Surprised that his opponent chose to wait until after the action was stopped to land his best punch, Chris Jones was even more surprised that the King of the Cage: Perennial card's main event even lasted as long as it did.
"That choke I had on him, it would have taken out most guys," said the Durango Martial Arts-trained Jones, referring to a 'guillotine' grip which rendered Isaac London vulnerable earlier in the first of three scheduled five-minute rounds, "so I'm pretty impressed he got out of that!"
"He just kind of fell into it," Jones continued, "and, you know, it's named that because-usually-one good 'lop' and the head comes off. But I was really amazed; he really did an incredible move.pendulum'ed his legs and swung 'em so he could create velocity to pull out!"
But after pulling out of one predicament, the outsider from Surrey, London, England, quickly found himself trapped in another as Jones began pounding away-leading referee Mike Beltran to halt the bout only 1 minute, 49 seconds after it began Saturday night, July 21, in view of a nearly-full Sky Ute Casino Resort Events Center crowd.
"I didn't know anything about him, so I didn't have much of a game plan; it was, kind of, 'improv'ing out there...going by the seat of my pants," said Jones, who weighed 154 pounds (London was 153) for the junior welterweight clash, which had a weight limit of 160 pounds.
"He was wily, a little crazy, and I felt like I was hitting him pretty hard, but he was hard to get control of," Jones added. "But that's just the way it is; you've got to go out there and play the game, see what happens! You don't always know everything about your opponent."
Ater the fight, Jones laughed about his unknown foe's near-escape maneuver.
"I think he 'improv'd it himself, so it's something I might have to steal!"
With the technical-knockout victory, Jones improved to 6-0 as a pro; London dropped to 0-3.
"He was a strong dude," said Jones, "but I can promise you it was just a matter of time.."
UP FOR GRABS: Two KOTC title belts were on the line as part of the eight-bout lineup, with Albuquerque's Jayme Hinshaw retaining Women's World Atomweight Champion status against Houston's Bi 'Killer Bee' Nguyen in the scrap. The bout was a rematch of their KOTC: New Blood encounter last February, which Nguyen took by split decision-immediately preceding Jones-London.
"Tonight you're going to see a whole different Jayme Hinshaw," she'd stated in a promotional video played for fans prior to the fighters' entrance. "It's not the same fighter that she's fought before."
"My belt.. I'm not going to let anyone take it away from me."
Able to get inside Nguyen's guard and land a few blows, bloodying Nguyen's nose, before the first five-minute frame expired, Hinshaw settled the issue 4:01 into the second with a rear naked choke to win by submission.
"I watched Bi Nguyen fight before-her last fight with Cassie Robb-just because I knew the winner was going to face me next," Hinshaw said afterwards. "But that's about it; I don't really study on her."
"I wanted to show I could do more than just grapple," she continued. "But you get on your back.you'd better know how to get out of it."
Having weighed in at 104 pounds, Hinshaw improved her pro record to 4-3 while Nguyen, coming in at 105.8 after a split-decision win back in February over the aforementioned Robb, dipped to 4-3.
With the KOTC World Junior Welterweight strap at stake, Albuquerque's undefeated Sherwin 'The Genius' Price broke Jake 'Break' Adams' title hopes, forcing the Gillette, Wyo., man to tap 2:03 into the third of five scheduled five-minute rounds, with both contestants having weighed in just under the 160-pound limit.
Already twice a winner over London in his pro career, Price (158.2) not only showed an ability to land multiple hard right hands while upright, but also to take Adams (159) down and even work out of danger when Adams appeared to have gained an advantage atop him.
But in the end Price executed a submission move known as an uma plata (or omoplata)-using his legs to lock onto, immobilize, and hyper-stress Adams' shoulder and/or elbow-to improve to 5-0 while Adams dropped to 1-3.
The final pro pairing saw Blanding, Utah's Oliver Parker (8-6) submit Milwaukee, Wisconsin's well-traveled Jay Ellis (15-80) by rear naked choke 2:37 into the first (of three scheduled) five-minute round. For the fight, capped at KOTC's welterweight limit of 170 pounds, Parker checked in at 168.4 while Ellis entered weighing 165.
"I really had to.even myself out, kind of center myself, and know my positioning," said Parker. "That's the main thing I wanted to focus on tonight. I kind of got into an uphill battle at the beginning.I was underneath him, but I just waited it out. Took some shots, but I was able to scramble and get into a more beneficial position."
GOOD IMPRESSIONS: Asked afterwards how it felt to close out the first-ever KOTC card held in Ignacio, Jones-the first owner and head instructor at DMA, who hadn't fought as a pro since 2011-was pleased with the event and crowd turnout.
"I wanted it to be a success, wanted people to remember that there's still some fighters around here. And you know, me kind of being one of the 'older dogs' around, having a lot of friends and family.I knew I could probably be a good draw," he said. "What I really, really hoped would happen tonight was that I inspired somebody out there to come take my place, so I could come watch YOU in the main event!"
"I kind of talked myself into it like, 'You've got to be on this card, inspire these younger athletes to come out and train!'" he continued. "If it can just have a ripple and affect everybody else, that's what it's mostly about."
Currently preparing to defend her Ultimate Fighting Championship Women's World Flyweight title in September at UFC 228, special guest Nicco Montano, of the same FIT/NHB roster as Hinshaw and Price, also enjoyed the event.
"Absolutely, yeah. The southwest definitely has some resilient fighters, some pretty strong athletes," she said. "The first coach I ever trained with was Chris Jones-the headliner tonight-and he won his fight. And DMA.that's where I grew up, that's where I got my ground work."
"And all of my teammates.won their fights, so it was.a very impressive fight card."
AMATEUR RESULTS: Fight 1 (3 rounds, 3 minutes each, limit 145 pounds)-Francisco Dominguez def. Angelo Trujillo by submission (guillotine choke), 0:40, R1; Fight 2 (3x3, 135 lbs.)-Jorge Kanakoqui def. David Archuleta by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26); Fight 3 (3x3, 135 lbs.)-Derrick Pringle def. Alen Dudo by submission (rear naked choke), 1:46, R1; Fight 4 (3x3, 115 lbs.)-Austin Lewis def. Oscar Herrera by knockout, 0:22, R3.