Hermes Franca Dominates Again

Hermes Franca at Total Combat 14

Hermes Franca at Total Combat 14

by Dave Mandel for

One of the best MMA promotions in the state of California, Total Combat, once again delivered a great night of fights at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Saturday night.

The main event of the night pitted UFC veteran and current WEC Lightweight Champion Hermes Franca against California native Toby Imada, who was a late replacement for the injured Adam Lynn.

Franca was in great form and had little trouble in this fight, ending it just 53 seconds into the first round with an armbar submission. Franca is on a good winning streak this year, having already beaten Team Quest’s Ryan Schultz and winning the WEC title from Gabe Ruediger back in March. With the UFC’s re-introduction of the 155-pound weight class, it would seem to be only a matter of time before we see Hermes fighting in the UFC once again.

Mexican fighter Edwin Aguilar faced off against Hilo, Hawaii’s Jay Carter. Carter, who fights out of the BJ Penn MMA camp, had a good first round, controlling the ground, clinch, and stand-up action.

Aguilar came out a lot stronger in the second round. After taking Carter down, Aguilar was able to get the mount and rain down the punches, to which Carter could offer no response. The referee stopped the bout at 3:31 of the second round.

Local favorite Alex Garcia had what initially appeared to be a dominant showing over King of the Cage veteran Shad Smith. Garcia was able to score with a few big slams throughout the fight and nearly knocked Smith out in the first round. Garcia threw great knees from the clinch and landed some good punches from Smith’s guard.

Though Smith seemed likely to weather the storm, it seemed to be apparent that Garcia would take the decision easily. Midway through the third round, Garcia shot in for a takedown with his head a little bit too high, which allowed for Smith to get his arm under Garcia’s chin and sink in the guillotine choke. So, Shad Smith won the fight via submission at 2:35 of the third round.

Making her MMA debut, Crystal Harris fought a tough three-round war with Kellyn Huehn in the first ever sanctioned women’s MMA bout in the state of California. Both women came out firing right from the opening bell and fought one of the best fights of the night. Although Harris was winning the strength battle, Huehn seemed to exhibit a bit more ring dominance, attempting a few submissions (although Harris was able to defend them). It was a close fight, but at the end of the bout, Harris was given the nod from the judges and won a majority decision.

Making his third appearance for Total Combat, Ed “9mm” Ratcliff is something to see. Ratcliff had a hard time in the first round with Phoenix, Arizona’s Jamie Schmidt, but Ratcliff was still able to survive a tough slam, a kimura, and a reverse triangle.

Although Ratcliff’s Sakuraba-esque flip kick seemed to do little or no damage, the same cannot be said for his vicious high spinning back kick. Ratcliff’s kick was enough to badly stun Schmidt, who then was taken down by Ratcliff and pounded until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. After the fight, when asked what it was that he belives won the fight for him, Ratcliff simply bellowed, “Karate, bitches!”

Total Combat 14 Full Results:

-Hermes Franca def. Toby Imada via submission (armbar) at :53 of Round 1

-Edwin Aguilar def. Jay Carter via TKO (referee stoppage) at 3:31 of Round 2

-Shad Smith def. Alex Garcia via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:35 of Round 3

-Crystal Harris def. Kellyn Huehn via majority decision

-Ed Ratcliff def. Jamie Schmidt via TKO (referee stoppage) at 1:14 of Round 2

-Gary Padilla def. Josh Griggs via unanimous decision

-Tim Persey def. Allan Sullivan via TKO (referee stoppage) at 1:35 of Round 1

-Josh Williams def. Grant Whitmer via KO at :35 of Round 1

-Richard Dalton def. Tony Velarde via TKO (corner stoppage) at end of Round 2

-Chance Farrar def. Jeremy McHon via TKO (doctor stoppage) at 1:53 of Round 2

-Ryan Smith def. Fred Leavy via unanimous decision