Ricky Esquibel

V.23 No.19 |


Fights at the Rail Yards, tonight!

Jackson's MMA Series

Watching some fights down by the railroad tracks just got a lot less ghetto.

The newly refurbished Rail Yards, just south of downtown, is now the go-to spot for hipster points, and will be hosting its second weekly community market mere hours after they pack up the cage. But tonight the old blacksmith shop belongs to the fighting community, as an all-amateur card of fighters will strip to the waist and try to use each other as stepping-stones as they climb the mountain of glory.

The nine-fight Jackson’s MMA Series card, Protégé, starts at 7, at 1100 2nd St SW, and will feature Albuquerque fighters from local gyms taking on comers from elsewhere in state. Tickets to this uniquely-set event are available at Hold My Ticket.

At the top of the card is a fighter whose career I’ve followed ever since he won the Jackson’s Edge Challenge in 2011. Ricky Esquibel, of the Jackson-Winkeljohn camp here in Albuquerque, battles Chris Brewer of Alamosa in a main event battle that should have been a 125 lbs (flyweight), had Brewer not missed weight by 2 and a half pounds.

To see some rare footage from Esquibel’s first fight—in which he impressively got out of a tight spot by picking up his opponent, slamming him, and strangling him—please refer to this blog post I wrote at the time.

V.21 No.36 |


Jackson's MMA Series IX results

Rock you very much, Tingley Coliseum

Looking back on it now, we might have realized something was up when Aaron Cerda dropped into the ninja pose during the pre-fight presser/weigh-in ahead of the Jackson’s MMA Series IX fight card, which went down Saturday night at Tingley Coliseum.
Cerda took the main event fight against Frank Gomez on short notice after Gomez’ original opponent, Mikey Lovato, had to pull out with a hurt knee. Not much was known about the 22 year-old Cerda, other than being a striker—rumor has it a 3rd degree black belt in Kajukembo.

As the bout opened, Cerda’s striking was crisp and menacing, and Gomez took the fight to the mat, where he controlled the young Texan. But Cerda was able to land a surprising, ninja-style elbow from the bottom that caused a large welt above Gomez’s eye. A second such elbow proved it wasn’t a fluke, catch Gomez again, this time in the eye.

The referee called a stop to the action so the cage-side doctor could examine Gomez’s eye. After Gomez acknowledged that he couldn’t see out if it, the fight was stopped, with Cerda declared the winner by TKO via doctor stoppage at 4:26 of the first round. If it had just been one elbow, I’d call that a fluke. But a striker who can stop a fight from his back? That, ladies and gentlemen, is some truly next-level shit.

In the co-main event, Hunter Tucker finally put an end to Nate Patterson’s winning streak against Jackson squad, putting him to sleep via first round rear naked choke. In the process, Tucker moves to 4-0 as a pro.

Those who arrived for the main card missed some seriously entertaining undercard action, highlighted by Eric Dodson’s display of Steven Segal-esqu patty-cake-slappy-chop-fu , as he recovered from being seriously rocked by a right hook from Fernie Garcia. While swatting away Garcia’s pesky attempts to finish him, Dodson flashed a jab so fast it was only visible by slow motion replay, and Garcia crumpled. You can see my pre-fight interview with Dodson here. Also on the all-amateur undercard, Ricky Esquibel moved to 2-0 as an amateur, finishing off Chris Brewer by sinking in a guillotine choke from the clinch and then rolling him beautifully to the mat for the finish. Watch a cool clip from Esquibel’s first fight here

See full results at swfight.com.

It’s worth saying that the Tingley Coliseum, which the Jackson’s MMA Series will call home for at least the next four years, is a great place to watch MMA. The lights, the way the music echoes, it’s all a lot more like the big leagues than it was at the Hard Rock Café. And the views are much, much better. Look for another card to shape up for December.