FRESNO, Calif. – Call it the perfect storm or the stars aligning, but when Carlos Garcia and Eugene Cancino meet in the 559 Fights cage Friday, Dec. 12 at the Valdez Hall in Fresno, it will be the most meaningful fight in California amateur mixed martial arts history.
Two championships will be decided with just one fight.
“We had an opportunity to do something that no other promotion has been able to do in hosting the CAMO State Amateur Championship Finals,” said 559 Fights President Jeremy Luchau. “When we saw our current champ had won the SoCal regional and that Fresno’s Cancino had won the NorCal regional, it just made sense to try and make it something special.”
Garcia, the 559 Fights flyweight champion, will put his title on the line against Cancino, and both will compete for a CAMO State title in the 559 Fights 31 main event.
“Garcia versus Cancino is a truly unique bout, as it is for a State Title and the 559 Fights Title. Somehow, the stars aligned and the biggest regional bout also happens to be for the State Title,” CAMO President JT Steele said. “The bout will be electric in every way and represents the quality of MMA that 559 Fights promotes on a monthly basis. 559 Fights has become one of the most elite MMA events in the country and we are proud to work with them.”
Garcia (4-1) has won four straight bouts since opening his career in defeat. He defeated long-time 559 Fights champ Manuel Ruiz in June by split decision and then knocked off Heinrich Wassmer in the Southern California Regional Championships.
“I’m very excited for this fight because it will be my last amateur fight. The fact that I’ll be fighting for the State Title and defending my 559 Fights title at once makes me hungry for the win,” Garcia said. “I know very little about my opponent… just that he is a wrestler. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what I know about or what he does. I’ve been training hard for this fight and have my own game plan set up.”
Cancino has amassed a perfect 5-0 record since starting his career in 2013. He has won four fights in 2014, including a decision victory over Daniel Moore in the Northern California Regional Final.
“It feels good to be fighting in my hometown and to have the crowd supporting me. It’s a pretty big fight just because it’s two titles on the line, which makes the fight that much more exciting for me, my opponent and the crowd,” Cancino said. “My opponent is definitely tough. He seems like he’s a good wrestler and that’s where I think I match up with him. We both know what it’s like to grind it out and it should be a fun fight for us.”
Garcia and Cancino are also currently ranked first and second respectively in the CAMO State Rankings.
“This is really just the icing on the cake of a huge night of fights in Fresno. It’s an honor to host the CAMO State Finals and the very best amateur MMA athletes from around the state,” Luchau said. “Locally, we have a few fighters in the state finals and have a loaded undercard of talent as well.”
In the co-main event, Fresno middleweight Jesse James (6-1) defends his State Title against an opponent yet to be announced.
“The California State Championships is the most important amateur event in the sport of MMA, as it is the only true state championship in the country,” Steele said. “The state championships represents the best amateur fighters from a pool of more than 4,000 amateur athletes, the largest amateur program in the world. Athletes are selected to compete in the tournament by algorithmic computer program which intelligently mines data to identify the best talent.”
Here is a look at the rest of the tournament field;
559 Fights lightweight champion Luis Vargas (8-2) drops to featherweight to compete with La Habra’s Jacob Rosales (7-0) for the 145-pound state title.
Milpitas bantamweight Isaiah Gonzalez (9-5-1) vs. Orange’s Edgar Gonzalez (6-2) for the 135-pound state title.
Stockton light heavyweight Oscar Castro (4-1) vs. Los Angeles’ Osman Diaz (5-2) for the 205-pound ttate title.
San Jose lightweight JJ Okanovich (9-3) vs. Covina’s Javier Garcia (7-3) for the 155-pound state title.
Pleasanton cruiserweight William Smith (3-0) vs. Pico Rivera’s Michael Quintero (3-0) for the 230-pound state title.
Salinas welterweight Alex Lopez (11-3) vs. San Bernardino’s Mathew Arriola (6-0) for the 170-pound state title.
Cardiff by the Sea heavyweight Scott Steele vs. North Hollywood’s Segio Marroquin (5-0-1) for the 265-pound state title.
“CAMO is proud to bring the State Championship Finals to Fresno and the Central Valley. The Central Valley has become of the most active MMA communities in the country and deserves to host the 2014 California State Championships, because of the quality of athletes that call central California home and for the dedicated fans that support local fighters on a regular basis,” Steele said. “When thinking about all the great regional MMA hotspots in the country, the Central Valley of California is as hot as it gets.”
559 Fights will also host six action-packed undercard bouts.
Tickets for this event start at just $20 and can be purchased at the Fresno Convention Center Box Office.
Official weigh-ins will be Thursday, Dec. 11 at the Holiday Inn Fresno Airport starting at 6 p.m.
VISALIA, Calif. – Undefeated 559 Fights Welterweight Champion Garrett Marks will put his title on the line Saturday at Visalia’s Holiday Inn against Visalia’s own Jonathan De Leon.
De Leon stepped in on short notice after an injury forced Farmersville’s Jeffrey Lewis from the fight.
Tickets start at just $20 and can be purchased at Nutrishop Visalia on Mooney Blvd. in the InShape City parking lot.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and fights start at 7.
“It was unfortunate that Lewis was injured, but I was really excited when Jonathan decided to move up in weight and take the fight to keep it a local fight,” said 559 Fights President Jeremy Luchau. “De Leon fights locally at Vitruvian Fight and Fitness and they’re an up-and-coming gym with some great talent. It was a blessing to not have to go outside of our area for a fighter.”
Marks has compiled a 4-0 record, fighting in several different weight classes and will be defending his title for the first time.
“Garrett is one of those guys that is on the brink of moving on to the pro-circuit,” Luchau said. “I expect both guys to do more slugging in this fight than wrestling. It’s an excellent main event under the circumstances.”
559 Fights has 10 bouts scheduled at the Holiday Inn and features a pair of 559 Fights featherweight tournament bouts.
Bakersfield featherweight Holt Felkins (4-0-1) takes on Escalon’s Steven Ronneburg (3-1) and Visalia’s Devon Chavez (2-2) battles Coalinga’s Domingo Ramirez (2-0).
“We’ve had a huge amount of turnover with our champions moving on to the pro level and I felt like there wasn’t a clear cut pair of fighters I wanted to have fight for a title,” Luchau said.
“There was a handful of guys worthy of the shot, so what better way to settle it than to have them compete against one another.”
The winners of the two semifinals will square off for the 559 Fights Featherweight Title on January 16th, 2015 at the Lemoore Recreation Center at 559 Fights 32.
559 Fights will also put Bakersfield bantamweight Marcel Cyprian (6-2) against Alex Valencia (4-2) in a bantamweight semifinal.
“I wanted to do the same thing in the 135-pound weight class, but we had some injuries and have had to move one of the semifinals to our December event in Fresno,” Luchau said.
“But the bantamweight semifinal we do have on deck between Cyprian and Valencia is an amazing bout. This could certainly be a title fight.”
Like the 145-pound tournament, the semifinalists will square off in Lemoore in January.
Weighins will be held at CrossFit West Visalia at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. Weighins are free and open to the public.
VIP Tables, Front Row seats and VIP Packages are still available and can be purchased by calling 559-813-0307.
In other bouts;
-Ceres flyweight Mike Tubera (5-1) vs. Fresno’s Carlos Hernandez (5-3).
-Fresno light heavyweight James Porter (0-0) vs. Fresno’s Daniel Manriques (0-0).
-Fresno welterweight Dustin Toby (0-1) vs. Lindsay’s Ignacio Guzman (0-0).
-Visalia featherweight Diego Orozco (0-0) vs. Ridgecrest’s Brandon O’Baker (0-0).
-Visalia lightweight Brandon Jacobo (0-0) vs. Farmersville’s Miguel Quiroz (0-0).
-Ridgecrest lightweight Victor Rico (2-1) vs. Farmersville’s Frank Salazar (0-0).
Phuc Vasquez defeats Matthew Beasley by unanimous decision
Jesse Soto defeats Patrick Baker by RNC at 0:47 of rd 3
Juliano Tovar defeats Dustin Toby at 1:41 of rd 2 by guillotine choke
Hugo Lopez defeats Bryant Franklin Junior at 0:47 of rd 3 by guillotine choke
Jesse Ledezma defeats Rudy Soto III at 1:24 of rd 1 by arm bar
Mefi Monterroso defeats Ricardo Sanchez by split decision
Samuel Fierro defeats Aaron Warnke at 1:18 of rd 3 by RNC
Steven Bolinger defeats Juan Campos at 1:44 of rd 1 by RNC
Luis Vargas defeats Eric Diaz by unanimous decision and retains his lightweight title
Jesse James defeats Leo Cantu at 0:18 of rd 1 by modified arm bar
FRESNO, Calif. – 559 Fights will once again drop it’s cage on the infield of The Big Fresno Fair Horse Track for one of the largest amateur mixed martial arts event of the year on Sunday, October 5.
Kerman’s Leo Cantu faces Fresno’s Jesse James in one of the biggest amateur showdowns of the season.
Cantu (10-3-1) is the No. 1 ranked Light Heavyweight in the state and has been one of the veteran’s of the amateur circuit and faces the No. 2 ranked Middleweight in the state in James (5-1), who moves up a weight class to test himself.
“As 559 Fights has grown, so has the talent pool within Central California,” said 559 Fights President Jeremy Luchau. “This is our 30th event in less than three years and for us to be able to host the quality of fighters that we are now is a blessing.”
559 Fights will be live and free as one of The Big Fresno Fair’s top attractions for the 2014 fair. Fight tickets are free with paid admission into the fair.
“We have anywhere between 3,500 to 5,000 people walk through the gates and watch 559 Fights last year,” Luchau said. “We had an amazing event and exposed a lot of people to the sport and our athletes that might not have been able to see them under different circumstances. I really appreciate and respect the fair for believing in our product and sharing it within the fair community.”
Doors open at 7 p.m. and the first fight is at 8.
In the co-main event, 559 Fights Lightweight champion Luis Vargas (7-2) defends his title for the first time against Tulare’s Eric Diaz (4-3).
“Vargas came in and shocked the Valley when he won the title. He proved that he is one of the top athletes in the state and is now a finalist in the state tournament along with defending his title at 559 Fights,” Luchau said. “Diaz is a guy who has always fought tough fights and the best we had to offer. It will be interesting to see which fighter can impose their will.”
13 other bouts are also scheduled on the fight card, which includes some of the Central Valley’s top amateur talent.
Reserve seating, front-row seating and VIP tables are available. Call 559-813-0307 for more information.
For more information about 559 Fights visit www.559fights.com
Visalia, Calif. – 559 Fights returned to Recreation Park to end their summer series. Where the reigning bantamweight champion Anthony Torres defend his title against Aaron Warnke.
Torres came out hard and aggressive locking in a guillotine choke on Warnke. Warnke showed why he is nicknamed “the Wild man” lasting most of the round in the hold.
The second round had Warnke going for a guillotine of his own. Torres escaped and controlled the round getting takedowns and going for submissions.
Warnke attempted to take control in the third going for a guillotine again but Torres escaped had some submission attempts of his own and the fight went to the judge’s scorecards.
Anthony Torres gets the unanimous decision victory and retains the 559 Fights bantamweight title.
Both Carlos Hernandez and Mefi Monterroso came out swinging but Hernandez missed a punch, then took a punch from Monterroso but scored a takedown on the way down. Both fighters were back on their feet and working in the clinch when Hernandez slams Monterroso to the mat. Hernandez goes from submission to submission but he can’t pull it off ending the first round.
Hernandez took control in the second round scoring a takedown and working to mount but he can’t put Monterroso away with his ground and pound.
In the third round, Monterroso hit a judo throw and does a lot in the round from scoring a takedown to working in guard but it wasn’t enough. Hernandez takes the unanimous decision victory over Monterroso.
Eric Diaz came out like a flash against Bryant Franklin Jr. Getting to the clinch and scored a takedown. Diaz worked to gain full mount then taking Franklin’s back sinking in the rear-naked choke at 1:45 in the first round.
Jonathan De Leon came out striking and landed some solid shots in the first round against Bernabe Herrera. He also went for an armbar but Herrera was able to escape and they kept fighting to end the round.
They both came out swinging with De Leon using more of the clinch to inflict damage. On the ground De Leon took Herrera’s back and worked for a rear-naked choke applying some ground and pound but Herrera ended up in De Leon’s guard at the end of the second round.
Herrera came out striking but kept missing while De Leon hit a takedown but ended up on his back. De Leon escaped and took Herrera’s back and they worked back to the clinch. De Leon worked for a takedown to end the fight.
Jonathan De Leon gets the split decision win over Bernabe Herrera.
Both Edgar Loza and Ernesto Zamaro go into the clinch. They hit the ground and Loza ends up in side control and uses effective striking against Zamaro. Loza continued to land ground and pound strikes Zamaro’s face eventually knocking him out at 1:41 in the first round.
Jefferson Banaag used his lethal kicks against Cesar Portillo, but Portillo avoided the kicks by using his takedowns and clinch game for most of the first round.
During the second round, Portillo clinched after a failed kick by Banaag. The ref took a point from Portillo for grabbing the cage during the clinch. Portillo showed his toughness after being glanced by a kick and working into the clinch.
Banaag used his fists in the beginning of the third round but Portillo landed harder more accurate punches. That caused Banaag to go back to using his kicks to avoid Portillo’s punches. In the finals frames of the fight Banaag went for a kick but Portillo avoided it.
Cesar Portillo gots the majority decision over Jefferson Banaag.
Jeffery Lewis scored a takedown and ended up in the closed guard of Fabian Luevano. After a brief scramble Lewis ended up in full mount, Luevano worked to half guard then guard. While Lewis was striking like a wild man in guard then Lewis took Luevano’s back and tried for a rear-naked choke then transitioned for an armbar to finish the first round of action.
Lewis got a takedown early and worked to take Luevano’s back. From there Lewis gets to full mount landing some ground and pound, Luevano tried to escapes to guard to end the round.
The third round and another Lewis takedown, Lewis continued to work on the ground getting to full mount. Luevano still fighting back and gets to Lewis’s guard and starts using the ground and pound to end the fight but it goes to the judge’s scorecards.
Jeffery Lewis gets the decision victory.
Modesto Rivas and Juan Lujan came out swinging to start. When they weren’t striking they worked in the clinch until Rivas got a takedown and tried to lock in a rear-naked choke. Lujan reversed and started pounding away on Rivas to end the round.
The second round started with a bang as Lujan connected sending Rivas to the canvas. Lujan continued to work with strikes and then sinks in a guillotine choke. After adjusting the choke Rivas taps out giving Lujan the win at 1:09.
Jesus Lopez and Victor Rico exchanged strikes but Lopez displayed the better skill on the feet. Rico tried for a takedown but Lopez stopped that and pushed Rico against the fence. Rico tried to pull guard with Lopez standing over him ending the round.
In the second round, Rico came out more aggressive landing some strikes but Lopez countered. Lopez landed a combination that dropped Rico, Lopez followed him to the ground trying to finish the fight but the bell sounds ending the round.
Lopez is landing harder punches but can’t put Rico away. Rico is getting comfortable striking but eats some hard strikes. He tried for a lazy takedown but Lopez kept him at bay and continued to land punches on Rico to end the bout.
Jesus Lopez gets the unanimous decision win.
Phuc Vasquez scored a takedown early getting to side mount on Rudy Soto III. Soto continued to work trying to escape while Phuc laid down strikes. Soto striking back from his back, Phuc gets to full mount as the first round ends.
Soto used effective striking to open the second round but Vasquez scored the takedown and ended up in Soto’s half guard. Both fighters striking from their positions to end the round; a cut opened up over Vasquez’s eye from the striking exchange at the start of the round.
Soto showing strong striking again but Vasquez had other plans scoring a takedown. he ref took a point away from Vasquez for poking Soto in the eye. Vasquez avoids a quick combination from Soto to get another takedown. Vasquez using ground and pound until the final bell sending it to the judges scorecard.
Phuc Vasquez gets the decision victory over Rudy Soto III.
James Miller went for a takedown early picking up Ricardo Rhodes and slamming him into the mat landing in side mount. Miller proceeded to get Rhodes back and sink in a rear-naked choke and getting the win at 1:09 in the first round.
Devon Chavez came out the more confident striker but Christian Marron tied up for a throw but ended up being reversed by Chavez. Chavez worked from half guard getting full mount using ground and pound to finish the fight in the first round at 1:46.
In the first fight of the night, Paul Jimenez got a takedown early on Ricky Membreve. Membreve kept trying to escape but Jimenez stuck to him locking in the front choke at 1:48 in the first round.