Soto posted his second win of 2012 on Thursday by choking
George unconscious in the bantamweight headliner of
Tachi Palace Fights 13.
Soto declared his intentions early on at the Tachi Palace Hotel and
Casino in Lemoore, Calif., hitting a single-leg and taking George
to the floor, where he would briefly take his man’s back before the
first frame expired. Round two brought more of the same for the
Bellator Fighting Championships featherweight king, as Soto
dragged George to the mat once again before putting his foe to
sleep with a rear-naked choke. Referee Jason McCoy officially waved
off the contest at 2:01 of round one.
“I felt a little stronger when I was on top, but his technical game
was really tough. He’s no slouch on the ground, but I knew that if
I kept pushing, I might be able to take his back,” Soto said. “I’m
still legit, and I’m still a threat. I can beat anybody in the
world on any given day. I’ve had some bumps in road, but I’m going
to keep fighting. I’m not going anywhere.”
In the co-main event, Ian
Loveland could do no wrong en route to capturing the vacant
Palace Fights bantamweight title by knocking out Alexander
Crispim with a beautiful switch-knee in the first round. “The
Barn Owl” easily defended all of Crispim’s takedowns in the early
going and floored him with a sharp uppercut. Though Crispim managed
to recover, his toughness would ultimately work against him, as the
UFC veteran knocked him to the mat once again with another hard
uppercut before catching Crispim with the fight-ending knee to the
face that cued referee Marcos Rosales to call the bout at 4:23.
Following the contest, it was revealed that Loveland may return in
September to defend his title against former Strikeforce
WEC talent Casey
Loveland blasted Crispim.
“I just dug in and was patient, and it paid off for me,” Loveland
said. “I noticed he comes in with his head down quite a bit. I
didn’t want to break my hands on top of his head, so I fired [the
Local product Tony Llamas
evened the score with fellow Californian Poppies
Martinez by securing a shocking first-round submission in just
60 seconds. After charging ahead quickly and finding himself in a
Martinez guillotine choke, Llamas managed to escape and force a
scramble on the floor, where he grabbed a guillotine of his own.
Though “The Tachi Kid” tried his best to escape, Llamas dug in deep
and forced his man to tap, avenging his 2008 defeat and spoiling
Martinez’s return to the Tachi cage.
Following a year away from competition, Art
Arciniega took home a unanimous decision over Sergio
Cortez, earning scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27. “King Arthur”
dominated the first two rounds of the contest with takedowns,
ground-and-pound and submission attempts but appeared to tire in
third frame. Nevertheless, Cortez was unable to capitalize on
Arciniega’s fatigue, and the 30-year-old earned his fourth
consecutive victory as a result.
Arciniega bested Cortez.
Former TPF flyweight champion Darrell
Montague looked razor sharp, finishing Taylor
McCorriston in 2:46 via technical knockout. After sustaining an
accidental low blow courtesy of a wayward leg kick, “The Mongoose”
found his range standing and popped McCorriston with a pair of
powerful left hands, the second of which sent him crashing to the
Montague quickly pounced with ground-and-pound, forcing McCoy to
call the contest.
Njokuani wasted no time in dispatching John Reedy,
taking out the “Wild Child” in just 55 seconds. After a brief
feeling-out process, the kickboxing specialist launched a
devastating inside low kick that buckled Reedy’s right knee and put
him down. After a brief and ultimately unnecessary follow-up by
Njokuani, the bout was mercifully stopped by McCoy.
Valladerez earned a come-from-behind submission over Martin
Sandoval in the show’s second contest via third-round
guillotine choke. Sandoval opened up first, bombarding Valladerez
with a flurry before hitting a single-leg takedown and taking
Valladerez’s back in each of the first two rounds. However, he was
unable to secure a fight-ending rear-naked choke. After
consistently but unsuccessfully hunting for the guillotine during
Sandoval’s aforementioned takedowns, Valladerez finally found his
squeeze in round three, grabbing his foe’s neck and pulling guard
to force the submission at 1:52 of the final stanza.
Finally, Paul Ruiz
snatched a quick victory from Ruben
Trujillo in their bantamweight bout. Though Trujillo nearly
floored his foe with a leg kick in the opening seconds, he made the
critical mistake of diving for a takedown. Ruiz quickly reversed
the position and took Trujillo’s back, sinking his hooks and
dropping steady ground-and-pound until Rosales stopped the bout at