bout, 160 pounds, Bobby King defeated Andy Perez via unanimous decision. To get all the results, including other amateur promotional title fights, go to Fighting Out of Utah MMA's Facebook page.

We'll have more news next week, including some upcoming fights scheduled and a look athe April 13 SteelFist card, headed by a match between Clay Collard and Carson Gregory. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Aguirre takes close nod over Estrada in boxing match

The Complex in Salt Lake City hosted a pro/am boxing card on March 16, and the main event matched undefeateds Christian Aguirre and Bladimir Estrada in a promotional six-round title fight at 168 pounds. It was a fantastic bout (I had the opportunity to view it via Facebook Live (thanks Julian Stevens). It matched the Jake LaMotta-like aggression of Aguirre against the strong boxing and counterpunching skills of Estrada. Aguirre was the winner via a split decision, which was fair, but if Estrada had gotten the nod it would have also been fair. What likely earned Aguirre a win was a knockdown he scored in round 5. I'd love to see these two good prospects fight a rematch, this time over eight rounds.

Here is the undercard: You can see the results at the bottom of this webpage:

Debuting featherweight Brandon Douglas, who Utah Speaker of the House Greg Hughes believes is a great prospect, won his pro debut with a KO in 35 seconds over Andre Kennedy.

Undefeated heavyweight Frank Sanchez Faure defeated Eric Salazar

Heavyweight Eric Wahlin, also an MMA pro, is 2-0 as a boxer after defeating Uchendan Alete.


On Saturday, March 17, the Union Event Center in SLC hosted an Invicta card that was also streamed on UFC Fight Pass. In the semi main, Orem-based DeAnna Bennett won a split decision over Karina Rodriguez, of Mexico. In a preliminary bout, Spanish Fork's Kaytlin Neil lost a unanimous decision to Tracy Cortez of Phoenix, Ariz. The entire card is here. Thanks to Eric Tillotson for keeping us informed of the results via Facebook.

MORE: FitCon MMA card is April 6 at the Salt Palace. In the main event veteran MMA pro Jarome Hatch meets Ben Robinson. A series of amateur state title belts include Destiny McCubbin versus Lauren Chidester, Nathan Owens versus Daniel Arelleno (a rematch of a bout won by Arellano) and Hector Lopez versus Julian Ruiz. The scheduled card is here. ... The regional Golden Gloves are also at FitCon on April 6-7. ... Finally, Northern Utah professional MMA fighter Miles Welk will fight May 18 for SteelFist. He meets another undefeated fighter, Nick Clem, for the promotion's 125-pound belt. The pair were scheduled to meet in Logan earlier this month but Welk was injured.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jose Haro to defend boxing title on May 12

Some big news in Utah boxing this week. West Jordan's Jose Haro, the USBA professional featherweight champ, will defend his title on May 12 -- against an opponent to be named -- in Wichita, Kansas. Jose's bout, a co-main event, will be televised live via CBS, probably on the CBSSports Network (Xfinity 269).

Also Friday night this week there's a pro/am boxing card at The Complex in Salt Lake City. I'm having a tough time getting info on the overall card, but there's a great main event matching two undefeated Northern Utah prospects, Bladimar Estrada and Christian Aguirre, for the state middleweight pro title. A promo for the bout is at Estrella TV's Facebook page.

In amateur Golden Gloves competition this past weekend Jon Bryant defeated Ramon Lopez and Felipe Nino, and will fight Nikolas Stidham of UCTC on April 5. Michelle Maya defeated Lisa Carroll, and Diego Alvarez, of Ogden, a former national champ, defeated Jay Wright of Foley's gym via decision. Another amateur boxing winner was Anthony Charlie of Lights Out gym. I'd love to have more results, pro and amateur, just message your blogger, Doug Gibson, via Facebook Messenger.


Lots of MMA action next month and on, here's a schedule from the state athletic commission website. Remember that Saturday night at Union Event Center in Salt Lake City is Invicta 28 MMA card. More about the card in last week's blog.

Also in last week's blog, we mentioned that a little boy battling cancer was to be presented with a belt at Saturday's Mountain Force MMA card. It happened, and it was wonderful. The Logan (Utah) Herald Journal covered it here. ... Card results from last Saturday's Mountain Force MMA card are at Jeffrey "Dutch" Dutcher's Fighting Out of Utah MMA News Facebook page. In the pro main event Allen Silva decisioned Anthony Miller (135 pounds) and the pro co-main had Nick Clem winning via decision over Justus Mi-Gnarly (125 pounds). ... Finally, some pros of note, Fabio Serrao, Kerry Lattimore, and Gabe Pelayo, will be fighting April 28 in Idaho Falls. Serrao will be meeting Andrew Cruz, a good regional pro also, in the main bout.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mountain Force MMA card this weekend, more

Mountain Force MMA is having its inaugural card in Utah this Saturday in Logan. Let's hope that a good crowd shows up. In recent years a couple of regular MMA promotions in Northern Utah has ceased operating, although SteelFist is still going strong and Jeremy Horn's has a couple of cards a year. It's at the Eccles Ice Arena at 7 p.m. Website is here. The promotion has a strong Facebook presence here. The card is here. Main bout matches Anthony Miller versus Allen Silva, pros. Another pro bout has Nick Clemm meeting Justus Minardi, who is a fill in for an injured Miles Welk. A pro bout matches Andy Pitcher and Ben Goins. An amateur 205 pound title bout matches Joe Flores versus Colton Hildebrand. Another amateur fights has Brittany Guillemin against Stephanie Hernandez.

Readers may have noticed the belt above. It will be at the Mountain Force MMA card. Stackd Fitness and AlphaSetBoxing have come together to donate this MMA championship belt to a child who is undergoing his cancer treatment. They will be surprising him this Saturday at the MMA event. If anyone wants to know more about this and offer assistance you can message professional fighter Christian Nava via Facebook. We give kudos to Stackd Fitness and AlphaSetBoxing for sponsoring this effort.

Mountain Force MMA also plans a June 2 card in Ogden. It will be a Pat Reeves Fight Night with some of the proceeds benefiting the late fighter's family. MMA pro Thomas Hughes will be fighting on the card.


Fierce Fighting Championship in Price was last Saturday. In the 155-pound pro main event Nate Kearsley scored a decision over Cy Nelson. In a 125-pound amateur title bout Brandon Rease scored a decision (5 rounds) over Thomas Prestriedge. I was able to watch that bout via a smart phone video over Facebook. Both fighters competed very well. To get all the results go to Facebook's Fighting Out of Utah MMA News here.

I also watched amateur kickboxer Kaecy Raddon win a WAKO bout Saturday in Wisconsin thanks to a smart phone and social media. Raddon, who also fights as an amateur MMA, fights for a belt next month in the Pacific Northwest.

Invicta is having an MMA card Saturday, March 24 at the Union Event Center in Salt Lake City. The card is here. DeAnna Bennett is part of the co-main, fighting Karina Rodriguez of Mrexico. The undercard includes local Kaytlin Neil against Tracy Cortez of Arizona.

Finally, The Complex in Salt Lake City is scheduled to have a boxing pro am card on March 24. I have not garnered much information on it but it has been reported on social media that undefeated professional boxers Christian Aguirre and Bladimir Estrada will be meeting with the state title on the line (middleweight?). 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Interviews with Brandon Rease, Thomas Prestriedge

(UPDATE: We learned this early afternoon that MMA pro Miles Welk has to pull out of his March 17 bout in Logan. He suffered a severe MCL sprain in hand and knee as well as a severely sprained thumb. We wish him well in his recovery. He hopes to fight again in April or May. )

This Saturday night is Fierce Fighting Championship's latest card. You can see it here. The main pro bout matches Cy Nelson against Nate Kearsley. An amateur rematch places Brandon Rease against Thomas Prestriedge. It's for a promotional title and we're very intrigued by this fight. Utah Fight Game interviewed both Thomas and Brandon:


UFGYou fought Brandon a couple of years ago, lost a split decision. Now it's for a title. What are you looking for from your opponent? Do you think there's more to learn about your opponent? Or are looking for an updated version of the same bout? 

PrestriedgeI'm looking for a good fight from him, I'm really hoping Brandon has improved since the last time we fought like I have. There's nothing I hate more then a easy fight 😅I only wanna fight the best! It's the only way I'll ever reach my goal in life.

UFGWhat is training like? Who are your main coaches, who are you training and sparring with? 

Prestriedge: To me training is a awesome experience. It's where I get to work on all my weaknesses and spend time with awesome people. I always train harder then the day before! My main coaches are professor Rob Handely, Pedro Sierra, Paul Tom, and coach Pat Garcia and I work on my Jiu-Jitsu at Paul Tom's academy of BBJ and I work on my wrestling sparring and my MMA training at Absolute MMA.

UFGWhat advantages do you take into the bout? What are some challenges that your opponent will bring to you?

PrestriedgeI think my advantages in this fight are gonna be my stand up and my Jiu-Jitsu, not to mention my mentality. I am not willing to give up no matter how hard he comes at me! And I think one of the biggest challenges he will bring at me is having the same mindset; he is not gonna be willing to give up either and when both opponents aren't willing to give up that's when the fight really becomes interesting.


UFGYou fought Thomas a couple of years ago, won a split decision. Now it's for a title. What are you looking for from your opponent? Do you think there's more to learn about your opponent? Or are looking for an updated version of the same bout? 

ReaseI’m looking to see a mor improved Thomas. I have a feeling he’s gonna come at me with everything he’s got and I will be bringing everything I got to him. I know this fight will be a war.

UFGWhat is training like? Who are your main coaches, who are you training and sparring with?

Rease: Training, I’m not gonna lie is very brutal. I train at KOA which is now the home for the Garage MMA and we got some high-skilled "bangas" in there, like Bryce Edminister, Bobby King, Miles Welk, Hector Lopez, Bryce Scanlon, Alonzo Salas, Edgar Soto and Kelsey Skillman; so many well-skilled fighters. My coaches are Anthony Lobato, David Castillo and Bobby King! Those are some big names in Utah MMA. Sparring at KOA isn’t no walk in a park and I love it.

UFGWhat advantages do you take into the bout? What are some challenges that your opponent will bring to you?

ReaseAdvantages I will bring into this fight are I already beat him -- that’s gonna be on his mind this fight -- (and) also my skills in everything have improved since we last fought. The challenge he will bring to me is his reach and heart; that kid can bang. ... also this fight is dedicated to Pat Reeves (Ogden MMA fighter who recently died).

We wish both Thomas and Brandon the best. I admire both these veteran amateurs. Brandon rebounded well from some tough, early losses in his career, and improved to become a consistent winner. Thomas, in his last fight, won a SteelFist crown after taking quite a beating in round one against a very talented opponent. He withstood the early attack and battled back to take a five-round decision. Saturday's bout is also for five rounds.


A reminder that Mountain Force MMA card is next Saturday in Logan. We have interviewed Miles Welk, pro fighter on the card. The entire card is here. Anthony Miller fights Allen Silva in the main pro bout. Also on the card are debuting pros Andy Pitcher and Ben Goins, and amateurs Hayden Brown and Joe Flores. ... Hector Lopez, 3-0, amateur out of KOA, is fighting on the April 6 FitCon card in SLC. 

Notes: Amateur MMA fighter/kickboxer Kaecy Raddon, who fights out of Colorado now, is competing in a WAKO Team USA  K1 Kickboxing card this weekend in Janesville, Wisc. Raddon will be back in the  cage on April 7 in Everett, Wash., fighting for the Sparta Combat League 155 pound amateur belt. ... By the way, Eric Tillotson is calling the Fierce Fighting Championship card on Saturday in Price. He recently previewed the card on a podcast. You can find it here on Facebook.