Strikeforce runs Pro-Am event in San Jose
By Jay Tan
California amateur MMA was given a big vote of credibility this weekend, as one of the largest MMA promotions in the world, Strikeforce, held their first pro-am MMA event at the San Jose Civic Auditorium, as part of their “ShoMMA: Strikeforce Challengers” series.
“It was an experiment for us on our end. By supporting [CAMO], we’re supporting MMA at every level, including the grass roots level. Which is what it’s all about. We just like being involved in helping the sport grow,” explained Strikeforce matchmaker Rich Chou.
Chou paired six amateur matches, which took place as a lead-in to six professional matches, five of which aired live on Showtime.
The event also marked another milestone for the prestigious promotion, as the main event, Sarah Kaufman vs. Takayo Hashi, crowned Strikeforce’s first 135 lbs. women’s champion. The British Columbia–based Kaufman walked away with the match, and the championship title, in a unanimous decision with scores of 50-45.
Match results for the amateur portion of ShoMMA: Strikeforce Challengers 6
136 lbs. – Ronald Carrillo def. Anthony De Los Santos via submission, R2, 1:20.
265 Lbs. – Steve Dickey def. Alan Lummel via TKO, R1, 0:33.
145 Lbs. – Renee Robinson def. Lilia Salas via TKO, R1, 1:06.
145 Lbs. – Jesse Tobar def. Johnson Nguyen via submission, R2, 1:24.
156 Lbs. – Tristan Arenal def. George Miller via TKO, R2, 0:30.
185 Lbs. – Samuel Bracamonte def. Chris Stewart via TKO, R3, 0:59.
For Chou, the action in the cage was a testament to the relevance and value of a regulated amateur MMA program: “the fights were all exciting . . . and I think that’s what the program is for. It’s really to give guys experience and eventually what I think it will do is raise the level. . .Guys are going to have to earn their stripes. It should mean something to be a professional, and we’re glad that there’s a standard set now.”
Chou confirmed that Strikeforce’s next “Challengers” event, slated for March 26th in Fresno, will be another pro-am event.
For more info on upcoming amateur MMA action, visit http://www.camo-mma.org/events .