By Damian Marquez
LEMOORE, Calif. – Former UFC fighter James Irvin was the main attraction at Tachi Palace Fights 7 on Thursday night.
Irvin, who has fought in the UFC 10 times, was cut by the promotion after suffering a loss to Igor Pokrajac on Aug. 1.
Fighting at the Palace was nothing new for Irvin, who has competed there previously and even recorded a knockout victory over Doug Marshall under the WEC banner.
Having lost three out of his last four fights, Irvin was done no favors by the TPF as he looked to work his way back into the UFC, the world’s top MMA promotion. Irvin stepped into the cage to fight Brazil’s Jorge Oliveira, a former Palace Fighting Championships 205-pound champion who was making his return to competition after a two-year absence because of personal reasons.
Oliveira spoiled any chances of Irvin making a quick return to the UFC by locking in a triangle choke and forcing Irvin to tap out 1 minute, 33 seconds into the first round.
It was a successful and emotional return to competition for Oliveira, who improved to 5-2-1 in his mixed martial arts career.
Irvin, dropped to 15-8 and has now tasted defeat in four of his last five fights.
The highly anticipated U.S. debut of Brazil’s Jussier Da Silva turned out to be a positive result for the fighter regarded as the top flyweight in the world. Da Silva edged San Diego’s Danny Martinez via unanimous decision, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, to remain undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts career. In a very uneventful fight, Da Silva did just enough to warrant the decision victory.
Martinez, who proved to be very tough competition, fell to 13-4. Da Silva, who has eight fights remaining on his nine-fight deal with TPF, improved to 8-0.
John Alessio took home TPF gold in the only championship fight of the night. Alessio (31-13) recorded a technical knockout victory against Phil Collins to capture the vacant welterweight championship.
The fighters took their time in the first two rounds to get acquainted with each other, but it was a quick third round as Alessio connected with a short left forearm to Collins’ head, dropping the Merced fighter. Alessio pounced on Collins and finished the job 35 seconds into the third round.
The punch/forearm that knocked Collins down didn’t appear to have much behind it, but it connected in a spot where it dazed Collins and that was the only opening Alessio would need to record his seventh consecutive victory. Collins fell to 9-6 for his career.
American Top Team fighter Micah Miller failed to make weight at Wednesday’s weigh-in for a scheduled 145-pound title fight against Isaac De Jesus.
But Miller didn’t fail to pick up the victory on Thursday night in a non-title showdown between to up and coming fighters. Miller locked in a rear-naked choke, forcing the TPF champion to tap out 4:11 into the first round. Miller improved to 16-4 for his career, while De Jesus fell to 9-3 and tasted defeat for the second straight time. De Jesus is still the TPF featherweight champion.
In an amazing sequence of events, Seth Baczynski shocked Lodi’s Tim McKenzie in the first round of a welterweight bout between two former UFC fighters.
Baczynksi exploded out of a deep armbar by McKenzie and connected with some big ground and pound to record the knockout 2:15 into the fight. Before McKenzie locked in the armbar, which was close to ending the fight, he was dropped by a big knee from Baczynski. But it was Baczynski pulling out the victory and improving to 12-6 in the exciting back-and-forth fight. McKenzie fell to 12-9.
Former UFC fighter Jay Silva made quick work of fight veteran Jaime Jara.
Silva wasted very little time by recording a 33-second knockout of the North Highland fighter. Jara fell to 28-8 for his career. Silva, who improved to just 6-4 for his career, was faster to the punch and knocked Jara down twice before the referee stepped in to stop the middleweight fight. Silva,
fighting out of Huntington Beach, was coming off three consecutive losses, including a six-second knockout against Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard.
Bakersfield’s Tommy Vargas dominated Oakdale’s Martin Sandoval en route to a unanimous-decision victory in a bantamweight bout. Two of the judges scored the bout 30-27 and one judge had it 29-28. Anytime Vargas found himself in any trouble he went to the takedown, which was his bread and butter the entire fight. Vargas improved to 7-1, while Sandoval fell to 6-3.
Porterville fighter Tony Llamas was thrown onto the TPF fight card as a replacement fighter. Llamas (10-12) made the most of his opportunity by defeating Lemoore’s Sergio Quinones with a second-round armbar submission. Llamas locked in the hold, forcing Quinones to tap out 2:03 into the round. Llamas dominated the fight as he handed the local favorite Quinones (5-7) a loss in the featherweight bout.
Jimmy Ambriz, of Santa Ana, made his 30th professional fight a successful one. Ambriz improved to 15-14-1 for his career with a second-round knockout of Fresno’s Mike Guidry (2-3) in a heavyweight attraction. Ambriz appeared to have broken Guidry’s nose, drawing first blood in the process, but it was a huge body shot that sent Guidry to the canvas. Ambirz followed up with ground and pound, asking referee Herb Dean to stop the fight on a couple of occasions before he finally steppded in 4:29 into the second round.
In the first bout of the night, Las Vegas’ Nik Fekete defeated San Francisco’s Chris Bostick via second-round technical knockout. Fekete was much quicker on his feet and landed several punches and a couple of big knees that hurt Bostick. The referee, Herb Dean, stepped in and stopped the bout 4:06 into the round because Bostick failed to defend himself. With the victory, Fekete kept his undefeated record intact as he improved to 4-0. Bostick fell to 6-3.