The finishes continued to flow in Combate Americas’ second weekly Monday night show in Los Angeles.
The show’s 140-pound headliner between John Castaneda (10-2) and Gabriel Solorio (13-12) was one of only two main-card bouts to require the judges. Even so, there was no shortage of action between the featherweights inside “La Jaula.”
After trading punches on the feet with Solorio in a fairly even opening round, Castaneda took control of the second stanza with a takedown and heavy top pressure. Solorio remained aggressive while on his back -- and even moreso on his feet at the start of round three -- but Castaneda’s wrestling saw him to victory in the end. The judges submitted disparate scorecards, with Mike Bell and Nelson “Doc” Hamilton scoring the bout 29-28 and 30-26 for Castaneda, respectively, while Gene LeBell saw it 29-28 in favor of Solorio.
Castaneda improved his winning streak to five in a row, including three straight inside his new home promotion.
Atomweight grappler Kyra Batara (5-3) continued her hot streak inside the Combate Americas cage with a third consecutive win in the evening’s co-main event.
Batara knocked down Jenny Silverio (4-2) with a left hook to the jaw in the early going of the 105-pound tilt; from there, the 10-Planet Jiu-Jitsu of “Mogwai” took control. Following numerous submission attempts, Batara locked Silverio in a twister and dropped more than three dozen speedy punches on her unprotected face, forcing referee Herb Dean to intervene at 4:13 of the second round.
“When I got that twister, I was like, ‘I could get the twister, I could be pretty,’ or I could make it dirty, grind her out and get that TKO,” said Batara, who called for a shot at the as-yet-unestablished Combate Americas atomweight championship. “I just wanted to have an entertaining fight, so I’m happy with my performance.”
Marcos Bonilla (3-2) prevailed over “Ruthless” Rudy Morales (3-4) in a featherweight battle waged in the clinch and on the floor. The judges favored Bonilla’s stretches of effective offense over Morales’ taunts and reckless aggression, giving a unanimous nod to “Murder Marx” with scores of 30-27 (twice) and 30-26.
The first women’s bout of the night saw 129-pound Paola Ramirez (1-1) drop Amber Tackett (1-3) with a lunging Superman punch, prompting referee Dean to step in and save the dazed Tackett at 4:05 of round one.
Unbeaten flyweight prospect Heinrich Wassmer (4-0) kept his spotless record intact with the third submission win of his young pro career. After escaping an early guillotine choke, “Ricky Scraps” dominated Ramos Cruz (2-3) on the ground and scored a dramatic armbar submission with only four seconds left in the opening round.
Christian Gonzalez (1-0) took a round to get started in his pro debut, but once he did, it was bad news for Hector Saldana (1-2). A towering 6-foot-4 welterweight, Gonzalez unloaded on Saldana from range with savage combinations and slashing elbows until referee Dean mercifully stopped the contest at 3:48 of round two.
At 140 pounds, Luke Faultersack (2-1) attempted to use takedowns to neutralize the muay Thai skills of Joey Ruquet (3-1), only to encounter more danger on the ground. “El Cazador” threatened Faultersack with an armbar before putting the previously unbeaten fighter to sleep with an anaconda choke at 4:28 of round two.
A nasty ground elbow from Yoandy Carrillo (2-0) opened a gushing cut on the forehead of George Hernandez (4-2) in the first frame of their 166-pound catchweight bout. However, the Cuban finished his work on the feet, flooring Hernandez with a lightning-fast combination just 19 seconds into round two.
In a trio of untelevised bouts: former two-division King of the Cage champ Tony Lopez (41-21) used a guillotine choke to put away fellow veteran Shannon Ritch (59-85) at 1:45 of their 208-pound catchweight matchup; Adin Duenas (4-1) earned a unanimous decision over Oliver Vazquez (6-2) at featherweight; and Erick “The Ghost Pepper” Gonzalez (4-1) won a narrow split decision in a lightweight bout with Victor Martinez (6-4).