ESPN Friday Night Fights at Thunder Valley

Burgos vs Amidu

Burgos vs Amidu

LINCOLN, CA – ESPN’s Friday Night Fights shined the boxing spotlight on Thunder Valley Casino Resort as Juan Carlos Burgos battled Yakubu Amidu.

Burgos was scheduled to fight Arash Usmantee of Montreal, but Usmantee was unable to fight due to an injury and late comer Amidu stepped in.

Burgos’ last fight in January ended in a gut-wrenching draw against Roman Martinez, with many fans upset with the final outcome and Burgos feeling unfairly treated by ringside officials.

Burgos vs Amidu

Burgos vs Amidu

While Burgos was dealt yet another draw in his fight with Amidu, it appeared both fighters were fine with the decision and more than happy to see the end of the fight, as the sweltering weather was over 100 degree at fight time.

Amidu is stunned in 11th round

Amidu is stunned in 11th round

Amidu’s last fight in April saw a loss from a split-decision to Haskell Rhodes in Oklahoma.

Burgos was able to keep Amidu at bay early on, as Amidu struggled to put together any kind of assault. Burgos utilized the ring and remained a moving target preventing Amidu from mounting any type of attack.

Burgos was relentless with his body punches throughout the fight.

Dos Santos vs Gonzalez

Dos Santos vs Gonzalez

Amidu dominated the third and fourth rounds as he came alive towards the end of round three, backing Burgo into the ropes with some well-timed combinations, but the bell rang too soon sending both men to their corners.

Click for more photos

Feeling the momentum from the third round, Amidu continued his assault on Burgos, but landed a low-blow to Borgos, who immediately went into a crouched position, Amidu was given a warning.

In the 11th round Burgos went on the attack with several combinations that put some hurt into Amidu. It was the first time in the fight that Amdiu seemed phased by Borgos’ combinations.

Dos Santos vs Gonzalez

Dos Santos vs Gonzalez

In the 12th and final round the two went at it realizing the fight hung in the balance as both boxers landed several solid combinations.

In the end, the judges scored it 116-112 for each fighter respectively, with a 114-114 score ruling it a draw.

In a battle of fringe lightweight contenders, Miguel Gonzalez (22-3, 16 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio put down Brazilian Josenilson Dos Santos (26-2, 16 KOs), eventually knocking him to the mat in the eighth round with a body shot.

Dos Santos on the ropes

Dos Santos on the ropes

The start of the fight saw the mercury rise to 110 degrees. According to ESPN the mat surface was a toasty 132 degrees at fight time.

Dos Santos appeared to be the more active fighter in early rounds, but that was misleading as Gonzalez was obviously in better condition and a better technical fighter than Dos Santos.

Dos Santos Down and out

Dos Santos Down and out

There was a lot of holding with the referee continually breaking the two fighters up.

As the fight wore on you could see exhaustion set in for both fighters, but more obviously with Dos Santos. In the eighth round Dos Santos went down after a body shot from Gonzalez, landing on his butt in his own corner. Dos Santos didn’t get back up as exhaustion got the better of him. Protection Status

Kicking it at Thunder Valley

Jeff Morris and Justin Baseman - Click for more images

A few weeks ago I covered the Chippendales out at Thunder Valley Casino Resort. If you recall, I really started to question my “maleness,” since I kind of enjoyed the show. So to test my maleness I decided to take in a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event.

It just so happened that Gladiator Challenge, a promoter of all things MMA, was hosting an event out at Thunder Valley Casino Resort. There were sixteen fights on tap, so I was going to get my fill of fights.

It was nice of Gladiator Challenge to have some really nice young ladies walking around in between rounds letting us know what round it was. I found them extremely helpful.

For those of you who may not know, an MMA event consists of two fighters getting into a cage that resembles a boxing ring, only this ring has a cyclone fence encircling it so spectators don’t end up getting a lap dance from one of the fighters being thrown out of the ring. There are three rounds for non-championship matches and five rounds for championship matches, with each round lasting five minutes each with one minute breaks in between.

The two fighters wear small gloves and have complete control of their fingers, unlike boxing gloves. Some wear little booties while others go barefoot. I guess they probably don’t call them little booties. Let me see – tiny little shoes?

Just prior to entering the ring their faces are given a coat of grease. As the half-naked men enter the ring you get a sense that the grease is bothering them, because that’s when they start looking all mean and nasty like they want to kill somebody.

Jordan Beaver and Sid Finen - Click for more images

Keep in mind this is the first time I’ve watched an MMA match, so I’m still somewhat unclear as to the rules. It appears that once they’re in the ring, they are required to run around in circles screaming at the audience and pounding their chests for effect ““ such brutes.

With sixteen fights scheduled, I thought I would be there for quite some time. Turns out these fights don’t last nearly as long as a boxing match. Most ended just minutes into the first round. A couple went to the second round and that was it. One ended within 45 seconds!

First up were John Younger and John David Reynolds. Reynolds, fists blazing, had Younger on the mat and in less than a minute – BAM! Game over.

In the fourth bout it was Jamie Hantz and John Wigglesworth, with Hantz winning by a technical knockout. Hantz came into the ring kicking and screaming ““ seriously kicking, because he proceeded to kick the crap out of Wigglesworth. I don’t think Hantz threw a punch. All I saw were his legs pumping out the kicks.

Oh, yeah. In between bouts someone had the unlucky role of cleaning up the blood spattered on the mat. Oh, joy.

There were several title fights, which I’ve listed below with the winner in bold.

Light Heavyweight: Don “The Predator” Frye vs. Reuben Villareal
Heavyweight:            Rob “The Caveman” Jackson vs. Josh Appelt
Welterweight:           Jeff Morris vs. Justin Baseman
Super Fight:              Chris Wood vs. Cal Worsham

Jamie Hantz and John Wigglesworth kicking it at TVCR

So did I pass my latest maleness test? Yes and no.

Yes – I found it appalling that these guys would get into a ring and simply beat the crap out of each other for the sport of it, but at the same time I found it oddly entertaining. So I’m counting that as a good thing – in a macho kind of way.

No ““ I couldn’t help but think of the similarities between an MMA fight and the Chippendales. Both are half naked, in good physical shape, and greased down prior to the show.

Since you rarely see men out at a Chippendale performance it’s obvious that guys would rather watch half naked, greased up men, roll around with each other rather than watch them dance around.

Sadly I believe I have failed my maleness test yet again, since I would rather go to a Chippendales show than watch a fight.

The whole blood and sweat spraying all over the ring didn’t work for me, and I found myself surrounded by testosterone laden men.

Now at a Chippendales show, I’m guaranteed to be surrounded by women.

I rest my case.

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