Alvarez and Daley Shine in ShoXC

By Joe Hall and Tom Casino/EliteXC Jan 26, 2008
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., Jan. 25 -- Eddie Alvarez (Pictures) came out of his corner in a low stance Friday night and did what must have struck his raucous followers from nearby Philadelphia as odd.

He shot for a takedown. And he got it, too.

The Philly fight fans who arrive in droves for Alvarez's bouts have no doubt grown accustomed to watching him slug it out on the feet. Still, they cheered all the same after the local up-and-comer took down Hawaii's Ross Ebanez (Pictures) in a 165-pound ShoXC main event bout at Trump Taj Mahal.

The first five minutes featured a well-rounded performance by the 24-year-old Alvarez. He postured up and punched on the ground, wrestled well and threw knees in the clinch, and then flurried as he backed Ebanez into the cage.

At one point, after Alvarez had let his hands loose and dropped Ebanez (16-6, 3 NC) face-first to the mat, a collective roar came out of the Philly fans. The medics were quick to respond, too, bounding up on the platform to get inside the cage.

Of course, the blue-gloved team of four stopped just before they entered, then climbed back down, looking a little embarrassed. Ebanez was back on his feet and still fighting.

Alvarez has knocked out a few opponents around here. People get used to it.

The end came in the second round. Ebanez landed a good left hand early, but a single-leg takedown put him on his back again. Then during a scramble, Alvarez, from his knees, busted Ebanez on the button. He pounced on his hurt foe, finishing him at 2:32.

"I proved I can put guys away at 170," said Alvarez, now 12-1, who's future in EliteXC is at 160 pounds. "I'm just going to do it at 160 [and] in more devastating fashion."

Sam Morgan (Pictures) took Paul Daley (Pictures) down twice early in their welterweight fight. It was exactly what Morgan needed to do: nullify the Englishman's superior striking by forcing him to fight off his back.

But Morgan couldn't keep him down. Daley got to his feet once and was stood by referee Dan Miragliotta, perhaps hastily, the second time. At that point, Daley began stuffing Morgan's takedowns, and the end drew near.

As Morgan tried to close the distance, Daley kept clinching with him and punishing him with knees.

The shot that ended it was a right elbow -- "from hell," said commentator Stephen Quadros during Daley's post-fight interview -- that dropped Morgan (19-10) to his knees at 2:12 of the first round.

"No one can f--- with me standing," said the 24-year-old Daley after his win. "All they can do is take me down."

The man nicknamed "Semtex," who improved to 17-6-2, wasn't short on confidence. Expected to drop to 160 pounds, Daley welcomed a bout with Alvarez by guaranteeing he would not lose. He then announced that he was "the best," which, here on Alvarez's turf, will get you booed.

In a 150-pound fight, Bao Quach (Pictures) won a unanimous decision over South Boston's Bobby McMaster (Pictures). The 28-year-old Quach, fighting out of Huntington Beach, Calif., peppered his opponent with kicks for most of the opening round. McMaster managed a slam, but the takedown couldn't make up for the kicks he had absorbed.

The fighters traded stiff strikes throughout a good second round. McMaster worked a big right hand, though Quach (12-8-1) continued with his kicks and connected with a solid body shot before the round concluded.

The fight slowed in the third. Quach took the center of the cage, stalked forward and resumed chopping into McMaster's legs with kicks. Seeming to tire, McMaster (7-2) swung for a few homeruns that missed. A late body-lock takedown sealed the round for Quach, who was awarded the fight 29-28, 30-27, 30-27.

Tonya Evinger (Pictures) had no trouble with Julie Kedzie (Pictures) in a 140-pound bout. Fighting out of Reno, Nev., and representing Ken Shamrock (Pictures)'s camp, the 23-year-old Evinger tossed her opponent to the mat and quickly took her back. Kedzie tucked her chin in defense, but Evinger had already wrapped in both hooks. The rear-naked choke came after a brief struggle, 1:43 into the round.

"It went exactly like I planned," Evinger said post-fight, adding that she had considered trading strikes, "but the clinch was too easy."

With the win, Evinger improved to 5-4. Kedzie, who had trained with Greg Jackson in New Mexico for the fight, fell to 9-6.

Frederic Belleton's leg kicks had Kala Hose doing a strange little dance number early in their middleweight fight. Billed as a "traditional martial artist," the 38-year-old Belleton smacked his kicks into Hose's legs and kept the hard-hitting Hawaiian at a safe distance.

Midway through the round, though, the 25-year-old Hose crossed that distance and began ripping rights and lefts into the older man's body.

"He didn't like me pressing the game," Hose, now 5-1, said afterward, "so I kept on pressing it as much as I could."

Belleton (5-2) took some good shots and kept fighting until the final combo. After pounding on his body, Hose went upstairs with a left and a right that floored Belleton and ended the match at 4:32 of the first.

Dark Bouts

Charlie Brenneman defeated Drew Puzon via split decision in a welterweight fight that was mostly grappling. A competitive first round gave way to a slow second and a close finale. After 15 minutes, two judges gave Brenneman, 5-0, the nod (29-28, 30-27) and one gave the fight to the Puzon (29-28), whose record dropped to 1-2.

Philadelphia's Wilson Reis showed an impressive ground game in his 140-pound win over Zach Makovsky. Late in the first stanza, Reis (3-0) transitioned from back-control to an armbar but lost the submission when he was dumped on his head. He fixed that fault in the second round by pinning Makovsky (3-1) to the mat and locking on an arm-triangle choke at 1:15.

At 160 pounds, it took James Jones (5-6) just 1:12 to wrench an arm up the back of Mark Getto (1-4-1) for a fight-ending Kimura shoulder lock.

Brett Linebarger knocked out an exhausted Sergio Vinagre at the 2:29 mark of the third round. Making his professional debut, Linebarger scored five takedowns in the middleweight bout. Vinagre (2-1) threatened from his back twice: once with a guillotine and once with an armbar. He was too tired to keep his hands up late, though, and Linebarger (1-0) ended his night with a left hand.

In the opening bout, Matt Makowski (2-0) out-grappled Joe Schilling (0-1) before finishing him with an arm-triangle choke 4:01 into the first round of their welterweight fight.
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