Jimmy Jones hung in there against Chris Beal, but couldn’t convince the judges. | Photo: Dave Mandel
COMMERCE, Calif. -- Numerous last-minute lineup changes took their toll on BAMMA USA’s “BadBeat 4” card Friday night at the Commerce Casino. Headliner Gabe Ruediger saw two opponents, Brandon Anderson and Musa Toliver, scratched from the main event, the latter on the day of the show, leaving the promotion little choice but to scrap Ruegider’s bout altogether. A women’s bout between model-slash-fighter Rachel Cummins and Jackie Vandenburgh was also canceled.
The co-feature clash of undefeated bantamweights Chris Beal and Jimmy Jones found itself as the impromptu main event, and the two turned in the fight of the night, albeit one mired in controversy. The first round saw Xtreme Couture product Jones poking away at Beal with a variety of bothersome, if not particularly devastating, kicks. Beal attempted to counter with punch flurries which largely found nothing but air, and a single takedown paid little dividends as Beal found no way past Jones’ guard.
The second round saw Jones and Beal in multiple ground scrambles, during one of which Jones worked from his back to lock up a tight triangle choke attempt, as well as a kimura which Beal later admitted popped his shoulder. Beal gutted out every situation but found himself almost constantly on the defensive.
The third round was more promising for Beal. Though he still found himself unable to advance position, Beal began delivering effective knees to the body and punches to the head of his stacked-up opponent. Jones would eventually turn the tables, though, taking Beal’s back, securing a body triangle and threatening repeatedly with rear-naked choke attempts.
Though he escaped the position as time expired, it seemed as though local favorite Beal had been largely dominated, with Sherdog.com scoring the bout 30-28 in favor of Jones. Judge Luis Cobian also saw the bout wide for Jones with a 30-27 scorecard, but Stephen Davis and Abe Belardo both awarded Beal 29-28 scorecards, giving “The Real Deal” the victory and costing Jones’ his unblemished record.
In a 180-pound catchweight bout, Mike Jasper of Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA found all he could handle in unheralded Miguel Cosio, a lanky journeyman whose unimpressive 1-9 mark was not seen fit to be announced to the attending crowd. A nearly 7-year veteran who had not seen the second round since 2008, Cosio looked to be nothing more than enhancement talent for the local favorite.
Little went according to plan, however, as Jasper found himself eating knees from his taller opponent in the clinch. Jasper’s takedown attempts were largely rebuffed, and when he did manage to bring his man down, he found himself entangled in the submission attempts of Cosio, who attempted to finish with more determination than actual technique. The closest call was a third-round kneebar attempt that seemed especially precarious if not for Cosio’s lack of ground acumen.
After having arguably dropped the first two rounds, Jasper finally came alive in the final frame, catching Cosio with hard hooks and uppercuts before taking mount and blasting away at his fatigued foe with heavy punches and thudding elbows. The referee called a halt to the action at 2:13 of round three, Jasper improving to 3-0 with the TKO victory, though the victory did little to enhance his veneer going forward.
In the evening’s sole heavyweight bout, gigantic Jack May entered the cage to raucous support from the crowd, who showered the towering Combat Submission Wrestling representative’s every move with applause, even as he found his takedown attempts thwarted by Jeremiah Martinez. May’s attempts to bring the fight to the floor met with little success, but they cleared the path to victory: a Martinez whizzer left him open for a pair of May lefts that flattened the rotund heavyweight, prompting referee Jason Herzog to halt the bout after just 52 seconds and giving May the TKO victory.
Joe Stevenson-trained lightweight Joe Condon made quick work of Vince Ortiz, submitting the Bodyshop Fitness Team rep with a rear naked choke at 3:26 of round one. Condon timed a double-leg under an Ortiz punch, then methodically worked to pass Ortiz’s legs, obtain mount and take back-control before attempting to sink the choke in, viciously cross-facing Ortiz. Ortiz fought momentarily, but Condon eventually slipped his forearm under Ortiz’s chin to elicit the tap, breaking a three-fight skid that accounted for the first losses of his career.
Southern California staple Bobby Sanchez snapped an 11-fight losing streak with a speedy technical submission win over would-be main-eventer Brandon Anderson. Sanchez brought the fight to the ground with a high-amplitude double-leg takedown into side control, where an Anderson headlock left him unable to defend Sanchez’s follow-up guillotine choke. Sanchez quickly trapped Anderson’s near leg and arched his back, choking his hapless foe unconscious and prompting referee Jason Herzog to step in after only 50 seconds.
In the night’s first pro bout, featherweight Eric Winston took on late replacement Josh Williams in a fight marked largely by jockeying for position against the cage and punctuated by jeers from the crowd. Ultimately, it was to be local favorite Winston’s aggression and more accurate blows that would sway two judges in his favor, earning him a split decision on scores of 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28.
In amateur action, unbeaten 215-pound cruiserweight Chris Schommer survived a first-round barrage from mount at the hands of Robert Pelayo to score a quick double-leg and brabo choke for the submission at 50 seconds of the second round. In a sloppy and spirited welterweight bout, Christian Aguilera landed the harder blows and fought through a late surge to hand Andrew Detwiler his first amateur defeat via unanimous decision (29.5-28.5, 29.5-28, 29.5-28). Middleweight Jim Mendez earned his first win by assaulting tough-but-overmatched Jose Gonzalez for the TKO at 43 seconds of the first round. At 153 pounds, Bryan Payan repeatedly grounded and stifled Edgar Gonzalez on the mat, though the judges ultimately favored Gonzalez’ activity off of his back, awarding him a majority decision on scores of 29-29, 29.5-28.5 and 30-27. David Duran used a dominant top game and repeated submission attempts to secure a unanimous decision over Edwin de Santiago at 135lbs.