by Ken Pishna (Photos by April Pishna)
(Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Jose Luis Murillo choking out Pete Vandervort; Jack Johnson pounding out Billy Dixon; Clint Godfrey applies the triangle on Tom Johnson; Isaac Schaaf punching and then kneeing Orlando Martinez; the Kick Down Angels. Photos by April Pishna.)
I don’t know if it’s just the fact that there were 11 mixed martial arts fights on the card or what, but Kick Down 20 has to go down as one of the best Kick Down shows that I have attended. And trust me, living in the promotion’s home base of Denver; I’ve been to nearly all of them.
Not many of the fighters that stepped in the ring this past Saturday night are really that well known outside of the Denver area and they are all currently amateurs, but they were paired up in what resulted in some very entertaining fights.
The night kicked off with a stunning come from behind victory by Jose Luis Murillo, who improved his record to 6-2. He was manhandled by Kick Down veteran Pete Vandervort throughout the first two rounds, but came back to finish the fight in stunning fashion with a standing guillotine choke less than a minute into the third round.
Florida imports Eric Asocella and Isaac Schaaf came to Denver on a mission. Both fighters completely steam rolled their opponents with neither fight going out of the first round. I don’t know who’s been training these two, but they both are very aggressive and seem to be pretty adept in all areas.
Consistently impressive as a kickboxer, Jack Johnson made his MMA debut in impressive fashion, pounding Billy Dixon into submission just after the second round started. Grappler’s Edge fighter Mark Leeling, trained by Sheldon Marr, kept his undefeated streak alive by brutalizing Eric Lee throughout the first round, so much so that Lee couldn’t answer the bell for round two. Clint Godfrey, of Rapid City, South Dakota, looks like he could be ready to go pro at any time. He improved his record to 9-3 with an impressive triangle choke submission of Tom Johnson.
Even the kickboxers got in on the action. Patrick Cox and Colby Snyder, in a rematch, once again went the distance in a very competitive bout that saw Cox earn a split decision.
I have long said that the Kick Down is one of the best amateur promotions in the country. Obviously there aren’t going to be any big names on such an event, but promoter Steve Alley has consistently streamlined his show and built it into a very successful draw in the Denver area. The matchmaking continues to improve, show by show, as evidenced with the highly entertaining bouts on Saturday night. If you’re a fight fan, you don’t want to miss it.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS:
Jose Luis Murillo def. Pete Vandervort by Standing Guillotine Choke at 0:52 of Round 1
Eric Asocella def. Mike Temple by Submission to Strikes at 2:24 of Round 1
John Sargent def. Tom Cook by Arm Bar at 1:02 of Round 2
Eric Fagyas def. Jeff Gee by Rear Naked Choke at 0:32 of Round 1
Lannon Quintana def. Manuel Gallardo by Unanimous Decision
Ted Cano def. Tony Kelly by Unanimous Decision
Isaac Schaaf def. Orlando Martinez by TKO at 1:17 of Round 1
Jack Johnson def. Billy Dixon by Verbal Submission at 0:38 of Round 2
Mark Leeling def. Eric Lee by TKO at 3:00 of Round 1
Spencer Hooker def. Rocky Ramirez by Rear Naked Choke at 0:32 of Round 1
Clint Godfrey def. Tom Johnson by Triangle Choke at 2:03 of Round 1
Oner Asir def. Chad Johnson by Unanimous Decision
Chris Thompson def. Rob Graff by Unanimous Decision
Patrick Cox def. Colby Snyder by Split Decision