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Apr 23, 2013

Mexicans, Mixed Martial Arts and Belizeans in caged event

The Belize Elementary School auditorium was overflowing on Saturday night. Mixed Martial Arts aficionados were out in droves for a number of fights between Belizean athletes and their Mexican counterparts. The event was organized by the House of Shotokan. The nine matches were friendly but fierce; the local fighters held their own and the Mexicans proved to be fast and furious in the contact sport that is picking up traction locally.  News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports on the event.

 

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

In the first fight with Mexican national Randy Gonzalez versus Barna Rack, Gonzalez delivered a few tough blows. The crowd cheered for Rack who attempted a hold. But despite attempts at sparring, Gonzalez delivered solid bruisers that ended the first fight.

 

The second fight was Udi Gamino VS. Mario Vasquez. Udi was tough competition for Vasquez who fought well but was taken to the mat. He held on to his opponent frustrating Udi’s blows, but Udi prevailed in the end.

 

The third fight was Darwin Sandoval VS. Ralph ‘Crank’ Hulse senior.  Hulse was taken to the floor in the first round, but he worked his way out of the hold and put his opponent to the floor, which roused the hungry crowd. By round two the crowd was on its feet when Hulse the wrestler, held his opponent in a guillotine that caused Sandoval to tap out.

 

Jose Sanchez

“What is it like to finally have a victory in Belize? You’ve won before on the other side of the border.”

 

Ralph Hulse, Winner (Darwin Sandoval vs. Ralph Hulse)

“Well in my country it is like the best. You have all the support and it feels great to have the win in Belize. It is amazing.”

 

Ralph Hulse,

Jose Sanchez

“What were your strengths in your fight?”

 

Ralph Hulse

“Well they call me “The Crank” because I like to crank people neck.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Did you have the confidence? Was your fighter in your weight-class that you came in with?”

 

Ralph Hulse

“Well more or less; he was six pounds over my weight but that wasn’t much so I just had to do what I had to do.”

 

Despite some wresting skills in the fourth fight of Carlos Escobar versus Jessia Mejia and this impressive display by Mejia, the Mexican national’s wresting skills forced Mejia to tap out.  The fifth fight would also prove a loss for the Belize team.  Mexican national Eddie Pech outmaneuvered Belize’s Lester Alvarado after repeatedly taking the local athlete to the floor. After two straight losses, the crowd ached for a victory.

 

Mexican National Eric Flota showed hope early on when he delivered a blow to brawny Joel Myer that landed him on the floor. But by the second round Myer’s strategy was to wrestle Flota. Once he had the Mexican on the mat, he pounded Flota until he tapped out.

 

Joel Myer

Joel Myer, Winner (Eric Flota vs. Joel Meyer)

“The man was two weight classes above me. I weighed in at one eighty-five and he was two-twenty-four. So I knew I was going in for a tough fight. I came right out, I was trying to be aggressive and he hit me hard. And I’ll be honest, I almost went down the first round, but I came back, got my game on and took him down.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“So you are looking forward to the next fight to compete along with the people across the border?”

 

Joel Myer

“I don’t know. I’m defeated right now so I should retire. (laughs) Yeah I’m game.”

 

Alain ‘Bullet’ Alexis

Mexican national Chamaco Pech went up against Williams Nduka.  The crowd encouraged Nduka who fought all three rounds but it was a victory for Mexico. UB student Alain Alexis would have the crowd once again on its feet and his opponent Juan Carlos Nah on the floor, as he punched his way to victory in round one.

 

Jose Sanchez

“Tonight you came out like a boxer.”

 

Alain ‘Bullet’ Alexis, Winner (Juan Nah vs. Alain Alexis)

“Well I never expected it. When we first got the weigh in on Friday, I was so disappointed, I was mad because we fought in our own weight class. These guys just show up, unexpected weight. So they basically matched us up with guys to our height and a little of our weight. But I was scared. I was scared I was going to get beat up because of this guy; his physical appearance shook me.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“But you didn’t seem to have any fear. You were just throwing left and right. You seemed like you were on target.”

 

Alain ‘Bullet’ Alexis

“When I came out tonight, all my team members were depending on me. I couldn’t really let them down because we needed to take this one home. So I just did my best and I did it for my karate school.”

 

The main event of Jameel ‘Iceman’ Smith VS the champion Alberto Galera was intense. It appeared that Smith had round one but Galera dominated the second two. The fight ended in the third round when Galera almost knocked out Smith while he was already on the floor.  Despite Belize’s win by Galera’s disqualification, Smith was happy and teary eyed about the victory.

 

Jameel ‘Iceman’ Smith

Jameel ‘Iceman’ Smith, Winner (Jameel Smith vs. Alberto Galera)

“I just want to thank my team. I can’t do it without the guys. So it is a victory for the whole team. Thanks to everybody for coming out and supporting. I always wanted to fight to an end or to a finish.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“The first round, it seems that you were the stronger opponent. Could you tell us how the first wrong went for you?”

 

Jameel ‘Iceman’ Smith

“I know he’s a great kick-boxer, a taekwondo guy. I know he was going to kick so I tried to get inside and try to minimize the kicks he was going to throw. So I had to be aggressive and punching instead of let him hit me.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“It seems like you were trying for the holds. But in that last round it seems like he was getting the better of you. What happened that had you on the ground?”

 

Jameel ‘Iceman’ Smith

“Just a tactical error on my part. I was pursue to take too much; probably should have stood up some more because I was having success with that. And he was a really strong guy so he kinda kept me down. I guess he kicked me in the face at one point which was not in the rules and it put me praise sheet a little bit.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“If Galera asks you for a rematch?”

 

Jameel ‘Iceman’ Smith

“Definitely. You don’t even have to finish that question. Anytime, anywhere…I mean he is a great competitor.  I appreciate him coming here and doing this and anytime he wants a rematch, we’ll do it again anytime.”

 

Galera was a gentleman about the loss and is eager to return to Belize for a rematch.

 

Alberto Galera, Lost to Disqualification

Alberto Galera

“The first round was just to know each other, we had some extensions. And then the second round was the one when we gave our heart, our soul and in the overall we are very happy to be here and to come to Belize. We enjoy it a lot and to have this experience of exchange with Belizeans. For us, for the Mexicans, we gave all our hearts, all our souls, all our energy.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“It appeared that from the second going into the third round, you had an advantage. Are you disappointed the way the fight ended? Were you too excited which allowed that final kick that ended the fight?”

 

Alberto Galera

“Yeah, we felt the second and third round was ours, but in the end, we accept the decision of the judges.”

 

All fighters then posed for the camera in impressive display of friendship between neighboring countries and brothers of the sport.  A tentative re-match is scheduled for early August.  Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Mexicans, Mixed Martial Arts and Belizeans in caged event”

  1. Storm says:

    Win, lose, or draw, I admire all of our competitors, especially in such a brutal sport!

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