FAIRFIELD – Pure Combat wanted to give back to the troops and they did so with a bang.
Pure Combat held its Operation: TKO mixed martial arts show Saturday night at the Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield and the fans got a lot more than what they bargained for.
There wasn’t a lot of name recognition on the fight card, but the fighters made up for that with exciting fights up and down the card.
“Pure Combat shows over and over and over again that we can put on a great show,” said Pure Combat president Al Joslin. “We have a lot of closely-matched fights and at the end of the day that’s what the fans want and that’s what the fighters want. Its fights like these that help the sport grow.”
Local favorite Kenneth Alexander highlighted the bout card and he did not disappoint. The former Marine impressed his fans and his fellow troops with a unanimous-decision victory over Muzimal Khan.
Alexander had to put his takedown defense on display because Khan kept trying to take the fight to the mat. Khan repeatedly threw a punch and shot in to attempt a takedown, but Alexander was ready for the game plan.
“I knew he was a jiu-jitsu guy and I knew that he knew about my hands,” Alexander said. “He knew I had heavy hands and solid kicks so he wanted to take it to the ground. But I had good defense on his takedowns. I tried to weather his storm and pepper him when I could.”
Alexander controlled the fight as each judge scored the bout 30-27 in his favor.
It was the second fight for Alexander with Pure Combat and it was his first win. He said it was definitely a company he wants to keep working with.
“I feel comfortable any time I get into a cage,” Alexander said. “And being a former Marine and being from Sacramento , it felt good to put on a show in front of the troops.”
Alexander improved to 6-4 in his career, and Khan was handed his first loss after starting his career with five consecutive victories.
In the co-main event of the evening, Rico Altamirano displayed his toughness by beating Doug Defenderier.
Altamirano was out-pointed in the first round, but he bounced back to take control of the fight in the second round and eventually finished it off in the third round.
Altamirano recorded the technical knockout, because of strikes, just before the bell at 2 minutes, 55 seconds into the third round.
Defenderier displayed superior boxing skills in the first round, but as the fight progressed he showed his fatigue. His punches became sloppy and his hands kept dragging. Altamirano proved to be the better conditioned fighter as he looked to be getting stronger as the fight progressed, landing several big punches and scoring on takedowns.
Altamirano improved to 2-1, while Defenderier picked up his first professional loss (2-1).
Will Nebronne gave up at least six inches to Steve Ronneburg but it didn’t matter.
The 5-foot-0, 135-pounder recorded a technical knockout 1:44 into the second round to even his record to 2-2. Nebronne stunned Ronneburg with a left hook, sending him to the mat where he finished him off with repeated strikes, forcing referee Josh Rosenthal to step in and stop the fight.
But Nebronne almost didn’t reach the second round. Early in the first round, Nebronne decided to taunt Ronneburg by sticking his tongue out at him and immediately clocked in the head by a kick. Nebronne fell back, but Ronneburg couldn’t capitalize and finish him off.
Chris Sheridan recorded the fastest victory of the night by forcing Ben Corsaro to tap out in just 42 seconds.
Sheridan started the fight with a flurry and immediately took it to the ground where he locked in an arm bar to make quick work of his opponent.
Sam Purnell kicked off the main card with his victory against Chris Tangonan.
Purnell proved to be the stronger of the two fighters and recorded a technical knockout 2:38 into the second round.
Purnell almost finished the fight in the first round, locking in a rear-naked choke, but Tangonan managed to get out of the choke hold. Purnell caused a lot of damage in the first round and continued to control the fight up until the knockout.
Josh Paiva and Josh Fry slugged it out for three rounds in the most entertaining fight of the undercard.
In the end it was Paiva who outpointed Fry to pick up the unanimous-decision victory in a 140-pound bout.
The fight went back and forth between the two fighters, but Paiva took control by busting up Fry’s nose in the second round. He also scored some critical points with his impressive takedown abilities.
In the first bout of the show, Brandon Clark Stephens made sure to not leave it up to the judges.
Stephens and Jesse James Gonzales were on their way to what appeared to be a split decision, but Stephens put an end to that by forcing Gonzales to tap out in the middle of the third round of a 155-pound bout.
Cole Lanning dominated the first round of his 160-pound bout against Chris Sulamo and then went on to finish the job in the second round by locking in a rear-naked choke 1:08 into the round.
Daniel Hodges began a string of three consecutive fights that ended because of a submission.
Hodges defeated Drew Milczarek with a rear-naked choke 1:04 into the second round of their 150-pound bout.
Daniel Oseguera made quick work of David Catano in a 125-pound bout by locking in a triangle choke just :44 seconds into the first round and forcing Catano to tap out.
Josh Miranda wrapped up the undercard with a unanimous-decision victory against Tony Amaya in a 170-pound bout.
Miranda dominated the first round and drew blood on Amaya with his ground and pound. Miranda controlled the second round with more of the same ground and pound and appeared to be on his way to the easy victory.
But down two rounds, Amaya made things interesting. Amaya showed heart by winning the third round, but was too far behind to catch up on the scorecards.