Thursday, April 13, 2017
SteelFist MMA card, amateur boxing on Saturday, April 18
Above are the two events this weekend that Utah Fight Game will be covering on Saturday. We'll have a photographer at Foley's gym in Ogden, 375 31st St., at 7 pm for amateur boxing. Tickets are $12, $6 for younger kids.
At the Riverbend Sports Complex in Salt Lake City, 1085 Winding River Code W, we'll be there at 6 p.m. for the SteelFist card (here). Ticket info is at steelfistfightnight.com or 801-637-7063. The main bout matches 145 pound SteelFist champ Jon Neal (One Hit MMA) of Ogden defending his title against Skyler Frazier (Absolute MMA). Other pro bouts include Ogden's Jordan Chandler (One Hit MMA) meeting Idaho veteran Kerry Lattimer and debut pro, from Foley's gym, AJ Garcia, versus One Hit MMA's Rowdy Akers.
-- Let's start with some boxing results from the amateur card at Legends in Sandy on April 11. They are: Yahir Estrada defeating Javier Gamma; Adriano Benn (All Heart) defeating Mateo Holt; Kai Chiang defeated Gary Bailey; Rene Mendoza defeated Jesus Saldana (All Heart); John Gonzalez defeated Andy Jensen (Foleys); Jesus Garcia defeated Dorian Spencer; Jordan Argyle defeated Alex Treadway (Foleys); and Ramon Lopez defeated Jon Bryant (Lights Out) in a surprise. I watched that bout via FB and Lopez used effective aggression to neutralize Bryant's outside boxing game. After the spring/summer tournament season finishes, this would make a good rematch.
In the pro ranks, Jose Haro is scheduled to fight in Tijuana, Mexico, at the end of the month. If we find out more we'll publish it at the blog. FKP Boxing, which just had a card at Riverbend, plans another pro/am card in May, I've been told.
BACK TO MMA
In previous posts, I have interviewed four fighters, Chandler, Lattimer, Garcia and Akers. We made an effort to get interviews with Neal and Frazier but it just didn't happen. My two cents on the main event is that Neal certainly merits being the favorite. He's yet to lose and he's passed his three toughest tests, wins over Scottie Casey, Jordan Clements and Tanner Cowan, well. Since after his pro debut, a decision win, no one has taken Neal into round three.
Having said that, I'm impressed with Frazier's talents as well, particularly his recuperative powers during fights, finding that second or third wind when necessary. Also, he learns from mistakes and despite some losses has returned a better fighter. As mentioned, Neal is my tabbed favorite but if Frazier can take this past round two and into areas that Neal is not familiar with, it may get more interesting. In any event, can't wait for this bout as well as the whole card. Despite peripheral neuropathy which keeps me home too often, I'm trekking to this card.
SOME MORE MMA NEWS: Davis County professional MMA fighter Sean Powers has signed a contract with Toronto-based Mickey Meyer Management Group. ... Friday, April 21, is a FITCON MMA card in SLC. On April 22 there's a kickboxing card scheduled. We did an interview with MMA amateur Eric Munoz, of Foley's gym recently, who will fight on April 21. Also scheduled to fight is undefeated female amateur Jessica Kruger. More info and the entire card is here. ... Buffy Ogden, a female MMA amateur who has been off a couple of years, announced on social media she may be back in the cage soon. Details will be announced after contracts are set. ... Also on social media, local amateur Brandon Rease (The Garage) said he may fight in Nevada soon.
Just remembered, go to the Utah Fighter MMA podcast of April 9 and hosts Eric Tillotson and Reed Romney analyze all three MMA cards, SteelFist, FitCon and South Valley Slam.
ONE MORE THING: We recently interviewed 46 year old MMA pro John Valentine, who is fighting on the May 13 South Valley Slam card in Hurricane, Utah. John's opponent has switched; he'll be fighting 170-pounder Michael Dillard. John generally fights at a lighter weight. Dillard has a win over Koji Lehman and a loss to Ogden MMA pro Justin Roberts among his bouts.
I chatted with John about the opponent change: "Hey Doug it's interesting I'm fighting a really big guy Mike Dillard. He's been around for a while; his record's about mixed but he's extremely big. I think he's 6 foot 1 inch, walks at 193 pounds it's gonna make for an interesting fight because I know he's going to lose some weight to get down to 170. I walk at 155 roughly but on fight night he's probably gonna have me by 30 pounds so I have to be very tight on my game strategy. I think I got this ... it's gonna be an exciting match up and probably will make for an exciting fight. There's already a lot of buzz and I sold a lot of tickets. People are more curious on whether not a little person can be the big person."
As the South Valley Slams draws nearer Utah Fight Game blog will have interviews with MMA pros Daniel Stratton and James Russell Francis, who are fighting each other on the card, and amateur Bryce Edminister, who will be meeting Nick Estrada on the card. ... Our periodic look a the state athletic commission upcoming fight events.