There were highlights aplenty during the latest EliteXC presentation of ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series Saturday on SHOWTIME at the Table Mountain Casino. In a tough, hard fight, undefeated Giva “The Arm Collector’’ Santana established what is believed to be a mixed martial arts world record with his 10th consecutive victory by first-round submission, all by – what else ? — arm bar. Comebacking Fabricio “Morango” Camoes was sensational in his EliteXC and United States debut, Shayna “The Queen Of Spades’’ Baszler was phenomenal – again – and underrated Bao Quach won his seventh straight in a match he took on two day’s notice. But fans and viewers were left with a sour taste after an eagerly anticipated main event was stopped – most agreed, prematurely – by the referee 15 seconds after it began. Once-beaten Po’ai Suganuma (9-1), of Hilo, Hawaii, was declared the winner over previously undefeated Jared Hamman (10-1) of San Bernardino, Calif., in a fight most felt should have been allowed to continue at least for a few more seconds. Suganuma had rocked Hamman with a right hand, and then the Hawaiian dropped him with a beautiful right knee to the face. But a moment before he could pounce and land what potentially might have been the finishing blow, or blows, he was pulled off by the referee and declared a TKO winner. “No one likes to win in controversial fashion,’’ Suganuma said. “I thought I had him dazed but I don’t think he was completely out. I was a little surprised the ref did what he did but only because I wanted to hit him again. If he wants to fight again, that’s fine with me. Let’s do it.’’ The generally gentleman-like Hamman, a college football coach, was lived afterward. “I am so mad right know,’’ he said. “I don’t know what happened or why it was stopped. I wanted to keep fighting. I felt I could keep fighting. I don’t want to make excuses. I absolutely want a rematch.’’ A return match will definitely be made, EliteXC Live Events Vice President Jared Shaw promised. “You can bet there will be a rematch in the near future,’’ he said. “No one is more concerned for a fighter’s safety than we are, but this fight was just stopped too soon.’’ There was no controversy in the four other televised fights that aired on SHOWTIME at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). The card was the third in three weeks for Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.’s live fight division,
Elite XC – all on SHOWTIME — and fifth in 29 days. Camoes (10-4), a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who was making his first start since Oct. 7, 2006, registered a scintillating 3:30, first-round TKO (strikes) over Joe Camacho (10-14-3) of Los Angeles in a 160-pound fight. “I worked hard for this but did not think it would end that fast,’’ said the talented Camoes, who resides in San Diego Calif., and once went 27 minutes with Anderson Silva before losing. “But I am very happy. I wanted to give a spectacular showing for the fans. I thank EliteXC and all involved for giving me the opportunity. I came to the United States to fight for the belt. I look forward to fighting anybody that will get me closer to achieving my goal.’’
Baszler (11-4) of Sioux Falls, S.D., scored her fourth consecutive first-round victory when she submitted (neck crank) Keiko “Tama Chan’’ Tamai(16-15) at 2:05 of a dazzling 140-pound skirmish. The rapidly improving, confident Baszler, who enters the cage with a guitar,
struck all the right chords as she dispensed another splendid performance in what may have been the fight of the night. “I really wanted to give the fans something to think about and talk about later and I think I did,’’ said Baszler, who overcame a quick start from Tamai to dominate. At one point, Baszler brought the crowd to their feet with a reverse body slam. “I wanted to stand more, and probably could have done a little more a lot faster, but I was under control,’’ Baszler said. “I expected her to come out aggressively. It’s time for others in my weight class to realize that when they enter the cage to face me they are entering my world. “I am ready to fight anybody next and would love to fight Tara LaRosa again.’’
Santana (12-0) of Irvine, Calif., submitted southpaw Matt “Luke Duke’’ Lucas (9-1) of Phoenix, Ariz., at 4:49 of the first round in a battle of unbeatens at 185 pounds. “I feel great but this was definitely one of my toughest fights,’’ said Santana after adding another arm to his mantle. “He is a great fighter, but I got him.’’
In the telecast’s opening fight, Quach (13-8-1) of Irvine, Calif., scored a 55-second, first-round TKO (strikes) over Doug Evans (6-3) of Anchorage, Alaska, in a bout at 140 pounds.
Quach avoided an early takedown attempt by Evans, landed two big right hands that dropped Evans and then pounced on him and landed two more shots before the ref stepped in.
“No way I thought it would go that quick,’’ said Quach after registering his second consecutive minor upset on ShoXC. On Jan. 25, 2008, he won a unanimous three-round decision over Bobby McMaster. “I am always ready for anything and to fight anybody. “Maybe with this win, people will start taking me a little more seriously.’’
The SHOWTIME fights were scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds with the exception of Baszler-Tamai, which was slated for three, 3-minute rounds. In non-televised bouts, exciting, crowd-pleasing Melanie “The Shadow’’ La Croix (2-0) of Los Angeles registered an impressive 2:58, first-round TKO (strikes) over Melissa Vasquez (3-3) of Ft. Wayne, Ind., in a non-stop action
scrap at 140 pounds; Brent Cooper (2-0) of Irvine, Calif., scored an impressive 1:30, first-round TKO over Jaime Iracheta (0-1) of Fresno, Calif., at 185 pounds; and Roberto Vargas (2-0) of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., submitted (shoulder lock) Telly Sanders (0-1) of Fresno at 1:53 of the third round in a highly competitive clash at 165 pounds.
In other non-televised fights, “Cool Hand” Luke Riddering (1-0) of San Luis Obispo, Calif., scored a 1:53, first-round TKO (strikes) over Yasser Pezzat (0-1) of Fresno in a give and take slugfest at 170 pounds; Tony “Kryptonite’’ Lopez (5-2) of Huntington Beach, Calif., made like Superman as he scored a 1:09, second-round TKO (strikes) over Terrell Dees (2-1) of San Francisco at 265 pounds; and up-and-coming Lucas Gamaza (2-0) of San Francisco won a hard-fought unanimous three-round decision (30-27 twice and 29-28) over Devin Howard (1-10) of La Habra, Calif., in a 175-pound contest. Non-televised fights were scheduled for three, 3-minute rounds with the exception of the Howard-Gamaza and Dees-Lopez fights, which were set for three, 5-minute rounds.