Cage Combat 18 closing out the year for Houston MMA this Sunday
HUMBLE, TX –Just when Houston MMA fans are winding down 2014 and another successful year of fights, Garcia Promotions is coming back for one last event to close things out with a bang! Taking place this Sunday, Dec. 21st, Cage Combat 18 will officially be the last card of the year!
Eric Garcia and Jace Pitre are putting on another full slate of action for this one. Amateur MMA can be unpredictable but fans can expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 fights come fight night. Three of those are slated to be title fights in the bantamweight to lightweight classes. Looking at the fighters involved, these have the potential to be some of the best fights of the year at the local amateur level. Likewise, the card also features some additional fighters worth watching, experienced ammy’s and debut fighters alike.
Let’s take a look at some of the notable matchups and fighters on tap to be showcased on the Cage Combat 18 fight card.
Cage Combat 18 Title Fights
Lightweight Title – Leroy Vasquez (Paradigm) vs. Luke Crawford (NS MMA)
The main event bout pits 4-0 Luke Crawford against 3-1 Leroy Vasquez in a battle of top lightweight prospects. Crawford already has an amateur title to his record after besting Jaime Deleon at EAC 8 while Leroy has likewise done well, besting opponents like John Gorrell and only losing to former Legacy Amateur champ Jason Langellier. This is a great test for both fighters and the winner here is that much closer to the pro ranks.
Featherweight Title – Nicholas Gay (SOL Combat Club) vs. Cameron Graves (TT)
Top featherweight prospect Cameron Graves (5-0) defends his title for the third time against Nicholas Gay (3-1). “Camelot” has had no problems thus far winning at the amateur level and has done so a myriad of ways, from KO and sub to competitive decisions. Not too many weaknesses can be found on Graves as he looks to round into form in preparation for the pro ranks. This time he takes on the 19 year old hard hitter out of Southeast Houston. Nicholas Gay only has one loss on his record, a split decision loss to Will Morris at LAS 15. He’s an athletic fighter and will look to push the pace on his highly touted opponent. Meanwhile, Cam might be looking to show that he’s pro ready.
Bantamweight Title – Royala Smith (Brotherhood) vs. Manny Lozoya (Millennium)
Longtime amateur Manuel Lozoya (7-3) defends his belt for the second time versus upstart challenger Royala Smith (2-2). Manny’s faced a who’s who of local competition over the past 4 years including a few fighters that are similar to his current opponent. Smith will look to bring something different though and will enter the cage as a two-time title fight winner himself having won his own title over at Elite Amateur Combat. A win here for Lozoya could push him into the pros while Royala will look to build on his amateur experience and his own belt collection
Other Top Prospects to Watch
Kyle Villareal – At 3-2, 29 year old Kyle Villareal’s record is not the most impressive out there. Beyond that though and what you see is the type of exciting fighters fan like to watch. He’s also steadily improved since debuting in Dec. 2012 and most recently took Cage Combat champion Cameron Graves to a five round decision. Look for him to show more improvement when he faces undefeated Jose Gomez (2-0) this Sunday night.
Reshal Malik – At 1-0, Reshal Malik is a relative newbie to MMA but won via submission during his debut vs. Josh Rodriguez at CC16 earlier this year. A blue belt under Renan Chavez, Reshal will be further tested when he faces Dequette Reed (1-0). Maybe DeQuette (aka “The Black Hulk”) will end up being the one to watch when all is said and done. Either way, fans can look forward to an interesting clash of styles in this one. One of these guys will leave with a promising 2-0 record while the other leaves a .500 fighter for now.
Damion Oranday – Making his MMA debut, Elite MMA’s Damion Oranday will enter the opposite Darius Gray (0-1) with the distinction of being one of the most decorated juvenile grapplers in the entire state in recent years. Training under Robert Yamashita and Julian Vega in Baytown, Damion also blends a background in traditional martial arts, where he is a karate black belt. It remains to be seen whether he’ll make MMA a focus moving forward but that this fight could say a lot about his potential if he decides to head that direction.
Clarence Brown – What can be said about 20 year old Clarence “Downtown” Brown that hasn’t been said already? This is a kid that came from a ludicrous street fighting background and amazingly made his bones in the Houston MMA scene by trash talking on Facebook. So far he’s lost 3 out of 5 but his improvement has been evident. It’s safe to say he’s more of a legit MMA fighter than he ever has been before. And now the tables have been turned as he’s the seasoned one facing a debut fighter in Jonathan Bacon. A win here would put Clarence at .500 and add even more fuel to his fire as he clearly has his sights set on a future in MMA.
Josh Altum – Training under Drew Raticheck and crew at American Combative Systems (ACS), 17 year old Josh Altum stumbled out of the gate in his amateur debut against a tough opponent in Midland but he’s since rebounded, beating then 2-0 prospect Kesler Jones by TKO this past November. He’ll look to showcase more improvement when he faces debut fighter Taylor Farrell out of Rocky Long MMA this Sunday.
Cage Combat 18 – Updated Fight Card for December 21, 2014
155 lbs.: Leroy Vasquez (Paradigm) vs. Luke Crawford (NS MMA) * TITLE
145 lbs.: Nicholas Gay (SOL Combat Club) vs. Cameron Graves (TT) * TITLE
135 lbs.: Royala Smith (Brotherhood) vs. Manny Lozoya (Millennium) * TITLE
155 lbs.: Gustavo Gomez (GB Champions) vs. Kyle Villarreal (4oz)
135 lbs.: D’Neareon Seymore (Rocky Long MMA) vs. Tony Nguyen (4oz)
135 lbs.: Reshal Malik (Zion MMA) vs. Dequette Reed (SLMMA)
135 lbs.: Damion Oranday (Elite MMA) vs. Darius Gray (GB Champions)
205 lbs.: Brandon Holt (Yount BJJ) vs. Ronnie Byerly
185 lbs.: Jared Clark (Yount BJJ) vs. Ryan Connely (4oz)
160 lbs.: Craig Groves (4oz) vs. TBD
155 lbs.: Kane Lewis (Brotherhood) vs. Josh Huitt (KWMMA)
150 lbs.: Clarence Brown (Fitness Connection) vs. Jonathan Bacon (Gold Team)
145 lbs.: Josh Altum (ACS) vs. Taylor Farrell (Rocky Long MMA)
170 lbs.: Jesse Pitner (Tru Bloodline) vs. Josh Wilson (KWMMA)
205 lbs.: Danny Bennett (Elite MMA) vs. Anthony Fitzgerald (Champions MMA)
125 lbs.: Victor Lomax (Ground Dwellers) vs. Dominick Perez (Millennium)