by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com (Photo courtesy of April Pishna)
DENVER – Team Jackson fighters Julie Kedzie and John Dodson both scored victories at Friday night’s Battlequest event on the edge of the Rocky Mountains, but things didn’t go down quite as smoothly as planned.
With the Tapout Crew in attendance and cameras rolling, Dodson fought in the main event against tough local fighter Vern Baca. While he scored a solid first round, controlling much of the pace and landing a couple good takedowns, Dodson’s victory was not without some controversy.
Baca came out firing in the second round, seeming to shift the momentum before Dodson was able to scoop him up and slam him down… on his head. Referee Curtis Thrasher immediately stepped in to stop the bout as Dodson moved in on Baca, who lay in pain on the mat.
The crowd was on its feet waiting anxiously to know if Baca was okay. He remained on the mat for several minutes before rising under his own power, not appearing have suffered any serious damage.
Although Baca was dropped on his head, the director of the Colorado Office of Boxing, Josef Mason, said that it was the referee’s interpretation of the rules that because Baca was not dropped immediately on the top of his head, but more off to the side, that the fight was ruled a TKO and that Baca was not considered to have been “spiked,” which is against the rules.
Baca’s camp plans to appeal the ruling and Mason also said that he intends to review video footage of the bout.
Whatever the final ruling, it should be noted that Dodson did not appear to have dropped Baca on his head intentionally.
Following a disappointing loss at January’s ShoXC to Tonya Evinger, Kedzie made a successful return on Friday night, although it wasn’t an easy victory. Angela Hayes twice secured a guillotine choke on Kedzie, putting her in danger both times.
Kedzie showed her poise in escaping both times and, following the second attempt, was able to work position on the ground and pass guard into a full mount. She then unleashed a flurry of punches before transitioning to an armbar for the finish.
In earlier action, local fighter Ian Berg defeated F.I.T. NHB fighter Vadiano La Luz in a three-round split decision to become the Battlequest middleweight champion.
La Luz’s F.I.T. NHB teammate and multi-time high school state wrestling champion in New Mexico, Cody East, was impressive in his Colorado debut, catching Zac Mathews mid-superman punch and slamming him to the mat. Briefly back on their feet, East took Mathews down again and immediately locked on an American for the finish.
-John Dodson def. Vern Baca by TKO (Slam) at 1:06, R2
-Julie Kedzie def. Angela Hayes by Submission (Armbar) at 4:06, R1
-Ian Berg def. Vadiano La Luz by Split Decision, R3
-Cat Albert def. Krystal Macatol by Submission (Armbar) at 0:51, R1
-Ralston Baker def. Ryan McKee by TKO (Strikes) at 2:02, R1
-Coy Sasses def. Rory O’Farrel by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 2:33, R1
-Angelo Gallegos def. Tyler Rodgers by Submission (Shoulder Crank), at 1:13 R2
-Rob Celani def. Jay Wymer by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 1:29, R1
-Cody East def. Zac Mathews Submission (Americana/Key Lock) at 1:14, R1
-Kevin Lucero def. Roberto Rodriguez by TKO (Strikes) at 2:23, R1
-John Doremus def. Phil Gonzalez by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 2:32, R2
-Matt Simms def. Travis Ramirez by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 1:13, R1