Erick Sanchez, Hector Sandoval Impress at Combate Americas ‘Stockton’

Stockton, California, on Friday was treated to a fun night of action courtesy of Combate Americas.

Combate Americas “Stockton” was main evented by an exciting lightweight bout between Erick Sanchez and Alex Velasco at Stockton Arena. Sanchez (9-4) showed an edge in striking early on and maintained the pressure for the rest of the first round. The second frame saw the Team Alpha Male product take down Velasco (7-4) and control the action. Despite being behind and suffering a busted nose, Velasco never gave up and managed to employ some effective dirty boxing inside the clinch. That was not enough to win a decision, however, as the judges awarded the unanimous verdict to Sanchez with tallies of 30-27 and 29-28 (twice).

The co-main event was a spirited flyweight bout between Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Hector Sandoval and Jorge Calvo Martin. The Team Alpha Male product took control early, as he took down Martin (10-5) and controlled the first round with superior grappling. The second round was largely more of the same, as the Costa Rican was unable to keep it standing and was soundly outstruck by Sandoval (15-4) when the action was on the feet. The final frame was just as dominant as the first two, and “Kid Alex” cruised his way to a unanimous decision victory (30-24, 30-24, 30-25).

In preliminary action, Samuel “The Alley Cat” Alvarez made quick work of Ray Cervera in a 160-pound catchweight scrap. It took just 1:35 for Alvarez (4-3) to sink a rear-naked choke and force Cervera (9-10) to tap.

Eduardo Perez was nearly a foot taller than heavyweight counterpart Giovanni “Bam Bam” Sarran, but that was not enough to ensure victory. Perez (2-1) controlled the fight early, as he managed to outland his smaller opponent on the feet. In the second round, Perez put on an even more dominant showing, as he took Sarran’s back two separate times. However, Sarran (6-3) escaped a rear-naked choke attempt and locked in a north-south choke for the submission 4:35 into Round 2.

It was a successful mixed martial arts debut for Camilo Mejia, who used his wrestling to force Andreu Mendoza to taste defeat for the first time in his young career. Mejia (1-0) took down Mendoza (1-1) at will during the first round. However, his gas tank was tested by Mendoza, who managed to keep the fight standing in the second. The final frame was largely all Mejia, as he used his second wind to take the fight to the ground several times; even so, Mendoza landed some damaging strikes that bloodied his adversary and closed his left eye. The judges were split over the outcome: Two turned in scores of 29-28 Mejia, while the other had it 29-28 Mendoza.

Victor “El Desperado” Rico was victorious over Michael “Beast Mode” Humphrey in a bout between previously winless fighters. Rico (1-3) came in overweight for a planned featherweight affair and had the strength advantage over Humphrey (0-2). He used his power to clip “Beast Mode” standing with a right hook and knocked him to the ground. The ensuing flurry of punches forced referee Edward Collantes to call it off at 4:03 of the first round. Rico dedicated the win to his late father, who died in 2018.

In the opening contest of the night, prospect Joseph Kropschot kept his undefeated record intact by overcoming Marcus “The Gladiator” Gaines. Kropschot (4-0) did whatever he wanted during the first round, taking down Gaines (16-30-1) at will and landing some solid ground-and-pound. The second round was a different story, as “The Gladiator” managed to keep the fight standing for the bulk of the frame and outstruck his younger opponent. However, Kropschot eventually took him down, quickly got his back and cinched a rear-naked choke for the tap at 3:13.

The night ended with three postlim bouts. Irene Cabello Rivera was able to upset the undefeated Charisa Sigala via a well-earned split decision, Jordan Mapa picked up a TKO win via referee stoppage over Tino Gilaranz after he suffered an eye injury, and Anthony Taylor dominated Ryan Reneau to get a unanimous verdict.
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