by Ken Pishna (Photos courtesy of April Pishna)
event of back-to-back weeks of Kick Down events this past weeken
(Photos courtesy of April Pishna, PishnaPhoto.com)
DENVER – Longtime regional promoter Steve Alley held
the first show of back-to-back weeks of Kick Down events this past weekend in
Denver, Colorado. The Kick Down is not heavy on national star power, but
provides a proving ground for the region’s growing pool of talented amateur and
up-and-coming professional mixed martial artists.
This most recent installment, the promotion’s 39th,
featured a main event of popular and longtime local standouts Pete Vandervort
and Tom Johnson. Vandervort scored the early takedown, but during successive
reversals, Johnson locked on a tight triangle choke. He wasn’t able to finish
with the choke, but it set up an arm bar that had Vandervort tapping, earning
Johnson the honor of becoming the first ever Kick Down Professional Featherweight
In a battle between two more popular Kick Down veterans,
Manuel Gallardo kept John Sargent on the skids securing a knee bar for the win
at the 2:02 mark.
Bud Lawson stepped up for a shot at the middleweight amateur
MMA title on Saturday night when many people felt he might never fight again.
Recovering from a fused vertebrae, Lawson quickly found himself mounted before
executing a sweep while Simon Gonzalez attempted an Americana. Following the
reversal, Lawson ground and pounded Gonzalez into giving up his back and then
sunk in the rear naked choke for the win.
In reference to the fused vertebrae and overcoming the
struggle to get back in the ring, Lawson simply said, “I just wanted to fight.”
Fight he did and walked away with a championship belt for his trouble.
Earlier in the night, it looked as if young Prentice Ingram
was going to do away with 42-year-old Lawrence Gaytan with a brutal flurry of
strikes in the opening moments of their bout. To his credit, Gaytan fought
back, suplexed Ingram, and nearly stole the fight. But in the end, Ingram’s
hand speed and power were overwhelming, leaving Gaytan face down on the mat and
Ingram with his hand raised in victory.
Ingram and Gaytan fought a relentlessly paced three minutes
in what promoter Steve Alley deservedly crowned “Fight of the Night.”
Kick Down makes a quick turnaround and heads on the road to
Casper, Wyoming for another show this weekend. “Thunderstorm” rolls into Casper
this Saturday night at the Fair Grounds Industrial Building.
KICKDOWN 39 FULL RESULTS:
def. Pete Vandervort by Submission (Arm Bar) at 1:20, R1
Gallardo def. John Sargent by Submission (Knee Bar) at 2:02, R2
Damon Sena def. Joey Welch by Submission (Arm Bar) at 1:13,
def. Simon Gonzalez by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:12, R1
def. Kevin Carter by Submission (Arm Bar) at 1:57, R1
Ingram def. Lawrence Gaytan by KO at 2:54, R1
Jaramillo def. Garth Heth by TKO (Strikes) at 1:16, R2
Parker def. Mike Gallardo by TKO (Strikes) at 1:35, R1
Nathan Gates def. Jeremiah Arellano by Submission (Rear
Naked Choke) at 0:50, R1
MODIFIED MUAY THAI
Rachael Sahlberg def. Kim Blanchard by Unanimous Decision,