Poppies Martinez avoided Christos Giagos' subs and got one of
his own at TPF 16. | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
LEMOORE, Calif., -- Though Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino played
host to TPF 16 “The Return” on Thursday night, the most anticipated
match of the evening was not contested, as Bernard
Turner withdrew from his scheduled bout with former Bellator
bantamweight champ Joe Soto due to
a neck injury.
Following Turner’s late withdrawal, Tachi officials told
Sherdog.com that Soto’s camp could not come to terms with
replacement opponent Cory Van Bauer, resulting in the fight being
scrapped altogether. Officials said Soto decided to concentrate on
preparing for his upcoming fight with Bellator.
Martinez bested Christos
Giagos in their lightweight championship fight. The two
fighters engaged in an exciting back-and-forth ground battle that
saw both men take with the upper hand at points. It was Giagos who
grounded Martinez in round one, but the Thrive MMA representative
reversed and began landing clean elbows from the top. Giagos then
bucked free and locked in a rear-naked choke, but Martinez kept his
chin tucked and reversed position to land more clean shots from the
Giagos tried to scramble free, but “The Tachi Kid” sunk a clean
guillotine choke. Though Giagos tried to roll out of the hold,
Martinez rolled with him, forcing him to tap in thrilling fashion
at 4:27 of the first round.
Arciniega and Marcello
Cassero clashed over the vacant TPF featherweight title, with
Arciniega capturing the belt via split decision. While Arciniega
was the clear aggressor in the early rounds, Cassero proved to be a
very elusive target, and most of “King Arthur’s” punches found
nothing but air.
On the rare occasions when the bout hit the floor, the pair were
fairly evenly matched and soon returned to their feet. Arciniega
remained aggressive, but as the fight entered the later rounds it
was Cassero who was landing the meaningful shots, leaving the
Fresno fighter’s face marked and bloodied.
The fifth round proved to be the most entertaining, with Cassero
landing good shots, and Arciniega still dancing and refusing to
fade. In the end, the judges saw it 48-47, 46-49, and 48-47 for
Arciniega, the new TPF featherweight champ.
The featherweight contest between Isaac
DeJesus and Darren
Crisp got off to a strange start, as Crisp dropped to the mat
during a wild exchange against the fence. DeJesus swarmed,
prompting referee David Shirley to wave the bout off just 85
seconds into the opening round. However, Crisp immediately
complained that it was a groin shot that had hurt him, and after a
brief conference in the cage, officials decided to let the fight
continue. Crisp was given five minutes to recover.
When the action resumed, the fighters again engaged along the fence
before DeJesus caught the Visalia fighter with a left-right combo
that dropped him again. The Thrive Fitness fighter quickly followed
him down and finished the fight with ground strikes just 2:20 into
Local prospect Cain
Carrizosa dazzled the crowd with a thrilling stand-up beating
of game opponent Cody
Orrison. The Woodlake, Calif., native used solid takedown
defense to keep the fight vertical while battering Orrison for 15
minutes. After the first round, the San Franciscan was bleeding
from his nose and mouth, and Carrizosa opened a cut on his head
with a knee from the clinch in the second. Orrison would not go
away, however, as he rallied in the third with some clean punches
that seemed to stun Carrizosa. Nevertheless, it was too little, too
late, as Carrizosa captured the victory on all three scorecards as
the crowd roared with approval.
Crispim and Sergio
Quinones engaged in an entertaining featherweight tilt, though
Quinones obviously held the edge on the feet, stunning Crispim
several times with punches and knees. Even so, Crispim dominated on
the mat, making the first round very hard to judge. In the end, it
was Crispim’s ground game that made the difference, as he locked
onto an arm and forced the Lemoore native to tap at 1:48 of round
Jr. proved too much for Joey
Cabezas. The middleweights were only on their feet briefly
before Legere took it to the mat, where he was obviously superior.
Cabezas tried to buck his opponent out of the mount, but Legere
grabbed in arm in a scramble and Cabezas had to tap. The official
time was 3:22 of the first round.
After the fight, Legere openly requested a title shot, and
officials confirmed after the event that they plan to have Legere
Loughran for the welterweight title at their next event on Nov.
Velasco cruised to a dominant victory over Alex Rojas in
their bantamweight tilt. Velasco controlled the action both on the
feet and on the mat before locking in a rear-naked choke for the
finish at 2:51 of the third round.
Earlier, Local Prospect Alex Perez
wasted no time dispatching outmatched Jeff Carson
with a standing guillotine choke in just 48 seconds. Also on the
card: Manuel Quesada knocked out debuting Robert Michael with an
overhand right in just 10 seconds, and Anthony
Figueroa outpointed Jimmy Grant
in a unanimous decision.