Gladiator Challenge

The Evolution brought its fans 11 action packed bouts that offered that thrill that has made MMA what it is today.The Los Angeles Convention Center may have played host to the 2008 Fitness expo, but it was the Gladiator Challenge’s Evolution that made its mark this past weekend. The Evolution brought its fans 11 action packed bouts that offered that thrill that has made MMA what it is today.

The night started off with a verbal tap out when Ron Nguyen making his professional debut took on Gladiator Challenge veteran Alijah Reni (1-1-0). The fight started out with Nguyen throwing his only offensive maneuver of the night, a teep kick. That Front kick allowed Reni the opportunity he needed for the takedown, once the fight hit the floor it was Reni’s world. He gained top position and finished the fight in brutal ground and pound fashion forcing Nguyen to verbally submit.

Beau Serat who was making his pro debut controlled most of the action of his fight against fellow new comer Tony Dalton. Over the course of 12mins Serat demonstrated sprawl and brawl tactics, stuffing Dalton’s Takedowns and scoring strikes virtually at will. In the third the ref had seen enough stopping the fight giving Serat his first pro win.

Two times Saturday night the fans were treated to the thrill and sometimes frightening display of power that only comes from a Knock out. When Niko Medina took on fellow new comer Adam watts, who would have guessed that the fight would end with Watts being carried out on a stretcher. Thirteen seconds is all Medina needed to land a savage right hand that caused Watts to crumble under his power. It was later announced that Watts was conscious and going to be ok when he reached the hospital. The second KO was produced when Jason High (4-0-0) took on Troy Ackor (2-2-0). High came out and engaged quickly with a round kick to the face which dropped Ackor to the floor. After a few punches the ref stopped the fight after seeing Ackor was ko’ed just past the half minute mark.

The choke seemed to be the submission of choice for the combatants Saturday night, three total throughout the night. Russ Muira (3-1-0) was the first sinking in a Guillotine on his opponent Aaron Miller (2-1-0). Throughout round one Muira controlled the action, striking briefly only to score a takedown and keep a dominate position while looking for the submission. The only offense Miller saw was a reversal that occurred only seconds before the round ended and also at the start of the second scoring a takedown but getting caught when Muira on his back Sinked in the choke forcing Aaron to tap.

The second guillotine was executed by Andrew Flores (1-3-0), against his opponent Randy Ray who was making his pro debut that night. The majority of the fight was spent on the ground in a back and forth battle for a dominate position. Both scored takedowns, both held the dominate position and both went for submission attempts. In the end it was Flores’s submission that forced the tapout after Ray scored a takedown just past the middle point of the round.

The Final submission of the night came when Toney Lopez (4-2-0) choked out Liron Wilson (2-0-0) via rear naked choke. When the bell rang for round one after a quick exchange it was obvious that both fighters wanted the fight to go to the ground. Wilson scored the first takedown putting Lopez on his back but Lopez ability to scramble gave him the opportunity he needed to get to the top position. Although Wilson was able to get to guard Lopez wasted no time in landing some effective punches. After effectively powering he was way out of an attempted armbar he was able to pass to side mount then to mount. Stuck in the mount position Wilson after taking punches from Lopez turned to his belly to avoid the blows but found himself in the classic Monte Leon position tapping out to avoid passing out.

In the main event of the night Nam Phan (13-3-0) took on Saad Awad (1-0-0). Even though on paper Pham had more experience and was expected to win that didn’t stop Awad from putting up one hell of a fight. From the get go Awad came out throwing punches landing on Phan as Phan tried to get it to the floor. Halfway through the round after being rocked by Awad’s right hand Phan was able to clinch and get the fight to the ground and immediately looked for an armbar. Awad was able to work his way out of it though and for the rest of the round engaged in a back in forth battle with Phan on the ground. In round two after an exchange of punches both hit the ground, Phan at this point was able to get to the dominate position and finished the fight raining down punches that forced the ref to stop the fight.

Official Results Alijah Reni def Ron Nguyen via Submission (verbal) 1:57 RD 1

Beau Serat def Tony Dalton via TKO 2:01 RD 3

Niko Medina def Adam Watts via KO 0:13 RD 1

Larry Mays def Jose Reyes via TKO (Corner stoppage) 5:00 RD 2

Russ Miura def Aaron Miller via Submission (G-choke) 0:37 RD 2

Chris David def Georgi Karakhanyan via Dec (split) 5:00 RD 3

Andrew Flores def Randy Ray via Submission (G-choke) 2:14 RD 1

Jason High def Troy Acker via KO 0:24 RD 1

Mike Sanchez def Art Ruiz via TKO 0:44 RD 3

Tony Lopez def Liron Wilson via Submission (RN-choke) 4:46 RD 1

Nam Phan def Saad Awad via TKO 0:52 RD

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Christopher Landeros