Amateur MMA fighters battle in ‘Mayhem in Mesquite XV’

MESQUITE, Nev. — Nine pairs of mixed martial arts fighters entertained a sizable crowd Saturday night in the CasaBlanca Events Center, as “Mayhem in Mesquite XV” featured an evening full of hard-fought matches, with a few surprises mixed in.

Andrew Bonifaz of Las Vegas kicks Hyrum LaBaron of St. George, “Mayhem in Mesquite XV,” Mesquite, Nev., Aug. 11, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

The shortest fight of the night came at the midway point, in the 185-pound category, as Dustin Drake of Las Vegas faced Arious Caudell of Jacksonville, Florida, in the fifth match. Just seven seconds after the opening bell in the first round, Drake delivered a roundhouse right kick that appeared to glance off the left side of Caudell’s head, rendering him groggy enough that the referee stopped the fight just as Drake was about to follow up his kick with a series of punches. It was the debut match for both fighters.

The first fight of the evening also ended quickly, as Hyrum LeBaron of St. George and Andrew Bonifaz of Las Vegas traded blows for one minute before Bonifaz suffered a dislocated shoulder and called for time, ending the match on a technical knockout in favor of LaBaron. It was also the debut match for both fighters, who were competing in the 135-pound weight class.

Steven Turner (left) lands a punch to the face of Rashard Thomas during “Mayhem in Mesquite XV,” Mesquite, Nev., Aug. 11, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

The second match of the evening also saw two newcomers to Barry Meyer’s World-Famous Tuff-N-Uff: Future Stars of MMA, as Steven Turner and Rashard Lee Thomas, both of Las Vegas, faced off in the 155-pound category. In all three rounds, both fighters ended up on the mat, grappling and trying to gain the upper hand. Turner was in a dominant position most of the time and ended up winning the match by unanimous decision.

The fourth fight on the card featured Christian Hermosillo of Tijuana, Mexico, against Feliz Gonzales of Las Vegas in the 145-pound category. Hermosillo won when he applied a chokehold that forced Gonzales to tap out 1 minute 34 seconds into the first round. It was the debut match for both.

Desmond Manabat (top) applies a chokehold on Keith Hale during “Mayhem in Mesquite XV,” Mesquite, Nev., Aug. 11, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

The very next match was decided in similar fashion, as Desmond Manabat of Las Vegas worked his way to an advantageous position and applied a rear chokehold on opponent Keith Hale, also of Las Vegas. Hale tapped out 1 minute and 9 seconds into the first round. Manabat improved his record to 2-2 with the win, while Hale dropped to 1-2.

Following a short intermission, the sixth match of the evening featured Alek Aragon and Quinton Seui, both from Las Vegas, in the 155-pound category. Neither fighter appeared to have much of an advantage in the first round, as they stayed up and traded occasional blows. During the second and third rounds, however, the fighters ended up on the mat against the fence, with Aragon on top both times. After the third round ended, Aragon was declared the winner by unanimous decision. Aragon improved to 2-0 with the win, while Seui’s record dropped to 2-5.

E.J. Diaz (left) and Mark Dubovoy trade punches during their heavyweight fight, “Mayhem in Mesquite XV,” Mesquite, Nev., Aug. 11, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

The seventh match on the card was a heavyweight bout, with E.J. Diaz of Las Vegas defeating Mark Dubovoy of Sarasota, Florida, by unanimous decision. Diaz knocked Dubovoy down with a flurry of punches early on and later lifted him up and took him down to the mat, where they remained sprawled out for the last 90 seconds or so in the final round. Diaz improved to 3-3 overall in handing Dubovoy a defeat in his debut match.

The closest match of the evening was the eighth fight, with Jameson Belleus defeating Quincy Havis in a split decision. The fighters, both from Las Vegas, were competing in the 170-pound category. Belleus knocked down Havis early in the first round, after which the fighters kept their distance, landing an occasional kick or punch. After an uneventful second round, Havis managed to take Belleus down twice in the third, but Belleus prevailed on two of the three judges’ scorecards to win his debut match. Havis dropped to 2-1 with the loss.

Referee raises the arm of winner Bryson Oandasan after he defeated Morgun Colledge during “Mayhem in Mesquite XV,” Mesquite, Nev., Aug. 11, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

The ninth and final fight ended with a twist, as Morgun Colledge of St. George appeared to be winning in the first round over Bryson Oandasan of Las Vegas.

Colledge landed a couple of solid punches early on and took Oandasan down twice, but Oandasan managed to catch Colledge in a chokehold from underneath. Colledge also appeared to have badly injured his foot earlier in the round. Just as the bell rang to end the first round, with one second or less remaining, Colledge tapped out, giving Oandasan the dramatic win. Oandasan improved to 2-3 overall, while Colledge fell to 2-2.

The next “Mayhem in Mesquite” event will be in December.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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