November 29, 2022

Simon Ruvalcaba (@Mister_Boxing)

As the sun was setting, temperature was cooling at the Harvey’s outdoor arena Friday night. Action nonetheless was heated for the athletes that stepped in and dared to be great. Lake Tahoe played host to Combate Americas MMA for the first time and some local are fighters had a night to remember on the undercard, while the two featured Title fight Main Events provided heat in different ways.

In the first of two Championship Main Events, Bantamweight Champion Gustavo Lopez starched the Championship hopes of Joey Ruquet 1:45 into the bout. This was a rematch previously won by Lopez, and a determined Ruquet in the lead up to the bout had many rooting for the challenger, formerly homeless now living in Las Vegas. Joey simply got caught with a shot that would’ve laid out anybody on this night, no matter how well prepared coming in. Lopez of Wapato, Washington improves to 10-4 while Ruquet, who was accompanied to the cage by Tito Ortiz, fell to 7-4.

Buenos Aries, Argentina’s Bruno Cannetti earned revenge and the Combate Americas Featherweight title by dethroning Roswell, New Mexico’s Andres Quintana. Normally fast starter Quintana was tamed with a slower pace early dictated by Cannetti. Quintana did come out with more intent in round 2 and seemed to dominate the majority of the stanza before the final minute when the action went to the ground where Quintana did his best work. The bout appeared to be in the balance heading into the final round and the action hit the ground early and the challenger Quintana seemed to seal the victory with his top mount dominance. In the end, all three judges agreed with Punchline scoring, 29-28 for the winner and new Champion, Bruno Cannetti! Cannetti improved to 9-6 while the now former champion Quintana falls to 18-3.

Tijuana, Mexico’s Jose Luis Verdugo defeated Sacramento, CA’s Erick Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-27 all three cards). Verdugo was the more effective boxer in the mainly stand up battle. Sanchez fell several times throughout the contest and waved on Verdugo in an attempt to make it a ground battle? Verdugo would have none of that each time and would wait for Sanchez to stand up. Punchline scored the contest 29-28 for Verdugo who improved to 10-8 while Sanchez fell to 9-5.

In the bout that most from the area really came to see, South Lake Tahoe, CA’s JJ “The Sacred Warrior” Torres made a successful debut as the referee waived off the action in between rounds 2 and 3 with a bloody and swollen warrior Cole Jordan of Las Vegas, Nevada not being allowed to come out for the final round. Torres was landing the most effective shots through the first 2 rounds but fellow debuter Jordan was gamely competing and the two fighters appeared exhausted as round 2 was coming to an end in the high paced bout. Torres, Son of Kickboxing Hall of Famer Juan “Ghostwarrior” Torres, has started to latest legacy in the Torres fighting family.

In a battle of two pro debuters regional favorite Owen Craugh of Reno, Nevada defeated Morgan Hills, CA’s Aaron Armijo by ground and pound stoppage at 2:33 of the opening round. Craugh used his bread and butter wrestling skills to take matters to the ground early, after several hammer fists and punches, Craugh opened up a flurry which prompted the referee to step in and call a halt to the bout. The skilled Craugh represents Reno, Nevada based Reno Academy of Combat, a gym run by former competitor Rick Collup and is a facility which has flown mostly under the main-stream radar while developing nice talent over the years.

Female fighters kicked off the great night of action as Lupita Godinez of Aquascalientes, Mexico improved to 3-0 while handing Fort Worth, TX’s Felisha Magallan her first defeat. It was a stand up match for the 3 rounds and Godinez was landing the more effective punches the first two rounds. Magallan appeared to be fighting in her preferred element and despite falling behind did not seem interested in switching the type of combat that the bout was being competed at? Magallan, now 1-1 did appear to be having a better third round before an end of the round flurry from Godinez dropped her right as the bell rung. It was initially unclear weather the bout had been stopped or if Magallan was saved by the bell? In the end it was a distance bout and all three judges scored it 29-28 for Godinez. Punchline scored 30-26 but the 29-28 was a better indication of the spirited effort of both fighters.

Among those in attendance where UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz and wrestiling superstar Alberto Del Rio, who was doing commentating for Univision. Ortiz and Del Rio will battle sometime in November and the two had a stare down mid-cage to help promote the upcoming battle, full details of which are forthcoming in the next few weeks.

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