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CRUZ CONTINUES BJJ DOMINANCE IN NEW SHOW

Cruz wins once again!

By Patrick Lujan

The Submission Fighter is the latest rendition of combat sports promotions, holding its inaugeral event Sunday afternoon at the FD Phoenix Center.

What isn’t new is Anthony Cruz winning again. In fact, he’s at a level where he feels his only opponent is himself, feeling disappointed in his performance against Javier Mirelez in the main event.

“Just comparing myself, I’m pretty disappointed because I really wanted the ninja choke, which I predicted about four days ago,” Cruz said. “Javier was doing a great job defending the ninja choke. When I saw there was only 40 seconds left, I had to transition to something else. I’m a little disappointed, to be honest, with the result.”

Disappointed or not, it was an impressive performance that ended in an armbar with just 24 seconds left. Cruz has been on a crazy roll going on a couple of years already, winning everything he enters and making him arguably the top jiu-jitsu practitioner on Guam.

“I always try to outdo the Anthony of old and I always try to set new standards. I really put a lot of pressure on myself to predict the exact submission I’m going to use. Javier did a great job defending though. He’s a super tough opponent.
In other key matches, Trevin Jones won in sudden death over Oliver Cruz with a takedown (the first point wins in sudden death). David Harris pulled off a late armbar against John Meno in a highly-technical blackbelt showdown.

Roque Martinez took on former college wrestling champ Jose Cruz in another high level match. Martinez edged out Cruz in sudden death as well.

“It was a great experience,” Martinez said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to wrestle Jose and for him stepping up as a replacement. He did great!”

HIGHLIGHTS

#13: Anthony Cruz vs. Javier Mirelez (gi)

Cruz is arguably the top BJJ practitioner on island today. Mirelez holds his ground the first two minutes in top position. Cruz rolls and takes top position at the four-minute mark. Cruz goes to work from the top. With a minute to go, Cruz has a look of determination to finish. He does just that with an armbar with 24 seconds. Cruz wins once again!

#12: Trevin Jones def. Oliver Cruz in sudden death (no-gi)

Both arm jockey in the opening minutes. Jones shoots in for a takedown at the 4:17 mark. Jones has back control for the next two minutes before Cruz spins, but still is at bottom position. One minute left and Jones has back control again. The match goes into sudden death. Jones shoots in for the take down and the win.

#11: David Harris def. John Meno via armbar :30 (gi)

Two prominent local black belts in the first gi bout of the day. Meno get top position within the opening seconds. Both have hands filled with opposing gis. Midway, Harris tries to work the combo but Meno holds strong from the top position. Two minutes to go and the chess match continues. Meno gets side control and goes in for the armbar then a heel hook with a minute to go. Harris gets side control and pulls a quick armbar with only 30 seconds on the clock.

#10: Roque Martinez def. Jose Cruz III in sudden death (no-gi)

MMA champ vs. NAIA wrestling champ. A Cruz faint fakes out and drops Martinez as Cruz’s wrestling trick draws first blood. Roque tries the heel hook but Cruz pulls out. Back to their feet. Cruz slips at the three minute mark and Martinez jumps on the opportunity. Cruz is making it a pure wrestling match. Roque shoots in but Cruz is ready. Sudden death, here we go. Martinez gets first good position from the top and swings over to half guard for the point and win.

#9: Scotty Eclavea def. Jun San Nicolas via rear naked choke 5:30 (no-gi)

Eclavea almost has an armbar within 40 seconds of the match but San Nicolas slips out. Eclavea gets the quickest submission of the day so far at 5:30.

#8: Gonzo Quintanilla def. Curtis Aflleje via armbar 1:40 (no-gi)

Affleje takes control within the first minute. He’s able to keep Gonzo on his back for the next four minutes of control. Gonzo gets a triangle pretty tight and finally falls back to a quick armbar.

#7: Micah Lopez def. Jeff Mesa in sudden death (no-gi)

Great matchup between two MMA young guns with Lopez having the wrestling background. Lopez with the single leg takedown 90 seconds in to take top position. Lopez with the full mount one minute later, applying shoulder pressure. Halfway through, Lopez is in control. Mesa makes a move under three minutes with a neck hold from the bottom, eventually getting it back to the feet at the two minute mark. The bout ends with hand jousting. Goes into the sudden death with the first point wins. Lopez gets the first point via takedown to win the extra period.

#6: Mike Shinohara def. Jesse Robards via armbar 1:26 (no-gi)

Two strong grapplers, Shinohara quick gains top control. Pops into the full mount two minutes in, Robards defends well. Now in half mount, Shinohara cranks the neck, twisting his opponent. Robards hanging for dear life. Robards survives. Shinohara attempts an armbar, but Robards somehow jumps out and gets top control. Shinohara, from the bottom, gets a hold of an armbar that Robards can’t get out.

#5: Ivan Gubanov def. Larry Marcella via referees decision (no-gi)

Gubanov gets back control two minutes in. Marcella fights to keep Gubanov’s arm under his chin. Gubanov tries a different hold after unsuccessfully going for the rear naked, but still has control. Ivan’s coach Anthony Cruz encouraging him to finish it, still with back control.

#4: Ethan Aflleje def. Shelby Meeks via armbar 4:23 (no-gi)

Two talented, young and dynamic combatives on the island. Feel out process the first minute. Meeks shoots in at the 5:30 mark for the first control of the match. Aflleje catches Meeks with a well-executed armbar for the first submission of the day at 4:23.

#3: Kai Ronn def. Alan Haugen by referees decision (no-gi)

Haugen with a big takedown one minute in, but Ronn manages to take top seconds later, where he controlled the next few minutes and had a chance at a rear naked, but Haugen fought off the effort. Ronn stayed strong and in control to win by decision.

#2: Corey Cabales def. Aaron Lyon by referees decision (no-gi)

Fast pace in the first two minutes with Cabales having the upper hand . Nice one-arm takedown by Cabales halfway through the match. Lyon turns the script a minute later, taking top control. Cabales gained back top control with two minutes to go. Down the stretch, Cabales almost had a rear naked choke in, but time ran out. Cabales with the clear decision win.

#1: Ethan Aguigui def. Xander Babauta by referees decision (no-gi)

Aguigui gains top control within the first minute. The former Virginia Tech wrestler reset with four minutes on the clock. Aguigui trying to find an opening from the standing position with Babauta on the ground defending. Aguigui finished in the top position. Babauta had a late attempt at a leg lock, but it wasn’t enough.

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