IDAHO FALLS – The most recent MMA fight card put together by Mountain Force and held in Idaho Falls just didn’t go the way that local fighter Aaron Jennings wanted.
He worked hard to get in the right condition and prepared hard for a fight against an Idaho Falls fighter by the name of Tony Ramirez.
Ramirez had a following and there was no doubt about it, mainly because he was a former wrestler at Bonneville High School and he was making his debut as an MMA fighter. Everyone was on the edge of their seats for the Saturday night event, scheduled to go as the third bout on the card.
The problem was that it never happened. Citing some incomplete forms required by the Idaho State Athletic Commission, Jennings was withdrawn from the bout, leaving Ramirez without a fight on the card. Some quick shuffling around presented a fight, but it wasn’t much of a contest. It would pit Ramirez, who weighs about 125 pounds, against a fighter named John Scheffler from Wyoming who weighed in at around 145 pounds and that is a lot of weight to concede, especially to a fighter with four fights under his belt.
It proved to be not much of a contest as Scheffler was able to get Ramirez in a choke hold and Ramirez tapped out at 46 seconds of the second round. Ramirez did show some ability in the fight and he will go on to be a very competent fighter as he matures. He simply was no match for Scheffler in his debut.
There did end up being a Blackfoot fighter on the card, as former all-star soccer player from Blackfoot High School Daniel Martinez stepped confidently into the octagon for the first bout of the night. His opponent was making his debut in Isaiah Silveira and the match was contested at 125 pounds. Martinez came into the fight with a record of 0-1.
Martinez had been working with Blackfoot legend Gabe Pelayo and looked fit and sharp at the beginning, but it didn’t last long. As is the case with young, inexperienced fighters, it only takes one little mistake and they find themselves in trouble that they cannot escape.
Martinez had gotten Silveira onto the mat with a nice wrestling move, but Silveira came right back with a move of his own, got the reversal and Martinez fell right into the trap of a reverse naked choke hold and he was forced to tap out at 43 seconds of the first round. That is the way it goes for these young fighters when they step into the octagon, you are never really sure what you are going to get.
The night went along with a number of interesting bouts, most of them with young fighters from Pocatello, Blackfoot and Idaho Falls matched up either against each other, or occasionally against a fighter from Boise.
Most of the bouts went a single round or maybe into the second round, but none was able to get the third round, which most of the matches are scheduled for.
The most impressive performance of the night was in bout 4, featuring a pair of debuting fighters in Anthony Castro and Pat Mendez. Mendez was from Pocatello and had a huge following that was left stunned at the outcome.
Castro raced into the fray, landing a quick punch to the head of Mendez that floored him immediately. Three more quick punches were landed and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight at nine seconds of the opening round due to striking and no defense offered up by Mendez. It was a stunning victory to say the least and Castro looks to have a bright future if this is what he has to offer.
Mendez said that he “simply got caught with a good punch right at the start and was too stunned to be able to offer up a defense. He was simply knocked off his feet and basically knocked out.”
The main event, which went as the final bout of the evening, featured a pair of professional MMA fighters in Aaron Sutton and Billy Carothers in the 170-pound weight class.
Carothers was returning to the octagon after a year and a half absence and was wanting to make a good showing in order to get more fights in the near future.
Sutton was the more experienced fighter of the two, with 19 fights to his credit and a record of 10-9.
Sutton came right into the match and for the first round looked to be in control of the fight, landing kicks and punches to Carothers, who tried to counter back with some high kicks of his own. It was looking like Sutton was gaining control of the fight through the first two rounds and he appeared to be in the lead on the judges’ score cards.
That was when everything changed, at least to Carothers. Whether Sutton was beginning to tire, or Carothers had simply been playing possom, Carothers took control with some very strong kicks in the third round, driving Sutton to the canvas. Carothers then maneuvered and was able to get a choke hold placed on Sutton and he eventually wore Sutton out when he had to tap out at 1:11 of the third round.
It was a very entertaining bout to climax the evening to the delight of the crowd.
The next major event that will be put on by Mountain Force will be on Sept. 21 in Logan, Utah, at the Eccles Ice Arena.
Tickets will be available soon and the 10-plus matches planned will include a rematch with Aaron Jennings and Anthony Ramirez. More details will be forthcoming regarding this match as the date gets closer.