nick urso


V.23 No.14 |

sports

Holly Holm fights tonight

Will it go to the ground?

The Holly Holm train is pulling into the Route 66 Casino tonight where the legendary boxer will face her seventh opponent in chain-link cage, as she continues her new MMA career. Holm has been courted by the UFC in recent weeks, though her management supposedly pissed off Dana White, presumably for asking for too much money (though it should be noted that White gets pissed if the wind blows).

The last time Holm fought, I had recommended that you go see her because it may be your last chance to see her fight in Albuquerque, before she gets swept up by the UFC. But this time, it seems like the opposite is true. If Holm continues to circle outside the UFC, she’ll probably be back at the 66 for at least another fight. If she joins the show and signs with the UFC, it might be in time for the June 7 card, headlined by Diego Sanchez vs Ross Pearson.

Such speculation, of course, is dependent on her winning tonight, which is a safe bet. But things will get interesting if the fight goes to the mat, where Holm is much less comfortable and experienced.

Holm may not want to go to the ground, but that’s what the world needs to see—if not this fight, then some other future fight—before she can be taken seriously as a threat to the UFC Bantamweight title held by Ronda Rousey. The champ has won most of her fights by arm bar, and would look to do the same against the Duke City striker. The best thing that could happen for Holly in this fight would be to slam Werner to the mat and submit her, preferably by arm bar. If she does that and calls out Rousey, Dana White would pee, a little bit anyway, in his pants.

But should Holm win, there is another high-profile fight that will be on her more immediate horizon: Christiana “Cyborg” Justino, the only other female MMA fighter outside the UFC who generates a buzz on par with Holm’s. According to her trainer Mike Winkeljohn, they will be trying to make this happen should Holly win.

I'm just saying: if Holly wins, her vs Cyborg on the June 7th card would tear the roof off of Tingly Coliseum, dontcha think?

Several teammates of "The Preacher's Daughter" will be on the card tonight, including Jackson-Winkeljohn products Clint Roberts and Nick Urso, two homegrown beasts you want on your side. Jesse Tafoya of Wink’s Gym, where Holm teaches and trains, is on the preliminary card.

The main card starts at 9 pm, and takes place at the Rt. 66 Casino on I 40. It will also be on AXSTV. The preliminary card starts at 7:30, and can only be witnessed live.

See you there, so look for the drunk guy in the Hawaiian shirt, and come say "hi."

V.22 No.49 |
Will Fox

sports

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.

Tickets can be purchased online. For info, call 505-884-7484, or visit the Fresquez Productions website.

V.21 No.48 |

sports

Jacksons MMA Series X at Tingley Coliseum

weigh-in today, fight card tomorrow

The Jackson’s MMA Series returns to Tingley Colliseum tomorrow (Saturday) night. If you’ve never seen a live MMA event, Tingley is a great place to start. It’s big enough to accommodate the cheers, the jeers, the thumping music and flashing lights of a big show, and that’s what it feels like at fight time. This venue is altogether a massive improvement over the event’s former home, the Hard Rock Café. And as a bonus, if you get too drunk to drive home, the walk is a heckuva lot shorter.

Only the card’s top two fights have been announced, both 135 lb contests: Matt Leyva vs Anthony Birchak and Nick Urso vs Dave Ruelez. Two additional pro fights and a full amateur undercard are on tap as well, according to a Nov 27 press release.

The event’s weigh-in takes place today at 2pm at the Hotel Albuquerque, free to the public. It can also be streamed online (the fight card can also be streamed from there as well, for five bucks).

One fighter on the amateur undercard is Eric Dodson, whose older brother John will challenge Demetrius Johnson for the UFC Flyweight title on January 26, 2013. Eric will enter the cage for his second career fight tomorrow, against Scott Ingram, which he discussed in an interview with Jorge Hernandez of Albuquerque’s Low Blow Podcast.

The Alibi was at the younger Dodson’s first fight in October, and we shot this video, which you should now enjoy. Dodson appeared to be having the time of his life, even when he got rocked, before entering temporary matrix mode and becoming temporarily unhittable, finishing Fernie Garcia with a single lighting –fast jab.

There are some other interesting fights on the undercard as well, including Jackson’s Ricky Esquibel against Aurora, Colorado’s Nick De Fiore. Seriously, anyone who shows up late and misses the undercard better have a damned good excuse.

For more on the undercard and main card matchups, visit our local nexus for sport combat: http://swfight.com/
Fights start at 7 pm at Tingley Coliseum at Expo New Mexico at the fairgrounds. Tickets are $20-$125.