Luis “the Law” Vega, and D J Fuentes, will be on the same card, come June 14, 2014 at Hero Fighting Championship’s “Best of the Best II” hosted by JC Fight Promotions and Charlie Clark Nissan.
Vega will be fighting as a Featherweight in the main event, where he will be going up against Jamal Emmers, who will be conducting a first time defense of his Featherweight title.
Defending the title against a tough, and very hungry, Luis Vega, will require everything Jammal Emmers can bring into this fight. Those in the Valley who have witnessed Vega’s ability in a fight will be betting on him. Rest assured, this main event fight will be a memorable one.
Fuentes will be defending his Bantamweight title in the co main event fight against Jose Ceja. Fuentes is old school, stand up, karate kickboxing, with good hands, and devastating spin back kicks that those like myself so appreciate, having drilled such into students of bygone days. This will be a thriller to watch, and to watch closely. Outside the ring, Fuentes is Mr. Charisma, making friends with everyone. Once inside the ring, he is all business.
Among the remarks of commendation to be spoken about the challenger, Jose Ceja, is this; he doesn’t back away from a fight. In a business where fighters try to pick and choose their fights, he takes them as they come. There are those who will question the wisdom of such a determination on his part. “Look,” one will say. “Build up your reputation by taking on fights you can win. You’ll be gaining experience at the same time. What’s the rush?” There is much truth to that. On the other hand, Jose’s take is that you learn the most by taking on and fighting the best. Hurt? He’s been hurt. All fighters get hurt. But if you must get hurt, do so against the best. At 2-0 as an MMA Pro, and 1-0 as a pro boxer, he is coming into this fight as an underdog to take on the experienced and very tough Dee Jay Fuentes, just as he assented a year ago to an offer to fight an equally tough Ricky Palacios, in a fight which never materialized. In agreeing to take on D J, Ceja is taking on a versatile all around fighter. Ceja can box, and comes to the cage eager to fight. He’ll get a fight against D J Fuentes.
Ricky Palacios will also be on this card. He has been fighting on a reality show “Combate Americas” and will be fighting Joel Scott of Beaumont. In a previous encounter, Palacios TKO’d Scott in the 3rd round of their fight. I have written about Ricky Palacios in the past, and of the much potential I see in him. He is a versatile fighter, with hands that thus far have spelled a KO for those who have faced him, in mixed martial arts or boxing. On this note, it is Palacios, and not Jose Ceja, who should have been meeting up with D J Fuentes. This, perhaps, will yet be a fight future.
Another up and coming fighter is a Jeff Bonugli student, Soryu Karate fighter Raymond Banda, who is currently 2-0 as a pro. He will face a strong opponent in Harlingen’s Daniel Duran. I mention Ray Banda because much is riding on him. Can a Soryu Karate trained fighter make good in MMA fighting? I believe he can, particularly if trained by Jeff Bonugli. As I have from the beginning envisioned Texas Soryu Karate, (and I differentiate it from its weak traditional parent in Japan) its parameters go far beyond traditional karate. I shall yet see that. Yes,
much is riding on Ray Banda, but he can handle it. He carries on his shoulders the reputation, not only of Jeff Bonugli as his instructor and trainer, but mine as well, as Jeff Bonugli’s instructor.
We have heard Jeff Bonugli speak of his desire to see to it that fighters are rewarded financially for their hard work and sacrifices. This is true, and there are those who can attest to it, having been recipients of his willingness to give generously. And yet, I would suggest that there may some who would take advantage of such goodness. They have forgotten the value of a simple “thank you”. There is a Spanish saying: “Eres como el azadon, todo para aca’, y nada para alla’…” It translates roughly: “You are like a garden hoe, everything is scraped your way, and nothing goes back in return…” We get the picture, don’t we? Gratitude is a wonderful thing.
Consider that some very tough Valley fighters are in the offing. They are developing, and JC Productions is playing a vital role in such development. And this is it, a financial scholarship, $2,400 monthly for the aid of those who become the best of the best!
When Jeff Bonugli came to me in 1974, he was nineteen, fresh out of Canyon High School in New Braunfels, Texas. That took some guts in those days, as he was a White boy coming into what was at the time the rough area of town, into a dojo peopled by some as rough characters. Anyone who could fight in New Braunfels trained in my dojo. In the previous decade, New Braunfels had put out two Heavyweight Texas Golden Gloves champs, Robert Mesa and Cheche Rios. Jeff was very aggressive, and from the beginning was always in the winner’s circle. In between tournaments, he would lead others of my students to make fighting rounds to other schools in the San Antonio area. He, along with others of my future Black Belts took on jobs as bouncers in a local night club, where they could put their skills to work. Even as a Brown Belt, Jeff was entering and winning in the Black Belt Division, but in my mind, one of Jeff’s greatest fights, point or full contact, was at George Minschew’s Karate Olympics in Houston, around 1976. The fight was for the championship of the Heavyweight Green Belt Division, and Jeff was pitted against a powerful, and raw boned, Dino Holmsley out of Beaumont. With Dino as an opponent, Jeff was more than well matched. When I see the up and coming Ryan Spann, fighting in JC Productions “Best of the Best” mixed martial arts event, February 1, 2014, in Harlingen, I am reminded of Dino Holmsley. Ryan is the same kind of powerful fighter. My high estimation of Dino was not only in his versatility of technique, because he had that aplenty, but rather because he was also a skilled street fighter, and without question, very tough. In one of the hardest fought fights of the night Jeff came out on top, and in so doing, cinched my estimation of Jeff’s abilities. Dino was also a bouncer, and while in the performance of that duty, was killed breaking up a bar fight in a Houston nightclub. Dino Holmsley was as tough as they come. Nothing but respect for a true warrior to the end. Jeff applied his aggressiveness to business, eventually becoming General Manager of the largest car dealership in San Antonio, currently a partner of a large dealership in the Valley, and now JC Productions. His search for fighters willing to fight for $50,000 dollar contracts is a true fact. Jeff Bonugli, always a warrior, has shown all along that he truly cares for his fighters. The time of reckoning has arrived and, as any warrior, he plans to go down fighting.
PRESS RELEASE: Las Vegas, NV (July 24, 2013) – The MMA boom is underway in Texas as Rocktagon MMA Worldwide brings premium fight events to the Lone Star State. Rocktagon MMA is set to make its debut in Texas on Friday, July 26 with an ALL-Pro MMA card stacked with elite talent. The event, ‘Rocktagon 28 Journey of Champions –El Paso’ will take place at Buchanan’s Event Center in El Paso, Texas.
Rocktagon MMA has held a total of 27 events to date in cities on both coasts, primarily in Ohio and California. They are very excited to add Texas to the line-up and plan to make a positive impact when it comes to live MMA events in the state. The popular promotion hopes to reignite the MMA scene in the El Paso area by delivering consistent, high-quality MMA events that feature elite pro fighters from all over the globe.
According to James Jeda, CEO of Rocktagon MMA Worldwide, “We are very excited to bring premium MMA events to the great state of Texas. Between Ohio, California and Texas, Rocktagon will continue to infuse cities from coast to coast with top-level professional MMA events.”
‘Rocktagon 28 Journey of Champions –El Paso’ will feature a stacked ALL – Pro MMA fight card headlined by Billy “The Puerto Rican Assassin” Colon and Martin Sano Jr. The clichéd mantra, “don’t blink,” is certainly relevant considering both fighters have a 100-percent finish rate.
Colon, a submission specialist and seasoned MMA veteran, has competed all over the United States. Colon feels his significant experience in the cage will rein superior against his opponent in the Rocktagon arena. He plans to prove it by finishing Sano impressively and early on, but knows it will not be an easy feat.
At just 22-years-old, Sano exudes the kind of confidence one expects in a future champion. He is a highly touted prospect with an unblemished record, yet this will be his first fight on the big stage against a savvy veteran like Colon. It will also be his first venture from welterweight to middleweight.
Will Sano find success in the middleweight division or suffer his first defeat? Fans will find out on Friday night when both fighters lay it all on the line in the Rocktagon cage. It is a fight that will keep fans on the edge of their seat from the moment the cage door closes and the co-main event is expected to be just as exciting!
In the co-main event heavy-handed slugger Patrick “Skar” Dixon will face Fort Bliss Combatives team member Anthony Stevens. While some fighters rely on point scoring, Dixon tends to take the road less traveled, which typically consists of throwing haymakers and leaving opponents curled up in the fetal position.
Stevens, on the other hand, is a more technical fighter and consistently pushes forward. He has a smooth boxing style and is known for delivering exciting performances with wild, impressive exchanges. The contrasting styles of these dynamic fighters make for a very compelling match-up!
The Rocktagon 28 card is jam-packed with well-matched professional bouts and high-octane fights that fans want to see! The full fight card is listed below.
*’Rocktagon 28 Journey of Champions –El Paso’ Full line-up:
Billy Colon vs. Martin Sano Jr.
Patrick Dixon vs. Anthony Stevens
Rodrigo Sotello Jr. vs. Joseph Torrez
Alida Gray vs. Jessica Kennett
Jazmin Quezada vs. Stacey Sigala
David Ruelaz vs. Adam McGurk
Brian Castillo vs. Matthew Hunt
Julio Hinojosa vs. Ibrahim “Lion Heart” Eid
Jesus Urbina vs. Alan Lerma
Randy McCarty vs. Derek Perkins
*Card subject to change
Rocktagon 28 “Journey of Champions” takes place on July 26 at Buchanan’s Event Center, located at 11540 Pellicano Dr. in El Paso, Texas. Tickets starting at $30 are available online at www.RocktagonWorldwide.com. Limited VIP tables are also available by calling 440-934-4MMA.
About Rocktagon MMA:
Rocktagon MMA is the mixed martial arts division of Rocktagon Worldwide, a sports and music entertainment company. Founded in mid-2010, Rocktagon MMA has successfully completed 27 events on two coasts and is the only promotion able to offer four types of shows to meet the needs of various markets: all Amateur, all Professional, Pro-Am, and Rock-n-Rage. Rock-n-Rages are premium events combining the cage of mixed martial arts with a stage featuring live musical performances by well-known artists. All Rocktagon MMA events are streamed live globally via the Rocktagon Sports & Music Network and filmed to air on multiple networks throughout North America, including Comcast, Comcast SportsNet and the Fight Network. For more information, please visit www.Rocktagonworldwide.com
MAY 25, 2013 – Murilo Bustamante JIU-JITSU & MMA SEMINAR
“Brazilian Top Team Plano is hosting a jiu-jitsu & MMA seminar at its Plano, Texas gym. Murilo Bustamante, will teach you the same techniques that propelled him to the upper echelons of the mixed martial arts world. Professor Bustamante will be here for one day only and openings are limited.”
Shawn Cool will be entering the Cage for the 2nd time in San Antonio for Premiere Combat Group. He will be testing his skills against another local fighter in Steven Trevino. Great match up with two guys who will definitely be rocking the cage on April 6th. Representing the Texas Powerhouse MMA Academy, I present to you Shawn Cool!
sPidA: You are stepping inside the Cage for the PCG Promotion once again against another local fighter from San Antonio, any pressure?
Cool: A lot of pressure. A bunch of people are coming out to support me Saturday night & losing is something I won’t settle for. I work too hard for it.
sPidA: Are you looking at eventually going Pro and pursuing a career in MMA?
Cool: Depending on how this year goes, it is a good possibility. My wife helps & supports me tremendously. I can’t thank her enough. My parents are awesome as well.
sPidA: I’ve seen you compete in grappling tournaments before, are you looking at a submission victory or keeping the fight standing up?
Cool: Honestly, I’m just looking at getting the win. Whether that be submission, TKO, or homicide. Haha
sPidA: Are you a fan of Reality TV? If so, what are your thoughts on Dana White allowing both male and female in the next season of TUF?
Cool: I am bro but I thinks it’s kind of ridiculous. Women in the same house is asking for trouble. Their will be a lot of distractions & drama for sure. I’m sure I’ll still watch it though. LOL
sPidA: As I’m sure thousands of others will be doing the same, LOL. Having a recent addition to your family (congratulations on the birth of your beautiful girl) has that changed your drive in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts?
Cool: Thanks Spida!! It has tremendously! It’s the greatest gift in the world. People tend to forget that at 23, I work full-time, train full-time, I’m a husband, and now a father. I will make something of myself for her.
sPidA: Thank you for your time bro, any last words for those supporting you?
Cool: I would like to thank GOD of course, he continues to bless me. My beautiful girls, wife Krystalina & Daughter Avery. My parents & family, Texas Powerhouse MMA, Honor Fight Gear, all my training partners & friends that follow me. Thanks for believing in me. Thank you sPidA and TexasFighting.com for the interview, very much appreciated!
Fight promoter Jeff Bonugli was looking for fighters, and he got them. Ryan Spann out of Beaumont opened last Saturday night’s “El Orgullo del Valle” fight event with hands and feet blazing. Although his opponent, Robert Zamora, outweighed him by 26 pounds, it was a mismatch from the beginning, but in Spann’s favor. Spann is the kind of fighter one hates to fight; a towering 6’5 inches tall, with not an ounce to spare on his lean frame of 183 pounds. You take into account also his 82 inch reach, and it spells trouble. Spann, who trains with American Top Team in Beaumont came into this fight 1-0 as a pro, determined to extend his win record. A game Zamora (training out of Mission with Robert Torres) initiated the fray by moving in on Spann with a front kick. After a brief exchange Spann connected with a blistering round house kick to Zamora’s rib cage, which visibly hurt him. The fight went to the ground, and at 2:25 of the first round Spann applied a rear naked choke to end the match.
Julio Villarreal, (McAllen) got into the fight game to lose weight. To that end, he’s been successful, losing over one hundred pounds since taking up mixed martial arts. It wasn’t enough against Christopher Lopez out of San Antonio, though. Lopez quickly got down to business in his match with Villarreal, causing ref Jake Montalvo to stop the match at 1:39 of the first round, when Villarreal was unable to defend himself against the pounding Lopez was doling out. Coming into the match at 1-0, the very humble Lopez voiced no unreasonable expectations about his future. “I’ll take this game as far as it takes me. I’ll be happy with the results, what ever they are.” His immediate short range goal? “I want to meet again the guy I lost to as an amateur. I want to beat him.” He sports 5 wins and one loss as an amateur, and the fight he lost took place in January 2011, in a fight against Jared Perez that went the distance. The 28 year old Lopez, a marathon runner, fights out of Rangel Vale Tudo, and at age 28 is a veteran of the United States Marines. He’s a recent graduate from UTSA. Not exactly sure why, but this writer is partial to him.
You have to hand it to Gabe Reynaga. At 40 years old he took on 24 year old Jordan Morgan. Twice he attempted a spin back kick on Morgan, and each time Morgan walked on him. To Reynaga’s credit, he stayed in the fight, going the distance with Morgan, who won by unanimous decision.
One has difficulty not liking Ray Rodriguez out of New Braunfel’s “Warrior’s Edge. The kid exudes optimism. He was facing a tough Jean Cartagena Maldonado, fighting out of Seguin MMA, just 15 minutes down the road from where Rodriguez trains. The fact that Maldonado holds a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu did not faze Ray. Given his record, Maldonado is no pushover. He came into this fight 1-1 as a pro, with 6 straight wins as an amateur. Strange as this may seem, I felt he should have stuck to his standup in this fight. He has good standup, with very strong kicks and good hands, which, for the little I saw, I rated superior to Ray’s. Yeah, but his strength is in jiu jitsu, and that’s where he continued to go. Explain that to Ray Rodriguez, who put him in a guillotine hold in 54 seconds of the third round!
Alex Hernandez of Ohana quickly overwhelmed Mission’s David Salazar to end the fight in 34 seconds of the first round. Salazar had taken the fight on two weeks notice. One may be physically prepared, but it is the mental game which is tasked.
Jorge Cortez out of Ultra Fit MMA in Harlingen also took this fight on very short notice, but what a fight this was between him and Cory Bellino out of Full Contact Fight Academy in Corpus Christi! Bellino bloodied Cortez in the first round, but Cortez was landing punches as well, in an exciting round of stand up. In the second and third rounds, Bellino took Cortez to the mat, where he had the advantage, as Cortez seemed to be enjoying the stand up game. A close, exciting fight with all judges scoring it 28-29 in favor of Bellino.
Up to this point, every fight has been exciting! One would think the action would slow down. Not so. Next up was Matt Mooney of El Gallero Den in Mission, versus Juan Chapa, also out of Mission. This was probably the most evenly matched fight of the night, with both fighters debuting as pros with an amateur record of 1-0, with both fighters winning their match by submission. So you ask, if the fight only lasted 35 seconds, what was so exciting about it? Those were 35 seconds of great stand up, pure toe to toe confrontation. And then Matthew goes and stops it all by submitting Chapa with an arm bar, which Chapa admits he walked right in to, by thinking he could take Matt out with his hands. Chapa, who lost, will also be on the June Orgullo del Valle card.
Jose Ceja, making his pro debut, represented promoter Bonugli’s Green Ghost Academy in a match against jiu jitsu purple belt Rene Gonzalez, also out of Mission. Ceja landed a hard shot over Gonzalez’ left eye early on, and continued to put on the pressure for three rounds. This fight began with a bang and finished in like manner; action packed, with Ceja taking the fight by unanimous decision.
Up to this point, it had been a night of continuous action, seemingly one exciting fight after another, with each succeeding fight seemingly better than the last. Could it get any better? The best was yet to come. The much ballyhooed co main event between Leroy Martinez and Ricky Palacios was in the offing. There had been much smack talk and insults traded between the two men and their camps, situated only miles apart in Mission. Ricardo “El Gallero” Palacios was coming into this event 4 pounds over weight at 139 pounds, versus Leroy “El Guapo” Martinez at the required 135. Ricky was sporting a record of 1-0 as a pro, and 6-0 as an amateur, all by KO, something which surely did not escape Martinez, whose pro record was 1-1, with an amateur record of 2-2. No one was disappointed at the effort expended by the two. There had been the attempted psyche and shoving between the two at the weigh ins, and this continued into the ring. Palacio’s fight skills are evident in his record to this point; nonetheless, one danger in over confidence can be that training may be allowed to lag. In the first round, Martinez did every thing right. When going up against a striker of the caliber of Palacios, one takes the game to the ground, and Martinez was doing a good job with this. His attempts to get Palacios into a submission hold in the first round failed, but in this writer’s view, the first round went to Martinez. The second round, Palacios got into his game, eluding attempts to be taken to the ground, tagging Martinez at least a couple of times with hard shots to the face, softening him for a clean knockout at 1:22 of the second round.
The much anticipated duel between two good fighters is over, for the time being at least. One writer calls it a total win for the Palacios camp, citing this and two other wins. I don’t agree with his analysis. The first round was too close, and it gets tougher from here, with each fight getting progressively tougher as opponents study his style. Rick’s ground game needs work. Why is this important? You have in Rick Palacios a genuine knockout artist. Consider this: 6 -0 as an amateur, all six wins by KO. 1-0 as a pro boxer, this also by knock out. 2-0 as a pro, both by knock out. Nine fights, 9 KO’s. Future opponents would be foolish not to study his game, as did Leroy Martinez. Nullifying his standup is essential, as Martinez almost did. My advice would be to heal the breach between camps. Sparring partners like Leroy Martinez who can help with the ground game can be a blessing. Both fighters will benefit from each other’s experience. Heal the breach.
We come to the main event, Aaron Rosa versus Tony Melton. Tony Melton entered the fight a solid 264 pounds, the kind of opponent who will pose a threat to any unprepared fighter. He entered this event sporting a 7-3 pro record, and 1-0 as a pro K-1 kickboxer. All his MMA bouts have been almost exclusively stand up. And yes, Aaron Rosa came into the fight, by his own standards, less prepared than desired, and well over his fighting weight. His employment, entailing long hours, has eaten into his training time, and he had been able to train only sporadically. Predictably, the fight evolved into a boxing match, with Rosa having to fight Melton’s game. In a closely fought stand up game, Rosa won by decision, by virtue of landing more punches.
El Orgullo del Norte, first event is now in the past. It has all the markings of a first class event. If Jeff Bonugli has his way, it will come one day to match the UFC in drawing power and excellence.