Six of the 10 undercard mixed martial arts bouts in last Friday’s Rites of Passage 23: Beatdown ended quickly in the first round, while the other four needed two to determine the winners.
Jessme Jones earned a quick 33-second technical knockout win over Maegan Smith, while Red Ants Academy’s Sichiru Langu was forced to tap out on Ken Evans’ rear-naked-choke just 2:20 into the match. High Blood Pressure Guam’s Junar Jesus defeated Team Tinian’s Corey San Nicolas by RNC, 1:15 into the match, while Steel Athletics’ Angel Oliveras needed only 2:58 in completing a TKO victory over Luta Top Team’s John Mendiola.
LTT’s L.D. Ogo earned his first MMA win when he forced Team Tinian’s Napu “Fong Fung” Reyes to tap out via RNC with 1:47 gone bye in the first round, while visiting South Korean Seung Jun Lee of Korean Top Team defeated Zalaka’s Fradley Jepen via TKO at the 4:36 mark of the first round in their 215-lb bout.
Though several fights ended early, the 23rd installment of the amateur showdown at the Marianas Business Plaza was still action-packed and so intense that commotion erupted after a duel between a Tinian fighter and Saipan bet.
It happened after referee Mike Ulloa chose to stop the fight between Saipan’s Andres “The Tanapag Beach Bad Boy” Camacho and Team Tinian’s Austin John King with the former earning the win at the 2:54 mark of the second round.
The decision did not sit well with Team Tinian’s corner, while some of their supporters even charged to their side, in clear protest against Ulloa’s somewhat controversial call. Event bouncers were called in to pacify some members of the Tinian crowd.
Before that incident, King was down and trying to cover his face against the barrage of punches from Camacho. Some spectators also said that Camacho allegedly kicked King, while the latter was down. Ulloa could have seen that King was no longer engaging and for the fighter’s safety, the official chose to jump in and stop the fight.
Fight promoter Cuki Alvarez addressed the crowd a few minutes later, apologizing for what happened and reiterated the importance of each fighter’s safety in friendly, but competitive mixed martial arts matches.