Holly Holm fights Friday
and it could be the last time you watch her fight in Burque
Sure, it’s a damn shame that the UFC may never do a show in Albuquerque. After all, Duke City has some of the most committed fight fans on earth. On the flipside, we’ve got some of the best fighters as well, with both home-grown talent and fighters hat have immigrated here to train at Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA, as well as some of the other gyms, like FIT NHB. That adds up to local Mixed Martial Arts events stacked with top caliber talent, fighters that may very soon be competing at the sport’s highest level.
Case in point: Friday, Dec. 6, at the Route 66 Casino, the Fresquez Productions’ “Havoc” fight card, featuring Holly Holm vs Angela Hayes at bantamweight (135 lbs). The UFC has already expressed interest in Holm, and UFC president Dana White has acknowledge to being pestered to the point of desperation with questions about when the organization will sign her. Holm is being touted by many fans and media as a potential solution to Ronda Rousey's dominance.
Thus far, no opponent has escaped the first round without tapping to an armbar, much less beaten the UFC champion. Holm, a world champion boxer, and, according to her coach Mike Winkeljohn a “better kickboxer” is a fearsome striker, who has never been taken down or threatened on the ground in five professional MMA fights. But five of her opponent’s six wins are by submission, which means this could finally be the time Holm is tested on the ground. And we have the opportunity to see what happens, live. As soon as Holm gets picked up by the UFC, you might not be able to see her fight in Albuquerque ever again, so take advantage!
Also on the card, flyweight Nick Urso, a Jackson/Winkeljohn product like Holm. SouthWestFightNews notes, “Urso’s combination of speed, technique and natural talent has placed his name front-and-center in the discussion of who is New Mexico’s best fighter not-signed by a major MMA promotion.”
Urso will be fighting Jesus Urbina of Bushido MMA in El Paso. Again, SouthWestFightNews: “Urbina is very tough in all areas of MMA as he can trade punches in and outside of the pocket, he is very good at scrambling in his defensive grappling and he can finish fights when he gets top position on the mat. All of those compliments only accent his respected wrestling game; Urbina in fact has a collegiate wrestling background. “
Another fighter on the card we should be exited to see is Jackson/Winkeljohn welterweight (170 lbs) Clint Roberts, who will fight Eddie Gamboa, also of El Paso’s Bushido MMA. Roberts is a powerful, well-rounded fighter who would likely be making big waves by now if he didn’t keep getting injured. Most recently: a broken hand suffered in his last fight. It the knockout win, he ended up breaking his hand on his opponents’ head.
Many other local prospects will be fighting as well, including Cody East, Chuck Pieritz, Gabriel Benitez, Ricky Esquibel, and Mike Benefiel. The six-bout main card is preceded by a five-fight amateur undercard, which starts at seven. The public is invited to attend the weigh-in on Thursday at 2 pm, at the Route 66 Casino.
John Dodson goes for that belt
and other interviews from media day at Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA
Last Thursday the local media was invited to open workouts at Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA academy, and to interview the teams fighters that are competing this weekend in Chicago’s United Center on UFC on Fox 6. Albuquerque-born Flyweight John Dodson will battle Demetrius Johnson for the title in the main event. Also on the card, Donald Cerrone fights Anthony Pettis at Lightweight, and Clay Guida makes his Featherweight debut against Japanese star Hatsu Hioki. Check the paper on Thursday for a full story. Meanwhile, please enjoy these video interviews.
The Daily Word in lighting fires, daring explorations and bad P.R.
Aerial footage of this morning's derailed freight train fire in Columbus, Ohio.
Newfound marine creature named after Bob Marley.
Egypt's military leadership caught in power battle with Muslim Brotherhood.
Fresh grief at the site of the Srebrenica massacre.
The Spaceport should see first tourist takeoffs by the end of next year.
Upcoming International AIDS Conference highlights health issue in the U.S., where African-American community suffers disproportionately.
Greg Jackson interviewed after high-profile feature on Jackson-Winklejohn Gym.
Racial profiling claims leveled at San Juan County law enforcement.
The state attorney general's image problem.
Astonishing images from an undersea photo studio.
Dude, don't pull a "Harry Reid."
Free Slurpees for all! 'Til the cups run out.
Jacksons MMA grand opening live stream
Watch your favorite local fighters sign autographs for other people - LIVE!
The live stream for the grand opening of Greg Jackson's new gym is up. As soon as I connected, Michelle Waterson pranced toward the camera and gave us a great angle on a dramatization of her picking her nose. In fact, if that literally hadn't happened the very minute I turned on the stream I probably would not be live blogging this live stream. And then, out of nowhere, there's Greg Jackson posed in side-hug position with a fan for a photo, and I was hooked. Who says slow news days are boring?
The gym is located in a mall at the northwest corner of Eubank and Candelaria. I'd probably stop by myself if the view wasn't as good as it is from my house.
Ustream is some powerful stuff. It's kind of funny when people have no idea what's going on, and stand ass-first to the camera, or give us an unflattering profile. I predict it won't be long until more of us are as savvy about it as the Karate Hottie. Just remember, you or I might not look as good digging for buggers. And remember, the mic is probably on. There was in interesting discussion to be eavesdropped between Joey Villasenor and Jon Jones regarding head games before, wisely, the mic was turned off.
Mike Winkeljohn and Greg Jackson: the Click and Clack of MMA strategy
They're smart and funny, but getting a straight answer from these cage-fighting savants can be like pulling teeth
The Alibi's favorite (or top-ten at least hopefully) Food and Cage-Fighting writer, me, just had the opportunity to get clowned by two of the most dangerous men in town. I'm just glad they didn't punch me in the face or strangle me.
Women on Top
Jackson's MMA Series IV brings the fights to the 505
Saturday night, April 9th, hours before most fans of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) were turning on their televisions to watch Strikeforce, the stands were filling up at the Hard Rock Cafe theater in Isleta. Duke City fight fans turned out for the fourth-and-counting Jackson's MMA Series fight card, the eleven bouts of which featured five pro-fights, three of which were women's.
There were slick submissions, exciting knockouts, and some good decisions. One fight that didn't last very long was between Team Jackson's Jodie Esquibel and Brittany Horton of Belen. A former pro boxer (and now a Rio Rancho firefighter), Esquibel's hands where noticeably faster and more effective than Horton's. After blasting her to the cage with punches and body kicks, Esquibel dropped Horton with a head kick and finished the fight with ground strikes.
In a scrap to determine the first Jackson's Series women's bantamweight (135 lb) champion, Julie Kedzie defeated Kaitlin Young in a five round tactical war - and won herself a car from Good Carma as a win bonus. On a disappointing note for Team Jackson's, Kelly Renee was handed a tough loss by a very game Tsui'jen Conanan from Arizona.
The amateur undercard featured twin headlining bouts: the men's and women's finals of the Jackson's/Edge Challenge, a product of a recent talent search for local promising fighters conducted by The Morning Edge on 104.1 FM. In the women's final, Beckie Lobb of Team Renegades used a brutal kickboxing attack to subdue a game but overpowered Katrina Branchal in a bantamweight bout. In the men's final, Edgar Lopez of the Arnold Schwarzenegger Project let loose with a primal scream as he was introduced. After dropping the first round to Armando Medibles, he powered out a come-from-behind victory, thanks in part to some brutal kicks to the ribs and liver of his opponent. In both of these finals, the winner could have easily been a weight class above the losers, in terms of body frame. All four finalists have potential in their respective natural weight classes.
In the next few days I'll be posting exclusive fight and interview footage from the event. Right now I'll start you off with some Greg Jackson cam, if you haven't clicked it already. It shows the master craftsman at work cage-side, in his natural habitat, coaching his fighters through their bouts. Behind the camera, Albuquerque's one and only Diego Sanchez can be heard cheering his teammates until his voice goes hoarse.
Behind the scenes with Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn
At 3 AM on fight night, the two legendary Albuquerque coaches discuss Jones' victory over Shogun Rua
Jon Jones, at 23, became the youngest UFC champion in history by defeating Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a light heavyweight title match at UFC 128 on March 19 in Newark, NJ. A few hours after the fight I sat down with two of his trainers, Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn of Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque.
Of "Shogun's" inability to mount any offense whatsoever, Winkeljohn observed, "He got Jones-ed."