Friday, June 30, 2017

AJ Garcia versus Troy Dennison part of SteelFist in July

SteelFist's July MMA card in Salt Lake City is being slowly unveiled. An intriguing lightweight match is between Ogden's AJ Garcia, who recently defeated Rowdy Akers in his pro debut, against a tough veteran, Troy Dennison.

Other bouts include the pro debut of former University of Utah and NFL football player, Ben Moa. The heavyweight will meet Trevor Kuresa. Another pro bout matches Carson Gregory, who won a wild pro bout recently, against Jeff Roman, welterweights.

Finally, Mike O'Laskey will try to defend his SteelFist amateur welterweight belt against TJ Mitchell. More bouts will be announced over time.


Here's a look at scheduled events from the state athletic commission. August 11 at the Weber County Fairgrounds will be Elite Fight Night 27. We'll be there. SteelFist is scheduled for Sept. 16 (we hope to be there) and Fierce Fighting Championships is back Sept. 30 in Granstville. ... In July, Mesquite, Nev. will host Junior Golden Gloves. We'll work to get a list of local fighters competing.


Just a reminder, Daniel Franco, injured after losing his nationally televised bout to West Jordan's Jose Haro, Utah's USBA featherweight champ, is still on the long road to recovery. According to his dad, Al, the prayers, thoughts and contributions have really helped this resilient young man. A Go Fund Me account for Daniel is here.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

SteelFist MMA results, Foley's boxing results

Just a quick recap of the SteelFist MMA card Friday in SLC and the amateur boxing card at Foley's gym in Ogden Saturday night. (Above, Foley's amateur Joe Gibson sits between rounds with trainer Dave Foley).

At SteelFist, One Hit MMA's LJ Schulz captured the SteelFist 135-pound belt with a first round stoppage over The Garage MMA's Anthony Miller via rear naked choke tap out. After the fight, Schulz, who will be missed in the cage, announced his retirement.

In the co-main, a battle between two good prospects ended with The Garage's Miles Welk scoring an armbar stoppage in round one over Victory MMA's Steve Chan. Another amateur had One Hit MMA's Kaden Weston catching Foley's/The Pack's Ben Guymon with a hard shot early and ending the bout.

Also, in a promotional light heavyweight amateur title bout, Zac Cavender stopped Cole Shafer in round 3 and Lehi Dominguez stopped Preston Black in round 2.

There were 12 bouts. For all results, go to Fighting Out of Utah MMA News 's Facebook page.


At Foley's there were only 7 amateur bouts as some local amateurs were competing in Las Vegas. But it was a great night of fights, and Brad Davidson did his excellent job announcing.  (Above shows Foley's Carson Matthews (in red) boxing Lehi Pena of Louie's gym). Here are the results:

65 pounds: Elias Rivad (Sergeant) decisioned Adriano Gamino (Fractured)
168: Alexander Ponce (Factum) decisioned Kenny Cruz (Foley's)
107: Lehi Pena (Louie's) decisioned Carson Matthews (Foley's)
102: Yahier Estrada (City Center) decisioned Emilio Lopez (Sergeant)
85: Roberto Sanchez (Sergeant) decisioned Joe Gibson (Foley's)
85: Saul Gamino (Fractured) decisioned Vinnie Apodaca (Foley's)
100: Tanner Gurule (Fullmer's) decisioned Adrian Lopez (Louie's)

Finally, here are some locals' results from amateur boxing in Las Vegas:

Kayden Robinette from Fracture lost a close decision; Adrianno Benn from All Heart lost; Mekhi Benn from All Heart won. Jesse Brown from All Heart is scheduled to fight Sunday afternoon. Also, Colin from Orem lost and Aaron Olmeda lost a very close fight.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Schulz, Miller headline SteelFist card on Friday

The big MMA news this week is SteelFist promotions 50th card Friday night at River Bend Sports and Event Center (1085 Winding Rive Cove) in Salt Lake City. The scheduled fights are here. Doors open at 5; bouts start at 6 p.m. It's an all-ages event.

As noted above, the main event is a title bout between One Hit MMA's LJ Shulz and The Garage's Anthony Miller. It's five rounds for these 135 pounders. Although we unfortunately did not get an interview with Miller, here is a link to a chat we had with Schulz.

We interviewed both fighters in the co-main event. It's between two young pros at about 135 pounds, Steve Chan, of Victory MMA, making his pro debut, and Miles Welk, 1-0, of The Garage. It's three rounds.

We also interviewed both fighters of an amateur contest that intrigues us, Kaden Weston, of One Hit MMA, 2-0, versus Ben Guymon, 3-3, of Foley's Gym and The Pack.

We'll publish results by early Saturday morning. Good luck to all the competitors.
Some well-known fighters locally competed at a King of the Cage promotion last weekend in Fort Hall, Idaho. Rowdy Akers, of One Hit MMA, was stopped by Vince Morales via arm triangle in round one. Veteran Kerry Lattimer, in his final bout was stopped in round 2 by Scotty Thometz via an armbar, and Andrew Cruz lost a split decision to Vinnie Fricilone. (Thanks to Jordan Chandler for the results).


Saturday night in Ogden at Foley's gym there is an amateur boxing card. Tickets are $12 for 12 and over and $6 for 6 to 11 ages.

The gym is at 375 31st Street in Ogden and the bouts start at 7 p.m. We'll be there and provide results.

Finally, featherweight pro boxer Daniel Franco, badly injured earlier this month after being by KO'd by West Jordan's Jose Haro, who earned the USBA Featherweight championship, is making some progress on his road to recovery, according to his dad, Al Franco, who has provided updates on a Go Fund Me page for Daniel, who is in our prayers. Please help if you can.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Akers, Lattimer part of King of the Cage MMA card

We're a day late for this short Utah Fight Game blog post. The big news this week is a King of the Cage MMA card in Fort Hall, Idaho, on Saturday. A few local fighters are participating, including One Hit MMA's Rowdy Akers, who recently lost in a good scrap against AJ Garcia at SteelFist. Akers (seen above talking with a young fan) is 4-3 as a pro. He takes on Vince Morales (4-1).

The main event matches Scott Thometz against veteran Kerry Lattimer, who recently fought at SteelFist. It will be the veteran Lattimer's final pro bout. Anther fighter of local note participating is Andrew Cruz. We'll try to get results as soon as we can.


We have been following professional featherweight boxer Daniel Franco's battle after suffering bleeding on the brain following his loss to local pro Jose Haro, who earned the USBA featherweight championship. Here is the Go Fund Me page to assist Daniel. Please donate and offer your prayers and thoughts. Reports from his father Al have been more positive the past few days and we're glad to hear that. Here's the latest report from Al Franco:

Another good night for my beautiful son Daniel. His brain shifted to its normal position which is at the center of his head and all vital signs are strong and holding.

Doctor's lowered the dosages of all medications he's on to allow him to come out of his coma a little more. 

They removed one tube from his head and he reacted by clinching his fist. This was his first sign of movement so it is very exciting to see. Everything looks promising thanks to God, the doctors & nurses at Mercy Medical Hospital and of course all of you. 

Thank you for the tremendous support financially and spiritually.

Please continue to share, pray and remember his name, keep these positive vibes going. Our deepest gratitude from all of us. Thank you.

... Finally, Foley's gym in Ogden plans an amateur boxing card Saturday, June 24. Details to follow next week.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Jose Haro wins United States featherweight boxing title

ANOTHER UPDATE: Daniel Franco is in an Iowa hospital, in a medically induced coma to relieve bleeding on the brain. His condition is critical. Our prayers are with him. A Go Fund Me account is right here to help the young man and his family. Please donate.

(UPDATE WITH ESPN CLIP OF KO) It was a great night for West Jordan, Utah, featherweight boxer Jose Haro (seen above at left in a previous bout). He became a world title contender with a impressive eighth round KO over Daniel Franco, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The bout was in Sloan, Iowa, for the USBA Featherweight Title, and televised nationally by the CBS Sports Network.

Franco was considered the favorite by the commentators, but those of us in Utah knew better. The shorter Haro dominated about every round with faster hands and ring generalship. Franco tried his best and was game until the end. Besides his usual strong body attack, Haro consistently landed hard counter right hands to Franco's head. He concluded the bout with two knockdowns in the final round, both punctuated with right hands.

With the win, Haro becomes a potential world title challenger. You can read's short recap of the bout here. If we get a longer story and video, we'll post a link. UPDATE: Here is a link from ESPN to the knockout:

Rolls wins in Canada

Several years ago, Canadian middleweight Steve Rolls fought in Ogden. He was undefeated then and still is today. I'm a fan of Rolls and was intrigued that he fought on Showtime on Friday night. In a tough, very competitive bout, Rolls increased his record to 16-0 with a win over Demond Nicholson.

SLC fights: Chairez and Brown draw, Aguirre stops Carroll

Here are results from the pro/am boxing card last night at The Complex in Salt Lake City. I want to thank Dave Foley, Julian Stevens and Jason DeCarlo for keeping me informed, as I had to work last night. Also thanks to Charles Presnell for some background information.

In the main event, for the state middleweight championship, Christian Aguirre remained undefeated with a KO in the second round over Factum gym's Tim Carroll. Congrats to Aguirre and we wish future success for Carroll, who is one of the great guys in Utah boxing.

In the co-main, undefeated SLC boxer Ignacio Chairez was held to a draw by undefeated Las Vegas boxer Anthony Brown over four rounds. This was a competitive, well-matched bout, I heard. Brown, incidentally, fought in a Golden Gloves tournament in SLC in 2013. It'd be nice to see both rematched over six rounds soon.

In a third pro bout, Clay Collard defeated Jamey Swanson.

In amateur bouts:

Ozmanny Sanchez (Lights Out) defeated Vinnie Apodaca (Foleys)

Lalo Zamora (Fullmers) defeated Luis Cornejo (Foleys)

Rene Mendoza (Louie's) defeated Matt Searl (Fullmers)

Jordan Jones (Louie's) defeated Jesse Stoneman (Orem)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Interviews with LJ Schulz and Tim Carroll, Jose Haro fights Saturday on TV

The big news this weekend is that West Jordan featherweight boxer Jose Haro fights on CBS Sports Network on Saturday night (Xfinity 269) against Daniel Franco for the United States Boxing Association title. This is arguably the biggest fight for a Utah pro since heavyweight Billy Zumbrun lost, via a disputed decision, a televised bout against former heavyweight champ Riddick Bowe a decade back or so. Good luck trying to find a TV listing at CBS Sports website but has it starting a 10 pm EST, which would be 8 pm locally.

We'll get back to boxing, including a preview of Friday's boxing card at The Complex in SLC and an interview with one of the boxers. However, as part of our preview of the June 23 SteelFist MMA card in SLC, we were fortunate enough to chat with One Hit MMA's LJ Schulz (seen training above at left) who is fighting The Garage's Anthony Miller in the main event. The 150 pounders are competing in a 5-round SteelFist title challenge. Miller defeated Jeremiah Guzman to win the belt recently.

So, here's the interview:

1) Tell me a little about yourself. What got you interested in MMA, who are some MMA athletes you admire?

SchulzI'm 28, married and a proud father of 2 kids. I got into MMA right about the time the first ultimate fighter came on. I was just a fan for a while. I didn't even start training until about 2 years after my first fight. When I did decide to train, I was lucky to be able to train with Shane Brennar at his basement gym. He created a lot of my grappling foundation to this day but he left to California after a year. I had to find a gym and knew Jordan Smith was the top guy in Utah at the time and he trained near me.

2) Where are you training for the bout. Who are your coaches? What other fighters are training, or sparring with you?

SchulzThat's how I found One Hit and the head trainer Aldo Oreggia. I've been training there for 6 years now and we prove every fight card we're the top gym in Utah. I train with the best and because there is too many to name, I'll stick with the upcoming talent that are fighting with me on June 23. Cory Rose, Gavin Weston, and Kaden Weston, will set One Hit up with a 3-0 before I get our fourth and my shiny new belt. 

3) What are your strengths, what are your opponent’s strengths and what’s your strategy to come out on top? 

SchulzMy strength is the ability to go anywhere. I've improved my boxing a lot during that pro boxing try I had. However, I've always been known as a ground guy. I recently earned my purple belt in BJJ but keep in mind I've done No-Gi grappling a lot longer. He'll most likely try taking me down which is fine, I'll be the one picking if we go there.

4) Where do you hope to be in your career a year from now?
SchulzNot quite sure where I'll be. I'd love to get another shot at LFA but I'm more than happy to defend this belt a couple times then take the 145lb SteelFist belt. My training partner and friend Jon Neal will relinquish it because he'll be in the UFC by then.

We wish Schulz, as well as Miller, the best of luck on the 23rd. We may have some more interviews as the date of fight night approaches. Also, read these previous interviews of June 23 competitors here and here.


More boxing: As mentioned, there is a pro/am boxing card Friday night at The Complex, which starts at 8 p.m. The main event matches Tim Carroll, (above) who teaches boxing at Factum gym, with Christian Aguirre. The bout is for the state middleweight title. 

We chatted with Carroll recently about the fight:

Utah Fight GameTim, what do you know about Christian Aguirre and how are you training for him? Who coaches you and helps you with your training? What is a typical day of training like? You've had some fights with tough opponents and I thought a couple should have went your way. What have you learned from tough bouts? What's it like being the coach at Factum? You started late as a pro. Where would you like to be a year from now?

CarrollMy days are pretty busy. I work 10 hours a day as electrician then I go to Factum and train people for a couple of hours. After that I try to fit in some time to train with (former pro) Gary Gomez, then go home to my beautiful wife and seven-month-old baby.

I turned pro at 34, I'm 37 now me and Christian (and I) used to be sparring partners. We both trained with Gary Gomez. I've worked the corner against him in three out of his four fights. He is a good boxer. (At this point Carroll expressed concerns with some comments Aguirre has allegedly made prior to the fight.)  ... but all of his trash talking just gets me more excited. I have forgotten more about boxing than he knows as a coach. I put more pressure on myself to win but I just want to show all the people I train just to leave it all in the ring.

That's all I expect people to do that I train; is to leave it all out there so that's what I try to do every time. 

Good luck Tim, and to all the competitors, including undefeated Ignacio Chairez, who are fighting on the card. Unfortunately, undefeated boxer Larry Gomez's fight was cancelled.

We will report boxing results through the weekend.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Amateur boxing results, MMA pros Chandler and Castillo fights

Above is a photo of fighters, trainers and supporters at last night's New Beginnings amateur boxing card at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington. The card was sponsored by All Heart and Lights Out boxing gyms.

Below is the results of the card. I was going to type them in then realized, light bulb, that I could post the photo. The winners are circled. The last bout, the main event, won by Santana DeCarlo of All Heart, was voted Fight of the Night.

NOW, SOME MMA news ...

At the Fierce Fighting Championship card in Price last night, 155 pounder MMA pro Jordan Chandler of Ogden, who trains at One Hit MMA in Layton, won his final pro bout, stopping previously undefeated Cy Nelson late in round one.

Here's a recap from Jeffrey "Dutch" Dutcher, posted on his Fighting Out of Utah MMA Facebook page: "Nelson was winning the round till Chandler landed a mean right that dropped Nelson, then followed him to the ground to finish it."

In the main bout, 170 pounder Mike Jones stopped Ben Robinson in round one. All the result are at Dutcher's Facebook page.

And Saturday night in Council Bluffs, Iowa, veteran MMA pro David Castillo, who runs The Garage MMA gym in Layton, lost a three round decision to Dakota Cochrane. The bout is scheduled to be televised delayed on UFC Fight Pass. Here's Castillo's assessment last night via social media: "Lost a decision. Good fight. No quit. Hats off to Dakota. He earned it. No regrets."

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Chan, Welk talk before SteelFist MMA clash, plus more

UPDATE ON DAVID CASTILLO MMA BOUT SATURDAY: David Castillo, who runs The Garage MMA gym, fights Saturday in Council Bluffs, Iowa, meeting another veteran, Dakota Cochrane. Card is here; good luck David. ... Today we are chatting with the two MMA professionals meeting in the co-main even on June 23 in SLC at the SteelFist card. Both were successful local amateurs. Miles Welk, of The Garage MMA, is 1-0 and Steve Chan, of Victory MMA, is making his pro debut. This is a tough match for novice pros but even a loss is better than five wins over outmatched competitors. The whole card is here.

So, here we go with the interview:

1) Tell me a little about yourself. What got you interested in MMA, who are some MMA athletes you admire?

CHAN (Seen below) When I was younger my dad would teach me karate and Kung Fu, We would watch a lot of martial arts movies like Jackie Chan and Jet Li, So I've always been interested in combat. When I got a little older I started watching shows like Dragon Ball Z and Power Rangers and started reading X-men comics, So I got really into the whole superhero/combat/ fighting atmosphere. Later I found an interest in boxing and then discovered MMA one night flipping through the channels. It was Ben Henderson fighting and I was immediately hooked. I started watching the local late-night MMA shows and was very impressed with the sport: the grappling, striking, everything. I continued boxing and later decided to try Muay Thai and my obsession just grew from there. I admire Anderson Silva because of his unorthodox style, it is really exciting to watch. I also admire Zach Zane, his heart, passion and aggressiveness for the sport taught me that you don't have to walk around like a tough guy to earn respect outside of the cage. Chan Sung Jung, Jose Aldo, Demetrious Johnson are also fighters that I enjoy watching. 

WELK (Seen below with trainer David Castillo): I'm 27. I wrestled for a while and after school I missed wrestling and that type of workout and competing. I admire my coach David Castillo and my stand-in big brother Lucus Montoya, Chris Weidman, George St. Pierre Matt Hughes and Jeremy Horn are fighters I admire.

2) Where are you training for the bout. Who are your coaches? What other fighters are training, or sparring with you?

WELKI'm full time at The Garage in Layton, Utah. My coaches are David Castillo, Jason Tafoya, Anthony Lobato. I have a solid group of teammates who I would be nothing without. (They include) Bryce Edminister, Anthony Miller, Bobby King, Nathan Owens, Brandon Rease.

CHANI am training at Victory MMA, where we have amazing coaches that make sure we are prepared for war. My coaches are: Jake Paul, Kam Tuller, James Foster, Matt Raines and Kyle Herrera Some of my teammates I am working with are: Brenda Enriquez, Clay Abrams, Jayden and Jordan Marshall, Kelleck Diamond, Drew, Erick, Dan, Joshua Tauteoli, Ethan Shepherd, Pedro and a handful of other guys and girls.

3) What are your strengths, what are your opponent’s strengths and what’s your strategy to come out on top?

CHANI believe I am a well-rounded fighter and I am looking to come away with the win wherever the fight goes. My opponent likes to wrestle, and I like to do all of it, wrestling included. 

WELK: My opponent is a tough guy with a deep gas tank I know he's training hard. He has good hands and decent ground awareness from the video I've watched. I'm just working hard to get better everywhere so I'm comfortable no matter where the fight goes.

4) Where do you hope to be in your career a year from now?

WELK: In a year I would like to be 4-0 maybe 5-0 with a local title.

CHANA year from now I will be an even better fighter, with much sharper tools and farther in my journey to become the best mixed martial artist I can be.

We wish the best to both Welk and Chan, two great competitors with strong futures in the sport.


On Saturday, there is amateur boxing at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington. The card is sponsored by All Heart and Lights Out gym. We hope to have results and perhaps photos to share on the blog.

Also on Saturday is Fierce Fighting Championship MMA card in Price. Of particular interest is the Jordan Chandler versus Cy Nelson fight. It's likely the last fight for Ogden's Chandler as he moves with his wife to Arizona to continue his education.

June 9 there is a pro/am boxing card at The Complex in SLC. Undefeated local pros Ignacio Chairez and Larry Gomez are in separate bouts and Utahns Tim Carroll and Christian Aguirre fight for the state middleweight title. Chairez, by the way, was noted as one of the top 12 prospects in boxing by Inside Boxing.

Next week we'll have interviews with Carroll and One Hit MMA's LJ Schulz as he prepares for his main-bout fight at SteelFist on June 23.

Finally, remember that Utahn Jose Haro is fighting for a national featherweight title on June 10 in Sloan, Iowa, against Daniel Franco, and the fight will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.

Read our interviews with amateurs Ben Guymon and Kaden Weston, who are fighting on the SteelFist card,