Thu Sep 13th, 2018
Special to the Drum
Pro lineup also included a one-punch knockout
Dominant on her feet during the first (of five scheduled) five-minute round, and also able to score a takedown of opponent Brenda ‘Boom Boom’ Gonzales-Means during the Sept. 1 main event inside Sky Ute Casino Resort Events Center, Joselyne Edwards Laboriel realized she was expending energy at too great a rate.
“As soon as I got the call for this matchup I started hitting it hard…working on my wrestling, my boxing, my BJJ,” Gonzales-Means said. “We’re both…in shape, we’re both hungry; we’ve had each other’s names on our minds for a while now.”
“The altitude was messing with me,” said the Panamanian, through translator/coach/promoter Brian Green. “I felt that I was starting to get tired, and I knew that I had to finish the fight so I did it.”
And did so in an unorthodox manner. Latched onto Gonzales-Means’ left arm while inverted beneath and balancing on her shoulders, ‘La Pantera’ forced her Moriarty, N.M., foe to submit to an armbar 2 minutes, 53 seconds into the second stanza, securing the vacant King of the Cage Women’s World Flyweight Championship belt and wrapping up KOTC: Aggressive Lifestyle.
“I fought against a very tough opponent, a very strong girl. Brenda’s super-strong,” she said, having improved to 8-1 as a professional while Gonzales-Means—previously slated to be her opponent on The Fight Series’ canceled Aug. 17 card in Clive, Iowa—dipped to 8-4. “Thank you King of the Cage for the opportunity to fight for your championship; it’s such a big organization.”
For the 140-pound bout, Edwards Laboriel weighed in at 141.2 while Gonzales-Means weighed 139.6.
Brazilian Luiz Gavinho (144.2 lbs.) began the 11-fight spectacle’s pro portion with a spectacular one-punch knockout of Belen, New Mexico’s Derek Perez (144.4). Able to dodge a Perez kick just after referee Mike Beltran gave his initial go-ahead, Gavinho unleashed a frame-cracking left hand to Perez’s right cheek.
Seeing the man was done even before he crashed down, Beltran immediately ran in between the combatants and waved off the 145-pound division action after just 14 seconds.
Fortunate to avoid a similar fate, Colorado Springs’ Joseph Galaviz (158 lbs.) followed with a 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 unanimous decision over San Francisco, California’s Nikko Nathan (160.6) after 15 minutes at 160.
Able to withstand a wicked opening punch from Nathan and respond with multiple overhand rights and left elbows, Galaviz later managed to end Round Two with a single-leg takedown, then thrilled the crowd with some flying knee strikes in Round Three’s closing moments while Nathan narrowly missed with a spinning back-fist at close range.
“I respect him more than anyone else,” said Galaviz. “He was a tough opponent; I thought maybe I’d be able to put him away. I got some things I need to work on. He’s a tough [expletive], man…put some hits on me too—that’s all I’ve got to say about that.”
“Pariah MMA…we’re located out in Colorado Springs, and I think we’re the best MMA school in southern Colorado,” he added. “We’re going to make a name for ourselves!”
Already an established name in the game, current KOTC World Middleweight Champion Sidiah Parker then entered the fenced circle to rumble with Jay ‘Action’ Jackson in the co-main.
“Last fight was kind of a short-notice fight, so I was nervous…him being the champ,” Jackson said, alluding to the gents’ March 2017 encounter. “He’s pretty legit but…I think you should expect a great show; I think he’s a great fighter.”
“Last time I didn’t know anything about him; I just went there, did my thing,” admitted Parker, who won the KOTC: Bloody Warpairing by second-round rear naked choke. “But…I trained really hard for this fight.”
Originally from Blanding, Utah, but now based in Albuquerque, N.M., and prepped through its well-known FIT/NHB camp (which also includes Gonzales-Means), Parker felt out his enemy during a relatively even first five minutes before going more on the attack during Round Two, even as Jackson continued to attempt kicks.
“I hit him with some good shots; the guy’s got a chin, obviously,” Parker said. “Most of those shots would have taken any fighter out! That guy weathered…the storm and was able to keep going. For not one second did I think I’d get him out of the cage that easy.”
But in Round Three, the effects of repeated blows—notably visible around Jackson’s right eye—at last began to slow the Georgia-born battler (now based in Bay City, Mich.) enough to sway the judges into awarding Parker a 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 unanimous decision.
Jackson dropped to 3-11 while Parker improved to 19-7 after winning the catchweight feature, contested at 175 pounds (Parker weighed in at 174.6, Jackson 176.4) rather than 180 or the middleweight-maximum 185.
“I went out there, tried to do the best I can…just to get some ring rust off, get out there and let my hands go…have fun and feel the cage a little bit more—sometimes my fights go a little faster than I’ve wanted,” said Parker. “I just wanted to get some rounds in, and I think I did that tonight and came out victorious.”
“If I got the knockout, or I didn’t, it’s fine; I’m happy with the result,” he continued. “This fight was just to test the waters, see if I can make 170—which I know I can now. So, I’m going to be dropping to that weight class and hopefully soon I’ll get another fight. I’m looking forward to that; 2018-2019’s going to be a big year for me.”
STILL A GOOD ’UN: Between the day’s inclement weather, the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally, and the fact that the previous KOTC card’s headliner—Durango’s Chris Jones—was instead part of a World Fighting Championships card down in Farmington, N.M., the seats weren’t as packed as they’d been back in July.
That didn’t seem to matter much to the Aggressive Lifestylefighters.
“Even if the crowd isn’t a sell-out, you can hear them in the back when warming up,” Parker said. “I liked the atmosphere—I was here for a couple of the boxing matches, previously—so seeing the Sky Ute Casino crowd that comes, supports local fighters…it’s pretty cool! Great fight energy out here—I hope I can come back soon!”
Durango Martial Arts Academy’s Facebook page mentioned that Jones, who turned 40 on August 27, won in the first round of his WFC 94 fight, but no further details were available.