VICKSBURG, Miss. (Aug. 26, 2007) – For two agonizing, long years, Victor “Joe Boxer” Valenzuela waited to get fast-talking, loud-mouth Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett back in the cage.
It was worth the wait.
In an impressive performance, Valenzuela (6-2-2) rallied from an early knockdown to register a stunning 3:23 first-round submission (tap out due to strikes) over Bennett (18-14-2) of Ocala, Fla., in their highly anticipated grudge rematch in the main event on ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series Saturday.
EliteXC presented the event from the Vicksburg Convention Center. It aired on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
“This is as good as it gets,’’ said a jubilant Valenzuela. “I shut the ‘Horse’ up and then shut him down and out. This was vindication for me like you would not believe.”
“It doesn’t get any more personal for me than this. I am on cloud nine. All I heard from the time we fought our first fight (Aug. 5, 2005) was what he was going to do to me in the rematch.”
“I showed him and the world what I am all about. I dealt with adversity and kept my composure after going down. I was stunned but not hurt. I weathered the storm and the best he had to offer.”
“I showed the heart of a champion. Champions get up.’’
Bennett (http://krazyhorse.proelite.com/) dropped Valenzuela in the bout’s early moments, but “Joe Boxer’’ (http://joeboxer.proelite.com/) rebounded to score two knockdowns of his own. Moments after the last knockdown, the abbreviated but exciting fight was over.
“I knew he was through and had nothing left after his barrage of punches,’’ Valenzuela said. “I proved I could talk the talk. This is just the greatest feeling in the world.’’
A disconsolate Bennett had little to say afterward. He made no excuses. “I should have not been in such a hurry after I knocked him down. I should have allowed him to get up. Instead, I got a little excited and maybe punched myself out.”
“I tip my hat to ‘Joe Boxer.’ He was the better man tonight. But that doesn’t mean I respect him. Sure, he beat me, but that’s all he did.’’
In the co-feature of a live two-hour telecast that included five competitive, action-packed, crowd-pleasing fights between determined, offensive-minded fighters, Seth “The Dr.’’ Kleinbeck (8-3), of Stuttgart, Ark., knocked out Jaime Jara (16-6) of North Highlands, Calif., with a picture-perfect left-right combination at 4:59 of round two.
“There was no doubt that the fight was over,” Kleinbeck (http://sethkleinbeck.proelite.com/) said. “I caught him perfectly. This is probably my best win and I am obviously very happy. I was surprised he tried to box for as long as he did. I figured he would be trying to take me down. I kicked him so hard I think I might have broken my left foot. Right now it hurts a lot.”
Jara (http://jaimejara.proelite.com/), who lost for the first time in three years, said, “You have to give him a lot of credit. He is one really tough dude. I came to win. I am confident in everything I do, but he had me seeing the lights. I can’t complain about the stoppage. Losing is a new experience to me, but I’ll be back.”
Each of the athletes in the televised bouts was presented with a plaque after their fights.
In a performance that earned him “EliteXC Fighter of the Night” honors, Jon Murphy scored a spectacular second-round knockout over David Huckaba.
Murphy (4-2), of Minersville, Penn., dropped Huckaba (5-2) of Sacramento, Calif., with a series of punches, the most damaging of which were four vicious right hands.
“This is the greatest feeling and by far my biggest win,” said Murphy. “I really appreciate EliteXC giving me this opportunity. I know a lot of people were watching and pulling for me.”
“I was surprised he stayed up as long as he did, but he was really strong. Huckaba is an iron worker and all the iron workers I know are really strong and tough whether they are in training or not.”
Offered Huckaba: “I am very disappointed. I let a lot of people down tonight.”
In a tactical fight in which both warriors gave their best, Hector Urbina (9-3), of Chicago, Ill., registered a close, unanimous decision over Ray Lizama (8-6) of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
“This was a new experience for me,” said Urbina who triumphed by the scores of 29-28 on the three judges’ scorecards. “It was the first time I have ever gone three rounds.”
“Usually my fights are over in one round. Overall I am very happy. In some ways, I out-struck the striker. I think I might have been able to finish him if I had been in better shape.”
Said Lizama: “I like to fight guys who stand up in bang. That’s my game. I want knockouts. With this guy, I had to concentrate more on defense. I thought the decision could have gone either way, but I can’t complain. When you leave it in the hands of hands of the judges, anything can happen.”
In the opening bout of the telecast, promising, once-beaten middleweight Umar Love dealt previously undefeated Brendan Tierney his first loss by submission (choke hold) at 4:08 in the first round. Love, of High Desert, Calif., improved to 6-1 while Tierney, of Tempe, Ariz., fell to 5-1.
“I am always happy, but never satisfied.” Love said, “There is a lot of work to be done. This was a good win for me and I want to continue to build on it. Once I got comfortable I was able to do what I wanted to do. It’s like a chess match in there, as a tactician I always try to stay one step ahead.”
Said Tierney, “For a minute it looked OK. He was a little stronger than I thought he would be. I don’t make excuses, but I felt a little weak.”
EliteXC announcer Mauro Ranallo called the action from cage side with The Fight Professor, Stephen Quadros serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of ShoXC is David Dinkins, Jr. with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
EliteXC will make a gigantic wave when it returns to SHOWTIME on Saturday, Sept. 15 from Blaisdell Arena in Oahu, Hawaii. It is the biggest MMA event in the history of the 50th state.
In an excellent main event, the first EliteXC champion, Murilo “Ninja” Rua will make his initial middleweight title defense against always-dangerous ICON Sport titlist, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler.
One of the top fighters pound for pound in MMA, the well-regarded Nick Diaz will make his anxiously awaited EliteXC debut and first start in six months when he faces Hawaiian star Mike Aina in the semi-main event.In other televised bouts, streaking top-10 welterweight Jake Shields meets Renato “Charuto” Verissimo; The Golden Girl of MMA, sexy Gina Carano will face tough-talking Tonya Evinger in a 140- pound fight and Joey Villasenor will be opposed by Riki Fukuda at 185 pounds in the other televised bouts.With the exception of “Ninja”-Lawler, which is scheduled for five, 5-minute rounds, the televised bouts are slated for three, 5-minute rounds.
For more information on ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series, EliteXC and other MMA-related stories, including bios, stats, photos, videos, interviews and more, please visit ProElite.com
(more) 4-4-4SHOXC: ELITE CHALLENGER SERIES – Aug. 25, 2007
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