Hell breaks loose at ‘Inferno!’
Ringside report by John Guillen
Photography by Nicole Manning
It was another sold-out show for promoter Chris Cordero Saturday night in Sante Fe at the Sweeney Convention Center when Alberto Crane racked up Win #8 with a one-minute win over little-regarded Jeremy Crow.
Looking very focused and ready to fight, Crane launched himself at Crow’s legs at the sound of the bell, working his way into a partial guillotine that Crow was able to slip out of. Within moments, however, Crane had Crow into a crucifix that forced a stoppage at 1:03.
Crane moves to 8-0; Crow’s record is unknown.
The semi-main event between Chilo Cordova of Colorado Springs and Mike Seal of Vandigo, Mexico could’ve been the best of the night.
Only it never happened, for as soon as the bell rang, all hell broke loose.
The two fighters went for each other. After colliding, Cordova picked up Seal and attempted to throw him into the crowd.
In a desperate attempt to pull the fighters back into the ring, referee Rocky Stapleton hurled himself between the two fighters, who were still going at it.
At this point, ringside personnel rushed into the ring, trying to stop the riot. The crowd went wild.
After the scene was stilled, Ref Stapleton disqualified both fighters. But after the promoter and the New Mexico State Athletic Commission discussed matters, they agreed to let the fight continue, if only to keep the restless crowd from rioting. By now, several people in the crowd were throwing objects into the ring.
The fight went on, only it was a moot point for when Seal revealed an injured knee, the Commission changed their minds, although a rematch was promised to the fans.
In the only boxing match of the night, Albuquerque’s Jason Cordova had an easy time with overmatched pro debuter and late replacement, Tim Martinolitch of Ensenada, Mexico.
With two big left hooks, Cordova destroyed his foe, picking up the New Mexico Athletic Commission’s version of the state light heavyweight title. Martinolitch was down twice before the stoppage.
[Editor’s note: Incidentally, the “title fight” marks the second undeserving state title fight in a row (the first being Hector Munoz vs. ancient Benjie Marquez for the jr. middleweight title, despite a half dozen fighters more worthy.) While Cordova, now 4-0-1 with 4 KOs, is certainly worthy of fighting for a state belt, fighting a two-day replacement with little or no amateur experience continues to make a mockery of the Commission’s version of the state belts. Martinolitch replaced Jose Ramirez, who, incidentally fought on the Tapia undercard on the same night. Ramirez says the fight was never a go because he was never given a contract to fight Cordova.]
In the best fight of the night, Santa Fe’s Tom Pless took on Denver’s Rich Hess.
Right out of the bell, Pless took Hess to the floor, falling on his guard. As Pless was trying to pass the guard, Hess was trying to set up a triangle choke hold. Pless broke out of it, picking up Hess and slamming him to the canvas—twice.
Pless tried to pass the guard again but before it could happen, Hess positioned himself for a rear naked choke hold. Pless slipped out of Hess’ grip and they both fell to the floor again. This time, Pless got control of Hess’ back, locking him up in a partial crucifix. After he started to pound away on Hess’ face, Hess had had enough and tapped out.
On the undercard, Albuquerque’s Chris Avila and Theo McDonald of El Paso went to the scorecards after two rounds. Judges had it 58-56, 59-55, and 58-57 all for Avila.
In women’s MMA action, Sara Boyd of Santa Fe took on Albuquerque’s Betsy Garcia.
The difference in experience was too much for Garcia and, from the opening bell, Boyd took advantage, mounting her opponent. Garcia extended her arm to push Boyd away, making it easy for Boyd to slip into an armbar to win the fight by submission.
In the opening bout of the night, David Davis of Amarillo, Texas lost to Albuquerque’s Brian Schall of Albuerque at 1:49 of the first round due to a hard right to Davis’s eye.