By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA
Attendees of Conquer Fighting Championships, CFC 1 at the Craneway Pavillion in Richmond, California, may have lost track of time as their senses were likely steered in so many directions: a beautiful venue, remarkable skylines, the allure of a well staged MMA event, brightly colored lights, perfectly amplified sound, and a tasteful treat to recognize hard fought action. The only person at CFC 1 who can accurately rundown the chronology of event’s timeline would be Hector Alex “Kid Alex” Sandoval (10-2), a flyweight who trains out of Sacramento’s Team Alpha Male, because he was the recipient of the evening’s Performance of the Night bonus: an Exotic Custom Jewelry Ice-Time watch.
Before the gleam of the watch ever made contact with Sandoval’s wrist, he expressed his overwhelming joy in obtaining the featured slot on the CFC 1 card after suffering a nine-month layoff,
“I’m just trying to stay busy. I’ve been fighting a lot of injuries. I was supposed to fight at West Coast (Fighting Championships) two fights prior to this (CFC 1). I pulled out of two West Coast fights due to injuries. This fight came out of nowhere, so I jumped on it right away.”
As the former flyweight champ at Tachi Palace Fighting, a promotion twenty-six shows in the making, and the current flyweight champion at West Coast Fighting Championship, a show gearing up for its sixteenth event, Sandoval addressed any thoughts of watering down his accolades by fighting for a promotion’s inaugural card,
“I thought it (CFC 1) seemed like a show that has been around for awhile. I’ve fought in a lot of different promotions and a lot of different shows, and I thought the show seemed like they’ve been around for awhile. They did everything so good. I liked everything about it.”
Fully aware that the safety of athletes isn’t always a primary focus of promotions in the regional MMA scene, Sandoval continued,
“I’d rather fight in shows like that (CFC 1) because you don’t know what people are a taking or what people are doing when you’re fighting at (unsanctioned) shows. A lot of times, those wins don’t really matter for anyone; they don’t really care for them. I’d rather fight in a bigger show and fight the best fighters.”
Shaking off any ring rust, Sandoval sought after a scrap, and Derrick Easterling (5-3) obliged. Sandoval hopped in the time-machine and traveled back to the night of the fight,
“Derrick was a tough guy. He has great jiu-jitsu, and I did what most people thought I couldn’t do, take him to the ground and win on the ground. Most everyone I had spoken to said, ‘Oh man, be careful on the ground.’ I was calm and relaxed.”
Three rounds of nonstop, back-and-forth engagement, the crowd went bananas for Sandoval’s ‘Monkey Style’ slams and pressuring top game while on the mat. Sandoval set the pace of the fight, and as the minutes ticked off to seconds, the third, and final, bell chimed in to end action, and the judges scored the contest:
Marked in the official’s record books, the win was coupled with the Performance of the Night bonus: a wristwatch colored in championship gold and speckled with diamonds. Sandoval explained what it is was like to receive such an honor,
“I’ve fought in a few promotions that have given out bonuses and stuff, but not a watch. I’d rather take something like that, something more like a trophy, instead of cash. I’m not saying that cash isn’t a trophy, but, for me, I look at it that way. For me, it was more of a bonus getting something like that (the watch), you know?”
In chatting with Sandoval, he measured the distance of pride between his flyweight title at West Coast Fighting Championship and his custom watch from Conquer Fighting Championships as a hair’s length apart, if that:
“You know I don’t really wear jewelry and stuff like that, so when I finally go out and put that on, I can think about how I deserve it. My son was really excited when he saw it. He said it felt like a trophy, so it was cool. I enjoy seeing it at home.”
Time may not last forever, but, in the mind, and on the mantle, of Sandoval, CFC 1 crowned a place in his lasting memory.
Follow Hector Alex Sandoval as the hands of time move forward in his career at:
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Michael Page Not Focusing on Opponent Ahead of Boxing Debut
MMA Latest spoke to Bellator’s Michael ‘Venom’ Page, as he makes his boxing debut this Friday at the Hayemaker Ringstar Fight Night.
Page (12-0 MMA) is renowned for his entertaining fight style inside the cage, with most of his knockout and submission victories ending up in highlight reels online, that almost always go viral.
‘MVP’ was supposed to make his boxing debut on the undercard of David Haye vs Tony Bellew in March of this year, but due to ongoing negotiations with Bellator, his debut was delayed. Shortly after Page signed with Haye’s promotion “Hayemaker Ringstar.”
Q: So, Michael, we’re about five days out now from your big boxing debut, and still we have no name of an opponent? Can you break the big news, who will you be fighting next week?
I honestly couldn’t even tell you his name right now! I know I’ve got an opponent, but I haven’t even looked at him because it has changed so many times. I don’t like to pay too much attention to it, because it’s added stress. For me it’s just a case of turning up, and firing punches at whoever is across the ring.
Q: Is this fight 10 or 12 rounds? Given a standard boxing fight is a lot longer than your typical 15-minute MMA bout, has there been an emphasis on cardiovascular work in your training camp?
Depending on the opponent, I think it’s 6-rounds. The preparation has been different, I’m having to stress out my shoulders and core a lot. The kicking distance as well is very different, getting used to having people a bit closer. I’m getting used to the corners of the ring, I’ve done it before but not to this extent so I am familiar of it, but my body wasn’t really used to it.
Q: So, is this kind of like a one fight deal for Haye’s Ringstar promotion? Regardless of this fight’s outcome, will you return to MMA?
Not at all, I’m taking it seriously. Otherwise, I would have just had a super fight against a big name like McGregor did. This is why I can’t just jump into a 12 round fight, I need to adjust my body and get it prepared for boxing.
There’s no future plans yet, I’d like to have an MMA fight again before the end of this year, as I haven’t fought this whole year, but another opportunity for boxing may come up and I might get a chance to jump on that, so it depends.
Q: Were you frustrated that Bellator booked Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin, and if you could send a message to Daley right now what would it be?
I have no interest in him anymore. It feels so pathetic and unnecessary now. I don’t think he deserved that fight with Larkin right after the shocking display he put on in Wembley against Rory MacDonald. But good on him he beat Larkin, however he calls me out immediately after then goes on to say he’s past that fight, it just doesn’t make sense.
Q: A statement we hear a lot is “MVP is the only guy outside the UFC that I want in the UFC” People criticise the talent in Bellator and say you’re fighting nobodies, what do you say back to them?
The amount of times you hear “you shouldn’t fight this person, you should have fought that person.” Everyone’s got an idea of what the correct steps someone should make are, but at the end of the day it’s their career. People are so fickle and easy to forget. If you are a fan of somebody, just be a fan of them regardless of win or loss.
Q: I’ve got to ask about how things are with Bellator, because from the outside looking in it’s quite unclear. How is it relationship at the moment?
Yeah I get on with most of the guys, it’s like a small family. I’ve still got a couple of fights left with them, they’re growing very well, the only problem is I feel like they’re focusing a bit too much on ex UFC fighters. For me it says you’re classing yourself as second best. Bellator generate some amazing superstars and young talent, they should continue to promote them.
You can watch ‘MVP’ make his boxing debut this Friday night, as the Hayemaker Ringstar Fight Night will air at 21:00PM on Dave.
Exclusive: Alex Lohore “Didn’t Know” Who Richard Kiely Was Before BAMMA 32 Booking
We spoke to the recently crowned BAMMA welterweight champion Alex Lohore, as he prepares to defend his title against Richard Kiely at BAMMA 32 in Dublin.
Lohore (13-1) won the vacant BAMMA welterweight title last month at BAMMA 31 in London. Fighting his longtime rival Nathan Jones on the night, Lohore knocked out “Mr Bag & Tag” with a knee in the first round.
Q: Obviously the rivalry between you and Jones had been going on for years, but you finished it in brutal fashion. Did you to speak to him after the fight?
Yeah I did have a chat with him. I was telling him that it was a great fight and we should train together sometime, but he was he wasn’t really keen on it. I guess he was still a bit sore about the defeat.
Q: In the cage after your win, you called out Richard Kiely, now you’re fighting him. Are you happy you got the opponent you asked for?
Everyone keeps saying I called him out, I didn’t call him out, he called me out! I didn’t even address his name, I said ‘this Irish kid has been running his mouth we’re going to go out there and shut him up.’ I didn’t even know who he was. He’s been mentioning my name and talking a lot of rubbish on my social media disturbing me and my fans.
Q: The finish against Jones was picture perfect. From the elbow, to the right hand, to the knee, was it the best of your career?
Yeah I think it is, by far! It was perfect technique. I knew as he was going he back he would try to duck in for the takedown. Because I was throwing the head kick anyway all I needed to do was just switch it to a knee. I couldn’t ask for any better.
— BAMMA (@BAMMA) September 15, 2017
Q: Given it’s in Dublin and Richard is Irish, How do you feel about going into enemy territory at BAMMA 32?
That’s great, that’s why I’m doing it! I need to be comfortable in every environment, so going out there will test. I wanted to be on the Dublin card, now I can teach him a little lesson too, I can’t wait.
Q: As you know the Geordie Shore star Aaron Chalmers has brought a lot of attention to BAMMA recently, what are your thoughts on him?
He’s good man. For someone who doesn’t come from a fighting background and does reality TV stuff, he’s doing good. How can people say he should fight someone more experienced, because he is taking guys that are on his level and he’s doing good.
He’s helping MMA fighters because he has got a big following so more people are going to be watching MMA and learning about MMA so it’s a good thing having him on board.
Opponent announced in the next few weeks
The team has asked Bamma for an opponent with pro wins
— Aaron Chalmers (@AaronCGShore) October 6, 2017
BAMMA32 will take place at the 3Arena in Dublin on November 10th. Tickets are now on sale at ticketmaster.ie. The card will air live on both UNILAD’s Facebook page, and Dave.
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