Last night was another CXF show. This time at the Burbank Marriott Convention Center instead of the usual venue at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City. We had both Gabriel Green and Josh Jones fighting. Josh's fight was also a first round match in the King of Cali 8-man lightweight tournament. Another bonus on top of that was that Josh's fight in the first round was for the CXF interim lightweight championship.
First up was Gabe fighting the 3rd fight of the night against Leon Shahbazyan — a TALL fighter going into the fight undefeated as a professional at 4-0. For about the first minute of the round, Gabe bullied Leon to the cage and was using head movement and staying in the pocket to kill Leon's range. After Gabe landed some heavy shots and defended a few attempted guillotines, Leon made some space and cracked Gabe with a punch that dropped him. Fortunately Gabe went into auto-pilot and when Leon went for the kill, Gabe ended up putting him on his back. While Gabe was scrambling to keep the top position, Leon landing an illegal upkick to Gabe's face while he was downed. Referee Frank Trigg temporarily stopped the fight to warn Leon and then restarted the fight with Gabe in Leon's guard. At this point Gabe was still on queer street from almost being knocked out a moment earlier, so when the fight was restarted, Gabe fell right into a triangle choke. This is when you can tell that Gabe started to regain his bearings and started squirming and doing everything he could to not lose the fight. Leon threw some elbows in the triangle that cut Gabe on the top of his head and caused him to start pouring blood. Soon after the elbows, Leon rolled Gabe over to a mounted triangle. Gabe kept squirming and got his feet in front of Leon. At this point I remember looking at Tracy Hess and thinking the fight was over as the triangle armbar was right there for Leon to take the fight home. Fortunately with a mix of Gabe's will, Leon's legs being so long that getting a triangle 100% tight can be difficult and the slipperiness from the blood pouring out of Gabe's head, Gabe managed to get out of the position and get back to his feet. Gabe went right back to his minute-one strategy and bullied a tired Leon back to the cage and went back to cracking him with punches while staying tight. The fight ended soon after with a first-round TKO when Gabe landed a knee to the body that dropped Leon and a punch afterwards for good measure before the ref stopped the fight.
The main event of the night was Josh Jones vs Shohei Yamamoto for the CXF interim lightweight championship. Josh Landed a straight left early in the first round. Josh attempted another straight left and Shohei landed a perfect left hook counter and dropped Josh. Josh went into auto-pilot and went for a takedown, but Shohei quickly circled around his back and landed a few quick GnP punches to get the stoppage win at 0:24 of the first round. All that can be said about this fight is that shit happens, and in this sport it can happen no matter how prepared you are and you end up losing without even having had a chance to get started. It sucks that a setback like this happened in a title fight and in a tournament, but all you can do is get back in the gym, learn from the mistake and get back on track in the next fight.
Next up is Jacob Argo's amateur fight next weekend in Roy Englebrecht Promotions.