April 23, 2011 – Based on reports from my sources (chiefly TCD’s play-by-play and thoughts from individuals that were there), this past Saturday’s IXFA fights at Nutty Jerry’s in Winnie provided an exciting night of action.
Serving as the promotion’s initial foray into an East Texas market that include the cities of Beaumont, Port Arthur, and all the way out to Lake Charles, promoters Chris Reed and Scott Dawson look like they’ve invested heavily in this April 23rd card, even bringing out former UFC-champion and surefire MMA hall-of-famer Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell as a special guest to watch the event, signing autographs and posing with fans all along at the Nutty Jerry’s Entertainment Center.
As for the action inside the IXFA cage, four out of the nine bouts ended before the final bell with submission victories while the rest provided back-and-forth exciting for the fans in attendance, with two of the bouts ending in razor-thin split decisions.
- Jimmy Flick over Humberto Deleon via unanimous decision.
- Justin Ledet over Lex Pappas via guillotine choke in round 1.
- Brian Lightfoot over Jared Taylor via unanimous decision.
- Cody Williams over Gerzan Chaw via RNC in Round 3.
- Rakim Cleveland over Dale Mitchell via split decision.
- Lane Yarbrough over Rey Trujillo via split decision.
- Josh Foster over Edgar Verdin via triangle choke in round 1.
- Justin Murray over Rashon Lewis via unanimous decision.
- Alden Herbert over Mark Garcia via RNC in round 2.
- Evan Cutts over Lester Batres via RNC in round 1.
Jimmy Flick Wins IXFA Flyweight Title With Victory Over Humberto Deleon
The highly-touted Jimmy Flick of Corpus Christie’s Paragon/FCF team secured his first professional title with a dominating decision victory over Humberto Deleon. Characterized by an overwhelming wrestling advantage, the five-round bout was a largely one-sided affair, with two out of three judges seeing the bout five-rounds-to-none in favor of the new champion.
Possible Next Step – With this victory, the 20-year-old becomes the champion at flyweight not just in the IXFA but in the state of Texas. Wih a dearth of quality talent at his weight division, Jimmy “The Brick” could reign for long time or begin taking fights out-of-state to continue to test himself against whoever he can find. There is however, one flyweight that could test him here in the lonestar state by the name of non-other than UFC-vet Will Campuzano, who recently dropped down to flyweight, winning his 125-debut against Randy Hinds at 24/7 in Mindland. If anybody can make this fight happen, it would be one for the ages to define the undisputed king of 125 in Texas.
Justin Ledet -Rising Prospect Scores Dominating Performance
A much talked about prospect out of hard-hitting Submission Boxing Academy. Justin Ledet has been thought of as one of the top prospects at 205 prior to this bout. Proving the talk has not been in vain, the former basketball player proved his status with a quick under-30-second victory by guillotine choke to summarily dismiss his opponent Lex Pappas for his third win in a row.
Possible Next Step – Many see the next logical bout for Ledet being a title clash with IXFA Lightweight Champion “Hurricane” Ike Villanueva. Members of the SBA camp, including Frank Salinas and others, have publically campaigned for such a title shot, and deservedly so. However, others are saying a drop to middleweight might be the future for Ledet. If so, there will be no shortage of exciting bouts for him there, with guys like Artenas Young, Bubba Bush, and others to serve as exciting challenges for the up-and-comer.
Hometown Kid Cody Williams Notches a Winnie in his Pro Debut
Pun absolutely intended as Beaumont resident Cody Williams fought hard for the WIN in Winnie against a very game opponent in Bushi Ban’s Gerzan Chaw. Based on Barry Laminack’s report, this fight was unreal. “The crowd and myself just went crazy,” he says in describing the frenetic pace at the end of the first round that would continue on until Williams was able to get the tap in the third
Possible Next Step – Welcome to the map East Texas! Many in the Houston area and beyond don’t know too much about the talent being cultivated on the east side of Houston on I-10. Perhaps that will change with this showing from Williams. Look for more from this kid soon.
Bad Blood Settled Between Two Big Boys Or More to Come?
The heavyweight tilt between Dale Mitchell and Rakim Cleveland came with much talk from both sides as a precursor, creating a sort of tention that had bystanders predicting the IXFA cage might collapse in an effort to contain the fury from these two gargantuans. In the end, it came down to a split decision victory in favor of Cleveland, who notched his first victory.
Possible Next Step – Reports after the bout have this fight finishing as one that could have gone either way, with some sources going as far as to tell me that Dale “The Alpha Male” was robbed courtesy of our now-infamous stage judges. I was not there so I cannot speak on it but those thoughts couple with the pre-fight animosity have does leave on wonder whether we’ve seen the last of these two against each other.
Lane Yarbrough Gets Revenge Win and Retires from Active Competition
Getting a win back from Rey Trujillo after a Nov. 2009 loss proved to be a successful mission for Lane Yarbrough, who left Winnie, TX with a split decision victory in his 19th fight, the last of his career according to what he announced to our friend David “Babalu” Gonzalez in his post-fight interview.
Possible Next Step – Yarbrough leaves MMA competition thought of by training partners and competitors as one of the nicest, yet fiercest, competitors around. Best of luck to Yarbrough as he moves on the next step of his life, which will sure to be a successful one based on the passion he seemingly puts into his endeavors. Cheers Lane!
As for Rey Trujillo – well it’s another tough loss for the hard-fighting “Tru,” who now falls to 8-5 in his career. Rumor has it that he is on to exciting things though, in the form of a possible rematch with Jesus Rivera – a re-run of their 2010 fight of the year!
Several Up-and-Comers Notch Hard-Earned Victories; Others Back to the Drawing Board
The rest of the card provided a strong dose of up-and-coming and veteran fighters notching victories that should propel them to more exciting matchups in the near future. Veterans like Brian Lightfoot and Josh Foster both won while up-and-comers like Justin Murray, Alden Hebert, and Evan Cutts all made statements that should get them noticed on the Texas MMA Scene.
Meanwhile, fighters who left without the win like Rashon Lewis, Mark Garcia, and Edgar Verdin go back to the drawing board so to speak, no doubt already gunning for the next chance to prove their worth in the cage and notch the victory that eluded them this time around.
Possible Next Step – Time will tell what is next for these fighters but a few of them should be up for exciting times ahead. Two in particular that should due for fights with top-ranked fighters are Foster and Murray, who have both shown themselves to be very impressive in recent fights.
Flyweight Title Bout – Jimmy Flick vs. Humberto Deleon
Photos Courtesy of David Block of 88MilesWest.com