Saturday, January 28, 2017

'Silent Assassin' suffers first MMA loss; Bradshaw boxing match falls through

Former Salt Lake City amateur MMA fighter Aubree "The Silent Assassin" Thompson suffered her first loss Saturday night in Salem, Ore., -- Thompson's home now -- when she was stopped at 1:32 of round one via an armbar by Cheyanne Vlismas, of Las Vegas.

The bouts was available via Facebook Live. Vlismas, 7-6-1, the more experienced fighter, scored a quick takedown of Thompson, 6-1. Thompson rebounded well, climbing the cage and moving her body over Vlismas', gaining a takedown. Thompson even managed to slam Vlisma's head onto the floor.

The action, with Thompson still on top, moved back toward the cage. The ending happened quickly, and was difficult to note on the Facebook Live broadcast. Vlismas was up and celebrating, and Thompson, who appeared to have injured her arm, was attended to by medical personnel. She was able to stand by the referee for the raising of Vlismas' hand, also congratulating her on the win.

Bradshaw shows up to fight a no show.

MMA professional Trever Bradshaw of Farmington also is a professional boxer with a 1-0 record. On Thursday, he accepted a late call to fight Adrian Taylor, 185 pounds, 3-0, in Phoenix, Ariz. After the blood tests were done, Bradshaw flew to Phoenix Friday morning to fight that night.

Alas, no fight occurred. According to Bradshaw, Taylor was a no-show, and the hurried fight offer resulted only in short visit to Arizona. Disappointing? Of course. But at least promoters know that Bradshaw is reliable if asked to fight on any notice.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The February SteelFist MMA card; about the American Boxing Organization

UPDATE: We just learned that Farmington fighter Trever Bradshaw is fighting a professional boxing match in Phoenix tonight at the Celebrity Theater. Trever will be boxing Texan Adrian Taylor at 185 pounds. MORE BELOW

The American Boxing Organization is a regional organization that has been very active of late, trying its best to bring boxing to many cities and develop a sort of farm system for up and coming fighters to gain a title and hopefully move up further. Utah's Jose Haro won an ABO title in Layton last year.

The photo above is of the newest ABA champion Achour Esho, 13-0, who won an ABO junior middleweight title Jan. 21 in Chicago. They have fights planned next month as well. I chatted with Juan Curiel, the CEO of the ABO, and asked him to tell our readers a little about the organization:

CURIELAll we want to do is make a difference. I have the only organization in the world with former Olympian, world champions and hall of famers on the board. We have a program that will help indigent fighters and at-risk youth get back into society with relationship in social services and law enforcement. ...

("Among those involved are) Ernie Brown former amateur boxer, Leeroy Murphy former Gold Medalist and former IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Luis Mateo."

MORE FROM CURIEL: "Achour Esho fought Anthony Abruzzesse for the American ABO region Jr. Middleweight Championship crown January 21st at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago Illinois in front of great boxing fans. Future cards are  February 10th in Tijuana Mexico, with Ron Cruz from California fighting for the American ABO InterContinental Super Middleweight Championship crown. Also, February 24th Austin, Texas, to be announced."
The ABO championship fight card in Layton with Haro last year was a great night for boxing. Also, we forgot to mention, as a reader commented, that former Olympic medalist and world champ pro boxer Montell Griffin is also associated with the ABO.

MMA news: The next SteelFist MMA card is Feb. 18 in Farmington, There's three pro title bouts: Trever Carlson versus Eric Wahlin, Anthony Johnson versus Jeremiah Guzman, and Carl Dieckmann versus Ed Whitmore. Dieckmann is making a comeback after a while off and Whitmore is a very tough opponent. All three bouts are excellent matchups. A couple of amateur title bouts include Justin Oswald versus Cole Shafer and Derrick Bates verses Michael O'Laskey.

Ben Guymon, a Top of Utah amateur, faces Kyle Frazier, and a women's amateur bout matches Lyza Hermosillo versus Heidi Wollebaek. There's several more scheduled bouts. More information at the promotion's website. I'll try to interview a couple of the fighters as the date draws near.

ONE MORE THING: MMA amateur woman Aubree Thompson, who used to fight out of Utah, has been in Salem, Ore., a while and has remained successful in the cage. She fights this Saturday in Eugene, Ore., in an amateur title fight against Cheyanne Vlismas. The 130-pound Thompson is hearing impaired and goes by the nickname The Silent Assassin.

BACK TO THE UPDATE NEWS: I chatted with Trever Bradshaw today. This will be his second boxing bout, although MMA is his main concern. "My focus is clearly on MMA but I like to stay active," he told me in a phone conversation from Phoenix. In his sole boxing match earlier this year, Trever stopped Utahn Mike Crisman in Layton, a veteran MMA fighter who has also boxes professionally. Taylor is 3-0 as a pro.

Bradshaw is a striker in MMA so moving to boxing is not difficult for him. He was offered the fight only about 24 hours ago and after blood tests hopped on a plane for Phoenix. We wish him the best of luck tonight. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Results from Fierce Fighting Championships MMA

This is a quick post to let Utah MMA fans know the results of last night's Fierce Fighting Championships MMA card at the Utah Fair Park in Salt Lake City. The card was streamed online and I watched most of it. However, I am using Jeffrey "Dutch" Dutcher's excellent Fighting Out of Utah MMA News to verify the results.

They are: Bobby King def. Nathan Kearsley via guillotine in round 3, 155 pound, pro match. Dutch described King's comeback win as "a great match."

115 pound amateur: Brittany Boone defeated Mali Rahimian in the second round via KO, a "kick to the body."

205 pound amateur, Zac Calender stopped Michael Gomez in round two, strikes.

In the main pro bout for a promotional belt, 145 pounds, Mike Hamel defeated Race Sawyer via TKO in round 2.

In an 170 pound pro bout Liam O'Neil scored a split decision win over Austin Jones.

155 pound pro bout had Randy Rowland winning by TKO over Jordan Marriot in round 2.

155 pound amateur Josh Garlick stopped Aaron Quintana via rear naked choke in round 2.

Two very competitive amateur bouts went the distance. Daniel Arellano finished strong to take two rounds (on my card) and the decision over Nathan Owens at 125 pounds. And at 180 pounds Mitch Ramirez scored a decision win over Alonzo Salas. I scored that bout a draw. Salas was penalized a point by the referee after round 2.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Talking with boxer Larry Gomez, MMA fighter Nathan Owens

I have wanted to chat with undefeated Utah professional boxer Larry Gomez (seen above after a win). The Midvale boxer, who hopes to be in the ring again next month, is 6-0. He had a strong amateur career as well. He answered questions that included his goals in 2017 and his training methods and fighting style.

GOMEZ: "I was back in the gym a week and a half after my big win over undefeated Donald Griffin (in December). My plan is to fight every other month. I will be fighting toward the end of February. 

"As much as I'd love to fight here at home there's much bigger opportunities for me to start traveling and showing my talent to the world and maybe some day become champ of the world. To get there I will do my best to stay undefeated this year.

"My goal is to have six to eight fights this year then work my way on to ShowBox The Next Generation. My next fight may be in Chicago next month. I plan to stay at 147 (pounds) for the rest of my career.

"I'd like to thank everybody who has helped me; my uncle, Gary Gomez, for getting me where I am today. Michael Hermosillo for being there and providing a nice gym (Hidden Valley MMA) for me to get ready in, and all the sparring partners who have been there for me: Michael Gomez, Jose Haro, Jon Bryant, and many more from Utah."

Gomez concludes by expressing his appreciation to his fans and reiterating his desire to win a world championship one day. We express our thanks for him chatting with the Utah Fight Game blog.


We mentioned that Fierce Fighting Championships is Saturday in Salt Lake City. It's at the Utah State Fair Park, 155 N. 1000 West, SLC. The card, doors open at 5:30 p.m., can be found here. Samson Phommabout was scheduled to fight in the main event but the card has been changed. Now Race Sawyer will fight Mike Hamel for a promotional belt, five rounds scheduled.

A couple of amateur bouts with fighters from The Garage MM gym are intriguing. Alonzo Salas (The Garage) fights Mitch Ramirez at 180 pounds, and Ha'va Nathan Owens (The Garage) fights Daniel Arellano (both are undefeated) at 125 pounds. I've known Owens (photo below) for a awhile and was kind enough to chat briefly about the fight.

OWENS: "I have a tough fight coming up this weekend. (My trainer is Dave Castillo). I've had to make sure that everything I'm doing is on point. My fighting style is (traditional) MMA.

"I love it all. In a year from now, I would like to see myself as (amateur) champion of my division; undefeated.

Thanks Nathan, and good luck Saturday.

TIDBITS: Next week we'll have more on SteelFist's February 18 card. The promotion announced on Jan. 18 that it will have four cards this year at the Riverbend Sports Complex in Salt Lake City. Also, MMA pro John Valentine, who matches female MMA fighters, plans to announce some future bouts as well as a five-bout contract for one MMA fighter, soon.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

McGee outfights Saunders but doesn't get decision

Court McGee did what he needed to do against Ben Saunders in their welterweight UFC MMA bout Sunday night in Phoenix.

After Saunders had the edge in round one due to leg kicks, McGee put on the pressure in rounds two and three. In the final round, McGee staggered an exhausted Saunders, 21-7-2, early and the round ended with Saunders on the ground taking punishment.

It should have been a win for the Utah veteran, but three judges inexplicably scored the bout 29-28 for Saunders.

Here's some stats from the bout: McGee, 19-6,  had 90 strikes to Saunders' 74. McGee had the only takedown, and among significant strikes, McGee had 67 to Saunders' 48. And, after two competitive rounds, McGee dominated round three.

Saunders is a great fighter and it's hard to feel too bad that he got some luck tonight.

But Court McGee deserved to have his hand raised, and it's a shame the judging prevented him from a win.

In the main event, Yair Rodriguez stopped a game but way past his prime BJ Penn in round two.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Court McGee fights Sunday on televised UFC card

The big news in the Utah fight game is that UFC veteran Court McGee, 170 pounds, a former Davis County prep wrestler, fights on a nationally televised UFC MMA card on Sunday, Jan. 15. McGee, a several-year vet of the UFC has a very very competitive match against Ben Saunders. (Photo above courtesy of UFC)

The card starts on Fox Sports One (Xfinity 265) at 6 p.m. with prelims. The main card, with McGee, starts at 8 p.m. BJ Penn fights Yair Rodriguez in the main bout.

In his last fight, McGee rebounded from a stoppage loss with a points win over Dominique Steele.

The next big MMA card is Jan. 21 in Salt Lake City at the Fairgrounds. Headlining is Samson Phommabout, an 145-pounder, 4-1, who is one of Utah's top pro prospects. Hopefully, we'll have more about this card next week in the blog.


In Utah boxing news, I chatted with 126 pound pro Jose Haro, who is on the mend after foot surgery. He hopes to fight soon. I asked Jose how training goes as he rehabs

Haro: "Rehab is going well. I'm actually training ... and running for the first time since my injury. ... For 2017, I would like to get a tune up fight and fight for titles after that. I would like to fight the best."

So what are the running distances I asked, and will the fights be out of Utah?

Haro: "I'll start on mile for one week and then after that I'll start doing three miles. ... Most likely I will travel." (Photo of Haro below by Justin Hughes)

BY THE WAY ... You can find a schedule of future Utah fight cards at the Pete Suazo Utah Athletic Commision website here.

Finally, we end with a photo of Larry Gomez' win over Donald Griffin last month in SLC. We plan on interviewing Gomez, 6-0 and a fine prospect, in the near future. (Photo courtesy of Gomez).

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Neal defeats Cowan, Herrera over Akers

We have results for the Jan. 7 SteelFist MMA card in Farmington. They are courtesy of Fighting Out of Utah MMA's Jeffrey "Dutch" Dutcher. In the main event, Ogden's Jon Neal remained undefeated stopping Payson's Tanner Cowan in round two via strikes to win the SteelFist 145-pound title. With the win he now has two titles, having previously won the SteelFist 155-pound belt. Cowan is a highly regarded veteran and it's a win that will likely move Neal into a higher-echelon bout.

In fact, Aldo Oreggia, of One Hit MMA, says Jon will probably move into a Legacy Fighting Alliance card soon. Aldo was told that Neal was at the top of the list for 145 pounders at LFA. Oreggia also said Neal will avoid the periods of inactivity that he's had the past few years, and plans to fight regularly as he works to move up the ladder.

Herrera victorious

In the co-main event, Kyle Herrera scored a nice win, defeating tough Rowdy Akers via a heel hook in round one. In the 160-pound pro bout Herrera floored Akers with a left hook. The game Akers fought off the knockdown but was later caught in the hook, forcing a tap.

In an 125-pound amateur rematch, Steve Chan won a unanimous three-round decision over Brandon Rease. Chan had stopped Rease a couple of years ago. In two pro bouts, Justin Van Horn stopped Ed Moroney in two, 205 pounds, and Carson Gregory stopped Josh Bateman in round one, 170 pounds.

In more amateur bouts, Kaden Weston stopped Brian Gates in round one, 145, Luke Smith stopped Elias Landau in round one, 185, Brandon Know stopped Daryl Sullivan in round 2, 135, Cory Rose defeated Ian Kahng in round two, 155, and Gavin Weston stopped Nick Lund in the second round, 145.

In what Dutcher described as a "great fight," 175-pound amateur Joshua Ferrera defeated Kelleck Diamond via unanimous three-round decision. "Both guys came out swinging. Both showed great heart and some rock-solid chins," Dutcher said.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cowan, Neal, Akers and Herrera headline SteelFist card

Welcome to the Utah MMA and boxing blog. It's a work in progress so readers will see design improvements as time goes on. My name is Doug Gibson and I'm a former journalist. The fight game is one of my passions and I'd like to do what I can to promote it, particularly in Northern Utah.

We'll have fight card advances, results, photos, long features and short features on fighters, trainers and others. A key goal I have is to let the fighters talk, so a lot of the posts will be interviews that feature them talking about the sport, rather than the reporter's voice dominating.

We'd like to thank Justin Hughes for providing boxing photos. Hopefully his work will be a fixture on the blog. If at any time the blog publishes a photo that is copyrighted, let us know and we'll take it down. This is a labor of love, not of money, and we want to respect original work.

To get going, this Saturday night SteelFist promotions will be in Farmington at the Legacy Events Center with "High Intensity," a card featuring some intriguing battles. (The card is here) The main event is a great matchup with two veterans, undefeated Jon Neal of One Hit MMA facing Tanner Cowan of Team Unbreakable It's for the SteelFist featherweight title.

Neal's career has included some long stretches of inactivity, but his wins have been solid, including a first round stoppage of Scottie Casey. Cowan followed a long, successful amateur career with success in the pros. He recently defeated Jordan Chandler via decision. We reached out to both fighters. We didn't get a response from Neal by press time but here's what Cowan had to say: (NOTE: I have not included my questions in the interviews.)

Cowan: What motivated me to compete in MMA was my coach. I had a friend that trained with team Unbreakable that told me about the coach and how to get a hold of him. Honestly I just wanted to teach my wrestling to the fighters and train for free. I wasn't interested in fighting but my coach was putting on his own show one month after I started, he told me I had a fight, and to get ready for it so I did. 

I train with team Unbreakable, we have some great fighters like Jeremiah Guzman, McKinley Smith, Ed Whitmore, Justin Van Horn, Justin Oswald, Trevor Carlson, and many other great fighters. My coach and manager is Aaron Garcia. I teach a majority of the wrestling and grappling at the gym.

This is a pro title fight so everything I do consist of five five minute rounds. I work a full time job so I only get to train once a day, six days a week. This is my first time fighting at featherweight so my diet and weight cut have been implemented far more for this fight. 

My opponent is Jon Neal. He is ranked 3rd in the state among the lightweights. He is undefeated at 9-0. I know he has wrestled before but doesn't mind to stand and strike. He is a southpaw and seems like he fights a lot like myself. 

Like everyone else I want to be in the UFC and I think I have what it takes to get there. My wife, child, and family inspire me to train hard and be the best I can be. I live in Nephi and train in Payson. My wife packs up my little girl and we make the drive to the gym about every night. 

I have been told I have the mannerism of Carlos Condit. I felt that was a great compliment because he is humble and kind to others with a fire that he possesses in the cage.

This will be a great bout and we wish both Neal and Cowan the best of luck.


The co-main matches One Hit MMA's Rowdy Akers against Victory's Kyle Herrera. Akers is a good prospect and Herrera a solid vet. They're well matched at featherweight and the winner likely moves to a promotional title fight. We talked to both fighters and here's a couple of photos as well. (Akers above second from left, and Herrera below, at left)

Let's hear from both of them:

AKERS: I started in MMA in Boise. I was running up and getting myself in a lot of trouble and I needed an outlet and it was provided through a friend, Brandon at Teen Hardcore, who asked me to come in and channel that.

I train now with One Hit MMA in Layton under Aldo Oreggia and Bruno Antunes. My training regimen for this fight is the same as always, extensive cardio Jiu Jitsu wrestling stand up, clench. It's all what I do through every fight I work.

If I win this fight where do I want to be in a year? I'd like to think that I'm already at the top. I'm 42 years old, win or lose I'm blessed to be where I'm at. Regardless I'd like to continue to fight and take smart fights. I'd like to up the game and take the opponents to test my limits.

 I'd like to have five more fights this year in 2017. I'm inspired by my coach Aldo; he pushes me every day to be better, he works with me.

Being old I really look up to all the fighters that come from the past and have been judged by their actions and change their lives for the better I'm inspired to do better and to be better than yesterday because of my wife Toni Akers' hard work. She works hard in the gym and it motivates me to do better and be better.

HERRERA: (Note: Herrera took the fight on short notice.) Nobody likes to take short notice fights for obvious reasons, studying opponent, proper fight preparation, diet etc. The biggest pro I have going into this fight is that I have no training injuries from a fight camp. I've gone into the majority of my fights with some sort of injury that had limited my skill set and or cardio. 

I will be going into this fight 100 percent healthy, and I honestly can't remember the last fight where that has been the case. 

I love to stand and bang. However I believe at this point my skill set is very well rounded. And I honestly could not tell you where I am better at --  whether it's my stand up or ground game. I prefer to stand, but if the fight takes place on the ground I am just as comfortable. I am 100 percent certain I will finish this fight with a KO or a submission. Judges can take this fight off.

I don't know much about Rowdy or his skill set. That being said I'll go in to the fight expecting he is an MMA fighter and is well rounded everywhere. 

I've been training under Jake Paul and the late Paul Sizemore. Along with the many hungry fighters that Victory is putting out. There is no easy training session at this gym. We have more active fighters than any gym in Utah, and that helps the team stay strong as a whole. Iron sharpens iron. 

(NOTE: There will be a fundraiser for Sizemore at the SteelFist card and a moment of silence)


An amateur fight worthy of notice matches The Garage's Brandon Rease against Steve Chan at 125 pounds. The pair fought at 135 pounds a couple plus years back and Chan was victorious. Both fighters are looking to get above 500 in the bout. We talked with Rease (at right inphoto below) recently.

REASE: I always wanted to be just like one of the characters off of Dragon Ball Z and MMA was the closest thing to being one of those characters, so that's one big reason that motivated me to MMA.

Coaches are Anthony Lobato, David Castillo and Jason Tafoya and I'm training at The Garage MMA. I train three hours every night.

My opponent I know a lot about because I fought him in the past. He's a good fighter. I want to be pro in a year. I really look up to Lobato, Castillo and Tafoya.


Hayden Brown, a light heavyweight who trains at The Garage, makes his amateur debut. He's an accomplished BMX rider, with multiple titles in Utah and surrounding states. He rides with Team Extreme. In the cage Brown will fight Dallas Howard. We asked Brown a few questions that he answered:

BROWN: My weight class is light heavyweight. My style is boxing/wrestling. What got me interested in MMA was watching the UFC fights with my dad as a kid. Who's helping me get better? All of my coaches and teammates at The Garage. Daily training: weights in the A.M., technique and sparring in the afternoon. My long-term goals are to fight pro and win a belt. 

The doors open at 5 Saturday at the Legacy Events Center. Fights start at 6. Fourteen bouts and we wish all the fighters the best of luck. Now, on to boxing news, with a couple of Justin Hughes photos.


Jose Haro, who has been rehabbing his foot the past few months, indicated on social media that the foot is healed, he can spar and run on it. The 13-1-1 featherweight boxer, who holds a regional title belt, may fight in March. Here's a photo of Haro (at left) below.


Also, in December at The Complex, West Jordan's Larry Gomez moved to 6-0 with a stoppage win over previously undefeated Donald Griffin, 7-1, of Pine Bluff, Ark. The bout was for the state welterweight title. We'll finish off this blog post with a photo of Utah cruiserweight Jesse West, 8-1, of Fruit Heights, defeating Nick Rossborough last year in Layton. It was Rossborough's first boxing bout although he has a long, successful MMA career.