LEMOORE, Calif. -- Tachi
Palace Fights 12 “Second Coming” delivered a night of exciting
fights and quick finishes.
Local favorite Casey Olson
put his wrestling skills on display in the main event, as he
outpointed an aggressive Cody Gibson
in a barn burner on Friday at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino.
All three judges scored it 30-27 for Olson.
Olson came out with his hands up and stymied his opponent’s
striking game. Gibson could not find his range and repeatedly
closed the distance to clinch and look for a takedown. That
strategy played right into Olson’s strengths. The Fresno, Calif.,
native dominated the position game and never let Gibson get his
offense going. After two rounds, it became clear Gibson had to
shift gears, and he came out like a wild man in the third, swinging
wildly as Olson went to touch gloves.
Gibson jumped around and attacked with reckless abandon, but Olson
answered with two huge slams and more smothering top control,
earning a unanimous verdict from the judges. Olson will face
Rivera for the TPF bantamweight championship on May 10.
Rivera destroyed Antonio
Duarte in just 75 seconds. Looking to counter, Rivera seemed to
land heavy shots every time he threw his hands. He connected with a
thudding right hand that left Duarte seated against the cage, then
rushed in with a follow-up right that knocked him cold 1:15 into
Rivera destroyed Duarte.
Meanwhile, 2011 NCAA national wrestling champion Bubba
Jenkins barely broke a sweat in defeating an outmatched
Gomez, as he scored the rear-naked choke submission 2:07 into
the first round.
Jenkins, who trains out of American Top Team, grounded Gomez
immediately and pressed him against the face. Before long, referee
Marcos Rosales separated the fighters and admonished Jenkins for
grabbing the fence. After the restart, Jenkins shot in for a
takedown behind a wild hook, took Gomez’s back and landed punishing
blows to the head. When Rosales elected not to halt the bout,
Jenkins switched to the choke for the finish.
Though he failed to make weight for his debut at
145 pounds, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 alum Robert
Emerson outdueled Savant Young
before he submitted him with a rear-naked choke in the third
An overweight Emerson beat Young.
Emerson hurt “The Black Superman” early but found himself wrapped
in a clinch and unable to capitalize. The action remained on the
feet through the second round, as both men landed decent shots but
could not find the necessary opening to do meaningful damage. Late
in round three, Emerson took down Young and transitioned to mount.
As Young rolled to try and escape, the UFC veteran landed the
fight-ending choke. The tapout came 4:29 into the third round.
“I haven’t fought in a year,” Emerson said. “I felt a little rusty,
but it’s good to be back.”
Elsewhere, the heavyweights did not disappoint, as Dave
Huckaba knocked out Liron
Wilson a little more than a minute into the second round of
their exciting slugfest.
Wilson looked good early, as he took the fight to the ground and
worked for a kimura. However, Huckaba escaped halfway through the
first round, with Wilson visibly gassed. Huckaba did not rush in
but stayed calm and picked his shots, stunning his fatigued
opponent a few times. In the second stanza, Huckaba turned up the
heat, as he rattled Wilson on the feet and followed him to the
ground for the finish 1:05 into round two.
Avila made quick work of Art Becerra
with a guillotine choke, securing the submission 4:08 into round
one. Becerra came out to strike and cut Avila on the forehead
early. However, when Becerra jumped for a guillotine, Avila
capitalized and took a dominant position. He snatched a guillotine
of his own during a scramble, and Becerra tapped almost
Finally, Alex Perez
delivered a first-round submission win over Edgar Diaz.
He took top position early, slowly locked in the fight-ending
kimura and forced the tapout 2:33 into round one.