On Saturday February 25th, Up Next Fighting produced its 6th successful event in front of a capacity crowd at the Commerce Casino in Commerce, California. 

In the main event of the evening, UNF reigning and defending Featherweight Champion Albert Morales put his title on the line against Javier Garcia. The challenger came out very aggressive and seemed to catch Morales off guard with his nasty leg kicks. Both fighters had moments in the exchanges, however it became clear late in the second round that Garcia was starting to pull away with the fight. In the third and final frame, Garcia seemed to be on cruise control as he searched for the choke with a deep neck crank on Morales. Morales did his best to survive the round but, in the end, even Morales knew there was going to be a new king of the UNF featherweight division.

In other action:

Saekson’s Muay Thai fighter Steven O’Bryant did not waste any time making a very violent first impression. At the opening bell, O’Bryant caught a kick by Sevak Zadourian and landed a huge right hand that floored his opponent. Zadourian did his best to withstand the ground and pound onslaught that followed but another big shot left him without his consciousness forcing the referee to step in just :12 seconds into the very first round.

Dion Young showcased his submission game, which is a new wrinkle for the pugilist, as he took out 19 year-old standout Emmanuel Graham. Graham came out very aggressive looking for a quick spinning heel kick but “Westside” Dion Young made him pay taking him down and submitting him late in the very first round. 

Making his UNF debut, Omranuddin Tara Khail wasted very little time making his introduction to the crowd when he leveled fan favorite Johnny Robles just :18 into the very first round. Robles came out aggressive landing some nice leg kicks.  However in the first back and forth action of the fight, both fighters threw heavy hooks, with Tara Khail landing first. Robles immediately fell limp to the canvas prompting the referee to stop the fight just :18 seconds into the very first round.

In UNF Rising Stars action, the reigning and defending UNF Rising Stars Featherweight champion Hamza Trad took on undefeated and super tough David Marroquin. After a back and forth first round, the Champion began to settle down. Marroquin did his best to keep the fight close.  In the 3rd round, the Champion landed a kick to the mid section but unfortunately his knee made contact with Marroquin’s face. Unable to continue the referee stepped in and quickly called the fight a technical decision.  With Marroquin unable to continue, Trad was awarded the victory. Most in attendance were perplexed by the official decision because it did look like a knockout. However, the CAMO rules state you are not allowed to knee your opponent in the face. 

Saekson’s Muay Thai representative Clayton Kline picked up his first win in his amateur debut against a very tough Dylan Stockard via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

CMMA fighter Stone Lavelle parlayed his first takedown into a slick triangle finish over Chris Perez at :51 seconds into the first round.

Legacy BJJ standout Mathew Nestor showcased his standup pedigree in the first round before cinching in the fight winning choke at 1:15 of the second round over a very game Isael Munoz.