Mixed Martial Arts: Quezada, Means are big winners in King of the Cage at Buffalo Thunder

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Saturday’s MMA bouts feature local favorites, title bout at jr. welterweight

By Rob Lamb

There is a mantra in the Mixed Martial Arts world, “never leave it in the hands of the judges.”
The fighters at King of the Cage took that to heart Saturday night at Buffalo Thunder Hotel and Casino. Not once was it required to collect the judges score cards as all of the bouts finished well before their scheduled times.
A near-capacity crowd filled the venue to cheer on local fighters as they did battle in the octagon. The action was fast paced as the fighters ripped through the card.
Henry ‘Perro Loco’ Adame’s night came to an end quickly. Adame, a 135-pounder who took his fight on just two-weeks’ notice, suffered a dislocated kneecap in the first 14 seconds of the bout against “Razor” Ray Martinez in the first fight of the evening.
Grant Hobbs of Colorado fought Albuquerque’s Skyler ‘The Rabbit’ Pendelton. Both men put on a ground game.
Late in the second round, Pendelton was nearly choked out by Hobbs, only to be saved by the bell. Hobbs was able to clinch the victory, however, by clinching Pendelton in an arm bar submission hold at the 1:35 mark of the third round.
Several of Saturday’s bouts featured fighters returning from the Buffalo Thunder’s previous King of the Cage event in January. One such fighter was Santa Fe’s Zuhey Quezada, who appeared in the third fight of the evening.
The women’s bouts are always crowd favorites, but Quezada brought her own cheering section as she took on Grants’ Alyssha Garcia.
The fan support plus Quezada’s impressive Jiujitsu skills proved to be too much for Garcia. The fight was stopped in the second round as Garcia was unable to defend herself against Quezada’s ground-and-pound.
Saturday’s main card featured another female fight. Moriarty’s Brenda Gonzales took on Kyane Hampton of Colorado. Hampton entered the ring wild-eyed and seemed to enjoy her underdog status when the crowd cheered enthusiastically for Gonzales.
The two women boxed and wrestled, bringing the crowd to its feet.
Hampton seemed to have the fight under control at several points, but Gonzales managed to wriggle out of every hold and bad situation. Gonzales eventually finished the fight with a TKO.
The only title fight of the evening featured Cris ‘The Lightning’ Leyva and Tim ‘Dirty Bird’ Means. Means’ junior welterweight belt was on the line in the bout.
The long-limbed Means kept his opponent at a distance, but Leyva did manage to sneak effective blows and knees, all of which were answered by Means.
A technical knock-out due to strikes with 1:28 remaining in round three left Means with the championship belt still around his waist.  
The lone heavyweight bout on the card ended quickly. Albuquerque’s Dan “The Boss” Gossett lived up to his nickname by controlling Colorado’s Philip Campanella. A series of thundering blows from Gossett resulted in a TKO in only 28 seconds.
On the undercard, Los Lunas’ Kevin Epley took on Santa Fe’s Sergio Rodriguez in another match that didn’t disappoint. The fight started off with a glove touch that went straight into a strike from Rodriguez.
Epley recovered and the two men took the fight to the ground for much of the rest of the first round.
Rodriguez got the upper hand in round two and punished Epley with his ground-and-pound. The fight was stopped when Epley was unable to defend himself.
On the main card, Guto Feliciano of Roswell took on Isaque ‘The Sandman’ Martinez of Cortez, Colo. The two men quickly took the fight to the ground and Martinez dominated the round staying on top of Feliciano and delivering punishment from above.
Martinez finished the fight, delivering a rear naked choke that ended the bout with a few seconds left in the first round.
Frank ‘The Tank’ Morris of Colorado took on local favorite Frank Baca. Both men put on an impressive show with their boxing and ground skills but in the end, Morris couldn’t withstand the explosive blows of Baca’s fists. The fight was stopped with 1:07 left in the second round.